We’re still over a month away from the SEC’s annual spring meetings down in Destin, Fla. but one item we might be able to confirm is on the agenda will be the graduate transfer rules for the conference.
It’s a hot topic around the league and particularly so at Florida, which is in the mix to land Notre Dame graduate transfer Malik Zaire but can’t officially take him due to restrictions from the conference office.
That may change however, as SEC commissioner Greg Sankey confirmed in a radio interview on Friday with ESPN Gainesville.
“It will come up,” Sankey said, according to SECCountry.com. “I do think we need to look where we’ve been restrictive in the past because of the absence of national rules and look at reducing some of those restrictions. I’m one who would position it as interest in freeing things up without just removing every restraint, because I think the restraints have been healthy for us.”
At the heart of the issue is a rule that limits schools from taking additional graduate transfers if previous graduate transfers failed to meet academic requirements after enrolling. The move was designed to prevent a number of situations where players would transfer over just to play and not really go through coursework at their new school.
Other NCAA conferences have failed to follow the SEC’s lead in this area however and now the league is being put at a bit of a disadvantage on the graduate transfer market. This is particularly an issue with the Gators this offseason but it seems as though there will be quite the discussion down in Destin among athletic directors and head coaches about changing the rules to be on more of a level playing field with other conferences on this front.
Myles Garrett was a soft-spoken, thoughtful player with eclectic interests as a Texas A&M Aggie — He writes poetry! He wants to get a Ph.D. in paleontology! — but he’s also prone to the same, uh, aggressive behavior you’d expect of a player talented enough to be considered the runaway selection for the top overall selection in next week’s NFL Draft.
In an interview with ESPN The Magazine, Garrett admitted to “choking out” an LSU tight end during the Aggies’ game with the Bayou Bengals on Thanksgiving night.
ESPN: What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever done?
Garrett: Against LSU my last year, I choked out their tight end two times in a row.
ESPN: That’s pretty mean.
Garrett: [Laughs] He had it coming. He just kept holding me, so I picked him up, put him on his back and then I grabbed his face mask and kept jamming his helmet into the ground. I said, “I’m setting you straight right now. Don’t do illegal holds.”
A review of the film by NOLA.com showed Garrett actually flattened two LSU tight ends — DeSean Smith, as Derrius Gice scored a touchdown that would put the Tigers up 34-10, and Foster Moreau on the ensuing extra point.
While Garrett won those individual battles, LSU won the war as the Tigers dropped 54 points on Garrett’s defense, limiting the future Cleveland Brown (probably) to two tackles.
LSU’s defensive line got even deeper Monday, as Texas Tech ex-pat Breiden Fehoko announced he will play for the Bayou Bengals next season.
“I want to thank every single coach that has reached out and provided me and (sic) opportunity as well as developed a relationship with me through this process,” he wrote in a message on Twitter. “Relationships like this last a lifetime. Not many individuals have this opportunity and I am fortunate enough to have it. With that being said I am blessed to say that I look forward to furthering my education and athletics at The Louisiana State University!”
Fehoko chose LSU over Auburn, and praised Ed Orgeron and Pete Jenkins‘s teaching abilities after a visit to Baton Rouge earlier this month.
“The way they were so technical and hands on with development was my biggest factor,” Fehoko told Geaux247.com, via The Advocate. “With a year under Coach O and Coach Pete (Jenkins), I know my progression will be soaring by the time I become eligible in 2018.”
Fehoko started all 25 games eligible as a Red Raider — 13 as a freshman in 2015 and 12 as a sophomore last fall. Fehoko totaled 19 tackles with four TFLs and one sack in ’15, and 19 tackles with 3.5 TFLs and one sack last season.
As an undergraduate transfer, Fehoko will have to sit out the 2017 season before resuming his career as a junior in 2018.
Lawmakers in the state of Louisiana will soon make a decision that could cut off a revenue stream for both LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette. A bill to prohibit universities in the state with having partnerships with breweries would mean official beers for LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette would have to cease to be brewed.
The piece of legislature is House Bill 610 was introduced by Democratic state representative Cedric Glover, who has made it his personal mission to make it illegal for schools to arrange official beer partnerships to brand university images on alcoholic beverages.
“Why would we have wanted to officially license and brand and tie an alcoholic beverage to a school?” Glover asked in a story by The Advocate. “Deep in my heart, I just know it’s wrong for us as a state to allow a public university to put our official stamp of approval on an alcoholic beverage.”
If passed, the bill would not immediately shut down the existing partnerships LSU and Louisiana-Lafayette have, but would prevent them from renewing those contracts when they expire. Of course, LSU president F. King Alexander is suggesting Glover has other motives.
“It’s nonsense. Glover likes to throw stones,” Alexander said. “He’s never been a fan of LSU.”
For what it is worth, Glover attended LSU in college (as well as Grambling State).
In the end, a former SEC football player will continue his collegiate playing career at a rung just below the FBS level.
Andy Dodd announced on his personal Twitter account Thursday that he has decided “to further my academic and football careers at McNeese State University.” The move comes six weeks after the offensive lineman used the same social media website to reveal his decision to transfer from LSU.
As McNeese State is an FCS program, Dodd will be eligible to play immediately in 2017. This will be his final season of collegiate eligibility.
Dodd was a three-star member of the Tigers’ 2013 recruiting class, rated as the No. 17 guard in the country.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2013, the lineman played in eight games the next two seasons. He played in six games, with one start, in 2016.