Missouri’s Michael Sam may or may not be drafted by an NFL team. He may or may not ever play a down in the NFL. Time will tell how many doors he has helped open to those hiding their sexual preferences from others. One thing we do know is that Sam’s announcement earlier this week has forced athletic directors and football coaches everywhere to take a good hard look at their programs to ensure they would be able to address the situation of having a gay football player in the their program as admirably as Missouri’s football program appears to have done.
Sam opened up to his team in August before the start of the season. Missouri’s football team and coaches came together and showed support for their teammate by not leaking the information to the media or public, which allowed Sam to confirm the news on his own terms. Some players from other programs have said their school would handle it the same way or that Sam would have no problem being in the same locker room as the rest of the team, but the Associated Press learned multiple schools are reviewing their policies to ensure they would have the same kind of environment Missouri created.
“One of the first things I did was go back to our senior staff and say, ‘OK, let’s look at our policy. Let’s make sure we don’t have any issues here,” said Troy AD John Hartwell. “Because at the end of the day, you’re going to have teammates that are of a different race than you are, of a different nationality, of a different economic background, possibly of a different sexual orientation — with a whole variety of beliefs.”
“In today’s society, it’s more of a media (thing) — are you prepared for the media?” TCU Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said. “And if you’re not, let’s give you the tools necessary to help you.”
Sam is not the first gay football player, nor will he be the last. With schools around the country taking the time now to ensure they would be able to properly and respectfully handle having a gay football player in their program, it may not be much longer before another player breaks his silence.
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.