Utah Utes

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 19:  Defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu #90 of the Utah Utes blocks a pass by quarterback Tanner Mangum #12 of the Brigham Young Cougars during the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 19, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Utah graduate transfer Stevie Tu’ikolovatu headed to USC

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Utah graduate transfer Stevie Tu’ikolovatu won’t be in Salt Lake City anymore, but he will remain in the Pac-12 South.

The defensive tackle announced on Twitter Thursday he’s traded his Utah red for Trojan cardinal.

The Rose Park, Utah native registered 28 tackles, six tackles for loss, two sacks and four fumble recoveries and figures to slide immediately into the mix along USC’s defensive line.

And by immediately, we mean just that: USC opens with Alabama and its battering ram running game.

 

Utah WR Kenric Young cited for assault following pool party brawl

TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 14: Defensive back Brian Allen #14 and wide receiver Kenric Young #24 of the Utah Utes talk on the field during the game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Utes 37-30 in double overtime. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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An incident over the weekend involving a University of Utah football player has led to the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker being set back to double zeroes.

According to a report from KSL.com, Utes wide receiver Kenric Young (pictured, No. 24) was cited for assault following a fight at a pool party over the weekend.  It’s alleged Young punched an unnamed victim in the face several times after he was told to pull up his sagging pants at an apartment complex pool.

From the television station’s report:

A witness at the party, who asked to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation, said the fight started after a neighbor asked Young to pull his pants up because “there were women and children present.” The witness said Young yelled obscenities at the individual and “threw his beer in my neighbor’s face.”

A fight ensued as multiple people swarmed, according to the witness. A video obtained by KSL.com shows the fight at the pool; however, the individuals involved could not be positively identified.

Young went on to play the “I’m a football player card” and declared himself “untouchable” before police touched him with a citation.

The school is aware of the incident and issued a statement attributed to head coach Kyle Whittingham.

“When we learned of the accusations against Kenric Young we contacted University of Utah Police Chief Dale Brophy and asked if he could obtain more information from the North Salt Lake police on what happened,” Whittingham said. “We will cooperate fully with any police investigation and once we learn the facts, we will take any appropriate disciplinary measures.”

Young, a junior, has played in 15 games the past two seasons.  He caught three passes for 17 yards in 2015 and one for minus-one yard in 2014.

Transferring Utah DT Stevie Tu’ikolovatu visits Alabama, too

Stevie Tu'ikolovatu
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Earlier this month, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu made the decision to transfer from Utah. Over the weekend, the defensive lineman paid a visit to Nebraska as he began the process of finding a new college football home.

Earlier this week, Tu’ikolovatu continued that process at the defending national champions.

According to the defensive tackle’s Twitter account, Tu’ikolovatu paid a visit to Alabama on Monday. While the Tide, as always, remains loaded along the line even after losing so much to the NFL draft, they could certainly use someone with the talent — and size — the 6-1, 320-pound Tu’ikolovatu possesses if the player and team find common ground.

Last season with the Utes, Tu’ikolovatu played in all 13 games, starting two of those contests. His four fumble recoveries were tied for the lead in the Pac-12 and second nationally.

All told, Tu’ikolovatu played in 25 games the past two seasons. As a graduate transfer, he’d be eligible to play immediately in 2016 whether he moves on to Alabama, Nebraska or any other FBS program.

The 2016 season will, though, be his final year of eligibility.

Pac-12 to tamper down on select #Pac12AfterDark kickoffs

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott stands in front of the Stanford Cardinal as they celebrate the Pac 12 Championship after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 38-14 at Sun Devil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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When you allow television networks to pay you $3 billion to broadcast football games and happen to be located on the West Coast, you’re going to pay for it in the form of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox want eyeballs on their networks as long as possible on fall Saturdays, and they’re not putting SEC games on at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

So, naturally, the Pac-12 drew those time slots.

And they absolutely hated it.

Remember, this is a conference that only recently joined the 21st century. For decades, the conference was happy with its 10 teams, its football games played on Saturday afternoons and its basketball schedule diced into a handy Thursday-Saturday format. Larry Scott was hired in 2009 to modernize the league while increasing the bottom line, and part of that required late kickoffs.

But on Tuesday the conference announced it has worked with its television partners to reduce the number of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox won’t change their late slots, but the conference has received clearance to play Pac-12 Network games in previously exclusive windows of 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. local time. The change is expected to reduce the late night kickoffs by “up to” four games.

“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

Additionally, the conference announced it has instituted a field storming fine structure of $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third offense. The SEC has a similar structure on its books.

“The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” Cal AD Mike Williams said. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

Finally, Pac-12 Network will start broadcasting eSports contests between member schools. Clear your schedule now.

Injury-plagued Utah TE Evan Moeai says he’s getting fifth year

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - SEPTEMBER 3: Close up view of the new satin red football helmets worn by the Utah Utes during their game against the Michigan Wolverines at  Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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Finally, a break has gone Utah’s Evan Moeai‘s way.

On the very first play from scrimmage during the 2014 season opener, Moeai sustained what turned out to be a season-ending knee injury.  A year later, in the 2015 opener, the tight end went down with yet another season-ending injury.

According to the Deseret News, Moeai posted on his private Instagram account that he has received a fifth season of eligibility from the NCAA.  The Utes have yet to confirm the development, although it’s one that’s been expected.

Moeai began his collegiate career at the JUCO level, then played in three games during his first season with the Utes in 2013.  He, obviously, played in one game each of the last two seasons.

Moeai caught one pass for five yards in 2015 before he went down with his second season-ending injury.