Of all the attrition blows Baylor has taken over the last couple of months, this one might be the biggest punch to the gut. Or an area a foot or so south.
Amidst the turmoil of the sexual assault scandal and Art Briles suspension/dismissal, Jarrett Stidham reaffirmed his commitment to the Bears in late May, imploring fans in an Instagram post to “[s]tick with us Baylor nation, we got this.” With time to reflect on the situation in Waco, however, it appears the quarterback has undergone a change of heart and doesn’t have it anymore.
The speculation swirling around is that Stidham will go the junior college route for the 2016 season and then transfer to another FBS program early next year. Such a move would allow him to play at that level in 2017, and would leave him with two years of eligibility remaining plus a redshirt season.
Were this departure come to fruition, it would be a significant and damaging blow to the Bears both now and in the future.
If Stidham bolts, it would leave interim head coach Jim Grobe with just two scholarship quarterbacks — starter Seth Russell and true freshman Zach Smith. With Russell returning from a season-ending neck injury, and given the paucity of players at the position, Stidham’s presence would’ve served as an invaluable life jacket should Russell struggle.
Last season, Stidham started three games as a redshirt freshman in place of the injured Russell before going down with a broken ankle that ended his own season. He had been penciled in as the Bears’ quarterback of the future when Russell departed after the 2016 season.
The transfer portal has giveth for Miami football and it’s taken away.
Less than a week after Hurricanes got a big pickup in the form of Temple grad transfer DL Quincy Roche, the program learned that veteran defensive end Scott Patchan had entered his name into the transfer portal via an announcement on social media:
Patchan started six games last season and played in all 13 for Miami in 2019. He recorded 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks while in the lineup but ultimately took a back seat to star pass rusher Greg Rousseau and a host of others.
The loss of Patchan certainly hurts the depth head coach Manny Diaz has to play with but is by no means a killer given what will return in 2020 along the line. In addition to Rousseau (coming off a 15.5 sack campaign) and former AAC Defensive Player of the Year Roche, rising sophomore Jahfari Harvey saw action and former five-star Jaelan Phillips will be eligible after transferring from UCLA.
Patchan, who received a waiver from the NCAA for a sixth-year after injuries hampered his career, will be immediately eligible for his new school.
Miami opens the 2020 season with a game against Temple as part of a three-game homestand against Group of Five opponents before traveling to Michigan State for a big non-conference test.
A difficult year for UCLA on the football field was just as difficult on the balance sheet.
According to details obtained by the San Jose Mercury News, the Bruins reported a shocking $18.9 million deficit for the recent 2018-19 fiscal year. This was the result of $108.4 million in revenue and $127.3 million in outgoing expenses.
“A confluence of events over the past two years led us to this point,” AD Dan Guerrero said in a statement to the paper, “and while it is unusual for us, we expect this shortfall can be mitigated.
“The investments made into our football and men’s basketball programs will pay off, ticket sales will normalize and one-time expenses will be paid.”
Those investments included a nearly 30 percent increase in the football program’s funding since the hire of Chip Kelly in late 2017. While former head coach Jim Mora’s buyout (nearly $12.5 million) was recorded in the previous year’s budget, the effects of it naturally carried over and created an even tricker situation when basketball coach Steve Alford’s buyout was thrown in for 2019.
In addition to buyouts, the grocery bill seemed to play a pretty big factor in the deficit as well. While this doesn’t appear to just be the case of switching from Albertsons to Whole Foods, under Kelly the program’s budget for nutrition ballooned from just a shade under $1 million to nearly $5.4 million last year. Add in decreased ticket sales in football (down $3.5 million from projections) after a disappointing year and increased costs from other places in the department and you can see how UCLA quickly went from being in the black into the red.
Needless to say, that puts even more pressure on Kelly and company to help turn things around in 2020. Things in Westwood haven’t been rosy in some time in the major revenue-producing sports and it seems it’s finally caught up to the folks in powder blue.
New Baylor football head coach Dave Aranda has been busy assembling his new coaching staff and filling it with familiar faces from his days at LSU.
One looming question that was still in the wind however was just what direction the defensive-minded coach would be taking on the other side of the ball. Now it appears we know.
As first reported by Yahoo! Sports and confirmed by a number of other outlets, the Bears are set to bring in former North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora as the program’s new offensive coordinator.
Fedora is no stranger to the Lone Star State, having grown up in College Station and spent the 2019 season as an offensive analyst at Texas. He also coached at Baylor from 1991-1996 as a position coach responsible for, at times, the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs.
The 57 year old previously served as OC at Middle Tennessee, Florida and Oklahoma State and is well versed in running a high-flying spread offense. He took over as head coach of Southern Miss and quickly got the program back on track before heading to Chapel Hill. While in charge of the Tar Heels, he guided UNC to a 79-62 record that included a division title in 2015.
While it’s assumed that Fedora will be calling plays while in Waco, he does join a previously announced hire in Jorge Munoz on the Bears staff. The latter was a coordinator himself at UL-Lafayette and recently served as an analyst at LSU helping develop Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow.
The ACC has lost a pivotal figure in the league’s history.
The conference confirmed that former commissioner Gene Corrigan passed away on Friday night at the age of 91 in his Charlottesville, Virginia home.
“When Gene hired me at the University of Virginia straight out of graduate school, it was one of the luckiest days of my life,” said current ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “That day began a relationship and mentorship that lasted nearly half a century. Simply put, Gene was one of the most remarkable individuals, and leaders, I have ever known. His impact on the ACC and college athletics was profound and immeasurable, only surpassed by his impact on the individuals he positively affected – and there are a multitude of us. I will miss him immensely, but I am so grateful to have had him as a mentor, boss, friend and colleague for so many years. Nora and I spent several hours with Gene and Lena at their home in Charlottesville last fall. The time was truly special. Nora joins me in extending our hearts and prayers to Lena and the extraordinary Corrigan family.”
Corrigan served as athletic director at Washington and Lee University, Virginia and Notre Dame before taking over at the league office in Greensboro. A Duke graduate, he came up in college athletics originally as a lacrosse and soccer coach in the 1950’s and 1960’s before eventually moving full-time into administration.
After leaving South Bend to become the ACC’s commissioner in 1987, Corrigan engineered a series of key moves that resulted in the league that many see today. Most notably this included the addition of Florida State to the ranks in 1990 and helping found the Football Bowl Alliance, a precursor to what would become the BCS.
Corrigan is survived by his wife, seven children, including current N.C. State athletic director Boo Corrigan.