Another tradition has fallen by the wayside in Georgia, but don’t expect too many people to raise a fuss over it.
Effective this coming January 1, a new state will ban lobbyists from giving politicians free college football tickets.
Disclosure reports show that lobbyists have given Georgia politicians nearly $1,400 in college football tickets and related entertainment since the start of the season in late August. That’s just the beginning. Last year, registered lobbyists shelled out more than $14,000 in tickets and perks at college football games, according to an Associated Press review of the spending reports that lobbyists must file.
Many lawmakers get tickets in Georgia because the Legislature controls the $6.4 billion higher education budget, including the roughly $1.9 billion that comes directly from state coffers.
While Georgia is finally cleaning up this blatant example of political corruption, other states aren’t bothering. State lawmakers in Alabama get the perk of buying tickets at face value, while the common fan has to donate money for access. Wisconsin allowed politicians access to tickets for sold out games back back in 2005.
The ban isn’t in effect yet, which means Georgia will continue to give out perks in the meantime.
The current law is in effect for this football season. And we’ll abide by it,” UGA spokesman Tom Jackson told the Associated Press. “And the new law isn’t going to affect us until next football season. And we’ll abide by the new law.”
The new law isn’t that big of a deal, but any small step to keep politicians from gaining influence in college football (and vice versa) is just fine with me.
Iowa will be facing one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Josh Allen in its 2017 opener, but they’ll do so at less than 100-percent strength personnel-wise in the secondary.
Iowa announced in a press release that Manny Rugamba will not play in the Sept. 2 game against Wyoming at Kinnick Stadium. No specific reason for the cornerback’s disciplinary measure was given.
“Manny will not play in our opening game due to serving the suspension, which is related to an off-season team violation,” a brief statement attributed to head coach Kirk Ferentz read.
Rugamba played in 12 games this past season as a true freshman, missing the Outback Bowl due to injury. He started three of those contests, and his two interceptions were third on the team.
Entering summer camp, and all the way up to his suspension, the sophomore had been penciled in as one of the Hawkeyes’ two new starting corners.
Well, that settles that.
While J.T. Barrett is the unquestioned starter at quarterback for Ohio State, Joe Burrow (pictured, right) and Dwayne Haskins (pictured, left) have been engaged in a competition for the backup job that began in the spring and continued on into summer camp. At least for now, the competition is closed as OSU announced Wednesday morning that Burrows underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone in his right (throwing) hand. The sophomore suffered the injury during a Monday practice.
While officially out indefinitely, it’s expected Burrows will miss at least a month of the season.
As Barrett’s primary backup last season, Burrows completed 22 of his 28 pass attempts for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. A redshirt freshman, Haskins, a four-star 2016 recruit, has yet to attempt a pass at the collegiate level.
With Burrows out for the foreseeable future, true freshman Tate Martell has been elevated in the signal-calling pecking order as well. A four-star 2017 recruit, Martell was rated as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country for this past year’s class.
After being indefinitely suspended by LSU for unspecified violations team rules and granted a release, Maea Teuhema had been linked to, among others, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, UCLA and USC. In the end, the offensive lineman decided a lower rung on the college football ladder was, at least for now, the better option.
Southeastern Louisiana has officially confirmed that Teuhema has transferred into the football program. As the Lions play at the FCS level, the offensive lineman will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
“We’re excited to have a player of Maea’s caliber join our program,” SLU head coach Rob Roberts said in a statement. “He brings a lot of experience and it will be good to add another talented veteran to what is already a group we have a lot of confidence in.”
Teuhema’s brother, linebacker Sione Teuhema, transferred from LSU to SLU last year and is a starter for the Lions.
Teuhema, a four-star 2015 recruit, started 21 games the past two seasons, 11 at left guard as a true freshman and 10 at right tackle last season. He earned Freshman All-American honors following the 2015 season.
This year, Teuhema had been slated to start at right guard for the Tigers.
Less than a week after his unexpected and abrupt departure from Georgia Tech, Dedrick Mills has found himself a new college football home.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mills has enrolled Garden City Community College in Kansas. As his next stop, which won the 2016 junior college national championship, plays below the FBS level, the running back will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.
Very late last week, Tech announced that Mills had been dismissed from the program for an unspecified violation of athletic department rules.
Last season, Mills’ 771 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns led all Tech ball carriers., with 169 of those yards coming in the bowl win over Kentucky. Mills put up all of those numbers as a true freshman despite being suspended on two different occasions for a total of three games.
More than likely, Mills will spend one season at the JUCO level before moving back to the FBS. Whatever team grabs him at that time would be getting a talented player who would still have two years of eligibility remaining.