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College Football Playoff names three new Selection Committee members

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The College Football Playoff has three new names to throw into the fire.

The CFP announced on Wednesday that Wyoming AD Tom Burman, Colorado AD Rick George and former Penn State player John Urschel were named to the Selection Committee with three year terms.

Tom, Rick and John each bring an exciting breadth of experiences and expertise to the committee,” Executive Director Bill Hancock said in a statement. “All three will continue the CFP tradition of committee members with high integrity and passion for the sport of college football.”

The group replaces former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, university president Chris Howard and Oregon AD Rob Mullens on the committee after their terms expired with the conclusion of the group’s duties in December. Mullens, who was the face of the organization as chairman and responsible for media briefings on the weekly CFP rankings, will turn the baton over to Iowa AD Gary Barta.

“We are delighted that Gary will serve as chair,” Hancock added. “He was a valuable member of the committee last year and he will be a good leader inside the room and a good spokesperson to let folks know what the committee did and why.”

“I had a terrific experience my first year on the committee,” Barta said. “I have so much respect for the other committee members, and for Bill Hancock and the CFP staff. I’m honored to be asked to serve as committee chair and look forward to working with this group again in 2020.”

Barta replaced Ohio State AD Gene Smith on the 13-person committee prior to the 2019 season after the latter stepped down early due to a controversial decision the year before.

The new crop of recruits represent several interesting choices for the select few that are responsible for picking the four teams for the Playoff. Burman is the second Group of Five athletic director on the committee while Urschel is the youngest member (28) by a wide margin. He also might be the smartest as well, having won the William V. Campbell Trophy (i.e. the “academic Heisman) as a player for the Nittany Lions while also wrapping his NFL career up early in 2017 to pursue a Ph.D at MIT.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, changes in terms of the decision making with regards to the final four and CFP top 25 overall in the coming years with these three new faces on board. Either way, fans should at least get to know Barta quite well as he will be tasked with explaining the rationale behind many of the decisions to the public starting this fall.

Ole Miss corner Deantre Prince enters transfer portal

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If you had Ole Miss football as next up for an early-morning portal post, collect your winnings at the door.

Wednesday, it was reported by multiple media outlets that Deantre Prince has decided to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database.  By entering the portal, Prince can be contacted by any other school without receiving permission from Ole Miss football.  He can also pull his name from the database and remain with the Rebels.

Conversely, the defensive back could have his scholarship pulled at the end of the semester in which he entered the portal.

Prince’s decision, incidentally, comes two months after Lane Kiffin took over as the head coach of Ole Miss football.

A three-star 2019 signee, Prince was rated as the No. 18 player regardless of position in the state of Mississippi.  As a true freshman, Prince played in all 12 games for the Rebels.

With two interceptions, Prince tied for the team lead in 2019.  He as also credited with 25 tackles and two pass breakups.

Barring something unexpected, Prince would have to sit out the 2020 season in order to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  Unless those NCAA bylaws are changed and he’s grandfathered in, of course.

Todd Graham announces titles, responsibilities for first Hawaii coaching staff

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A little over four weeks after he was hired as the next Hawaii football head coach, Todd Graham‘s first staff is complete.

Wednesday night, Hawaii football announced both the titles and positional dutied for Graham’s 10-man on-field coaching staff.  As previously confirmed, G.J. Kinne will serve as the Rainbow Warriors’ offensive coordinator.  Kinne, who was Graham’s former quarterback at Tulsa, will also serve as quarterbacks coach.

Victor Santa Cruz will be the defensive coordinator for Hawaii football.  On top of that, he will coach outside linebackers for the Mountain West Conference program.  On top of that, Santa Cruz will carry the title of associate head coach.

Below are the titles for the other eight position coaches:

  • Dan Phillips — Defensive Line
  • Tony Hull — Inside Receivers
  • Jacob Yoro — Linebackers
  • Brandon Graham — Running Backs
  • Sam Bennett — Offensive Line
  • Abe Elimimian — Cornerbacks
  • Brennan Marion — Wide Receivers
  • Laiu Moeakiola — Safeties

Six of those eight position coaches will also hold additional responsibilities:

  • Hull — Co-Offensive Coordinator
  • Yoro — Co-Defensive Coordinator
  • Phillips — Special Teams Coordinator
  • Graham — Passing-Game Coordinator
  • Bennett — Running-Game Coordinator
  • Elimimian — Recruiting Coordinator

Graham was introduced as the Hawaii football program’s 24th head coach last month.  The 55-year-old Graham has been a head coach at four different FBS schools:

  • Arizona State (2012-17)
  • Pitt (2011)
  • Tulsa (2007-10)
  • Rice (2006)

Graham has posted a 95-61 record at those stops.  His teams have played in 10 bowl games in 12 seasons, winning five of those postseason appearances.  He’s also won three divisional titles.

After being fired by Arizona State in November of 2017, Graham has been out of coaching ever since.  He was mentioned as a candidate for the Kansas job that ultimately went to Les Miles.

Starting East Carolina DE Chance Purvis arrested on felony kidnapping charge, suspended

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For the second time this month, this time by way of a member of the East Carolina football program, a college football player is facing some serious off-field allegations.

According to 247Sports.com, Chance Purvis was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count each of second-degree kidnapping and breaking/entering with intent to terrorize or injure.  Both of those charges are felonies.

No details of what led to the arrest and charges have been released thus far.

As a result of the arrest, though, the redshirt junior defensive end has been suspended by East Carolina football head coach Mike Houston.

“We are aware of the situation concerning Chance Purvis and consider these charges as very serious and completely unacceptable,” a statement from the coach began. “Chance has been suspended from all football-related activities until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation, but since this is a legal matter, any additional comment on our part would be inappropriate at this time.”

Purvis didn’t play at all his first two seasons with East Carolina football.  In 2018, the lineman played in 10 games, starting one of those contests.  This past season, Purvis started all 12 games for the Pirates.  He was second on the team in tackles for loss (12) and sacks (four).

Depending on how the off-field situation plays out, Purvis would be the only returning starting lineman on the defensive side of the ball for East Carolina football in 2020.

Purvis is actually the second East Carolina football player arrested this year.  Last month, Cortez Herrin was arrested on one felony count of possession with the intent to sell or distribute.  He’s also facing a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

When healthy, Herrin has been a part-time or full-time starter at left guard for ECU the past three seasons.

In 2018, Houston started all 12 games for the Pirates.  He made five starts in 2017 as well.  A knee injury in 2019 helped limit him to five starts.

Michigan State investigating allegations of NCAA violations committed under Mark Dantonio

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Mark Dantonio may have retired as the Michigan State football head coach, but his impact on the program will continue. On and off the field.

In May of 2017, Michigan State confirmed that the university had “parted ways” with Curtis Blackwell after opting not to renew the football staffer’s contract.  Blackwell, whose official title with the program was director of college advancement and performance, was suspended with pay February 9 of that year, the same day three unidentified Spartan football players were suspended in connection to sexual assault allegations.  While Blackwell was a part of the police investigations into the allegations, he was not accused of participating in the alleged sexual assault but rather failing to disclose information he knew about the incident.

In a lawsuit filed in November of 2018, which named Dantonio, among others, as a defendant, Blackwell alleged that his employment contract was violated when it wasn’t renewed by the university. According to recent court filings connected to that ongoing suit, Blackwell and his attornies are also alleging that NCAA violations were committed by Dantonio.

From ESPN.com:

The mother of current Notre Dame defensive end Daelin Hayes said in an affidavit that Blackwell attended an in-home visit at their house in Michigan along with former head coach Dantonio and assistant coaches Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel. LaKeshia Neal, Hayes’ mother, also provided a photo of the coaches and Blackwell on that visit.

The NCAA has reached out to Hayes to ask about the incident, a source said. Per NCAA rules, Blackwell was not allowed to be part of off-campus recruiting during that time at Michigan State because he was not one of the program’s on-field coaches.

In documents filed two weeks ago, Blackwell alleged that Dantonio helped arrange jobs for the parents of an unnamed, high-profile recruit as well. The day after those documents were submitted, Dantonio abruptly announced his resignation.

Dantonio has claimed that the allegations had nothing to do with his decision to step down. One of Dantonio’s lawyers labeled the claims as “false, scandalous, and wholly unsupported accusations.”

As a result of the allegations made by Blackwell, the university — and the NCAA — is in the process of investigating the claims.

“We are aware of the allegations made by Curtis Blackwell as part of his litigation,” an MSU spokesperson stated. “As with any allegation concerning NCAA compliance, MSU is investigating and working with the NCAA and Big Ten. We have fully complied with our self-reporting obligations to the NCAA throughout this case.”

Feb. 12, Colorado’s Mel Tucker was hired by Michigan State football to replace Dantonio. As part of Tucker’s six-year contract, there is a clause that protects the new coach should Michigan State football be sanctioned by the NCAA for the actions of the previous coaching staff. The language of the deal calls for an additional year to be added to the length of the contract “as of the date the sanction takes effect or, if such sanction lasts more than one year, the six-year term will be extended to match the length of the sanction period.”