Report: Miami focused on playing LSU in AT&T Stadium in 2018


Looking to set up a high-profile game on a neutral field, it appears there is a possibility Miami and LSU could be setting up a neutral site game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, there are talks about making the game a reality in 2018.

“Though nothing is finalized, UM’s talks with [AT&T] Stadium have progressed and all parties are working toward having the Hurricanes open the 2018 season against LSU in Arlington,” Jackson wrote in a recent column. According to Jackson, the game would likely be played on a Saturday night in primetime before a national TV audience, which is generally the arrangement for college football games played in AT&T Stadium, formerly called Cowboys Stadium, since opening in 2009.

It was previously reported Miami was in discussions to play a game in Atlanta against Alabama, likely as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in 2017, but Jackson suggests Miami is now focusing its efforts on making a 2018 game against LSU in Arlington part of the schedule, while backing out of discussions about playing Alabama in Atlanta.

LSU has played in AT&T Stadium three times since the stadium opened. The Tigers have participated in two Cowboys Classic games, defeating Oregon in 2011 and TCU last fall. LSU has also played in a Cotton Bowl game inside the stadium, defeating Texas A&M (then a member of the Big 12), in the 2011 game. LSU will open the 2014 season against Wisconsin in Houston for a little change of pace.

Miami has never played in AT&T Stadium. The Hurricanes already have non-conference road games scheduled in 2018 against Toledo and Rutgers, although if the chance to play in AT&T Stadium becomes a possibility it would not be a surprise to see Miami wiggle (or buy) out the road game at Toledo.

LSU owns the all-time series lead against Miami, 9-3. The Tigers dominated Miami in the most recent meeting with a 40-3 shelling in the Peach Bowl in 2005. The two schools have not played in the regular season since 1988, with Miami winning the most recent regular season match-up, 44-3. That was the first meeting since 1968.

Meanwhile, Alabama head coach Nick Saban will continue to have concerns about schools backing out of playing his Crimson Tide if Miami is focusing on playing LSU instead.

Gary Patterson wants names of NCAA employees approving transfer waivers

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Unless I’m missing someone, the coaches that have spoken out about the glut of high-profile transfer waivers that have been approved lately are all against them. Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin said just one day ago that players are transferring because it’s “sexy” and now TCU’s Gary Patterson has cannonballed into the pool with some strong comments of his own.

“I want the names of all those people [at the NCAA] that are deciding to do that, so everybody knows their names when they ruin the game,” Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I don’t care if there’s lawyers involved. I don’t care if any of that’s involved. The bottom line to it is we need to do what’s best for the game.

Patterson’s point, and it’s not necessarily a wrong one, is that coaches who believe tough love is the best way to mold players — i.e. Gary Patterson — will then see all their players leave before that love can appropriately toughen them up.

“After they get away from here, as a general rule, they come back as they mature and understand, they figure out what we were trying to do and accomplish,” Patterson said. “If you can’t go through that process with a young man, and grow them up just like a parent does, then we’re cheating them to be honest with you. That’s my personal opinion about it.”

The good news for Patterson and his ilk: if free agency is truly here, it’s likely not here for long. The NCAA announced last month it will take another look at its loosened transfer protocol, and it’s unlikely you’d make such an announcement if you planned on loosening those restrictions even more.

North Carolina CB KJ Sails, Jr., embarks toward transfer portal

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North Carolina cornerback KJ Sails, Jr., is sailing away from Chapel Hill and voyaging toward a new destination.

The Tampa native on Friday announced he will enter his name onto the transfer portal for his final collegiate season. “Thank you to my Carolina family for giving me the opportunity to play the game that I love this is a great school and I will forever love the university,” he wrote in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “My family and I have decided that it is best for me to seek other opportunities.”

After playing sparingly as a true freshman in 2016, Sails started 11 games for the Tar Heels in 2017, collecting 30 tackles while ranking ninth in the ACC with 13 pass break-ups.

He started three games in four appearances in 2018, but an injury knocked him out for the remainder of the year.

Given that he played in only four games, Sails can use last season as a redshirt and play a second senior season elsewhere in 2019, provided he receives a waiver or graduates from North Carolina.

Michigan CB Benjamin St-Juste medically retires

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Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste was not listed on Michigan’s spring roster, and there’s a reason for that. St-Juste has medically retired from football, the program confirmed to the Detroit Free Press.

A 4-star recruit from Quebec, St-Juste appeared in 12 games as a redshirt freshman, primarily on special teams.

He suffered a hamstring injury ahead of the 2018 campaign and did not see any game action. With a similar prognosis ahead of him for 2019, St-Juste has decided to hang up his cleats for good.

LB Jaden Hunter was second Georgia player arrested in March

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A member of the Georgia football program was arrested Wednesday night. Linebacker Jaden Hunter was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was also charged with stopping, standing, or parking in a prohibited area.

Hunter spent just two hours in jail after being released on bond late Wednesday night.

The charges are misdemeanors and his status with the Bulldogs has not been confirmed with regard to any possible suspensions or other forms of discipline by head coach Kirby Smart. Given the nature of the charges, it would seem this would be far from calling for removal from the program or any significant form of discipline unless there is more to the story behind the scenes.

Hunter did become the second Georgia football player to be arrested in the month of March. Earlier in the month, redshirt freshman Latavious Brini was arrested on one count of simple battery.