Report: S. Miss., SEC schools are transfer no-no’s for Wes Lunt

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We don’t yet know to where Wes Lunt will transfer, but we do know where it won’t be.  Reportedly.

According to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, Oklahoma State is restricting the quarterback from transferring to Southern Miss as well as any SEC school.  Such restrictions would severely limit desirable destinations for Lunt as he had been considering five schools; three of them — Southern Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt — are now off-limits because of his former school in general and his ex-coach specifically.

Still on Lunt’s radar are Illinois and Louisville.  Lunt either has or will in very short order visit the Illini, who are currently considered the front-runners by default.

A school spokesperson confirmed the head-scratching restrictions to Fowler, and stated it was between OSU head coach Mike Gundy and Lunt when asked why the player would not be released to that set of schools.  It’s unclear why Gundy — ya know, the “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant guy when it came to defending one his players from the sharp barbs of the mean ol’ media — placed such restrictions on Lunt.

The Southern Miss football program is now headed by Todd Monken, who served as Gundy’s offensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012; the Cowboys and Golden Eagles are not slated to face each other during the regular season at any point over the next nine years.  After sitting out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Lunt will have three years of eligibility remaining; the only SEC school Oklahoma State will face in the regular season during that four-year timeframe is Mississippi State in 2013.

Ironically, Gundy spoke to at least two different schools this offseason about their head coaching vacancies, and would’ve been free to move to those programs without restriction.  The two schools he’s known to have spoken with about their openings?  Arkansas and Tennessee, both members of the SEC.

Excellent work, Coach Gundy.  You and your university and T. Boone should be very proud of the pettiness and double-standards on full display.  Stay classy, Stillwater.

UPDATED 6:26 p.m. ET: According to Zach Kerker, sports director at 1450 in Springfield, Ill., Lunt’s high school coach stated that his former player is also restricted from transferring to Pac-12 schools as well as Central Michigan (on OSU’s non-conference schedule in 2015 & 2016).  The reason behind the restrictions?  “They could play in bowl games,” the coach said.

Pitiful.  Absolutely pitiful situation.

How some college football teams are recognizing Memorial Day on Twitter

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It’s not Memorial Day until the social media teams at college football programs start pumping out branded Memorial Day messages on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. As expected, teams and conferences are busy at pumping out the social media content for their followers today. Here is a sampling of what has been seen so far.

If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to read John’s annual Memorial Day post.

This Memorial Day, take time to remember

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(Reprinted and reposted with permission for an eighth straight year from, well, me.)

You have to admit that, despite the ongoing partisan slap-fights and political in-fighting and every other really crappy thing going on, we have a pretty damn good life, living in these United States of America.  It’s a far-from-perfect country, but, dammit, it’s ours.  Ours because our own have and will continue to shed their blood in the ultimate sacrifice.  Gave and will continue to give their lives, their hopes, their dreams so that we — and our children and our children’s children and their children — may live and realize ours and theirs.

As you go about your day today, doing whatever it is that you do on Memorial Day, take a second or two or sixty — or more — to reflect on what exactly this day is all about.

Please.  Just take a moment.  Take a moment to God bless those who have given so much.

God bless those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy day-in and day-out.

God bless those hundreds of thousands of millions who’ve lost fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in the ultimate sacrifice paid forward to every single one of us, for our freedoms.

And thank you — thank you, thank you, thank you with every fiber of my being — to those who continue serving this country and keep this great nation safe.

And, again, God bless families torn apart and made lesser by the heartbreaking losses, hellish and unthinkable holes in the soul that allow us to do whatever the hell it is we want to on this day and every other day of the year…

Iowa linebacker announces transfer

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Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has been known to have a program that could play some solid defense more often than not, but the depth at linebacker just got a bit more shallow this Memorial Day weekend. Redshirt sophomore Anthony Garbutt has announced he is leaving the program.

“After prayer, consulting with my family and Coach Ferentz, I have made the decision to leave the University of Iowa,” Garbutt announced in a statement on Twitter. “I am thankful for my years as a Hawkeye and will continue to support the franchise.”

Garbutt went on to announce he will make a decision after going through a recruiting process. No timeline for his decision was announced.

Garbutt still has three more years of eligibility remaining, although he has already burned one redshirt year after joining the Class of 2015 at Iowa. If he transfers to another FBS program, he will have to sit out the upcoming 2017 season and lose a year of eligibility in the process. He would be available to play immediately this fall if he transfers to a lower division football program.

Report: Navy’s football stadium will host NHL outdoor game between Caps and Leafs

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The NHL has enjoyed the success of their growing number of outdoor games. What started out as an attempt to steal the New Years Day spotlight from the college football bowl season has grown to include additional outdoor games around the country in February and March as part of the league’s Stadium Series. With an abundance of outdoor games, finding new venues to host the outdoor games offers new opportunities to showcase a wide range of stadiums. Navy is now set to get in on the NHL outdoor fun.

The Associated Press reports Navy’s Navy-Marine Corp Memorial Stadium will be used for one game in the NHL’s Stadium Series on March 3, 2018. The Washington Capitals will “host” the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 34,000-seat venue in Annapolis, Maryland. A formal announcement is expected to be made on Monday, Memorial Day. It’s also the same day the NHL kicks off the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators and commissioner Gary Bettman gives his annual state of the league address.

The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres were previously slated to play in the NHL Winter Classic in Citi Field, home of baseball’s New York Mets.

Heinz Field, the home of the Pitt Panthers, was used to host the 2011 Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, becoming the first college football stadium to host an outdoor NHL game. Of course, Heinz Field is also home to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, so this college stadium host came with an asterisk. Heinz Field hosted a Stadium Series game this past February between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

Michigan’s Michigan Stadium hosted the Winter Classic in 2014 between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs. TCF Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, hosted a game in the NHL’s Stadium Series in 2016 between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks.

There are still a good handful of stadiums worth considering for future NHL outdoor games, especially in the Big Ten. Penn State’s Beaver Stadium has long been suspected of being a potential target for an outdoor game, but any plans involving Beaver Stadium may have to wait until after the stadium’s facilities are upgraded as part of the school’s upcoming athletics department renovation. Ohio State’s Ohio Stadium could also be an attractive candidate for an outdoor game in the future as well.

A couple other venues for possible Stadium Series game sin the future should include the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Rose Bowl. The NHL has already played an outdoor game in Dodger Stadium, back in 2014, so the league is not afraid to play outside in LA (and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara hosted a game in 2015). If they return, playing in either historic stadium would seem to make sense, although it is possible the NHL would prefer to wait until the new home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Chargers is completed before making a trip to LA again.