As expected, James Franklin is looking to mitigate a potentially damaging allegation that surfaced earlier in the day Tuesday.
The Tennessean reported yesterday morning that the former Vanderbilt and current Penn State head coach was accused in court filings of reaching out to an alleged rape victim days after an alleged sexual assault that led to the dismissal of four Commodore football players. The alleged victim reportedly aided Vandy in its football recruiting efforts, prompting Franklin, per the defense attorney for one of the accused, to reach out to her “during a medical examination four days after the [alleged] rape.”
The alleged victim appeared to have been a part of a “hostess program” at the school that would certainly garner the NCAA’s attention. From the paper: “Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get fifteen pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules. He added that all the other colleges did it.”
In a statement released through the university late last night, labeled the accusations false.
“The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true,” Franklin’s statement began. “I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further.”
Franklin is expected to meet with the media Thursday for the first time since the report of misconduct surfaced.
You may want to pay attention to Jaheim Oatis as he’s a rather big deal, literally and figuratively, on the recruiting trail.
Otis hails from Columbia, Mississippi, and will be in the eighth grade this school year. What makes Oatis unique from other football recruits is that, not long after finishing up the seventh grade, he says he stands 6-4 and weighs in at 284 pounds; Scout.com lists him at 6-5, 287 pounds.
Even more unique? Late last week, he revealed via his personal Twitter account that he has already received offers from Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
Oatis isn’t all size, either, as evidenced by his running a 40-yard dash at Ole Miss earlier this year.
Oatis also plays baseball — he claims to have been clocked pitching at 84 mph — as well as basketball — he was the MVP at an AAU tournament this summer. When it comes football, he plays offensive line along with tight end.
Just ahead of the start of summer camp, Bowling Green has further solidified its depth and experience along its offensive line.
Appearing at the MAC football preview Wednesday, Mike Jinks confirmed that John Kurtz has been added to his Bowling Green football roster. Kurtz comes to the Falcons as a graduate transfer, which would technically give him immediate eligibility.
“He played spring football for Cincinnati and was in the rotation for playing time on the offensive line,” Jinks said according to the Toledo Blade. “He’s a kid who has a chance to have an impact right away.
“The opportunity is there for him to play right away for us. This is a big ‘get’ for us.”
Jinks also hinted that Kurtz, who has two years of eligibility remaining, could be a redshirt candidate for the 2017 season as well.
Despite being just a two-star 2014 recruit, he was rated as the No. 12 player at any position in the state of Kentucky. During his time with the Bearcats, Kurtz played sparingly.
Maybe the third time will be a charm for Cameron Echols-Luper?
On his personal Instagram account Wednesday, Echols-Luper revealed that he has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Western Kentucky. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the decision was made following a visit to the school earlier this week.
As a graduate transfer, the wide receiver will be eligible to play immediately in 2017 for the Hilltoppers. However, he has to finish up some schoolwork at his former school, Arkansas State, before officially moving on to WKU.
Echols-Luper began his collegiate career at TCU in 2013, transferring to ASU in 2015. After sitting out that season, he was third on the Red Wolves in receptions (26) and receiving yards (407). His 15.7 yards per reception was second on the team.
In early March, Noah Jefferson announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from USC to Arizona. Nearly five months later?
Wednesday, UA head coach Rich Rodriguez announced that Jefferson will not, as previously expected, be playing for the Wildcats this season. No reason for the abrupt and unexpected about-face was given.
The coach did, though, intimate that a future pairing between the player and the program isn’t out of the question.
Jefferson wouldn’t have been eligible to play in 2017 for the Wildcats even if his move to the desert had come to fruition. He would’ve, though, had two years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2018 at his disposal.
A four-star member of USC’s 2015 recruiting class, Jefferson played in 14 games, starting one of those, as a true freshman. After starting the season-opening loss to Alabama last season, Jefferson never played another down for USC.