Frank Clark

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

NFL banning college players with domestic violence, sexual assault convictions from combine

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A new NFL rule will prevent college football players turning pro from attending the NFL Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft if they have been convicted of domestic violence or sexual assault. The NFL will also refuse opening the doors for any NFL-sanctioned event if a player chooses not to submit to a background check.

“It is important for us to remain strongly committed to league values as we demonstrate to our fans, future players, coaches, general managers, and others who support our game that character matters,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent wrote in a memo to all NFL teams last month, according to USA Today.

The number of players each year affected by the rules should be minimal on a year-to-year basis, but it is interesting to see how that could impact the draft outlook of prospects moving forward if they get mixed in some legal trouble off the college football field. As noted by USA Today, the rule would have prevented Michigan linebacker Frank Clark, a second-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks, from attending the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Clark pleaded guilty to a domestic violence incident while at Michigan.

The policy adopted by the NFL will be intended to add further consequence for players getting in trouble in college with the hope of changing the image of the NFL player moving forward. As mentioned, this is expected to have minimal impact as only a select percentage of players are invited to the combine, and an even smaller percentage are invited to the NFL Draft. If nothing else though, it is one more consequence that will come from any involvement from a domestic or sexual assault in college.

It would be interesting to see if the NCAA or conferences will be inspired to build off this NFL policy. The NFL policy does not prevent players with a checkered past from attending pro day events or other private workouts. There is no indication whether any conference or the NCAA would consider such a policy on top of existing rules and policies related to domestic violence or sexual assaults. Would a conference adopt a policy that could extend the policy on their campuses to pro day events? Would that even be fair? Or is that going too far?

Former Wolverine Frank Clark pleads guilty to reduced charges

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Last November Michigan dismissed defensive end Frank Clark following an arrest related to an alleged domestic assault. Today Clark reached a plea deal that reduced a charge for domestic violence down to disorderly conduct. A charge for assault was also dropped as part of the agreement.

Clark was arrested in Sandusky, Ohio last November and charged with misdemeanor assault and domestic violence as a result of an altercation with his girlfriend. This landed Clark in jail for three days. The charge for assault was dropped at a request of the prosecutor, but he was ordered to pay a $350 in mandated court costs and an additional $70 for the dropped assault charge. He was sentenced to three days in jail but was let off with time served for his previous time spent behind bars.

The former Wolverine player is now off on probation. Now he is hoping to catch the eye of an NFL franchise, as he now is eligible to take his football career to the league. Clark recently attended the NFL Scouting Combine and MLive.com reports he has multiple workouts with NFL franchises scheduled leading up to the draft. How much this off-field drama will affect his stock remains up for debate. The NFL has certainly attempted to address the issue of domestic violence with its players and took the initiative with a PR campaign to focus attention on talking about the issue, but there are still opportunities given to those with talent around the league.

Clark may not have a domestic assault on his record now, but those paying attention to the headlines will still proceed with some caution.

Michigan dismisses Frank Clark following domestic violence arrest

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Michigan defensive end Frank Clark was arrested and charged for domestic violence over the weekend. This morning he is now no longer a part of the Michigan football program. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke removed Clark from the football program Monday morning a brief statement. The official word is Clark was suspended for a violation of team rules.

“Frank Clark has been dismissed for violating team rules from the Michigan football program,” Hoke said in his statement. “This is a tragic situation. Our student-athletes will be held accountable when their actions fail to meet the standard we have at Michigan. There is a legal process that will occur and we respect that process.”

Earlier today we got a glimpse of some of the details of the alleged incident involving Clark. Clark admitted he was drunk and told a responding officer he did nothing to his girlfriend, but witnesses told a very different story. With the dismissal, Clark will not be a part of Michigan’s senior day activities this weekend in Michigan’s final home game of the 2014 season.

Michigan’s Frank Clark arrested for suspected domestic violence

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Michigan was off this week, but that will not prevent the Wolverines from making the news it seems. Starting senior defensive end Frank Clark was arrested early Sunday and charged with domestic violence.

Clark is currently in an Erie County jail in Ohio. The jail’s website confirms Clark was booked Sunday. His status with the Michigan football team has not been confirmed as of yet. Michigan officials have not released any information about Clark as of Sunday morning.

This is not Clark’s first run-in with the law during his time with the Wolverines. Clark was arrested for second-degree home invasion in September 2012. Clark stole a laptop from a Michigan dorm and was sentenced to one-year probation after pleading guilty. For this incident, Clark was suspended for one game by Michigan head coach Brady Hoke.

Michigan has one final home game to play on the schedule, this week against Maryland.

Helmet sticker to MGoBlog.

Bednarik Award watch list names 76 players

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Watchlist season continued Monday with the release of the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award watch list by the Maxwell Football Club. A total of 76 players were named to the watch list.

The Chuck Bednarik Award is awarded to the nation’s top defensive player as determined by the Maxwell Football Club. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was named the Bednarik Award winner each of the first two years the award was presented (1995 and 1996), and Penn State has had four Bednarik Award winners, the most of any school. Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the 2013 Bednarik Award winner.

This year’s watch list includes three of last year’s semifinalists, Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and USC defensive end Leonard Williams. Georgia has three linebackers on the watch list and Stanford continues to gain respect on defense with four players named to the watch list.

Here is the 2014 Bednarik Award watch list:

DE Henry Anderson, Stanford

LB Stephone Anthony, Clemson

DE Vic Beasley, Clemson

DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State

DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State

LB Kelby Brown, Duke

DT Malcom Brown, Texas

DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

CB Alex Carter, Stanford

S Sam Carter, TCU

S Jeremy Cash, Duke

DE Frank Clark, Michigan

S Landon Collins, Alabama

DT Christian Covington, Rice

S Su’a Cravens, USC

DT Carl Davis, Iowa

LB Trey DePriest, Alabama

CB Quandre Diggs, Texas

CB Lorenzo Doss, Tulane

S Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State

DE Alvin Dupree, Kentucky

DE Mario Edwards, Florida State

CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon

LB Kyler Fackrell, Utah State

DE Devonte Fields, TCU

DE Try Flowers, Arkansas

LB Leonard Floyd, Georgia

DE Dante Fowler, Florida

CB Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech

DE Markus Golden, Missouri

DE Randy Gregory, Nebrska

LB Bryce Hager, Baylor

CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

DE Eli Harold, Virginia

S Anthony Harris, Virginia

LB Ben Heeney, Kansas

DT Chucky Hunter, TCU

DE Martin Ifedl, Memphis

LB Myles Jack, UCLA

DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson

LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia

LB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee

S Karl Joseph, West Virginia

LB Eric Kendricks, UCLA

LB Hau’oli Kikaha, Washington

CB Jordan Lucas, Penn State

DT Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech

LB Tyler Matakevich, Temple

LB Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville

LB Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

DE Ryan Mueller, Kansas State

DE Shawn Oakman, Baylor

DE Norkeithus Otis, North Carolina

LB Denzel Perryman, Miami

LB Terrance Plummer, UCF

S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss

LB Hayes Pullard, USC

DE Cedric Reed, Texas

S Jordan Richards, Stanford

DE A’Shawn Robinson, Alabama

DT James Rouse, Marshall

CB KeiVarae Russell, Notre Dame

LB Jake Ryan, Michigan

LB Frank Shannon, Oklahoma

DT Danny Shelton, Washington

S Derron Smith, Fresno State

LB Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame

LB Eric Striker, Oklahoma

DE Charles Tapper, Oklahoma

LB A.J. Tarpley, Stanford

S Robenseon Therezie, Auburn

LB Shaq Thompson, Washington

CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State

DE Leonard Williams, USC

CB P.J. Williams, Florida State

LB Ramik Wilson, Georgia

Earlier today the Paul Hornung Award watch list was released. The Maxwell Award watch list was released alongside the Bednarik Award watch list as well.