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Colorado State pauses football after allegations of racism

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Colorado State is pausing all football activities after an investigation started by the president of the university into the program’s handling of COVID-19 cases uncovered allegations of racism and verbal abuse toward athletes.

Athletic director Joe Parker said he asked President Joyce McConnell to expand the investigation she announced Tuesday to include a comprehensive review of the athletic department and football program.

“Today, we learned of some extremely troubling allegations of racism and verbal abuse from CSU’s athletic administration generally and in the football program specifically,” Parke said.

Parker’s statement did not mention any particular member of the coaching staff or athletic department. Steve Addazio is in his first season as head coach of the Rams.

McConnell announced the investigation Tuesday after an article published in the Coloradoan that quoted unidentified football players and members of the athletic staff saying coaches told them not to report coronavirus symptoms and threatened players with reduced playing time should they quarantine.

“Colorado State University is committed to being an anti-racist university, and we will not tolerate any behavior or climate that goes against that core value,” Parker said. “Moreover, CSU Athletics is committed to the health and well-being of student-athletes above all other priorities, and this includes their mental health. We believe it is our responsibility to make sure that all student-athletes feel welcomed and valued as members of an inclusive athletics community.”

Colorado State has paused all meetings, workouts and practices.

“While we have been working hard towards playing football this fall, the holistic well-being of our student-athletes is our unequivocal top priority,” Parker said. “We must and will address these allegations before we focus on playing football.”

On Tuesday, Addazio said he welcomed the investigation into the football program’s alleged mishandling of coronavirus protocols.

McConnell announced via an email to student-athletes and department staff Thursday that Husch Blackwell, a legal firm based in Kansas City, would lead the probe into those allegations

Addazio was hired in December, replacing Mike Bobo, after spending seven seasons with Boston College.

The Rams were scheduled to open the season Sept. 19 by hosting Northern Colorado, but the Big Sky Conference voted this week to push back its football season to the spring.

San Jose State player who suffered ‘major brain injury’ in car accident back home after two months of rehab

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There is some very inspiring and uplifting news coming out of the San Jose State football program to share this morning.

May 20th, the San Jose State football program confirmed, Kyane  Schmidt was involved in a single-car rollover crash, which caused the redshirt freshman to be ejected from the vehicle.  Details surrounding the wreck itself weren’t divulged at the time.

The aftermath, however, was horrific.

“[Schmidt] suffered a major brain injury,” the player’s parents wrote on the Caring Bridge website. “He was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in a deep coma. The doctor said he will be in a coma for multiple weeks. He’s going to need to fight… We believe in him.”

A little over two months later, after spending several weeks in a coma, Schmidt returned home late last month.  The parents again detailed the development on the same website.

‘Kyane is doing fantastic’ were the exact words from Kyane’s doctor over many updates echoed in the last few weeks, which have gone by with a blur. The detailed briefings from the medical staff have been a little far in between as they have navigated the schedule for updates amid Covid and the ever changing rules, but the wait has been worth it for the amazing news that we have been anticipating. Kyane is finally coming home tomorrow 7/30/20. I prayed from the first day that I would hear those words and a little over 2 months later, they are music to my ears and the reality that my son is coming home is so humbling.

Over the weeks, Kyane’s personality has emerged in full, finally without being held back as the last of his medications came to a recent stop. As he was emerging from the coma and using words that were uncommon in his vocabulary, now his usual jokes, smirks, facial expressions and familiarly used verbiage reveal that Kyane is close to 100% back and I feel he is mentally stronger than ever. Kyane has a determination and conviction that I know he never imagined he would use in overcoming a battle such as this, but years of training, focus, and sacrifice have given him the strength he might not even have realized he had to face this situation head on.

At this point, it’s unclear what Schmidt’s football future holds.

As a true freshman this past season, Schmidt was a walk-on offensive lineman.  He didn’t play a down for the Spartans in 2019.

Prior to the coronavirus shutting down the sport, Schmidt was transitioning to the other side of the line.

Nevada picks up JUCO QB after losing one to the FCS

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The reshaping of the quarterback room at Nevada football continued at a brisk pace this past week.

Last month, Kaiden Bennett, who previously transferred in from Boise State, opted to leave the Nevada football team. A short time later, it was confirmed that the quarterback had decided to continue his collegiate playing career at FCS Sacramento State.

The same day Bennett’s father confirmed the move to the FCS, Nevada announced that it has added another quarterback to its football roster. Below is the school’s release on the signal-calling addition:

The Nevada football team announced the signing today of junior college quarterback Jacob Barlage to a scholarship agreement to join the Wolf Pack for the upcoming season.

Barlage, 6-foot-1 and 205-pounds, comes to Nevada after one standout season at Riverside (Calif.) College where he completed more than 69 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards with 30 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He will be a true sophomore at Nevada with three seasons of eligibility and a redshirt year available.

Barlage will be eligible to play this fall for the Wolf Pack, which is scheduled to open up fall camp beginning on Friday.

In 2019, Barlage led Riverside to a perfect 13-0 record and a California state championship. He threw for 286 yards and a touchdown in the championship game, a 31-14 win over San Mateo, and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Barlage starred at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., where he played for his father, Daniel. Valley View won a CIF championship with Barlage under center for the Eagles. His mother, Jen, played volleyball collegiately at Northern Michigan and is the head coach at Valley View HS.

College Football amidst Coronavirus Pandemic: On this day in CFT history, including Urban Meyer being placed on paid administrative leave as Ohio State launches investigation

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, 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 August 1, 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 college football down-time, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Tate Martell (barely) favored to win Miami job (and other QB competition odds)
THE SYNOPSIS: Yeah, that’s not how that turned out.  At all.  A refresher from last year:

Instead of bringing it on and competing with Georgia transfer Justin Fields for the starting quarterback job, Martell hightailed it out of Ohio State this past offseason and ultimately landed at Miami shortly thereafter.  Granted immediate eligibility with the Hurricanes, and seen as a slight favorite to win the starting job, Martell instead saw Williams stake his claim as QB1 as head coach Manny Diaz named the redshirt freshman the Hurricanes’ starter to start the season.

Losing out on the starting job led to Martell bailing on practice for the initial personal leave, even as he ultimately returned.  Not long after, it was reported that Martell had begun working with Miami’s wide receivers; last month, Martell shifted his on-field focus back to the quarterback position.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer placed on paid administrative leave as Ohio State launches investigation
THE SYNOPSIS: The probe stemmed from allegations that Meyer had direct knowledge of domestic abuse allegations involving a now-former assistant coach, knowledge Meyer had vehemently denied at the Big Ten Media Days the month before. Meyer was ultimately suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season.  In December of that same year, Meyer announced he was retiring at season’s end.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Body of Nevada’s Marc Ma found, a year after he was presumed drowned
THE SYNOPSIS: Another one of those headlines you never, ever want to write.  Although, this did offer the family some semblance of closure.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Texas A&M prez ‘dismayed, disappointed, angry’ over sexist presentation
THE SYNOPSIS: It’s still unbelievable how this ever saw the light of day.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Penn State, Pitt ADs will discuss potential future of in-state series
THE SYNOPSIS: Much like the Texas-Texas A&M talk, all I hear is blah blah blah blah blah.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Report: Miami QB Kevin Olsen suspended for at least a game
THE SYNOPSIS: You talk about a Greek football tragedy.  After multiple suspensions, Olsen was dismissed by The U in September of 2014.  After transferring to Towson in December of that same year, Olsen was dismissed by that FCS school before he ever played a down.  He then spent the 2015 season at a California junior college.  Olsen then transferred to Charlotte for the 2016 season.  In February of 2017, the brother of former Hurricanes standout Greg Olsen was arrested on felony rape charges.  A year and a half later, he was found not guilty on all counts.

2012

THE HEADLINE: War vet, Purple Heart recipient officially a Clemson Tiger
THE SYNOPSIS: These are the stories I live for.  Literally.  And, if you’ve never heard Daniel Rodriguez‘s story, make it a point to rectify that.  True.  Hero.

Manning Award releases its 30-player preseason watch list, including North Dakota State’s Trey Lance

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Count the Manning Award among the latest to release its preseason grouping of players to watch this season.  Provided there is a season, of course.

Thursday, the Manning Award, named in honor of the quarterbacking Mannings — ArchiePeyton and Eli — and sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, announced its 30-player preseason watch list.  The Manning, incidentally, goes to the nation’s top quarterback and is the only major trophy to take into account postseason performance.

Five of last year’s Manning Award finalists are included on this year’s watch list: Justin Fields (Ohio State), Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Tanner Morgan (Minnesota), Kyle Trask (Florida) and Brady White (Memphis).

From the award’s release:

This year’s Watch List includes players from all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences. The AAC, Big 12 and Big Ten lead the way with four selections, while the ACC, C-USA, the Pac-12 and the SEC each have three selections. There are 13 seniors on the list while the junior class is represented by 11 quarterbacks and the sophomore class has six.

Also included in the list is Trey Lance of FCS North Dakota State.

“It sure has been a unique offseason, but we’re still looking forward to the prospect of seeing a great group of quarterbacks compete this year,” Archie Manning said in a statement. “Our Watch List is once again an exceptional group of candidates, but every year is a new year and we’ll be watching closely to add the best newcomers to the list after we get things rolling. I’d also like to thank the Allstate Sugar Bowl for sponsoring this award; it means a lot to the entire Manning family that they include our name in recognizing the best quarterbacks in the country.”

Last year’s winner of the award was LSU’s Joe Burrow.

Below is the complete preseason watch list for this year’s Manning Award.