Southeastern Conference

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Auburn wide receiver Kyle Davis potentially out for spring

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was optimistic about wide receiver Kyle Davis returning to the team at some point this spring, but the tune has changed regarding his future. Malzahn is now saying Davis may be out for the remainder of Auburn’s spring practices due to personal reasons.

“Kyle Davis is still taking care of some personal business,” Malzahn said, according to SEC Country. “I’m not for sure if he’s going to be back before the end of the spring. He will be back for the fall, just taking a little bit longer than we initially thought.”

It was just a few weeks ago Malzahn said Davis was going to be out for the start of spring practices, which are now close to half over. For now, the plan is simply to have him return over the summer in preparation for the fall.

In the meantime, Malzahn confirmed John Franklin III is working primarily as a wide receiver, which had previously been suspected to be the case.

New Arkansas house bill will allow some concealed guns at football games

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Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed a bill regarding a person’s ability to carry a concealed handgun into various buildings at a public university or college into state law. However, House Bill 1249 will not allow all legal gun owners to carry a gun to a football game in the state of Arkansas.

Football games will be considered a “sensitive area,” which require enhanced training in order to be allowed to carry a gun into a football stadium. The law supposedly trumps any provisions already in place to prevent guns from being allowed on the premises.

“The enhanced level of training is very important, and I am convinced the public will be more safe,” Governor Hutchinson said. “This bill, in my view, reflects the view of the general assembly.”

The bill has received praise from Arkansas Republican state representative Charlie Collins and the NRA.

While the bill has now become an act in the state, it will not go into effect until January 2018, so guns will still not be allowed in football games where Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, or Central Arkansas during the 2017 season.

The news of the new Arkansas state law comes on the same day the SEC has just unveiled a new clear bag policy for football games in the 2017 season. How the SEC handles this latest state law within its footprint remains to be seen (as well as the Sun Belt Conference). The bigger question will be where the SEC stands on this law considered the law is designed to overrule any stadium policies. The way the law is written, the SEC may not be able to do much to stand in the way, but the conference has those clear bag policies hammered down, rest assured.

Kentucky hands Mark Stoops a two-year contract extension

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After guiding Kentucky through its best season in nearly a decade, Mark Stoops has been rewarded.

Kentucky announced Wednesday afternoon that Stoops’ contract has been extended by two years.  The head coach’s previous deal had been set to run through June 30, 2020; the extension pushes that date out to June 30, 2020.

Stoops will earn $3.5 million in 2017, with the new contract calling for annual $250,000 raises.  In the last year of the contract extension, and barring any additional tweaking, Stoops could earn $4.75 million.

Additionally, if the Wildcats win at least seven games but no more than nine in a season, the contract automatically extends by one year.  If the team wins 10-plus games, it extends by two years. “Stoops will continue to receive $250,000 for each win beginning with the seventh win of each season and $50,000 per semester in which the team grade-point average is 2.75 or higher,” the release stated.

Participation in an SEC-affiliated bowl will net Stoops a $100,000 bonus, provided the Wildcats win at least six games that season.  There’s also a $50,000 bonus for earning a spot in a non-SEC bowl game, with the same six-win threshold.  Last season, UK qualified for a bowl game for the first time under Stoops and the first time under anyone since 2010.

“The last four years have been a grind for Mark and his staff, but he has never wavered in his commitment to building Kentucky football into a consistent winner,” a statement from athletic director Mitch Barnhart began. “While the work isn’t close to finished, we believe Mark is the coach to take us there. We are thankful to Mark and Chantel for all they have done to this point and we look forward to our program’s bright future under his leadership.”

The Wildcats’ 7-6 record last season was the program’s best since hitting the same mark in the last season under Rich Brooks in 2009.  The first three seasons with Stoops in control, UK posted a 12-24 mark.

In SEC play, they are just 8-24 since 2013, although they were 4-4 in conference play this past season.  The Wildcats have finished seventh (2013), sixth (2014), tied-fourth (2015) and tied-second (2016) in league play with Stoops as head coach.

“I want to thank Dr. (Eli) Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and the Board of Trustees for their continued support,” Stoops said. “When we came here, doing a rebuild in a challenging situation, I said that full support from everyone involved was imperative and we have always received that. We needed great commitment, we’ve had great commitment and we’re continuing to get great commitment.”

If Stoops is fired by UK, he’s entitled to receive 75 percent of the remaining guaranteed compensation on the contract.  If Stoops leaves of his own accord, he’d owe the university $1 million regardless of how many years are left on the deal.

Report: former Alabama receiver suing Lane Kiffin, FAU

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Because, of course.

According to SECCountry.com, Antonio “A.C.” Carter, a former Alabama wide receiver, has filed a lawsuit against new Florida Atlantic head coach and former UA offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, FAU and the state of Florida.  The website writes that Carter’s “complaint… claims Kiffin deliberately misled him regarding a job on the FAU football staff in order to benefit from his family relationship with a prospect.”

The fraud suit was filed Tuesday in Shelby County, Ala.

Carter claims that he was told by Kiffin earlier this year that his hiring as assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Owls was a “done” deal.  He and his wife quit their jobs based on Kiffin’s assurances and moved to the campus, where Carter subsequently helped Kiffin and the Owls in recruiting.

However, after National Signing Day, Carter was told he would not be hired as he had not passed a background check.  Carter had two unspecified prior minor misdemeanor charges on his record, one of which he claimed the prosecutor refused to pursue more than seven years ago.  This turn of events came after an unnamed former four-star recruit with whom Carter had a personal relationship had already signed his National Letter of Intent with FAU.

“The prospect’s family had just celebrated New Year’s Eve together with Plaintiff Antonio Carter and his family just a few weeks earlier,” the lawsuit states per SECCountry.com. “It is believed that this relationship between Plaintiff Antonio Carter and the coveted prospect was known to the coaches and defendants at the time he was hired.”

The job would’ve paid Carter, who played receiver for the Crimson Tide in the late nineties, a one-year salary of $40,000 as well as provided $4,000 for moving expenses.  What type of financial damages Carter is seeking in the lawsuit wasn’t stated.

Former Alabama, WKU QB Parker McLeod not on Georgia’s roster

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It appears Parker McLeod‘s winding college football odyssey has taken yet another turn.

As initially noted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, McLeod is not listed on Georgia’s updated spring roster. The quarterback joined the Bulldogs as a walk-on last season.

McLeod was a three-star member of Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class.  After redshirting his true freshman season, he left Alabama in May of last year before landing at WKU two months later.  Because of NCAA transfer rules, he was forced to sit out the 2014 season.

After never playing a down at WKU, McLeod moved on to UGA as a student only in 2015.

McLeod is the second quarterback to have departed the Bulldogs this month. A little over a week ago, UGA announced that Brice Ramsey has decided to transfer out.

With the twin departures this month, UGA now has two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster — sophomore and returning starter Jacob Eason and freshman Jake Fromm. The only other player at the position is walk-on Sam Vaughn.

In quotes distributed by the school after Kirby Smart had previewed spring practice with the media, the head coach addressed the depth, or lack thereof, at quarterback.

We’ve got three quarterbacks in the spring. Obviously, those three guys will be working. Sam (Vaughn) will be working with Jacob (Eason) and Jake (Fromm). We’re excited about the work that we’ve been able to get in with them right now through meetings. They’ve been doing some seven-on-seven on their own. The biggest thing right now is yeah, we’ve got a depth issue. We’ve got some really good preferred-type walk-on guys coming in in the fall. We don’t have another signee obviously coming in, and that’s something we’ve got to address in the upcoming year’s recruiting class. From a standpoint of development or arms, I’m more concerned with being able to get functionality at practice when you only have three quarterbacks. We don’t really have a person to move over there. We’ve got guys who played high school quarterback, but they’re at another position for us now and we don’t want to have to sacrifice that. We’ll continue to work the way we’ve got to with those three guys. They’ll get a lot of work, that’s the good thing, and we’ll probably have some help out there with us just to throw balls.