It looks like the college playing days for former Miami safety Ray-Ray Armstrong are officially over. After being dismissed from the Hurricanes program for unspecified reasons in July, Armstrong has had his eligibility denied at his new stop, Faulkner University.
The NAIA program made the announcement Tuesday evening. The reason behind the move was because UM had declared Armstrong ineligible for NCAA competition. Per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, here’s the rule from the NAIA:
“Any student who has completed eligibility or who has been permanently banned in a given sport at any four-year institution, either NAIA-affiliated or other, shall have no eligibility remaining in that sport within the NAIA… Such a student cannot regain eligibility in that sport at an NAIA institution.”
Armstrong still had eligibility left — he had been attending Faulkner for the past month and was just one class shy of a sports management degree — but was apparently banned from playing football. Though UM never gave a reason why Armstrong was given the boot, it’s believed that there were more NCAA-related issues with him. Armstrong was suspended for the first four games of the 2011 season for receiving impermissible benefits from ex-booster Nevin Shapiro, but has not been punished by the NCAA for anything else since.
A statement from Faulkner said that Miami attempted to get Armstrong reinstated so he could play, but the NCAA ruled that the school did not have the authority to do so.
“We’re disappointed in the ruling, obviously,” Faulkner athletics director and head football coach Brent Barker said in a release. “We respect the great job the NAIA Eligibility Center does for our student-athletes, but we thought Ray Ray’s situation was unique and unprecedented, and deserved a positive ruling. I most of all hate it for him, because he has fit in so well on our campus with our student body and has really been a leader in our locker room with a lot of our younger players.”
Armstrong previously tried to file an injunction against Miami that would allow him practice until the NCAA determined if he violated any bylaws. That injunction was later dropped.
ESPN recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton provided a massive public service through his Twitter account on Tuesday, releasing a data dump of fascinating information about the signing class of 2016.
In short, Texas was the most popular breeding ground for FBS prospects, but half of all signees came from a clean sweep from Texas, across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida and up to North Carolina.
The Lone Star State produced 359 players, with nearly half of those heading to Power 5 institutions. In fact, Hamilton reports, 72 of 128 FBS programs and 38 of 64 Power 5’s signed at least one player from Texas.
Florida trailed with 327 players, followed by California with 248 players and Georgia with 225. For what it’s worth, Ohio was not included in the study.
Data dump, begin!
The American Athletic Conference released its 2016 conference schedule highlighted by, oddly enough, non-conference games that pit league gem Houston against Oklahoma (on opening day at Houston’s NRG Stadium) and Louisville (in Houston on Nov. 19).
Those two games, more than any others, will sink or swim the conference’s chances of not only grabbing the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six, but a spot in the College Football Playoff itself.
The 2016 conference slate kicks off with Navy meeting Connecticut on Sept. 10 and concludes with the second annual AAC title game on Dec. 3 at a to-be-determined campus site.
The AAC led the way in scheduling Power 5 opponents — highlighted by a Week 3 schedule that will see the entire East Division punching up a weight class — and includes the likes of Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia, Syracuse, Kansas, TCU and Oklahoma (for all intents and purposes) visiting AAC campuses.
View the full AAC slate here:
Just like we all thought when watching him play at Notre Dame, Tommy Rees will be in the NFL in 2016. Just not as a quarterback.
The San Diego Chargers announced his hiring as an obnoxiously vague offensive assistant, assisting with the club’s offense in some form that they aren’t inclined to elaborate on.
After completing a career in which he threw for 7,670 yards with 61 touchdowns against 37 interceptions from 2010-13, Rees was cut by the Washington Redskins in 2014, then spent the 2014-15 seasons as a graduate assistant at Northwestern.
The post-National Signing Day coaching carousel is now in full tilt.
According to a report from Adam Caplan of ESPN, Wisconsin defensive backs coach Daronte Jones is leaving to become the assistant defensive backs coach for the Miami Dolphins.
The Badgers already endured a significant loss this winter after defensive coordinator Dave Aranda took a lateral position with LSU. He was replaced in January by former USC defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
Jones spent but 13 months in Madison, a January 2015 addition to Paul Chryst‘s first staff after spending three seasons at Hawaii.
Wisconsin possessed one of college football’s top pass defenses in 2015; the Badgers ranked seventh nationally in pass defense, tied for sixth in yards per attempt allowed, placed third in opponent completion percentage and finished second in pass efficiency defense.