Yeah, that’ll do it.
Kansas announced Monday that Maciah Long has been dismissed from the football program, citing the standard unspecified violation of team rules. A short time later, the Kansas City Star reported that the arrest came not long after Long allegedly threatened a female with a handgun.
What is officially known is that the linebacker was charged Monday with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage to property and marijuana possession. The weapons charge is a felony, while the other two are misdemeanors.
No further details have been made available, although the district attorney in the case will reportedly be seeking a domestic violence designation.
While officially listed as a linebacker, Long also played tight end as a true freshman last season. He was credited with one yard on two carries.
Long was a three-star member of KU’s 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 25 inside linebacker in the country coming out of high school as the No. 93 player at any position in the state of Texas.
There has been no shortage of videos and stories about walk-ons at various college football programs receiving scholarships by surprise. It is an annual tradition around college football during the offseason, and the fun and pure joy of the moment never gets old.
The Kansas Jayhawks took the game to a whole new level, and a whole new playing field this weekend.
Kansas took its football team out on Friday night to enjoy a Major League Baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians. During the course of the game, four walk-on players — defensive end Mazin Aqi, offensive lineman Beau Lawrence, punter Cole Moos, and running back Reese Randall — were shown sitting next to each other on the video screen in Kauffman Stadium. As they were shown on the screen, a message popped up congratulating them on being awarded a scholarship.
Video of the players soaking in the moment and realizing they had just had their lives changed was captured by the Royals.
It sure beats the heck out of a stadium proposal.
If you are new to college football within the last decade, you may find it difficult to comprehend that there once was a season that saw the Kansas Jayhawks play in, and win, the Orange Bowl. Yes, a decade before the crowning achievement for a season was simply beating Texas on the football field, the Jayhawks had a memorable season that fell shy of winning the Big 12 but saw Kansas make a run for a shot at a national championship. The year was 2007, and this year the school will honor that memorable season for Kansas fans. They’ll also invite back the coach that was on the sidelines at the time, despite his removal as head coach years later amid some controversy.
Mark Mangino will be invited to return to Lawrence, Kansas this season for the school’s season opener against Southeast Missouri State. Mangino and the 2007 team, as well as former Jayhawks Aqib Talib and Anthony Collins, have been invited for a Hall of Fame ceremony. In 2007, Kansas went 12-1, with the lone loss coming against border rival Missouri (the Tigers went on to play for the Big 12 championship as a result of the head-to-head win).
Given how Mangino and Kansas parted ways in 2009, Mangino took some time to consider whether or not he should accept an invitation from the school to return for the Hall of Fame ceremony.
“It just came out of the blue and when they called, it caught me off guard. It was hard for me to say no when your players are going to be honored,” Mangino said to Lawrence Journal-World. “I wanted to be there for them. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
From a coaching perspective, the relationship with players can be an everlasting one. The 2007 season was a special year for both Mangino and his players, so wanting to be there to celebrate the success of the 2007 season has to be difficult to turn down.
Mangino most recently coached as an offensive coordinator at Iowa State in 2014 and 2015.
When last we left Bovada.lv‘s odds for the 2017 national champion, 2016 runners-up Alabama sat atop the initial wagering odds. On the cusp of a new season? Same old, same old. Pretty much.
Along with its updated Heisman Trophy odds, Bovada also revealed its updated odds to win the next edition of the College Football Playoff championship, with the Crimson Tide sitting as a comfortable favorite at 12/5. In January, those odds were a little longer at 4/1.
The next two teams, USC and Ohio State, saw their odds shorten as well, with the former going from 9/1 to 6/1 and the latter from 15/2 to 13/2. Florida State and Michigan, at 7/1 and 9/1, respectively, seven months ago, have lengthened a bit to 15/2 for the Seminoles and 16/1 for the Wolverines.
Prior to Bob Stoops’ retirement, Oklahoma had been at 9/1; after his abrupt departure, those odds have tumbled to 16/1.
Below are the complete set of updated 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.
The 2017 season hasn’t even officially begun and it’s already off to a bad start for Kansas. Senior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez has been kicked off the team for a violation of team rules, as first reported by the Lawrence Journal World on Sunday afternoon.
The program did not specify the nature of Gonzalez’s violation, and head coach David Beaty was not available for comment.
A native of Cedar Hill, Texas, Gonzalez originally signed with Texas A&M but followed Beaty to Lawrence after the former Texas A&M receivers coach took the KU job.
Gonzalez was the team’s second-leading receiver last season, hauling in 62 balls for 729 yards and three touchdowns. He caught eight passes for 131 yards against TCU, six for 106 and a touchdown versus Oklahoma State and five for 127 and a score opposite Kansas State.
Kansas reports for training camp on Monday; Beaty is expected to address the Gonzalez situation at his previously scheduled state of the team address on Tuesday.