Johnny Ragin

Cal transfer gets waiver, eligible to play for Ducks in 2014


Johnny Ragin, get to Vegas; you’re on a roll.

Shortly after the 2013 season ended, the linebacker transferred from Cal to Oregon. Because he was a transfer to another program in the Pac-12, Ragin would’ve been forced to sit out both the 2014 and 2015 seasons; an appeal for a waiver was successful, however, and lopped that sit-out time in half, making Ragin eligible to play in 2015 after sitting out this season.

For reasons not yet publicly released, Ragin filed yet another appeal for a waiver that would allow him to be immediately eligible in 2014 — and won.

“We got a great piece of news yesterday, Johnny Ragin’s initial eligibility waivers was granted,” head coach Mark Helfrich said according to the Oregonian. “He’s had a great camp.”

Aside from two very successful appeals, how Ragin went from “eligible in 2016” to “eligible in 2014” is unclear — and absolutely awesome given the absurd and arcane nature of the NCAA’s transfer rules.  Getting past the technicalities of his situation, Ragin is a player who can, now with these twin rulings, help the Ducks immediately.

A three-star member of Cal’s 2013 recruiting class, Ragin was rated as the No. 4 player in the state of Oregon. He played in eight games as a true freshman with the Golden Bears.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.