Minnesota Golden Gophers

Getty Images

East Carolina officially inks Power Five transfer trio

Leave a comment

An influx of Power Five talent has significantly bolstered East Carolina’s roster on both sides of the ball.

As has previously been reported at various points in time, ECU has officially confirmed the additions of running back Tyshon Dye (Clemson), defensive lineman Gaelin Elmore (Minnesota) and quarterback Thomas Sirk (Duke).  As all three players are coming to the Pirates as graduate transfers, each will be able to immediately contribute to the football in 2017.

Sirk’s official addition continues what’s been an injury-plagued football odyssey.

Sirk continues his recovery from what was a third Achilles injury, which he sustained last August, and would have been held out of contact had he remained at Duke for spring practice. The same injury cost the quarterback both the 2013 and 2016 seasons.  Sirk started all 12 games during the 2015 season before rupturing his Achilles in early February of 2016.

Because of those injuries, Sirk was granted a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA this past November.  In February of this year, Sirk announced his decision to transfer from the Blue Devils.

“I feel Thomas will help this football team in many ways, especially from a maturity and character standpoint,” head coach Scottie Montgomery, who was Sirk’s coordinator and quarterbacks coach for two seasons with Duke, said. “He knows our system well on the field and we feel confident about merging his skills with what we’re trying to do as an entire unit.”

A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, Dye was rated as the No. 14 running back in the country. The Georgia high schooler chose Clemson over offers from, among others, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Tennessee and USC.

After running for what turned out to be a career-high 151 yards as a true freshman, he ran for 91 in 2015. Dye’s 109 yards during the Tigers’ run to the title this past season was tied for sixth on the team.

In mid-January, not long after Clemson beat Alabama for the title, Dye decided to transfer out of the program for his senior season.

Moore, meanwhile, opted for ECU over opportunities that included, among others, Arizona and South Carolina.

The 6-6, 275-pound lineman played in 38 games the past three seasons. He started nine of those contests, with six of the starts coming last season.

“Tyshon is a big physical back who definitely has home run potential,” Montgomery said in a statement. “He’s obviously been a part of a championship culture and I’m confident he will have an opportunity to impact our program with a similar mindset. …

“I expect Gaelin’s presence to provide us with an explosive edge rusher who can affect both the running and passing game. Off the field, his life story is one of perseverance and will be a source of inspiration to all of us.”

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany set to cash in with over $20 million in bonuses

Getty Images
4 Comments

It’s good to be a college commissioner nowadays but it seems it’s an even better time to be the one leading the Big Ten.

USA Today reports that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is set to cash in big time with some $20 million in future bonus payments on the books from the conference. The league’s most recent tax returns shed light on the paychecks, which will come in addition to the over $2 million he already receives each year.

“Commissioner Delany has provided invaluable leadership for Big Ten member institutions while delivering first-in-class performance during a time of great transformation in college athletics,” University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler said in a statement provided by the conference. “He has not only successfully balanced the missions of academic achievement, student-athlete development and athletic success, he has successfully developed the resources necessary to strategically position the conference for success well into the future. His compensation is market-competitive, based on an independent third-party analysis, and reflects the value and impact of his leadership.”

Delany has served as commissioner of the Big Ten since 1989 and has been one of the most powerful leaders in college athletics ever since. He was the driving force behind numerous expansions by the conference over the years and the cash-cow that the Big Ten Network has turned into.

While Delany has drawn his fair share of criticism from fans and media members alike over the years, it’s hard to argue with what he’s done for the league’s burgeoning balance sheets. He is already one of the most handsomely compensated commissioners out there but something says the presence of this pay package will cause a few raised eyebrows around college athletics while also quieting talk that he may be set to retire in the very near future.

East Carolina lands grad transfers from Clemson, Minnesota

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Over the weekend, East Carolina (unofficially) added a couple of Power Five components to its Group of Five roster.

Tyshon Dye, long considered a heavy lean to transfer from Clemson to Miami, instead surprised many (most?) observers by opting to continue his collegiate playing career at ECU. 247Sports.com first reported the move, with TigerNet.com, among others, subsequently confirming the initial news.

As the running back will be leaving the defending national champions as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately for the Pirates in 2017.

A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2014 recruiting class, Dye (pictured) was rated as the No. 14 running back in the country. The Georgia high schooler chose Clemson over offers from, among others, Auburn, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Tennessee and USC.

After running for what turned out to be a career-high 151 yards as a true freshman, he ran for 91 in 2015. Dye’s 109 yards during the Tigers’ run to the title this past season was tied for sixth on the team.

In mid-January, not long after Clemson beat Alabama for the title, Dye decided to transfer out of the program for his senior season.

In addition to Dye, Gaelin Moore has decided to move on from Minnesota to ECU as well. The defensive end made his announcement on his personal Twitter account.

Moore opted for Minnesota over opportunities that included, among others, Arizona and South Carolina.

The 6-6, 275-pound lineman played in 38 games the past three seasons. He started nine of those contests, with six of the starts coming last season.

Like his new teammate Dye, he’ll be eligible to play in 2017 as a graduate transfer.

Western Michigan’s leading tackler decides against a transfer, returns to Broncos

Getty Images
Leave a comment

That whole thing about Western Michigan’s most productive player on the defensive side of the football leaving the program? Never mind.

In very late February, WMU announced that Robert Spillane (pictured) had asked for and been granted a release from his scholarship in order to transfer to another school.  It was thought at the time that the linebacker could be following his former head coach, P.J. Fleck, to Minnesota; the Gophers subsequently self-reported a minor violation to the NCAA regarding Fleck’s contact with one of his unnamed former players.

Wednesday, Spillane’s transfer plans were reversed as Fleck’s replacement, Tim Lester, confirmed that the junior has rejoined the Broncos football team.  His official return, it should be noted, had to be approved by the team’s leadership council, the team as a whole as well as the coaching staff — and it was unanimously given a thumbs-up by all involved.

“We’ve been texting throughout the whole process of when he was away,” the head coach said according to mlive.com. “I was hoping he was doing alright. He came in and I met with him and he told me he wanted to come back and join the guys and that he felt terrible about his time away.”

Last season, Spillane led the Broncos in tackles with 111 — next closest was Asantay Brown‘s 95 — while he was second in tackles for loss with 10.5 and tied for third in sacks with three. His three interceptions were tied for second as well. The last of those three picks came at the end of the MAC championship game that helped seal WMU’s win over Ohio.

The past three seasons, Spillane started 28 games for the Broncos. He started all 14 games last season.

Indiana won’t accept any player with history of sexual or domestic violence

Getty Images
8 Comments

One Big Ten school is following in the SEC’s footsteps — and blazing its own path on top of it.

In April of 2015, the SEC voted to ban member institutions from accepting transfers who had been disciplined for serious misconduct at his previous school, with that defined as sexual assault, sexual violence and domestic violence.  In June of 2016, that same conference announced that it will be expanding its existing policy to include “dating violence, stalking or conduct of a nature that creates serious concern about the safety of others.”

According to the Indianapolis Star, Indiana has enacted a similar policy, with the Big Ten school barring a transfer from another institution from enrolling “who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony involving sexual violence.” Sexual violence is defined by the school as “dating violence, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or sexual violence as defined by the Indiana University policy on sexual misconduct.”

IU’s policy also significantly expands on what the SEC’s current policy is, as not only transfers but “incoming freshmen” are a part of the ban as well.

“I think it’s new ground,” athletic director Fred Glass told the Star. “My hope is that we’re leading in this area, and maybe others will follow with, maybe not the exact same policy, but one that fits their particular institutions.”

The university also ensured that any appeals would be handled “outside the athletic department.” From the paper’s report:

It includes an appellate process, Glass said, acknowledging that “there’s always a chance that there’s going to be some person that gets caught up in this that shouldn’t, when you consider all the circumstances.”

But Glass also emphasized that any such appeal would go before a committee comprised of [IU faculty athletics representative Kurt] Zorn, IU general counsel Jacqueline Simmons and IU chief student welfare and Title IX officer Emily Springston.

“The key to that,” Glass said, “is those decisions are being made outside the athletic department.”

The Big Ten has allowed each member institution to institute — or not — its own policy on this issue.  Indiana is the first; whether other conference members follow suit will be interesting to see play out.