Mid-American Conference

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California’s state-funded travel ban to discriminating states raises mild football scheduling concerns

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The state of California is banning state-funded travel to the states of Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Dakota. Those states are added to the previous state-funded travel bans that included Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee due to what California lawmakers say are laws that allow for discrimination against gay and transgender people.

So what does this have to do with college football? My colleague, Bryan, notes this latest decision from the state means scheduling any potential road games for a handful of schools just got a tad trickier.

This development poses a couple of issues for some California schools to address moving forward.

San Jose State is the school affected by this latest news right off the bat. San Jose State has a road game scheduled at Texas on September 9 this season. San Jose State may have to rely on some of that guaranteed money from Texas to cover the expenses, which would put a dent in the total takeaway from playing the game in the first place.

Cal is also scheduled to play at North Carolina on September 2. Cal also plays at TCU in 2021 and at Auburn in 2024. If the ban is still in operation at those times, then Cal will have to budget ahead of time to tackle the expenses. UCLA will play at Memphis on September 19.

The state-funded travel ban to these states may not be an issue for the postseason, as bowl game expenses tend to be carried by the conference and their revenue shares.

Fresno State has a road game at Texas A&M scheduled in 2020. San Diego State has no future scheduling hassles to worry about for the time being.

Buffalo reportedly receives state approval for new $18 million football field house

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If it seems like every college football program has an indoor facility nowadays, that’s because it’s a statement that is pretty close to being true. Now it’s time to cross one of the few remaining FBS holdouts off the list of those without one as Buffalo has finally gotten a thumbs up to build one just across the street from the school’s football stadium.

Buffalo Business First reports that the state has given the green light to a nearly $18 million field house project and that the university could issue construction bids for the building as soon as next week.

The project will check off a lot of boxes for the athletic department and the football team in particular. It reportedly will result in a 90,000-square-foot facility that includes both a full turf field and a small track. The exact timeline still appears to be up in the air a bit but it seems as though the school will receive bids soon and then commence construction sometime in early 2018.

That’s welcome news for head coach Lance Leipold as the Bulls were the lone MAC school without an indoor facility as of 2017. Given the winters (and fall’s and spring’s…) in upstate New York, the addition of a place to practice and train away from the elements should be a boon for the program going forward.

Hyperthermia likely cause of death of Kent State’s Tyler Heintz

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A preliminary autopsy report has shown that Kent State football player Tyler Heintz likely died of hyperthermia, the Record-Courier is reporting.

Following football conditioning drills earlier this week, the true freshman offensive lineman collapsed and, after being transported to a local hospital, was pronounced dead.  According to Portage County (Ohio) Coroner Dr. Dean DePerro, the final autopsy results could take weeks or even months.

According to the National Institute of Health, “[h]yperthermia is an abnormally high body temperature caused by a failure of the heat-regulating mechanisms of the body to deal with the heat coming from the environment.” The newspaper wrote that “DePerro reiterated that the results are preliminary, and that other factors may be involved.”

The paper also added this anecdote from the 6-4, 275-pound player’s former coach.

Heintz spent countless hours working in the hot sun on his family farm in Kenton, about 75 miles south of Toledo, according Brent Fackler, his high school football coach. …

“Tyler had a physical, maybe two in the last two weeks,” said Fackler. “(Last) Friday with us here he ran ’14 110s,’ which is not easy. We run 110 (yards), then they have 45 seconds to rest, then they run another 110 for 14 minutes. That’s quite a bit of running, and Tyler didn’t show any problems there.

Thus far, university officials have not responded to the preliminary autopsy results.

Kent State issues statement on passing of football player Tyler Heintz

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Following football conditioning drills Tuesday morning, Kent State true freshman offensive lineman Tyler Heintz collapsed and, after being transported to a local hospital, was pronounced dead.  As reports began to emerge as to the lineman’s passing, the university released the following statement:

Today, the Kent State University family mourns the tragic loss of one of our student-athletes, freshman football player Tyler Heintz. Tyler was transported to a local hospital by paramedics this morning following football conditioning drills at Dix Stadium. The cause of death is not yet known.

Tyler was from Kenton, Ohio, and planned to study marketing and entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration. Tyler was recruited as a rising star on our offensive line.

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Tyler’s family and friends, as well as Coach Haynes and the team, our athletics staff and our student-athletes.

As stated earlier, our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with those impacted by Heintz’s passing.

Kent State’s Tyler Heintz dead after collapsing following workout

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The extended Kent State football family was forced to deal with the death of a player in 2014. Tragically, they’re being forced to do the same nearly three years later.

While there’s been nothing official yet from the school, WKTN radio in Kenton, Ohio, is reporting that Tyler Heintz collapsed after a workout on KSU’s campus earlier Tuesday and died. The offensive lineman was a member of the Golden Flashes’ 2017 recruiting class and was on campus working out with his new teammates.

The Portage County Coroner told the Record-Courier that Heintz was pronounced dead at 11:34 a.m. local time after being transported to a hospital by the Kent Fire Department.  The firefighters had been called to Dix Stadium at 9:18 a.m.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, and the process to reach such a determination is expected to take several weeks.

Heintz played his high school football in Kenton, and that program took to Twitter to react to the young man’s passing.

In late August of 2014, KSU offensive lineman Jason Bitsko was found unresponsive in the bedroom of his off-campus apartment and was pronounced dead at the scene. The football team honored their fallen teammate by wearing his No. 54 on their helmets throughout the 2014 season.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences are with those impacted by this latest tragedy to hit the Golden Flashes football program.