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Ex-Alabama, current UTSA DL coach Bo Davis given two-year show-cause

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The recruiting violations have officially come home to roost for one FBS assistant coach.

The NCAA announced Friday that Bo Davis was found by the Committee on Infractions to have “acted unethically when he provided false or misleading information about impermissible recruiting contacts.” In late April of last year, reports surfaced that Davis was expected to resign or be fired as Alabama’s defensive line coach after the school opened an inquiry into possible NCAA violations on the recruiting trail. The nature of the violations were not revealed, but the NCAA had launched investigations into the matter and Alabama opened its own corresponding inquiry.

A day later, the Tide announced that Davis had, ahem, “submitted his letter of resignation.”

In its decision, which you can read in its entirety HERE, the NCAA detailed Davis’ recruiting violations:

  • Between December 1, 2014, and January 31, 2015, the athletics representative, who was the mother of a then Alabama football student-athlete, contacted the head football coach at the high school to arrange a meeting. Once the athletics representative arrived at the high school, she asked to meet with four football prospective student-athletes (prospects 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively). The athletics representative initially met with the four prospects for approximately 10 to 15 minutes and [Davis] later joined the meeting for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The impermissible contact lasted a total of 25 to 35 minutes, occurred at least six months prior to the permissible timeframe for an off-campus contact with prospect 3 and at least 18 months prior to the permissible time frame for off-campus contacts with prospects 1, 2 and 4.
  • During his September 23, 2015, and April 25, 2016, interviews with the enforcement staff and institution, [Davis] provided false or misleading information when he denied knowledge of the athletics representative’s involvement with and her presence during [Davis’] visit to the high school detailed in Violation No. 1. In both interviews, [Davis] denied seeing the athletics representative at the high school and denied that she had any involvement in his visit outlined in Violation No. 1-a. [Davis’] statements are in direct contradiction to information reported to the institution and enforcement staff by two involved football prospects and the high school’s head football coach, as well as some of [Davis’] own statements during his May 2, 2016, interview.

Because of the violations as well as being untruthful with investigators, Davis has been slapped with a two-year show-cause penalty.  Davis contested the length of the penalty, but “the panel determined the penalty was appropriate because the former assistant coach had a responsibility as a part of the NCAA membership to provide truthful information during the investigation and he failed to do so during the interviews.”

Davis will be barred from all off-campus recruiting activities during the two years the show-cause is in place.  He was hired in late February by UT-San Antonio as the football program’s defensive line coach.  It’s unclear what if any impact the NCAA’s decision will have on his employment.

Additionally, the NCAA found that Alabama “committed Level III recruiting violations when a second former assistant football coach had impermissible off-campus contact with a recruit during an evaluation period and members of the football staff impermissibly allowed a prospect’s youth football coach to attend a recruiting visit at the prospect’s home.”  The names of those involved weren’t revealed.

Alabama self-imposed penalties related to those activities, placing recruiting restrictions on those involved; disassociating itself from “a representative of the institution’s athletics interests” (a booster; and fining itself $5,000.  The NCAA has accepted those self-imposed penalties, and will not add to them.

Iowa loses RB James Butler ‘at least through the bye’

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Iowa sat Akrum Wadley for much of Saturday’s 31-14 win over North Texas after he was flagged for a (frankly ridiculous) excessive celebration penalty for high-stepping his way to the Kinnick Stadium end zone. (The score was wiped off the board, but Iowa completed the drive with a touchdown anyway.) The Hawkeyes will have no choice but to give him carries now.

Running back James Butler (20) has injured an elbow that will keep him out for the next few weeks.

“I think James will be out through the bye week,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said, via Hawkeye Report. “It will be a couple of weeks before we get him back.”

A Nevada transfer with two 1,000-yard seasons to his credit, Butler was a graduate transfer addition to the Hawkeyes, announcing his transfer on July 4. He ranks second on the club with 36 carries for 158 yards thus far in 2017, carrying a season-high 16 times for 74 yards before the injury.

Butler’s carries figure to go to fellow senior Wadley and freshmen Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin. Wadley leads the club with 60 carries for 258 yards and a touchdown, and Young and Kelly-Martin have combined to rush 30 times for 152 yards and two scores. Young made his debut in Wadley’s absence in the second half Saturday, rushing 19 times for 78 yards.

The 3-0 Hawkeyes host No. 4 Penn State on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC), then visit undefeated Michigan State the week after (4 p.m. ET, FOX). Iowa will host Illinois before its Oct. 14 bye week.

Lincoln Riley to earn $3.1 million a year as OU head coach

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Lincoln Riley won’t be paid nearly as much as Bob Stoops was as Oklahoma’s head coach, but he’ll earn significantly more than he did as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator.

Oklahoma approved and released Riley’s new deal on Tuesday, a 5-year contract that pays him $3.1 million annually and rises $200,000 a year. Stoops made $5.5 million in his last season, according to USA Today, while Riley earned $900,000 as offensive coordinator.

Perks include 25 hours of private airplane use, not one but two private golf club membership, and bonuses ranging from $25,000 for winning Big 12 coach of the year honors to $250,000 for a national championship.

Riley is 3-0 in his young tenure, already proving himself to be a tremendous bargain for the Sooners.

SEC releases 2018 schedule

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The SEC released its 2018 slate on Tuesday, beginning the weekend of Sept. 1 and running through the SEC Championship on Saturday, Dec. 1. It would be entirely pointless to break down winners and losers of the ’18 slate considering we don’t really even know who’s good yet in 2017 — other than Alabama — and we especially don’t know who will be good in ’18 — other than ‘Bama, of course.

But we can point out some dates that look interesting as we sit here on Tuesday, Sept. 19, the year of our Lord 2017. And, no, intra-divisional games don’t count, since they are played every year.

  • Auburn vs. Washington — Sept. 1 (at Atlanta)
  • Alabama vs. Louisville — Sept. 1 (at Orlando)
  • LSU vs. Miami — Sept. 1 (at Dallas)
  • Tennessee vs. West Virginia (at Charlotte)
  • Clemson at Texas A&M — Sept. 8
  • Vanderbilt at Notre Dame — Sept. 15
  • Florida at Mississippi State — Sept. 29
  • Tennessee at Auburn — Oct. 13

Consult the full schedule here. 

Louisville-Ole Miss 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff opener made official

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After reports had signaled it, it’s a done deal.

The “it” in this case is Louisville opening the 2021 season against Ole Miss, with the two programs confirming Tuesday that they will square off in one of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games that year.  The game will be played at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, although a date and kickoff time are still to be determined.

The 2021 game will mark the first-ever meeting between the football teams.  Each has made one previous appearance in the Kickoff Game, Louisville in 2015 (31-24 loss to Auburn) and Ole Miss in 2014 (35-13 win over Boise State).

“To have the opportunity to play in this game again for the second time is a huge win for our program,” Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said in a statement. “We are honored to be welcomed back by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is a tremendous testament to our loyal fan base, who helped pack the stadium in 2015. Our fans have a great history of traveling, and to have the opportunity to play a great program like Ole Miss in this brand-new facility will certainly be a hot ticket for the fans. Gary Stokan and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl group do a tremendous job with this game and we appreciate them selecting Louisville for what has become the premier game to kick off the season.”

“We are thrilled to once again be part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. We always set the goal to end the regular season in Atlanta, so it’s only fitting that’s where we begin it,” Jurich’s Ole Miss counterpart, Ross Bjork, said in his. “With our strong alumni base in Georgia, Rebel Nation will arrive in full force to experience this premier matchup in the nation’s finest new stadium. In addition, the Atlanta market is a key recruiting area for our staff, and this trip offers a tremendous opportunity to compete in front of those prospects.”

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Alabama and Miami would square off in the other Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game the opening weekend of the 2021 season.