Ohio State sets 14-day timeline for Urban Meyer investigation

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Late Sunday night, Ohio State released an updated statement regarding its investigation into the allegations made against head coach Urban Meyer related to his knowledge of domestic abuse by a former assistant coach. According to the statement from Ohio State, a conclusion to this investigation is expected within 14 days.

Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson has been assigned the role of the chairwoman for the working group, which was previously announced by the university late last week. Once the investigation is completed, the university president will make an ultimate decision on what happens next following a consultation with the Board of Trustees. It is unclear if the board and president will make their decisions within the 14-day time span, although the way the statement is worded suggests that may not be the case. If the investigation takes 14 days in full to complete, then a decision may be at least another day away from being made, whatever that may be.

“Ohio State is committed to a thorough and complete investigation,” Davidson said in a released statement. “We look forward to sharing the results of this investigation and any action the university may take.”

It is clear, however, Ohio State is working to bring some resolution to this situation ahead of the football season. To some, it may appear Ohio State is rushing this process in order to have the football team in position to begin the season knowing who exactly will be the head coach, whether it be Meyer returning from his administrative leave or interim head coach Ryan Day (or somebody else?) leading the Buckeyes. But a two-week time span to review the facts already known and any information previously reported feels appropriate for a comprehensive review as long as all parties involved are transparent and forthcoming in their stories.

After initially stating he was unsure how a story like this was even manufactured at Big Ten media day, Meyer has since announced he was aware of the alleged domestic abuse by former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Furthermore, Meyer claimed to report the news up the chain of command, thus putting the focus on athletics director Gene Smith. Zach Smith also confirmed Gene Smith was aware of the situation. Zach Smith continues to deny he committed acts of domestic abuse against his wife but has admitted confrontations between the two had gotten physical at times and those interactions may have resulted in scratches and bruises and more even though Smith claims any injuries he was responsible for were in acts of self-defense.

Ohio State’s football season begins on September 1 at home against Oregon State. Kickoff is in 26 days. By then, we should know who the head coach of Ohio State will be, one way or the other.

QB Matt Fink enters transfer database, but leaves door open for return to USC

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With JT Daniels firmly entrenched (?) as Clay Helton‘s starter under center, this is far from a surprising development.

Speaking to Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.com, Matt Fink confirmed that he has decided to place his name into the NCAA transfer database in the first step of what will likely be a move on from USC — maybe.  In his post, Bonagura wrote that “Fink said he will complete his degree in communications from USC in early July and would be open to staying at the school if a better option doesn’t materialize.”

Should Fink leave — that still seems like the likely outcome regardless of any doors being left cracked — the quarterback would be eligible to play immediately at another FBS school.  He’d also have another year of eligibility that could be used the following season.

A three-star 2016 signee, Fink completed 13-of-18 pass attempts for 89 yards and a touchdown in seven career games.  The California product also ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

With Fink potentially out of the picture, the Trojans would enter the summer with three scholarship quarterbacks — the incumbent Daniels, redshirt sophomore Jack Sears and true freshman Kedon Slovis, an early enrollee.  While the true sophomore Daniels is the favorite to maintain the job, Sears opened some eyes this spring and could make some noise once summer camp kicks off.

A&M AD Scott Woodward officially named to same post at LSU

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The beloved Ed Orgeron notwithstanding, you can officially fire up the Jimbo-back-to-the-bayou rumor mill.

Wednesday evening, LSU confirmed that Joe Alleva would be “transitioning” from his role as athletic director to that of special assistant to the president for donor relations.  Almost immediately, speculation centered on Texas A&M’s Scott Woodward as a potential, or even likely, replacement; Thursday morning, the university announced that Woodward would indeed succeed Alleva as athletic director.

“We are happy to welcome a fellow Tiger back home,” said LSU president F. King Alexander in a statement. “Scott brings a strong track record of winning championships, graduating student-athletes and building an infrastructure for future achievement. His leadership will take us into a new era for Tiger Athletics.”

Woodward graduated from LSU and served as director of external affairs at his alma mater from 2000-04, a tenure that in part coincided with Jimbo Fisher‘s seven-year run as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the football Tigers.  In December of 2017, Woodward hired Fisher as the Aggies’ head football coach.

The most interesting aspect fo the Woodward-Fisher dynamic? Fisher’s contract with A&M contains no buyout, which means he could leave College Station for another job and not owe a single copper Lincoln to the university.

Woodward, who spent the past four years at A&M, will be formally introduced at a press conference next Tuesday.

“Returning home to the LSU family to lead the department of athletics is incredibly humbling and exciting,” Woodward said. “The state university has been a part of my life for more than five decades, and I know – and I embrace – the high expectations of Tiger Nation. We will win championships and we will do it the right way, representing LSU with pride and dignity every step of the way. I want to thank President Alexander for the opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot wait to get started. Geaux Tigers!”

 

Texas Tech adds two more grad transfers

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It’s been a busy last few days, both incoming and outgoing, for Texas Tech and new head football coach Matt Wells on the transfer front.

Tuesday, quarterback McLane Carter announced that he has decided to take his leave of Lubbock and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.  The same day, however, Tech confirmed the addition of Penn State graduate transfer defensive back Zech McPhearson.

A day later, the roster Christmas continued for Wells as Tech announced that they have added two more graduate transfers — linebacker Evan Rambo of Cal and running back Armand Shyne of Utah.  As is the case with McPhearson, Rambo and Shyne will be eligible to play immediately in 2019.

McPhearson will have two years of eligibility remaining counting this season, Shyne one.  If Rambo’s appeal to the NCAA for a sixth season is successful — he missed all but four games in 2016 because of a season-ending injury before missing all of 2017 with an injury sustained in the spring — he’ll have two as well.

This past season, Shyne’s 513 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground were both second on the Utes.  Shyne will finish his time in Salt Lake City with 885 yards and nine touchdowns on 198 carries.

Rambo played in 22 games during his stint with the Golden Bears, starting five of those contests.

WR Brandon Benson tweets decision to transfer from SMU

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Back in January, it was reported that Brandon Benson had become one of the myriad players to place their names into the NCAA transfer database this offseason, signaling a potential move on from SMU. A couple of months later, the wide receiver has made the divorce official.

Utilizing his personal Twitter account, Benson announced in a tweet that, “after praying and talking to my family, I have decided to transfer from SMU to continue my football and academic careers.”

A three-star 2016 signee, only two members of the Mustangs’ class that year were rated higher than Benson. Despite that pedigree, Benson played in just 10 games (one start) in his three seasons with the AAC school, catching one pass for 72 yards and a touchdown. That scoring play came as a redshirt freshman in 2017 against FCS Stephen F. Austin.