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NCAA tables one-time transfer proposal to early next year

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Rightly so, the NCAA as castigated and publicly pilloried for some of its decisions.  This time, though, they got it right.  For now.

Many, us included, criticized the NCAA back in April when its Board of Directors and its Presidential Forum recommended to the Division I Council that the proposal on a one-time transfer waiver is “not appropriate at this time.” Wednesday, the Council did the expected and tabled the proposal until January of next year.

From the NCAA’s release:

The resolution was recommended by the Transfer Waiver Working Group, which earlier this year had proposed a change to waiver guidelines that would have accomplished the same goal but through the waiver process instead of through a legislative change. Last month, the Division I Board of Directors indicated it preferred a legislative change and lifted the moratorium it had placed on transfer eligibility proposals last fall.

“The transfer environment has long been an issue of much discussion in Division I. The Division I Council is committed to a uniform and equitable approach to transfer rules that considers student-athlete well- being and the opportunities available after transfer,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We will not simply change the rule, but we will consider a comprehensive package designed to address the multiple complexities involved.”

The Council committed to work with conferences, schools, the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Division I Committee on Academics and other committees to form a permanent legislative solution

Currently, Division I rules permit student-athletes in all sports except baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football and men’s ice hockey to immediately compete after a first transfer. Reliance on the waiver process for student-athletes in those five sports has put enormous strain on a historically collaborative process built to handle extenuating circumstances.

The resolution called the waiver process “an unsustainable method to achieve lasting stability, consistency and transparency within the transfer environment” and declared it was “never designed to accommodate sustained requests for relief from a rule without actually changing the rule.

The comprehensive package will address issues that impact transfer, including academic requirements, roster management considerations, transfer notification dates, accountability measures for schools that accept transfer students, and additional education on the transfer rules and process. The Committee on Academics will provide its guidance to any academic aspects of the package.

Given the uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has caused across all sports, pushing this legislation back a few months is a very prudent move.  Instantly granting thousands of football players — not to mention basketball players as well — a one-time free transfer pass at this time, while athletic departments are already stretched attempting to safely get their student-athletes back on the field, would’ve done exponentially more harm than good.

It’s expected that the legislation will be adopted at the NCAA convention in January, and will go into effect for the 2021-22 academic year.

NCAA to allow football programs to bring players back to campus starting June 1 for voluntary workouts

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With each passing day, it’s looking more and more likely there’ll be a college football season.  At least, there will be one in some form or fashion.

Wednesday, the NCAA confirmed that some sports will be permitted to resume voluntary on-campus activities beginning June 1.  Included in that limited group (for now) are college football players.  Men’s and women’s basketball are permitted a limited resumption as well.

The NCAA made sure to stress that the on-campus activities are voluntary.Voluntary on-campus athletics activity must be initiated by the student-athlete. Coaches may not be present unless a sport-specific safety exception allows it, and activity cannot be directed by a coach or reported back to a coach.

“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework,” said Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”

With the NCAA’s announcement, it will be up to each individual conference — and each individual institution — to reopen the doors for college football players to return to campus.  In accordance with local and state guidelines, obviously.

It’s already been confirmed that the SEC will vote this Friday on whether to bring student-athletes, including college football players, back to campus June 1 or June 15.  Of the 14 athletic directors in the conference, just one, Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer, is not in favor of the June 1 date for a return.  The Big Ten is also expected to allow players back to campus early this month, with schools such as Ohio State targeting June 8.

The Big 12, meanwhile, is eyeing a mid- to late-June return date for student-athletes.  The Pac-12 will make a determination next week.  The ACC is expected to do the same.

Exactly when these various conferences can start actual practices for the start of the 2020 college football remains to be seen.

In addition to the resumption of on-campus workouts, the NCAA also announced a handful of waivers have been granted.  Those related to the highest level of football includes:

  • Waiving the minimum football attendance requirement for Football Bowl Subdivision members for two years.
  • Financial aid minimums for FBS schools were waived to permit an institution to award at least 75% of the maximum FBS financial aid limit for three years. In addition, institutions will be permitted to award a minimum of 150 athletics grants-in-aid or expend a minimum of $3 million on grants-in-aid to student-athletes for a period of three years. Gender equity requirements and rules governing nonrenewal/cancellation of aid remain in effect.
  • FBS schools will not be required to play 60% of their games against FBS members or play five home games against FBS opponents.

The latter waiver is nearly as important as the resumption of on-campus workouts. The easing of those restrictions will allow athletic directors across the country the flexibility to get in a full slate of games — or as close to a full slate of games — as we continue to weave our way through the coronavirus pandemic.

Liberty announces complete 2023-24 schedules, including road trips to North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia

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If you have been jonesing for a schedule dump, Liberty football has you covered.

Wednesday, Liberty announced it has completed its football schedules for both the 2023 and 2024 seasons.  The private Christian university, which plays as a football independent, now has its slates for the next five years booked.

Three of those games will be against Power Five programs.  In 2023, Liberty will travel for football games at Virginia (Oct. 14) and South Carolina (Nov. 4).  The next season, they take a road trip to North Carolina (Oct. 19).

During their very brief time as an FBS program, Liberty has played a total of five games against Power Five football schools.  They lost all five of those, of course.  The losses to Auburn and Virginia in 2018 and Syracuse and Virginia last season were all by at least 21 points.  The loss to Rutgers, however, came by just 10 points.

Below is how the Liberty football schedules for those seasons already mentioned will look:

2023 Football Schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Bowling Green
Sept. 9 at Coastal Carolina
Sept. 16 at Buffalo
Sept. 23 vs. Eastern Michigan
Sept. 30 vs. Old Dominion
Oct. 7 at Miami (Ohio)
Oct. 14 at Virginia
Oct. 28 vs. ETSU
Nov. 4 at South Carolina
Nov. 11 vs. Connecticut
Nov. 18 vs. UMass

Nov. 25 at New Mexico State

2024 Football Schedule
Aug. 31 vs. Coastal Carolina
Sept. 7 at UCF
Sept. 14 at Eastern Michigan
Sept. 21 vs. Ball State
Sept. 28 at Appalachian State
Oct. 5 vs. Marshall
Oct. 19 at North Carolina
Oct. 26 vs. Texas State
Nov. 9 vs. Campbell
Nov. 16 at UMass
Nov. 23 at FIU
Nov. 30 vs. New Mexico State

Libert became a provisional Football Bowl Subdivision member in 2018.  In its initial season as a full FBS member last year, the Flames qualified for their first-ever bowl game.  And won it.

NCAA extends recruiting dead period through June 30, will review that timeline on May 27

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Not surprisingly, the NCAA has reset its recruiting trail policies.

As the coronavirus pandemic effectively shuttered the sports world, the NCAA announced in mid-March that it was putting a halt to all in-person recruiting until at least April 15.  Last month, that dead period was extended through May 31.  Earlier this month, the NCAA stated it’d revisit that May 31 date on the 13th of this month.

Today is ***checks watch*** May 13.  In that vein, the NCAA confirmed that it has extended the recruiting dead period through June 30.  The Association did, though, state that it will review that date May 27.  At that time, they could extend the in-person ban out even further.

“The dead period began in March to protect the health, safety and well-being of prospective student-athletes and their families, as well as coaches,” the organization earlier this month. “NCAA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Hainline addressed the group and discussed the resocialization of sports guidelines released last week to help guide their decision-making.”

The guidelines mentioned above included the NCAA’s nine core principles for the eventual return of college sports.

The NCAA also issued additional guidelines related to recruiting:

The committee also granted waivers of recruiting rules effective May 11 to make them more flexible during the dead period the group imposed, which currently lasts through May 31. For example, any school staff member may participate on recruiting calls between a countable coach and a recruit. In normal circumstances, only coaches, and a few others in limited situations, may communicate with uncommitted prospective student-athletes via telephone or video calls.

The committee also lifted the restriction on the number of uncommitted prospective student-athletes (and their family members) who may participate in a recruiting call with a countable coach.

Additionally, current student-athletes may now participate in recruiting calls with coaches, as long as that time counts against the eight hours of countable athletics related activity that the committee permitted in all sports earlier this spring.

Finally, committed prospective student-athletes may participate in virtual team activities after completion of all academic requirements for high school graduation or transfer to a Division I school. Uncommitted prospects could on one occasion observe such activities but not participate.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Michigan’s then-president conceding ‘the university made the wrong choice bringing in Rich Rodriguez as head football coach’

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The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on May 13, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Suspended Florida State DE Xavier Peters plans to transfer, hopes to land in Big Ten or SEC
THE SYNOPSIS: The defensive lineman got his wish as he moved on to KentuckyGranted immediate eligibility, Peters played in three games for the Wildcats.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Four-star 2019 QB picks BYU over offers from, among others, Alabama
THE SYNOPSIS: Jacob Conover promptly embarked on a two-year Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Paraguay.  The Arizona native should be available to the Cougars in 2021.

2017

THE HEADLINE: President Donald Trump announces future FBS foes for Liberty football in commencement address
THE SYNOPSIS: Hard to believe this caused angst on Twitter.  And in the comments section.  Most of which had to be deleted.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Georgia’s Chauncey Rivers arrested on third pot charge, dismissed
THE SYNOPSIS: I understand that weed laws are archaic.  I really do.  But, c’mon Dawg.  Three times?  Really?  That said, Rivers ultimately moved on to Mississippi State.  He started all 13 games at defensive end for the Bulldogs in 2019.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Bobby Bowden says SEC would have been too difficult for FSU to win national title
THE SYNOPSIS: Think this sat well with Florida State fans?  Yeah, me either.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Boise State looking for waiver to help homeless player
THE SYNOPSIS: The NCAA is beyond infuriating sometimes.  Most times, actually.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Three Ohio State assistants see their salaries break the $500k mark
THE SYNOPSIS: Remember when a half-million-dollar salary was newsworthy?  Last year, 166 FBS assistants broke that standard.  Two dozen of those made seven figures.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Michigan prez concedes an “oops!” on RichRod hire
THE SYNOPSIS: Ya think?  Even Rich Rodriguez concedes as much. RichRod was 15-22 overall, 6-18 in Big Ten play three seasons in Ann Arbor.  There was also the first major violations in the football program’s history.  Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you enjoy the play?

2011

THE HEADLINE: Tate Forcier not transferring to Miami after all
THE SYNOPSIS: What’s up with quarterbacks with the first name Tate?

2010

THE HEADLINE: ND’s Brian Kelly on expansion: ‘Nothing better than being an independent’
THE SYNOPSIS: A decade later, Notre Dame embraces its independence.  Still.