And the exodus is nearly complete.
On the same day that a four-star 2016 signee who benefited from sloppy paperwork officially found a new home, Baylor announced that it has granted a National Letter of Intent release to five members of its most recent recruiting class. Unfortunately, and continuing the lack of transparency demonstrated by the university throughout the sexual assault scandal, BU declined to divulge the names of those who are on the receiving end of a release from their NLI.
It had previously been reported that another four-star 2016 wide receiver signee, Tren’Davian Dickson, had been granted a release from his NLI. At various points, it was reported that upwards of seven 2016 signees had requested a release from their NLI, including offensive linemen Patrick Hudson and J.P. Urquidez as well as defensive back Parish Cobb and running back Kameron Martin.
It’s unknown at this point how many of those four are among the five to be released, although anyone on the receiving end of a release had to request one before May 31 for it to be considered.
It’s also unknown what if any restrictions were placed on the releases, although there’s a decent chance none of the group will be permitted to transfer to another Big 12 program.
“I wanted the opportunity to talk with our signees and their families before providing any releases,” said Bears acting head coach Jim Grobe in a statement. “This has never been about whether or not we would ultimately provide individuals with a release; we simply asked that we go through the process outlined by the NLI, take some time and have the chance to speak with the student-athletes and their parents. I’ve enjoyed those opportunities to meet with these families and wish each individual success in all that they do in life.
“I am very impressed with the young men who are here at Baylor and on our team. We have great student-athletes who are working hard, committed to success and being a part of something special. I am committed to each one in their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.”
Also in the press release, the university attempted to put a positive face on the departures:
Several members of the 2016 class enrolled for the first session of summer school, which began last month, and are participating in the Bears’ strength and conditioning program. Additional class members are expected to join the program for the second session of summer school in July.
UPDATED 8:27 p.m. ET: CFT can confirm that Martin, Urquidez and Donovan Duvernay are three of the five to have received releases. Duvernay is the brother of Devin Duvernay, also a 2016 Baylor signee who didn’t need a release from his NLI — paperwork snafu — and who signed with Texas earlier today.