After transferring to Utah last year, Gionni Paul was forced to sit out the 2013 season to satisfy NCAA regulations. Unfortunately for the linebacker, he’ll have to wait even longer to officially begin his Utes playing career.
Head coach Kyle Whittingham confirmed Friday that Paul suffered a broken bone in his foot during a practice session Tuesday. Whittingham’s timeline for Paul’s return is 5-6 months; the best-case scenario in that scenario would be for Paul to return in mid-September, after the start of the regular season Aug. 28 vs. Idaho State. The worst-case would be a return a month later and missing upwards of six games, including three Pac-12 contests.
Paul, projected to be one of the Utes’ starting linebackers, suffered the injury after what his coach described as a fairly innocuous collision with teammates.
“It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary,” Whittingham said of the circumstance that led to the injury. “He didn’t get it caught underneath the pile or anything like that. He was just pushing off, an unfortunate situation, and it snapped.”
The injury to Hale is the second significant one the Utes have suffered to a starter at the position this spring. In late March, Jacoby Hale tore an ACL that will likely keep him out for the entire 2014 season, although the team “hopes” he can return at some point.
In early January of 2013, it was confirmed that Paul was no longer a part of the Miami (Fla.) football team. A short time later, Paul landed with the Utes and was idle all last season because of transfer rules. Despite never playing a down for the Utes, Paul was voted a team captain earlier this spring.
And then there were six. Or eight.
We know East Carolina is no longer in the running for the two or four new spots possibly coming to the Big 12, but the folks at The Media Guides believe they do. The site reported Wednesday the Big 12 has sent formal invitations to Cincinnati, Houston, Connecticut, South Florida, Central Florida, BYU and “two other AAC schools” to advance to the next round of the process, which is believed to be in-person interviews at the league’s suburban Dallas headquarters.
With ECU out, Navy showing no interest and five of the league’s 12 teams already reported in, that leaves a pool of five possible teams for the two additional spots: Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.
Local reports have stated SMU, Temple and Tulane still involved in the process as recently as today and yesterday.
So, yeah, you do the math.
While the process publicly — and painfully — rambles on, Oct. 17 is the date to watch there. That’s the next scheduled gathering of the Big 12’s Board of Directors.
Well, here’s a story born straight out of SEO heaven.
New England Patriots quarterback — and, of course, former Wolverines signal caller — Tom Brady will serve as an honorary captain for Michigan during his Roger Goodell-mandated Deflategate suspension.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed the news on NFL Network’s Rich Eisen’s podcast. The Big House cameo will take place Sept. 17 as Michigan hosts Colorado.
Brady is free, of course, due to a wide-ranging controversy stemming from allegedly deflated footballs in the Patriots’ 45-7 trouncing of the Indianapolis Colts during the 2014 AFC Championship that led to him being suspended the first quarter of the 2016 season.
Brady played quarterback for the Wolverines from 1995-99 and has kept close ties with his alma mater since, but those have ramped up since Harbaugh’s late 2014 hiring. Most notably, Brady made an appearance at Harbaugh’s 2016 Signing Day extravaganza in February.
One of the best traditions in the NFL apparently isn’t welcome at the collegiate level.
LSU and Wisconsin will square off opening weekend at historic Lambeau Field. At the the Green Bay Packers’ house, every time the home team scores the scorer leaps into the stands to celebrate with their fans– the famed Lambeau Leap.
In the run-up to one of the few collegiate games ever played in the venerable NFL stadium, it was made perfectly clear that such a leap would be against NCAA rules — “delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves)” is part of Rule 9, Section 2, while another part prohibits “going into the stands to interact with spectators” — and the leaper, and thus his team, would be subject to a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At least on Tiger stated earlier this week that, despite the penalty and knowing “coach Miles won’t be happy with me,” he’s really “looking forward to” doing the Lambeau Leap. “I’ll take that punishment when we get back Monday morning,” defensive back/punt returner Tre’Davious White added.
Getting back, though, could prove problematic, especially if his coach follows through on his “threat.”
“I promise you that if anybody jumps (for) the Lambeau Leap, they’ll end up with their thumb out to see if they can get a ride home,” Les Miles said on the weekly SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday morning. “It’s college football, and we’ll play it that way, and I think our guys understand. We’ll do it right.”
There you have it. You have been warned, Bayou Bengals. Leap at your own peril — especially when the whole “leaping into what will likely be a whole gaggle of Badger fans” aspect is taken into consideration as well.
Ahmir Mitchell may have left Michigan, but he may not end up leaving the Big Ten after all.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Todderick Hunt of nj.com is reporting that Rutgers is the likely destination for Mitchell. Later on in the story, Hunt writes that Mitchell “appears to be headed to Rutgers.”
Maryland and Temple have also been considered potential landing spots. It’s expected Mitchell will make a decision next week.
As for his eligibility now and in the future at whichever school he selects? Hunt explains:
Per Big Ten transfer rules, Mitchell will have to sit out the 2016 season, and will lose an additional year of eligibility, in order to transfer home. But Mitchell is expected to appeal the rule, and potentially even fight for a hardship waver, which although unlikely, could get him on the field as early as this year.
Mitchell’s departure from Ann Arbor was certainly an odd one, cloaked in uncertainty and secrecy.
Jim Harbaugh had confirmed earlier this month that two of the three Michigan football players not present for a team photo — Mitchell, running back Kareem Walker and defensive lineman Shelton Johnson — had been suspended, although he declined to specify which two. A couple of weeks later, Mitchell announced that he had decided to reopen his recruitment even as UM would’ve allowed him to return if he paid his own way this semester.
A four-star 2016 recruit, Mitchell was rated as the No. 5 player at any position in the state of New Jersey and the No. 167 player overall on 247sports.com‘s composite board. He was an early enrollee who participated in spring practice.,