Maryland is getting their future non-conference match-ups in order and as fate would have it they could be playing Syracuse more times by 2019 than some of Syracuse’s ACC rivals thanks to an expanded ACC conference and future schedule rotation between divisions. Maryland will visit Syracuse in 2014, Maryland’s first year as a Big Ten member, and the Orange will make a return visit in 2019. Plan accordingly. Maryland has also added future contests with Temple and local FCS foe Towson.
According to The Washington Post, Maryland will visit Syracuse on September 20, 2014, a week before playing their first Big Ten game in program history and a week after hosting West Virginia of the Big 12. Syracuse will visit Maryland on September 21, 2019. The week before hosting Syracuse that season, Maryland will play at Temple in Philadelphia. That will be the back-end of a home-and-home schedule agreement. Temple will play at Maryland on September 15, 2018.
Maryland’s game against Towson will be played on September 9, 2017. The two Maryland schools have played just once before, with Maryland winning a 2011 contest by a score of 28-3. The previous week Maryland will open their 2017 season on the road at Texas.
Maryland’s future games against FCS opponents (James Madison in 2014, Richmond in 2015, Howard in 2016 in addition to Towson in 2017) is a scheduling strategy the Big Ten is encouraging their members to avoid doing when possible. With the College Football Playoff era commencing in 2014 the playoff contenders will likely be evaluated using schedule strength as a part of the résumé. While individual strength of schedule may mean more to the selection committee, boosting the overall conference strength of schedule will be beneficial. The Big Ten does not prohibit schools from scheduling FCS opponents or teams from smaller conferences, but it is generally not the ideal tactic for the conference.
However, Maryland is not exactly taking it too easy with their schedule. Games against West Virginia and Texas will be challenging in addition to games against Big Ten East Division rivals Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State on an annual basis.
The first month of the football season at Rutgers has had its share of off-field stories worth keeping an eye on, so the news on Tuesday that the university has hired Bond, Schoeneck & King, a law firm with a history of working on NCAA violation cases, is certainly a bit of an eye-opener. The NCAA is not, at this time, investigating Rutgers. Instead, this is a move to investigate a pair of concerns related to the football program so that they may be properly reported to the NCAA if and when needed.
“Rutgers has retained outside counsel with expertise in NCAA infractions to help identify any potential rules violations,” Rutgers senior vice president for external affairs Peter McDonough said in a report published by NJ.com. “This is an ongoing and rigorous process that helps us to identify any shortcomings, to self-report them as required by NCAA rules and to remedy them as best practices demand.”
According to the report from NJ.com, Rutgers is focusing on one allegation of an arrested player failing multiple drug tests while on the team and accusations related to the program’s ambassador program. The name of the former player was not identified in the report. The ambassador program has come into scrutiny following the evolving case related to wide receiver Leonte Carroo.
The hired firm tends to serve as a liaison with the NCAA, but Rutgers will be given a final copy of the firm’s investigation for review. If Rutgers determines any NCAA violations were commited as determined by the report, that information will be passed on to the NCAA. The information revealed or uncovered in the firm’s investigation will determine if the NCAA will have to do some of its own digging, or merely adopt the firm’s report at face value and decide on any appropriate punishment from there.
Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo could have a charge of simple assault dropped by a New Jersey court today. The woman he is accused of slamming to the concrete has agreed to drop the restraining order request and has asked the assault charge against the Rutgers receiver be dropped as well. NJ.com reports today the woman and Carroo each appeared in a family court on Tuesday, and the woman told the judge she is not scared of Carroo.
So, what does this mean for football? Simply put, it means Carroo may be eligible to play again as soon as this weekend. That would be good timing, as Rutgers is set to host Michigan State this Saturday night.
Carroo has been sitting out while serving an indefinite suspension while this legal process plays out. Carroo has missed each of the last two games for Rutgers, against Penn State and Kansas. Rutgers was off this past weekend. If this legal process does play out as it is expected at this point, Carroo could be reinstated quickly and promptly, making him eligible to return right away. Carroo is one fo the best players on the roster, so having him back and eligible to play is very good news for the Scarlet Knights offense.