I’ve never been afraid to express my unabashed man-love for Joe Paterno, even if it meant delving into what turned out to be incorrect/false whispers/conjecture about the head coach who will leave the sidelines whenever he darn-well pleases thank you very much.
Today begets reason No. 11,248 why I (heart) that legendary man and coach. And why the game will be lesser when he’s gone.
And why, ya know, people should actually listen to the man when he speaks on a subject that’s quietly bubbling underneath the surface and seems ready to erupt.
In a story on 7-on-7 football camps — an entity quickly becoming the equivalent of AAU basketball, which is not a good thing — the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quotes Coach Paterno on this growing trend. Suffice to say, the legendary Skype-versed coach smells the very same thing that should be in the NCAA’s nostrils.
“There are in-between people getting involved starting 7-on-7 camps,” he said. “And they are literally putting kids up on auction blocks so people can get a look at them.
“And there are guys who are soliciting kids to go to a camp and getting paid to bring certain kids to camps. You don’t want those people involved in our game.”
Coach Paterno’s been there, done that, for well over half a century. If the cleanest man in college football, at 84 years of age, can take a whiff of the current collegiate football atmosphere and it doesn’t pass his smell test, it’s time for the NCAA to take a longer, harder look — much, much more than they’re doing right now — into what’s becoming nothing more than an avenue to future NCAA violations.
Coach Paterno doesn’t “want those people involved in our game”? I don’t want those people involved in this game. And the NCAA would be wise to take that sage wisdom and run with it farther and harder than they are right now.
Notre Dame cornerback Nick Watkins will be playing somewhere else this fall. Watkins announced, via Twitter, he will be leaving the Irish behind in search of a new program to complete his college football career.
As a graduate transfer, Watkins will be eligible to play with any new program this fall.
“When I decided to attend Notre Dame, my primary goal was to earn a degree from this prestigious university, and I’m proud to say that I’ll achieve that goal,” Watkins said in his statement. “With that being said, I’ll search for a new school to attend for my last year of college football.”
Last season Watkins appeared in 12 games for the Irish and recorded 21 solo tackles and seven assisted tackles. He also broke up eight passes and recorded an interception. Watkins played as a backup for Notre Dame and likely would have played a similar role this fall if he stayed in South Bend, but the former four-star recruit has potential to land a starting job in the right situation.
The Ohio State football family paid their last respects to former Buckeyes head coach Earle Bruce this week, from family, friends, former players, coaches, and fans. Among those paying their respects was one of Ohio State’s most visible fans, the so-called Buck-I-Guy (the one who dresses up like a cowboy, and not the face-painting fan you see during every broadcast of an Ohio State game). A memorial photo of Bruce to be signed by Bruce’s former players accumulated plenty of signatures, but one of those signatures was not welcome by Bruce’s former players.
A sign made it clear the photo was to only be signed by former coaches and players that have played for or worked under Bruce. Whether he missed the sign or just felt he was as much a part of the Ohio State football program as the players, the self-proclaimed “Buck-I-Guy” signed the photo.
The signature clearly did not sit well with Ohio State players, and somebody ended up obscuring Buck-I-Guy’s signature by covering it up with an image of a buckeye.
Helmet sticker to Eleven Warriors.
For the second time this week, we’ll be forced to rest the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker back to double zeroes.
The latest to do the deed is Fotu Leiato, with the Eugene Register-Guard reporting that the Oregon outside linebacker was arrested Wednesday evening by university police on charges of second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree theft. It’s alleged that Leiato removed a parking boot from the vehicle he was driving; it’s unclear what led to the parking boot being attached in the first place.
The Register-Guard also writes that “Leiato was also booked into the jail on a failure to appear warrant from Eugene Municipal Court, stemming from a second-degree criminal trespass charge.” What led to that charge is unclear as well.
All three of the charges Leiato is facing are misdemeanors, and the football program has yet to publicly address the developments.
The rising fourth-year senior has played in 37 games the past three seasons, including all 13 in 2017. His lone start came during the 2017 season against Southern Utah. He’s been credited with 37 tackles, one tackle for loss and two passes defensed during his collegiate career.
Brace yourself, Paris, for the 2018 version of the Khaki Invasion.
Last year around this time, the Michigan football program took a trip to Italy as part of a spring practice schedule that included meeting the Pope as well as distributing backpacks to refugees. Thursday, as previously announced, the U-M program is leaving Ann Arbor to head to Paris and Normandy for what this year will be strictly a true vacation as the Wolverines’ have already put the finishing touches on their 15 spring practice sessions this year.
According to mlive.com, this year’s trip will include “tours of the famous Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, a football clinic for locals, civic and community service events.”
“It’s an educational opportunity,” head coach Jim Harbaugh said according to the Detroit News. “(We all) connect. Not all learning is done in the classroom or on the football field.”
The Wolverines will be entering their fourth season under Harbaugh. In the previous three years, they’ve gone a combined 28-11 and finished third (2015), third (2016) and fourth (2017) in the Big Ten East. Last year, Harbaugh was the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten and the third-highest in the country at just a shade over $7 million.