From the weird stories archives, we bring you the following:
According to USCTrojans.com, a football student manager has been fired for “intentionally deflating, below NCAA-regulated levels, some game footballs used by USC’s team during the first half in last Saturday’s game against Oregon.”
The report adds that officials found and re-inflated three footballs before the start of the game, and two more at halftime. The student manager claims he was not given instruction to deflate the game balls — under-inflated footballs are easier to hold onto, catch and throw, and offenses use their own footballs — if you believe that sort of thing.
Not that it mattered too much; USC lost to Oregon 62-51.
The Pac-12 issued a reprimand and issued a $25,000 fine to USC for the incident. But hey, at least everyone was wearing their own numbers.
Updated 2:56 p.m. ET: USC athletic director Pat Haden has issued the following statement: “We acknowledge the Pac-12’s reprimand and fine. We regret this incident occurred. It was unacceptable and we apologize for it. I can assure you this will not happen again.”
“I was just disappointed, because it was just a distraction,” Kiffin said. “It was a distraction that nobody knew about here, that had no effect on the game. If anything, it had a negative effect to be throwing two different types of balls for a quarterback. I was just disappointed, because it was a distraction that we didn’t need.”
Whatever you say.
For the second time in less than a week, Michigan has lost a four-star member of its 2017 recruiting class.
Amidst speculation regarding James Hudson‘s future with the football program, a U-M spokesperson has confirmed that the offensive tackle has decided to transfer from the Wolverines. The move away from Ann Arbor comes a couple of days after Hudson, the No. 2 right tackle, did not enter the win over Michigan State when starter Juwann Bushell-Beatty went out with an injury.
Instead, redshirt freshman Andrew Stueber took over on the right side of the line. After the game, Jim Harbaugh explained that Hudson has been dealing with a dislocated finger sustained the week before and that’s the reason Stueber entered the game.
That turn of events was also the likely trigger for Hudson’s decision to transfer.
A four-star member of the Wolverines’ recruiting class last year, Hudson was rated as the No. 13 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Ohio. Only one other defensive tackle in that class, Aubrey Solomon, was rated higher than Hudson, although he was moved to the other side of the ball this offseason.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Hudson played in three games this season.
In the middle of last week, another four-star 2017 signee, linebacker Drew Singleton, asked for and was granted a release from his U-M scholarship.
A coach’s decision had kept Trelon Smith on the sidelines for the first half or so of the 2018 season. A player’s decision, in concert with the football program, will now keep the running back sidelined permanently, at least at Arizona State.
Both 247Sports.com and the Arizona Republic have reported that Smith has decided to transfer from the Sun Devils. The former website tweeted that Smith is “no longer a part of the team… [after] a mutual agreement [was reached],” while the latter wrote that “Smith and the ASU football program are parting ways” for unspecified reasons.
Smith did not play the first three games this season because of a coach’s decision/violation of unspecified team rules.
Smith was a three-star 2017 signee who played in nine games as a true freshman, carrying the ball just once for four yards. This season, after climbing out of his head coach’s doghouse, he carried the ball 11 times for 56 yards. Eight of those attempts and 45 of the yards came in his first game back, a loss to Washington Sept. 22.
Because he played in just four games and hasn’t yet used his redshirt, he’ll be able to keep a year of eligibility thanks to the new NCAA rule that has played a significant role in roster attrition this season. Including next season, Smith will have three years of eligibility at his disposal.
Coming off an embarrassing on-field beating over the weekend, Ohio State’s roster depth has taken a bit of a hit as well.
On his personal Twitter account Sunday, Malik Barrow announced that, “due to unfortunate circumstances throughout my football career, I found it was in my best interests to medically retire.” The redshirt sophomore defensive tackle will remain on scholarship, but won’t count against OSU’s 85-man limit.
Barrow tore the ACL in one knee as a senior in high school, then, in the fourth game of the 2017 campaign, tore the ACL in the other knee during his redshirt freshman season with the Buckeyes. His rehab of the second serious knee injury extended on into spring practice this year, and the lineman hasn’t played at all during the 2018 season.
A four-star member of the Buckeyes’ 2016 recruiting class, Barrow was rated as the No. 32 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 42 player at any position in the state of Florida. He played in two games last season before going down with the injury.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Barrow’s departure, along with Nick Bosa withdrawing from school in order to get healthier and prep for the 2019 NFL draft, leaves the Buckeyes with 84 scholarship players.
Greg Huegel tossed up a Hail Mary and the NCAA, not surprisingly, batted it down.
By way of TigerNet.com, Huegel confirmed that his appeal for a sixth season of eligibility has been denied by the NCAA. Huegel was a freshman at Clemson in 2014 as a student but not as a football payer, walking on to the Tigers football team a year later.
The website writes that “[t]he NCAA ruled that his freshman year he was eligible to kick even though he wasn’t on the team.” Because of The Association’s ruling, this season will be Huegel’s final year of eligibility.
Huegel has been the Tigers’ primary kicker the last four years. An ACL tear in September of last year sidelined him for the remainder of that season, but led to his ultimately futile attempt at another year of eligibility.
In what amounts to nearly three full seasons with the Tigers spread out over four years thus far, Huegel has connected on 50-of-65 field goal attempts and 178-of-186 point-after tries. This season, he’s 7-of-10 on field goals and hasn’t missed an extra point in 36 tries.