Getty Images

With hoops scandal growing, Urban Meyer has strong words for coaches who cheat, lie

20 Comments

When it comes to the biggest story in collegiate athletics, Urban Meyer is mincing no words and pulling no punches.

The college basketball world was rocked earlier this week when the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that 10 individuals, including four sitting assistant basketball coaches at Power Five schools, had been arrested on fraud and corruption charges in connection to illicit payments to recruits and their families.  The scandal has only deepened in the last two days since the announcement, including Rick Pitino essentially being fired as Louisville’s head basketball coach.  Other programs have been notified by the Feds that they are under investigation as well.

On his radio show Thursday, Meyer was asked about a scandal that’s only going to continue to grow in the coming days and weeks.  Initially, the Ohio State head coach said he had very strong thoughts and opinions that he didn’t think he could share; eventually, Meyer, who labeled himself as “a big proponent of the NCAA” and was adamant that those who use burner phones should be banned from the sport, let loose on the air, particularly on coaches who cheat or lie.

From the Columbus Dispatch:

I always believed if you willfully and intentionally broke the rule or you lie to the NCAA, you can never coach again. To this day, I still believe that. I’m not talking about mistakes made when you have a rulebook like this (thick). But if you intentionally pay a guy money or willfully have a second cell phone to make illegal phone calls, you’re done. You can never coach again.

“It’s no different than a student-athlete. If a student-athlete lies to the NCAA, they’re finished. So you’re telling me a 50-year-old man has more rights than an 18-year-old student-athlete? Who comes up with that? If you intentionally lie about committing violations, your career is over. You’re not suspended for (only) two games. Some of the silly penalties you have — you can’t talk to a recruit for a week and a half or something like that — no. You’re finished. That will clean up some things.

“I’m in favor of regulation. I’m in favor of strong law enforcement and making people obey the rules in our profession. I don’t know the whole story behind it. I don’t have time. But I know one thing, when you start hearing “federal,” when someone asks you a question and you lie, you’re going to jail. I’m anxious to watch what happens.

The irony in all of that, of course, is that the path was cleared for Meyer to take his dream job with the Buckeyes because Jim Tressel essentially lied to the NCAA, helping lead to his dismissal and the football program’s sanctions.

For now, though, the hoops scandal has nothing to do with college football, with the lone exception potentially being at Louisville.  You can take it to the bank, though, that the world of college football has sat up and taken notice what.

VIDEO: Blind USC long snapper Jake Olson can play quarterback, too

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jake Olson became one of the stories of the 2017 season on the opening Saturday, when he entered USC’s opener to serve as a deep snapper for an extra point in the waning moments of a win over Western Michigan.

Which would not otherwise be a story except for the fact that Olson is legally blind.

Olson’s athletic ability extends far beyond his ability to accurately snap a football, as he showcased last month.

With Sam Darnold now off to the NFL, Olson has thrown his name in the ring of those vying to become USC’s next quarterback.

After displaying his ability to snap and throw the football, his next step needs to be to kick the pigskin.

Clemson QB Tucker Israel enters his name in graduate transfer market

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tucker Israel has yet to see significant action during his time at Clemson. With Kelly Bryant coming back and No. 1 quarterback recruit Trevor Lawrence joining the roster, that wasn’t likely to change.

So Israel (the non-Deshaun Watson player pictured above) is leaving.

“My time here at Clemson will always hold a special plate in my heart,” Israel said in a Twitter post released by the school. “I enjoyed every minute being here & thank Coach Swinney for believing in me. After much consideration, I plan on transferring upon getting my degree from this amazing university.”

A former 3-star recruit, Israel redshirted in 2015, threw four passes in 2016 and did not play in 2017. The Orlando, Fla., native will have two years of eligibility remaining upon arriving at his new destination.

Shane Beamer reportedly leaving Georgia for Oklahoma

AP Photo/Richard A. Lipski
Leave a comment

After you beat them, join them? Georgia special teams coordinator Shane Beamer is on his way to Oklahoma to become an offensive assistant coach at Oklahoma, according to multiple reports on Monday.

At Georgia, Beamer held the role of special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. At Oklahoma, it is reported Beamer will take on an assistant head coach title and assist head coach Lincoln Riley in preparing the offensive game plan for the Sooners. Beamer was with the Georgia staff for two years under Kirby Smart after leaving Virginia Tech to join the coaching staff in Athens.

Beamer is the son of former Virgina Tech head coach Frank Beamer. Georgia defeated Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, which was a semifinal game for the College Football Playoff last season.

There is no update on how Smart will replace Beamer on his coaching staff at this time, but Dawg Nation notes Georgia has already lost special teams advisor Scott Fountain to join the coaching staff at Mississippi State.

 

Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley among Lombardi Award finalists

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The list of Lombardi Award candidates has been whittled down to a list of seven select finalists for this year’s award. A week after a list of 21 candidates was unveiled, only seven remain after a panel of voters cast their initial ballots for the award.

2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love of Stanford, and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville highlight the list of finalists for the Lombardi Award. Other finalists include Saquon Barkley of Penn State, Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Shaquen Griffin of UCF and Joel Lanning of Iowa State.

The Lombardi Award has a new trophy and criteria this season after opening the award up to any position after previously being reserved for the top lineman or linebacker in the nation. The award is based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency on and off the field.

Lombardi Award Finalists for 2017 Season

  • Saquon Barkley, Penn State (RB)
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama (S)
  • Shaquem Griffin, UCF (LB)
  • Lamar Jackson, Louisville (QB)
  • Joel Lanning, Iowa State (LB/QB)
  • Bryce Love, Stanford (RB)
  • Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (QB)

Alabama’s Jonathan Allen won the award for the 2016 season. Carl Nassib of Penn State won the award in 2015, meaning Barkley and Fitzpatrick are attempting to win another Lombardi Award for their school. Oklahoma is the only other school with a Lombardi Award among the schools represented by the finalists for this season’s award. Iowa State, Louisville, Stanford and UCF are all looking for their first Lombardi Award winner in school history. Oklahoma has three all-time Lombardi Award winners, and Alabama and Penn State each have two.