Mississippi State disassociates itself from booster

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More details surrounding the story of Mississippi State, its former wide receivers coach and former Memphis-area recruits are coming forward.

It started when Bulldogs receivers coach Angelo Mirando stepped down suddenly eight days ago for what he claimed were unforeseen personal reasons. A few days later, it was reported by ESPN’s Joe Schad that Mirando resigned ”in the wake of an ongoing NCAA investigation into his recruitment of at least one Bulldogs player.” That player would later be identified as freshman Will Redmond. 

MSU would only confirm that it was collaborating with the NCAA to “examine a potential recruiting irregularity,” which was apparently coming to an end shortly. Mirando (pictured) was replaced by former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster. 

Now, through an open records request via the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, it’s apparent that the school has disassociated itself from a booster for engaging “in impermissible contact with the prospective student-athlete.”

The letter, which was written by MSU’s outside counsel Michael Glazier, is dated July 13 and addressed to a member of the Bulldog Club, MSU’s fundraising arm for athletics. The booster’s name has been redacted.

“The (NCAA) investigation has revealed that as a representative of Mississippi State’s athletic interests (Bulldog Club member), you engaged in impermissible contact with the prospective student-athlete and that other violations of NCAA rules also may have occurred,” the letter reads.

The letter refers to the following impermissible actions: A booster may not “participate in any organization recognized by the University as a supporter of the University’s athletic programs; assist the University in the recruitment of prospective student-athletes;  make a financial or gift in kind contribution for the support of the University’s athletics programs; receive any privilege associated with Mississippi State athletics that is not available to the general public.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal also reported Tuesday that two former Memphis-area recruits — Georgia cornerback Sheldon Dawson and former Alabama signee Brandon Hill — are connected to NCAA interviews with a Mississippi State interest, although the exact topics are unknown. Dawson is reportedly set to speak with the NCAA this Friday while Hill spoke with the NCAA six months ago.

Hill’s coach at St. George’s, Brent Hill, told the Commercial Appeal “We didn’t see anything dirty… I never witnessed anything, and neither did our kid.”

What does all of this mean for Mississippi State? Not sure yet.

It’s not the first time the NCAA has visited Memphis this month, either. Auburn running back Jovon Robinson has already been declared ineligible for this season after it was discovered that at least one of Robinson’s grades at Wooddale HigH School was changed by a guidance counselor without approval.

Ohio State OL Matthew Burrell transferring from Buckeyes

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For the third time this offseason, Ohio State has lost an offensive lineman to transfer.

The latest to leave the trenches in Columbus is Matthew Burrell (pictured, right), with the rising redshirt junior taking to Instagram to announce that, “after prayer and thought, I will be transferring from OSU.” While no specific reason for the decision to transfer was given, the lineman’s placement on the depth chart likely played a significant role.

A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2015 recruiting class, Burrell was rated as the No. 7 guard in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of Virginia.  The past two seasons, the lineman had seen action in a total of 25 games, including 12 this past season.

In addition to Burrell, OSU offensive linemen Jack Wohlabaugh (HERE) and Kevin Feder (HERE) have all left the program since the end of the 2017 regular season.

UCF police go all in on national championship campaign

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Look, I get it. I know exactly how this game is played. They do it so that people like me will write about it and people like you will read it. It’s all a ploy to make everyone on campus puff their chests out just a little bit further and to keep their name on our lips just a little bit longer.

But doggone if it isn’t working.

More than three months after claiming its 2017 national championship, UCF has found a way to keep itself relevant, this time by having the campus police department get in on the act.

AD Danny White already committed to pay national championship bonuses for coaches who are no longer in the school’s employ, but that’s not even the end of this. There’s still a ring ceremony that is (or at least should) be forthcoming, and the banner reveal at Spectrum Stadium that’s surely coming at the 2018 season opener.

If you’re going to go all in on a publicity campaign, it’s best to go all the way in. As UCF has done here.

NCAA tables proposal that would allow players to play in up to four games and retain redshirt

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The NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday tabled a proposal that would allow players to compete in up to four games and retain their redshirts. Championed by AFCA executive director Todd Berry, the rule was touted as a necessary change in an era where teams play 14- and 15-game seasons.

The rule would allow redshirting players to replace injured players without personal cost to their careers. Presently, a coach with dwindling numbers at a given position is put in between the rock and the hard place of burning an innocent player’s redshirt or putting players at risk of injury through overuse.

Here’s how the NCAA presented the news:

The Council tabled a proposal that would allow football student-athletes to participate in up to four games per year without using a season of competition. Proponents argue that late-season injuries and other factors often require student-athletes who hadn’t played all season to burn a year of eligibility for a small number of games. Others wonder whether the proposal could be applied to other sports, as well, whether the number of games in the proposal is appropriate, and whether the timing of the four games matters.

It is not clear what opposition exists to the rule, though Big 12 commissioner, Council member and noted fear-mongerer Bob Bowlsby posited in January that teams could, for some unexplained reason, hold their best players back until the final four games of the season.

“I think it’s got a lot of merit,” he said, “but there are some hooks in it. I don’t know how comfortable people are with, suddenly in the last three games and a bowl game, you go from being a guy who’s on the scout team to [a prominent role].”

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The proposal is not all dead, as Miracle Max would say. The Council will now turn the tabled proposal over to the Football Oversight and Student-Athlete Experience Committees for discussion and feedback solicitation.

Former four-star Miami WR Dionte Mullins transfers to FCS Alabama State

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A little over five months after leaving a Power Five program, Dionte Mullins has stepped down a rung or two on the college football ladder.

A tweet earlier this week indicated that Mullins is now a member of the Alabama State football program.  Now, the wide receiver is listed on the FCS program’s official website as one of its 2017-18 football signees and is shown on the Hornets’ online roster.

In mid-November, Miami announced that Mullins “is leaving the football program to pursue more playing time opportunities at another program.”

As the Hornets play at the FCS level, Mullins will be eligible to play immediately in 2018.  Including the upcoming season, the receiver will have two years of eligibility remaining as well as a redshirt season to use if necessary.

A four-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2016 recruiting class, Mullins was rated as the No. 50 receiver in the country and the No. 37 player at any position in the state of Florida.  After playing in three games as a true freshman, Mullins had seen action in all eight games last season before leaving. He finished his UM career with four catches for 53 yards, all of which came this season.