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Kyler Murray requests transfer from A&M, says decision is final

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The will-he, won’t-he soap opera that broke out in College Station yesterday regarding Kyler Murray has apparently reached a climax that will only continue to fuel rumors of the program’s downward spiral.

According to a tweet from Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com, he has “confirmed that… Murray has requested a transfer from Texas A&M and that the decision is ‘final.'” The move comes a day after reports surfaced that Murray had met with head coach Kevin Sumlin each of the previous two days regarding his status with the program and was seriously considering leaving the Aggies. Sumlin reportedly wanted Murray — and his father — to mull over a move before making a final decision.

Following practice Wednesday, Sumlin expressed confidence that Murray would be on the team and start in the Music City Bowl later this month.

If Murray is indeed out the door, A&M would likely be forced to turn to Jake Hubenak, a 2015 JUCO signee who attempted 27 passes during the regular season, for the bowl game against Louisville. The Aggies have four other quarterbacks on the roster, but none have thrown a pass at the FBS level.

Murray would become the second high-profile quarterback to leave College Station this month. Last week, former five-star signee Kyle Allen announced his intention to transfer.

The Aggies have no quarterbacks currently committed in the Class of 2016. The football program could be forced to go the graduate transfer route if both Allen and Murray do indeed leave — provided Hubenak isn’t the answer, of course.

UPDATED 5:16 p.m. ET: ESPN.com is reporting that, “[a]ccording to the family, Murray has been released from his scholarship at Texas A&M and can transfer to any school, as long as it isn’t an SEC school or a team on Texas A&M’s schedule over the next four years.”

Rival Texas — neither in the SEC nor an opponent the next four years — will be expected to make a run at Murray, although the website explains that A&M could put further restrictions on a move.

However, National Letter of Intent rules state that once an athlete signs with a school, they must remain at that school for one academic year. Texas A&M could release Murray from his NLI, but it is at the school’s discretion. If he is not granted a release, Murray can appeal. If an appeal is denied, enrolling in another NLI program would result in a penalty of one year of eligibility.

UPDATED 7:08 p.m. ET: In a very brief press release, A&M has confirmed that Murray has parted ways with the program.

Texas A&M freshman quarterback Kyler Murray has left the football program and has been granted his release.

Scott Frost says RB Maurice Washington not part of Nebraska’s plans ‘in the immediate future’

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Maurice Washington played in Nebraska’s most recent game, a 34-7 loss to No. 12 Minnesota on Oct. 12, toting the ball six times for 20 yards in the setback.

However, the running back has not practiced with the team since that game and is apart from the team indefinitely, Scott Frost revealed Monday.

What’s notable here is Frost said Washington’s absence is not related to the running back’s pending court date in California, where he is accused of violating the state’s revenge-porn laws. As our own John Taylor summarized the issue just a few short days ago:

It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which allegedly shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.

Washington is facing a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.

If facing a felony count of disseminating a sexually explicit video involving a 15-year-old girl doesn’t qualify as “non-negotiable,” one has to wonder what exactly Washington did to get himself removed from Nebraska’s team this time around. One would have to assume it’s something serious; otherwise, why would Nebraska go through the trouble to keep a player, only to give him a soft boot for, say, sleeping through a workout?

As it stands, the sophomore from Stockton, Calif., ranks second among Husker running backs with 50 carries for 298 yards and one touchdown. Time will tell if that number changes over the remainder of the season.

It’s official: LSU-Alabama moving to daytime for the first time since 2010

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Astute observers of college football’s television contracts (read: nerds) perked up when CBS announced over the summer it had chosen Notre Dame’s Sept. 21 visit to Georgia as its annual primetime selection, meaning LSU’s Nov. 9 trip to Alabama would likely be played under sunshine for the first time since 2010.

However, there remained a question that CBS could work a backroom deal with ESPN to get Tigers-Tide in prime time, like it did back in 2011 when CBS initially used its annual primetime pick on Florida-Alabama and then nabbed LSU-Alabama when it became apparent that would be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game. With history repeating itself on the field — Alabama is No. 1 in the AP poll, LSU is No. 2 — one had to wonder if history could also repeat itself in the boardroom.

That question was answered Monday, when CBS announced LSU-Alabama on Nov. 9 will indeed be played in the SEC on CBS’s traditional time slot of 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT.

Playing the Crimson Tide in daylight could be a good omen for LSU. The Tigers, losers of seven straight primetime affairs, won the most recent afternoon kickoff, a 24-21 decision on Nov. 6, 2010.

Mark Richt suffers heart attack, says he’s ‘doing fine’

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From the outside, it seems as if Mark Richt is the most relaxed, stress-free person in the entire college football universe. In 18 seasons as the head coach at Georgia and Miami, Richt had an inner peace and perspective that never seemed to let the stresses of the job get to him in the way it did most other coaches or people in similar high-stakes gigs.

Now, he’s very much living that retired multi-millionaire life.

That’s why it was so surprising when Richt announced Monday he suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.

“I am assuming word travels fast,” he tweeted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

While Monday’s news was obviously frightening, it’s comforting to know Richt survived and will hopefully be around to eat many, many more cheese balls on the beach.

 

‘GameDay’ making maiden voyage to South Dakota State

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The Football Championship Subdivision recently made a coordinated, nationwide push for ESPN’s “College GameDay” to pay its brand of football more attention. That push has quickly paid off.

ESPN announced Sunday that “GameDay” will make its first ever visit to Brookings, S.D., as No. 3 South Dakota State hosts No. 1 North Dakota State. The Jackrabbits are 6-1 this season, losing only to FBS No. 17 Minnesota 28-21 to open the season and then running off six straight victories by an average of 24.3 points. North Dakota State is 7-0 on the season with four victories over FCS top-20 opponents.

South Dakota State should send flowers to Wisconsin, who lost to Illinois ahead of their visit to No. 3 Ohio State, to Michigan, who lost to Penn State before hosting No. 8 Notre Dame, and to ESPN for their recent visit to Baton Rouge, making a return visit for No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU seem too redundant.

“GameDay” last visited an FCS site on Oct. 14, 2017, as No. 1 James Madison hosted Villanova.

Saturday will mark North Dakota State’s third “GameDay” appearance, passing Harvard for the most among FCS teams. The Bison won both of their previous appearances, a 51-0 drubbing of Delaware State on Sept. 21, 2013, and a 58-0 blowout of Incarnate Word on Sept. 13, 2014.