Tyrone Willingham knows a little something about getting fired. It happened to him at Notre Dame in 2004, and at Washington this year.And although Willingham isn’t asking for any sympathy for his own situation, he says that coaches — and especially African-American coaches — are getting fired too quickly, and without enough time to build their programs.”It’s not just my issue, it’s a college football issue — we have to give coaches a chance to do their job,” Willingham told the Chicago Tribune. “Because now we have coaches … especially some of the minority coaches … they are losing their jobs after 21/2 years. That’s not right.”Miami coach Randy Shannon is currently the only African-American head coach of a BCS team. Willingham says he’d like to believe that more big programs will have black coaches at the top.”One thing no one has ever disputed is that our program was run the right way,” Willingham told the Tribune. “That should identify clearly that African-Americans have the ability to run one of the largest corporate football programs in this country in the manner that it should be done. So hopefully it was a steppingstone for all.”
Marvin Robinson was never able to make it to the Big Ten to start his collegiate career, but now it appears he’ll get that opportunity in the SEC.
On Kentucky’s official online roster, Robinson is now listed as a wide receiver for the Wildcats. According to John Hale of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Robinson, at least initially, will be a walk-on on Mark Stoops‘ squad.
Robinson had been a verbal commitment to Wisconsin and was set to sign with the Badgers in February of 2015. However, the Fort Lauderdale product failed to qualify academically at UW.
The 6-4, 175-pounder sat out the 2015 season, so he’ll be eligible to play immediately in 2016. Whether seeing the field actually comes to fruition remains to be seen as the Wildcats return five wide receivers who caught at least 10 passes in 2015, including the top four on the team in receptions and receiving yards — Dorian Baker (55-608), Garrett Johnson (46-694), Jeff Badet (29-430) and Blake Bone (20-210). Ryan Timmons (12-114) is the fifth, with those five also accounting for nine of the team’s 10 touchdown receptions on the season.
Robinson was a three-star 2015 prospect who was rated as the No. 146 receiver in the country.
Wisconsin will need all hands on deck if they hope to contain LSU’s Leonard Fournette in the 2016 opener at Lambeau field. Unfortunately for the Badgers, a key hand may be unavailable.
A report emerged late last week that T.J. Edwards would be sidelined indefinitely because of a foot injury. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote that “Edwards was seen wearing a walking boot this week and a source confirmed the redshirt sophomore is out” for the foreseeable future.
During the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, head coach Paul Chryst somewhat addressed the linebacker’s status.
Paul Chryst said in local media session that there isn’t a timetable for ILB T.J. Edwards’ return from an injured foot. #Badgers
— John Veldhuis (@JohnVeldhuis) July 26, 2016
Chryst tells local scribes that there is no timetable for soph. ILB T.J Edwards’ return to the field. Points out he was having great summer
— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) July 26, 2016
The Badgers open summer camp August 8. The opener against the Tigers is scheduled for Sept. 3.
As a redshirt sophomore last season, Edwards started all 13 games.
If you’re the squeamish type, you might want to do your best to avoid the picture that appears in this post.
Mitch Leidner has been dealing with foot issues since the 2014 season, specifically ligaments that he’s torn on multiple occasions. Following Minnesota’s win over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl this past December, the quarterback underwent surgery to repair the ligaments in his left foot but returned in time for spring practice.
Leidner was one of the Gophers’ player representatives at the Big Ten Media Days Tuesday, and decided he’d share a post-operation picture of his surgically-repaired foot. Again, if your squeamish, look away.
Here’s what Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner endured this offseason. It’s amazing he’s healthy. This photo is likely NSFW. pic.twitter.com/3HmVyb9f0x
— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) July 26, 2016
As if the photo doesn’t paint this picture, head coach Tracy Claeys acknowledged that the starter was worse off health-wise than the football program let on last year.
“We hid his injuries pretty good a year ago,” Claeys said according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He was banged up pretty good. The foot injury he had was tough and really limited him.”
Now, though, Leidner proclaims himself, “[p]hysically, I’m in the best shape of my life, by far.” The fifth-year senior, projected by some to be a first-round quarterback prospect in the 2017 NFL draft, added that he feels “like I’m throwing the ball better than I ever have before.”
The story of an Iowa football player, Pokemon Go and Iowa City police now has some visuals to go along with the oral narrative.
Over the weekend, officers in that police department were searching for a suspect in a bank robbery. Hawkeyes defensive lineman Faith Ekakitie (pictured, No. 56) just happened to be in a park in that area and seemingly matched the description of the suspect — black man in black clothing wearing something on his head — prompting the officers to approach the lineman. When Ekakitie failed to respond to the officers’ commands, because he was wearing headphones, weapons were drawn.
According to Ekakitie in his Facebook accounting of the incident, he had “four gun barrels staring me in the face” at that point.
Because of the national attention the incident has received, the ICPD on Tuesday released two body cam videos that shows exactly how the encounter between their officers and Ekakitie went down.
“I think it’s critical we get the information out so people can actually see the events as they actually occurred in real time,” says ICPD Sgt. Scott Gaarde in regards to releasing the videos.
In his social media missive, Ekakitie thanked the police officers involved for how they handled the situation.
“I would like to thank the Iowa City Police department for handling a situation very professionally,” the lineman wrote. “I would also urge people to be more aware of their surroundings because clearly I wasn’t.
“Lastly, I would urge us all to unlearn some of the prejudices that we have learned about each other and now plague our minds and our society. I am convinced that in the same way that we learned these prejudices, we can also unlearn them.”