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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis endorses bill mimicking California Fair Pay to Play Act

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The NCAA played tough with California when its name, image and likeness bill rolled through the state’s assembly and right to Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s desk, where he ultimately signed it into law.

Just how much longer do you think that act will fly publicly?

On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his support for a pair of bills that would see the Sunshine State’s college athletes win the right to market their own name, image and likeness.

Speaking to the media, DeSantis told the Tampa Bay Times he expected issues to arise, but he wouldn’t allow that to crumble his support of the issue.

“I’m confident those issues can be addressed in a way that will maintain college athletics as really special thing but also provide the ability for our student athletes to be able to benefit just like anybody else would be able to benefit,” DeSantis said.

“To the 470,000 student athletes across this nation: help is on its way,” state Rep. Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, author of an earlier bill to pay college athletes. “We’re sick and tired of the hypocrisy within a classroom setting where young athletes are taught about capitalism and taught about the free market but are being told, on the other hand, they cannot participate because they have a gift.”

With the governor already on board, it seems as if it’s only a matter of time before Florida joins California in breaking the NCAA’s ranks. A bushel of other states are actively considering measures, and there are currently multiple bills making their way through Washington to force the issue nationally.

The NCAA can puff its chest and say it’s prepared to boot California’s member schools in the event the Fair Pay to Play Act goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. That’s largely and empty threat, and state politicians across the country are showing just exactly how empty it is by joining the Golden State. Either the NCAA can change, or it can cling to its rulebook until the rulebook is all it has left.

Ryan named title sponsor of Conference USA title game

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The Conference USA football championship game now has a title sponsor and it is…. Ryan. No, not Ryan of the Gosling variety, or Nolan, or your friend from college. It’s Ryan, a “leading global tax services and software provider,” a Dallas-based LLC that offers corporate tax services firm.

The Ryan refers to the firm’s founder, G. Brint Ryan, a North Texas graduate and the namesake of UNT’s business school.

The firm will sponsor the game through 2021.

“It is an honor to welcome Ryan as the title sponsor for our premiere football game for the next three years,” commissioner Judy MacLeod said. “With Ryan, we have an outstanding local partner that will be involved not only in our sports, but also in our community efforts on campus in conjunction with the C-USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. We are excited to move forward and want to thank Chairman and CEO G. Brint Ryan for his team’s efforts in making this partnership a reality.”

Ryan is the third title sponsor of the C-USA Championship, now in its 15th year. Dynacraft BSC sponsored it in 2016-17, and Globe Life did the same in 2018.

All ten FBS conferences now stage their own title games thanks to the Sun Belt’s addition in 2018, and eight have title sponsors:

  • Dr. Pepper — Big 12, SEC, ACC
  • Discover — Big Ten
  • 76 — Pac-12
  • Hampton by Hilton — Mountain West
  • Marathon Petroleum — MAC

The 15th Conference USA Championship, and the inaugural Ryan Conference USA Championship, will take place at the home of the winningest division champion on Dec. 7 (1:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network).

Florida is latest state with proposed legislation to pay student-athletes

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Earlier on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, which will guarantee student-athletes in the state of California will have the right to market their name, image, and likeness, thus dropping the gauntlet against the NCAA. Hours later, the state of Florida is following California’s lead.

House Bill 251 was officially filed by Kionne McGhee (D) in the Florida House of Representatives. Similar to its predecessor in California and other bills starting to go through various state governmental procedures, the Florida bill aims to prevent the NCAA and colleges from blocking student-athletes from receiving compensation for the use of their likeness or name.

Similar bills have recently been filed in South Carolina and New York, and more could very well be on the way now that the first domino has fallen in California. The bill filed in New York would also potentially allow a student-athlete to hire an agent and receive an even distribution directly from the school’s athletics revenue with every other student-athlete on campus. The South Carolina bill is more in line with the basics of the California law.

We’re not about to see college football implode or anything that drastic, but these are significant developments with the game and all collegiate athletics. The NCAA hates it, but the public opinion on the matter continues to shift away from the NCAA’s stance. Not everybody is on board (many coaches have voiced their concerns despite their million-dollar contracts), but there may not be a lot that can be done if state governments are stepping in and addressing this issue.

Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list includes 2018 finalist Shea Patterson, Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert

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And now for a quarterback award watch list that won’t include a certain starting quarterback form Clemson or Alabama. The Johnny Unitas Foundation has released the watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented annually to college football’s top senior or fourth-year quarterback. This year’s watch list includes some recognizable names such as Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Oregon’s Justin Herbert.

Former Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew was named the winner of the award in 2018. Just one finalist for the 2018 award is on the watch list this season. Michigan’s Shea Patterson is that player (UCF’s McKenzie Milton was a finalist last year but is not expected to play this season despite still being at UCF as he recovers from his season-ending injury from late in 2018).

Other past winners include Deshaun Watson (2016), Marcus Mariota (2014), Andrew Luck (2011), Matt Ryan (2007), Eli Manning (2003), Carson Palmer (2002) and Peyton Manning (1997).

2019 Golden Arm Award Watch List Presented by A. O. Smith

  • Jack Abraham, Southern Mississippi
  • Blake Barnett, University of South Florida
  • Woody Barrett, Kent State
  • Jake Bentley, University of South Carolina
  • Anthony Brown, Boston College
  • Kelly Bryant, Missouri
  • Joe Burrow, LSU
  • Stephen Buckshot Calvert, Liberty
  • Marcus Childers, Northern Illinois
  • K.J. Costello, Stanford Unversity
  • Jacob Eason, Washington University
  • Caleb Evans, University of Louisiana Monroe
  • Mason Fine, North Texas
  • Feleipe Franks, University of Florida
  • Mitchell Guadagni, Toledo
  • Jarrett Guarantano, University of Tennessee
  • Gage Gubrud, Washington State University
  • Quentin Harris, Duke University
  • Justin Herbert, University of Oregon
  • Kelvin Hopkins, Jr., Army
  • Tyler Huntley, University of Utah
  • Jalen Hurts, University of Oklahoma
  • Josh Jackson, University of Maryland
  • D’Eriq King, Houston
  • Brian Lewerke, Michigan State University
  • Jordan Love, Utah State University
  • Jake Luton, Oregon State University
  • Cole McDonald, University of Hawaii
  • Justin McMillan, Tulane
  • Steven Montez, University of Colorado
  • James Morgan, FIU
  • Riley Neal, Vanderbilt University
  • Kato Nelson, Akron
  • Shea Patterson, University of Michigan
  • Bryce Perkins, University of Virginia
  • Malcolm Perry, Navy
  • Peyton Ramsey, Indiana University
  • Armani Rogers, UNLV
  • Nathan Rourke, Ohio
  • Anthony Russo, Temple University
  • J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech
  • Nate Stanley, University of Iowa
  • Dillon Sterling-Cole, Arizona State University
  • Khalil Tate, University of Arizona
  • Zac Thomas, Appalachian State University
  • Skylar Thompson, Kansas State
  • Brady White, University of Memphis
  • Ryan Willis, Virginia Tech
  • Brandon Wimbush, University of Central Florida

FIU the expected landing spot for dismissed Georgia WR Jeremiah Holloman

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You can now make it four Power Five transfers Butch Davis has brought to Florida International this offseason.

According to SB Nation, and “[b]arring any unforeseen circumstances,” Jeremiah Holloman is expected to transfer to FIU and continue his collegiate playing career with the Panthers.  At the moment, it’s not known with 100-percent certainty if the wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Conference USA school in 2019, although he’s expected to be sidelined for the upcoming season.

In late June, amidst an investigation into allegations of an alleged assault involving a female in the spring of 2018, Georgia announced that Holloman had been dismissed from Kirby Smart‘s football program.  Less than a week later, an UGA official confirmed that Holloman had placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.

“Jeremiah Holloman no longer represents the University of Georgia football program,” a statement from the head coach confirming the wide receiver’s dismissal began. “We expect every member of our team to uphold the highest standards and values of the University of Georgia and Georgia football. It is disappointing when this does not happen.”

The incident in question reportedly was after Georgia’s spring game in 2018, with the alleged victim claimed she was choked by Holloman during an argument. As the police report indicated, Holloman was restrained by his brother, but Holloman allegedly punched the alleged victim in the face. The alleged victim received stitches for her wounds but did not initially reveal the true cause of the injury. Holloman reportedly told police the unidentified female sent him threatening messages suggesting someone would get him.

This past season as a sophomore, Holloman was third on the Bulldogs in touchdown receptions (five), fourth in receiving yards (418) and fifth in receptions (24).  His 17.4 yards per catch was also tops on the team.

In addition to Holloman, FIU has added transfers from Arkansas (linebacker Alexy Jean-Baptiste, running back Maleek Williams) and Iowa (defensive back Josh Turner).  It was confirmed last week that Turner has been granted an immediate-eligibility waiver that will allow him to play in 2019.  Like Holloman, both of the former Razorbacks will have to sit out the upcoming campaign before suiting up for the Panthers in 2020.