UCLA and Tom Bradley closer to becoming official

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Last week it was reported UCLA was moving forward with hiring West Virginia assistant Tom Bradley to fill the vacancy on the coaching staff at defensive coordinator. It looks as though we are one giant step closer to that becoming official.

ESPN.com Pac-12 reporter Kevin Gemmell reported Monday (via Twitter) Bradley has been hired by UCLA, and an official introduction could come as early as Tuesday. There was no timetable given for the official announcement, although Bradley reportedly will be on UCLA’s campus on Tuesday so that would seem to make the most sense.

Bradley spent the majority of his coaching career as an assistant at Penn State under former head coach Joe Paterno. When Paterno was dismissed of his duties in November 2011 following the release of grand jury testimony focusing on Jerry Sandusky, another longtime Paterno assistant, Bradley was named the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011 season. Bradley interviewed for the full-time job but was passed over in favor of Bill O’Brien in January 2012. Bradley spent time doing TV work before returning to the sidelines last year with West Virginia.

UCLA is gaining one of the more respected defensive coaches in the country, and he should have a positive impact on the level of play of UCLA’s defense once he gets situated. Bradley’s defenses tend to be steady and limit scoring opportunities for opponents, but at times Bradley’s defense plays with a bend-but-don’t-break approach. With the talent pool he may have to work with at UCLA, the Bruins should become one of the top defensive programs under Bradley’s watch.

Bradley will be stepping outside of his natural habitat, but the change of scenery should not have a huge impact on his abilities at UCLA. Bradley spent years establishing solid recruiting connections in western Pennsylvania and nearby recruiting grounds while at Penn State, which is something West Virginia had hoped to take advantage of. It could take some time to make those same kinds of connections in California, but there is plenty of talent to start scouting and recruiting. Bradley should be just fine in that area.

2020 Arkansas signee Catrell Wallace arrested for alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old

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One member of the Arkansas football Class of 2020 has more to worry about than the start of his collegiate playing career.

According to the Saline County (Ark.) Sheriff’s Office, Catrell Wallace was arrested Monday morning on one count each of second-degree sexual assault and tampering.  Both of those charges are felonies.  The Arkansas football signee had turned himself in after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

The alleged assault took place on New Year’s Day this year.  Wallace was 18 at the time.  The alleged victim was 12.

“Although it appears to have been a consensual encounter, BNPD detectives were able to determine that Wallace had reason to believe the victim was underage at the time of the crime,” a portion of a statement from the Benton (Ark.) Police Department read. “It was also noted that Wallace instructed witnesses to lie about the crime in an effort to conceal it.”

Sam Pittman, the first-year Arkansas football head coach, said in a statement that his program is aware of the off-field situation.

“We are aware of the serious allegations involving Catrell Wallace,” said Pittman. “We are gathering information and [are] in contact with the proper authorities regarding the situation.  Once we have additional information, we will make a determination on his status with our program.”

Wallace was a three-star 2020 prospect who signed with Arkansas football this past December.  The linebacker was the No. 6 recruit regardless of position in the state of Arkansas.  Only one linebacker in the Razorbacks’ class was rated higher than Wallace.

Coronavirus concerns cause Michigan to cancel spring football trip abroad

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The pause button has been hit on the recent Michigan football tradition stared under Jim Harbaugh.

In 2017, Harbaugh and the Wolverines traveled to Italy as part of its spring football practice.  The following year, the program went to France.  This past year, it was South Africa that was the program’s spring destination.

This year, Michigan football had been expected to take another trip abroad.  That destination had yet to be determined.  As it turns out, a determination won’t be necessary as, due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak, U-M has decided to nix its 2020 plans for the team to travel abroad.

“The football team will not be taking an international trip this spring due to the health concerns around the world, most notably coronavirus,” a Michigan football spokesperson stated. “In lieu of traveling abroad, as the team has done the last three years, the players are expected to participate in community projects in the Ann Arbor area,” the Detroit Free Press wrote.

And for those unfamiliar with the coronavirus?  From NBC News:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there have been two cases of person-to-person transmission in the U.S., and that the virus can be spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC says on its website that the virus is not currently spreading in the U.S.

The majority of deaths linked to COVID-19 have been in mainland China, where the outbreak began. There have been 12 deaths in Iran, eight in South Korea, seven in Italy, and others elsewhere, according to public health officials.

In mainland China, the national health commission on Tuesday morning local time reported a total of 2,663 deaths linked to COVID-19.

The epicenter of the outbreak has been in Hubei Province, where the city of Wuhan is located. There have been more than 77,600 confirmed cases in mainland China, according to the national health commission.

Indiana suspends TE Peyton Hendershot following domestic violence incident

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When it came to a member of the Indiana Hoosiers football program, this was an expected next step.

Late Saturday night, Peyton Hendershot was arrested on multiple charges in connection to an alleged domestic violence incident.  The tight end is facing one count each of residential entry, domestic battery, criminal mischief and criminal conversion.  The residential entry charge is a felony; the other three are misdemeanors.

Sunday, the Indiana Hoosiers football program issued the following statement:

Indiana University Athletics is aware of the arrest of redshirt sophomore Peyton Hendershot. IU Athletics will continue to gather facts, cooperate with and monitor the legal and administrative processes, and take further action as the evolving situation warrants.

A day later, the Indiana Hoosiers football program issued an updated statement in which it was confirmed that Hendershot has been indefinitely suspended.

Indiana University Head Football Coach Tom Allen has suspended redshirt sophomore Peyton Hendershot immediately and indefinitely from all team activities. He will continue to evaluate the situation pending further developments.

It should be noted that Hendershot was expected to miss spring practice because of injury issues prior to his off-field situation.

Hendershot was a three-star member of the Class of 2017 for Indiana Hoosiers football.  An injury his true freshman season allowed the Indiana native to take a redshirt.  In 2018, Hendershot started 10 games, catching 15 passes for 163 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

This past season, Hendershot set a school record for tight ends by catching 52 passes for 622 yards.  After starting all 13 games, Hendershot was named third-team All-Big Ten.

Ohio State, Ryan Day agree to three-year contract extension

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Not surprisingly, it will continue to pay to be the Ohio State football head coach.

Tuesday morning, OSU announced it has agreed to a three-year extension for Ryan Day.  The coach is now signed through the 2026 season.

It should be noted that the agreement is pending approval by the Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

According to the school, Day will make $5.375 million from Feb. 1, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021. Additionally, OSU will make an employer contribution of $1 million to his retirement continuation plan on Dec. 31, 2020.  Day will then make $6.5 million in 2021 and $7.6 million in 2022.

“Increases to his compensation package after Feb. 1, 2023 will be determined by the director of athletics and approved by the Board of Trustees,” the school wrote.

In 2019, Day’s $4.5 million in guaranteed compensation was seventh in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally.

“Ryan Day’s management of this football program, from mentoring and leading our student-athletes in their academic pursuits and off-field endeavors to coaching them on the playing field, has been exceptional,” Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith said. “I am appreciative of his work. And I want to thank President Michael V. Drake for his leadership and the Board of Trustees for its work with this extension.”

In his first full season as the Ohio State football head coach, Day guided the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record.  After winning the Big Ten title, Day became the first OSU coach in four decades to be named as the Big Ten Coach of the Year.  Ohio State football also returned to the playoffs for the third time in six seasons.

Day is actually 16-1 as a head coach.  With Urban Meyer suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, the Buckeyes went 3-0 with Day as the acting head coach.