Report: Miami focused on playing LSU in AT&T Stadium in 2018

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Looking to set up a high-profile game on a neutral field, it appears there is a possibility Miami and LSU could be setting up a neutral site game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, there are talks about making the game a reality in 2018.

“Though nothing is finalized, UM’s talks with [AT&T] Stadium have progressed and all parties are working toward having the Hurricanes open the 2018 season against LSU in Arlington,” Jackson wrote in a recent column. According to Jackson, the game would likely be played on a Saturday night in primetime before a national TV audience, which is generally the arrangement for college football games played in AT&T Stadium, formerly called Cowboys Stadium, since opening in 2009.

It was previously reported Miami was in discussions to play a game in Atlanta against Alabama, likely as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in 2017, but Jackson suggests Miami is now focusing its efforts on making a 2018 game against LSU in Arlington part of the schedule, while backing out of discussions about playing Alabama in Atlanta.

LSU has played in AT&T Stadium three times since the stadium opened. The Tigers have participated in two Cowboys Classic games, defeating Oregon in 2011 and TCU last fall. LSU has also played in a Cotton Bowl game inside the stadium, defeating Texas A&M (then a member of the Big 12), in the 2011 game. LSU will open the 2014 season against Wisconsin in Houston for a little change of pace.

Miami has never played in AT&T Stadium. The Hurricanes already have non-conference road games scheduled in 2018 against Toledo and Rutgers, although if the chance to play in AT&T Stadium becomes a possibility it would not be a surprise to see Miami wiggle (or buy) out the road game at Toledo.

LSU owns the all-time series lead against Miami, 9-3. The Tigers dominated Miami in the most recent meeting with a 40-3 shelling in the Peach Bowl in 2005. The two schools have not played in the regular season since 1988, with Miami winning the most recent regular season match-up, 44-3. That was the first meeting since 1968.

Meanwhile, Alabama head coach Nick Saban will continue to have concerns about schools backing out of playing his Crimson Tide if Miami is focusing on playing LSU instead.

Oklahoma OL Christian Daimler to pursue graduate transfer

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Oklahoma offensive tackle Christian Daimler will pursue a transfer, according to a message posted to his Twitter account Thursday.

As a fifth-year senior, Daimler qualifies as a graduate transfer and will be eligible immediately. “I could not be more excited about what my future holds,” Daimler wrote. “Wherever I end up I know that I will always be a Sooner and for that am I so proud. This University [sic] will forever remain close to my heart. Boomer Sooner.”

If that name does not immediately ring a bell, you are forgiven. Daimler appeared in three games as a Sooner, all over last season.

Hailing from Houston, Daimler, who stands 6-foot-7 and is listed at 321 pounds, was a 3-star recruit when he signed with Oklahoma over Texas A&M, Arizona State and Colorado, among others.

Penn State trustee says he’s ‘running out of patience’ with ‘so-called victims’ of Jerry Sandusky

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With Baylor seemingly running away with the title of most embarrassing university in collegiate athletics, a Penn State trustee has said “hold my beer.”

Friday, former Penn State president Graham Spanier was found guilty on one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.  In an email to the Chronicle of Higher Education this week, PSU trustee Albert Lord had sharp words for the victims of Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 of 48 child-sex abuse charges in June of 2012 and is currently serving a sentence of at least 30 years.

“Running out of sympathy for 35 yr old, so-called victims with 7 digit net worth,” the trustee wrote in a portion of the email. “Do not understand why they were so prominent in trial. As you learned, Graham Spanier never knew Sandusky abused anyone.”

Spanier was found not guilty on two other charges, a second count of child endangerment and one count of criminal conspiracy.

In a statement, the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, Ira Lubert, attempted to distance the body from Lord’s comments.

“Al Lord’s comments are personal and do not represent the opinions of the board or the university.”

Sun Belt commish issues statement on Arkansas gun law

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A highly-charged state law continues to garner the attention of the college football world.

Last week, the state of Arkansas legislature passed a law (House Bill 1249) that would allow concealed-carry handguns on publicly-owned property, which would include college sporting events.  A day later, and after realizing, amidst considerable controversy, the potential for alcohol-fueled fans to attend an SEC football game armed, the state’s senate voted to amend the law to exclude college sporting events.

The amendment still must pass through the House of Representatives, leading SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, with the University of Arkansas as a member of his conference, to release a statement Tuesday that was no doubt meant to apply pressure ahead of the vote.  Thursday, the Sun Belt’s commissioner, Karl Benson, followed suit out of concern for his membership, including Arkansas State in football.

During the last week I have followed closely the news articles regarding Arkansas House Bill 1249, and now also a potential amendment to what is now Act 562. Given that both the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas State University are members of the Sun Belt Conference — and as my colleague Greg Sankey of the Southeastern Conference has stated — I too support the Arkansas State Senate’s exemption in Senate Bill 724 that would prevent firearms from being allowed inside publicly funded stadiums and arenas in the State of Arkansas.

It’s unclear when the House will vote on the amendment.  Regardless of which version of thew law is finally agreed upon, it will go into effect Sept. 1.

Arkansas opens its 2017 season Sept. 2 against Florida A&M in Fayetteville.  Arkansas State’s home opener is a week later against the Miami (Fla.).

Foot injury could sideline Auburn’s Tashawn Manning for rest of spring

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After kicking cancer’s ass, this latest health issue hardly qualifies as a big deal.  Still, it’s a thing.

Tashawn Manning has been battling an unspecified foot injury of late, which has limited the defensive tackle’s availability for most of the first two-thirds of Auburn’s spring practice sessions.  With just five practices remaining, Manning could very well be sidelined for al of them.

“The problem is this is Day 9 and Saturday will be Day 11, so there’s a probability” that the player will not see the field for what remains of spring practice, Manning’s position coach, Rodney Garner, said according to al.com.

Around Thanksgiving of 2015, Manning, then an Auburn verbal commit, was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.  In July of last year, he was finished with chemotherapy and declared cancer-free.

The defensive lineman didn’t play at all last season, instead taking online classes as he built up his strength as well as his weight after losing more than 60 pounds because of the chemo.  In January, he enrolled at AU and, two months later, was cleared to participate in the spring.