Updated: Michael Dyer dismissed from Arkansas State

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Auburn transfer Michael Dyer hadn’t even stepped on the field for Arkansas State yet before he began making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Turns out, Dyer won’t play for the Red Wolves anyway. Ever.

In somewhat surprising news, Arkansas coach Gus Malzahn announced Sunday night that Dyer had been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

“I am truly disappointed that it didn’t work out here at ASU for Mike,” said Malzahn in the statement.  “I wish Mike nothing but the best in the future.”

The Jonesboro Sun added that the dismissal may be related to a spring traffic stop where officers found a gun and marijuana in Dyer’s car.

Though Dyer had only transferred to Arkansas State this year, he was already the subject of more transfer rumors after his appeal for immediate eligibility was denied by the NCAA. It was thought briefly that Dyer may transfer to a lower level program so he could play right away before likely taking off for the NFL, but that speculation ended up being quashed.

Dyer rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of his two seasons with Auburn, and was a first-team All-SEC performer in 2011.  However, he was suspended for the Tigers’ Chick-fil-A appearance and left the school shortly thereafter.

Updated 7/30 @ 12:45 p.m.: Arkansas State police have released the following statement related to the Dyer traffic stop, which you can read below. Also, if you’re looking for some video of the incident, click HERE.

Colonel JR Howard, Director of the Arkansas State Police, has received a final report from the department’s Office of Professional Standards and the Command Staff Review Board relative to an internal investigation of a March 10th 2012 traffic stop by State Trooper Royce Denney.

The traffic stop involved two vehicles, one operated by Michael Dyer and the other by Ronnie Wright.

Both drivers were cited by Trooper Denney for speeding 96 miles per hour in a 70 mile per hour zone.  The tickets are on file at White County District Court.

A copy of the traffic stop video recording captured by Trooper Denney’s patrol car camera has been released under the provisions of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Presently there is a personnel matter associated with the investigation of Trooper Denney pending before Colonel Howard and at this time the department is prohibited from acknowledging any further information about the internal investigation.

Minnesota gives Fleck 1-year extension, plus raise

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Matt Krohn/USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck had his contract extended Wednesday by an additional year with a $1 million raise in annual salary, after the latest round of big spending by Big Ten rivals.

The new seven-year deal will run through the 2029 season, the university announced without releasing terms. Fleck will now make $6 million per year, a person with knowledge of the contract confirmed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been finalized.

Last week, Nebraska hired Matt Rhule and Wisconsin hired Luke Fickell to put them in the top tier of head coach compensation in the conference. In terms of average annual value, the 42-year-old Fleck is eighth in the Big Ten behind Michigan State’s Mel Tucker, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Rhule, Fickell, Penn State’s James Franklin, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. All seven of those coaches make $7 million or more per season.

The Gophers (8-4) play Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29. They’re 3-0 in bowl games under Fleck, who was hired away from Western Michigan in 2017.

Minnesota tied for second place in the Big Ten West Division this year, behind Purdue. Fleck is 43-27 overall with the Gophers, including 26-26 in conference play. They’re 0-6 against Iowa and 3-3 against Wisconsin, their primary rivals.

Fleck’s winning percentage is third-best in program history among coaches with 45 games or more, behind Henry Williams (1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (1932-41).

“What P.J. and his staff have done in a short amount of time is remarkable,” athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement distributed by the university. “He has recruited and developed some of the best student-athletes to ever play at Minnesota and his team continues to excel academically, athletically and socially.”

This is the fifth time in six years on the job that Fleck’s deal has been adjusted to keep up with the competition, as power conference coach contracts these days rarely have less than five years on them at any time. Minnesota extended his deal a year ago, too.

In that iteration of his contract, the termination fees Fleck would owe Minnesota if he were to hop to another program were bumped way up. Those numbers landed at $7 million in 2023, $5 million in 2024, $4 million in 2025 and $3 million in 2026. Details about those figures in the new deal were not immediately available.

Virginia players granted extra year of eligibility

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility to Virginia players whose eligibility has expired in the aftermath of the slaying of three members of the team, the school confirmed.

Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed last month as they returned to campus from a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C. A former player at the school, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., is facing three counts of second-degree murder and other charges in the shooting. A fourth player, Mike Hollins, and student Marlee Morgan were injured in the shooting.

Virginia canceled its final two games of the season after the shooting, and the team and university community memorialized the victims in a nearly two-hour service on campus. Team members also traveled to each of the three funerals held for their teammates.