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Ex-Western Michigan WR reportedly holding up payouts in $208 million lawsuit with NCAA

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It’s been well over a year since the NCAA reached a settlement in a class-action lawsuit over grant-in-aid/cost of attendance and yet the $208 million the organization is still just sitting in a bank account waiting to be doled out. While you might first think that this is the result of the usual dragging of their feet from those in Indianapolis, it turns out that is not the case at all.

USA Today is reporting that it’s actually former Western Michigan wide receiver Darrin Duncan who is the one holding things up. He withdrew from the class-action case but his attorney, Caroline Tucker, “attempted to obtain $200,000 from the plaintiffs’ lawyers in exchange for dropping the objection.” The lawyers on the plaintiffs’ side have naturally responded in force, asking either of the two to post a five-figure bond to cover their own legal fees resulting from this delay. The judge in the case, Claudia Wilken, knocked that down to $5,000 last Friday by calling Tucker/Duncan’s objection to the case “meritless and thus his appeal is unlikely to succeed.”

At this point, Duncan/Tucker can either put up the money and risk losing it to continue their objection or drop things and let the payments — which could go as high as $6,000 per athlete — begin. While this is naturally focused on money, there’s a bit more to what the former Broncos receiver is going through:

All of this is occurring against the backdrop of Duncan dealing with personal hardship.

Now 28, he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to his mother and a GoFundMe page established on his behalf about a year ago. He has received death threats because of his objection to the settlement, his mother, Arleen Pollard, said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports.

It does appear as though a solution to this long-running saga is in the cards somewhat soon but until then, the wait continues before the checks can start hitting the mail.

UMass mourns passing of longtime football staffer, coach Paul Gorham

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The extended UMass football family is mourning the loss of one of its own.

The football program announced Tuesday the passing of longtime staffer and assistant coach Paul Gorham this past weekend at the age of 57. Earlier this decade, Gorham was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a respiratory disease, that “ultimately required him to undergo a double lung transplant and double leg amputation,” the school’s release stated.

Gorham was an assistant coach for the Minutemen from 1999-2003 before taking over as the head coach at Sacred Heart. The health issue that ultimately claimed his life forced Gorham to retire from coaching after eight seasons at Sacred Heart.

He subsequently returned to UMass as the football team’s Director of Operations.

“Paul was an unbelievable person and a true friend that was as trustworthy and genuine as anyone I have ever known,” UMass head football coach Mark Whipple, who also coached on staffs with Gorham at New Haven (1988-93) and Brown (1994-98), said in a statement. “He was a phenomenal coach and a great recruiter, and I was blessed to be able to work alongside him for two decades.

“So much of the success I’ve had throughout my career is because of who he was as a friend and a coach.”

The school added in its release that “[i]nformation regarding services for Gorham will be shared on the UMass football Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages (@UMassFootball) if it is made publicly available by the Gorham family.”

WR Datrin Guyton has now been dismissed by both Oregon State AND Bowling Green

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Here’s a double play that you don’t see very often in college football.

Earlier this month, Bowling Green’s Datrin Guyton was arrested on a felony robbery charge in connection to some allegedly stolen weed.  The wide receiver is also potentially facing charges of assault, aggravated menacing and criminal trespassing according to the Bowling Green Daily News, and had been indefinitely suspended from the football team in the immediate aftermath of the incidents.

Wednesday night, however, it was confirmed by head coach Mike Jinks through the BGSU athletic department that Guyton has now been dismissed from his football team.  Jinks explained in a statement that Guyton had “broken terms of the zero-tolerance policy he was already under based on a violation of team rules.”

If that sounds familiar it’s because it is as, in November of 2015, Guyton was dismissed by Oregon State for violating unspecified athletic department and team rules.

After transferring to Bowling Green, and after sitting out the 2016 season, Guyton was third on the Falcons with 31 receptions for 585 yards and two touchdowns.  After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Guyton caught 14 passes for 178 yards for the Beavers in 2015.

Joe Flacco’s brother transferring from Rutgers, too

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If Tom Flacco is ever to be elite, he’ll have to give it a go at yet another school.

Citing two individuals with knowledge of the situation, nj.com is reporting that the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has decided to transfer from Rutgers. Not only that, but the walk-on quarterback has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Towson, the website reported.

Because Flacco has already graduated and Towson plays at the FCS level, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2018. Flacco will also have another year of eligibility that he can use in 2019.

This move comes nearly a year after he decided to transfer from Western Michigan and ultimately landed at Rutgers. Flacco never attempted a pass for the Scarlet Knights as he was forced to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

A two-star 2015 signee, Flacco played in 13 games in two seasons while with the Broncos. As a true freshman, he completed 10-of-12 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown while adding 266 yards and two scores on the ground. In 2016, he attempted just one pass — an incompletion — and rushed for 74 yards, which included a career-long 55-yarder.

Alabama announces 2023 game vs. Central Michigan

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And let the whining and/or bitching and/or moaning about an SEC team’s nonconference schedule commence in three… two… one…

In that vein, both Alabama and Central Michigan announced Wednesday a one-off future game between the two football programs.  The matchup will, obviously, take place at Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, and is scheduled for Sept. 2, 2023, in what will serve as the season opener for both teams.

That meeting will mark the first-ever between the Crimson Tide and Chippewas.

“We embrace the opportunity of playing against a program with the storied tradition of the Crimson Tide of Alabama,” CMU head coach John Bonamego said in a statement. “As competitors, we welcome any challenge to measure ourselves against the very best.”

CMU is the second school from the MAC on Alabama’s future schedules, joining Kent State in 2020.  The last time the 2017 national champions played a team from that conference was in 2016, a 48-0 win over Nick Saban‘s alma mater Kent State.

The Chips game means that the Tide has wrapped up its 2023 non-conference schedule.  In addition to CMU, ‘Bama will also play host to Texas (Sept. 9) and Western Kentucky (Sept. 16).