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Tom Herman denies he tipped off media as Zach Smith gets set to meet with Ohio State investigators

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The soap opera that is currently the Ohio State football program took a couple of additional twists and turns Saturday.

Jeff Snook, the author of several Ohio State books whose Facebook post this past week quoted the mother of Courtney Smith as not believing Zach Smith had abused her daughter, promised Friday in a subsequent Facebook missive that “another bombshell report is coming“; Saturday, Snook posted that Tom Herman, the former OSU offensive coordinator and current Texas head coach, had tipped off Brett McMurphy, the college football insider whose own Facebook posts on domestic abuse allegations involving Zach Smith and his ex-wife, Courtney, preceded Smith being fired as the Buckeyes’ wide receivers coach and Urban Meyer being placed on paid administrative leave as the school launched an investigation into his handling of the allegations.

In the wake of Snook’s latest social media post, Herman labeled the report he was the source “absolutely untrue” while McMurphy took to Twitter to “unequivocally” deny Herman was the source.

“Neither I, nor anybody in my family, has ever communicated with Brett McMurphy about the situation at Ohio State,” a portion of Herman’s statement read.

In that latest Facebook post by Snook, it’s claimed that the Hermans, Tom and his wife, Michelle, are helping Courtney Smith with her legal expenses. The UT coach countered in his own statement that, in March of 2017, his wife had helped “her friend Courtney Smith during a time of financial need.”

“We have not provided any financial assistance since then,” Tom Herman stated.

Finally, it was alleged by Snook’s sources that the Hermans “encouraged Courtney Smith to go public with her claims that her ex-husband had physically abused her.” The impetus for that was that the Hermans allegedly wanted Smith fired and off the OSU coaching staff. Why?

Herman was furious after five-star receiver Garrett Wilson committed to Ohio State in April over Texas, sources say. Wilson played at Austin (Texas) Lake Travis High, just miles from the Longhorns’ campus. Zach Smith was the Buckeyes’ primary recruiter in getting Wilson’s commitment.

“This is BS — we had no reason good enough to do that to Shelley or Urban,” Michelle Herman wrote to Snook.

“I really do appreciate you doing your job with integrity and checking on all the points, unlike some others,” Shelley Meyer, Urban’s wife and reportedly close confidante of Courtney Smith who allegedly knew of the extensive abuse Courtney allegedly suffered at the hands of her ex-husband, told Snook in a text message. “I just can’t comment and I am very sorry. Thank u.”

Those were Shelley Meyer’s’s first public comments since the imbroglio erupted in Columbus last month, triggered by Zach Smith criminal trespassing citation in May after attempting to drop off their child at his ex-wife’s residence.

OSU launched its investigation into Meyer’s handling of the extensive domestic abuse allegations, which extend back to their time together at Florida, the week before last, although Smith’s attorney claimed this week that neither he nor his client had been contacted by investigators handling the probe that will determine whether Meyer will continue on as the Buckeyes’ head coach.

That will change in the not-too-distant future as Zach Smith’s attorney, Brad Koffel, confirmed to ESPN.com Saturday that his client is expected to meet with OSU investigators this coming week to answer any questions the group may have.

“We’re not trying to run from the truth, but we’re not the only ones with warts on us,” Koffel told the website.

As of this posting, a statement from Courtney Smith’s attorney released this past week that neither she nor her client had been contacted by OSU investigators stands.

On Aug. 8, Ohio State announced that it expected to complete its investigation in two weeks.

Lawsuit filed against Houston claims racial discrimination in process that led up to hiring of Dana Holgorsen

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On Dec. 30 of last year, Houston officially fired Major Applewhite as its head coach even as speculation about his future at the AAC school had flared for days.  Just three days later, Dana Holgorsen left West Virginia to take over for Applewhite in Houston.

And therein lies at least a bit of an issue with which the university now has to deal.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Dr. Kevin Simms, president of the African-American Coaches Association, has filed “[a] lawsuit… against the University of Houston that accuses the school of discrimination and failure to properly post its head football coaching position.” The suit claims that the university violated state law by failing to post the position for a minimum of two weeks, filing complaints with both the Texas Workforce Commission and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Simms is seeking $20 million in compensation in the suit, which also, coincidentally enough, is the total value of the contract signed by Holgorsen.

From the Chronicle‘s report:

The lawsuit seeks damage for “loss (sic) wages, loss (sic) earning capacity, future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenient (sic), mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life …” Simms requests a jury trial.

In the lawsuit, Simms claims to have “over 30 years of coaching experience and is clearly more qualified than Dana Holgersen (sic).” A search found no listings of any previous coaching jobs for Simms.

The lawsuit adds, “the University of Houston continues to bypass African-Americans in applying and being considered for the head football coach position as it does not adhere to the job posting and advertising requirements.

(Writer’s note: Yes, Holgorsen’s name was misspelled in the lawsuit.)

The suit further cites an April 30 Sports Illustrated article in which a deal between Holgorsen and UH superbooster Tilman Fertitta was reportedly reached on Dec. 22 for the head coach to replace Applewhite.  The verbal agreement was put together, per the article, shortly before UH was steamrolled by Army 70-14 in the Armed Forces Bowl.

“The University of Houston believes this case is without merit and looks forward to its resolution,” the school said in a statement.

(Tip O’ the Cap: our very own Zach Barnett)

Texas Tech adds sixth graduate transfer this offseason, this one a starting corner from Utah State

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With the start of the 2019 regular season a little over a week away, Texas Tech has bolstered its defensive secondary with an experienced addition to its roster.

Tuesday evening, Tech confirmed that Ja’Marcus Ingram has joined Matt Wells‘ football program and practiced with the team for the first time earlier in the day.  The cornerback began his collegiate career as a walk-on at Utah State before opting to leave the MWC school earlier this offseason.

As Ingram has already graduated from USU, he will be eligible to play immediately for Tech in 2019.  Including this coming season, the defensive back will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Ingram started the 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2017 and then five of the first six games for the Aggies this past season before going down with what turned out to be a season-ending injury.

As noted by the school in its release, Ingram is far from the first grad transfer added by Tech this offseason.

Ingram becomes the sixth graduate transfer to arrive in Lubbock this summer, joining a group that already includes Zech McPhearson (Penn State), Evan Rambo (Cal), Armand Shyne (Utah), RJ Turner (Louisiana-Monroe) and Jackson Tyner (Rice). Of that group, the trio of McPhearson, Rambo and Ingram will all have two years of eligibility remaining.

Tennessee’s Kurott Garland pulls name out of transfer portal

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It doesn’t happen very often, but it does, every once in a great while, play out this way.

Earlier this offseason, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Kurott Garland signaled his intention to leave Tennessee by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database.  As we often note, players are not bound to transfer by entering the portal and can instead return to the team.

Tuesday, that rare phenomenon played out as Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Garland has decided to remain with the Volunteers.

“He was thinking about possibly transferring. We supported him all the way through, and in the end, he decided to come back here,” the head coach said by way of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “He’s here. We’re excited that he’s here. I think the guy has lots of ability.”

Garland was a three-star member of the Volunteers’ 2018 recruiting class.  He played in four games as a true freshman, which allowed him to take a redshirt for the past season.

Prior to his decision to enter the portal, Garland had been in line to see increased playing time as part of the Vols’ defensive line rotation. How that plays out moving forward this season remains to be seen.

NCAA denies third immediate-eligibility waiver for transfer to Georgia Tech this month

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It hasn’t been a good month waiver-wise for the Georgia Tech football program.

As we noted Tuesday, the NCAA has already denied immediate-eligibility waivers being sought for Antonneous Clayton and Myles Sims, who transferred to Tech from Florida and Michigan, respectively, this offseason.  That same day, Marquez Ezzard took to Twitter to reveal that “[t]he NCAA has decided to not grant my waiver to play at Georgia Tech this season, and I will have to sit out.”

The wide receiver opted to transfer from Miami in January of this year, ultimately landing at Tech the following month.

With the decision, Ezzard will still have three years of eligibility he can use beginning with the 2020 season.

Ezzard was a four-star 2018 signee who played in three games as a true freshman, catching two passes for 24 yards during his brief stint with the Hurricanes.