A member of rival team fights with oranges during annual Carnival battle in the northern Italian town of Ivrea

‘Cuse, not Hoos, front-runners for ex-Razorbacks WR?

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When it was announced earlier this month that Quinta Funderburk had been granted a release from his Arkansas scholarship in order to move closer to his boyhood home of Chesapeake, it was widely assumed the wide receiver would reunite with his former high school teammate at Virginia.

While Funderburk is certainly moving closer to home, the destination is reportedly a bit further north than expected.  Maybe.

As relayed by the Syracuse Post-Standard, it has been reported by Matt Jones of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that, per a source, Funderburk plans to transfer to Syracuse.  Jones’ post, though, is dated May 2, the day Funderburk’s decision to transfer was confirmed.

It’s unclear whether, nine days later, the Orange is still viewed as the likely destination for Funderburk.  Another article published shortly after the receiver’s decision became public knowledge, this one from the Roanoke Times, stated that Syracuse is viewed as “a threat” by rival coaches to land Funderburk.

Syracuse will not comment on any potential transfers, a school official told CFT via email Thursday afternoon.

Whether it turns out to be Syracuse, Virginia or another destination, Funderburk’s high school coach said his former player hasn’t yet made up his mind.

“There is nothing official to say. He has not made any final decision,”  Oscar Smith High School coach Richard Morganremember him? — told the Post-Standard on Thursday evening. “He just has to see what the best fit is for him.”

Morgan added that Funderburk is still at Arkansas finishing up the academic year and will return home once that’s completed to further contemplate his collegiate future.

As a three-star member of UA’s 2011 recruiting class, Funderburk was rated as the No. 48 receiver in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Virginia by Rivals.com.  He took a redshirt for his first season with the Razorbacks.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.