Oregon State, Washington State get a win in Pac-12 sports court battle

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It’s been a newsy week. Let’s get into it all.

Here’s what’s going on in college football Until Saturday …

What’s Happening With The Pac-12?

OSU, WSU granted restraining order

As the last two committed Pac-12 schools, Oregon State and Washington State were granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the conference from holding a Board of Directors meeting today. Chris Vannini and Nicole Auerbach have been at the center of The Athletic’s reporting, so let’s break down what this all really means:

  • Within the last 18 months, 10 Pac-12 programs announced their departures to other conferences. According to the Pac-12 constitution and bylaws, if a member school gives notice of withdrawal, it immediately ceases to be a member of the Pac-12 Board of Directors (a.k.a. OSU and WSU should now make up the entire board).
  • On Friday, OSU and WSU filed a complaint against the Pac-12 and commissioner George Kliavkoff. Kliavkoff recently asked current and former members of the Pac-12 board to meet today to vote on a “go forward governance approach.” OSU and WSU were worried that the rest of the Pac-12 would vote to dissolve the league and split the remaining assets among everyone, as conference bylaws state.
  • In a Monday hearing, a lawyer representing Oregon State and Washington State argued that their peers’ announcements to join new conferences were the equivalent of giving the Pac-12 a formal withdrawal notice. That has been disputed by the departing schools.
  • Judge Gary Libey sided with OSU and WSU. The restraining order means the Pac-12 can conduct normal business but cannot meet as a board without court approval.

This all has been part of Oregon State and Washington State’s efforts to take control of their futures. The schools have expressed interest in rebuilding the Pac-12 and want the autonomy to chart a plan without input from the departing schools.

And now to Stewart Mandel …

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Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke threw five touchdown passes against Texas A&M on Saturday. (Sam Navarro / USA Today)

Mandel’s Mailbag

Do you think the version of Miami that we saw against Texas A&M is the highest level of performance that we’ll see this season, or will Miami in November be a better, more dangerous team? What’s the best-case scenario for Year 2 of the Mario Cristobal era? Submitted by Matthew M., Chicago

The problem with these early-season games is it’s difficult to say whether Miami was that good or A&M was that bad. Strange as it sounds, will the Aggies wind up being one of the worst defenses the Canes face all season? Time will tell.

But I’m optimistic about Miami. It never made sense why Tyler Van Dyke regressed so drastically last season. As a second-year freshman in 2021 he had a 160.1 passer rating. In 2022, that dropped to 133.6. Clearly, Cristobal thought the problem was offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, who, for all his success at Michigan, was a disaster in his lone season in Coral Gables. Under Shannon Dawson, Van Dyke so far looks even better than he did in 2021.

Florida State is the clear team to beat in the ACC. After that, it’s wide open. If you told me the Canes make it to Charlotte and play the Noles a second time, I’d believe you. If you told me they finish fifth behind FSU, Clemson, UNC and Duke (in some order), I’d believe you. Anything lower than that, however, would tell me the Week 2 game was completely deceiving and that A&M by then had completed another 5-7-type season.

Read the full Mailbag, headlined by Alabama’s return to normalcy, here.

Transfer Policy Mess

NCAA says ‘violent’ threats were issued

The NCAA Division I board released a statement Tuesday relating to the polarizing topic of transfer waivers. The statement said “violent — and possibly criminal — threats” were directed at committee members involved in recent regulatory decisions. Here’s another news breakdown:

  • Earlier this year, the NCAA announced it would cut down on multi-time transfer waivers, a move that received unanimous support from the 32 Division I conferences. There are three reasons a transfer waiver could be considered: 1) Reasons related to student-athletes’ physical or mental health and well-being, 2) Due to exigent circumstances outside of the student-athletes’ control (e.g., physical or sexual assault), or 3) Assertions involving diagnosed education impacting disabilities.
  • Two ACC transfers — UNC receiver Tez Walker and Florida State defensive lineman Darrell Jackson Jr. — had their waivers for immediate eligibility denied by the NCAA. Both were seeking to join their third collegiate programs.
  • UNC argued that Walker decided to transfer before knowing the rules had changed. In response to the denial, football coach Mack Brown released a strongly worded statement of disapproval signed: “Shame on you, NCAA. SHAME ON YOU!” To which the NCAA responded in a statement: “The DI Board is troubled by the public remarks made last week by some of the University of North Carolina leadership. Those comments directly contradict what we and our fellow Division I members and coaches called for vociferously — including UNC’s own football coach.”

As Vannini writes, “If this becomes the playbook to get a transfer waiver approved, it becomes a very bad precedent.” Debate after waiver denials is not new, but this situation is escalating the unrest to a new level.

The Original ‘Freak’

Meet Terna Nande

Every offseason, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman publishes his annual Freaks List, where he identifies players whose athleticism blows the minds of coaches and teammates within their programs. It started with 10 players and has expanded to include 100 college football athletes. This year, we even saw the first true freshman ranked at No. 1.

But who was the true “Freaks” guinea pig? Meet Terna Nande.

A 235-pound linebacker from Miami (Ohio), Nande headlined Feldman’s first-ever Freaks list despite coming from the smallest program of the group. His football career, however, ended by the time he was 27, and now 40, Nande works in health care tech in Washington D.C. Feldman caught up with him here.

Quick Snaps

Brenda Tracy, who has accused Michigan State coach Mel Tucker of sexual harassment, said in a letter that she had no intention of disclosing her identity publicly while the investigation was ongoing and shared her story with USA Today only after her name was leaked to local media.

Can Boise State regain its mojo after starting the season 0-2? Vannini answers Athletic subscriber questions on Group of 5 teams.

Few teams are having as much fun so far this season as Mississippi State. Kenny Smith shares his SEC superlatives from around the league in Week 2.

Deion Sanders said he is getting an “absurd” amount of recruiting inquiry calls after a 2-0 start in Boulder. CU’s first two games were viewed by 7.26 million and 8.73 million people — only Texas’ win over Alabama topped those numbers.

(Top photo: Jacob Snow / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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