EDGY's Eastern Illinois Panthers Grade: C
Eastern Illinois and head coach Kim Dameron were able to sign 20 names in the Panthers' 2017 class, including five Illinois high school players. Eastern Illinois was able to fill in some depth at multiple positions with offensive line being a slight focus. The Panthers have been hovering slightly about the overall winning mark for the past few seasons. Hopefully this class, along with a veteran roster back in 2017, will help EIU get toward the top of the Ohio Valley and back into the FCS playoffs.
Headliner Of The In-State Class?
Eastern Illinois was able to bring in some solid names here, but from an upside/down-the-line-potential I'm a big fan of Phillips offensive linemen Johari Branch (6-foot-3, 295 pounds). Branch has terrific size, quickness and length and was impressive at various one-day camps this past summer. Belleville Althoff wide receiver/defensive back Edwyn Brown (6-foot-5, 180 pounds) might be one of the more intriguing names in this class. Brown has great size and length and could develop down the line and into a potential steal.
The One Who Got Away?
Eastern Illinois offered two terrific in-state recruits in Rochester wide receiver Avante Cox along with Belleville Althoff wide receiver C.J. Coldon. Both Cox and Coldon wound up signing with Wyoming.
Final Thoughts on the Eastern Illinois Panthers Recruiting Class:
Eastern Illinois was able to go out and bring in some in-state names to its 2017 class who have a chance down the road to become contributors. I would love to see EIU hit the high school/in-state numbers a bit harder, including seeing a better overall percentage of in-state signings. Yet the Panthers have been winning games and use their out-of-state recruiting connections, FBS and FCS transfers and incoming freshman names well so far under Dameron.
Despite the various issues, the Panthers have been competitive and playing winning football. EIU was actually off to a strong start in 2016, going 5-2 with wins over Miami of Ohio and Illinois State. EIU lost three of its last four games to end the year 6-5. With a deep and veteran roster returning in 2017, plus a solid 2017 class just signed, look for EIU to again challenge for an FCS playoff spot in 2017.
Bulls rookie guard Coby White has talent, an infectious smile and an afro that makes him stand out on the court. It’s a fair bet he could have made some money off his likeness while he played at North Carolina if the rules allowed it.
The NCAA is taking steps towards allowing its athletes to do so, but there’s still a long way to go in the process. The organization’s Board of Governors unanimously voted to start the process. That vote moves things to the NCAA’s three divisions “to consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies,” as it was worded in the NCAA's press release.
“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, the chair of the board and president of Ohio State. “Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships.”
The board asked each division (Division I, Division II, Division III) to make any new rules immediately and no later than January 2021.
It’s important to note that none of the changes are final, or even imminent. It’s still relevant that the NCAA is going through the process at all, after being so strongly in favor of amateurism across the board for its student-athletes.
The potential changes would not allow for compensation based on performance or participation in a sport. Of course, the natural grey area is that higher performing athletes will be more marketable so they would be compensated on performance indirectly.
This comes after California passed legislation to allow college athletes to receive endorsement/sponsorship money and other states are pursuing similar.
This is still far from being official or finalized, but it will continue to be a major story in college sports over the next couple years.
The DePaul men's basketball team has been placed on three-year probation and head coach Dave Leitao has been suspended three games for the 2019-20 season, the NCAA announced on Tuesday.
The program was found guilty of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance while Leitao did not "prevent violations from occurring in his program."
A Division I Committee on Infractions panel concluded that a "former DePaul associate head coach violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he knowingly directed the former assistant director of basketball operations to provide impermissible recruiting benefits to a recruit."
The NCAA found that three coaches knew about the situation but failed to report the infractions. DePaul will vacate all wins earned while the ineligible player competed and suffer recruiting restrictions. They were also fined $5,000 plus 1% of the men's basketball program budget.
In 2019, DePaul had their first winning season since 2007 by going 19-17.