FBS Notes: SEC approves new grad transfer eligibilty Staff

June 01, 2018 at 7:42 pm.

Sep 16, 2017; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears safety Jaylinn Hawkins (6) attempts to tackle Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 16, 2017; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears safety Jaylinn Hawkins (6) attempts to tackle Mississippi Rebels wide receiver Van Jefferson (12) during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Southeastern Conference voted on Friday to allow graduate transfers within the conference to be able to play immediately for their new schools.

The vote abolished a previous rule requiring such transfers to sit out one season before regaining eligibility.

In recent years, players such as Maurice Smith of Georgia and Malik Zaire of Florida had to apply for a waiver to have immediate eligibility.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been criticized for attempting to block the inter-conference transfers of Smith and, most recently, Crimson Tide offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy to Tennessee or Auburn.

“Why is it on me?” Saban asked reporters this week in response to the criticism.

Despite being against the rule, Saban added that if the rule did change: “I think we’re one of the schools that it would benefit.”

The SEC also passed a proposal that would allow players at SEC schools under NCAA-mandated postseason bans to transfer within the conference without having to sit out a season.

The new rule is of immediate help to Florida, after former Mississippi wide receiver Van Jefferson joined the Gators recently. Jefferson, who caught 91 passes the last two seasons, now is immediately eligible to play.

–Florida State dismissed offensive tackle Josh Ball from the team, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Ball was removed from the school’s official website, according to the newspaper, which quoted a school spokesperson as saying that Ball is “not in good standing with Florida State University.”

The 6-foot-8, 335-pound Ball started the final nine games at offensive tackle last season for the Seminoles. He was expected to be in the mix for a starting job in 2018.

Ball’s dismissal comes in the wake of a Title IX investigation that found him responsible for dating violence, the newspaper reported on May 22.

Sandra Sellers, a Florida State student, accused Ball in the fall of physically attacking her on multiple occasions during their relationship. Ball was never criminally charged and continued to play after the accusations surfaced.

The university did not offer any further comment on Ball, citing school privacy laws. Attorneys for both Ball and Sellers also have not publicly commented on the case.

–Virginia Tech has lost two potential starting cornerbacks, the school announced.

Cornerback Adonis Alexander is no longer with the team while fellow defensive back Jeremy Webb, a junior college transfer, tore an Achilles during offseason workouts.

Alexander was dismissed from the team due to academics, the Roanoke (Va.) Times reported, citing a source. He has missed three games in his career due to suspensions, one related to marijuana, according to the newspaper.

“We wish Adonis the very best as he determines the next steps he wishes to pursue,” Hokies head coach Justin Fuente said in a release.

The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Alexander started 15 of 34 games over three seasons at Virginia Tech, recording seven interceptions. He could be a candidate for the NFL supplemental draft, the NFL Network reported.

Webb, a 6-3, 190-pounder, starred at ASA College in 2017, earning first-team All-Northeast Football Conference honors in helping the team to a 9-1 record and league championship.

“While we share Jeremy’s disappointment that he will miss the 2018 season, our medical staff is confident that he will make a complete recovery,” said Fuente. “We look forward to Jeremy beginning the rehab process as soon as possible.”

The Hokies already had a shortage of experience at cornerback following the graduations of Greg Stroman and Brandon Facyson, who combined for 14 interceptions while starting 76 games for Virginia Tech.

–Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said he expects quarterback Kyler Murray to be play for the Sooners this fall, even if he is selected next week in the Major League Baseball draft.

Murray, who plays center field and is the cleanup hitter for the Sooners’ baseball team, is No. 38 overall on baseball analyst Keith Law’s Big Board for the MLB Draft.

“I knew the deal when we were getting into it,” said Riley, who added that Murray won’t be playing summer baseball and instead will work out with the football team after discussions with the Murray family.

“(The Murrays have) lived up to their word in every part of it.”

Murray has not spoken with reporters about potential scenarios related to the baseball draft.

A former five-star recruit, Murray originally signed with Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma. He backed up Heisman winner Baker Mayfield last season and completed 18 of 21 passes for three touchdowns.
Riley has yet to declare Murray the starter in his competition with sophomore Austin Kendall.

–Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced that the Big 12 Conference will distribute a record $364.9 million to its 10 institutions for the fiscal year.

That total amounts to roughly $36.5 million per school, probably placing the Big 12 third among the Power 5 conferences, behind the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten, but ahead of the Pacific 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference.

Unlike other conferences, which include Tier 3 revenue from conference networks in their distribution figures, the Big 12’s distribution numbers do not include Tier 3 revenue.

The Longhorn Network, which is owned by ESPN, pays Texas an additional $15 million per year on average, while Oklahoma nets roughly $5 million from its Tier 3 agreements with Fox.

The 6.4 percent increase from last year was boosted by the return of the Big 12 title football game, which Bowlsby said gave the league an additional $30 million in revenue.

That helped offset the Big 12’s one-year loss of the Sugar Bowl, which was part of the College Football Playoff last season. When the Sugar Bowl is not part of the playoff, the Big 12 and the SEC have an agreement with the bowl that pays the conference roughly $40 million.