Boise State once attempted to join a conference it felt was going to be a part of the power conferences in college football. The decision to join the Big East was later rescinded, and the Broncos remained in the Mountain West Conference. Now the president of the university is sounding off about the power shift around collegiate sports, criticizing NCAA reform initiatives seemingly engineered and orchestrated by the big-money conferences.
“The NCAA cannot fall prey to phony arguments about student welfare when the real goal of some of these so-called reformers is create a plutocracy that serves no useful purpose in American higher education,” Boise State president Bob Kustra wrote in a letter, according to CBSSports.com.
The timing of this letter is noteworthy because the Pac-12 has called on fellow power conferences — the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and SEC — to endorse reform proposals in the NCAA. It is Kustra’s opinion the whole idea of reform is nothing more than a way to get the big conferences to control more of the money in college sports, suggesting academics is being put to the side.
“I have no doubt why the power conferences are working to separate themselves from some Division I universities who still see the value of equity and fairness in athletic funding,” Kustra wrote. “It’s time for the NCAA to take a stand for fiscal responsibility and the rightful place of intercollegiate athletics in American higher education…”
Kustra also took veiled shots at Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and SEC commissioner Mike Slive, two of the most influential people in college sports today. In Kustra’s letter, he makes note of two conferences “taking the lead in calling the shots for the others.” Delany and Slive have played a significant role in changes going on around college sports, thrugh expansion, playoff and rule discussions and initiatives in recent years. Whatever the topic of discussion is, Delany and Slive are two of the most visible voices representing some of the country’s largest institutions.
Does Kustra have a point, and will his concerns be addressed? Or will Boise State once again be left on the outside looking for a way to crack the party once again?
Normally in-game violence doesn’t result in off-field legal ramifications, but this is (rightly) one of the rare exceptions.
Earlier this month, Tennessee State defensive end Latrelle Lee was not only dismissed from the FCS program but expelled from the university after he punched Tigers strength & conditioning coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head on the sideline during a game. Greenstone serves as TSU’s “get-back” coach for players, charged with keeping them from creeping toward the field of play and, in the process, keeping the team from drawing a flag.
The unprovoked assault was caught on video and quickly went viral.
As a result of that incident, Lee, who had been a criminal justice major prior to his expulsion, has been arrested on one count of felony assault, The Tennessean is reporting. Lee was subsequently released Monday night after a $7,500 bond was posted, and has an initial court date scheduled for Dec. 8; he had been scheduled to graduate Dec. 9.
According to the arrest affidavit, “[t]he victim has subsequently been having medical difficulties as a result [of] the altercation.”
“We, of course, do not condone any act of violence within our department and are very disturbed by the action of one of our students,” a statement from athletic director Teresa Phillips released shortly after the Nov. 11 incident began. “We are committed to supporting the coach who was personally affected and our concern now is with him.”
Thus far, there has been no public comment from the football program or the university on this latest development, nor have they updated the status of the coach who was the victim of the assault.
While Baker Mayfield‘s crotch-grabbing histrionics last weekend will cost him this weekend, the same can’t be said for his Heisman hopes — at least when it comes to wagering establishments.
USC quarterback Sam Darnold opened the 2017 season as Bovada.lv‘s favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, only to be overtaken after Week 1 by Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson — he was the prohibitive favorite in mid-September… only to see Jackson leapfrogged by the Oklahoma quarterback two weeks later… only to see Mayfield overtaken by Penn State running back Saquon Barkley — he was the overwhelming favorite in late October… only for Barkley to be overtaken by Mayfield the first week of November. Mayfield has been a steadily increasing favorite since, with last week’s odds featuring just him (as the overwhelming favorite at 1/20), Barkley and Love.
This week’s odds? There are none. From Bovada:
Heisman odds are currently off the board as Baker Mayfield is too big of a favorite. He was 1/20 last week and would be even bigger this week.
Other oddsmakers followed suit, as noted by ESPN.com:
MGM had Mayfield listed at -250 as of last Monday, when the book took the odds off the board in compliance with Nevada Gaming Control regulations. The Westgate SuperBook closed Mayfield as even a bigger favorite at -2,000 on Sunday.
Those odds were pulled, however, as the NGC requires all betting on the Heisman to cease on Nov.19, per ESPN. Bovada doesn’t fall under the auspices of the NGC, so they could’ve technically continued laying odds on Heisman race.
The assistant manager at Westgate confirmed to ESPN that the book is looking at a loss if (when?) Mayfield wins the Heisman. It’s likely that other books could very well be facing the same predicament.
Much-needed, hard lesson learned, maybe?
While he was subjected to a lack-of-class moment by Kansas in the pregame and then a couple of questionable hits during this past Saturday’s game, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield showed his backside by very graphically grabbing his front in a heated response. While he truly apologized in the postgame aftermath, OU announced Monday that the Heisman Trophy front-runner will not start this weekend’s regular-season finale against West Virginia.
Not only that, Mayfield was stripped of his captaincy for that finale. On Senior Day, his last-ever game in Norman no less.
That latter aspect of the punishment proved to be almost too much for Mayfield to deal with, with the quarterback becoming visibly emotional when discussing with the media his lost captaincy Monday night.
“Playing at OU was something that I always dreamed of,” Mayfield said. “Not starting, it is what it is.
“But not being a team captain is so much more. It would be hard if it were a regular game or not, but it being my last one here ever, it means a lot more. It’s going to be tough, because Saturday was going to be — without all of this — an emotional one. It’s going to be hard to handle, but … it’s going to be hard.”
OU has already secured one spot in the Big 12 championship game, most likely against TCU. The Sooners are also ranked fourth in the most recent College Football Playoff Top 25 and will earn one of the four semifinal slots if they win their next two games.
Arkansas’ one-time starting quarterback will return for the Razorbacks’ season finale. Whether he sees the field is another matter entirely.
Cole Kelley was arrested for driving while intoxicated and reckless driving earlier this month. A day after the arrest, Kelley was indefinitely suspended by the football program and missed UA’s Week 12 game.
Monday, that suspension officially came to an end after one game as head coach Bret Bielema confirmed that the redshirt freshman has rejoined the team.
“He’ll be back full-go with us again,” Bielema said by way of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Left unsaid is whether Kelley will play in the Week 13 matchup with Missouri Friday afternoon, in part because he’s still recovering from an injury.
Austin Allen started the first five games of the season before going down with a shoulder injury. Kelley replaced him and started the next four, with Allen returning to his starting role the last two weeks against LSU and Mississippi State.
Kelley is 2-2 as the starter this year and Allen 2-5 for a Razorbacks team that won’t be going bowling for the first time since Bielema’s first season in 2013. This week’s game could also mark Bielema’s last as UA’s head coach.