Pittsburgh Panthers

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Pitt RB Rachid Ibrahim re-joining Paul Chryst in Wisconsin

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Rachid Ibrahim signed with Paul Chryst at Pittsburgh out of Rockville, Md., in 2013.

His career as a Panther got off to a good start, playing in 26 of 26 possible games while averaging 6.7 yards per carry on 60 rushes and 8.1 yards per grab on 20 receptions. However, Ibrahim suffered a torn Achilles in training camp before the 2015 season and did not see the field in the two following campaigns.

Ibrahim left the roster before spring practice and on Monday evening announced he will re-join Chryst at Wisconsin.

Officially a Badger🙏🏾 #OnWisconsin

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Ibrahim will join the Badgers’ roster as a graduate transfer, making him immediately eligible to appear for Wisconsin for one season. He joins a running back roster that saw its two leading rushers a year ago, Corey Clement and Dare Ogunbowale, leave due to graduation.

TE Jovani Haskins leaving Miami to ‘get fresh start somewhere else’

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A month and a half or so before Mark Richt kicks off his second summer camp at Miami, attrition has again hit the Hurricanes’ roster.

The U announced via a press release Tuesday afternoon that Jovani Haskins is no longer a member of the football program.  No specific reason was given for the tight end’s move away from Coral Gables, although it appears to be a mutual decision.

“I talked to Jovani and we both felt it was in his best interests to get a fresh start somewhere else,” the head coach said in a statement. “We wish him all the best in his future plans.”

A three-star member of UM’s 2016 recruiting class, Haskins was rated as the No. 19 tight end in the country and No. 10 player at any position in the state of New Jersey.  Prior to signing with The U, Haskins also held offers from, among others, Boston College, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. He took official visits to the latter two schools before committing to Miami a few days before National Signing Day.

The 6-4, 240-pound Haskins took a redshirt his true freshman season.

ACC distributed $23.8 million to members in 2015-16 as revenue declines

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Everybody in college athletics is making money — outside of the players — but the ACC was one entity that didn’t quite make as much as they did the year prior.

The reason for a slight decline in total revenue in the ACC? It’s members can thank not having the hefty buyout Maryland paid to leave the league and join the Big Ten the year prior.

Ace Daily Press reporter David Teel recently obtained the conference’s tax returns for the 2015-16 fiscal year and they show a still-robust $373.4 million in total revenue. That resulted in a nice $23.8 million distribution to the 14 member schools and a payment of just over $4 million to Notre Dame as part of the Irish’s agreement to house their non-football sports in the ACC.

The ACC was the big winner among the Power Five conference in the prior tax return period, seeing their revenue jump by a whopping $100 million in 2014-15 to $403.1 million. Taking out the $30 million buyout that the Terps paid in order to leave and revenue was essentially flat for the ACC year-over-year.

Despite that, the balance sheet is still a very healthy one and slots the ACC in front of the Big 12’s $313 million in total revenue among the Power Five conferences. That only means a fourth place finish though as the Pac-12 ($488 million), Big Ten ($483.4 million) and SEC ($639 million) all came out significantly ahead.

USA Today reports that ACC commissioner John Swofford didn’t feel the pinch of the decline however, as his salary was just a tad under $3 million in the same reporting period and represented an increase of nearly $300,000 from the year prior. Something says everybody in the league can expect future increases though with Clemson’s back-to-back national title game appearances as well as the upcoming ACC Network launch factoring into the equation in coming years.

DUI among eight charges facing Pitt lineman Alex Bookser

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Just as the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker had edged its way past the halfway point to double digits, it’s time to, again, set it back to double zeroes.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh’s Alex Bookser (pictured, lifting another big dude) was arrested Sunday on a whopping eight vehicular charges, including driving under the influence.  Additionally, the starting offensive lineman was charged with reckless driving, careless driving, an accident involving damage to an attended vehicle, an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle, failure to drive at a safe speed, failure to obey stop signs or yield signs and operating a vehicle without an official certificate.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review offered up details of what led to myriad charges being filed.

The incident began shortly before 1 a.m. when a Pitt police officer sitting in his cruiser on Semple Street heard an engine revving behind him, according to the criminal complaint filed against Bookser.

The officer, Terry Childs, looked in his mirror and saw a tan Ford Explorer speeding up the street and then blowing through a stop sign at Semple and Forbes Avenue. He wrote in the complaint that the Explorer turned right onto Forbes and continued in a “careless and reckless manner.”

Childs said the Explorer turned left onto Meyran Avenue and crashed into the Loeffler Building, according to the complaint. As Childs approached the SUV, the driver — later identified as Bookser — began to get out.

Childs drew his weapon and ordered Bookser to the ground, according to the complaint.

“We are extremely disappointed in the circumstances Alex put himself in, and others, because of his poor decision-making,” a statement from head coach Pat Narduzzi began. “He has expressed to me his extreme regret and disappointment in himself. Alex understands the importance of accountability when a mistake of this gravity is made.

“We are committed, as is Alex, to ensuring his actions and judgment will be better moving forward.”

After starting two games as a redshirt freshman in 2015, Bookser started all 13 games at right guard last season.  H was named honorable mention All-ACC following the 2016 regular season.

Pitt, Penn State won’t resume rivalry until 2026 at the earliest

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There are a lot of terrible outcomes from the mass realignment of the earliest part of this decade, but this is by far the worst: the breakup of longtime rivalries.

Pitt and Penn State — or is it Penn State and Pitt? — are in the midst of a 4-year reunion, and it’s been great so far. The Panthers’ 42-39 win over the Nittany Lions in Pittsburgh last season was not only a thrilling game, but it kept Penn State out of the College Football Playoff. This is what college football rivalries are all about, no? Who wouldn’t want to make this an annual thing again?

Penn State, that’s who.

Speaking at a coaches’ caravan event last week, Penn State AD Sandy Barbour told Nittany Lions fans that the earliest their team would start playing their rivals to the west again after the current agreement expires in 2019 would be 2026.

“That’s our Power 5 slot,” Barbour said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We are scheduled out in that Power 5 slot through 2025, so it certainly isn’t going to be before then.”

The Nittany Lions are slated to play home-and-homes with Virginia Tech (2020, ’25), Auburn (2021-22) and West Virginia (2023-24) in the intervening years. Those are no slouches, to be fair to Barbour. Virginia Tech and West Virginia are regional rivals, and Auburn presents an interesting intersectional matchup. But it’s too bad Penn State can’t play Pitt and Virginia Tech/Auburn/West Virginia — an unrealistic option given the 9-game schedules deemed necessary by the Big Ten’s bloat to 14 teams. (Thanks again, realignment!)

For their part, Pitt has Notre Dame lined up in 2020, a home-and-home with Tennessee in 2021-22 and a 4-game series with West Virginia from 2022-25 (along with another game against the Irish in ’25). Not bad, either.

But the end result is a rivalry between the two major programs in Pennsylvania that was played on a near annual basis throughout the 20th century will be played only four times during the first quarter of the 21st century.