Mississippi v Texas

Agent tweeted of March dinners with four current Longhorns


And the plot thickens.  Or the ship gets deeper.  One of the two.

Tuesday brought word that Texas was facing NCAA scrutiny after it self-reported a pair of current but unnamed Longhorns had meals paid for by an NFL agent, a bylaw no-no.  Now, as first reported by Orangebloods.com and subsequently confirmed by the Austin American-Statesman, it’s been found that a St. Louis-based agent, Justin Bingman, tweeted back in March of having dinners with four Longhorn football players.

And, unbelievably, Bingman tweeted them out by name at the time: defensive end Cedric Reed, defensive tackle Desmond Jackson and linebackers Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks (pictured), all between March 22 and March 24. The tweets have since been deleted, but, through the magic of copy-and-paste, the American-Statesman has saved them for posterity’s sake:

“Just had a great dinner with @Ced_Reed88 He and his dad are great guys!” Bingman tweeted on March 22.

“Had dinner with @TexasBoy99tank and his Dad last night. They are both great guys and looking forward to the next time,” he tweeted about Jackson on March 23.

The next day, Bingman tweeted, “Had dinner with @SteveBigMoney33 last night, MLB for Texas. We all had a great time with many stories. #Longhorns”

Bingman’s next tweet read: “Just had dinner with a great young man that is going to do great this year for Texas @JHicks_3 #Longhorns #LonghornsNation”

Bingman, incidentally, is the agent for former UT offensive lineman Mason Walters.  All four of the players mentioned by Bingman are seniors.

While Bingman acknowledged having dinner with the four players, it’s unknown who paid for the meals. If it’s the agent in all four cases, all four players could face anywhere from a one-game suspension after making restitution in the form of a charitable donation all the way up to (unlikely) having their eligibility stripped. It could also be a case where the UT compliance department is already aware of the four dinners and have determined that only two players had theirs paid for by the agent.

And, hopefully, none of the four pull/pulled a Dez Bryant and make/made the situation exponentially worse than what it is for all involved.

Regardless, it’ll be an issue first-year head coach Charlie Strong would prefer not to deal with during his first Big 12 Media Days next week.

Texas Tech fires three defensive assistants

Kliff Kingsbury
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Texas Tech may be getting ready for a bowl game, but they will do so without three defensive assistant coaches. Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Mike Smith, cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis and outside linebackers coach Trey Haverty have been cut from the coaching staff, head coach Kliff Kingsbury announced today.

“We appreciate all that Mike, Kevin and Trey have done at Texas Tech over the last three seasons,” Kingsbury said in a released statement. “All three are great Red Raiders and we wish them the very best.”

Texas Tech had the Big 12’s ninth-ranked total defense after allowing 540.2 yards per game. That was nearly 100 yards more per game than Iowa State’s eighth-ranked defense. Only Kansas had a worst defense, allowing 560.8 yards per game. Texas Tech’s defense ranked 126th in the nation out of 128 schools. The Red Raiders were torched through the air, allowing 268.3 yards per game through the air, which was ranked 113th in the nation.

Offense appears to be the key to success in the Big 12 and defense has tended to be a hurdle for the Red Raider program. This much appears to be clear though. Kingsbury is making moves with his roster to find a way to improve defensively and become a more well-rounded threat in the Big 12.

VIDEO: Western Michigan’s bowl reveal video was shark-infested

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Forget about all of the talk regarding 5-7 teams going to bowl games or not, because teams that have actually qualified and deserved a bowl trip are starting to line up their postseason plans. Western Michigan confirmed today it will head to the Bahamas Bowl, where the Broncos will face Middle Tennessee of Conference USA.

There were three potential bowl destinations for Western Michigan. The two in addition to the Bahamas Bowl were the Boca Raton Bowl and the Poinsettia Bowl. There really wasn’t a bad destination here for Western Michigan, but a chance to go to the Bahamas seemed to be a crowd pleaser, and how could it not?

After the video revealed the bowl destination for the program, head coach P.J. Fleck went on to commend the Broncos for accomplishing a number of firsts for the program this season, including its first win over a top 25 team, a share of the division crown for the first time in over a decade, and the first time going to bowl game sin back-to-back seasons. Now, Fleck wants his program to put together an eight-win season, which would mark the first back-to-back eight-win seasons. Keep rowing that boat, Western Michigan.

ECU says it would decline bowl invite after 5-7 season, but that invite was unlikely to come

James Summers, Ken Ekanem, Quincy McKinney
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The odds are pretty good East Carolina never would have received a bowl invitation as 5-7 teams wait in line for a rare bowl invitation to fill bowl vacancies. Either wayt, East Carolina is on the record now to say it would not accept any bowl invitation.

“While we understand there are still numerous programs with higher APR scores ahead of us who merit stronger consideration, we have already determined that we would decline an offer should one be extended,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said in a released statement. “Our efforts should be centered on positioning the Pirates for future championships.”

With Nebraska and Illinois already reportedly ready to accept any bowl invitation they would receive, East Carolina was already going to eb locked out of the postseason as long as the Huskers and Illini stayed true to those reports. Missouri has publicly said it would turn down an ofer, but there are still other schools that would stand in the way of ECU, which is way down the order on the wait list.

5-7 Illinois is ready to go bowling

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Illinois will happily join in the postseason fun despite its 5-7 record. It just needs Georgia State and South Alabama to lose this weekend to make that a possibility.

Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reported today, via Twitter, the Illini would accept a bowl invitation should one fall into their laps. At 5-7, Illinois would receive a bowl invitation as bowls look to fill up bowl vacancies based on APR scores for the football program. Nebraska would be first in line among 5-7 schools hoping to wiggle into the postseason, and the Huskers have already reportedly confirmed they will accept the invitation to whatever bowl is left with the first vacancy to fill.

Missouri released a statement on Monday saying the school will not accept a bowl invitation following its 5-7 season, and instead will allow for coaches to pursue other opportunities while the school closes in on a coaching hire to replace the retired Gary Pinkel. Missouri would have received the second invitation. Kansas State is next in line, followed by Minnesota, San Jose State and Illinois.

Georgia State has a chance to become bowl eligible with a win this weekend, but it must defeat Georgia Southern on the road, which is not to be expected. Georgia Southern is a 21-point favorite in the game. South Alabama can also hit the six-win minimum to become bowl eligible with a home win against Appalachian State. This may be more likely to happen than Georgia State pulling off the road upset, but the Jaguars are an 18-point underdog at home against Appalachian State this weekend.