Bryan Burnham

NCAA denies Tulsa WR’s appeal for sixth year


Nearly two weeks ago Tulsa announced that the NCAA had denied Bryan Burnham‘s bid for a sixth season of eligibility but would be filing an appeal on that decision.

Unfortunately, the second answer was the same as the first.

In a press release, Tulsa announced it had been informed today that Burnham has been denied a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA Division I Appeals Committee.  Burnham missed all of his true freshman season in 2008 with what was described as an illness, then missed all but one game in 2012 due to a torn ACL.

No reason for the denial was given, although it’s obvious the football program does not agree with either decision.

“This is not the response we had hoped to receive from the NCAA. We’re extremely disappointed, but we’re more disappointed for Bryan than us. The fact that he only played three quarters in 2012 is upsetting because he prepared so hard for his senior season,” said head coach Bill Blankenship. “Even since the injury, Bryan has done everything needed to get himself in shape for an opportunity to join his teammates on the field.”

Burnham played in 25 games during his Tulsa career, starting 14 of those contests.  He led the team in 2011 with 54 receptions for 850 yards and nine touchdowns.

“It is a disappointment. The reason I wanted to come back and play again was for my teammates,” said Burnham. “I appreciate everything TU has done for me, not only in trying to secure a sixth year, but through my entire career. I am ready to move on now.”

Burnham has already received a degree in History, and is working on a second degree in organizational studies.

(Photo credit: Tulsa athletics)

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah