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.

Reports: Joe Paterno, Penn State assistants knew of Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 09:  Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno watches his team during practice on November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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On Thursday, Penn Live uncovered a line in a trail over an insurance claim alleging Joe Paterno may have learned of Jerry Sandusky‘s sexual abuse of children as far back as 1976.

A day later, that kindling has exploded into a bonfire.

Our own Tom Winter and Hannah Rappleye of our own NBC News reported Friday that “as many as six” Penn State assistant coaches witnessed abusive acts by Sandusky, dating back to the 1970’s. “You won’t believe what I just saw,” an unnamed Penn State assistant reportedly said to a room full of football staffers.

Additionally, Sandusky’s adopted son Matt Sandusky told NBC News he was informed by investigators that a Nittany Lions employee witnessed Sandusky molesting him in the team’s locker room in the 1990’s.

“The university is facing and has faced a number of litigation matters and claims related to the Sandusky events. Allegations of various kinds have been made, and will likely continue to be made,” Penn State said in a statement to NBC News.

“The university does not speculate publicly or hypothesize about individual allegations. These are sensitive matters, and we want to be respectful of the rights of all individuals involved. It would be inappropriate to do otherwise.”

Separately, Sara Ganim of CNN reported simultaneously of another man who accused Sandusky of raping him in 1971, and told CNN he informed Paterno of Sandusky’s crime. He said Paterno then threatened him.

“I’d be willing to sit on a witness stand and confront Joe Paterno,” the man CNN last year. “Unfortunately he died and I didn’t get to.”

The man was not included in the state of Pennsylvania’s investigation into Sandusky because it fell outside the statute of limitations.

The crime occurred when the victim was 15 and the coach was 27.

Victim A says he was hitchhiking when Sandusky picked him up, bought him beer, gave him pot — and then attacked him as he was standing at a urinal in a Penn State bathroom.

“I felt his presence behind me,” he said. “I felt his left knee on the back of my knee, and his arms went around me, grabbing my …” he trails off. “He said, ‘Let me help you with this.'”

Victim A said he jerked his head back, hitting Sandusky in the jaw. His head started bleeding and they both fell to the floor.

“Then there was a wrestling session,” he says. “And I lost. One thing led to another and the crime happened.”

The victim says he informed Penn State authorities — who accused him of making the story up and threatened to go to the authorities themselves — one of whom, he says, was undoubtedly Paterno.

Paterno passed away of lung cancer in January 2012 shortly after being fired by Penn State. Sandusky will spend the rest of his natural life in prison, and Penn State is litigating a claim against its insurance company arguing the university is owed reimbursement for the more than $60 million in payments it has made to Sandusky’s victims.

Oklahoma RB/KR Alex Ross joins graduate transfer market

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 28: Alex Ross #28 of the Oklahoma Sooners returns a kick off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first quarter at Boone Pickens Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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One of the most dangerous kick returners in college football just joined the graduate transfer market.

Oklahoma announced Friday running back Alex Ross will graduate this spring and ply his craft elsewhere for his final collegiate seasons.

Considering his plight on the Sooners’ depth chart, Ross’s decision to transfer is entirely understandable. After accumulating 88 carries in 2014, second-most on the team, Ross saw his usage drop to just 32 attempts (for 172 yards and one touchdown) last fall as Joe Mixon gained eligibility and Baker Mayfield‘s presence in the running game rendered Ross largely to the bench. Both will return next season — along with presumptive Heisman candidate Samaje Perine — so Ross will not.

“Alex has been a great teammate and team guy for four years for us, and we’ve always been proud of him,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said in a statement. “This is an opportunity for him to go somewhere else and play full time. We wish him the best.”

Ross ranks third in Oklahoma history with a 25.7-yard kickoff return average and surely would have broken the Sooners’ all-time kick return yardage record had he returned to Norman this fall. He took kickoffs back for touchdowns against West Virginia and Texas in 2014, and logged a 90-yard return in OU’s 58-23 Big 12-title clinching beatdown of Oklahoma State last November.

Ross was a second-team All-American kick returner on CBS Sports‘s list in 2014.

Charges against ex-Orange DB Howard upgraded in Syracuse stabbing incident

SYRACUSE, NY - SEPTEMBER 26:  Syracuse Orange takes the field amidst a cloud of pyrotechnic smoke before the game against the LSU Tigers on September 26, 2015 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
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Former Syracuse defensive back Nasean Howard was arraigned last month on two counts of assault in the second degree after allegedly stabbing two of his former teammates.

On Thursday, Howard’s charges were upgraded to first degree assault, in addition to the second degree charges and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

The first-degree charge states Howard intended to cause “serious physical injury” — a safe bet considering he allegedly came at the two men with a knife — and carries a sentence stretching up to 25 years.

The 20-year-old Howard is accused of attacking Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield unprovoked during an on-campus birthday party for an unnamed Syracuse student. Scissum was stabbed in the jaw and, unable to protect himself due to a recent surgery, was protected by Winfield, who took stabbings in the arms, chest and ribs on Scissum’s behalf.

Defense attorney Irene Aurora Flores stated “there’s a lot more to the story” but declined further comment, according to the Associated Press.

Howard remains free on bail.

Pitt RB Chris James completes transfer to Wisconsin

SYRACUSE, NY - OCTOBER 24:  Chris James #5 of the Pittsburgh Panthers carries the ball during the first half against the Syracuse Orange on October 24, 2015 at The Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.  Pittsburgh defeats Syracuse 23-20.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
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Hailing out of Chicago, Chris James hoped to sign with Wisconsin after leaving Notre Dame College Prep but wound up heading east to play for head coach Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph and running backs coach John Settle at Pittsburgh.

All three of whom are now at Wisconsin.

So, naturally, James is now set to join them. The rising junior has planned to transfer to Wisconsin for months, and on Thursday received confirmation he’d been admitted to the Big Ten school.

“Coach Settle sent me a text, saying ‘welcome to the Badger family,’” James told Badger Nation. “I am really excited. It’s definitely been a long journey.”

James said, naturally, that his childhood love for the Badgers combined with his former coaches now employed in Madison drew him to Wisconsin. The presence of Ron DayneMontee BallMelvin Gordon and a handful of other 1,000-yard backs couldn’t have hurt, either.

“It was funny because everybody who I knew was wearing red now,” James said. “It was kind of weird but I’m glad I got to chance to go back up there. Things really haven’t changed that much. Stepping into Camp Randall, I got chills, man. As crazy as it feels, it felt like home.”

James rushed 87 times for 437 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman in 2014, and accumulated 56 carries for 253 yards last season.

Two of Wisconsin’s top three running backs will be seniors this fall, so James figures to be a regular in the Badgers’ running back rotation when his eligibility resumes in 2017.