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Kentucky ponies up $800K to move game vs. Eastern Michigan from Ypsilanti to Lexington

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We were ever so close to seeing an SEC team take the field on the grey turf of Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti but alas, it’s not meant to be.

According to Catspause.com, Kentucky has ponied up $800,000 to change their contract with Eastern Michigan and the two schools will instead get together in Lexington for a scheduled 2019 meeting.

“Previously we were going to be paying (UK) money to come up here and in turn it’ll be a payday for us,” Eastern Michigan associate AD for athletic media relations Greg Steiner told the site. “Certainly if you look at it from a financial point of view, we could not have made the $800,000 in 2019 off of a home game here at our stadium. It made financial sense and a good opportunity for us knowing our team competed exceptionally well last season in Lexington.”

“We are thrilled to be hosting an eighth home game next season,” Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart added in a statement. “Eastern Michigan approached us about moving our football game with them next season and we were happy to accommodate. It’s win-win for both parties, with us getting to play at Kroger Field and Eastern Michigan securing funds that will be helpful to their department.”

The move alters what was originally a two-for-one home game series between the Eagles and Wildcats. UK won the first meeting in Lexington last season and now will see EMU twice more in 2019 and 2020. Some additional compensation for the visitors was added for the 2020 contest as well according to the report.

The changes also give Kentucky the benefit of having a whopping eight home games for the 2019 season and only leave the state four times in 2020. In fact, the next time the Wildcats will play a non-conference game outside the commonwealth will be all the way out in 2023 when they are set to play at Akron.

Something says the Zips might want to get on the horn and check in about following the lead of their MAC brethren because Kentucky apparently isn’t a stranger to helping out the bottom line for others by moving games to a more favorable venue.

Georgia Tech DT Brandon Adams dies

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Georgia Tech defensive tackle Brandon Adams has died, the program announced on Sunday. He passed Saturday in Atlanta, though no other details are known at this time. He was 21 years old.

“On behalf of the entire Georgia Tech athletics family, I offer my deepest condolences to Brandon’s family and friends, including his past and present coaches, and his brothers in the Georgia Tech football family,” Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury said in a statement. “As we mourn the loss of such an incredible young life, we are also here to support Brandon’s family and friends, his past and present coaches and his brothers within the Georgia Tech football family in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping Brandon and everyone who loved him in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

A rising senior, Adams (middle) played in 33 games in three seasons as a Yellow Jacket, including all 24 of the team’s games over the past two seasons. Adams started three games as a junior in 2018 and collected a career-high 24 tackles, five TFLs, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery while playing primarily at nose tackle. He was named a player to watch for Georgia Tech’s spring practices by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday.

“Just getting out there and playing,” former teammate Anree Saint-Amour told the paper. “He put more downs together. I feel like he was more in shape, he was using his hands more. I feel like he figured out how dominant he was.”

A native of Brentwood, Tenn., and a graduate of Brentwood Academy, Adams was a business administration major and interned for the Georgia Tech Research Institute last summer.

“Our entire Georgia Tech football family is heartbroken by the news of Brandon’s passing,” said Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins. “In the short time that I have had the privilege and honor of knowing Brandon, I admired and respected him, first and foremost as a terrific human being, but also as an outstanding teammate and leader. Jennifer and I offer our thoughts, prayers and unconditional support to his parents, Lisa and Reginald, his sister, Rian, and all of his family and friends, especially his brothers in our football program.”

Gary Patterson wants names of NCAA employees approving transfer waivers

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Unless I’m missing someone, the coaches that have spoken out about the glut of high-profile transfer waivers that have been approved lately are all against them. Florida Atlantic’s Lane Kiffin said just one day ago that players are transferring because it’s “sexy” and now TCU’s Gary Patterson has cannonballed into the pool with some strong comments of his own.

“I want the names of all those people [at the NCAA] that are deciding to do that, so everybody knows their names when they ruin the game,” Patterson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I don’t care if there’s lawyers involved. I don’t care if any of that’s involved. The bottom line to it is we need to do what’s best for the game.

Patterson’s point, and it’s not necessarily a wrong one, is that coaches who believe tough love is the best way to mold players — i.e. Gary Patterson — will then see all their players leave before that love can appropriately toughen them up.

“After they get away from here, as a general rule, they come back as they mature and understand, they figure out what we were trying to do and accomplish,” Patterson said. “If you can’t go through that process with a young man, and grow them up just like a parent does, then we’re cheating them to be honest with you. That’s my personal opinion about it.”

The good news for Patterson and his ilk: if free agency is truly here, it’s likely not here for long. The NCAA announced last month it will take another look at its loosened transfer protocol, and it’s unlikely you’d make such an announcement if you planned on loosening those restrictions even more.

North Carolina CB KJ Sails, Jr., embarks toward transfer portal

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North Carolina cornerback KJ Sails, Jr., is sailing away from Chapel Hill and voyaging toward a new destination.

The Tampa native on Friday announced he will enter his name onto the transfer portal for his final collegiate season. “Thank you to my Carolina family for giving me the opportunity to play the game that I love this is a great school and I will forever love the university,” he wrote in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “My family and I have decided that it is best for me to seek other opportunities.”

After playing sparingly as a true freshman in 2016, Sails started 11 games for the Tar Heels in 2017, collecting 30 tackles while ranking ninth in the ACC with 13 pass break-ups.

He started three games in four appearances in 2018, but an injury knocked him out for the remainder of the year.

Given that he played in only four games, Sails can use last season as a redshirt and play a second senior season elsewhere in 2019, provided he receives a waiver or graduates from North Carolina.

Michigan CB Benjamin St-Juste medically retires

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Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste was not listed on Michigan’s spring roster, and there’s a reason for that. St-Juste has medically retired from football, the program confirmed to the Detroit Free Press.

A 4-star recruit from Quebec, St-Juste appeared in 12 games as a redshirt freshman, primarily on special teams.

He suffered a hamstring injury ahead of the 2018 campaign and did not see any game action. With a similar prognosis ahead of him for 2019, St-Juste has decided to hang up his cleats for good.