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Sports week in review: Players return to campus, Roy Kramer on Hall of Fame ballot


CMU football players huddle during practice on Aug. 27, 2019, at the East Grass Field. 

Central Michigan football players have returned for voluntary workouts to prepare for the 2020 football season if it begins as scheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Football players are the only student-athletes that have been able to return to campus for workouts, other teams are expected to return at a later date.

Other Chippewas, both former and current, also made news outside of the voluntary workouts. 

Here are four stories from the last week around the CMU sports community: 

Football players return for voluntary workouts

CMU's football players were able to return to campus for the workouts only if their remote tests for COVID-19 were negative. 

Players, coaches and staffers are required to work through a symptoms checklist daily, and it remains to the individual's decision if they choose to enter the building or not. 

As of this point, nobody participating in the workouts have tested positive for the coronavirus and no further testing will be done unless someone exhibits symptoms of COVID-19. 

“The health and safety of our students is always our top priority,” CMU Athletic Director Michael Alford said in a statement. “We have been in constant communication and planning with campus partners and health officials in preparation for a return to campus. We will also follow all state guidelines put in place and all activities will be voluntary as defined by the NCAA.” 

Voluntary workouts are the first of four phases the NCAA College Football Oversight Committee to start the college football season on time. 

The first phase is slated from June 1-25 for voluntary workouts. Team workouts, the second phase, can start July 13 for weight training, conditioning and film study. Walkthroughs and team meetings for 20 hours a week are able to start on July 24. Finally, the preseason practice period — training camp — can start Aug. 7. 

Teams were allowed to bring their student-athletes back to campus June 1 and many will start their voluntary workout programs June 15. 

CMU and other teams kicking off Labor Day weekend are allowed 20 hours with their players per week from July 24-Aug. 6. The hours are divided between six hours of walkthroughs and meetings with eight hours of strength and conditioning work. 

Roy Kramer nominated to College Football Hall of Fame ballot

After leading Central Michigan to its only national championship back in 1974 and accumulating an 83-32-2 record with CMU, former football coach Roy Kramer was nominated to the College Football Hall of Fame ballot, the National Football Foundation (NFF) announced on June 16. 

Kramer also served as the athletic director at Vanderbilt after his time at CMU and eventually was the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. During his time as commissioner, Kramer was instrumental in boosting postseason football and is widely regarded as the father of the Bowl Championship Series. 

As it stands, former coach Herb Deromedi, the winningest coach in program history with 110 wins, is the only representative of CMU in the Hall of Fame. Kramer is the third-winningest coach in program history and was named the Division II Coach of the Year after the team won its national championship. 

Kalil Pimpleton and Troy Brown lead 12 Chippewas on preseason All-conference list

After strong campaigns in 2019, wide receiver Kalil Pimpleton and linebacker Troy Brown, both redshirt juniors, landed on the Athlon Sports Preseason All-Mid-American Conference First Team Offense and Defense, respectively. 

Pimpleton, who also returned punts last season, was listed as an all-purpose athlete and was named a First-Team Specialist as a punt returner. 

The Chippewas led the conference with 12 players selected among the three teams, including four players on the Second Team Offense and three on the Second Team Defense. 

Kyron McKinnie-Harper was listed on the Third-Team Defense after a breakout freshman campaign. The defensive back is facing criminal charges and is currently suspended from the team. 

Here are the Chippewa selections on the All-MAC Teams. 

First Team 

Kalil Pimpleton — All-purpose athlete, punt returner 

Troy Brown — Linebacker

Second Team

Kobe Lewis — Running Back

Tony Poljan — Tight end

Luke Goedeke — Offensive line

Derek Smith — Offensive line

Robi Stuart — Defensive line

LaQuan Johnson — Defensive line

Devonni Reed — Safety

Third Team

JaCorey Sullivan — Wide receiver

Kyron McKinnie-Harper — Cornerback

Montrae Braswell enters transfer portal

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Montrae Braswell announced on Twitter he has entered the NCAA transfer portal. 

"I would (sic) like to thank all of (my) Chippewa teammates and coaches at CMU for giving me (the) opportunity to grow and develop," Braswell wrote. "This is a great school and I will forever love this university." 

Braswell played in all 14 games last season and totaled 34 tackles (24 solo), 11 pass deflections and one interception. 

Braswell was primarily utilized as a kick returner during his season with the Chippewas. He returned 13 kicks for a total of 289 yards. 

Under the NCAA transfer rules, Braswell would not be immediately eligible to play if he transfers to a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision school.