Cal, WVU reportedly on Charles Sims’ transfer short list

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Houston running back Charles Sims surprised just about everyone back in May when he announced  — just months after confirming he would return to the Cougars for his senior season, mind you — he would be leaving the program for unspecified reasons.

Sims’ future boiled down to a pair of options: enter the NFL’s supplemental draft, or transfer to another program (the initial rumor was Texas Tech) where, as a grad student, he would have the opportunity to play immediately.

It would appear the latter option isn’t so cut and dry, however.

According to ESPN’s Joe Schad,  Sims is looking at transferring to either Cal or West Virginia, but perhaps in large part because Houston is reportedly placing heavy restrictions on where he can go. Schad reports Sims will not be able to transfer (i.e., sign a grant-in-aid) to any program in the American Athletic Conference, of which Houston will be a member in 2013, any team on Cougars’ 2013 schedule or any school in the state of Texas.

That seems strict for a player who’s given the Cougars three good years and earned his degree, but UH is still exercising its NCAA transfer rights.

Refusing to allow players to transfer to conference or scheduled opponents is not a new thing, but some of the reported “blocks” are rare in this situation given that Sims is a grad student. Chris Level of RedRaiderSports.com reports that Sims is looking to appeal UH’s decision.

“We appreciate and thank Charles for his hard work and contributions to our program during the last four years,” UH coach Tony Levine said in a statement Thursday. “We wish him and his family all the best.”

If Sims ends up at either Cal or WVU, he would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to a pair of offenses born out of the Air Raid.

Rutgers completes 2021 schedule with addition of FCS school

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The final piece of the scheduling puzzle for Rutgers has been found for the 2021 season. Rutgers announced the addition of a home game against Delaware, an FCS program, to the 2021 schedule to give the Scarlet Knights a full schedule.

Rutgers will host Delaware on September 18, 2021. Other non-conference games lined up for Rutgers includes a season opener against Temple at home and a road trip to Syracuse for a pair of games against former Big East foes.

Rutgers has not faced the Blue Hens of Delaware since 1973. Rutgers leads the all-time series, 15-13-3. Delaware was also recently added to the future schedule of Penn State, with road trips to Penn State slated for 2023 and 2027.

In a fun little uniform twist, Rutgers will play teams with the signature winged helmet with shades of blue and yellow in back-to-back weeks. A week after hosting Delaware, Rutgers is scheduled to play a Big Ten contest at Michigan. Delaware and Michigan wear similar uniforms highlighted by a similar winged helmet design.

Nebraska squeezes in 12th game against Bethune-Cookman

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Nebraska will play a 12-game schedule after all, as long as Mother Nature decides to cooperate for the rest of the season. Nebraska announced today it has added a home football game against Bethune-Cookman.

According to the release from Nebraska, the Huskers will host the FCS school on October 27. The game will replace a home game wiped out by lightning against Akron back in Week 1.

“Our great fans and our football student-athletes deserve a full schedule, and we are glad to be able to provide an additional game on Oct. 27 against Bethune-Cookman,” Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said. “We appreciate the patience of our fans through this process.”

Nebraska will pay Bethune-Cookman $800,000 to make the trip to Lincoln.

Injury will sideline Cal’s Cameron Goode for remainder of the year

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Unfortunately, Cal’s worst injury fears have been realized yet again.

In the Bears’ season-opening win over North Carolina, Cameron Goode sustained what’s only been described as an unspecified lower-leg injury.  The redshirt sophomore linebacker did not play in the past two games because of the injury and won’t play again this season, Justin Wilcox confirmed Wednesday.

“I really feel for him because he puts a lot into football,” the head coach said. “He’ll go through that window of not being able to play this year. It’s a pretty short window, then he’ll start working on what’s next.”

It’s expected Goode will be fully recovered by the start of spring practice.

This marks the second-straight season his year has ended prematurely because of injury.  Last year, he started the first nine games before being sidelined for the remainder of the season.

Goode had returned an interception for a touchdown in the opener before going down with the leg injury.  He also returned a pick for a score last season in the win over Ole Miss.

Recently-retired Minnesota RT Nick Connelly loses three-month battle with cancer

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There’s incredibly sad news coming out of the Minnesota football program Thursday afternoon.

In an absolutely heartbreaking missive posted to Twitter, Chuck Connelly, the father of former Minnesota offensive lineman Nick Connelly, revealed that his son lost his three-month battle with cancer Wednesday.  Or, as the elder Connelly put it, “[o]n Wednesday Sept. 19, 2018 Heaven needed a right tackle and Nick Connelly got the call.”

Connelly was just 22 years old.

The younger Connelly was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in June of this year.  A very rare form of cancer — WebMD states just that just 1,200 cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, with nearly 60 percent of those coming in patients over the age of 40 — and is recognized as the fastest growing human tumor.

In late October of last year, Connelly, who had started the first five games of the 2017 season at right tackle for the Gophers, announced that he was retiring from football because of the effects of multiple concussions.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Connelly’s family, friends and former teammates for their loss.