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College Football Hall of Fame damaged amidst protests in Atlanta overnight

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In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, protests have erupted across the country.  Overnight, those protests hit the home for college football history.

A peaceful protest in Atlanta Friday turned violent later in the night as many numerous businesses in the city were vandalized and looted.  According to myriad media outlets, one of those that suffered damage was the College Football Hall of Fame.

Fortunately, one of the reports stated, “none of the artifacts or history memorabilia was damaged… just the glass in front of the store.” One report, though, described the hall as being “destroyed.”

“First and foremost, our hearts go out to the friends and family of George Floyd,” College Football Hall of Fame CEO Kimberly Beaudin said in a statement. “We support the peaceful protests that honor his memory but unfortunately they deteriorated into chaos and disorder. We are heartbroken to see the damage to our city and the Hall of Fame. As our Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said, we are better than this, better than this as a city, and better than this as a country.

“In the coming days and weeks, we’ll work to pick up the pieces, to build back the sacred walls that housed memories and honored those who played the game many of whom fought these same injustices throughout their storied careers.”

NCAA extends recruiting dead period through July 31; The Association will also allow strength coaches to ‘virtually observe voluntary physical workouts’

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

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.  This month, another extension took us to June 30.

As we close in on the month of June, another extension is official.  As expected, the NCAA announced Wednesday evening that the recruiting dead period has been extended through July 31.  That means all in-person recruiting activities — either on-campus or elsewhere — are prohibited.

The latest edict impacts all sports, not just football.

“The extension maintains consistent recruiting rules for all sports and allows coaches to focus on the student-athletes who may be returning to campus,” said Division I Council Coordination Committee chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “The committee is committed to reviewing the dead period again in late June or early July.”

One potential effect of all of these dead-period extension bans?  It could force The Association to, for one year, temporarily get rid of the December Early Signing Period.

The NCAA earlier this month also announced that football programs could begin bringing players back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1.  In the dead-period release, The Association also updated its tack on that front:

Additionally, the committee decided to allow strength and conditioning coaches to virtually observe voluntary physical workouts for health and safety purposes but only if requested by the student-athlete. The measure goes into effect June 1. The strength and conditioning coach will be allowed to observe the workouts and discuss items related to voluntary workouts but not direct or conduct the workout.

The decision was supported by the Committee on Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Prevention and Performance Subcommittee. The subcommittee encouraged schools that decide to allow their strength and conditioning coaches to observe voluntary workouts to proactively consider the school’s overarching responsibility to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each student-athlete. More specifically, the subcommittee stressed that schools should plan for how the strength and conditioning coach should respond if they observe an unsafe workout environment or in the event that a medical emergency occurs during a voluntary session.

The committee will continue to explore the opportunity for strength and conditioning coaches to conduct voluntary workouts virtually, as they do during in-person, on-campus voluntary workouts.

Iowa adds a transfer instead of losing one, this one from Northern Illinois

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Iowa has been hit fairly hard by the wrong end of the football transfer portal. For once, they’re on the right end.

Earlier this month, Jack Heflin was one of three Northern Illinois starters to enter the NCAA transfer database the same day.  A little over a week later, the defensive tackle announced that he’s headed to Iowa football.

“Blessed to say I will be playing my last college football season for The Iowa Hawkeyes,” Heflin wrote.

As a graduate transfer, Heflin will be eligible to play for the Hawkeyes as a fifth-year senior in 2020.  This coming season will serve as the Illinois native’s final year of eligibility.

Heflin was a two-star member of the 2016 recruiting class for the Huskies.  NIU was his only FBS offer coming out of high school.

In leading NIU in tackles for loss with 8½, sacks with three and forced fumbles with three, Heflin started all 11 games in which he played in 2019. MAC coaches named him second-team all-conference this past season.  He was also third-team All-MAC the previous season.  All told, Heflin started 28 of the 38 games in which he played.

In those appearances, Heflin was credited with 72 tackles, 17½ tackles for loss, nine sacks, three forced fumbles and one blocked kick.

Now, as for the Iowa losses to the football portal?

This past weekend, offensive lineman Jeff Jenkins announced that he has entered the NCAA transfer database.  Shortly thereafter, running back Samson Evans (HERE) and defensive back DJ Johnson (HERE) did the same.  Thursday, offensive lineman Ezra Miller did as well.

Iowa player in the transfer portal draws interest from MAC schools

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Could one erstwhile Iowa football player be getting some MACtion moving forward?

In January, Jeff Jenkins stepped away from the Iowa football program for unspecified reasons.  Four months later, it was confirmed over the weekend that the offensive lineman has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.

Since then, Jenkins has confirmed that he has already drawn interest from MAC programs.  Specifically, the lineman mentioned Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Toledo.

Jenkins also confirmed to 247Sports.com that, when he stepped away earlier this offseason, that he contemplated retiring.

I didn’t know if I wanted to play the game anymore,” Jenkins told 247Sports earlier this week. “I didn’t know if I loved it.”

But after about that six-week mark, the itch started to come up again. The need to compete stoked his fire and Jenkins started to think about football again. He missed the sport.

“I wanted to play again,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins was a three-star member of the Iowa football Class of 2018.  The Illinois native was the No. 7 player regardless of position in his home state.  He was also the highest-rated offensive lineman in the class that cycle for the Hawkeyes.

Despite that pedigree, Jenkins didn’t see the field at all during his time in Iowa City.

Jenkins will more than likely have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws.  That would then leave the lineman with two years of eligibility starting in 2021.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, ex-West Virginia coach Bill Stewart dies of a heart attack at 59

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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 21, 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Mississippi State announces four-year extension for Joe Moorhead
THE SYNOPSIS: Less than eight months later, Moorhead was fired by the Bulldogs.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Jim Harbaugh says Michigan is going on safari in South Africa next spring
THE SYNOPSIS:  On an unrelated note, Ohio State has won The Game 15 of the last 16 times its been played.  Michigan’s last win came in 2011.  The season between Jim Tressel’s resignation and Urban Meyer‘s hiring.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Alabama legend Derrick Thomas finally a College Football Hall of Famer
THE SYNOPSIS: As was the case with Tommie Frazier and Deion Sanders, this inexplicable snub was finally (unofficially) rectified.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Detroit Lions reportedly ready to create bowl game
THE SYNOPSIS: The game that would become the Quick Lane Bowl was officially announced two months later.  The main conference tie-in is the ACC and Big Ten.  The MAC serves a secondary tie-in.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Former WVU coach Bill Stewart dead of apparent heart attack
THE SYNOPSIS: The Grafton, WV, native spent 11 seasons as a coach at WVU.  From 2008-10, Stewart served as the head coach of the Mountaineers.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Cross Cleveland off list of possible Big Ten title game sites
THE SYNOPSIS: Indianapolis has hosted every B1G title game since it debuted in 2011.