Duron Carter leaves FAU; NFL next?

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The up-and-down (mostly down) collegiate career of Duron Carter has apparently come to an end.

FAU head coach Carl Pelini confirmed to OwlReport.com Saturday that the mercurial wide receiver has left the football program.  The website went on to write that “[i]t is believed that Carter will make himself eligible for the upcoming NFL draft.”

Neither the player nor anyone connected to the redshirt junior have confirmed the report, although leaving college in the rear-view is likely the wisest tack to take.

The Owls were the fourth collegiate stop for Carter, son of former star NFL receiver Cris Carter, the past three years, with academics serving as a significant hurdle at nearly every one of them.

Carter was declared academically ineligible for Ohio State’s appearance in the Rose Bowl game following the 2009 regular season, an issue that also kept him out of spring practice in 2010.  He left the Buckeyes in June of that year and enrolled at a junior college in Kansas.

After transferring to Alabama in April of 2011 from the JUCO ranks, eligibility issues again involving academics kept him from practicing with the Tide until late August.  It was announced in late September of 2011 that Carter would not play at all that season and would instead take a redshirt.  He was suspended for spring practice this year, which prompted him to take his leave of Tuscaloosa and officially transfer to FAU.

An appeal for a hardship waiver that would’ve granted him immediate eligibility was denied in mid-September.  OwlReport.com writes that, after that decision, Carter “worked with the scout team for part of the season but in the final weeks of the season, was given permission to miss practice to concentrate on school work.”

The 6-5, 205-pound Carter was a four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2009 recruiting class, rated by Rivals.com as the No. 11 receiver in the country.  As a true freshman, he caught 13 passes for 176 yards.  Apparently, those will be the only catches he makes at the FBS level; whether he can catch on at the NFL level — likely as an undrafted free agent — remains to be seen.

Illinois boots three players charged with home invasion and robbery

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Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.

Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.

Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.

Report: Conference USA to air at least 15 football games on Twitter in 2017

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Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.

Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.

Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.

Alabama DC Jeremy Pruitt named son after former Tide linebackers Reuben Foster and Ryan Anderson

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It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.

Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.

Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.

Helmet sticker to Al.com.

Wisconsin’s season tickets for 100th anniversary of Camp Randall are a thing of beauty

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The Wisconsin Badgers are gearing up for their 100th season playing home football game sin Camp Randall Stadium. As part of the season-long celebration, Wisconsin put some brilliant artistic detail into their season tickets for the 2017 season.

Each ticket to a home Wisconsin game is designed like a retro-style program. These are beautifully done and mimic the style of a program cover from decades past. I’m particularly fond of the program cover for the Purdue game, which features Wisconsin’s Bucky floating in space with a ship with the Purdue logo nearby. Is that a space train? The Band Day program for the game against Florida Atlantic also looks fantastic.

These tickets will surely be must-have collectibles for Wisconsin fans. If Wisconsin wants to make a few extra bucks, then blowing up these images and selling them as posters may be a good decision as well. And I wouldn’t put it past Wisconsin to suit up in a retro-style uniform for at least home game this season in Madison.