Pryor’s attorney hints at legal action, makes NCAA-slavery connection

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And, yes, I’m fully aware of the fact that this will not end well in the comments section below the post, but please attempt to behave with some semblance of maturity.

In an interview Thursday on Sirius/XM’s “Jason & The GM” show — thanks to the individual from the station responsible for the emailed transcript, by the way — the attorney for now-former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor addressed a variety of topics tossed at him by the show’s hosts, Jason Horowitz and ex-New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips.

In addition to a self-clearing of his client over the potential issues regarding vehicles driven/purchased by Pryor and that are the subject of a current NCAA investigation — “There is nothing, I don’t believe there is ever anything that is going to be NCAA-related violations on the use of cars by Terrelle… So that issue is off the table” — lawyer Larry James also blasted a report that surfaced on Outside the Lines earlier in the week.

In the report that appeared on ESPN.com, a former friend of Pryor’s claimed that the QB had received between $20,000 and $40,000 from freelance photographer Dennis Talbott in exchange for his signature on memorabilia.  According to James, Talbott is too small-time to be involved in something of that magnitude.  And that his client may pursue legal action against OTL at some point in the future.

“The first time this allegation of Dennis Talbott and the $20,000 to $40,000 came up was [on ESPN’s] Outside the Lines.  I know Dennis Talbott and I don’t mean to belittle Dennis Talbott but Dennis Talbott is not a deep-pocket player.  This is out of his league, he doesn’t have that kind of cash.  He is not one of those dealers that one would say ‘Dennis has the ability to negotiate the buying and selling of memorabilia that Terrelle has signed.’  No, Dennis was a part-time photographer that knew a lot of the players, guy around town, most of us knew him.  He was basically harmless, he is no big deal, and he definitely did not have the wherewithal to do that kind of stuff.  And that story is just bogus.

the [Outside the Lines] story is close to being reckless and malice and over the line.  And that’s something that Terrelle, at the appropriate time, may look at once he gets in a position to say, ‘I have the wherewithal to bring that lawsuit.'”

While ESPN could (but probably won’t) face legal action, Sports Illustrated definitely won’t suffer the same fate, at least at James’ hand.  The magazine published an expose’ a couple of weeks ago — which subsequently came under fire itself — that, among other things, accused nine current members of the football program of having received impermissible benefits from a Columbus tattoo parlor.  Despite the fact that James, who represents the nine mentioned in the piece, very strongly claims all of the players mentioned in the SI piece “will be cleared”, the magazine will be allowed to slide on their printed accusations.

“Well, the Sports Illustrated article with the nine athletes is a different story from this Outside the Lines.  I’m going to diverge on you because those allegations in Sports Illustrated by those new nine players, they will be cleared.  They will be cleared, okay?  Now, the thing about it, if someone makes the accusation that one of the student-athletes had visited the tattoo parlor and that athlete had tattoos, then that athlete must have gotten a free tattoo, a discounted tattoo, or sold his memorabilia.  So, like the movie, Absence of Malice, Sports Illustrated will probably get away with that.  They can probably get a free ride.  So it would be good money after bad and wasted time and resources.”

For the record, the father of linebacker Storm Klein, one of the new nine players mentioned in the SI article, has threatened legal action against the publication.

Not only did James intimate that a lawsuit could be filed against ESPN/OTL, the attorney also hinted that the NCAA itself could be in his legal crosshairs at some point in the future.  In the following exchange, James blistered the “archaic, draconian” NCAA as an association akin to slavery.

Phillips: “Does Terrelle have any sort of anger or resentment he still holds against coach and the school?”

James: “No, not at all.  Not at all.  I think he understands that he made a mistake that he’s held accountable for.  He wishes he had some things to do over.  Irrespective of how harsh and idiotic we think some of the NCAA rules are they are still on the books.  You know, they had slavery for all those years.  Those rules are still on the books and courts uphold them so until we bring the right lawsuit to go after the NCAA on some of these issues, they stand.”

Horowitz: “And is that something you’re currently working on?”

James: “I am definitely reviewing it.”

Phillips: “Which issues are the ones that you think are the most closely related to slavery?  That connection seemed odd to me.”

James: “Well, you’ve got a captured system here in college football.  It’s mandated, it’s dictated.  The student-athletes have no rights, they have no relief.  It’s an archaic, draconian process by which you are basically financed for about nine and a half months of your school year and then you’re to find the money for whatever else is left [of] your expenses.  You live in basically poverty through that time period and you’re making a million dollars for institutions.”

Of course, I believe that the current NCAA “slave owners” actually encourage student-athletes to continue to learn to read and write and better themselves academically, but I guess it’s easier to shock and rile up the media masses by tossing out a ‘slavery” bomb than actually have some type of rational discourse on the subject.  There are some very real issues about the way the NCAA conducts its business that should be discussed, but lobbing that kind of inflammatory comparison into the mix does nothing to further the discussion.  In fact, it actually damages what is becoming more and more a very credible and compelling argument, that, given the amount of money flowing into conference coffers and then to the universities, something needs to be done about closing the gap between a scholarship and the actual cost of attending school.

Slavery?  Please.  To each his own, though, I guess.

Yet another Texas State football player enters Ye Olde Transfer Portal

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The transfer portal has not been kind to the Texas State football program.  Again.

According to 247Sports.com, Jaylin Nelson has entered the NCAA transfer database.  No reason for the running back’s impending departure was given.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Nelson was a three-star member of the Texas State football Class of 2017.  It’s likely that the back will be leaving the Sun Belt Conference school as a graduate transfer.

During his time with the Bobcats, Nelson appeared in 24 games.  In that stretch, Nelson totaled 143 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries.  The Texas native also returned a pair of kicks for 34 yards.

Oh, and Nelson also attempted one pass.  Which he completed.  For 69 yards.  And a touchdown.

Nelson is at least the fifth Texas State football player to enter the portal this year.

Back in January, Gresch Jensen added his name to the quarterbacking end of the transfer pool. Earlier this month, starting safety Josh Newman took the first step in leaving Texas State by entering the NCAA transfer database.  A short time later, defensive tackle John Lilly hit the portalLast week, defensive lineman Devin Henderson did the same.

Conversely, offensive lineman JP Urquidez transferred in from Texas in late April.  Or, more specifically, he committed to the Bobcats.

Nebraska WR Darien Chase transferring to Portland State

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One of the baker’s dozen scholarship players who have left Nebraska has found a new college football home.  Unofficially.

Citing struggles with mental health and depression, Darien Chase entered the NCAA transfer database in mid-February.  That was the first step in leaving the Nebraska football program.

On Twitter this week, the wide receiver took the next step.  By committing to FCS Portland State.

“First I would like to thank God for getting me through these difficult times,” Chase wrote, ” and my family’s amazing support while being home.  I’ve chosen to stay off social media when it came to my recruiting process so I could make a clear decision on my next steps and commit to the school that makes the most sense for me.

“Thank you to all the universities who gave me the opportunity to play at their program.  I’ll forever be grateful.

“With that being said I’m proud to announce that I will be staying home and attending… Portland State University.”

Chase was a three-star 2019 signee. He was the No. 3 player at any position in the state of Washington.

Prior to committing to, then signing with Nebraska football, Chase had received scholarship offers from, among others, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Utah and Boise State. He took official visits to the latter two schools.

As a true freshman, Chase played in four games for the Cornhuskers. That will allow him to take a redshirt for the 2019 season.

In that limited action, Chase caught one pass for 13 yards.

In statement, Nick Saban ‘shocked, angered by tragic deaths of George Floyd,’ others

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Nick Saban has one of the most powerful voices in college football.  Some would argue the most powerful voice.  Sunday, he’s using that voice as the nation careens deeper into crisis.

In the aftermath of the despicable, abhorrent, unconscionable murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, at the knee of a white police officer, myriad FBS head coaches have spoken out and spoken up.  In fact, nearly six dozen of them have done so as of this posting.

Sunday evening, Nick Saban added his voice to the burgeoning call for change.  Below is the Alabama head football coach’s statement, in its entirety:

I am shocked and angered by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. We’re at an important moment in out country, and now is the time for us to choose kindness, tolerance, understanding, empathy, and most importantly … it’s time to love each other.  Every life is precious, and we must understand we have so many more things that unite us than divide us.

I’ve always been inspired and encouraged by examples set by those who came before us like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and so many others who devoted their lives to find peaceful ways to rid our society of social inequities. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We are all part of this and we must banish these types of injustices in not just our country, but our world. The ultimate future of our nation is in our hands, and like the teams I’ve been privileged to coach, we must depend on and respect each other no matter our differences. We must come together as a society and treat one another with respect and dignity.

Wisconsin RB Bradrick Shaw to transfer to Cal

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Cal football is the latest to benefit from a Power Five-to-Power Five transfer.

Bradrick Shaw announced in January that he had been granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Instead of using that added year at Wisconsin, however, the running back opted to enter the NCAA transfer database.

Four months later, Shaw revealed on Twitter that he will be transferring into the Cal football program.

Suffice to say, Shaw will be eligible to play for the Bears in 2020.  Just as obviously, this will be his final season of eligibility.

One final academic postscript: Shaw earned two degrees from the University of Wisconsin.  As for athletically?

Shaw came to the Wisconsin Badgers football team as a three-star 2015 signee.  He was rated as the No. 16 player regardless of position in the state of Alabama.  The back took a redshirt as a true freshman, then missed the entire 2018 season because of a knee injury.  All of that helped lead to the sixth season.

In 2016, Shaw was third on the Badgers in rushing with 457 yards and tied for second in rushing touchdowns with five.  The following season, his 365 yards and four scores were both second behind Jonathan Taylor‘s 1,977 and 13 as a true freshman.

Coming off the knee injury, Shaw ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries in 2019.  All told, Shaw carried the ball 202 times for 938 yards and 10 touchdowns during his time with the Badgers.

Shaw’s initial social-media announcement came exactly three weeks after Taylor confirmed he will be leaving UW early for the 2020 NFL Draft.  With the departures of Taylor and Shaw, the Badgers’ leading returning rushers in 2020 will be freshman Nakia Watson (331 yards) and junior Garrett Groshek (194).  UW also has a commitment from four-star 2020 running back Jalen Berger.