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Eastern Michigan students campaign against using university dollars for $35 million football facility

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Fresh off the program’s first bowl trip in nearly 30 years, Eastern Michigan has announced plans to build a new facility that would include a new building with practice fields for the football and soccer programs, an indoor track, an improved weight room, up to 10 new football suites and a new football scoreboard, at the cost of $35 million. While it sounds like the idea is still is in its beginning stages — the EMU board was briefed in February and will discuss the topic again next month — the school says it has $9 million already raised toward the project. It’s a giant leap from less than a year ago, when EMU was forced to release a statement saying it is not dropping football.

This, of course, leaves another $26 million to be raised. And the EMU student government has come out swinging against the idea of the student body funding any of that remaining $26 million.

EMU student president Tanasia Morton and vice president Joshua Starr made the argument in a join statement on the group’s Facebook page.

We must, however, make clear that Student Government did not intend to, nor do we, support using any University funds for a multi-million dollar renovation of our athletic facilities outside of the plans to renovate the Rec/IM. To be clear, any renovations or additions to any of the University’s athletics facilities as part of this $35 million plan, aside from the Rec/IM, must be completely funded by outside donors.

We strongly support the strides our student athletes have made in our history as a University. Many of our collegiate teams, such as track and field, swimming, and gymnastics are the best in the MAC. We are proud to support these programs and confident that the significant investments contemplated in the Regents’ plan can be funded with the support of generous donors. However, Student Government WILL NOT support any renovations to the athletic facilities as a part of this $35 million plan, outside of the Rec/IM, that involve a single cent of University dollars.

See the full post below:

As of now, Eastern Michigan has stated it doesn’t plan on using university dollars toward the project. “We haven’t committed any money (from the university’s general fund). We’re focused on fund-raising,” EMU board of regents member Michelle Crumm told the Detroit Free-Press.

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

Jeff Tedford hires away Eastern Michigan OC, O-line coach to Fresno State

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Eastern Michigan lost the Bahamas Bowl on Friday, and then lost two of its most important coaches.

Eastern Michigan offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer and offensive line coach Ryan Grubb are leaving the staff to accept the same posts on Jeff Tedford‘s new staff at Fresno State, the Bulldogs announced Saturday.

Offensive coordinators bringing along offensive line coaches has become common practice in recent years, like an architect collaborating with a specific contractor to make sure the nuts-and-bolts of the new build go in where they’re supposed to go.

DeBoer and Grubb each spent three years on staff at Eastern Michigan, helping turn arguably the most moribund program in FBS into a bowl participant. Prior to that, the pair worked together from 2007-09 at the University of Sioux Falls, where DeBoer was the head coach and Grubbs his offensive line coach and run game coordinator.

DeBoer and Grubbs transformed an offense that ranked 111th nationally in total offense in the year prior to their arrival into a unit that placed 35th in 2016.

They’ll take over a Fresno State offense that finished this fall ranked 123rd in yards per play and 125th in scoring.

Old Dominion caps first 10-win FBS season with Bahamas Bowl victory over EMU

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Old Dominion (10-3) checked off a few items on the season-long to-do list for the still young FBS program. On Saturday, with a 24-20 victory over Eastern Michigan (7-6) in the Bahamas Bowl, Old Dominion capped the first 10-win season in program history since moving up the FBS and Conference USA with its first bowl victory in its first bowl game in program history. Old Dominion quarterback David Washington passed for three touchdowns and Ray Lawry rushed for 133 yards on the ground in the win for the Monarchs.

Eastern Michigan had their chances on offense against Old Dominion, but racking up 470 yards and owning the lead in time of possession was put to waste against Old Dominion. Settling for a field goal in the fourth quarter from the two-yard line and punting the ball on a fourth and eight from the Old Dominion 48-yard line with under six minutes to play gave the Monarchs a chance to put the game on ice. Eagles quarterback Brogan Roback passed for 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns to lead the Eastern Michigan offense, bringing a disappointing close to an otherwise remarkable season for the Eastern Michigan program.

Old Dominion never trailed in the game. After taking a 10-0 lead into halftime, Old Dominion had to fend off Eastern Michigan in the second half. The Eagles tied the game at 17-17 late in the third quarter but could only score a field goal while Old Dominion tacked on a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The game-winning score came on a five-yard touchdown pass from Washington to Jonathan Duhart.

At the moment, the MAC is still looking for its first bowl victory of the season after dropping to 0-3. Conference USA improved its record to 3-2 this bowl season with the Old Dominion win. Conference USA now owns bowl victories against the American Athletic Conference (Western Kentucky over Memphis in the Boca Raton Bowl), MAC and Sun Belt Conference (Southern Mississippi over Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl). The lone loss of the bowl season so far came against the Mountain West Conference, with UTSA coming up three points shy against New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl. Conference USA can even its record against the Mountain West in the Hawaii Bowl when Middle Tennessee takes on Hawaii.

Old Dominion’s 2017 season kicks off on September 2 at home against Albany. The Monarchs will also host North Carolina and play at Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks in September before diving into Conference USA play.

Eastern Michigan will get the 2017 season underway on September 2 at home against Charlotte. The Eagles also play three non-conference game son the road against Rutgers, Kentucky and Army next season.

Old Dominion holds halftime lead in first bowl appearance in school history

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Playing in the first bowl game in program history, Old Dominion is certainly not holding back in the Bahamas Bowl against Eastern Michigan. The Monarchs faked a punt on their first possession of the game and took a 10-0 lead on the Eagles with a 47-yard touchdown strike from David Washington to Zach Pascal in the second quarter.

Eastern Michigan’s first offensive possession of the game ended with Old Dominion stuffing the Eagles on a 4th and 2 attempt from the Eastern Michigan 49-yard line. But Old Dominion failed to do anything with the possession starting just inside the Eastern Michigan half of the field by going three-and-out. A brilliant punt by Bailey Cate pinned the Eagles at their own one-yard line (and probably inside their one-yard line). The Eagles ran 11 plays to work out of their own end but ended the drive with a punt. The two teams then exchanged interceptions on the next two possessions before Old Dominion took to the air to get in the end zone.

Much is made about bowl game attendance by some people, and the Bahamas Bowl is certainly not helping to change the bowl game narrative out there.

It may never happen, but I would imagine the attendance of the Bahamas Bowl would be far better if it included Alabama and Ohio State. Maybe they should put a College Football Playoff game in the Bahamas one year?