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PAGING JARRETT ALLEN ...
Still waiting for a definitive answer from Texas as to whether a letter of intent turned up from the 5-star big man before midnight Wednesday.
I was told a commitment could come in the morning with a signature on non-binding scholarship papers as opposed to the binding LOI.
But, as I said, at this point, I'm still waiting for a definitive answer on if an LOI showed up before 11:59 pm CT.
I was told Allen indicated to Kansas and Houston thank you but he would not be attending those schools in the fall. I was able to confirm Kansas had been told Allen wouldn't be coming. Still trying to confirm if Houston got the same news from Allen.
If Allen did not send in an LOI by 11:59 pm CT Wednesday, then he would not be bound by LOI guidelines until he enrolled in school in the fall.
In other words, he could sign scholarship papers - a non-binding, preliminary step to executing a scholarship - with a school. But he would have the freedom to attend summer school at one school and still decide before August to change his mind and attend a different school without penalty and be eligible immediately.
The wait continues ...
KEN STARR, NOT ART BRILES, WILL BE BAYLOR'S FALL GUY
Talked to multiple sources today connected to Baylor who said Ken Starr will be out as the school's president and chancellor - probably moved to a position in BU's law school - as a result of the failed leadership displayed after multiple rape claims made by female Baylor students against BU football players went all but ignored.
ESPN's Outside The Lines had yet another report on new allegations on Wednesday.
And yet Baylor's silence from the president's office persists.
I'm told the term of BU regent Richard Willis as chairman is only through the end of May and that one of his final actions as regents chair will be to move Starr out as president and chancellor.
Art Briles, whose nickname among Baylor brass is "Moses," will absolutely continue on as football coach.
The hope would be Baylor's new president could establish a strong relationship with Briles to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
Starr's personality is to avoid conflict and is too much like an attorney who always invokes attorney-client privilege in refusing to disclose any information, sources said. That is absolutely the wrong approach to have at Baylor right now, they said.
"Even at a private school, you have to get out in front of something like this and yell from the mountain top that you're going to get to the bottom of everything and make sure this never happens again," one BU source said. "The school's reputation is on the line."
Keep an eye on Joel Allison, who is stepping down as CEO of Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health in February 2017 as a possible replacement for Starr replacement after an interim president is appointed for the next 6-7 months.
JERROD HEARD WILL STAY AT QB ...
... For now
Heard is working out at quarterback - and is also catching some passes here and there.
Heard will definitely go into fall camp as a quarterback. If Shane Buechele is indeed the guy, Texas still needs a backup quarterback. But much like Trevone Boykin (who waited his turn behind Casey Pachall as a running back and receiver at TCU), Heard is willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field and appears to be hedging his bets by running some routes on the side.
Heard is definitely still a quarterback for Texas heading into fall camp. But as one source said, "He'd make a hell of a slot (receiver), too."
TAYLOR GASPAR WITH A FASCINATING LOOK AT OL JEAN DELANCE
A bright-eyed youngster living in Georgia, Delance first put on the pads early in his childhood, though he would not play in a game for years to come.
"I put on pads for two practices when I was in the second grade, but I didn't get to play in a game because I got sick," Delance said of his entry into football. "I had my cleats and everything, but I didn't play again until the seventh grade."
Putting football in the past, Delance tried his hand at basketball, and became a bit of a young stud on the hardwood.
"I played basketball in middle school and was pretty good. I was almost dunking at the time. I actually think (playing basketball) helped me become an even better football player. I was a little chunkier guy, but was really athletic. Basketball helped me tone up a bit, but it really helped me develop good footwork and speed."
However, basketball was one of two activities that prepared Delance for the gridiron. The other activity will come as a bit of a surprise.
"Not many people know this but I was actually in band for a while," the four-star OT said. "I won five or six medals and was a great tuba player in middle school. My mom would encourage me to push for it and would say I could probably get a scholarship in band. The band coaches also told me that I could be really good.
"The only reason I ever stopped wasn't necessarily because of peer pressure, but more because guys were always saying I couldn't be in band and play football at the same time. My football coach told me I should stick with football because I will enjoy it more. He would joke with me and say, 'Are you really going to run to the sideline at half time and pick up a tuba?"
After receiving a lot of encouragement from various coaches, Delance decided to put down the tuba and focus on football.
He began his football career playing defensive end - a position though he no longer plays, but still loves to this day.
"I always wanted to take the ball. I wanted to be the person chasing after the ball and attacking the quarterback. My coach came to me and said I was getting a little big, so he wanted to move me to offensive tackle.
"I was not happy. I said, 'Coach, come on. I'm still fast. I'm doing good.'"
While his coach agreed with his comments, he saw a different path for Delance's future. And it only took one sentence to convince him to change positions.
"He told me he could see me playing at Alabama some day if I moved to o-line. That was the first time I heard anyone say something like that to me, and that's when it really started to click."
Offers came early for the 6-foot, 300-pound big man, but one that stood above the rest came from Bob Stoops and Oklahoma. Delance verbally committed to the Sooners during his junior season and fully anticipated playing out his college career in Norman.
Little did he know, a 10 second clip would quickly change the course of his future.
In early March, 2015, a video of Oklahoma fraternity SAE chanting racially insensitive remarks surfaced and took the internet by storm. While the video content was offensive, the breaking point that led to Delance's decommitment from the Sooners was based on the staff's lack of initiative in addressing this issue.
"It was more disturbing that none of the coaches reached out to me about it," Delance said. "The coaches were not even aware enough to reach out to recruits after the video came out. They did not call me or anything.
"I remember turning on the TV and first learning about (the video) then. I initially told myself I would give the coaches some time to reach out to me about it. Then time kept going by, and I still hadn't heard anything from the staff.
"If I were in the coaches position, I would have reached out to all recruits about it and told them that the video does not represent the school. But that didn't happen.
"Having no coaches reach out to me or even make an effort to discuss it said a lot. At that point, I knew Oklahoma wasn't the place for me and these were not the coaches I wanted to be coached by."
Following his decommitment from OU, Delance had his eyes set on playing in the SEC, and had no intentions to commit to a Big 12 program.
But Charlie Strong worked his magic with his typical slow yet steady recruiting approach.
"Coach Strong is great with finishing. That's something he does so well. He may not start off strong with you, he will let you have your little process, but he is going to finish it and get who he wants.
"At first (Strong) would kind of talk to me, but not as much as others. He would just be like 'Oh don't worry, we're going to get you.'
"I told him I wasn't sure if I wanted to play at Texas or in the Big 12. I was trying to go to the SEC. I thought about the Big 12 with OU, but I was not trying to go back. Then I started liking the coaches more and more and felt the vibe, then that was it."
Though his stance on Texas began to shift in the Longhorns favor, Delance was not entirely sold and would not be sold until personnel changes came following the 2015 season.
Delance - who did not have a relationship with former OL coach Joe Wickline - took a wait-and-see approach with Texas as Strong hired offensive line coach Matt Mattox.
That was all it took for the Longhorns to gain his commitment.
"Once Coach Strong came to me and told me they were going to be changing things around, I waited to see what would happen. Then they got the new offensive line coach and I was like, 'Yeah. It's done.'"
Mattox worked diligently to get to know the Longhorns top OL prospects in the 2016 recruiting class, and put everything on the table during his first discussion with Delance.
"He came and talked to me before the Under Armour game. He said I have to make the decision on my own, but he really wanted me and told me I was one of the guys he needed.
"He said, 'I haven't been here this whole time. I know you don't know me and I don't know you, but I'm going to get to know you and you will be like my own son once you get here. I will prove to you that I will be a great offensive line coach. You don't have to worry about what might happen, I can tell you it is what will happen.'"
Delance bought in and committed to Texas during the Under Armour All-America game.
It was a long road that led to where he is today, and through it all, his relationship and admiration of Strong and his staff helped land Delance in Austin.
Delance will move in to the dorms June 1 following his graduation from North Mesquite High School, and is focused on starting his career as a Longhorn during his freshman season.
"Coach Strong is all about finding the guys who want it most. He doesn't care about your history or how much experience you have at the collegiate level. He looks at it like if this guy doesn't produce, we need to get someone in here producing.
"He's been telling me I gotta come in here and take care of business because it's about who wants it most.
"I want it most and I'm ready to show it."
THE BIG 12'S REALIGNMENT RAZZIE
If summer releases are about blockbusters, then what everyone is calling potential “Big 12 realignment” when the league’s presidents meet in Dallas the first week in June is shaping up to be the biggest letdown of the summer.
Expansion is not happening and neither is a Big 12 network - not this year, multiple sources across the Big 12 as well as TV industry sources told HornsDigest.com.
The bottom line is there is no consensus on any non-Power Five candidates to add, and the league’s primary TV partners - ESPN and Fox - aren’t exactly knocking down doors right now to start a conference network, the sources told HD.
Two weeks out from the Big 12 presidents’ meeting in Dallas, the only scenario that could get serious debate/consideration this year is a football championship game.
But that’s no sure thing, either, considering a football title game in a 10-team league guarantees a rematch (whether it’s the top two finishers or a battle of division champions).
If a league title game is approved, possibly later this summer, providing the Big 12 with a much-discussed “13th data point” for the College Football Playoff Committee to consider, it would likely generate between $20 million and $30 million in new TV revenue - or $2 million to $3 million per school, sources said.
Speculation about expansion in the Big 12 seems to be a year-round sport.
But it started picking up heat nearly a year ago, when Oklahoma president David Boren grabbed headlines for saying the Big 12 was “psychologically disadvantaged” with only 10 members.
More headlines were made when Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby last October at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame called “the Longhorn Network a boulder in the road” of the Big 12’s future media rights agreements.
(That’s because the Big 12’s contracts with ESPN and Fox run through 2025, and UT’s agreement with ESPN for LHN runs through 2030).
For months, Boren pressed on about the Big 12 needed to expand to form a Big 12 Network, which would require LHN to change or go away.
In March, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy told CBS Sports the Longhorn Network was a “failure” and its elimination was the key to Big 12 stability.
It’s funny, however, that the Big 12 exists today thanks to the Longhorn Network. ESPN paid Texas $300 million for 20 years for that very reason.
The thing no one understands when they talk about LHN losing $48 million or holding up a Big 12 Network or how LHN has cut back its programming ( including the end of Texas All Access ) is ESPN paid the amount it did for a reason.
ESPN’s $300 million investment in Texas was as much an investment in protecting its years-long relationship with things like the Texas-OU rivalry and all of those Red River Shootouts broadcast by Keith Jackson as it was about today’s programming ( a couple live football games, a handful of low-interest hoops games and Olympic sports).
Now that schools such as Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State have been finishing ahead of Texas in the football standings, it’s easy to take shots at Texas and LHN.
But the Big 12 should be rejoicing that it has Greg Fenves as UT’s president, because he’s an engineer, a methodical thinker who takes in as much information as he can before making any kind of conclusion, rather than Bluster Bill Powers.
Powers alienated many Big 12 presidents who told me Powers would talk down to them from the “Austin mountaintop.” That’s not Fenves, who is willing to listen to all considerations before opening his mouth.
I’ve been trying to get an interview with Fenves since he took office. Nothing. Nada. He’s careful, thoughtful, methodical. An engineer.
Perhaps that’s why Boren last Friday completely dialed back his own bluster about the need for expansion and the need for a Big 12 Network.
"I think we kind of got out ahead of ourselves," Boren told reporters. "Somehow, the speculation got out ahead of what the reality on the ground is.”
On expansion, Boren added: "I personally do not have any candidates at this point."
And Boren has basically been the chairman of the Big 12’s three-member “Composition Committee” looking at expansion along with expansion-hungry WVU president Gordon Gee and Baylor’s Ken Starr.
The Big 12’s own research seems to reveal a bunch of positives about expansion and how expansion would help the formation of a Big 12 Network and how a football title game would add money.
But the research never talked about specific candidates. And the bottom line is - non-Power 5 candidates don’t move the meter. Period. The Big 12 already did a study - four years ago - on candidates like Cincinnati, UConn, etc, and the TV partners said those candidates wouldn’t warrant redoing current TV contracts.
Florida State? Clemson? Arizona? Arizona State? Those schools would be a different story. But we’re not there yet. Not even close. Let’s revisit expansion closer to 2022 when all the major Tier 1 and 2 TV contracts are up across the Power 5 conferences as well as the College Football Playoff.
That’s the more likely scenario for a seismic shift in realignment (can you say collective bargaining by the Power 5)?