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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.”

UConn announces future games vs. FIU, Temple and Wyoming

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UConn is, once again, getting its football independent schedule on.

This year alone, UConn announced future games against Power Five opponents in Ohio State (HERE), Syracuse (HERE), Michigan (HERE) and North Carolina (HERE).  For the game against the Buckeyes alone, the Huskies will pull in a cool $1.95 million.

Wednesday, UConn announced another batch of additions to its future football slates.  None of them, though, that claim Power Five membership.  In a release, the university confirmed that “[t]he UConn football team has entered into agreements to compete against Temple, Wyoming and Florida International in future years.”

The matchup with Wyoming will be a one-off affair.  And is one that came about because of the Clemson-Georgia game announced earlier this year.  Looking ahead, the Huskies and Cowboys will square off Sept.  25, 2021, at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Conn.

As it pertains to FIU, those two schools agreed to a standard home-and-home series.  The first is scheduled for Oct. 8, 2022, in Miami. The return game is set for Oct. 14, 2023, in East Hartford.

The 2021 game vs Wyoming and the 2022 game vs. FIU?  That will mark the first time UConn has played either in football.

Temple, though, is another matter entirely when it comes to historical connections.

First, the latest.  The two Northeast programs have agreed to three future games.  Two of those will take place at the home of the Owls (Oct. 10, 2026; Sept. 30, 2028), one at the home of the Huskies (Sept. 4, 2017).

The schools first met in 1963.  As FBS programs, though, they’ve played 14 times.  That first meeting came in 2001, the last in 2019.  Temple leads the all-time series 9-5.  Included in that is five wins in the last six meetings.

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 State transfer QB Re-al Mitchell commits to Temple

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An on-again, off-again relationship Temple has had with the football transfer portal is back on again.

Over the weekend, Northern Illinois transfer CJ Perez committed to the Temple football team.  A couple of days later, however, defensive back  Keyvone Bruton entered the NCAA transfer database.

On Twitter Thursday, though, Re-Al Mitchell announced that he has committed to playing for Temple football.  The quarterback confirmed earlier this offseason that he would be transferring from Iowa State.

“I am determined to succeed and grateful for this opportunity,” Mitchell wrote.

As a non-graduate transfer, Mitchell will have to sit out the 2020 season with the Owls.  He will, though, have two years of eligibility moving forward with the AAC program.

Mitchell was a three-star 2018 signee.  The California product was rated as the No. 29 dual-threat quarterback in the country.

As a true freshman for the Cyclones, Mitchell played in one game.  That, though, allowed him to use his redshirt for that season.

As Brock Purdy‘s backup, Mitchell appeared in five games this past season.  In mop-up action, Mitchell completed 50-percent of his four passes for 14 yards and a touchdown.  He also ran for another 100 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Temple is coming off an 8-5 record in its first season under Rod Carey.  The Owls have played in a school-record five straight bowl games.

Temple losing safety Keyvone Bruton to the transfer portal

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As Temple can attest, you win some and you lose some when it comes to the football transfer portal.

Earlier this week, Northern Illinois offensive lineman CJ Perez confirmed that he has committed to Temple football.  A couple of days later, it’s now being reported that Keyvone Bruton has entered the NCAA transfer database.

The defensive back would be leaving Temple football as a graduate transfer.  That would allow him to play immediately at another FBS school in 2020.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Bruton was a three-star member of the Temple football Class of 2016.  The Norfolk native was the No. 21 player regardless of position in the state of Virginia.  Only three signees in that year’s class for the Owls was rated higher than Bruton.

Despite that school-specific recruiting pedigree, Bruton never made much of an impact on the field.  The safety appeared in a total of 24 games after redshirting his true freshman season.  Nine of those appearances came in 2019, 13 of them the year before.

In that action, Bruton was credited with 18 tackles, three passes defensed and one tackle for loss.

Temple is coming off an 8-5 record in its first season under Rod Carey.  The Owls have played in a school-record five straight bowl games.