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NCAA slaps Missouri football with postseason ban

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Think Kelly Bryant might be having some second thoughts right about now?

In early December, it was confirmed that Bryant, the ballyhooed quarterback transfer from Clemson, had landed at Missouri and would use his final season of football eligibility with the Tigers.  Nearly two months later, the NCAA announced Thursday that it has imposed steep sanctions on three Mizzou sports programs, including football.

Included in those sanctions on the football program is a postseason ban for the 2019 season.  That means not only would the Tigers be barred from a bowl game, but they would also likely be excluded from the College Football Playoff and the SEC championship game should they qualify for either/both.

While the official release states “[a] 2019-20 postseason ban for the football program” has been enacted, it’s believed that the ban is for the 2019 season only, although we’re attempting to get clarification on that aspect.

Additionally, the football program was hit with a five-percent reduction in scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year as well as recruiting restrictions during the same timeframe.  Those include:

  • A seven-week ban on unofficial visits.
  • A 12.5 percent reduction in official visits.
  • A seven-week ban on recruiting communications.
  • A seven-week ban on all off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations.
  • A 12.5 percent reduction in recruiting-person or evaluation days.

The sanctions stem from a former Mizzou tutor who the NCAA found violated “ethical conduct, academic misconduct and academic extra benefits rules when she completed academic work for 12 student-athletes.” From the NCAA’s findings:

The committee found the tutor completed math coursework from other schools for six of the student-athletes. In one instance, she completed an entire course for a football student-athlete. Missouri did not review the conduct under its honor code, but rather gave the information to the two involved schools. One of the schools found academic misconduct occurred in the case of four student-athletes who took the course at the non-NCAA school. The second school – Adams State, a Division II school – could not determine whether the conduct violated its academic misconduct policy because it did not have enough information to prove violations occurred.

The tutor also assisted two football student-athletes’ completion of Missouri’s math placement exam. Missouri requires all students take the exam to determine whether they must complete a remedial math course before enrolling in college algebra. The instructions on the exam state that the test be taken alone and without assistance, but the tutor remained in the room and assisted both student-athletes with the test questions. Missouri determined both student-athletes violated its honor code.

It’s unclear whether Missouri will appeal the sanctions, although, if they, do, it’s near-certainty they will cite the NCAA’s handling of the North Carolina academic imbroglio as the basis for having the punitive measures lessened.

The NCAA actually touched on the differences between the Mizzou and UNC cases, essentially stating that the latter stood behind what many considered to be bogus courses while the former admitted wrongdoing. From the NCAA’s Public Infractions Decision, which can be read in its entirety by clicking HERE.

The conduct at issue in this case is also distinguishable from the COI’s decision in University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2017). Among other differences, UNC stood by the courses and the grades it awarded student-athletes. In support of that position, UNC asserted that although courses were created and graded by an office secretary, student-athletes completed their own work. Here, by contrast, Missouri acknowledged that the tutor completed student-athletes’ work and, in most instances, this conduct violated its honor code.

In other words, to paraphrase the late, great Jerry Tarkanian, the NCAA was so mad at North Carolina that they gave Missouri a postseason ban.

MAC schools stand to lose millions because of Big Ten going to conference only schedule

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No conference will feel the financial pinch of one of the Power Five’s domino-tipping decisions more than MAC football.

Thursday afternoon, the Big Ten confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  That means, of course, that the 14 members of the league will forego playing a combined 42 non-conference games.  Nine of those 42 were to come against other Power Five programs.  Those schools are more well-positioned financially to take any hit.

Then there’s MAC football.

All told, 11 games were scheduled to be played between members of the Mid-American Conference and the Big Ten.  Ball State (Indiana, Michigan), Bowling Green (Illinois, Ohio State), Central Michigan (Nebraska, Northwestern) and Northern Illinois (Iowa, Maryland) each had two games on this season’s docket against Big Ten teams.

According to USA Today, MAC schools stand to lose a combined $10.5 million from those canceled football games.  Bowling Green and Central Michigan will take $2.2 million and $2.15 million hits, respectively.  Kent State would’ve been paid $1.5 million for its game against Penn State.

At this point, it’s unclear if the MAC schools will have any legal recourse to recoup the money.  Rest assured, though, all of those impacted by the Big Ten’s decision are looking into that angle as we speak.

“Every member of the NCAA is attempting to navigate these very difficult times in college athletics,” Bowling Green athletic director Bob Moosbrugger said in a statement. “While we are certainly disappointed that our student-athletes will not have the opportunity to compete in non-conference games against Big Ten opponents, we understand that difficult decisions need to be made.

“The decision by the Big Ten is the tip of the iceberg. Ten FBS conferences have signed a college football playoff agreement with an expectation that we will work together for the good of college football. If we are to solve these challenges and be truly dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our student-athletes, we need to do a better job of working together.”

It should also be noted that BYU will be directly impacted by the Big Ten’s move as well.  The football independent has two paycheck games scheduled against B1G opponents this season, at Michigan State and at Minnesota.  At this point, it’s unclear how much BYU stands to lose.

ACC expected to finalize decision on fall sports in late July

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Whether the ACC will follow the Big Ten’s lead when it comes to football matters will be determined at a later date.

Thursday afternoon, the Big Ten confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  All other fall sports are impacted in the same way.  In the immediate aftermath of that monumental development, it was thought that both the ACC and Pac-12 would make a similar decision, and make it in short order.  In fact, there are rumblings that the latter’s announcement could come as early as Friday evening.

When it comes to the ACC, though, a decision on football and other sports isn’t in the offing until later this month.

Below is a statement from the conference’s commissioner, John Swofford.

The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators remains the ACC’s top priority.  As we continue to work on the best possible path forward for the return to competition, we will do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities’ academic missions.  Over the last few months, our conference has prepared for numerous scenarios related to the fall athletics season.  The league membership and our medical advisory group will make every effort to be as prepared as possible during these unprecedented times, and we anticipate a decision by our Board of Directors in late July.

It’s believed that both the Big 12 and SEC will follow a similar timeline for a decision as the ACC’s.

Big Ten tops SEC, all other Power Fives in revenues for 2019 fiscal year

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It wasn’t a banner day for the Big Ten Thursday, but at least the conference can rest in the comfort of its bloated bank account. For now.

In June of last year, it was reported that Michigan was projecting a total distribution of nearly $56 million from the Big Ten.  A little over a year later, Steve Berkowitz of USA Today reports that the 12 long-standing members of the league received $55.6 million for the 2019 fiscal year.  As newer members, Maryland and Rutgers receive less, “but both schools also received loans from the conference against future revenue shares,” Berkowitz wrote.

All told, the revenue for the Big Ten was $781.5 million.  Next closest was the SEC at $720.6 million, followed by the Pac-12 ($530.4 million), ACC ($455.4 million) and Big 12 ($439 million).

Below are the per-school payouts for each Power Five conference, again according to Berkowitz:

  • Big Ten — $55.6 million (except Maryland, Rutgers)
  • SEC — $45.3 million (except for Ole Miss because of its bowl ban)
  • Big 12 — $38.2-$42 million
  • Pac-12 — $32.2 million
  • ACC — $27.6-$34 million

Berkowitz also noted that Notre Dame, which is a football independent but ACC member in other sports, received $6.8 million.  Additionally, when it comes to the Pac-12’s figure, it “does not take into account the equity value of the Pac-12 Networks, the conference’s fully self-owned television and video content provider whose expenses help result in the conference passing less money to its member schools than the other conferences.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, though, all of these numbers are expected to look dramatically different at this time next year.

Howard one of seven finalists for highest-rated recruit in the Class of 2021

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Here’s something you don’t see every recruiting cycle: Howard and a five-star prospect in the same story.  Yet, here we are.

This week, touted 2021 defensive end Korey Foreman revealed the seven schools that are finalists for his talent.  And one of the seven?  FCS Howard, a Historically Black College and University, according to the video reveal put out by the five-star recruit.

The other six are Power Fives you normally see in line for such a prospect, including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Oregon and USC.

“I am a young black man that is happy and proud of my race. The Black Lives Matter movement is and forever will be powerful and definitely never forgotten,” Foreman wrote on Twitter. “These are the schools I will now be focusing on the most. Set the standard and… be different.”

The schools Howard is competing with for the services of the five-star are all currently inside the Top 20 on the 247Sports.com composite.  Alabama, in particular, has been on a recruiting roll of late.

Foreman is no ordinary five-star, either.  The Corona, Calif., high schooler is the No. 1 rated recruit in the country for next year’s class.  All-time, according to 247Sports, the 6-4, 265-pound strongside defensive end is the No. 12 prospect.  Ever.

Foreman, though, isn’t the only five-star making news around this particular HBCU.  From NBCSWashington:

The news comes just a week after the Howard basketball program landed five-star Makur Maker, who chose the Bison over Division I schools UCLA, Kentucky and Memphis. Maker was the highest-ranked recruit Howard basketball has landed in its history. Mikey Williams, a top-five basketball recruit in the 2023 class, has already hinted about potentially playing at an HBCU as well.