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Another day, another disturbing situation surfaces at Baylor


Even with a change at the top, the Baylor football program seemingly can’t get out of its own way.

At a press conference introducing him as the interim replacement for Art Briles, the deposed Bears head football coach let go in the wake of the sexual assault scandal in the program, Jim Grobe stridently proclaimed that his “main goal right now is to make sure that they do all the good things off the field.”  The former Wake Forest head coach added that they, the players, “know there’s absolute no tolerance policy right now, zero tolerance for misbehavior.”

Earlier this week, that zero-tolerance policy was on full display as a pair of junior college transfers, offensive lineman B.J. Autry and defensive tackle Jeremy Faulk, left both the football team and university for unspecified reasons.  According to a new Outside the Lines report, Faulk was questioned by Baylor coaches on June 1 about an incident at his former FBS school, Florida Atlantic, as well as an alleged sexual assault on the BU campus in April.

It’s the handling of the alleged incident at FAU that, again, raises questions as to whether the university, including the new head coach, truly grasps what’s going on and, more importantly, how to move forward.

Faulk’s departure has angered Jeff Sims, a former assistant at Florida Atlantic and the former head coach at Garden City. Sims, who coached Faulk at both schools, says Baylor is trying to rid itself of anyone who has had an allegation made against him, true or not. And he’s disturbed by something he said new Baylor interim coach Jim Grobe told him when he called to ask why Faulk’s status on the team was in jeopardy over the alleged April incident.

“Grobe says to me, ‘Listen, if he just leaves, he can go on, and we won’t stop him from playing anywhere, and this investigation will stop.'” Flabbergasted at the notion a sexual assault investigation might disappear if an accused player were to leave the team, Sims said he pressed Grobe, but Grobe struggled to be more specific before implying that Baylor administrators had made him remove the player from the team.

“To me, that’s the whole reason they got in trouble — either Jeremy’s innocent, and they should go through the process, and he should get his scholarship back and play. Or he’s guilty, and this girl should get some justice,” Sims said.

In an emailed response to OTL, a Baylor spokesperson stated that “Coach Grobe has a different recollection of the conversation,” a comment that’s symbolic of what appears to be an overriding theme in this disturbing mess in Waco.

In the OTL report, Faulk claimed he had consensual sex with a woman in April, while the female has a different story as to what transpired; the alleged victim spoke to OTL and claimed that Faulk and another player, Autry, “forced me to do things that I didn’t want to do against my own consent.”

That alleged victim reported the incident to police May 5 but told them she did not want to pursue charges.  The woman also didn’t want an investigation to be conducted by the school into her allegations, an investigation she was told was required when contacted by a BU Title IX official. “She said she is in counseling but is worried about retaliation and wants to move on,” OTL wrote.

“No one’s given me a reason why I’ve been released,” Faulk said of his departure from the university. “If I just leave, it will look like I’m guilty, and I didn’t do anything. …

“[Grobe] was, like, due to all the stuff that’s been going on, and Title IX and all that, the school is releasing me. He didn’t say the football team. He said the school is releasing me … I asked him why, and he just told me it’s out of their hands.”

As for the FAU incident that angered Faulk’s former coach?  It surfaced after BU, as part of the aftermath of the scandal, began retroactively doing background checks on all athletes who had transferred into its sports programs.

Faulk said that on June 1 he was called back into the coaches’ office, and they presented him with a report they found from Florida Atlantic University, where Faulk played in 2013 and 2014. He said that while he was there, he and a friend got in trouble after they burst open the door to a teammate’s room and teased him and his girlfriend — who were both naked in bed — and threatened to pull off the sheets. Campus police were called, but no criminal charges were filed. Outside the Lines obtained the police report Thursday; the description of the “suspicious incident” on Nov. 3, 2013, matches Faulk’s account.

Sims said Grobe told him during their phone call Saturday that Baylor had to let Faulk go because of the two incidents: “They said two strikes, and he was out.”

USC makes hiring of Virginia’s Vic So’oto official

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The massive renovation of Clay Helton’s USC football coaching staff has taken another official step.

Last week, it was reported that USC was expected to poach Vic So’oto from Virginia.  As Clint Sintim‘s hiring as So’oto’s replacement was announced a few days later, the latter’s move to the Trojans was a mere formality.

Tuesday, USC football confirmed So’oto’s addition to Clay Helton’s staff.  As he did with the ‘Hoos, So’oto will serve as the Trojans’ defensive line coach.

The 32-year-old So’oto was the line coach at Virginia for the past three seasons.  Prior to that, he was a defensive graduate assistant at the ACC program.

So’oto played his college football at BYU, ending his four-year career in 2010.  After his NFL career ended, So’oto began his collegiate coaching career as a football intern at his alma mater.

For those unaware, So’oto is the second cousin of USC football legend Junior Seau.

LSU confirms hiring of Scott Linehan as new passing-game coordinator

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LSU football has officially replaced one of the hottest young coaches in the sport.

Not long after LSU football claimed the 2019 national championship, Joe Brady left to take over as the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Earlier this month, it was reported that Scott Linehan was expected to be hired as Brady’s successor.

Tuesday, LSU confirmed that Linehan has indeed been named by Ed Orgeron as the Tigers’ new passing-game coordinator. The 56-year-old Linehan has spent the past 17 seasons he’s been a coach at the NFL level.

Linehan was out of coaching this past season.

“Scott brings a wealth of knowledge to our offense,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “We wanted to bring in someone who will expand our passing game and with Scott’s experience as an NFL head coach and offensive coordinator we feel this is the best move for our offense. After talking to numerous people with NFL experience and interviewing Scott we knew he was the right fit for the LSU Tigers.”

In 13 of those seasons in the NFL, Linehan served as an offensive coordinator.

  • Dallas Cowboys, 2015-18
  • Detroit Lions, 2009-13
  • Miami Dolphins, 2005
  • Minnesota Vikings, 2002-04

In the other four NFL seasons in which he wasn’t a coordinator, Linehan was the head coach of the St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and passing-game coordinator for the Cowboys (2014).

Linehan’s last job at the collegiate level came as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Louisville (1999-2001). From 1996-98, he was the coordinator at Washington.

American announces 2020 schedule

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The American Athletic Conference will again play football in 2020, the conference confirmed on Tuesday.

The American revealed its 2020 conference schedule, a 44-game slate that completes the 88 total games AAC teams will play in 2020. As a reminder, UConn is no longer an American member, meaning the conference will have 11 football-playing members for the foreseeable future. All 11 teams will still play an 8-game league schedule, and the conference will still hold a title game.

The 2020 season will also be the conference’s first under the new rights agreement it struck with ESPN in March. As such, at least 40 American home games will be shown on the ESPN family of networks, and at least half of those will be on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. The conference will play a total of 12 games on Thursday or Friday nights.

“We are excited to announce our 2020 schedule as we enter the next phase of our longstanding relationship with ESPN,” said commissioner Mike Aresco. “With the continued success our schools have had, I have no doubt that we will once again provide our fans, and ESPN, with compelling matchups throughout the season in both conference and nonconference play. We look forward to another outstanding season of American Athletic Conference football.”

The season will begin on Saturday, Aug. 29 when Navy “hosts” Notre Dame at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. That game will be shown on ESPN with College GameDay in tow as part of the network’s season kick-off effort. While the full schedule can be viewed here, highlights include:

  • North Carolina at UCF, Sept. 4 (Friday)
  • South Florida at Texas, Sept. 5
  • Temple at Miami, Sept. 5
  • Houston at Washington State, Sept. 12
  • Cincinnati at Nebraska, Sept. 26
  • TCU at SMU, Sept. 26
  • Memphis at SMU, Oct. 1 (Thursday)
  • UCF at Memphis, Oct. 16 (Friday)
  • Memphis at Cincinnati, Oct. 31
  • Memphis at Navy, Nov. 14
  • Cincinnati at UCF, Nov. 21
  • UCF at South Florida, Nov. 27 (Friday)

The 2020 American season will conclude with the sixth annual American Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Ohio State CB Sevyn Banks to wear No. 7

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George Costanza was never much of a college football fan. He was a New Yorker, after all. But he was a fan of the No. 7, and so he would have a new favorite college football player in 2020.

A product of Orlando’s Jones High School, Sevyn Banks has been a member of Ohio State’s defensive backfield since 2018. The former 4-star recruit has received limited playing time in the Buckeyes’ loaded defensive backfield, but figures to compete for a starting spot in 2020.

And now he’ll do so in his namesake number.

Banks announced Monday he will switch from No. 12 to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

The No. 7 had been claimed by linebacker Teradja Mitchell, who is now switching to No. 3, opening No. 7 for, well, Sevyn.

Banks appeared in all 14 games for Ohio State last season, collecting 11 tackles and one interception.

He’ll hope to get more burn in 2020, with some support from a fictional New Yorker.