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Suspended Tar Heel LB accused of sexual assault cleared by UNC’s Title IX office

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A development Thursday could ultimately pave the way for a suspended player’s return to the North Carolina football team.

Thursday, the attorney for Allen Artis released a statement indicating that his client, after a “thorough investigation,” has been notified by UNC’s Title IX office that he “did not violate” any university policy.  A UNC student, sophomore Delaney Robinson, alleged in both a statement and press conference in mid-September of last year that she was raped by Artis on Valentine’s Day earlier that year.

According to Robinson, she reported the alleged rape to university police as well as the university’s Title IX office.  Additionally, she went to a local hospital after the alleged sexual assault, where evidence was collected in a rape kit.  Robinson’s father said his daughter, who has acknowledged drinking that night, immediately reported the alleged sexual assault.

In a statement, Denise Branch, Robinson’s attorney, said her client is “shocked and dismayed” that UNC’s Title IX office failed to hold Artis accountable.

“Ms. Robinson is shocked and dismayed by the failure of UNC Title IX office to hold Mr. Artis accountable for his actions,” Branch’s statement said. “She has appealed this initial finding which is subject to further administrative review.

Artis, who has claimed throughout that the sex was consensual, was indefinitely suspended by the football program the day after Robinson’s press conference.  Artis is still facing two misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and assault; a trial date in that case hasn’t yet been set.

It’s likely that the university and football program are awaiting the results of that criminal case, as well as the appeal, before deciding what if any future Artis has with the Tar Heels as both a player and student.

In 2014 and 2015, Artis played in 25 games for the Tar Heels.  He had played in both games to start the 2016 season before the off-field issue surfaced.

LB Jaden Hunter was second Georgia player arrested in March

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A member of the Georgia football program was arrested Wednesday night. Linebacker Jaden Hunter was arrested and charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license. He was also charged with stopping, standing, or parking in a prohibited area.

Hunter spent just two hours in jail after being released on bond late Wednesday night.

The charges are misdemeanors and his status with the Bulldogs has not been confirmed with regard to any possible suspensions or other forms of discipline by head coach Kirby Smart. Given the nature of the charges, it would seem this would be far from calling for removal from the program or any significant form of discipline unless there is more to the story behind the scenes.

Hunter did become the second Georgia football player to be arrested in the month of March. Earlier in the month, redshirt freshman Latavious Brini was arrested on one count of simple battery.

William & Mary football player killed in shooting incident

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The William & Mary football family is mourning the death of Nate Evans. Evans, 19, was the victim of a shooting Thursday night, according to a report from The Virginian-Pilot on Friday.

“Nate’s is a loss we are feeling deeply within our program,” William & Mary head coach Mike London said in a released statement. “Faith and family are the foundations of our program. We value relationships first.

“Our team has gathered together to support each other as we deal with the grief that comes from this tragedy. Additionally, we will do all we can to support and comfort Nate’s family and loved ones through this difficult time.”

Police in Norfolk responded to a call about gunshots late Thursday night. The running back was declared dead at the scene of the call. What led to the shooting remains unknown. No arrests have been made at this time as an investigation continues.

Ohio State receiver to transfer from Buckeyes, per reports

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Ohio State seems to be losing a wide receiver from the program. Multiple reports from around the Ohio State football program have suggested wide receiver L'Christian Smith will leave the program as a transfer at the end of the spring semester.

Smith was a four-star recruit in Ohio State’s Class of 2018. Smith redshirted the 2018 season and still has four years of eligibility remaining. Smith played in three games, allowing him to preserve a year of eligibility under the NCAA’s modified redshirt rules last season.

Of course, barring any potential waiver request, Smith will have to sit out the 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules (that continue to be more flexible than ever before) if he transfers to another FBS program.

Ohio State should still be in pretty good shape as far as the wide receivers are concerned after the potential loss of Smith. And with Justin Fields eligible to play right away at the quarterback position, the Buckeyes should still have good firepower in the passing game working for them next fall.

Former USC kicker Matt Boermeester sues school over controversial expulsion

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USC is dealing with many negative stories on a number of fronts and now you can add one more to the Trojans’ docket.

As detailed by ESPN, former cardinal and gold kicker Matt Boermeester has filed a lawsuit against the university in district court over his controversial expulsion in 2017:

The lawsuit includes seven causes of action, including selective Title IX enforcement, breach of contract, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and represents the latest step in Boermeester’s ongoing legal battle with the school. In 2017, Boermeester, who remains two classes shy of graduation, sued for his expulsion to be overturned in superior court, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

“What happened to Matt Boermeester at USC should terrify anyone who believes in the right to due process and innocent-until-proven-guilty,” attorney Andrew T. Miltenberg said in a statement to the site. “Based on nothing more than a third-party report by a nonwitness — essentially a rumor that was easily and repeatedly disputed — a star athlete lost his education and his future career in the NFL.

Boermeester was kicked out of the school not long after he delivered one of the highlights of the Clay Helton era at USC with a game-winning kick to secure the Rose Bowl back in January of 2017. The issue started back when a member of the school’s tennis team reported an incident allegedly involving the kicker putting his hands on his girlfriend, which prompted a school investigation into the matter. That eventually led to Boermeester’s expulsion despite the woman in question (who is still with Boermeester, according to ESPN) denying what happened and blasting the school for their handling of the matter.

USC’s Title IX coordinator was also named to the suit, which comes after legal wrangling between the parties last year in Los Angeles Superior Court.