UPDATED WITH LINKS TO ALL THE LATEST REPORTS . . .
No doubt you’ve heard by now that Jamal Mosley, a tight end at Oklahoma State who was supposed to start against Georgia on Saturday, has left Stillwater “for personal reasons.” Slowly information has emerged that Mosley had been accused of rape by a fellow student. The latest news in this ongoing saga is that he’s bound for Tennessee, as our own Larry Hartstein reported here.
Now I’ve taken my share of shots at the Vols’ new coach, Lane Kiffin, who hasn’t exactly expended a lot of energy avoiding controversy since his arrival in Knoxville. But I’m going to have to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.
While Mosley told the Oklahoma State student newspaper, The Daily O’Collegian, he intends to transfer to Tennessee, that doesn’t necessarily mean the Vols are going to take him. And if the rape charges stick — it’s unclear at this moment what’s going to happen with that — I can pretty much guarantee you they won’t.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel, citing a “source close to the situation,” said Mosley could be visiting Tennessee as early as tomorrow. I don’t have such a source. But I called UT associate AD Bud Ford, one of best publicists in the SEC and a guy I’ve known for years, to find out what if anything the Vols knew about this whole thing. For starters, Ford knew nothing, but he was headed directly to the Office of Complaince to find out what he could.
NCAA rules, you see, are very specific regarding transfers from one D-1 school to another. Number one, you can’t even talk to a scholarship player at another school unless he has filed the proper transfer-request paperwork with your institution. And then you can’t talk about said transfer, other than to confirm you’re recruiting him, until that guy is actually enrolled in your school. So who knows when we might get anything resembling official word.
That said, if Kiffin has proven anything it’s that he’s not afraid to stand up to the heat of controversy. Just this year we’ve watched with fascination as he signed a player convicted of sexual assault as a 13-year-old, Daniel Hood, stole a recruit out from under Florida’s nose in Nu’Keese Richardson then accused the Gators of cheating, followed that up by insulting the residents of Pahokee, Fla., where Richardson is from, and signed the nation’s No. 1 prospect in tailback Bryce Brown despite numerous questions surrounding Brown’s relationship with am “adviser” who sold updates on his website.
As for Mosley, the Memphis resident is from all accounts a pretty good player. The 6-foot-4, 254-pounder had 5 catches for 57 yards as a true freshman last year and was slated to start this season. I guess it depends on how much trouble Kiffin thinks he’s worth.