For the third straight year, current UB players were shut out of the 2020 NFL draft. Still, the Bulls had four players — two current and two former — land with NFL teams over the weekend. Three of them signed as undrafted free agents; one, former wide receiver K.J. Osborn, heard his name called in the fifth round.
Cheyenne McEvans was born into a basketball family. So it was hardly a surprise when McEvans asked her parents if she could pick up the sport at age five. It was all she knew at the time, bouncing around between the high school gym her mother coached at and family gatherings, where the only thing her cousins wanted to know was when they could go outside and shoot some hoops.
UB football is hoping for better luck this year after getting shut out of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Bulls are led by offensive lineman Evin Ksiezarczyk, linebacker Matt Otwinowski and safety Joey Banks, who are all hoping to hear their names called during the draft, which begins Thursday.
The NCAA concluded Tuesday that a former UB men’s basketball assistant coach violated NCAA unethical conduct bylaws last year when he “fraudulently created and submitted documentation for an NCAA waiver” to UB’s Athletics Compliance Office, according to a press release from UB Athletics.
Each passing day reminds sports fans that both the NHL and NBA playoffs should be starting on April 8 and 18, and the MLB season should have started already. With all sports seasons on hold for the foreseeable future, video games have filled a huge void for fans. Twitch’s peak daily users reached 22.7 million in March and Verizon reported that U.S. video game usage increased 75% during the first week of quarantine.
On March 16, UB granted three-star men’s basketball recruit Josiah Freeman a release from his commitment. Freeman’s departure means that the Bulls have filled just 11 of their 13 scholarships prior to the late signing period, which opens Wednesday. UB has added just one recruit to its 2020 class so far: three-star Louisiana point guard Chanse Robinson.
Kristen Maines knew something was coming — she just didn’t know what it was. On March 12, the women’s tennis coach led her team in a scheduled practice at the Miller Tennis Center. But at the same time, leaders from the Mid-American Conference were discussing how COVID-19 would impact their ability to hold future competitions.
One of the top junior college transfers in the country could be joining the UB men’s basketball team next season. Chipola College point guard Malik Zachery has offers from 17 schools and has narrowed his options to Ole Miss, California and UB. He is set to make his decision on April 15, according to Stockrisers.
The Bulls will enter the 2020 football season — if it takes place on time — with two of the top-10 returning edge rushers in the nation, according to Anthony Treash of ESPN. Using a combination of Pro Football Focus grades and PFF’s wins above average metric, Treash placed UB defensive ends Taylor Riggins and Malcolm Koonce on his list of elite returning edge rushers.
Rachel Barich couldn’t wait for her final season at UB. The senior distance runner was ready to show what her lifetime of work had built up to. She was ready for her moment in the spotlight. But the NCAA cancelled all spring-sport seasons on March 12 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, leaving senior athletes without their senior seasons.
Over the past few months, COVID-19 has sent the global economy into a freefall. On Thursday, the virus found yet another economic victim: Division-I athletic programs. The NCAA Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday to distribute $225 million to Division-I member schools, a 62.5% decrease from the expected $600 million.
UB women’s basketball senior forward Summer Hemphill announced on Twitter Monday that she will be staying on the team for an additional season.
Men’s basketball junior guard Jayvon Graves announced on Friday that he is planning to declare for the 2020 NBA Draft, with the ability to return to college next year if he withdraws his name no later than 10 days after the scouting combine.
Troy Keller was preparing to make a presentation in his field ecology class last week when he discovered some shocking news: the NCAA canceled its Division-I college wrestling championships. Keller, a back-to-back 165 lb. Mid-American Conference champion, was looking forward to competing for the school’s first All-American honor since 2004. But instead, he was told that his career would be ending, but “not on his own terms.”
Three-star men's basketball recruit Josiah Freeman asked for a release from his commitment to UB and UB granted it, according to UB Athletics. Freeman signed his national letter of intent with the Bulls in November, after turning down offers from nine other schools, including Old Dominion and Siena.
The Mid-American Conference canceled all remaining regular season and championship competitions for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year, commissioner Jon Steinbrecher announced Thursday. “During this unprecedented health crisis that continues to evolve daily, we fully support the decision made today by the Mid-American Conference and the NCAA,” UB Athletics Director Mark Alnutt said in a press release. “While we are disappointed for our student-athletes, coaches and staff who have worked diligently to prepare this spring and have had their seasons cut short, their health, safety and well-being will always be our top priority.”