Penn State Football: Running Back Curtis Dukes Weighing Transfer Option, Report Says
Running back Curtis Dukes is on the fence in deciding whether to remain at Penn State amid significant NCAA sanctions.
The redshirt junior, who missed spring practice to focus on academics, told the Syracuse Post-Standard that many of his teammates are grappling with the choice to stay or leave the Penn State program.
“I’m not quite sure yet what I’ll do, but I definitely have to make a decision before camp starts,” Dukes told the newspaper. Preseason practice starts Aug. 6.
Monday, Penn State was slapped with more than $70 million in fines, a four-year postseason ban, reduced scholarships for four seasons and vacating victories from 1998-2011.
The NCAA is also allowing Penn State players to transfer to any school by the start of preseason practice in the 2013 season and be immediately eligible to play.
Penn State has no jurisdiction in stopping a player from choosing his new school. Players must simply inform Penn State of their interest in transferring to another school, and interested schools also must inform Penn State they wish to court its player.
The NCAA is also allowing teams to exceed their scholarship limits by adding Penn State players for 2012-13, however they must reduce the total number of scholarship players on their roster proportionately the following season. In effect, it creates a free agency-like culture in college football.
Players who transfer during the 2012 season and have not competed for Penn State during that season will be immediately eligible. If they have played during the season and elect to transfer, they are not eligible for the 2012 season.
The NCAA also suspended off-campus and telephone recruiting rules until Aug. 27, the first day of fall classes at Penn State.
Tuesday afternoon, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said no player has immediately decided to leave the program.
Several players, such as sophomore cornerback Adrian Amos, senior cornerback Stephon Morris, fifth-year quarterback Matt McGloin and sophomore running back Bill Belton, have taken to Twitter to announce their intention to remain with the program.
Dukes, the Evans Mills, N.Y. native, told the Post-Standard he would consider a transfer to Syracuse. And ESPN has reported USC is courting junior running back Silas Redd.
Losing both would decimate the Nittany Lions running back depth and likely thrust Belton, a converted wide receiver, into the starting role, with backups such as Zach Zwinak and true freshman Akeel Lynch.
Last year, Dukes was third on the team in rushing with 237 yards.