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Longtime head coach — and former Navy LB — leaves D-III school for director of football ops job at Army

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With a little over a month until they kick off the 2018 season, one Division III football program suddenly finds itself in need of a new head coach.

Following up on speculation that first surfaced earlier this month, it has been confirmed that Clayton Kendrick-Holmes has been hired to join Jeff Monken‘s coaching staff. Specifically, Kendrick-Holmes will serve as the Black Knights’ director of football operations

Kendrick-Holmes had spent the past 13 seasons as the head coach at SUNY Maritime College, and would’ve been headed into his 14th season at the D-III school prior to taking his first job at the FBS level. With a 63-55 record, he leaves as the football program’s all-time winningest coach.

“We would like to thank Coach Kendrick-Holmes for his years of continuous service to our football team and athletics program,” Maritime athletic director Kristofer Schnatz said in a statement. “His dedication and leadership has had a positive impact on our students, team and alumni. Coach Kendrick-Holmes’ focus on individual growth, team execution and program tradition has left a lasting influence on the experience of our student-athletes.”

“On behalf of our students, staff, faculty and alumni, I would like to thank Coach Kendrick-Holmes for his leadership and commitment to Maritime College,” a statement from the college’s president, Admiral Michael Alfultis, began. “We fully support the entire Kendrick-Holmes family during this transition period and wish them future success.

Kendrick-Holmes played his college football at service academy rival Navy, where he was a two-year letter winner at the linebacker position. His oldest son, Bo, meanwhile, is currently a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy.

According to Sal Interdonato of the Hudson Valley Times, “Kendrick-Holmes is first Navy graduate on Army’s staff since I began covering the team in 2007.” Interdonato added that he’s “[n]ot sure if he’s the first Navy graduate on staff in the academy’s illustrious history.”

Below is Kendrick-Holmes’ full statement on his move to what was his former rival:

I’d like to thank everyone at Maritime for allowing our family to be a part of the fabric of the college for all these years. We have been supported by everyone and every department on campus and have developed lifelong friendships along the way. A special thanks to Admiral and Kim Alfultis, Kris Schnatz and our strong and growing alumni group who helped make so much possible.”

“There is a unique work ethic and character surrounding the Maritime Family and I was proud to be a part of this. My goal each day was to do my best to create a championship environment for our team which would allow our players and coaches to reach their full potential on and off the field. No success would have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the many players, coaches and parents over the years. They have made this job incredibly rewarding.

Georgia Tech confirms addition of Notre Dame transfer Derrik Allen

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Finally, there’s some positive personnel news for the Georgia Tech football program.

Following rumors of his future at Notre Dame, Derrik Allen confirmed nearly two weeks ago that he would be leaving the Fighting Irish and transferring to the Yellow Jackets.  In a press release Thursday morning, Tech confirmed that the defensive back has enrolled in classes and has been added to the team’s roster.

Not surprisingly, the school also confirmed that Allen will have to sit out the 2019 season because of NCAA transfer regulations.  Beginning with 2020, he’ll have three seasons of eligibility to use.

“We’re excited to welcome Derrik home to Atlanta and into our organization,” head coach Geoff Collins said in a statement. “He’s a great addition to our football program, both on and off the field, and our campus community.”

A four-star member of Notre Dame’s 2018 recruiting class, Allen was rated as the No. 9 safety in the country and the No. 14 player at any position in the state of Georgia.  He didn’t see the field as a true freshman and took a redshirt.

Third Virginia Tech transfer this offseason lands at Maryland

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Blacksburg has become quite the fertile recruiting ground for Mike Locksley’s first-year Maryland football program.

In January, wide receiver Sean Savoy completed his transfer from Virginia Tech by moving on to Maryland; four months later, Savoy’s former teammate, Josh Jackson, became his current teammate yet again as the quarterback moved to the Terrapins from the Hokies. Wednesday, Dejuan Ellis indicated that he will join those former teammates as he too has decided to transfer to the Terps.

The wide receiver had opted to transfer from the Hokies earlier this offseason.

Ellis was a three-star member of Tech’s 2018 recruiting class. The Owings Mills, MD, native took a redshirt as a true freshman.

It’s believed the receiver will be forced to sit out the 2019 season, leaving him with three years of eligibility moving forward.

Another family takes issue with Michigan’s handling of a transfer

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Here we go. Again.

Quite the kerfuffle was kicked up earlier this month when Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell and the family of James Hudson, who transferred from Michigan to UC late last year, accused the offensive lineman’s former school in general and its head football coach specifically of not doing enough — or doing the absolute bare minimum — when it came to an immediate-eligibility waiver being sought by the player. Despite the citing of mental health issues, that appeal was denied.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Myles Sims had his appeal for a waiver for immediate eligibility at Georgia Tech denied as well. The defensive back had transferred to Tech from Michigan earlier this offseason.

In a conversation this week with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sims’ parents laid the onus for their son’s denial squarely at the feet of the University of Michigan, intimating, as Hudson’s family did, that U-M did the absolute bare minimum when it came to the waiver process. Even worse, Sims’ family claimed U-M misled the NCAA by providing inaccurate information.

From the Journal-Constitution:

They also believe that a statement from Michigan regarding his transfer – a required part of the application process for a waiver – included inaccurate information about his reasons for leaving that could have damaged his chances for receiving a waiver.

“The disappointment is in knowing that they included just a few words outside of what we said to mislead the NCAA in their decision-making,” Katrina Sims, Myles’ mother, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday. “Whether that weighed in heavily or not on the documentation that we provided, we take issue with that.

The newspaper also wrote that “[a] Michigan team spokesman stated that the school, as is the case with all transfers leaving the school seeking waivers, did not oppose Sims’ waiver request and followed standard policy.”

I don’t know who’s right or who’s wrong in these situations, but I do know it’s something that will be discussed on the recruiting trail and used by rival schools in luring and/or flipping potential prospects.  So, do the bare minimum in such situations at your own peril.

Lack of class credits behind eligibility issue as Quintez Cephus returns to football practice at Wisconsin

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Now we officially know the rest of the story. How it will ultimately all play out, though, is decidedly uncertain.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Monday that Quintez Cephus had been reinstated and is again a student in good standing at the school, two weeks after being found not guilty on a pair of sexual assault charges and almost immediately seeking reinstatement.  Initially, there was some uncertainty when it came to the wide receiver’s status with the football team; in a statement released a few hours after the reinstatement affirmation, UW confirmed that Cephus had indeed rejoined the Badgers team.

The school did note in that release, though, that they “are working through eligibility issues before he can participate in a game.” Wednesday, the same day Cephus returned to practice with the rest of his Badger teammates, Paul Chryst expounded on the eligibility issue, telling reporters that it revolves around the lack of class credits, which stemmed from his expulsion from the school before the spring semester this year ended.

At this point, whether the credit issue can be successfully navigated before the Badgers’ open the 2019 season the weekend after next remains to be seen.

Two days after very loudly proclaiming his innocence and announcing he was taking a leave of absence from the Wisconsin football team, Cephus was charged in late August of last year with felony sexual assault of an intoxicated victim and felony sexual assault.  The criminal complaint filed against him stated that he allegedly “sexually assaulted two drunken women at once in the bedroom of his apartment in April” of 2018.

It took a jury of his peers less than 45 minutes to acquit him on both of those counts earlier this month.

Cephus was initially suspended by the Badgers football program before being expelled by the university last semester.  In October of last year, Cephus sued the University of Wisconsin-Madison in U.S. District Court, claiming that the school violated his constitutional rights.  That suit was dropped in March of this year.

In 2017, and despite missing the last five games because of a broken leg, Cephus led the run-centric Badgers in receiving touchdowns with six and yards per catch at 16.7.  His 501 receiving yards were good for second, while his 30 receptions were third on the team.  Because of the off-field situation that led to the suspension, Cephus didn’t play at all in 2018.

Including this season, Cephus has two years of eligibility he can use.