The University of Texas will reportedly buy out the contract of athletics director Steve Patterson, which seems to be moving quickly.
A report from Brian Davis and Kirk Bohls on HookeEm.com says University of Texas President Gregory Fenves is expected to fire Patterson as early as today. The two are expected to meet Tuesday to make the decision official. Former Texas linebacker Mike Perrin is expected to be named the interim AD. Former Longhorns head coach Mack Brown is not expected to be a candidate for the permanent job, although Brown did meet with the university president before this decision was made, according to the report.
What does this mean for Texas football? For starters, Charlie Strong is not going anywhere. While it would be ideal for an AD to be able to choose his or her own football coach, Strong is just underway in his second season of what was supposed to be a multi-year rebuild. No AD, be they interim or permanent, will step in and make that drastic a change right off the bat. The 2016 season could tell a different story, but let’s hold off on any thought of Strong being let go as head coach of the Longhorns. For now, Strong’s job should be considered safe.
What Texas needs is an AD that will smooth over relations with the donors and fans that support Texas football. That has been one of the biggest issues Patterson has been faced with, with a bulk of the responsibility for a strained marriage falling on his shoulders. Texas needs someone that can come in, make the best decisions for the Longhorns from a budget perspective but also from a public relations stance. Patterson may have been making decent business decisions, but it alienated the supporters in the process. There needs to be a balance between making hard decisions and pleasing those who fund the program and university from their own checking accounts. That is where Patterson ultimately failed, and where Texas can ill-afford to mess up again.
Texas should not simply hire a Texas guy for the sake of making Texas fans happy. It is still OK to think outside the box with its next AD hire, and it remains OK to bring in someone with no previous ties to the Longhorns. A fresh point of view can benefit Texas, but it will also be important whoever the next AD ends up being understands the pressures to make fans happy. Donors will be happy to continue writing checks as long as they feel appreciated and the team is winning. If the team is not winning, then the AD needs to bend over backward to sell the message it is committed to improving without caving too soon on Strong as head coach.
The ever-evolving kicking position for Liberty football has taken another turn.
Back in March, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins revealed that Brenton King had decided to go pro in something other than sports. Earlier this month, though, it was confirmed that the placekicker had since placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.
On Twitter this week, King announced that he has committed to Liberty football.
“Excited for this new chapter in my life,” the kicker wrote. “Can’t wait to be back on the field. Thank you [special teams coordinator Tanner Burns] for believing in me and giving me a chance to play the sport I love still.
Coming out of high school in Georgia, King was a two-star member of the Georgia Tech football Class of 2017. As a true freshman, he split time as the primary placekicker for the Yellow Jackets. King was Tech’s primary kicker this past season. In between, he kicked in four games but was able to take a redshirt for 2018.
During his three seasons, King connected on 42-of-46 point-afters. However, he was successful on just nine of his 17 field-goal attempts.
King left Georgia Tech as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility. That, of course, means he can immediately play this season as well as next.
The football independent will be looking to replace its full-time kicker from a year ago, Alex Probert. In February of this year, Probert transferred to Iowa State.
Liberty became a provisional Football Bowl Subdivision member in 2018. In its initial season as a full FBS member last year, the Flames qualified for their first-ever bowl game. And won it.
Syracuse football has officially bolstered its defensive line with a lower-level addition.
Earlier this month, Cody Roscoe announced on Twitter that he will be transferring into Dino Babers‘ Syracuse football program. This week, the Orange confirmed the defensive lineman has signed with the program. The defensive lineman is coming to the ACC school from McNeese State.
Because he comes in from an FCS program, Roscoe will be eligible to play immediately in 2020. According to a release, Roscoe is already enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
Roscoe was a two-year starter for the Cowboys. He totaled 19 tackles for loss and 13½ sacks in that action. The lineman had 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks this postseason, with both totals good for second on the team.
The FCS player is one of the few additions for a Syracuse football program that has lost its share to the portal this offseason. Since mid-March, the Orange has seen four of their players leave for the NCAA transfer database.
Wallace, incidentally, has since moved on to Kent State.
Syracuse is set to open the 2020 college football season at Boston College Sept. 4.
As required by The Association, the Texas A&M head football coach has issued a public mea culpa.
Thursday afternoon, the NCAA announced it had sanctioned the Texas A&M football program and Jimbo Fisher over a pair of minor violations committed between January 2018 and February 2019. Among other penalties, the Aggies were placed on probation for a year. Fisher, meanwhile, was given a six-month show-cause.
As part of Fisher’s punishment, the coach was required to issue a public statement addressing the NCAA violations. A short time ago, Fisher did just that.
As Texas A&M’s Head Football Coach, I am responsible for promoting and monitoring for NCAA compliance in our program. While I am disappointed in the violations, including an unintended one that resulted from a conversation with a high school athlete, it is still my responsibility to ensure we are adhering to each and every rule. I am pleased to have this matter completely behind our program and look forward to continuing our efforts to make every aspect of our program one all Aggies can continue to be proud of.
According to the Committee on Infractions, Fisher “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation.” Fisher was also accused of failing to monitor his coaching staff, which led to the allowable-hours violation. That resulted in the NCAA issuing its show-cause order. Fisher had previously served a nine-day ban on phone calls/emails/texts with recruits in January of this year as well as a reduction in off-campus recruiting from December 2019-January 2020. Fisher will also be banned from all off-campus recruiting activities throughout the fall contact period.
“Since I arrived at Texas A&M, I have seen up close and personal Coach Fisher’s commitment to integrity and following the rules,” Ross Bjork, hired as athletic director in May of 2019, said in his statement. “I appreciate his response, including actions taken during the process itself. As a result, the program moves forward and remains on track in both our short- and long-term quest for excellence. This will have no impact on our current student-athletes, the 2020 post-season, or our pursuit of championship success on and off the field.”
Texas A&M football has been slapped lightly by The Association. Very, very lightly.
In releasing the results of the Committee on Infractions findings Thursday, the NCAA announced that “[t]he Texas A&M football program violated… recruiting and countable athletically related activity rules between January 2018 and February 2019.” The two violations “uncovered” by the NCAA?
The university, head coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the head coach and an assistant coach had impermissible recruiting contact with a prospect at his high school. The conversation was impermissible because it occurred before the completion of the prospect’s junior year in high school.
Regarding the countable athletically related activity violations, during permissible weeks of spring and summer activity, the football program unintentionally caused student-athletes to exceed activity time limits by approximately seven hours.
According to the committee, head coach Jimbo Fisher “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation.” Fisher was also accused of failing to monitor his coaching staff, which led to the allowable-hours violation. As a result, Fisher was slapped with a six-month show-cause order by the NCAA. Fisher had previously served a nine-day ban on phone calls/emails/texts with recruits in January of this year as well as a reduction in off-campus recruiting from December 2019-January 2020. Fisher will also be banned from all off-campus recruiting activities throughout the fall contact period.
As part of the show-cause, Fisher is also required to issue a public statement addressing the NCAA violations.
Other penalties incurred by the Texas A&M football program include:
- One year of probation.
- A fine of $5,000.
- A reduction in football official visits by 17 days during the 2019-20 academic year.
- An off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff for November 2019, which reduced the permissible evaluation days for the 2019-20 academic year by 19.
- A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 spring off-campus recruiting period and a 10-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 fall off-campus recruiting period.
- The university ended its recruitment of the prospect.
- A ban on recruiting any prospects from the prospect’s high school for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-222 academic years.
- A six-month show-cause order for the assistant coach. The terms of the show-cause order include a previously served nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January 2020; a reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by three for the December 2019 through January 2020 contact period; a ban on all off-campus recruiting activities for the fall 2020 contact period; and additional one-on-one rules education.