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Louisville TE arrested for threatening to kill his girlfriend accused of sexually assaulting different woman

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This is not a good look, at all, for the player specifically and the football program in general.

On Oct. 15, Louisville tight end Kemari Averett was arrested on a pair of charges, including one felony, after he was accused of holding a gun to the head of his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his child, and threatening to kill her. The sophomore was indefinitely suspended by the football program two days later.

Prior to that, the Louisville Courier-Journal first reported, another unidentified woman alleged she was raped by Averett in mid-August and reported the incident to an on-campus crisis center the same day the sexual assault allegedly occurred. On Oct. 8, the university ordered Averett to have no contact whatsoever with the woman; on Oct. 9, a report was filed with the university police department regarding the alleged rape and an investigation was launched.

Four days later, Averett was on the field for the U of L’s road trip to Boston College.

“If the university notifies us of information that necessitates action, we act. We did not have information that would have suspended [Averett] from competition,” athletic director Vince Tyra said in a statement earlier this week, addressing whether or not the football program was aware of the rape investigation when Averett played against the Eagles.

Thursday night, head coach Bobby Petrino, who had remained silent as Averett’s issues grew, issued a statement as well.

Kemari was already suspended from all team activity due to the incident on Oct. 15 when I was notified of the most recent charge against him. He remains on suspension from all football activities and facilities while an investigation is conducted. I take all charges of misconduct seriously and act swiftly when conduct does not meet our expectations.

In an interview with the Courier-Journal, Averett claimed he had a previous relationship with his accuser, but had not spoken to her in the four months leading up to the alleged sexual assault. Averett further claimed that he was at football practice at the time of the alleged sexual assault and could provide corroborating evidence, although he declined to share it with the newspaper.

Averett’s defense attorney, Aubrey Williams, described the rape accusation to ESPN.com as “baseless garbage. As of this posting, the player has not been charged in connection to the alleged rape.

I’m already looking like the bad guy,” Averett told the Courier-Journal. “I know my word, it don’t matter right now. … I’m just the big and bad guy.”

In connection to the incident involving the girlfriend who is the mother of Averett’s child, Williams, the player’s attorney, told the Courier-Journal following a preliminary hearing Thursday that his client has been evicted from an off-campus apartment affiliated with the university and barred from stepping foot on school grounds. “The county prosecutor said in Thursday’s hearing that Averett has been deemed a Persona Non Grata by the University of Louisville, explained on the university’s website as ‘a person who is not welcome at the University of Louisville,'” the newspaper wrote.

Averett was originally facing one count each of felony first-degree wanton endangerment and misdemeanor fourth-degree domestic violence.  The former charge has since been amended to second-degree wanton endangerment, a misdemeanor.  A jury trial on that case is on the docket for late February of next year.

Averett, a true sophomore from Atlanta, had started four games for the Cardinals through the first half of the season.  He’s caught eight passes for 65 yards and was tied for the team lead with two receiving touchdowns prior to the off-field issues surfacing.

Illinois lands former USC WR Josh Imatorbhebhe

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The Los Angeles-to-Champaign pipeline is alive and well.

After landing wide receiver Trevon Sidney and defensive end Oluwole Betiku, Jr., the Fighting Illini have added wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe, he announced Monday.

“Transitions are never easy, but the support has definitely helped lighten the load,” Imatorbhebhe, No. 17 above, wrote in an iPhone note posted to his Twitter account. “Without further ado I’m pleased to announce my commitment to…

THE University of Illinois; with a plan to get my Masters (sic) in Strategic Brand Communications.”

A former 4-star recruit in the class of 2016 out of Suwanee, Ga., Imatorbehbhe redshirted in his first year on campus, then caught just two passes in his two seasons on the active roster, with his 2018 season slowed by an ankle injury.

Imatorbehbhe will have two seasons to play immediately for the Illini.

Trevor Lawrence once again says he has no desire to skip bowl games to protect NFL stock

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The trend of college football players with the NFL coming into view has become a growing one the last few seasons, but Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence says you won’t have to worry about missing him in a postseason bowl game.

“Sitting out bowl games and stuff, that’ll never be me,” Lawrence said in an interview with ESPN. “You won’t have to worry about writing those stories.”

This quote is nothing new from Lawrence. In March, Lawrence stressed a similar stance with regard to sitting out of college football bowl games to protect NFL draft stock.

From The Athletic‘s Grace Raynor in March:

Asked specifically if he would consider sitting out in an effort to protect his health for an NFL future, the Georgia native answered with two resounding “No’s.” That’s not in the cards, he says.

“Everyone’s talking about that, but I don’t really care about that,” Lawrence said Monday evening in his first public interview since the College Football Playoff.

“It’s definitely not coming from me, all that stuff, so (I’ll) just kind of ignore it. Just keep working.

Of course, there is something that needs to be pointed out here. A large majority of the players choosing to skip bowl games aren’t playing in the College Football Playoff and a national championship. While New Years Six bowl games are high in prestige even if not in the playoff rotation, they simply are not the same as playing in the playoff with a national title in sight.

Lawrence has played for and won the national championship in his freshman season and probably has two more seasons that could see Clemson continue to compete for a playoff spot. If Clemson is in the playoff the next two (or three years), the chances Lawrence skips a bowl game are reduced significantly.

Maybe Lawrence is just confident in Clemson’s ability to make the playoff the next couple of seasons. He’s not wrong though, right?

Syracuse seeing spike in football season ticket sales

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Dino Babers had Syracuse enjoying a 10-win season for the first time since 2001 last season. Fans of the Orange have had their enthusiasm for the football program rejuvenated and it shows in the season ticket sales this offseason.

According to a report from Syracuse.com, Syracuse has recorded 4,500 more season ticket sales this year than the school saw all of last year. To date, as of Friday, Syracuse has sold 6,800 season tickets for the 2019 season as the total inches closer and closet to a possible school record (8,000).

On top of the increased season ticket sales, Syracuse is also seeing a great retention rate through season ticket renewals. Syracuse has seen over 90 percent of season ticket holders renew their ticket packages for the 2019 season.

Syracuse ended the 2018 season ranked No. 15 in the final AP poll. IT is the highest Syracuse has ended a season in the AP Top 25 since the 2001 season (No. 14). Babers also ended Syracuse’s bowl drought in style by coaching Syracuse to a Camping World Victory in Syracuse’s first bowl game since 2013.

Syracuse opens the 2019 season on the road at Liberty on Aug. 31.

Auburn four-star linebacker Richard Jibunor enters transfer portal

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The transfer portal never takes a day off in college football. Auburn linebacker Richard Jibunor is one of the latest players to add his name to the list. Matt Zenitz of Al.com reported the transfer portal news, via Twitter.

Coincidentally enough, Auburn received a commitment from a four-star linebacker yesterday (Cameron Riley), but you can make your own guess as to whether those two developments were related in any way. Regardless, Auburn is still potentially about to lose a linebacker off the roster.

A player is free to make contact with any other football program looking to recruit him once his name is officially added to the NCAA’s transfer portal. But adding a name to the portal doesn’t necessarily mean this is the end of the line for Jibunor at Auburn, because a player can always take their name out of the portal and decide to stay with their current program. However, Auburn also has the option of dropping Jibunor from his scholarship now that he is in the transfer portal.

Jibunor was a four-star recruit in Auburn’s Class of 2018. As a true freshman last season, Jibunor appeared in 10 games and recorded eight tackles and two sacks. He also forced a fumble for the Tigers defense. The Athens, Georgia native chose Auburn, who seemingly had the lead in his recruiting for a while. He committed to the Tiger sin Nov. 2017 after two previous unofficial visits earlier in the 2017 season.

Jibunor will have to sit out the 2019 season if he transfers to another FBS program unless there is a waiver approval in the works with the NCAA offices. There is no suggestion at this time that is an option in play. Jibunor still has a redshirt to burn, so he will still have three years of eligibility to use beginning in 2020.