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DUI among eight charges facing Pitt lineman Alex Bookser

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Just as the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker had edged its way past the halfway point to double digits, it’s time to, again, set it back to double zeroes.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh’s Alex Bookser (pictured, lifting another big dude) was arrested Sunday on a whopping eight vehicular charges, including driving under the influence.  Additionally, the starting offensive lineman was charged with reckless driving, careless driving, an accident involving damage to an attended vehicle, an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle, failure to drive at a safe speed, failure to obey stop signs or yield signs and operating a vehicle without an official certificate.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review offered up details of what led to myriad charges being filed.

The incident began shortly before 1 a.m. when a Pitt police officer sitting in his cruiser on Semple Street heard an engine revving behind him, according to the criminal complaint filed against Bookser.

The officer, Terry Childs, looked in his mirror and saw a tan Ford Explorer speeding up the street and then blowing through a stop sign at Semple and Forbes Avenue. He wrote in the complaint that the Explorer turned right onto Forbes and continued in a “careless and reckless manner.”

Childs said the Explorer turned left onto Meyran Avenue and crashed into the Loeffler Building, according to the complaint. As Childs approached the SUV, the driver — later identified as Bookser — began to get out.

Childs drew his weapon and ordered Bookser to the ground, according to the complaint.

“We are extremely disappointed in the circumstances Alex put himself in, and others, because of his poor decision-making,” a statement from head coach Pat Narduzzi began. “He has expressed to me his extreme regret and disappointment in himself. Alex understands the importance of accountability when a mistake of this gravity is made.

“We are committed, as is Alex, to ensuring his actions and judgment will be better moving forward.”

After starting two games as a redshirt freshman in 2015, Bookser started all 13 games at right guard last season.  H was named honorable mention All-ACC following the 2016 regular season.

Report: Baylor LB DeMarco Artis, WR Rajah Preciado leave team

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Baylor linebacker DeMarco Artis and wide receiver Rajah Preciado have left the team, according to a report from SicEm365The site reports that the pair leave the program on good terms; both players are still on the online roster as well as the paper roster that was distributed at Big 12 media days on Monday.

Artis was a rising sophomore from Sanford, Fla. He appeared in six games as a true freshman in 2017, recording one tackle and one hurry.

Preciado was a junior from College Station, Texas. Appearing in 18 games over his freshman and sophomore seasons, Preciado did not record a catch but posted 14 career tackles and returned one kickoff for 10 yards.

 

 

Former Ohio State defensive MVP Mike Kudla passes away

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Former Ohio State defensive end Mike Kudla passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, according to a Facebook post from his high school alma mater, Highland High School in Medina, Ohio. Kudla was 34.

Kudla signed with Ohio State in 2002 and immediately helped the Buckeyes to their first national championship since 1968. He would go on to become one of the top 15 sack artists in Ohio State history, a First Team All-Big Ten performer and Ohio State’s defensive MVP in 2005. He recorded 41 tackles, 11.5 TFLs and 9.5 sacks.

Kudla worked in business after football and eventually returned to Ohio State in 2012 as managing director of development for the Fisher College of Business. At the time of his death, Kudla worked as the owner of Core Plex, which “built medical facilities all over the country.”

“Despite his success on and off the football field, Mike remained humble and was extremely generous with his time and resources,” Highland school district director of communications Dawn Marzano wrote in the Facebook post. “He was always willing to share his experience and mentor youth. He was loved and respected by many and will be missed terribly.”

Lincoln Riley suggests there is a competition for QB that nobody should believe

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It’s a standard procedure for a head coach to suggest there is an open competition for any number of positions on a football team, but nobody seems to be buying the idea there is a competition at Oklahoma to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. And when one of the players supposedly in the running for the job has a lucrative baseball career on the table, the idea is a little more comical.

Kyler Murray was drafted by the Oakland A’s with the No. 9 overall pick in the recent amateur MLB amateur draft. His contract with the A’s guarantees him $5 million and still allows for him to play one more year of football, which Murray has stated is his plan at Oklahoma. Still, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley addressed the quarterback situation at Big 12 media days on Monday and suggested Murray will have to win the job against redshirt sophomore Austin Kendall.

“Kyler’s not the quarterback yet,” Riley said when asked how the offense will change with Riley at the position following the departure of No. 1 overall NFL draft pick Mayfield to Cleveland. “There’s a really good competition going on and Kyler’s gonna have to fight like crazy to win this job.”

Sure. OK. Whatever you say, Riley.

It is worth noting Murray appeared in seven games for the Sooners last season with 18-of-21 for 359 yards and three touchdowns without an interception in backup duty for Mayfield. Kendall redshirted last season and was named one of the team’s Offensive Scout Team Players of the Year. Kendall did make appearances in two games in 2016 in a back-up role. While Kendall may have a bright future in Norman, few are willing to accept Oklahoma is welcoming back Murray to potentially be a back-up quarterback when he could jump right into his pro baseball career right now.

But this could just be nothing more than the latest example of a coach simply setting the tone for the offseason and holding the bar high for even the most talented of players on the roster. Riley may be blowing smoke, but it could also pay off in the long run of the 2018 season.

Tennessee DL Ryan Thaxton suspended, charged with domestic assault

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Tennessee defensive lineman Ryan Thaxton has been suspended by the football program after being arrested and charged for an alleged domestic assault of his girlfriend. The incident leading to the arrest and charge occurred over the weekend.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Thaxton was arrested Sunday night and charged with domestic assault and false imprisonment. According to police records, Thaxton is accused of pushing his girlfriend to his dorm room while she refused to follow him. It is reported Thaxton than carried the unidentified woman to his dorm room and blocked the door so she could not leave as an argument continued inside the room.

“We are aware of the incident,” a statement from Tennessee read. “The student-athlete has been suspended from all team activities while law enforcement and the university investigates.”

Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt is scheduled to address the media at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.