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2-year rule for grad transfers rejected

(AP Photo/David Dermer, File)

A proposal to require a graduate transfer to count against a team's scholarship total for two years in football and basketball has been rejected by the NCAA.

The Division I Council on Friday voted down a proposal that could have tapped the brakes on the de facto free agency created by a rule originally intended to give athletes more freedom to pursue graduate degrees.

NCAA rules require football and basketball players to sit out a season after transferring, but those who complete a degree are permitted to transfer and play immediately. The proposed change would have locked schools into a two-year scholarship commitment regardless of how much eligibility a grad transfer had remaining.

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Plenty of coaching changes around SEC

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) There has been plenty of coaching turnover in the Southeastern Conference this offseason, just not involving any head coaches.

This will be the first year since 2006 that the SEC begins a season with no new head coaches. But despite the continuity at the top, there has been nearly a 40 percent turnover in offensive and defensive coordinators.

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Ohio State QB Baldwin plans to transfer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Matthew Baldwin, the Ohio State quarterback who was expected to back up the highly touted Justin Fields this fall, said he intends to transfer.

The redshirt freshman released a statement on Twitter on Thursday saying he feels it would be better for him to move on after his first productive spring practice since rehabbing from a knee injury.

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ISU trying to replace Butler, Montgomery

AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State should have one of the most talented teams in school history.

The Cyclones will also be without two of the most gifted players they've ever had in wide receiver Hakeem Butler and running back David Montgomery, and replacing that lost production will be paramount to their success next season.

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Miss. St. focused on upgrading offense

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Mississippi State's lack of a consistent passing offense wrecked what could have been a special season in 2018.

Second-year coach Joe Moorhead is working to correct the issues.

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LSU hires Texas A&M's Woodward as new AD

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU has formalized an agreement to bring in Scott Woodward as the university's next athletic director.

Woodward, whose hiring was announced Thursday morning, has been Texas A&M's athletic director since 2016 and held the same post at Washington for eight years before that.

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Texas Tech adds 3 graduate transfers

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech has added three graduate transfers in running back Armand Shyne from Utah, defensive back Zech McPhearson out of Penn State and former California linebacker Evan Rambo.

The signings of Shyne and Rambo on Wednesday came after the addition earlier this week of McPhearson for new coach Matt Wells, who came from Utah State.

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NCAA could slow flow of grad transfers

Football and basketball coaches may be less likely to add graduate transfers to their teams under a change being considered by the NCAA.

The NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote by Friday on an amendment that would require a grad transfer to count against a team's scholarship total for two years, no matter how much eligibility the player has left when they arrive. An exception would be made for athletes who complete graduate degree requirements before the start of the second year.

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Iowa WRs expected to get more chances

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Two of the best tight ends in Iowa history have left for the NFL. The Hawkeyes might finally have the wide receivers it needs to revamp its offense.

With T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant expected to be taken in the first round of next week's draft, Iowa (9-4 in 2018) has started adjusting its attack to be more inclusive of its receivers in spring practice. There should be plenty of eager hands after Hockenson and Fant combined to catch 88 passes for 1,279 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

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Charges may be dropped against Irish WR

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Criminal charges against Notre Dame receiver Javon McKinley could be dismissed under a pretrial diversion agreement.

Under the deal filed in court Monday, St. Joseph County prosecutors would dismiss the case after a year if McKinley completes its terms. He was charged in February with illegal consumption of alcohol and two counts of battery, all misdemeanors, after he allegedly hit campus police officers.

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