Schiano officially bails on Rutgers, moves to the NFL

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Just when you thought the 2011-2012 coaching carousel had closed for business until later this year, it’s officially spinning once again.

Following up on speculation that had gained momentum throughout the morning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially announced that Greg Schiano has left Rutgers to take the head coaching position with the NFL club.  Proving you can have some class with such an abrupt departure — looking squarely at you, Todd Graham — Schiano met with both his coaching staff and his now-former players prior to the official announcement.

Schiano agreed to a five-year deal with the NFL club, the same length Chip Kelly had reportedly agreed to before deciding to remain at Oregon.

“We are thrilled to introduce Coach Schiano as the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” said club Co-Chairman Joel Glazer in a statement. “During our thorough search, we met with numerous impressive candidates, but Coach Schiano surely distinguished himself. From his leadership skills to his impressive track record, he is, simply put, the right man for the job.”

During the initial Schiano-to-Bucs reports this morning, New England patriots head coach Bill Belichick was mentioned as one of the individuals who gave a very high recommendation of Schiano to the Bucs.  In Tampa’s release announcing the hiring, Belichick lavished praise on the man who, up until today, was his son’s head coach.

“Greg obviously has done a great job at Rutgers,” said Belichick.  “I think he is a tremendous coach that’s done a great job with that program. And his players have been very NFL-ready. Guys that come out of that program, when they get to the NFL, most of them make it. It may not be first-round picks or whatever but if they have enough talent to really compete in the NFL most of them end up staying in one way or another and I think that’s a credit to the preparation and the program that he’s built there.”

Schiano had been at Rutgers for the past 11 seasons, turning a once-moribund program into one that could compete in a BcS conference on a yearly basis.  Prior to Schiano’s arrival in 2001, the Scarlet Knights had one winning season since 1987 and had gone to just one bowl game in the program’s history; under Schiano, RU has finished above .500 six of the past seven seasons and qualified for six bowls during that span.

As for where Rutgers will turn for a replacement, the current scuttle seems to be pointing to one coach currently on the staff and another outside of the program: RU offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti and FIU head coach Mario Cristobal.  CFT has also been told that Kyle Flood, Schiano’s assistant head coach the past four years who’s been at RU for the past seven seasons, is in the mix as well if the school decides to hire from within.

Regardless of where the university turns on a permanent basis, they need to do so in a hurry in order to protect what was shaping up to be the best recruiting class during Schiano’s tenure.  The fallout, however and unfortunately, has already commenced in earnest as the Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that one of the top offensive linemen in the country in the Class of 2012, Ryan Brodie, has already reopened his recruiting, backing off a verbal commitment he made to the school Wednesday.

Brodie’s high school coach said “blindsided” would be a good description of Schiano’s departure. “He had no idea” Schiano was considering a move to the NFL, the coach told the paper.  Brodie likely won’t be the only RU verbal waffling six days away from signing day, either.

“It will absolutely destroy recruiting this close to signing day,” recruiting expert Tom Lemming told the Star-Ledger. “For him to leave a couple of days before signing day you will see the vultures circle quickly and Rutgers could end up with a recruiting class like Penn State’s.”

RU athletic director Tim Pernetti and two unnamed players will meet with the media at 4:30 p.m. ET this afternoon to discuss Schiano’s departure.  Pernetti is also expected to address the short- and long-term steps the athletic department expects to take to fill the vacancy so close to the all-important signing day.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Steve Spurrier predicting Tim Tebow will ‘do super’ in the NFL

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on May 27, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Report: Bru McCoy re-transferring from Texas back to USC
THE SYNOPSIS: The five-star 2019 prospect signed with USC.  Then transferred to TexasThen moved back to the Trojans.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Proposed California amendment would cap coaches salaries at $200,000
THE SYNOPSIS: LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL…

2017

THE HEADLINE: WATCH: FCS player paralyzed in 2015 game vs. Georgia walks
THE SYNOPSIS: Southern’s Devon Gales is such an inspirational story.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Art Briles’ daughter calls firing ‘outrageous’ and ‘disgusting’ in Facebook post
THE SYNOPSIS: Oddly enough, outrageous and disgusting described the scandal that cost her father his job at Baylor.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Amidst controversy, Dabo Swinney cancels planned appearance
THE SYNOPSIS: The Clemson coach was caught up in an LGBT kerfuffle.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Bill Hancock says CFB Playoff not expanding past four teams
THE SYNOPSIS: Six years later, momentum is building for expansion.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Michigan commit burns Buckeyes recruiting literature
THE SYNOPSIS: The Greatest Rivalry In All Of Sports knows no offseason.

2009

THE HEADLINE: Spurrier On Tebow & The NFL: ‘He’ll Do Super’
THE SYNOPSIS: Was the Ol’ Ball Coach correct?  Let’s go to the Tale of the Statistical Tape:

GAMES: 35
ATTEMPTS: 361
COMPLETIONS: 173
COMPLETION PERCENTAGE: 47.9
PASSING YARDS: 2,422
PASSING TOUCHDOWNS: 17
INTERCEPTIONS: 9
YARDS PER ATTEMPT: 6.7
PASSER RATING: 75.3

Middle Tennessee State brings back ex-Blue Raiders RB Shane Tucker as grad assistant

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There will be a very familiar face in the Middle Tennessee State football building when the Conference USA school reconvenes.

Memorial Day, Middle Tennessee State announced that Shane Tucker has been added to the extended football staff.  Specifically, Tucker will serve as a graduate assistant for Rick Stockstill.  Tucker will work on the offensive side of the ball for the Blue Raiders.

From 2013-2017, Tucker was a running back at MTSU.  And a wide receiver as well.

In 39 appearances, Tucker started 17 of those games.  He started contests in 2013 (three), 2014 (two), 2015 (four) and 2017 (eight).  The Memphis native’s 2016 season ended before it started because of an offseason injury.

During his time in Murfreesboro, Tucker ran for 1,162 yards and 15 touchdowns on 271 carries.  He also caught 67 passed for 869 yards and another seven touchdowns.

In 2014, Tucker earned honorable mention All-Conference USA honors.  As a fifth-year senior in 2017, he was named a permanent captain.

Middle Tennessee State is coming off a 4-8 2019 football campaign.  That was the program’s worst record since going 2-10 in 2011.  MTSU also saw its school-record streak of bowl appearances end at four in a row.

One of the players Tucker Will Likely work with?  Martell Pettaway.  The West Virginia running back transferred to the Conference USA school in January.

Ex-Georgia State RB Gerald Howse, 28, found dead in his home

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Georgia State is mourning the loss of a member of its football family.

Sunday, Georgia State announced the passing of former Panther football player Gerald Howse.  Howse was just 28.

According to one report, Howse was found dead at his home in Cookeville, Tenn.  A cause of death has not yet been released.

From GSU’s release:

Howse, from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Siegel High School, lettered at running back for the Panthers in 2013-14 after transferring from NE Oklahoma A&M.

After graduating with his degree in sociology, he entered the coaching profession, beginning with stints at Oklahoma Baptist (2015) and NE Oklahoma A&M (2016-19). He was honored as the NJCAA Top Assistant Coach in 2017.

In January of 2020, Howse was named as the running backs coach at Tennessee Tech of the FCS.  The football program’s head coach, Dewayne Alexander, released a statement addressing his assistant’s passing as well.

Gerald was a first-class young man. He was highly thought of by so many people. His coaches at Siegel High School – Greg Wyatt and David Watson – always brought him up whenever we had positions come open. He displayed a very positive attitude. He was a man of character who lived out faith, family and football. He was so close to his family – his mom, dad and sister – that it was one of the biggest reasons he came here to Tennessee Tech: coach in the area, be back in Middle Tennessee and be close to his family. He was an outstanding coach and a man every coach would want on his staff. Gerald made a huge impact on our players in the short time he was here. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, as well as the Tennessee Tech football family. Anytime you lose a staff member, it affects a lot of people.

Pac-12 targets June 15 for return of players for voluntary in-person workouts

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The Pac-12 is the latest to contribute to the measured return of college football.

Last week, the NCAA announced that it would allow schools to bring its student-athletes back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1. Friday, the SEC announced that it will allow players to return starting June 8.  That same day, the Big 12 announced its target date is June 15.

Monday, the Pac-12 followed the Big 12’s lead, with that Power Five confirming a return date of June 15 for voluntary in-person athletic workouts. The league came to its decision to allow student-athletes to return to campus following a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group earlier in the day.

The conference also made sure to note in its release that the universities will “determine whether and how to open its sporting facilities in accordance with relevant county and state guidelines.”

“As educational institutions, our highest obligation is to the health and welfare of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano in a statement. “As we considered the pros and cons of taking steps that can pave a path to returning to play, those considerations were foremost, guided by the advice of our own medical experts along with public health officials.”

“The Pac-12 is committed to the well-being of our student-athletes, and the decision to allow for voluntary workouts, subject to a determination by each school, is guided by the advice of our medical experts and will be supported by the detailed protocols established by our medical advisory committee in concert with our campus’ own safety guidelines,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “As states have either already opened or begin to open up access to parks, gyms and other training facilities, student-athletes should have the option at this time to be in, what for many, will be a much safer environment on campus, where they can have access to the best available health, well-being and training support.”

The ACC and Big Ten are the only Power Fives to not announce a uniform plan for a return.  Both Ohio State and Illinois, though, will allow players to return June 8, for example.  Ditto for Clemson and Louisville as well.