The Texas Longhorns will likely be without starting linebackers Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond in the opener this fall against the North Texas Mean Green and could be without them for the second game against the BYU Cougars, according to John Infante of the Bylaw Blog.
Initial reports from the Austin American-Statesman did not include the names of the players in question who received a meal paid for by an agent some time this spring, but an Orangebloods report on Tuesday evening revealed the names of Edmond and Hicks.
The university self-reported the violation to the NCAA in early June.
Two other Texas players, senior defensive end Cedric Reed and senior defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, also had a meal with the agent, who represents former Texas offensive guard Mason Walters. The agent, Justin Bingman of One Sports Group, has since deleted the tweets that included his references to those meals.
But back to the possible impact for Texas this fall -- Infante points out that if the benefit was less than $100, which is likely unless the meals were quite expensive, then the punishment is repayment of the meal and 10% withholding, which would equate to a suspension of one or two games.
If the meals cost between $100 and $300, a less likely scenario, the punishment would be 20% withholding, which could amount to three-game suspensions.
In determining the length of the suspension, the NCAA will look at three factors -- value, awareness of the agent's status, and the player's involvement in obtaining the benefit.
Since the reinstatement staff has been directed to impose a minimum of 10% withholding for any impermissible benefits, it seems highly unlikely that Edmond and Hicks will avoid suspension. And to do so would involve an appeal to the reinstatement staff following a decision.
So the odds of Edmond and Hicks being available for North Texas are not high. If they miss the BYU game, too, then Texas could be in some trouble as a result.