Pelini goes off the beaten (cart) path to find new assistant

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Late last week, a posting on Nebraska’s official website revealed that Bo Pelini was seeking an “Assistant Coach-Football” on the offensive side of the ball.

Based on one report, it appears Pelini has gone way outside of the box to fill one of the presumed holes on his offensive staff.  So far, in fact, the box is not currently in view.

Citing two unnamed sources close to the situation, the Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Rich Fisher will be hired as Pelini’s newest offensive assistant.  And, yes, we’ll go ahead and ask the question for you: who’s Rich Fisher?

From the World-Herald:

…[Fisher] spent the last two years coaching prep school football at the Rivers School in Weston, Mass., and running a golf academy outside Boston…

Uh, OK.

Fisher has also been an assistant at Oklahoma State, Colorado and Idaho at various points in the past 20 years, and was a linebacker on Colorado’s national title-winning team in 1990.  His coach, Bill McCartney, was effusive — to say the least — in his praise for Fisher.

“Solid. Whole-hearted. Genuine. Talented. Likeable. Team guy. Highly motivated. Disciplined. Organized. Humble. What else you want?

“That’ll put (Nebraska) over the top. They’ve always needed a Buff.”

As far as what position he’ll hold on the staff, the World-Herald speculates that he could coach running backs.  Tim Beck is currently in that position, but has been rumored to replace Shawn Watson as at least co-coordinator of the offense.

Wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore is (unofficially) out, so that could be another option as well.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

Associated Press
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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.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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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, 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.