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Week after sentencing on felony plea, Michigan fully reinstates Grant Perry

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One Michigan football player is officially back in the good graces of the program.

In an extensive and detailed statement, UM announced Friday night that Grant Perry has been fully reinstated to the Wolverines football team.  Previously, the wide receiver had been cleared to practice with the team during summer camp; this move clears him to play in any and all games this season.

Below is the program’s complete release:

The University and Michigan Athletic Department have closely followed the legal proceedings involving Grant Perry since October.

During this time, he has met every institutional expectation. Grant has served multiple team suspensions, missing two games during the 2016 season as well as the Orange Bowl against Florida State. He was suspended from all team activities in the Winter of 2017, including all of spring practice and the team’s trip to Rome. Grant was only recently allowed to participate in summer conditioning prior to the start of fall camp.

We conducted an athletic department and institutional review following the conclusion of the legal process. Based on that review, we have determined that Grant is reinstated to full participation with the football team.

In order to maintain his full participation with the team, and in addition to complying with the terms of his probation, Grant must continue to meet additional internal requirements from the university, athletic department and football program.

In mid-October of last year, Perry was accused of groping the groin and buttocks of a female Michigan State student outside of an East Lansing bar.  As a result, Perry was initially charged with two counts of sexual assault, and one each of a minor in possession of alcohol and resisting an officer.  The latter charge was a felony, the others misdemeanors.

Perry pleaded guilty in late June to one felony count of resisting a police officer and one misdemeanor count of assault and battery.  Earlier this month, he was sentenced to 12 months probation; fined $748; will be forced to pay $117.95 in restitution for counseling his victim received; abstain from drugs and alcohol for a period of 12 months; and undergo random drug and alcohol testing.

Below are excerpts, from mlive.com‘s report a week ago, of the impact statement the victim, who stated she’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of the incident, read in front of the court at the August sentencing:

She claimed Perry “made the decision to get intoxicated, use false identification, cut in line, repeatedly harass, intimidate, demean and sexually assault me, and, finally, run from police officers.”

She continued: “The defendant’s eyes were one thing I’ll never forget. His wide eyes while he was saying foul words, licking his lips, hunching his shoulders over me and then grabbing the most personal part of my body with intent to make me feel as if I had no control over my body,” she said. “I had to physically shove him off of me, causing him to stumble backwards. When he got up and went to rush back toward me a friend had to once again push him back. Both of us feared he’d continue to assault me.

“While my entire body was physically shaking, I was crying. The aggressive harassment continued. He was mocking my words as I described how I felt violated to my friends. He stared me down while I was waiting for police to arrive, with his wide eyes and taunting smile. All while his main concern was to get into the bar.

“Just as police were arriving, the defendant entered my personal space yet again. Puffing out his chest, rounding his shoulders, yelling in my face. His friends felt the need to apologize for him. But the defendant has never once shown remorse through this entire process. In fact, he denied his actions to the fullest extent. Upon agreeing to this plea deal he has claimed to have simply pushed me out of his way.

“Clearly on this night you forgot your humility. And I’m not talking to you as a student-athlete at all. I’m talking to you as a human being (out) in the world. Your student-athlete days will be over in the blink of an eye. You’re going to go out in the world and have interactions with people all the time. All different types of people in different circumstances,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter if you’re feeling full of yourself on that day or full of alcohol, nothing ever gives you the right to assault another person, to degrade another person or to run from or resist police. … It seems like you were feeling very entitled on this particular night.

“I would like to say I’m sincerely sorry for everyone that had to get involved,” Perry said at his sentencing. “I want to personally apologize to (the victim) and her family and the officers involved for my behaviors actions.”

Last season, Perry had 13 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown.  His 14.1 yards per catch were third on the team for players with 10-plus receptions.  Over his career, the junior has 311 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 27 catches.

Two BYU football players involved in alcohol-related incident were actually ex-BYU football players

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The curious case of Francis Bernard has taken yet another twist.

In mid-August, it was announced that Francis Bernard, a 12-game starter at linebacker for BYU in 2016, would miss the entire 2017 season because of unspecified “personal reasons.” Very early Saturday morning, Bernard (pictured, No. 13) was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a valid license and failing to register his vehicle/having an expired registration.

With him during the traffic stop was teammate Marvin Hifo, who was cited for having an open container.

Monday, Kalani Sitake was asked about the situation.  In addressing it, the head coach revealed that both players had previously left the team in the last couple of weeks —  Bernard withdrew from school and requested a release from his scholarship, while Hifo, a senior defensive back, decided to simply quit.

Notably, Sitake seemingly indicated that, as of at least a couple of weeks ago, he was leaving the door open for a potential Bernard return at some point in the future.

“[Bernard] was looking at all of his options, and one of them was possibly returning here with a release in hand,” the coach said according to the Deseret News. “I wish him the best in finding what is the best place for him and I care about him.”

Bernard was third on the Cougars last season in tackles.  Should he continue playing football at the collegiate level, he would presumably be a fourth-year junior in 2018.

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.