It was a busy day at Heritage Hall, where USC prepares to learn its fate with the NCAA infraction committee later this week.
ESPN’s Bruce Feldman reported on his Twitter feed that former Memphis offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Clay Helton has been hired by coach Lane Kiffin to take a job on the offensive staff.
Helton was hired earlier in the offseason by Arkansas State to be its new offensive coordinator, but the job offer by Kiffin and the Trojans likely made that a pretty easy job to walk away from, even if his role on the staff is still to be determined.
More news coming out of USC is that tight ends coach, recruiting coordinator, and son of
Caesar Pete, Brennan Carroll might be walking away from coaching for the season. Carroll has coached under his father with the Trojans since 2002.
Scott Wolf of the Daily News, reports that Carroll will be taking a year off from coaching, a year that’ll likely be paid-in-full by USC, because all the Trojan assistants were given two-year contracts last season.
According to Wolf, if a coach quits or is fired, he’s paid for the 12 months following his last day.
(Note to JT and Self: Work that into our next contract extension…)
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.