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Amidst chickenpox outbreak, San Diego State cancels Monday practice


One of the odder stories of the college football summer camp season has taken yet another twist.

Over the weekend, it was reported that three playing members of the San Diego State football program had been diagnosed with chickenpox.  Monday, head coach Rocky Long confirmed that the number has increased to five.

As a result of this most recent development, the Aztecs canceled Monday’s practice as the program continues to take the proactive approach to eliminating the health issue.

“We’re canceling practice so that they can thoroughly clean the weight room and locker room and disinfect it so that we can have a clean environment tomorrow morning to help the spread of the virus,” Long said according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “There are five confirmed cases now and, hopefully, this will help stop the spread of it. I’m sure it will. … This will eliminate it being in there tomorrow morning.”

The football team is expected to practice as scheduled Tuesday.

SDSU will open the 2017 season against FCS UC-Davis September 2.


Report: UTEP, UNLV schedule home-and-home for 2018, ’23

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UTEP and UNLV will meet for a home-and-home to decide the top four-letter acronym school west of the Mississippi River but east of California. (Don’t expect them to call it that, though.)

According to contracts obtained by scheduling clearinghouse FBSchedules, UTEP will visit Las Vegas on Sept. 8, 2018, while UNLV will make a return visit to El Paso on Sept. 2, 2023.

The Rebels and Miners were ever-so-briefly bunkmates in the WAC, but never crossed paths in UNLV’s three years in the conference. The pair have met seven times previously, with UNLV holding a 5-2 advantage. UTEP won the most recent meeting, a 24-21 decision in El Paso in 1993.

The 2018 game fills UTEP’s non-conference schedule; the Miners will visit Tennessee the week after they head to Las Vegas and also host Northern Arizona and New Mexico State. UTEP still has one opening for 2023; with road trips to Arizona and New Mexico State on the docket, the Miners will presumably look for one more home game.

UNLV still has one opening on its ’18 slate, presumably looking for a home game on Sept. 15. The Rebels open the season at USC on Sept. 1 and visit Arkansas State on Sept. 22. Their 2023 schedule still has two openings with a home game against Vanderbilt scheduled in a previously announced home-and-home.

San Diego State battling chickenpox outbreak

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It’s not unusual for football programs to be concerned with an infectious virus spreading through a locker room. The virus they’re almost always concerned with is staph. But San Diego State is battling a different biological nemesis right now: chickenpox.

Three Aztecs have been diagnosed with chickenpox, and head coach Rocky Long is concerned the number could grow in the coming days.

“I’m afraid that it might not be just three of them,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “The team’s been together for a whole week now. It’s dramatic if we lose a few more. … What if it hits 10 other ones?”

As outlined by the Union-Tribune, senior linebacker Tyler Morris was the first to contract chickenpox. It then spread to senior linebacker Temerick Harper, who sits next to Morris in meetings. Harper then gave it to his roommate, junior offensive tackle Ryan Pope. Pope is a starter at right tackle, while Morris and Harper are backups on defensive and active on special teams.

All three are on medication, which, if effective, should get the virus under control within one week. If the medication does not work, it could take three weeks for chickenpox to run its course.

That’s, obviously, a concern for Long and the San Diego State staff with the Aztecs’ versus UC Davis now less than three weeks away. The greater concern is that the virus spreads throughout the locker room, a grave concern considering the amount of time and numerous points of potential contact — the practice field, the weight room, meeting rooms, shared restrooms, showers, busses, the list goes on and on — teams share at this time of year. And the scariest part? It’s too early to tell how far and wide the chickenpox outbreak could spread.

“One of our guys was real nervous because he hung out with those guys (Friday), and he (supposedly) knew he had never been vaccinated and he knew he never had it,” Long said. “So we called his mother and she said he had it when he was 7. So if you ask these guys, they don’t know if they had it or not.”

Chickenpox, which most people either contract and then immunize themselves against as children or take vaccines for, is most harmful against adults, with possible complications ranging up to pneumonia, brain inflammation and bacterial skin infections.

Transferring ex-Oregon State QB tweets move to Fresno State

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That certainly didn’t take long.

Sunday, Oregon State announced that Marcus McMaryion had decided to transfer out of the football program after turning out on the wrong side of the Beavers’ starting quarterback decision.  Two days later, McMaryion revealed on Twitter that he has decided to move on to Fresno State.

A graduate transfer, McMaryion will be eligible to play immediately in 2017.  Additionally, he’ll have another season of eligibility he can use in 2018 as he graduated in three years from OSU.

In the 15 games (seven starts) in his OSU career, McMaryion completed 128-of-237 passes for 1,689 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Last season as the starter the last half of the year, he went 101-of-170 for, 1,286 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions.

McMaryion also ran for a pair of touchdowns, one in each of the last two seasons.

Legal issue will likely cost Colorado State a starting safety for all of 2017

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An off-field situation will likely prove very costly for Colorado State’s defensive secondary this coming season.

In mid-May, reports surfaced that Braylin Scott was arrested by university police on three felony counts — two charges related to burglary of a dwelling and one involving theft of property valued at $5,000-$20,000.  It was subsequently reported that the safety had been accused of stealing Rolex watches and diamond jewelry from the dorm room of teammate Hunter Donnelly, a redshirt freshman linebacker for the Rams.

This week, Scott’s attorney, Erik Fischer, told the Loveland Reporter-Herald that his client will likely miss all of the upcoming season because of the criminal case.  A pretrial conference is set for Dec. 11, with the jury trial slated to begin Dec. 19; the Rams close out the 2017 regular season against San Jose State Nov. 18.

Scott has been indefinitely suspended by the football program since his arrest.

Last season as a sophomore, Scott started seven games.  His three interceptions led the team.  He was penciled in as a starting safety prior to his off-field issues.