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


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.

After UCLA, Baylor visits, ex-LSU lineman opts for Texas JUCO

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In the end, a former highly-touted high school prospect will start over at a much lower rung on the college football ladder.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Willie Allen has decided to attend Tyler Junior College and play football this season for the Texas JUCO.  The offensive lineman told the Baton Rouge Advocate that he decided to take the JUCO route so as not to miss out on another season of eligibility as he had previously burned his redshirt.

The move comes nearly three weeks after Allen decided to transfer from LSU.

Prior to settling on the Texas JUCO, Allen had taken visits to, among others, Baylor and UCLA.  TCU had also been given serious consideration by Allen, but he was blocked by LSU after that Big 12 program reportedly had contact with the player before he had formally requested a transfer.

A four-star 2016 signee, Allen was rated as the No. 10 player at any position in the state of Louisiana and the No. 17 tackle in the country.  Only one lineman in the Tigers’ class that year, guard Donavaughn Campbell, was rated higher than Allen.

An unspecified leg injury suffered in the midst of summer camp sidelined him for his true freshman season and led to Allen taking a redshirt for 2016.

Allen was the third offensive lineman to transfer since December.  That month, tackle Chidi Okeke opted to leave; four months later, Andy Dodd did the same.

Another member of Allen’s recruiting class, four-star defensive back Savion Smith, announced May 31 that he would be transferring as well.

Pac-12 Networks president denies schools were promised revenues like Big Ten, SEC ventures

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Ask any Pac-12 fan what their biggest source of frustration is right now and more likely than not ‘Pac-12 Networks‘ will be at, or near, the top of their list.

That can at times be the same response given by the league’s athletic directors as revenues from the venture fall further and further behind rivals like the uber-successful Big Ten Network and SEC Network. With those two leagues pushing conference payouts over the $50 million mark as soon as next year, the Pac-12 appears in danger of slipping further and further behind on the finance front.

Speaking to industry publication CableMax this weekPac-12 Networks’ outgoing president Lydia Murphy-Stephans understands that the balance sheet isn’t quite the same out West but parity with the two other conference networks was never something that was promised to schools when the channels were formed several years ago.

“There is a gap between what Pac-12 Networks delivers and the Big Ten Network and the SEC Network,” said Murphy-Stephans in a Q&A with the magazine. “What has to be factored in is the revenue specifically from Pac-12 Networks is only one part of the overall revenue each university receives from the Pac-12. I understand there is frustration, though no athletic director or administrator was ever told the Pac-12 Networks would deliver the same or more revenue than what its peer conferences are currently getting from their networks.

“I don’t think it’s fair in any way to call out Pac-12 Networks as the source of the deficiency the universities or maybe those particular athletic directors or administrators are citing.”

Not exactly the kind of comments that will thrill some around the Pac-12 when it comes time to pay for facility upgrades or to give a coach a raise but probably pretty on the nose as to what was said back when realignment was getting hot and heavy around the country. Murphy-Stephans is leaving her post in the not too distant future so it’s not like she will have to massage some of these comments with Pac-12 administrators like her boss Larry Scott will likely have to do in the coming days.

Cassius Peat won’t be returning to Michigan State after all

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After transferring from Michigan State in August of last year because of academic issues, Cassius Peat announced in early March of this year that he would be returning to East Lansing and continuing his collegiate playing career with the Spartans.  Three months later?

Never mind.

Tuesday, Mark Dantonio confirmed that Peat will not be returning to his football team as originally planned.  The head coach was vague and spoke in generalities when discussing what put the kibosh on what had been the defensive lineman’s expected return.

“We’ve been in contact with Cassius throughout this semester,” Dantonio said according to mlive.com. “There’s certain things that you’ve got to get done before you can come back. It’s one of those things, but I don’t want to speak bad about anybody.”

Peat spent the 2016 season at an Arizona junior college. It had originally been thought that he would be transferring from the JUCO to UCLA, but the former MSU Spartan very publicly decided he wanted to, once again, become a current MSU Spartan.

Peat, initially a UCLA commit during his first recruitment, was a three-star 2015 signee who was rated as the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Arizona. He took a redshirt as a true freshman, and had been listed as the No. 2 tackle heading into summer camp last year.

UCLA makes signing of Miami transfer Sunny Odogwu official

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Late last week, Sunny Odogwu revealed that he would be continuing his collegiate playing at UCLA.  This week, the offensive tackle’s new home made it official.

On their Twitter account Tuesday, the Bruins officially announced Odogwu to their football family.  The lineman chose UCLA over Michigan after taking official visits to both campuses over the past couple of weeks.

Odogwu had announced in late May that he would be transferring from Miami.

As a graduate transfer, the 6-8, 325-pound tackle will be eligible to play for Jim Mora‘s Bruins right away in 2017.  The upcoming season will be Odogwu’s final year of eligibility.

The past three seasons, Odogwu started 14 games for the Hurricanes.  Four of those starts came in the first four games of 2016 before he suffered an injury to his right knee that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.