Associated Press

Former Div. III WR found guilty of murdering 16-year-old cheerleader who was his ex-girlfriend

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A sad, tragic story has, at least legally, come to a conclusion.

In November of 2016, former Tennessee Central High School and Maryville College football player William Riley Gaul was arrested on one count of first-degree murder.  It’s alleged that Gaul fired a weapon into the bedroom of Emma Jane Walker, killing the 16-year-old Central High cheerleader.

This week, an eight-man, four-woman jury found the 19-year-old former Div. III wide receiver guilty of first-degree murder.  Gaul was also found guilty of stalking, tampering with evidence, theft of between $500 and $1,000, and possession of a firearm in a dangerous felony

The guilty verdicts came after the jury had deliberated for just over four hours.

According to the Associated Press, the 19-year-old Gaul was immediately given a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 51 years.  Gaul, who was 18 at the time of the murder, would be 70 years old the first time he comes up for parole.

Prior to the murder, Gaul and Walker had been involved in a relationship that the latter had broken off.  Walker was believed to be sleeping when she was hit by a single bullet.

From the AP:

Prosecutors said Gaul intended to kill his ex-girlfriend in anger over the end of their two-year relationship. Defense lawyer Wesley Stone said Gaul never intended to harm Walker and should be convicted of the lesser charge of reckless homicide.

Obviously, Gaul was dismissed from the Div. III football team very shortly after his 2016 arrest.

Ryan Day releases detailed practice update to remind you Ohio State is still practicing

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The larger focus in Columbus may be on the ongoing story revolving around head coach Urban Meyer, but the Buckeyes still have work to do in camp at Ohio State. On Friday, interim head coach Ryan Day released a full rundown of each position group to update the media and fans on the current status of the team, with no mention of Meyer or the investigation expected to come to a close in the coming days.

Day shared his detailed practice update on Twitter.

If nothing else, Day’s first chance addressing the current status of the Buckeyes is a reminder that no matter what is happening off the field, there is still work to be done by the coaching staff and players as the new college football season quickly approaches. Meyer may not be able to have contact with the team, but Day’s job is to continue having the program move forward for as long as necessary. In the meantime, Ohio State has shut off media access to the program, including coaches and players, with the exception of brief glimpses at practices as training camp has been going on. Ohio State will allow more availability to watch practices this weekend as Ohio State brings training camp to a close for the summer. Regular practice schedules are scheduled to begin next week as Ohio State opens classes for the fall semester.

Day was named the interim head coach at Ohio State at the time Meyer was placed on administrative leave. Meyer remains out of action while the university conducts an investigation into the allegations connected to him from a report related to former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Smith reportedly spent hours interviewing with officials leading the Ohio State investigation earlier this week. Day has admitted to leaving Meyer in the dark regarding a previous OVI but has sided with Meyer in acknowledging that athletics director Gene Smith was aware of the allegations of domestic abuse connected to Smith that ignited much of this current situation.

With Ohio State’s 14-day timeline for this investigation coming near the expiration date, we may find out much more about the immediate future of Ohio State football and Meyer fairly soon.

Bobby Petrino, playing to the crowd, predicts Louisville victory over Alabama

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Let’s not get too carried away here, but Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino just gave Alabama a bit of bulletin board material.

Speaking at a Louisville luncheon on Friday, Petrino reportedly said his Cardinals team is going to beat Alabama in the season opener in Orlando.

Alabama is currently anywhere from a 24.5 to a 26-point favorite depending on the sportsbook you prefer. The Crimson Tide opened as a 28-point favorite though, so maybe the line is moving in Louisville’s favor?

Regardless, while this comment from Petrino will be used by some Alabama fans to play the disrespect card, it is important to ask what Petrino is supposed to say in that environment. Would anyone expect Petrino to come out and predict a loss for any game? Of course not. Head coaches are going to say what wins the crowd over whether they genuinely feel strongly about this kind of statement or not.

Louisville opens the 2018 season on September 1 against Alabama in Orlando, Florida. Alabama is coming off a national championship and Louisville is coming off an 8-5 season.

Miami opens brand new indoor practice facility

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Just in time for the beginning of the 2018 college football season, the Miami Hurricanes have a brand new place to practice when the weather is not so friendly outside. On Friday, Miami officially opened the new facility, the Carol Sofer Indoor Practice Facility, for the first official practice to be held indoors at Miami. As you can tell from the Miami social media feed on Twitter, the players seem to be happy about the new practice facility.

The new indoor facility is an 83,000 square-foot building and it is connected to Miami’s existing locker room and weight rooms, making for a convenient location to hit the practice field when working out inside. As noted by The Miami Herald, Miami head coach Mark Richt will have his office looking over the indoor practice fields as well.

Considering how unpredictable the weather in Miami can be, having an indoor practice facility is long overdue for the Hurricanes.

Miami is coming off a 10-3 season and is preparing for the third year under Richt. Miami made its first appearance in the ACC Championship Game last season, losing to Clemson before heading to the Orange Bowl to play Wisconsin. Miami is looking to get off on the right foot this season after dropping its final three games of the 2017 season.

Miami opens the 2018 season on Sunday, September 2 against LSU in Arlington, Texas.

Canceled 2017 Georgia Tech-UCF game rescheduled for 2022

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Five years after originally scheduled, one ACC-AAC matchup will go off as originally planned.

On Sept. 11 of last year, the Georgia Tech-UCF game scheduled to be played in Orlando Sept. 16 was officially called off due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma.  Friday, it was announced by both programs that the canceled game has been rescheduled for Sept. 24 of 2022.

That non-conference tilt will still be played in Orlando, as previously scheduled.

That 2022 game won’t, though, be the next game in which the football programs square off.  A previously-scheduled matchup in September of 2020 will still go off as planned, and will still be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech and UCF have squared off three times previously, the most recent being a 21-17 Yellow Jackets win in 2000.  Tech claimed victories in the previous two meetings as well, in 1996 (27-20) and 1999 (41-10).