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UConn hiring of Randy Edsall’s son questioned for ethics

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Football coaches having their sons on a football staff is nothing new. It’s been done for decades, and is still done to this day. That is not stopping the Office of State Ethics in Connecticut from digging into a recent hire at UConn, where the hiring of Corey Edsall has come under investigation. Edsall is the son of UConn head coach Randy Edsall. Apparently, this line of questioning has been going on for months, according to The Courant.

The Office of State Ethics is concerned whether or not the hiring of a head coach’s son as an assistant coach is in violation of the university’s Code of Ethics. According to the code, state employees are banned from using their position to benefit family members. The board has asked for an advisory opinion to address this concern and a request from the UConn associate general counsel to deny was voted down unanimously by the board. The advisory opinion is scheduled to be shared at the next board meeting on April 20.

UConn has stood by the hiring process and feels there is no violation of ethics. A statement from the university reads;

“When UConn was negotiating [Randy Edsall’s] contract, university ethics staff consulted with the Office of State Ethics on Coach Edsall’s behalf and sough an informal opinion regarding the potential hiring of the coach’s son. … In keeping with standard practice, the university presented this as a hypothetical scenario that mirrored the facts: specifically, that the university was negotiating with a candidate as that part of the negotiations included a contractual provision regarding the potential future employment at UConn of a member of the candidate’s family, who would work in the same department as the candidate.”

In the end, the hiring of Corey Edsall is unlikely to be overturned. The biggest impact this process seems to have is finalizing contracts. Randy Edsall’s contract still has yet to be officially finalized, but that appears to be a mere formality before being approved by the board. Corey Edsall’s contract is also being hung up as a result of this, but this also should be cleaned up once this ethics concern is sorted.

Corey Edsall is UConn’s tight ends coach. He spent the previous two seasons working as a staff member at Colorado as a graduate assistant working with the defense. The 24-year old has also spent two summers working as a scouting intern with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Pair of UCF Knights suspended six games for failing NCAA drug test

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Three months after the fact, UCF’s postseason loss is still impacting the team.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, sophomore wide receiver Tristan Payton (pictured) and redshirt freshman cornerback Nevelle Clarke have been suspended for a minimum of six games for failed drug tests.  The tests were administered by the NCAA at UCF’s Cure Bowl appearance against Arkansas State.

The NCAA randomly selects players taking part in every bowl game, both before and after the contests.  Both Clarke and Payton tested positive for marijuana.

“We hold our athletes to the highest standard and they’re going to have consequences if they don’t live up to that standard,” Knights head coach Scott Frost said in a statement. “We’re going to do everything we can for those two young men and hopefully they learn the lesson.”

Last season, Payton caught 12 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown.  He also completed two of four passes for 96 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown.  It was the Knights’ longest pass play of the season.

Clarke played in 11 games in 2016, and had been pencilled in as one of the starting corners for the upcoming season.

Tulane’s starting kicker last three years no longer on team

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A long-time presence on Tulane’s special teams is all of a sudden no longer present.

By way of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, head coach Willie Fritz confirmed that Andrew DiRocco is no longer a part of his Green Wave football team. No reason for the placekicker’s departure from the football program was given.

DiRocco still has eligibility remaining and could choose the graduate transfer route if he wants to continue playing collegiately. Just what his next steps are football-wise are unclear.

“He’s going to be graduating in the summer and it was a good move for him. We’re excited for him,” the head coach, whose Green Wave kicked off spring practice yesterday, said.

The past three seasons, DiRocco connected on 27-41 field goal attempts (65.9 percent) and 83-87 extra points (95.4 percent). Only one other kicker (Randy Harvey) attempted an extra point in that span, and no one other than DiRocco tried a field goal during that same time.

Harvey, a sophomore, is still on the Green Wave’s roster, and will compete with sophomore Zachary Block and freshman Merek Glover to replace DiRocco.

Geoff Collins hires third Temple WRs coach in three months

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Maybe the third time will be a charm?  Possibly?

When Geoff Collins took over for Matt Ruhle as Temple’s head coach, he retained Frisman Jackson as wide receivers coach; less than two weeks later, Jackson left for a job with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.  No worries as Collins hired Keith Gaither to replace Jackson; six weeks later, however, Gaither left for the same job at East Carolina.

A week after that departure, Collins has (again) filled the same hole on his initial coaching staff, with philly.com reporting that Stan Hixon will serve as the Owls’ receivers coach (for now).  The Owls subsequently confirmed the development.

Most of the last decade or so for Hixon has been spent at the NFL level, with stops at the Houston Texans (2014-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12) and Washington Redskins (2004-10).

Hixon’s last job at the collegiate level came at Penn State.  From 2012-13, he was Bill O’Brien‘s receivers coach while also holding the title of assistant head coach.

Other collegiate stops during a coaching career that stretches back to 1980 include LSU (2000-03), Georgia Tech (1995-99), Wake Forest (1993-94) and South Carolina (1989-92).

SMU QB Matt Davis drops bid for sixth season, will enter NFL draft

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The NFL has gained another signal-caller for its upcoming draft, while SMU has lost a veteran presence in its quarterbacks room.

United Athlete Agency, which describes itself as a Dallas-based professional sports representation agency, announced in a release Wednesday that Matt Davis has declared for the 2017 NFL draft.  Davis has hired and will be represented by UAA’s Scott Casterline.

Because Davis’ five-year eligibility clock has expired, he will be eligible for the April draft despite his very late entry into the process.

Davis missed all or most of the 2012 and 2016 seasons because of injuries, which led to SMU to seek a sixth season of eligibility on the quarterback’s behalf.  As of late January, the university and the player were still awaiting for a decision from the NCAA.

After beginning his collegiate career at Texas A&M as a four-star recruit, Davis left College Station in August of 2013 and, after a stop at the junior college level, ultimately transferred to SMU.  After starting the last five games of the 2014 season, Davis started 11 of 12 games the following season.

A start in the 2016 season opener was quickly followed by a torn ACL that sidelined him for the remainder of the year.

It seems highly unlikely that the 6-0, 212-pound Houston native will taken at any point during the seven-round draft in Philadelphia next month.