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Jordan McNair’s dad, on D.J. Durkin: ‘Of course he should be fired’

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The call for a change in leadership at the top of the Maryland football program is quickly reaching a crescendo, with its most important voices speaking out for the first time.

During an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America, and as their lawyer has previously done, the parents of Jordan McNair, the 19-year-old Maryland football player who died two weeks after collapsing during a football workout this summer, called for D.J. Durkin to be fired as the Terrapins head coach.

“You send your kid away to college for them to be developed into young people — and that’s physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Martin McNair, Jordan’s father, told the morning show. “And teach our young kids, our young people that we worked so hard to get there, to, ‘Hey, I’m giving my child to you. Keep him safe.’ They did anything but that.

“So of course he should be fired.”

Wednesday night, the University of Maryland announced that it has called a special meeting of its Board of Regents Friday morning at approximately 10:05 ET, with the expectation being that Durkin’s future, as well as that of others, will be discussed and possibly decided on.

At a press conference Tuesday, Maryland president Wallace Loh addressed the ongoing investigation into McNair’s, stating that the university “accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day.” The president acknowledged that McNair’s death could’ve been prevented, but the football program’s “basically misdiagnosed the situation.”

The press conference came three days after Durkin was placed on administrative leave.

Durkin’s administrative leave and subsequent calls for his job stem from a damning report late last week in which it was alleged McNair was showing signs of distress before he collapsed during a workout in late May, dying a little over two weeks later of what his family described as heatstroke.  That same report, which led to the suspensions of members of the training staff and strength & conditioning coach as well, also detailed a “toxic” culture within the football program under Durkin, one based on fear, intimidation, belittling, humiliation and embarrassment.  Players were, allegedly, routinely subjected to what was described as extreme verbal abuse.

Durkin, as well as two athletic trainers, remain on leave.  Additionally, head strength & conditioning Rick Court‘s resignation was announced earlier this week.

Texas State QB Cedric Case makes his move to the transfer portal

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Texas State has had a lovehate relationship with the football transfer portal this offseason. This week, the hate reared its head. Again.

Cedric Case Tuesday announced that he has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database, the first step in leaving Texas State football.  The quarterback made the announcement on his personal Twitter account.

“After many discussions with my family and a lot of reflection about my future, I’ve decided at this time it’s in my best interest to transfer from Texas State University,” Case wrote. “I want to thank Coach Spavital and the rest of the coaching staff for giving me the great opportunity to be [a part] of their program, and helping me become a better football player and a better man.

“I also want to thank my teammates for treating me like family and making San Marcos feel like home from the moment I got there. I’ve made countless memories over the past year, and can’t wait to watch the success each of you will have on and off the field.”

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Case was a two-star member of the Texas State football Class of 2019.  The Lincoln, Nebraska, native was the No. 7 player regardless of position in his home state. He will have to sit out the 2020 season.  That will leave him with three years of eligibility to use starting in 2021.

As a true freshman, Case didn’t see the field for the Bobcats.

Texas State is coming off its second consecutive 3-9 football season, its first under head coach Jake Spavital. In fact, the Bobcats haven’t finished above-.500 since going 7-5 in 2014. The 2012 season was the program’s first at the FBS level.

Liberty the new home for Georgia Tech transfer kicker Brenton King

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The ever-evolving kicking position for Liberty football has taken another turn.

Back in March, Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins revealed that Brenton King had decided to go pro in something other than sports.  Earlier this month, though, it was confirmed that the placekicker had since placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.

On Twitter this week, King announced that he has committed to Liberty football.

“Excited for this new chapter in my life,” the kicker wrote. “Can’t wait to be back on the field. Thank you [special teams coordinator Tanner Burns] for believing in me and giving me a chance to play the sport I love still.

“Go Flames!”

Coming out of high school in Georgia, King was a two-star member of the Georgia Tech football Class of 2017. As a true freshman, he split time as the primary placekicker for the Yellow Jackets.  King was Tech’s primary kicker this past season.  In between, he kicked in four games but was able to take a redshirt for 2018.

During his three seasons, King connected on 42-of-46 point-afters.  However, he was successful on just nine of his 17 field-goal attempts.

King left Georgia Tech as a graduate transfer with two years of eligibility.  That, of course, means he can immediately play this season as well as next.

The football independent will be looking to replace its full-time kicker from a year ago, Alex Probert.  In February of this year, Probert transferred to Iowa State.

Liberty became a provisional Football Bowl Subdivision member in 2018.  In its initial season as a full FBS member last year, the Flames qualified for their first-ever bowl game.  And won it.

Syracuse makes addition of starting FCS defensive lineman official

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Syracuse football has officially bolstered its defensive line with a lower-level addition.

Earlier this month, Cody Roscoe announced on Twitter that he will be transferring into Dino Babers‘ Syracuse football program.  This week, the Orange confirmed the defensive lineman has signed with the program.  The defensive lineman is coming to the ACC school from McNeese State.

Because he comes in from an FCS program, Roscoe will be eligible to play immediately in 2020.  According to a release, Roscoe is already enrolled in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Roscoe was a two-year starter for the Cowboys.  He totaled 19 tackles for loss and 13½ sacks in that action.  The lineman had 11 tackles for loss and nine sacks this postseason, with both totals good for second on the team.

The FCS player is one of the few additions for a Syracuse football program that has lost its share to the portal this offseason.  Since mid-March, the Orange has seen four of their players leave for the NCAA transfer database.

Wallace, incidentally, has since moved on to Kent State.

Syracuse is set to open the 2020 college football season at Boston College Sept. 4.

Jimbo Fisher issues statement after he, Texas A&M slapped by NCAA over minor violations

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As required by The Association, the Texas A&M head football coach has issued a public mea culpa.

Thursday afternoon, the NCAA announced it had sanctioned the Texas A&M football program and Jimbo Fisher over a pair of minor violations committed between January 2018 and February 2019.  Among other penalties, the Aggies were placed on probation for a year.  Fisher, meanwhile, was given a six-month show-cause.

As part of Fisher’s punishment, the coach was required to issue a public statement addressing the NCAA violations.  A short time ago, Fisher did just that.

As Texas A&M’s Head Football Coach, I am responsible for promoting and monitoring for NCAA compliance in our program. While I am disappointed in the violations, including an unintended one that resulted from a conversation with a high school athlete, it is still my responsibility to ensure we are adhering to each and every rule.  I am pleased to have this matter completely behind our program and look forward to continuing our efforts to make every aspect of our program one all Aggies can continue to be proud of.

According to the Committee on Infractions, Fisher “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance because of his personal involvement in the recruiting violation.” Fisher was also accused of failing to monitor his coaching staff, which led to the allowable-hours violation.  That resulted in the NCAA issuing its show-cause order.  Fisher had previously served a nine-day ban on phone calls/emails/texts with recruits in January of this year as well as a reduction in off-campus recruiting from December 2019-January 2020.  Fisher will also be banned from all off-campus recruiting activities throughout the fall contact period.

“Since I arrived at Texas A&M, I have seen up close and personal Coach Fisher’s commitment to integrity and following the rules,” Ross Bjork, hired as athletic director in May of 2019, said in his statement. “I appreciate his response, including actions taken during the process itself. As a result, the program moves forward and remains on track in both our short- and long-term quest for excellence.  This will have no impact on our current student-athletes, the 2020 post-season, or our pursuit of championship success on and off the field.”