WVU AD asks fans not to wear F-bomb shirt

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So, uh, yeah. Someone at West Virginia’s season-opening game against Marshall wore a shirt that said “West F—ing Virginia”.

Unfortunately for you all, this here is a family site, and I cannot display the image of the aforementioned attire — which can be found at your local department store next to the tuxedo shirts and across from the Dale Earnhardt Jr. memorabilia — nor can I really link to it.

Thankfully, there is an alternative.

But I digress…

In light of the incident, WVU athletic director Oliver Luck has sent out a letter asking that all fans who attend the Mountaineers’ next home game against LSU be on their best behavior.

Here it is:

Mountaineer fans:

During the opening game of the 2011 WVU football season, one of the ESPN cameras showed a young man wearing a blue t-shirt with “West F##### Virginia” on the chest. Based on the TV rating of the game, this picture was seen by at least a few million people around the country. I think you would agree with me that this is not the image of our University and our state that we want to promote.

I would like to ask you to help me convince people who are wearing these t-shirts to reconsider their choice of attire. I recognize that the First Amendment protects free speech, and as a lawyer, I am more than familiar with the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the landmark 1971 case, Cohen vs. California, which is the law of the land regarding public institutions (like WVU) and protected speech. But as my dad used to tell me, ‘just because it is legal does not mean it is right.’ And I certainly believe that people wearing these offending t-shirts at Mountaineer games, or anywhere else, for that matter, are damaging the reputation of our state and its flagship institution of higher learning.

I would like to request that if you see someone wearing one of these t-shirts that you politely ask him or her to change or to cover it up. Even wearing it inside-out would be an improvement. As you know, we have a big home football game against LSU coming up next Saturday and we would like to present a more favorable image to the millions of football fans from around the country who will be watching the game. Be polite, be courteous, be friendly-but do speak up.

Thank you for your support of the Mountaineers!

In a completely unrelated story, a source close to the situation has informed me that the beer sales at Mountaineer Field are going just swimmingly, thank you.

But in a more directly related, serious tone, all eyes could very well be the WVU-LSU game on Sept. 24. The Big East recently noted that ESPN will exercise its option for a six-day window to announce the specific network (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2) and time for the matchup, meaning it could be the featured game for Saturday Night Football if both LSU and WVU win this weekend.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.

One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.

While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.

On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.

Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, C Zach Shackelford in concussion protocol

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Texas has lost two straight upset bids in strikingly similar fashion: true freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger leads a potential-game winning drive, scrambles, hits his head on the turf and ends the possession in a puzzling throw.

The first came in last week’s loss to No. 10 Oklahoma. Trailing 29-24 late in the fourth quarter, scrambled for two yards to the Texas-48 yard line but hit his head on the Cotton Bowl turf and was forced to leave the game for five plays. Shane Buechele pushed the Longhorns to the Oklahoma 31, but he was replaced after a sack and Ehlinger ended up throwing the ball away on 4th-and-13 from the OU 34 with two minutes to play. That, as they say, was that.

Fast forward to Saturday and Texas was trailing No. 11 Oklahoma State 13-10 in overtime when Ehlinger opened the possession with a scramble that again saw the back of his head bang against the Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium turf. He stayed in the game this time, but ended the game on a puzzling (to say the least) interception to absolutely no one on 3rd-and-4 from the OSU 6.

While Ehlinger was not evaluated for a concussion during the game, he did not practice Sunday and head coach Tom Herman said Monday that Ehlinger and center Zach Shackelford are in concussion protocol.

Complicating matters for Texas is that sophomore back-up Shane Buechele is playing on a gimpy ankle that kept him out against San Jose State and Kansas State that Herman said will not improve as the season goes on.

No matter, Texas will face a hungry Baylor team on Saturday (noon ET, ESPNU) that nearly completed a comeback against No. 22 West Virginia on Saturday night.