The arguments have been made and the hearings have concluded. The potentially landmark decision on whether or not student-athletes should be identified as employees of a university is expected to come in a matter of weeks, with the ruling likely to determine the fate of the college players union movement.
On Monday the hearings in Chicago came to a close with representatives for Northwestern University contesting the argument that student-athletes should be considered employees, a label that would allow for the formation of a players union. The school closed the hearings by offering testimony from three former football players siding with the university;s side of the legal battle. Former Northwestern offensive lineman Doug Bartels, long snapper John Henry Pace and offensive tackle Patrick Ward all testified it was the coaching staff at Northwestern that aided them in achieving their academic goals while satisfying their football requirements. Bartels earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is enrolled in a medical college. Pace is an engineer designing the latest Ford Mustang. Ward is a structural engineer at Boeing and was the only one of the three former players on a scholarship at Northwestern when he played according to the Chicago Sun Times.
The testimony of the former players was critical in nullifying the stance presented by Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, who last week said in the labor hearings his path to achieving his ultimate academic goals are inhibited by his role with the football program. Colter is the head player representative of the College Athletes Players Association, recently formed by members of Northwestern’s football team. If successful in these early stages of the legal battle, CAPA will be able to open doors for athletes around the country to have their voices heard on a number of issues within their respective sport, although Colter and other current Northwestern players are unlikely to benefit from it any time soon because this will be a drawn out process. The first major step is now behind them, and a ruling awaits.
Now a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board will review the information gathered in the hearings over the past week to determine if players should be considered employees. That decision is expected to be made within the next four to six weeks.
As we are quickly learning with the new day and age of college football, the minute a new quarterback arrives on the scene by way of a transfer, another may soon be on the move. Case in point, the current situation at Miami. Quarterback Jarren Williams will be entering the transfer portal, according to a report from Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter).
This news is hardly shocking given the attention given to the arrival by D’Eriq King from Houston earlier this week. King, a graduate transfer with immediate eligibility for this fall, is widely expected to step in and be Miami’s starting quarterback in 2020. Naturally, that would reduce the playing time Williams or any other Miami quarterback would be likely to see in the fall.
As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Williams was Miami’s leading passer with 2,187 yards and 19 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Williams is the only Miami quarterback who played in as many as 12 games last fall. If not for the addition of King, Williams may have been Miami’s most likely starter this season.
If Williams, a former four-star recruit in the Class of 2018, does indeed enter the transfer portal and ultimately decides to leave the Hurricanes for a new school, he will have to sit out the 2020 season. He would then have two years of eligibility left to use beginning in 2021.
Appalachian State and Liberty have agreed to a future home-and-home series beginning in 2024. The schools announced future games to be played at Appalachian State in 2024 and at Liberty in 2025.
Appalachian State will host the Flames on Sept. 28, 2024. Liberty will host the Mountaineers the following fall on Oct. 11, 2025. Although this will not be the first time the two programs have played each other, it will mark the first time the two schools have faced each other with both being full FBS members.
Appalachian State and Liberty have faced off 10 times before. The most recent meeting in the series took place on Oct. 11, 2014, when Appalachian State was in its first season transitioning to from the FCS to the FBS. Liberty won an overtime shootout, 55-48. Liberty made the move from FCS to FBS in 2018 and is coming off its first bowl appearance, and victory, this past season against an Appalachian State rival, Georgia Southern.
“One of our goals in football scheduling is to play regional opponents to which our fan base can easily travel, and we’ve been able to do that with series like this one,” Appalachian State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a released statement.
The addition of Liberty to Appalachian State’s future schedules fills the non-conference portion of the 2024 schedule for the reigning Sun Belt Conference champions. Appalachian State will also host East Tennessee State and play road games at Clemson and East Carolina in 2024. Appalachian State has two openings on its 2025 schedule, as of now. A home game against South Carolina is also booked for 2025 in addition to the road game at Liberty.
Liberty now has seven games booked for the 2024 season. The independent program will also host Coastal Carolina and Marshall and play road games at North Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, and UMass in 2024. Liberty still needs three more games to fill up the 2025 schedule, which is highlighted by road games at Army and Duke and a home game against Wake Forest.
Thanks to the portal, the ranks of the Oklahoma State football receiving corps has been thinned a bit over the past couple of days. Again.
On Twitter Tuesday, Tyrell Alexander announced that he has decided to transfer from the Oklahoma State football team and “reopen my recruitment process.” The wide receiver would be leaving Stillwater as a graduate transfer for his final season of eligibility.
Thursday, it’s now being reported that teammate and fellow receiver LC Greenwood has entered the portal as well. On his personal Twitter account late Thursday morning, Greenwood confirmed his impending departure.
“I have built relationships and bonds that will last me a lifetime,” Greenwood wrote. ” My time here has been amazing and I enjoyed every minute of being a [C]owboy.”
A four-star member of the Oklahoma State football Class of 2017, Greenwood was rated as the No. 35 receiver in the country and the No. 42 player regardless of position in the state of Texas.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, however, Greenwood never lived up to the four-star rating. Greenwood played in three games in 2018 but didn’t record any statistics. This past season, he caught three passes for 12 yards.
Greenwood and Alexander were actually the second and third wide receivers to leave the Oklahoma State football team this cycle, joining Patrick McKaufman. All told, 11 Cowboys have left the program.
Tight end Grayson Boomer was another of those transfers.
Like Stanford, the Boston College football program is on the receiving end of a positive portal flip.
Earlier this month, Kobay White entered his name into the NCAA transfer database, signaling his intent to move on from the Boston College football team. As we continuously note, players are permitted to pull their name from the portal at any point and remain with their original school.
Apparently, that will be the case with White as it’s now being reported that the wide receiver has withdrawn his name from the database. Such a move is an indication that White will return to the Eagles, although that hasn’t yet been confirmed.
White came to the Boston College football team as a three-star 2016 signee. Only one offensive player in the Eagles’ class that year, quarterback Anthony Brown, was rated higher than White. Brown, incidentally, entered the portal last month.
This past season, White led Boston College with 29 receptions and five receiving touchdowns. His 460 receiving yards were second on the team as well. In 2018, he was the Eagles’ leader in both catches and yards.
For his career, the Pennsylvania native has totaled 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns on 96 receptions.