Three months after it was initially indicated, Chris Laviano officially has a new college football home.
According to a press release, Laviano has signed an offer-in-aid and is enrolled in classes for the summer session at San Diego State. The move paves the way for the quarterback to join the Aztecs football team for the upcoming season.
As Laviano is moving on to SDSU as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This will be Laviano’s final season of eligibility.
In late November of last year, Laviano opted to transfer from Rutgers. Prior to that, Laviano had started 18 consecutive games for the Scarlet Knights until he was benched in October of last year.
In 2015, Laviano completed nearly 61 percent of his passes for 2,247 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The completion percentage was the best for an RU player since 2008, while the yardage was good for eighth in school history.
Overall, he tossed 21 touchdowns and 15 picks during his time in Piscataway.
At SDSU, Laviano will compete with, among others, the incumbent Christian Chapman for the starting job. The 2016 starter missed spring practice this year as he recovered surgery on his thumb he underwent this offseason.
In his first full season as the starter, Chapman completed 153-of-251 passes for 1,994 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. His 149.2 pass efficiency was second among Mountain West signal-callers.
Ah yes, that time of year when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of boarding the transfer train.
The latest to see such a personnel shift is Oregon State, with Joah Robinett confirming via Twitter that he has decided to transfer from the Beavers. Additionally, the San Diego native confirmed that he has “decided to go back home in order to be close to family and continue playing football at” San Diego State.
Because of NCAA transfer rules, Robinett will be forced to sit out the 2017 season. He’ll then have three years of eligibility remaining, beginning in 2018.
A three-star 2016 signee, Robinette was credited with five tackles in two games as a true freshman at outside linebacker before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. The 6-8, 236-pound sophomore, who also missed spring practice because of the injury, was slated to move from defense to tight end when the Beavers kicked off summer camp in August.
The mini-run of Big 12 wide receivers exiting their programs continues, with Oklahoma State the latest to lose a player at that position.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday, Obi Obialo announced that he has “decided to transfer from Oklahoma State and re open (sic) my recruitment.” No specific reason was given for the walk-on’s decision to leave the program.
“I want to thank all the coaches and staff for everything,” the sophomore added.
Coming out of his junior season in high school in 2014, Obialo, a three-star prospect out of Texas, held offers from Iowa and San Diego State, and was getting looks from Baylor as well. However, a serious leg injury midway through his senior season in 2015 led to those offers disappearing even as he committed to the Aztecs in December of that year. Obialo opted to become a preferred walk-on with the Cowboys in February of 2016.
As a true freshman, he caught two passes for 11 yards. Despite a touchdown catch in this year’s spring game, the 6-3, 200-pound Obialo was facing an uphill climb making gains on one of the deepest receiving corps in the conference.
Back in 2014, San Diego State and UCLA announced a future home-and-home series. That series is still on, and has now found some similar company.
Thursday, both football programs jointly announced that they have reached an agreement on a second home-and-home. The Aztecs will play host to the Bruins on Sept. 23, 2023, with the latter returning the favor Sept. 12, 2026, at the Rose Bowl.
The previously announced home-and-home will be played during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The two teams have met 15 times previously, with the Bruins winning all 15 games. The first matchup came in 1984, the last in 2009.
According to SDSU, the Aztecs now have home-and-homes scheduled against Pac-12 schools in 10 of the next 12 seasons.
San Diego State is scheduled to play a series with Arizona State (2017 in Tempe, 2018 in San Diego), a home-and-home with Stanford (2017 in San Diego, 2018 in Stanford), a series with UCLA (2019 in Los Angeles, 2020 in San Diego), a home-and-home with Arizona (2021 in Tucson, 2022 in San Diego), a series with Utah (2021 in San Diego, 2022 in Salt Lake City), now another with UCLA (2023 in San Diego, 2026 in Los Angeles) and a second with ASU (2027 in Tempe, 2028 in San Diego).
One of the more obscure remnants of the realignment era in college athletics is the way the Mountain West distributes television revenue. Most notably, Boise State was allowed to keep a certain slice of the pie (slightly less than $2 million) as part of the condition that they would stay in the league, then the rest of the remaining members would split what was left — with a catch.
That catch turned out to be a form of a bonus system that gave a little extra to schools who appeared on national television on conference partners like ESPN and CBS Sports Network. It appears the MWC has had a change of heart about how things are being distributed because that is changing going forward next season.
Per the Idaho Statesman:
The conference determined the formula and bonus structure was not performing as it had been intended. Now, Boise State’s membership agreement and its ESPN deal were honored, meaning the school gets $1.8 million up front annually. That’s the average bonus payout Boise State got from 2013-15 under the contract it agreed to when deciding to stay in the Mountain West. The remaining revenue will be divided among the 11 football-playing schools outside Hawaii, worth approximately $1.1 million per year, meaning a total of $2.9 million for Boise State.
The bonus system was a bit of a sore spot for many schools in the league, something commissioner Craig Thompson conceded in an interview last July. The new deal looks to be a little more fairer to everybody in the league and probably won’t draw as many complaints as before (though that Boise State sweetheart deal from realignment remains). While the overall figures aren’t anywhere close to their Power Five peers, it’s still a nice chunk of change for many of the Mountain West athletic departments.