Updated: Michael Dyer dismissed from Arkansas State

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Auburn transfer Michael Dyer hadn’t even stepped on the field for Arkansas State yet before he began making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Turns out, Dyer won’t play for the Red Wolves anyway. Ever.

In somewhat surprising news, Arkansas coach Gus Malzahn announced Sunday night that Dyer had been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

“I am truly disappointed that it didn’t work out here at ASU for Mike,” said Malzahn in the statement.  “I wish Mike nothing but the best in the future.”

The Jonesboro Sun added that the dismissal may be related to a spring traffic stop where officers found a gun and marijuana in Dyer’s car.

Though Dyer had only transferred to Arkansas State this year, he was already the subject of more transfer rumors after his appeal for immediate eligibility was denied by the NCAA. It was thought briefly that Dyer may transfer to a lower level program so he could play right away before likely taking off for the NFL, but that speculation ended up being quashed.

Dyer rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of his two seasons with Auburn, and was a first-team All-SEC performer in 2011.  However, he was suspended for the Tigers’ Chick-fil-A appearance and left the school shortly thereafter.

Updated 7/30 @ 12:45 p.m.: Arkansas State police have released the following statement related to the Dyer traffic stop, which you can read below. Also, if you’re looking for some video of the incident, click HERE.

Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, has received a final report from the department’s Office of Professional Standards and the Command Staff Review Board relative to an internal investigation of a March 10th 2012 traffic stop by State Trooper Royce Denney.

The traffic stop involved two vehicles, one operated by Michael Dyer and the other by Ronnie Wright.

Both drivers were cited by Trooper Denney for speeding 96 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone.  The tickets are on file at White County District Court.

A copy of the traffic stop video recording captured by Trooper Denney’s patrol car camera has been released under the provisions of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Presently there is a personnel matter associated with the investigation of Trooper Denney pending before Colonel Howard and at this time the department is prohibited from acknowledging any further information about the internal investigation.

Duke starting safety Jeremy McDuffie out indefinitely after surgery on fractured thumb

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What we do know is that Duke will be without its starting piece of its defense.  What we don’t know is for how long.

The football program announced Wednesday that Jeremy McDuffie underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right thumb.  The junior sustained the injury during a recent Blue Devils practice.

As a result of the injury and subsequent surgery, McDuffie will be sidelined indefinitely.

McDuffie transitioned from cornerback to safety this past spring. Entering summer camp, the defensive back had been listed as a starter for the Blue Devils.  The past two seasons, McDuffie had played in 24 games.

Duke opens the 2017 season Sept. 2 against NC Central.  They will kick off ACC play three weeks later on the road against North Carolina.

Albeit with a disclaimer, Jim Mora doesn’t see Josh Rosen leaving UCLA early for NFL

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Most expect Josh Rosen to be one of the first quarterbacks selected when the next NFL draft rolls around.  Rosen’s coach, though, doesn’t see the outspoken junior being a part of the pool of available draftees.

“My firm belief is that he will not leave,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora told Yahoo SportsPete Thamel over the weekend. “I don’t think he’ll leave. …

“I want a disclaimer, I have an option to change my opinion. But as we sit here right now, I can really honestly say I don’t think he’s going to leave.”

Mora’s proclamation comes less than two weeks before the Bruins kick off the 2017 season and around five months before draft-eligible early entrants have to officially file their paperwork with the NFL.

Rosen flashed brilliance as a true freshman in 2015, passing for nearly 3,700 yards and 23 touchdowns.  His sophomore campaign was marred by a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder that sidelined him for the final six games of the season.  Rosen has resoundingly rebounded from that health issue, and will head into the 2017 season 100-percent healthy.

Whether he enters the 2018 season 100-percent Bruin remains, his head coach’s confidence notwithstanding, highly unlikely or even doubtful, especially given his recent comments that football and school don’t mix.

Report: Call to escort service coincided with a Hugh Freeze recruiting trip

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Not surprisingly, more details are surfacing in Hugh Freeze‘s unceremonious exit from Oxford.

Freeze resigned as the head football coach at Ole Miss last month in part because of Jan. 19 phone call to an escort service that was initially deemed to be a misdial.  According to the Wall Street Journal, that call came a few hours after a university plane landed in Tampa, Fla., as part of a five-day, 13-stop recruiting trip.  On that plane was Freeze as well as other members of the Rebels football staff.

The discovery of the link between the call and recruiting trip came after a review of phone records and other documents.

After Freeze’s “resignation,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork described an unspecified pattern of personal misconduct that led to the coach’s departure.  Bjork somewhat expounded on that pattern to the Journal.

Although school officials had previously declined to characterize the alleged misconduct, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said in response to questions from the Journal about Freeze’s travel that the university’s investigation uncovered “calls of a similar nature” over the course of several years, often matching up with travel logs showing the coach’s use of the school plane. The school said it examined his travel logs from peak recruiting times—often November, December and January—when Freeze would travel out of state, using the school plane and other public resources.

“When we say pattern, we are describing other phone numbers that when you Google them pull up similar type websites, services, however you would describe them,” Bjork said. “We took action swiftly.

Speculation of late has there being more, potentially much more, to Freeze’s forced resignation.  Only time will tell how much more will ultimately come out — especially if another former Ole Miss head coach’s lawsuit, kicked out of federal court for lack of jurisdiction, is revived in the state of Mississippi as expected.

Reports: ankle injury likely to keep WR Michael Pittman out of USC’s opener

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In his college football preview Bible, the great Phil Steele had Michael Pittman listed as one of three starting wide receivers for USC.  With the start of a new season a little more than two weeks away, Pittman doesn’t appear set to make that magazine projection come to fruition.

According to multiple reports, Pittman suffered an ankle injury during practice Tuesday and was taken off the field via a cart after having a boot placed on his left foot.  While X-rays taken post-practice showed no break or fracture, the sophomore has been diagnosed with the dreaded high-ankle sprain.

As a result, the Los Angeles Daily News writes that “[i]t seems unlikely he would be able to play against Western Michigan.” Rivals.com tweeted that the injury “[p]robably keeps him out of season opener.”

At least for now, the football program has yet to officially rule Pittman out for the opener.

Pittman was a four-star 2016 recruit, rated as the No. 9 receiver in the country.  As a true freshman last season, he caught six passes for 82 yards.