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.
Back on September 10, it was announced that Jim Harbaugh had dismissed Logan Tuley-Tillman for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.” Now we know what that unacceptable conduct was. Allegedly.
Wednesday morning, mlive.com is reporting, Tuley-Tillman was charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he’s accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge. Tuley-Tillman was officially charged with two counts of capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
From the report:
Capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person is punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of no more than $2,000, or both. Using a computer to commit a crime, in this case, would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of no more than $5,000, or both.
The incident occurred in the 300 block of Catherine Street Sept. 4. Tuley-Tillman is accused of filming a portion of a sexual encounter with a woman without her knowledge and then transmitting it to his personal device without her permission, according to Ann Arbor police.
Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois. He played in one game as a redshirt freshman last season, the season opener against Appalachian State.
This season, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.
One of the most talented players on the defensive side of the ball not only in the Big 12 but in the country has seen his season come to an abrupt end.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday that Karl Joseph will miss the remainder of the 2015 season because of an injury to his right knee. The hard-hitting safety sustained the injury in a non-contact drill during practice Tuesday.
The injury also marks the end of Joseph’s collegiate playing career as he’s off to the NFL next spring.
“I am devastated and heartbroken for Karl,” Holgorsen said in a statement. “He is a young man who has given everything he has to our football program and University over the past four years and who elected to return to WVU for his senior season to earn his degree and to be a part of something special with this team. He exemplifies what it means to be a Mountaineer. Karl is an All-American, a fierce competitor, a leader and I know he will have a full recovery, and I can’t wait to watch him on Sundays next fall.”
Joseph started all 42 games in which he played for the Mountaineers. He was first-team All-Big 12 last season, and his name littered numerous preseason All-American teams this year.
“I want to thank my teammates and my coaches for their outpouring of support,” Joseph said. “This has been difficult for me and my family but I know I will come through this stronger than ever. I will forever be a Mountaineer and will be cheering on our team every step of the way.”