The NCAA is full of silly rules, and Texas Tech is the latest to put one of them on display. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has had a transfer to Oklahoma blocked by Texas Tech after a small committee reviewed an appeal to allow him to be eligible to play right away in 2014.
Typical NCAA transfer rules require a player to sit out a season at their new school before being allowed to play in a game. In essence, a player loses a year of eligibility unless they can spare a redshirt year. Under certain circumstances the NCAA can allow for exceptions to be made through an appeal process, but schools also can make up and enforce their own rules in the process. Such is the case at Texas Tech, where any player who transfers to a conference opponent is required to sit out a year and lose a year of eligibility. Mayfield filed an appeal hoping for the best in order to move to Oklahoma, but did not get the response he had wanted.
Mayfield is not a scholarship player, which made him a slightly different case than usual for transfer players. Mayfield is a walk-on player who won the starting job at the start of the season with injuries at the position leaving head coach Kliff Kingsbury almost no other option. Even if he does wind up at Oklahoma, he will be a back-up among back-ups to Trevor Knight. Still, it is not right for Texas Tech to get to make the decision for him.
College football programs should not have a say in where a student athlete plays, or when they may play at the new school. It makes no sense and it is beyond time for the rule to be re-evaluated. One of the intentions of the transfer rule is intended to keep players from jumping from school to school on a yearly basis, and some filler about the importance of stability for a student athlete will probably be the reason why. But nobody is fooled by this in a sport that sees up to 20 coaching changes per year around the country, not even including assistant coaching changes.
Does a physics student have to sit out a year from classes when they decide to switch schools? No. Does a marching band member have to sit out a season when switching to a school with a bigger or better band? Nope.
So why must a football player be held to that rule and process? And more importantly, why does the school that player is moving on from get to determine where and when they can play at the new school?
Previous reports have suggested Mayfield has other options potentially available to him, including East Carolina and Houston according to ESPN.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.