This is certainly an interesting development coming out of the Big 12.
The Big 12 was the first Power Five conference to cancel its in-person Football Media Days. Now, the same league will become the first to cancel its virtual one as well. Which it just unveiled plans for a day ago, it should be noted. That event had been scheduled for this coming Monday.
Below is the content of the release confirming the development.
The Big 12 Conference is cancelling its Virtual Football Media Day presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. It is yet to be determined if the event will be rescheduled. The Conference’s annual media preview was slated for Monday, August 3, after being moved from its originally scheduled July 20-21 dates.
“There continues to be a lot more questions than answers about what the football season will look like,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “A media day is intended to talk football and the prospects for the season. Part of that discussion is who you will be playing and when. With the on-going consideration of scheduling models by our Board of Directors, this is the best course of action at this time. “
A media briefing with Commissioner Bowlsby will be scheduled in the near-term to update on the State of the Conference.
The recent comings and goings when it comes to the West Virginia football roster has continued.
Earlier this week, Virginia transfer offensive lineman Ja'Quay Hubbard committed to the West Virginia football team. WVU is also in the mix for Arizona transfer linebacker Tony Fields, whose teammate, safety Scottie Young Jr., announced his move to the Big 12 school last month. Conversely, the NC State defensive end who committed to West Virginia football, Joseph Boletepeli, flipped to Maryland.
All of that leads to another departure from Neal Brown‘s squad. According to Mike Casazza of 247Sports.com, Jason “Truck” Edwards is now listed in the NCAA transfer database.
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.
Edwards actually began his collegiate career at Backyard Brawl rival Pitt. The Bluefield, WV, product did not see the field as a true freshman. In August of 2019, Edwards transferred into the West Virginia football program.
As was the case at Pitt, Edwards didn’t make an appearance for WVU. According to Casazza, Edwards was moved to running back this offseason.
The Big 12 was the first Power Five conference to cancel its in-person Football Media Days. Now, the same league will become the first to hold a virtual one.
Wednesday, the Big 12 confirmed it will hold its virtual event Monday, Aug. 3, this year. Below is the conference’s press release on the development:
Big 12 Virtual Football Media Day presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors will be carried by Big 12 Now on ESPN+ on Monday, August 3. Live coverage is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. CT.
The presentation will include head coaches’ media sessions, videos from league spirit groups and a fan question for each coach. There will be two concurrent streams available on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. One stream will be of each head coaches’ media Q&A session, and the other will feature each coach on the Big 12 Now set with ESPN reporters Anish Shroff, Rod Gilmore and Dusty Dvoracek in exclusive 1-on-1 interviews, as well as player interviews conducted by Big 12 Digital Correspondent Morgan Uber. Content will also be posted on the conference’s official social media platforms throughout the event.
Followers of the Conference can also listen to live coaches interviews from Virtual Media Day on the Big 12’s exclusive 24/7 SiriusXM channel, 375, and on its ESPNU channel, 84.
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby will kick-off the event at 9 a.m. CT. Head coaches’ interview sessions commence at 10 a.m. CT with the morning session featuring West Virginia, Baylor, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
Greg Burks, liaison to officials, begins the afternoon session at 12:30 p.m. CT and will be followed by the Oklahoma State, Kansas, TCU, Kansas State and Texas head coaches.
One erstwhile member of the Arizona football team is not wasting much time in finding a new collegiate home.
July 15, Tony Fields took the first step in leaving Arizona football by entering the NCAA transfer database. Less than two weeks later, the linebacker took to Twitter to announce he has whittled his transfer to-do list down to three (in alphabetical order): Minnesota, Texas and West Virginia.
As a graduate transfer, Fields would be eligible to play immediately for either of the three schools in 2020. The upcoming season will serve as his final year of collegiate eligibility. he does, though, have a redshirt season to use if needed.
Whichever school for which Fields opts will be getting a player whose history shows he’ll make a significant impact.
A three-star signee as part of the Arizona football Class of 2017, Fields was rated as the No. 8 recruit regardless of position in the state of Nevada. He played his high school football at Desert Pines in Las Vegas.
Fields started every game for the Wildcats the past three seasons. In 2017, he earned Freshman All-American honors. The Las Vegas product will finish his time with Arizona football with 287 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 8½ sacks, six passes defensed, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
Fields was also named to the Butkus Award watch list earlier this offseason.
At least for now, Neal Brown won’t be doing any shakeup of his West Virginia football coaching staff.
Late last month, West Virginia football player Kerry Martin penned a lengthy statement that he posted on Twitter in which he alleged the mistreatment of himself and his teammates by WVU assistant Vic Koenning. A short time later, the Mountaineers placed the defensive coordinator on administrative leave. Shortly thereafter, West Virginia released a letter from head football coach Neal Brown. In it, Brown describes himself as “sick about today’s events,” writing that he “first learned about Kerry’s stated concerns via Twitter.”
A subsequent apology from Koenning apparently wasn’t enough as, in the middle of last week, WVU announced that the program and Koenning had mutually agreed to part ways. Nearly a week later, the Mountaineers “announced that the… defensive coaching staff will share responsibilities by committee for the 2020 season.”
From the program’s release:
Jordan Lesley will oversee the front of the defense, and Jahmile Addae will handle the back. Jeff Casteel will coach the outside linebackers, and Dontae Wright will now coach the safeties. Jeff Koonz will coach the inside linebackers and oversee the special teams unit.
“Given the timing and unique circumstances surrounding the pandemic, we are going to divide responsibilities and use a committee approach,” Brown said in a statement. “We are promoting Jeff Casteel to an on-the-field position and know he will be a great contributor. We have an outstanding group of defensive coaches, and I have the utmost confidence in their ability.”
Casteel had returned to the West Virginia football program earlier this year as a defensive analyst.