Fri Jul 08 07:56am EDT
Making the morning rounds.
• Reform, Terrelle. Reform. Today is the day Ohio State files its official response to accusations of major NCAA violations, the second formal bureaucratic exchange before OSU's all-important appearance before the Committee on Infractions later this year. Among the mountain of paper en route to Indianapolis is a five-step to improve the Buckeye compliance department, including:
• Better documentation of car purchases from both dealers and players to ensure that athletes aren't getting inappropriate deals;
• A time limit on "loaner cars," also know as the Terrelle Pryor Rule;
• More frequent "audits" of vehicles to ensure the rides athletes are actually driving are the ones they registered with the university;
• More thorough checks on everyone who receives games passes from football or men's basketball players. (Currently, OSU conducts random checks.)
• Examination of player budgets, by way of a new software program that purports to boost both education and enforcement.
OSU's appearance before the infractions committee is still set for Aug. 12, likely resulting in a verdict — along with accompanying sanctions — at some point during the regular season. [Associated Press, Columbus Dispatch]
• The boys are back in town. In more optimistic Ohio State news, the simmering "Mike Vrabel" buzz in Columbus intensified Thursday with multiple reports that the ex-Buckeye All-American and longtime New England Patriot is set to return to his alma mater as linebackers coach as soon as next week. Officially, Vrabel is still waiting out the lockout to return to the Kansas City Chiefs for his 15th NFL season, and has never coached any position on any level. But he also played alongside new Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell on some hellacious Buckeye defenses in the mid-nineties, and already has three Super Bowl rings to flash for those recruits who have been abandoning OSU in droves. [Eleven Warriors, College Football Talk, @davebiddle]
• He's got high hopes. Former Nebraska quarterback Cody Green plans to visit USC next week, the "pie in the sky" option in a transfer derby that also includes a pair of more realistic destinations, Baylor and Tulsa. The Trojans may be willing to take a chance on the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Green under normal circumstances, but with dramatically reduced scholarships and at least three young, blue-chip quarterbacks already in the fold for 2012 — not including Matt Barkley, who could still return for his senior season if he doesn't opt for the NFL — there's not a whole lot of room right now. [Lincoln Journal Star]
In other free-agent quarterback news, former Michigan starter Tate Forcier — having already extricated himself this offseason from both Miami and a second-story window in Grand Rapids — will be visiting Hawaii next week with an eye toward becoming a Warrior. "Hawaii will be my first official visit. It might be my last," Forcier told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, adding he was also interested in WAC rivals Nevada and San Jose State. "I have to go with how things go. If it feels right, I'm going to make my decision." [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]
• Man, nobody gets here in August anymore. Alabama's top-ranked freshman class is all present and accounted for, save for two members: Touted in-state running back Brent Calloway, object of a down-to-the-wire battle with Auburn, and somewhat less touted La Mirada, Calif., lineman Isaac Luatua, both of whom plan to enroll in August. "There was a bunch of mix-ups at my school," Calloway told TideSports.com. "Somehow, somebody messed up something, and I'm the one who has to pay the consequences for it. I'm very excited (to get to UA), but every time I get ready to get down there and I think I'm good, something always comes up." [al.com, TideSports.com]
• Get well soon. Florida linebacker Neiron Ball is expected to miss the entire 2011 season as he continues to recover from an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) found in his brain in February. According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, AVM is a congenital condition that results in "snarled tangles of arteries and veins" before or shortly after birth. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
Quickly… Indiana adds a three-star juco running back to its incoming recruiting class. … A top defensive tackle prospect opts for Iowa. … Miami lands a much-needed quarterback commitment from Texas. … Notre Dame's quarterback prospects for the 2012 class are beginning to look a little thin. … Tennessee still hasn't interviewed anyone for its vacant AD job. … The trial for Auburn's alleged armed robbers is being pushed back to Halloween, at the earliest. … Georgia fans may be surprised to learn that they have "a tested backup" behind Aaron Murray. … The face of the Longhorn Network will be improbably young. … Andrew Luck is fully bearded. … And I'm sorry to report that your girlfriend has just left you for this picture of the 1974 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.