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.”
Corey Thompson is hoping this season isn’t his last at LSU.
The linebacker sustained an unspecified lower-leg injury during the first few days of summer camp in August. It was originally thought that Thompson would be back in 6-8 weeks, but interim head coach Ed Orgeron confirmed Tuesday that the fifth-year senior will likely be sidelined for all of 2016.
“I think he’s going to redshirt,” Orgeron said according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I think he’s going to redshirt and that decision has been made, just final the other day. I don’t think I’m talking out of hand, but I think that’s what’s going to happen.”
Thompson has what’s seemingly a slam-dunk case for a sixth season of eligibility that would allow him to play in 2017. In addition to all of 2016, Thompson sat out the entire 2014 season because of injury.
According to Orgeron, Thompson will seek a waiver from the NCAA.
In 2013 and 2015, Thompson started eight of the 19 games in which he played at safety. He moved to linebacker after the 2015 season, and was penciled in as a starter prior to the injury.
An odd and somewhat disturbing situation is ongoing in Memphis involving two Tiger football players.
According to a police report obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, several gunshots were fired at the vehicle of Tigers wide receiver Jae’Lon Oglesby, who wasn’t in the vehicle at te time but heard the shots from inside his apartment. The Commercial Appeal writes that Oglesby “noticed bullet holes in two windows and both of the passenger-side doors of his Nissan Altima, as well as bullet damage to the roof of the car.”
Oglesby told police he did not see who fired the shots, but did indicate that he had been involved in what was described as a physical altercation with a teammate, cornerback Kam Prewitt, earlier in the day.
Police are currently investigating the incident, and the university is aware of the situation.
“We are aware of the incident involving two student-athletes on the University of Memphis campus yesterday and are cooperating fully with the investigation,” athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement. “All student-athletes are subject to the University of Memphis Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities, as well as University and athletic department policies.
“In addition, we are monitoring a second situation involving shots fired at a student-athlete’s parked vehicle at an off-campus location. We have offered our full support to the local authorities investigating that incident.”
Following Wednesday’s practice, head coach Mike Norvell stated that “[w]e’re in the evaluation stage of everything that has happened.” Neither Oglesby nor Prewitt were at that practice.
The past two seasons, Oglesby, a sophomore, has caught 25 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown. Five of those catches and 46 of the yards have come in 2016. He also has carried the ball eight times for 64 yards.
A redshirt freshman, Prewitt has yet to play a down for the Tigers. According to the Commercial Appeal he was suspended during summer camp for undisclosed reasons.
The fallout from a “complete melee” in Week 8 will bleed into Week 9 for Western Kentucky.
Conference USA announced Tuesday that running back Anthony Wales has been suspended for the first half of WKU’s game this weekend against FAU. Wales was one of myriad players involved in an in-game, on-field brawl last Saturday against Old Dominion.
Every player on each team was given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from the officiating crew. Additionally, Monarch defensive back Jamshyer McUmber was ejected from the game.
“Conference USA takes sportsmanship and player safety very seriously,” a statement from the league began, “and the conference appreciates the efforts of both coaching staffs and the game officials to restore order following the incident and play the remainder of the game without any additional issues.”
“The league informed us of their decision,” WKU athletic director Todd Stewart said in his statement. “Coach [Jeff] Brohm addressed the situation from our perspective on Saturday and again today. Our focus is on this week’s game at FAU and our goal of winning another conference championship.”
Brawl just broke out here pic.twitter.com/5yl3dQbLwa
— Chad Bishop (@MrChadBishop) October 23, 2016
In addition to Wales, ODU safety Christian Bynum has been suspended for the first half of this week’s game against UTEP. WKU wide receivers Nicholas Norris and Kylen Towner and wide receiver Kesean Strong and defensive back Rob Thompson of ODU were issued public reprimands but were not suspended.
Wales is far and away the Hilltoppers leading rusher, topping the team in rushing yards (739), rushing touchdowns (11) and yards per carry (6.5). The rushing touchdowns are tied for fifth nationally.
Quinton Baker, second on the team with 310 yards, will get the start in place of Wales.
Kerryon Johnson‘s absence from the field will apparently be a brief one.
The running back sustained a sprained ankle in Auburn’s Week 6 win over Mississippi State, and, coming off a bye, the football program was initially optimistic he’d be available for the Week 8 game against Arkansas. Instead, he was a game-day decision for the Razorbacks.
While Johnson missed that game, that won’t be the case this Saturday as Gus Malzahn declared his starting back ready to go against Ole Miss.
“He practiced yesterday. He will play, there’s no doubt about that,” the head coach Gus Malzahn said during the weekly SEC teleconference Wednesday. “We’re trying to be smart about it.”
At the time of his injury, Johnson’s 538 yards rushing and six touchdowns were tops among all Tiger backs. Kamryn Pettway ran for a career-high 192 yards against te Razorbacks, and now leads the team with 697 yards. Both Johnson and Pettway are part of an offense that ranks third nationally in rushing yards per game (302.9).