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Eastern Michigan students campaign against using university dollars for $35 million football facility

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Fresh off the program’s first bowl trip in nearly 30 years, Eastern Michigan has announced plans to build a new facility that would include a new building with practice fields for the football and soccer programs, an indoor track, an improved weight room, up to 10 new football suites and a new football scoreboard, at the cost of $35 million. While it sounds like the idea is still is in its beginning stages — the EMU board was briefed in February and will discuss the topic again next month — the school says it has $9 million already raised toward the project. It’s a giant leap from less than a year ago, when EMU was forced to release a statement saying it is not dropping football.

This, of course, leaves another $26 million to be raised. And the EMU student government has come out swinging against the idea of the student body funding any of that remaining $26 million.

EMU student president Tanasia Morton and vice president Joshua Starr made the argument in a join statement on the group’s Facebook page.

We must, however, make clear that Student Government did not intend to, nor do we, support using any University funds for a multi-million dollar renovation of our athletic facilities outside of the plans to renovate the Rec/IM. To be clear, any renovations or additions to any of the University’s athletics facilities as part of this $35 million plan, aside from the Rec/IM, must be completely funded by outside donors.

We strongly support the strides our student athletes have made in our history as a University. Many of our collegiate teams, such as track and field, swimming, and gymnastics are the best in the MAC. We are proud to support these programs and confident that the significant investments contemplated in the Regents’ plan can be funded with the support of generous donors. However, Student Government WILL NOT support any renovations to the athletic facilities as a part of this $35 million plan, outside of the Rec/IM, that involve a single cent of University dollars.

See the full post below:

As of now, Eastern Michigan has stated it doesn’t plan on using university dollars toward the project. “We haven’t committed any money (from the university’s general fund). We’re focused on fund-raising,” EMU board of regents member Michelle Crumm told the Detroit Free-Press.

Report: North Texas adds FCS running back transfer

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North Texas is adding running back Loren Easly to the roster, according to a message posted to his Twitter account Saturday.

Easly spent the past two seasons at Stephen F. Austin, a member of the FCS Southland Conference. A Houston native, he appeared in 20 games over two seasons as a Lumberjack, carrying 213 times for 1,256 yards with 11 touchdowns while adding 17 catches for 139 yards.

Denton Record-Chronicle reporter Brett Vito confirmed the transfer on his Twitter account.

As an interdivisional transfer, Easly will be able to play immediately with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

He would join a backfield led by rising senior Jeffrey Wilson, who paced the Mean Green with 936 yards and 14 touchdowns on 169 carries in 2016.

Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger signs extension, vows to fix football

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Kansas athletics director Sheahon Zenger has signed an extension to remain on the job through the 2020-21 academic year, the school announced Sunday.

Zenger has been on the job since 2011, meaning the new deal will take him past the decade mark in Lawrence.

“Since Sheahon’s arrival in Jan. 2011, Kansas Athletics has enjoyed success on and off the field,” Kansas chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a statement. “I am confident that under Sheahon’s leadership Athletics will experience even more success in the coming years.”

Zenger did not hire Bill Self, but he did hire Charlie Weis, which cost KU more than $5.6 million in buyout money after he was fired for going 6-22 leading the Jayhawks from 2012-14.

David Beaty was since hired to run the program, who has infused an outlook brighter than his 2-22 record would suggest.

Zenger said the new contract will allow him to fix football. Via the Kansas City Star:

Under Zenger’s watch, KU has most notably added numerous construction projects, including Rock Chalk Park and the DeBruce Center, which houses the original rules of basketball. He has spoken previously about completing those ventures to “clear the deck” financially so focus could be placed on football and Memorial Stadium renovations — two things he now says are “really the top priorities for me in the next four years.”

“We want it to be a place that people just love to come to,” Zenger said of Memorial Stadium. “We have such history there. I think it’s the greatest setting in the nation for college football. We just need to get it to the point where it’s a place that’s just revered.”

The extension includes a raise from a base salary of $619,000 to $700,000.

Alleged victim of Tennessee WR Josh Smith threatens $3 million civil suit

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Earlier this month, Tennessee wide receiver Josh Smith was charged with domestic assault following an incident at an off-campus house with his roommate. Now, the roommate is seeking damages of $875,000. If that sum is not paid, then the alleged victim may bring a $3 million civil suit to the court.

According to Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Kennedy Foster suffered a broken nose, broken teeth and damage to his eyes and right ear in the incident earlier this month that led to the charges filed against Smith. Foster sent a settlement demand letter to the attorney representing Smith.

“I’m not accusing him (Foster) of extortion, but that’s what it looks like,’’ Smith’s attorney, Keith Stewart said according to Hyams. “Given my understanding that Mr. Foster’s attempts to press charges against Malcolm Stokes were unsuccessful, it seems his motives are clear.’’

“I think when the truth comes out, Josh will be exonerated,” Stewart said of his client.

The deadline for paying the settlement demand is set for May 30 (tomorrow) by 5:00 p.m. and is to be delivered in the form of a cashier’s check along with a letter of apology for the incident. If the Smith family does not pay the requested sum, the legal team for Foster will move forward with a $1.5 million lawsuit seeking compensatory damages and a $1.5 million lawsuit for punitive damages. How either will hold up in court remains to be seen.

How some college football teams are recognizing Memorial Day on Twitter

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It’s not Memorial Day until the social media teams at college football programs start pumping out branded Memorial Day messages on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. As expected, teams and conferences are busy at pumping out the social media content for their followers today. Here is a sampling of what has been seen so far.

If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to read John’s annual Memorial Day post.