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Houston offensive lineman Justin Murphy blasts Dana Holgorsen in Twitter thread

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Justin Murphy is a Belton, Texas, native who signed with Texas Tech out of high school, graduate transferred to UCLA in 2018 and then graduate transferred a second time to Houston ahead of this season.

Murphy joined the Houston roster on the assumption that an addition of a veteran like him was another tool in the belt of new head coach Dana Holgorsen, whose hiring showed Houston planned to compete and win big immediately.

Five games in, that hasn’t happened.

Houston is 2-3 (0-1 AAC) and the most interesting thing to happen came when quarterback D’Eriq King and wide receiver Keith Corbin elected to redshirt the remainder of the season, making the 2019 Houston Cougars the closest thing college football has ever had to tanking. It was a controversial decision, one made with Holgorsen’s blessing and encouragement, and one that could not come without consequences.

One of those consequences was it royally angered Houston’s existing seniors, players like Murphy.

It was announced earlier this week that Murphy was no longer a member of the team, and on Thursday night Murphy said his piece as to why. In a lengthy Twitter thread, this largely anonymous cog in the machine taught the rest of the country how that machine turns — by chewing up and spitting out lots of players just like him.

Murphy explained that, following Houston’s fourth game in 19 days to open the season, he was diagnosed with a torn meniscus and was advised to medically retire — and learned that on a day that happened to coincide with the day the King news hit. Despite that, Murphy said he planned to play through the injury when he was told effectively that his services would not be needed on Sept. 28 against North Texas or at all for the remainder of the season, his last as a college football player.

Murphy explained his side of the story here:

 

Following the fourth game on 9/19/19 I would be advised to receive an MRI in order to proceed with further injections into my right knee, an injury ridden joint starting back to my first year starting at Texas Tech.

The MRI would reveal yet another torn medial meniscus and a torn and presumed “dead” ACL. An injury that if self-preservation is in mind, I would be advised by a doctor to medically retire.

That Monday I learned that the Head Coach of the Houston Cougars football team had personally contacted several seniors and asked them if they would redshirt for the 2019 football season, in order to “develop” and come back in 2020.

All seniors which greatly contributed to the little success we had done up to that point. Two of the seniors would go on to accept this invitation, including the preseason Heisman dark horse QB.

I would continue to go to work that week, participating in the full speed contact practices in preparation of the game. However, that Friday I was told to remain off the plane and stay in Houston in order to “heal up mentally and physically.”

Forcibly taking away one of the reasons why I came to this University in the first place. A suspension that came based on the logic that I was a distraction and not committed to the team.

Coach left practice that day stating, “If you’re not 100% committed to the team then don’t get on the bus.” Ironic in light of recent events.

Safe to say there was no love lost between myself and the ole’ head coach. Only reason I say this is because when I went to say my piece on the matter and to swallow my pride and thank him for this opportunity, I was met with a reaction I did not expect.

Holgorsen sat at a desk, eyes glued to a monitor and replied with 13 words. “I don’t have time to talk, I only have time to coach.” and “O.K.” As if I didn’t deserve an eye to eye farewell or a proper handshake.

As a person that is guaranteed a non-salary compensation of S3.4 million to go along with a $300,000 base salary for the 2019 year, one might think you’d have a better outlook on the players that contribute to your compensation. I mean this is a team sport, right?

Murphy ended the thread by tagging Holgorsen’s account, though it’s safe to say he was
already well aware of his (former) player’s screed by that point.

Central Michigan loses one of its highest-rated 2018 signees to the transfer portal

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One of the highest-rated signees for Central Michigan football a couple of years ago is leaving the MAC program.  Or, at least, he is exploring the option of doing as much.

According to 247Sports.com, George Pearson is listed in the NCAA transfer database.  That would be the first step in the redshirt sophomore quarterback’s potential departure from the Central Michigan football team.

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.

Pearson was a three-star member of the Central Michigan football Class of 2018.  Only one offensive signee in that cycle for CMU, wide receiver Keonta Nixon, was rated higher than the New Jersey product.  As a true freshman, Pearson completed 12 of his 24 passes for 94 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Pearson didn’t play a down for the Chips in 2019.

In 2018, Central Michigan lost a school-record 11 games.  In Jim McElwain‘s first season in 2019, CMU won went 8-6.  Included in the losses was a New Mexico Bowl beatdown at the hands of San Diego State.

Ole Miss pulls in second transfer from a university in Canada

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From Oh Canada to Ole Miss football?  I’m thinking one recruit might be in for a little culture shock.  Actually, make that two.

Last month, a Canadian college football player, the University of Guelph’s Tavius Robinson, committed to Ole Miss football.  On Twitter Wednesday, Deane Leonard did the same. The cornerback comes to the SEC school from the University of Calgary.

“First off I’d like to thank my friends, family, and coaches that have supported me through this process,” Leonard wrote. “I can’t thank each and every one of you enough for all that you’ve done for me over the years. Love you guys!

“With the cancellation of the USports season I’ve decided it’s in my best interest to look at my options down south.

“With that being said, I’ll be transferring to Ole Miss to complete my collegiate career.”

During his time at That Country Up North, Leonard appeared in 23 games.  In that action, the defensive back was credited with 47 tackles, 19 passes defensed, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one block.  He also returned five kicks for 124 yards (24.8 average) and 19 punts for 195 yards (10.3 avg.).  One of those punts was returned for a touchdown.

Both Leonard and Robinson are expected to be immediately eligible for new head coach Lane Kiffin and the Rebels.

SEC commish issues statement in wake of Big Ten’s seismic announcement

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It didn’t take long for the most powerful man in SEC football country to respond to what the B1G wrought.

As you may have heard, the Big Ten confirmed Thursday afternoon that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  That was the first significant Power Five domino to tip, but it certainly won’t be the last.  In the coming days, or perhaps next week, the ACC and Pac-12 are expected to make a similar announcement.  The Big 12 and SEC, though, are widely expected to kick that football scheduling can down the road a bit longer, perhaps as late as the end of July.

Not long after the B1G announcement, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement addressing just where his conference is at decison-wise.

The Southeastern Conference will continue to meet regularly with our campus leaders in the coming weeks, guided by medical advisors, to make the important decisions necessary to determine the best path forward related to SE Fall sports.  We recognize the challenges ahead and know the well-being of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans must remain at the forefront of those decisions.

Again, it’s expected that the SEC will make a decision on the football path it will take later this month.  Barring unforeseen circumstances pushing up that timeline, of course.

Big Ten commish, Ohio State AD decidedly pessimistic on B1G having a 2020 college football season

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The Big Ten toppled the first significant domino earlier in the day.  Now, two of the most powerful men in the conference are expounding on the development.  And, if you’re a fan of the sport, you might want to close your eyes when reading the next few paragraphs.  Or take several shots of an adult beverage before proceeding.

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 television appearances following the announcement, the B1G’s commissioner didn’t put a positive spin on football’s immediate future.

“One thing we have to realize is that this is not a fait accompli that we’re going to have sports in the fall,” Kevin Warren flatly stated. “We may not have sports in the fall, we may not have a college football season in the Big Ten. …

“We made a vow early on that, first and foremost, we would put the health, the safety and the wellness of our student-athletes at the center of all of our decisions.

Gene Smith was equally pessimistic.

“I can’t reiterate enough the fact that we might not play,” the Ohio State athletic director said in discussing football in 2020. “We just might not, and I think people need to understand that.”

It’s expected that other Power Five conferences will follow the lead of the Big Ten.  In the coming days, both the ACC and Pac-12 will most likely announce a conference-only football schedule.  The lone exception will be the ACC including Notre Dame, which already has six games against the conference on its 2020 slate, in any revamped schedule.

The Big 12 and SEC are widely expected to kick the scheduling can down the road a bit longer, perhaps as late as the end of July.  In the end, however, both of those Power Fives are likely to come to the same scheduling conclusion.