WACO, Texas — Baylor is releasing five incoming freshman players from their national letters of intent and allowing them to attend other schools without losing eligibility.
The players were not identified in Baylor's news release Thursday, but all requested release before May 31, the school said. The requests came after the Baylor board of regents fired coach Art Briles following the release of a report commissioned by the school that found he and other university leaders inappropriately handled sexual assault allegations by female students.
Without a release from Baylor, the players could have had to sit out their freshmen seasons and lose a year of eligibility if they chose to attend another school. The signees could have requested a waiver from the NCAA to let them play immediately and retain full eligibility.
"I wanted the opportunity to talk with our signees and their families before providing any releases," Baylor acting head coach Jim Grobe said in a statement. "This has never been about whether or not we would ultimately provide individuals with a release; we simply asked that we go through the process … and have the chance to speak with the student-athletes and their parents."
Report: FSU signee going juco: Florida State signee Keion Joyner, a linebacker from North Carolina, is academically ineligible to enroll and will instead attend Fort Scott Community College in Kansas, 247Sports.com reported.
Georgia: Freshman defensive back Chad Clay was dismissed from the team after his second arrest in less than three months. Clay was accused of stealing headphones from another student on campus and was released from the Athens-Clarke County jail on $1,500 bond on Wednesday.
Southern Miss: Cornerback Devontre Parnell told the Sun Herald of Gulfport, Miss., and the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American he will join the team as a graduate transfer from Louisville. He missed last season with a shoulder injury.
West Virginia: Former blue-chip quarterback recruit David Sills, who received a scholarship offer from Southern California while in middle school, is leaving the Mountaineers and plans to transfer to junior college.
Conference USA: Former NFL executive and player Merton Hanks was named senior associate commissioner. Hanks, who played in the NFL for the 49ers for nine seasons then worked for the NFL for 13 years, will be responsible for managing league operations for football and baseball.