Tim Beckman will no longer volunteer with North Carolina’s football program, it was announced Thursday night.
Head coach Larry Fedora indicated Wednesday his friend and former Illinois head coach was worth the cyclical round of bad press, but this statement from his boss indicated the decision was never run up the proverbial flag pole. Said UNC chancellor Carol Folt:
“When I first learned yesterday that Coach Larry Fedora had invited former Illinois head coach Tim Beckman to serve as a volunteer with the football program, I was surprised and disappointed. The decision for Mr. Beckman to withdraw from his volunteer position was the right thing to do, and moving forward I don’t expect this situation to recur. I continue to put a great deal of trust in Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham and Coach Fedora to educate and develop our student-athletes and to ensure we meet the high standards we all expect at Carolina.”
Fedora agreed, or at least it was decided for him that he would agree.
“Tim will no longer serve as a volunteer with our program. I brought Tim here to help a friend gain experience from our staff, but after meeting with him today, we agreed his presence had become too much of a distraction.”
“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Fedora gave me to stay connected to the sport and be around one of the best staffs in the country. His willingness to help a friend was a benefit both personally and professionally. I do not wish to be a further distraction to the team or University and I will no longer serve as a volunteer at UNC. I wish Larry and the program nothing but success going forward.”
Beckman was forced out at Illinois nearly a year ago today after an investigation by a Chicago law firm uncovered a culture of player mistreatment, where Beckman and his assistants routinely pressured players to play through major injuries, and belittled and threatened those who would not.
Beckman sat out the 2016 season, and now he’ll sit out the ’17 campaign as well.
Stanford has named Ryan Burns its starting quarterback, head coach David Shaw announced after practice on Wednesday evening.
A senior, Burns did not throw a pass last season. The only dent he recorded on the Cardinal’s stat sheet was 13 rushing yards on four carries.
Shaw also noted junior Keller Chryst will also see action in Stanford’s opener against Kansas State next Friday night.
“Ryan Burns will start and play a good chunk of the game,” said Shaw. “Keller Chryst will play as well. We’re going to play both guys and try to win a game.
“There hasn’t been a huge separation between the two. Both guys have played extremely well. Ryan has been enough ahead to get the nod.”
Burns has completed one pass in his career — a 13-yard connection against UC Davis in 2014.
Given that lack of experience, it’s a safe bet Burns’ (and Chryst’s) top objectives will be “get it to Christian,” “get it to Christian,” and “for the love of all that’s holy, get it to Christian.”
Stanford enters the season with an FBS-leading streak of 13 straight games reaching at least 30 points.
You had to know Laremy Tunsil‘s draft night wouldn’t end on draft night.
In addition to costing him millions of dollars, the screenshots posted on the former Ole Miss offensive tackle’s Instagram account, the NCAA launched an investigation into the Rebels’ recruiting arm which, according to a report from Yahoo‘s Pat Forde, has now expanded beyond Tunsil.
NCAA Enforcement representatives have visited Auburn and Mississippi State, and perhaps at least one more SEC Western Division school, this summer to speak with players who were recruited by Ole Miss. The players were granted immunity from potential NCAA sanctions in exchange for truthful accounts of their recruitment, sources said.
Those interviews indicate that the NCAA investigation has expanded beyond the spring focus on former All-American offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.
Ole Miss was already in the midst of a lengthy investigation which accused the Rebels of 28 violations — 13 of which came in football and nine under Hugh Freeze. The investigation was nearing its end until the draft night hack.
In the meantime, Ole Miss’s 2017 recruiting efforts have taken a beating.
The 11th-ranked Rebels open their season next Monday night against No. 4 Florida State in Orlando (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Eyewitness testimony of Devin Butler‘s girlfriend and the fiancee of Fighting Irish wide receiver Torii Hunter, Jr., say the Notre Dame cornerback was a victim of police brutality during his weekend arrest.
South Bend police say Butler assaulted an officer, punching and slamming him to the ground, which necessitated the use of a stun gun to subdue him. From the AP:
South Bend police spokesman Lt. Joe Galea said that after officers broke up a fight inside the bar they saw two women fighting outside when Butler allegedly shoved one of the women. Butler was agitated and when officers told him to back away he allegedly pushed the officers and then attacked one of them.
The affidavit says Butler tackled an officer to the ground, punched him several times in the side and stomach and pulled off his duty belt.
“He shouted profanities at the officers and started swinging his fist,” Galea said of Butler.
But the eyewitnesses paint a picture diametrically opposed to the account of South Bend police. Butler’s girlfriend Haleigh Bailey told the South Bend Tribune:
“I was there that entire night. Reports say that everyone left the scene but I was still there and saw everything officers did to Devin.
“He was abused, and wrongly arrested. He never tackled an officer and he never intentionally hurt anyone. He had no reason to be tazed because he was never resisting arrest, and he was already on the ground complying when they tazed him.”
Butler has been charged with resisting law enforcement and battery of a police officer — both of which are felonies. He pleaded not guilty.
Police were originally called to the Linebacker bar early Saturday morning after a call reporting fights between patrons and bar security. Bar personnel said the fight was subdued by the time police arrived, but officers intervened in a fight between two women outside the bar. That’s when, police say, Butler shoved one of the women involved. Officers tried to detain Butler, but he resisted and ultimately assaulted the officers. Officer Aaron Knepper was evaluated for minor injuries to his back, arm, elbow and wrist at South Bend’s Memorial Hospital, but was later released.
“That 100 percent did not happen,” Selina Bell, Hunter’s fiancee, told the paper. “Devin didn’t even have the capability to pick someone up if he wanted to. He just got off of crutches the day before.”
Butler underwent surgery in June for a fractured foot, a aggravation of an injury he originally suffered in the Irish’s Fiesta Bowl loss in January.
Added Bailey, in a message to the Tribune:“Reports say that Devin did all of these aggressive things but in reality, he was grabbed by the police from behind and never told who was grabbing him or why they were grabbing him. Devin felt he was doing the right thing but out of nowhere was arrested for simply stopping an argument. He felt he had no reason to be detained… Devin has been in a boot/cast and on crutches recovering for the past 8 weeks. He is in no condition to be lifting weights, working out, or doing any ‘tackling.’ I have not seen him run let alone walk on two feet since the day before his surgery in June. I can assure you he did NOT tackle a police officer but police officers tackled HIM.”
Knepper was found guilty of unconstitutional behavior earlier this month for unlawfully entering a home and mistakenly using a Taser on a 17-year-old boy earlier this month. He was reprimanded in August of 2012 for forcing a 7-Eleven clerk to swallow a tablespoon of cinnamon and eat 10 crackers in less than a minute, and in March of 2014 a 55-year-old South Bend resident and his 76-year-old mother accused Knepper of excessive force resulting from a traffic stop in which they were accused of resisting arrest and battering a police officer.