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The reaction to athletes transferring from a school usually fits one of two categories. Fans either believe it’s a sign of a failing program, or they diminish the athlete’s ability.
Armand Shyne seems to have found a sweet spot. The former Utah running back is moving to Texas Tech as a graduate transfer. Shyne is remembered for his contribution to the Utes’ first Pac-12 South championship, yet the program has so much depth at his position that his move is understandable.
Utah wouldn’t have beaten Oregon without Shyne’s 174-yard effort in the first game the Utes played without quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss. But with Moss returning and the Utes having developed considerable talent in the backfield, Shyne sought more of an opportunity to play as a senior. He may find it at Texas Tech, in former Utah State coach Matt Wells’ program.
Stories of the week
This is a big week for Utah’s gymnastics team, competing in the NCAA meet at Fort Worth, Texas. Lya Wodraska has it all covered for us, starting with this look at Ute stars MyKayla Skinner and MaKenna Merrell-Giles (TRIB).
And then there’s Sydney Soloski, doing her thing on the balance beam (TRIB).
Wodraska wonders how starting the meet on the floor may affect the Utes (TRIB).
From a national perspective, a Slate writer looked into why Skinner is so polarizing in the gymnastics world, with a conclusion that basically defends her demeanor (SLATE).
The Utes concluded spring football practice with the Red-White Game last weekend. One of the biggest stories was the Ken Garff family’s $17.5 million donation to the Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion project (TRIB).
The quarterbacks looked good against a depleted defense, but what about the kickers? (TRIB).
Tribune columnist Gordon Monson is impressed with the Utes, going into the 2019 season (TRIB).
Offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig has shown a lot of variety in his scheme, but fans can be assured that he understands Moss’ place in the program (TRIB).
Ute basketball coach Larry Krystkowiak always has a lot to say in his season-ending media interviews. In this year’s case, Ute athletic director Mark Harlan seemed to sense that Krystkowiak needed to hear an expression of support (TRIB).
Krystkowiak will rework his staff in some form, with the departure to UNLV of assistant coach DeMarlo Slocum after eight seasons at Utah. Donny Daniels will be part of the staff in one role or another, and that’s a healthy development for the program (TRIB).
Do the Utes have a chance to make the College Football Playoff semifinals? Yes (barely), according to this ESPN analysis (ESPN).
Regardless of whether Ute fans consider Colorado their Pac-12 “rival,” this New York Times look into how the Buffs’ program is viewed in Boulder is interesting (NYT).
Dirk Facer of the Deseret News profiled Ute baseball star Oliver Dunn (DNEWS).
• Utah’s baseball team (8-19, 3-12 Pac-12) claimed a series victory over USC last week, thanks to a pair of 5-4 wins. The Utes will host No. 12 Arizona State in a three-game series at Smith’s Ballpark, with 6 p.m. starts Thursday and Friday and a 1 p.m. first pitch Saturday.
• The challenging Pac-12 schedule continues for Utah’s softball team (14-26, 3-9). The Utes earned one win in three games at No. 25 Stanford last week. They will host No. 3 Washington in a series at Dumke Family Softball Stadium with games Thursday (6 p.m.), Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (noon).
• The Utah lacrosse team’s schedule is down to two home games remaining in the Utes’ inaugural Division I season. The Utes will meet Cleveland State on Saturday (noon) at Judge Memorial, coming off a 14-12 loss at Hartford. Utah (4-9) has lost six games in a row, with three defeats by two goals or fewer.