Devon Cajuste

UCLA athletics

NCAA finds UCLA assistant Adrian Klemm ‘acted unethically,’ gives OL coach two-year show-cause

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For the second time in as many days, a Pac-12 school has found itself on the receiving end of a public rebuke from the NCAA.

The Association announced in a press release that it has found UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm “acted unethically… when he paid for two prospects to receive private training.”  Klemm acknowledged that he had paid $2,400 toward housing and private training sessions for the unnamed recruits, but only after a former girlfriend sent a letter to the NCAA in November of 2014 alleging potential violations.

Klemm, one of the top recruiters in the conference, claimed that he did not know that was a violation of NCAA rules. “[T]he coach incorrectly believed it was permissible to pay for the training because he believed the two prospects signed National Letters of Intent,” the NCAA’s release stated.  The Committee on Infractions decided that Klemm should’ve been aware such an arrangement ran counter to Association bylaws.

In March of 2015, UCLA announced that Klemm had been placed on paid suspension as unspecified NCAA rules violations had been uncovered.  While he was reinstated three months later, Klemm was suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season.

The NCAA accepted the school’s self-imposed sanctions, which included the initial suspensions for the spring recruiting period/spring practice period and the first two regular-season games as well as a reduction in the number of spring football evaluation days from 168 to 150 for the spring 2015 recruiting period; and a reduction in the number of official visits from the university’s four-year average by two for the 2015-16 academic year.

In addition to those self-imposed penalties, the NCAA imposed an additional $5,000 fine and issued an official public reprimand and censure.

Personally, Klemm was slapped with a two-year show-cause.  That will have no impact on Klemm as long as he remains with the Bruins.  Should he be fired or leave the program for any reason within the next two years, however, he and his new employer, if at the collegiate level, would have to appear in front of the COI to “show cause” as to why the new school shouldn’t be subject to sanctions.

Thursday, the NCAA announced that it had found two boosters had supplied former Stanford wide receiver Devon Cajuste with $3,500 in impermissible benefits two years ago.

NCAA: Stanford boosters gave ex-WR Devon Cajuste $3,500 in impermissible benefits

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Known across the country for its football program’s squeaky-clean image, Stanford has seen that reputation take a slight hit.

The NCAA announced Thursday afternoon that “two boosters impermissibly provided nearly $3,500 in extra benefits to a football student-athlete, including an impermissible loan, free use of an automobile, meals and other extra benefits.”  While the NCAA didn’t specify the player’s name, the university subsequently confirmed that it was former wide receiver Devon Cajuste.

The Cardinal self-imposed a one-game suspension on Cajuste.  Additionally, the receiver was forced to pay the value of the impermissible benefits to charity as a condition of his 2014 reinstatement.

Below is the school’s explanation as to how they ran afoul of NCAA bylaws:

Student-athletes had been residing with community homeowners during the summer for a number of decades, and in 2007 Stanford football initiated structured process to help student-athletes connect with community homeowners to obtain rental housing in the summer months. The program helped football student-athletes remain in the area to train, attend summer classes and participate in internships and other activities that would benefit them after graduation.

In the summer of 2014, the university discovered that one student-athlete had received impermissible benefits from his landlord in violation of NCAA rules. Impermissible benefits valued at under $400 included restaurant meals with the landlord’s family, movie tickets with the family and the use of a local vacation home. Another impermissible benefit was a loan to purchase a bicycle, which, at the time of the review, had already been repaid.

The NCAA investigation explored whether there was a possibility of other violations. No other violations were addressed in the report. But in 2014, recognizing the risks of these housing arrangements, the university revised its policy and now prohibits student-athletes from renting local housing during the summer. Student-athletes are now housed on campus. The university has provided additional education to community members and boosters regarding impermissible benefits.

“Earlier today, the NCAA released a report announcing that Stanford self-reported a violation involving a Stanford football student-athlete in 2014. I am the student-athlete involved in the violation,” Cajuste said in a statement. “I unknowingly accepted impermissible benefits from my summer landlord. I look forward to moving on from this incident and to supporting my alma mater for many years to come. I will have no further comment on this matter.”

The NCAA accepted Stanford’s self-imposed penalties for what were deemed Level II violations, while adding an additional $5,000 fine and a public reprimand of the university.  Those are the first “major” violations for the football program.

“The university will continue to be diligent about educating student-athletes and supporters, monitoring its programs and, when a potential violation is discovered, vigorously reviewing the matter and self-reporting to the NCAA any findings,” the university stated in its release. “Stanford will continue to work towards a tradition of excellence and hold itself to the highest standards of conduct and compliance.”

Stanford keeps faint playoff hopes alive, extinguishes Irish’s in last-second win

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For both Notre Dame and Stanford, tonight’s game down on The Farm was one that each needed to keep any playoff hopes that they entertained alive.  In the end, it’s the latter that holds the lone remaining hope for the rivalry.

With both teams throwing punches on either side of the ball, it was the Cardinal that was able to withstand the body blows and leave Foster Field with a thrilling 38-36 win.  It wasn’t looking that way, though, after DeShone Kizer led the Irish on an epic 88-yard drive that was capped by his two-yard touchdown run with :30 left and gave the visitors a 36-35 lead.

Kevin Hogan, playing his last home game as a member of the Cardinal, proceeded to ensure he left one more indelible mark in the program’s history books.  Taking over at their own 28-yard line, a face-mask penalty on the Irish moved the ball out to the 43-yard line with :15 left.  An incomplete pass on first down was followed by the play of the game, a 27-yard Hogan-to-Devon Cajuste that put the Cardinal in field goal range; a Christian McCaffrey two-yard run positioned the Cardinal for a 45-yard field goal attempt, which Conrad Ukropina absolutely piped with no time left for the 36-35 win.

Hogan was superb throughout the night, finishing with 269 yards and four touchdown passes on 17-of-21 passing in a back-and-forth affair that saw the lead change six times.  The Irish had a pair of 100-yard runners, with Josh Adams leading the way with 168 and Kizer contributing 128.

The win improves Stanford to 10-2, and sends them into the Pac-12 championship game against USC with hopes of a playoff berth still intact, however faint they may be.  Even if the Cardinal can take down the Trojans, they would still need significant upheaval ahead of them — think Clemson, Iowa and Alabama losing their title games — in order to even begin any type of realistic playoff talk.

But still…

For Notre Dame, it’s their second loss of the season and, with no championship game to leave another impression on the committee, it appears their playoff hopes have been officially dashed.  Still, given the myriad injuries with which the Domers have had to deal, it’s a minor miracle that they were even in the playoff discussion this late in the season, and a testament to Brian Kelly and his coaching staff.

Illness keeps Devon Cajuste from traveling with Stanford for Wazzu game

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Kevin Hogan will have one less weapon in the passing game at his disposal for what could be a very interesting Halloween night game in Pullman.

In an announcement made a couple of hours before Stanford was set to kick off against Washington State, it was confirmed that Devon Cajuste did not travel with the team for the Pac-12 matchup.  The stated reason was that an unspecified illness is keeping the starting wide receiver away and off the field.

Cajuste became ill during Wednesday’s practice and had to leave it early. Ivan Maisel of ESPN.com writes that Cajuste’s “health, and the possibility that he might infect his teammates on the trip, contributed to the decision by coach David Shaw to leave him home.”

Cajuste has been a starter in all but one of the Cardinal’s seven games this season. The senior’s 16 receptions are third on the team, while his 177 receiving yards are fifth.

The absence of Cajuste could mean additional touches in the passing game for Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey.

Stanford upends No. 6 USC, Pac-12 championship race

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The latest in a series that continually zigs when when many think it will zag, Stanford upset No. 6 USC 41-31 in the Los Angeles Coliseum, upending the Pac-12 race in the process.

The Cardinal, who could not have been more lethargic offensively in a 16-6 loss at Northwestern two weeks ago, sliced USC’s defense from stem to stern, accounting for 474 yards and 26 first downs on the night. Quarterback Kevin Hogan led the charge, completing 18-of-23 passes for 279 yards with two touchdowns and rushing seven times for 28 yards.

A second quarter rally proved crucial, as Stanford fought back from a 21-10 deficit by marching a combined 162 yards in drives that ended with a one-yard Redmound Wright run with 3:53 to go before the half and a 17-yard strike from Hogan to Devon Cajuste with just three seconds to go before the half.

USC reclaimed the lead with a one-yard toss from Cody Kessler to Steven Mitchell, Jr., but Stanford retook and then added to its lead with a pair of one-yard Wright plunges. Alex Wood pulled USC back within 38-31 with 9:19 to go, but Stanford methodically moved 52 yards over the next 6:52, setting Conrad Ukropina up for a 46-yard field goal with 2:27 remaining.

USC’s last gasp ended with an incomplete Kessler pass on 4th-and-13 at the Stanford 23-yard line with four seconds to play.

Kessler completed 25-of-32 throws for 272 yards with three touchdowns and no picks, and a host of Trojans combined to rush 28 times for 155 yards, but timeliness was an issue for the USC attack. After scoring touchdowns on three of its first four touches, USC managed only one more touchdown on its six remaining possessions.

In the end, it’s another loss as a favorite for USC, and the sixth Stanford win in the clubs’ last nine meetings, dating back to the Cardinal’s landmark 24-23 upset of the then-No. 1 Trojans in 2007.

In the end, it leaves one to wonder: who is the real Stanford team, the one that beat USC or the one that lost to Northwestern? Will USC ever be “back” under Steve Sarkisian? What does this mean for the Pac-12 race? If one thing is certain in the Pac-12, it’s that nothing at all is certain.