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.

WATCH: Duke surprises walk-on DE Danny Doyle with scholarship

DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 26:  Rain on the helmet of the Duke Blue Devils during their game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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College football programs periodically post videos surprising walk-ons with scholarships, and it’s just the darndest thing. Every time a new video released, a dust storm happens to descend upon CFT’s remote offices.

This time around Duke walk-on defensive end Danny Doyle received this proverbial pot of gold, and head coach David Cutcliffe presented him with the scholarship after conspiring with the young lad’s parents.

Police report details how forklift ran over Michigan RB Drake Johnson

ANN ARBOR, MI - APRIL 01: Drake Johnson #20 of the Michigan Wolverines runs the ball during the Michigan Football Spring Game on April 1, 2016 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Jim Harbaugh called it a “miracle” Wolverines running back Drake Johnson was not seriously harmed when he was run over by a forklift in April, and a police report unearthed Tuesday detailed exactly how it happened.

According to the document obtained by the Detroit News, a forklift operator identified named Matt Johnson was operating his vehicle at Michigan’s indoor track facility “and felt a bump, stating he thought he ran over a starting block, when he saw Drake Johnson, a student-athlete, roll from under the forklift. And M. Johnson realized he had ran over Drake Johnson who was sitting on the track floor stretching.”

The operator only realized he ran over the running back when he rolled out from under the vehicle.

Johnson was examined by a Michigan athletic trainer at the scene, then again at Schembechler Hall before being transported to U-M Hospital’s emergency room by athletic staff.

“All I can say is thank god,” Johnson later tweeted.

“I can tell you this, it would have killed a lesser man, but he is blue twisted steel, very flexible and amazing,” Harbaugh said on the call. “But it’s one of those miraculous things and he is doing well.”

“It’s a miracle right up there with Easter. Just thanking God he is all right, that’s my thoughts on it.”

Pac-12 to tamper down on select #Pac12AfterDark kickoffs

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott stands in front of the Stanford Cardinal as they celebrate the Pac 12 Championship after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 38-14 at Sun Devil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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When you allow television networks to pay you $3 billion to broadcast football games and happen to be located on the West Coast, you’re going to pay for it in the form of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox want eyeballs on their networks as long as possible on fall Saturdays, and they’re not putting SEC games on at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

So, naturally, the Pac-12 drew those time slots.

And they absolutely hated it.

Remember, this is a conference that only recently joined the 21st century. For decades, the conference was happy with its 10 teams, its football games played on Saturday afternoons and its basketball schedule diced into a handy Thursday-Saturday format. Larry Scott was hired in 2009 to modernize the league while increasing the bottom line, and part of that required late kickoffs.

But on Tuesday the conference announced it has worked with its television partners to reduce the number of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox won’t change their late slots, but the conference has received clearance to play Pac-12 Network games in previously exclusive windows of 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. local time. The change is expected to reduce the late night kickoffs by “up to” four games.

“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

Additionally, the conference announced it has instituted a field storming fine structure of $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third offense. The SEC has a similar structure on its books.

“The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” Cal AD Mike Williams said. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

Finally, Pac-12 Network will start broadcasting eSports contests between member schools. Clear your schedule now.

Washington promotes Jennifer Cohen to athletics director

jennifer cohen
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When Scott Woodward left his post as Washington’s athletics director for the same job at Texas A&M in January, the Huskies promoted Jennifer Cohen to be the program’s interim AD.

Washington spent the next four months searching far and wide for Woodward’s replacement, and ended up finding her already sitting in Woodward’s old chair.

“I am very pleased to announce Jen’s appointment,” Washington president Ana Mari Cauce said in a statement. “She has all the skills and energy to provide exceptional leadership for Husky athletics. Her years of experience leading its fundraising program, along with her direct involvement overseeing football, provide a strong foundation for assuming overall leadership for the department.  This is the right time for her, and I look forward to a very exciting time for our students, coaches and fans of Husky athletics.”   

The Tacoma native joined the Huskies’ athletics department in 1998 as an assistant director of development and eventually rose to handle all of UW’s fundraising efforts. Before becoming interim AD, Cohen also oversaw the Huskies’ football and baseball programs.

“I am humbled, honored, and extremely thankful for this opportunity,” said Cohen. “The University of Washington has been part of my life for nearly two decades, and I believe our department is poised to accomplish great things. Together, we will work to positively impact our student-athletes, inspire a championship culture, and build and unite our community. I believe there is no better place to achieve these things than at Washington, and I can’t wait to get started.”

From a football standpoint, Cohen inherits a program on more stable footing than it’s been in a decade and a half — and considering the turmoil the Rose Bowl-bound 2001 Huskies experienced off the field, one may have to go back to the national championship days under Don James in the early 1990’s to find a rosier time for Huskies football. Chris Petersen is entrenched as head coach and has Washington positioned to be the nation’s top sleeper heading into this fall, and Husky Stadium recently underwent $50 million in renovations that Cohen herself fundraised.

Cohen also arrives to the position with Petersen’s enthusiastic approval.