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NCAA Football

Erik Vander Goes Knows What It Means To Be A True Student-Athlete

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Erik Vander Goes got a late start playing football. He started playing in the eighth grade for the Edison Chargers, a pop warner team that his dad helped coach.

“[Family] has been huge. They’ve sacrificed a lot to make sure I’m doing the right things academically and athletically. They’ve definitely been a huge [support system] for me and always encouraging me to be the best that I can be,” Vander Goes said.

The Orange County, California, native is now a senior at Lutheran High School and he has a 4.36 cumulative GPA. His junior year, he had a 4.67 GPA and has been the “scholar-athlete,” for three years in a row, meaning he has had the highest GPA in his grade for that span. In college, he plans to major in business, economics, law, or political science.

He also helps out in the community as a part of a class he took at Lutheran and he really enjoys helping people less fortunate than himself.

“Besides football, I participate in missions. I go on trips and stuff to help out communities that need it. For example, we go to Appalachia which is really the poorest part of the nation. It really does make me feel grateful for what I have. It helps me to see how much God has blessed my life and I’m getting as much out of it as they are. There was a class in school, I chose to take because I wanted the experiences.”

On the football field, the toughest thing Erik Vander Goes had to overcome was his inexperience playing football. He got to high school and started playing with guys who have been playing since age four or five. Attending an FBU football camp in Seattle, Washington helped him grow and shake off the rust due to his inexperience.

“I actually attended an FBU football camp. One of the coaches invited me to go to Seattle and I ended up going there. Coach Charlie Collins was the man. I had had a rough time at the camp before but he believed in me and gave me personal attention and saw potential in me and at that camp I really shined. That was when I realized I could go places with this.”

Erik Vander Goes is not ranked on any of the major recruiting services and he does not currently have scholarship offers. The six-foot-two, 230 pound, tight end has received the most interest from Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Dartmouth and Brown University in that order in addition to UC Davis, University of San Diego, Stetson and all of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools.

He took an official visit to Duke and met with MIT coaches whom he was impressed with as well.

“A lot of these schools have shown genuine interest, it’s just a matter of seeing the first few games of my senior year.”

He believes all of the schools interested in him are great ones and he’s looking for a place where he’ll be able to fit in with the team, help them win as many games as possible and get the best education he can. He also is not sure when he’ll make his commitment decision yet but he did say he will make it when the time is right. See his junior highlight film here.

“I definitely want to see that you are able to pursue excellence both academically and athletically and you don’t have to make a choice between either. Also, [I want to go to a school where] the guys on the team are genuinely good guys, I don’t want to get into trouble while I’m in college.”

He likens his game to former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez because of the physical playing style he displayed during his NFL career. Vander Goes was used mainly as a blocking tight end last season and he believes it has helped him.

“With the offense we run, it was kind of a role that I assumed. It has definitely helped me because it has put me in a position that a lot of tight ends don’t have to be [in]. A lot of them don’t get the blocking experience so I have a unique skill set that way. I do feel that this year, with a new offensive coordinator that there are going to be more opportunities for me.”

Lutheran head football coach Chuck Petersen believes Vander Goes has come a long way and is a very instinctive type of football player who has made great improvement in the weight room, getting bigger and stronger. That hard work is setting him up for a great senior year.

“He’s being recruited by a lot of high-end academic schools in the Ivy League. I think obviously they like that they can get him in school and not have to struggle with that part of it. They like the fact that he’s a big strong kid, especially the lower body and how he does a nice job at the line of scrimmage in the run game.”

When his time at Lutheran High School is all said and done, Erik Vander Goes said he will miss, of course, his coaches and teammates along with the laughter they all share in the locker room. He wants to leave the school with something they can strive for, that you can be a good athlete and excellent student at the same time.

“I just believe he’s an unbelievably accountable kid. What you see is what you get [with him]. He’ll show up every day, put in great work and will be as Erik Van Der Goes can be every snap,” Petersen said.

NCAA Football

Ex-Oregon Duck Doug Brenner Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, University for $11.5 Million

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Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Oregon, former Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart, and former Ducks’ strength coach Irele Oderinde, for $11.5 million in alleged damages, according to The Oregonian’s James Crepea.

Per the report:

“Brenner’s attorneys allege the University of Oregon was negligent for failing to prohibit, regulate or supervise the workouts, which they describe as ‘physical punishment regimens.’ The lawsuit also alleges that Taggart and Oderinde, both now at Florida State, were negligent in imposing and carrying out the workouts, and that the NCAA has failed to regulate such practices by coaches of its member institutions.”

Brenner was hospitalized last year, January 2017, with “rhabdomyolysis and subsequent injuries” after a series of intense offseason workouts, and is seeking damages for the medical bills he accrued due to the workouts, along with the “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury, a shortening of his life span by upwards of 10 years, increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain, [and premature death] and an impaired opportunity to play football in college and thereafter.”

The report goes on to say that offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, but neither player has been named as being a part of the lawsuit.

Taggart is now the head coach, and Oderinde is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Florida State Seminoles.

One of the lawyers representing Brenner, Mark McDougal, said the following about the workouts referred to in the lawsuit:

“The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions. A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts. These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce regulations that outlaw these practices.”

 

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MLB

Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games

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Hurricane Florence could threaten a number of games scheduled this week as the major storm system continues to threaten the United States Eastern Coast.

According to USA Today Sports, here are the games that could be impacted by the pending storm:

NFL

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

College football

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Campbell at Coastal Carolina, 2:00 (rescheduled from Saturday)

Thursday, Sept. 13

Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30

Saturday, Sept. 15 

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15
No. 13 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30
East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 12:20
No. 15 West Virginia at North Carolina State, 3:30
No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina, 12:00
Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
Colorado State at Florida, 4:00
Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

MLB

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Miami at N.Y. Mets, 4:10, Game 2 TBA
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Washington at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Thursday, Sept. 13

Chicago Cubs at Washington*, 4:05
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Friday, Sept. 14

Chic. White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 7:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 7:10
Washington at Atlanta*, 7:35

Saturday, Sept. 15

Washington at Atlanta*, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 4:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 4:05
Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05

Sunday, Sept. 16

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 1:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 1:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 1:35
Washington at Atlanta*, 1:35

*- games with playoff implications

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Carolina League: Potomac (Va.) at Buies Creek (N.C.), 1:05

Thursday, Sept. 13
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.). 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.) 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 15
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 6:35
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

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NCAA Football

Braylon Edwards Apologizes for University of Miami Tweets, Stand by his Stance

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Former NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who currently works for the Big Ten Network, has been suspended by the Big Ten Network for tweets he made on Saturday night after the Wolverines lost 24-17 to Notre Dame.3

Edwards, a former All-America wide receiver at the University of Michigan, heavily criticized Wolverines’ offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, calling him “weak,” and called Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson “scared.”

Edwards played wide receiver for Michigan from 2001 to 2004, and then was drafted to the NFL.

Edwards then went on to target the Michigan team as a whole, tweeting  “f—ing Michigan offense so predictable … Michigan football is sadly one thing … Trash.”

Edwards was criticized by Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday for his tweets and then was officially suspended indefinitely by the Big Ten Network.

“Effective as of Sunday, Sept. 2, Braylon Edwards has been suspended indefinitely from his role at the Big Ten Network due to a violation of the network’s social media guidelines”, the Big Ten Network wrote in a since deleted tweet, according to Chris Vannini of The Athletic.

“No. 1, first of all, it’s not true. It’s not factual,” Harbaugh said of the comments. “There’s nobody in our program who thinks those things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he describes. On the other level, I was disappointed a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of two of our players. That’s disappointing.

“We’ll handle things within the program,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all we control.”

“And, I would say, if somebody wants to attack the character of anybody on the ballclub, then come after me. I don’t think it’s right. It’s not true. And nobody in the program thinks that about any player on our team. Just so you know that’s not coming from anybody inside the program.”

While Edwards admits that his tweets were “excessive”, he stands by his criticism of the Wolverines, and says that he plans to reach out to Ruiz and Patterson through his brother, Berkley Edwards, who is a running back for Michigan.

Edwards added that former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr “called me out in the media” and he realizes now he shouldn’t have done the same to Ruiz and Patterson.

“I admit I was excessive and emotional and inebriated. Mix those together. But the focus of my tweets remains intact. I stand by that. I was over-excessive Saturday night at 10:29, but I don’t back down on my overall stance as an alum and a fan. I’ve always defended Michigan. Even this year, I was high on Michigan,” Edwards said according to the Detroit News.

“I’m a man. We make mistakes. I’m sorry. I should not have gone that way. I still agree with the overall message — what do we do now (as a program)? But I apologize — shouldn’t name individual players. They’re still kids. That’s what I apologize for,” Edwards told the media outlet.

Now that there is Legal sports betting in the USA it will be interesting to see what happens when Edwards returns. Some sportsbooks have started taking wagers on whether or not he will keep his job in the end and for how long.

For now, Edwards has a lot of time to sit at home and reflect before his return to the Big Ten Network.

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