Wednesday Night One-Liners

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Pat Forde of ESPN.com rips the AFCA a new one for their decision to make all ballots unavailable for public consumption, says it’s “coaches being cowards“.Andy Staples of SI.com piles on the AFCA as well, albeit with a little less vitriol.Gainesville Sun: “Despite all the money that will be coming into the league starting next year with two lucrative, new 15-year television contracts, Mike Slive says the SEC is not recession-proof.”Joe Paterno reiterates that All-Big Ten linebacker Navorro Bowman will not miss any playing time due to suspension, provided he keeps his nose clean between now and the beginning of the season.New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker has drunk driving charge dismissed.Birmingham News: “The SEC is considering sponsoring NCAA legislation to cap football signing classes at 28 players, or unilaterally make it a conference-wide rule.”The Eugene Register-Guard writes that with Darron Thomas moving up to No. 2 on Oregon’s depth chart, the chances are almost nil that the quarterback will be a redshirt this season.Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State and USF top the list of prospective schools for highly-recruited Tampa Catholic quarterback Christian Green.The San Jose Mercury News makes the case that while Justin Roper‘s decision to transfer from Oregon may not be making headlines now, it could be big news come September or October.Speaking of Roper, the quarterback explains to The Oregonian the reasoning behind his decision to leave the school.And speaking of Oregon transfers, head coach Chip Kelly talks about enduring three high-profile players leaving his squad in less than a month.Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis gives his thought his conference’s meetings last week: “The Big Ten meetings were, for all intents and purposes, boring, with no action taken on anything.”According to the Tampa Tribune, “the SEC has the top salary average for all of the 10 full-time coaching positions, with the exception of offensive coordinator.”Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt gives his two copper Lincoln’s on what it takes to beat Florida.The Idaho Statesman says let the Boise State-Oregon hype begin.Seven of the twelve verbal commitments in Florida’s 2010 recruiting class are nominees for the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.A shift in philosophy has West Virginia seeking throw-first quarterbacks on the recruiting trail.Second-year coordinator John Skladany is looking forward to the challenges the Conference USA’s offenses will present to his Houston defense.The Birmingham News has an extended Q&A with new Auburn head coach Gene Chizik.Four-star tight end Alex Welch chooses Notre Dame over home state Ohio State.230-pound Maryland running back Marcus Coker commits to Minnesota.Louisville Courier-Journal: “The University of Louisville football program gained commitments from two of the state’s top-10 Class of 2010 prospects in the past five days.”California high school cornerback Matt Simmons gives a verbal commitment to Washington State.Three-star cornerback Terrance Mitchell commits to Oregon.Organizers announce that the Motor City Bowl will be played on December 26 at Detroit’s Ford Field.Mark your calendars accordingly: First Annual Urban-Lane Grudge Match set for 3:30 EST on September 19.The Denver Post takes an extensive look at Colorado offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau.South Carolina’s new assistant strength & conditioning coach, Joe Connolly, had his puppy stolen during a break-in at his home last week.Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is looking forward to his trip overseas to visit the troops.Marshall football players utilizing yoga as part of their summer conditioning program.St. Petersburg Times: “Former Florida State standout linebacker A.J. Nicholson was arrested by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday afternoon for a violation of probation in an infamous felony case from 2006.”Head coach Dan Hawkins‘ streak of landing the top in-state recruit could be coming to an end as quarterback Austin Hinder snubs Colorado in favor of a verbal commitment to Cal.New York high schooler Jerome Lewis chooses Virginia Tech over East Carolina, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Syracuse.Birmingham News: “Curtis Luper says Auburn accomplished much during its recently-completed four-week recruiting tour of high school.”Illinois head coach Ron Zook to throw
out the first pitch at Wrig
ley Field
this Sunday. (Hopefully he doesn’t Baba Booey the sixty-footer.)Zook is also amazed at the longevity of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, says he can’t imagine many, if any, current coaches reaching that level.Thanks to four decades of service to the Special Olympics of Oklahoma, former Sooners head coach Barry Switzer will receive the 2009 John F. Kennedy Community Service Award from Oklahoma Council Knights of Columbus.The father of University of Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain has passed away.

Two BYU football players involved in alcohol-related incident were actually ex-BYU football players

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The curious case of Francis Bernard has taken yet another twist.

In mid-August, it was announced that Francis Bernard, a 12-game starter at linebacker for BYU in 2016, would miss the entire 2017 season because of unspecified “personal reasons.” Very early Saturday morning, Bernard (pictured, No. 13) was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, driving without a valid license and failing to register his vehicle/having an expired registration.

With him during the traffic stop was teammate Marvin Hifo, who was cited for having an open container.

Monday, Kalani Sitake was asked about the situation.  In addressing it, the head coach revealed that both players had previously left the team in the last couple of weeks —  Bernard withdrew from school and requested a release from his scholarship, while Hifo, a senior defensive back, decided to simply quit.

Notably, Sitake seemingly indicated that, as of at least a couple of weeks ago, he was leaving the door open for a potential Bernard return at some point in the future.

“[Bernard] was looking at all of his options, and one of them was possibly returning here with a release in hand,” the coach said according to the Deseret News. “I wish him the best in finding what is the best place for him and I care about him.”

Bernard was third on the Cougars last season in tackles.  Should he continue playing football at the collegiate level, he would presumably be a fourth-year junior in 2018.

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.