NCAA Football News

Vernon Hargreaves Injury: Updates on Gators CB's Knee and Return

After a tremendously disappointing 4-8 campaign in 2013, the Florida Gators football team was hoping for a positive offseason and some momentum heading into the 2014 season. 

Instead, Will Muschamp’s bunch received some unfortunate news regarding cornerback Vernon Hargreaves Thursday. Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun provided a number of updates on the situation:

Hargreaves is one of the most talented players on the entire Florida roster and was seen as a key to the resurgence of the defense. In fact, ESPN.com ranked him as the best true sophomore in the country and the 13th-best overall player in the country in its preseason rankings.

Hargreaves earned first-team All-SEC honors last year thanks to his three interceptions, 38 tackles and 11 total passes defended. He was second in the conference in passes defended per game at 1.17 and looked completely comfortable against elite competition as a freshman.

This injury is certainly a major blow for the Gators moving forward if it is serious. Check back for updates as they develop.

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Missouri Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

Gary Pinkel guided the Missouri Tigers to a 12-2 record last season en route to a victory against Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. Missouri has room for improvement and will not only look to secure an undefeated season but an SEC championship as well.

Watch as B/R's experts examine the Missouri Tigers before the 2014 season begins. 

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Arizona State Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

Todd Graham's Sun Devils put together a great 2013 regular season but failed to capitalize in the postseason. Arizona State fell to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship and couldn't overcome Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl. How will Arizona State fare in Graham's third season at the helm? Watch as Bleacher Report's experts preview Arizona State before the 2014 season begins. 

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Ole Miss Football 2014: Complete Preview and Prediction

Despite finishing with an overall record of 8-5, Hugh Freeze's Ole Miss Rebels struggled within the SEC, as they finished with a 3-5 record. However, the Rebels have managed to successfully bring in high-quality recruits in recent years. Expectations for Ole Miss continues to rise as these recruits gain valuable experience. Watch as B/R's experts weigh in on Ole Miss ahead of the 2014 season.

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Oklahoma State Football 2014: Complete Preview and Predictions

Head coach Mike Gundy enters his 10th season as Oklahoma State's head coach and looks to continue the success the Cowboys saw last season. In 2013, the Cowboys went 10-3 overall on the campaign with a 7-2 record within the Big 12 Conference. However, Gundy's squad failed to capitalize and lost to Missouri in the Cotton Bowl Classic. How will Oklahoma State rebound in 2014? Watch as Bleacher Report's experts preview the Cowboys ahead of the season.

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NCAA Board of Directors Approves Massive Changes to Division I Structure

The five biggest conferences in college football have just grown even more powerful, as the Division I board of directors has given those conferences the autonomous right to craft their own rules on several key student-athlete issues in college sports.

The final vote on Thursday was 16-2 in favor of the new changes. Michelle Brutlag Hosick of NCAA.com has more on the proposal itself:

The final model expands the Division I Board of Directors to include not only more presidents, but also a student-athlete, faculty representative, athletics director and female administrator.

A new body known as the Council will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the division and include more voices: two seats for student-athletes, two for faculty and four for commissioners.

The new model also grants flexibility to schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences to change rules for themselves in a list of specific areas within Division I. The legislative process for these 65 schools, which could begin as early as Oct. 1, includes three student-athlete representatives from each conference who will vote on rule changes within those conferences.

Per the report, NCAA President Mark Emmert praised the decision:

I am immensely proud of the work done by the membership. The new governance model represents a compromise on all sides that will better serve our members and, most importantly, our student-athletes. These changes will help all our schools better support the young people who come to college to play sports while earning a degree.

The nuts and bolts of the new proposal come in the form of autonomy for the five major conferences and the new Council that has been established. The NCAA on Twitter passed along a graphic showing how the new voting system would work:

Some NCAA rules would fall outside the realm of autonomy, which would be governed and voted on by the Council. Here's a graphic from NCAA on Twitter showing the members who would comprise this Council:

It would appear that most of the issues the major conferences would have autonomy on would deal directly with student-athlete rights, from attendance stipends to the value of scholarships to medical expenses and even a student-athlete's rights when it comes to contacting agents.

Without question, one of the biggest issues surrounding the NCAA today is the rights of student-athletes, specifically as they relate to the question of whether college athletes should be paid. The issue came to a head in March, when the National Labor Relations Board's regional director in Chicago determined that members of the Northwestern football team were employees, not amateurs, and could form a union.

With the NCAA opposing the end to what it has termed amateurism, however, the new rules and two seats on the Council could be seen as an olive branch to student-athletes. And along the way, they also offer the major five conferences a new degree of power and independence they have never been afforded in NCAA history. 

Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press put into context exactly what all of these changes could mean going forward:

The proposal must still pass through a 60-day comment period, however. If 75 universities protest, the board will reconsider the decision, while the protest of 125 universities will suspend the proposal barring reconsideration. 

 

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