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Dre Kirkpatrick busted for pot possession

Allstate BCS National Championship Game - LSU v Alabama Getty Images

Not one week after declaring for the NFL, Alabama defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick has already found himself in some legal trouble that… okay, it probably won’t affect his draft status at all.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s website, Kirkpatrick was arrested shortly before 1 a.m. on Tuesday morning in Palmetto, FL, for possessing 7.9 grams of marijuana*. A police spokesperson stated Kirkpatrick was a passenger in a rented car driven by former Alabama defensive back Chris Rogers, which was driving on the wrong side of the road when the two were pulled over.

(*note: Honey Badger is unimpressed)

Rogers admitted to purchasing the drugs; Kirkpatrick says he was in the car when the purchase was made, but didn’t know it was a drug deal. Incidentally, the two were under the influence of drugs when the arrest was made.

Kirkpatrick faces a misdemeanor charge was released on $120 bond.

Kirkpatrick is projected to be a early-to-mid first-round pick by many NFL scouts. He recorded 30 tackles and two forced fumbles on the season. He was named a 2nd Team All-American cornerback by the Associated Press.

(Tip of the cap: The Big Lead) 

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Updated: Mike Smith to coach linebackers at WVU

West Virginia Mountaineers logo

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has already filled in one spot on his defensive staff left by the departures of coordinator and two assistants with former Oklahoma State safeties coach Joe DeForest. Now, he’s reportedly filled another.

CBSSportsBruce Feldman and Footballscoop.com both reported Tuesday that New York Jets linebackers coach Mike Smith would take the same job with the Mountaineers.

“Might not be a big name, but coaches we have spoken with think this is a great hire,” Footballscoop says. Feldman also praised the hire, but nothing official has come from West Virginia’s camp just yet.

Smith was previously an intern with the Jets, but was promoted to linebackers coach when Leach offered Smith to come to Washington State to coach. Smith played at Texas Tech when Hologrsen was an assistant under Mike Leach and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.

UPDATED 1/18 @ 9:15 a.m. ET: Smith confirmed to Patrick Southern of BlueGoldNews.com via text message that he is a part of WVU’s coaching staff. In what capacity, however, he would not confirm.

The New York Daily News reports that Smith will serve as co-defensive coordinator, although that has yet to be confirmed or denied by anyone at WVU.

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Former LSU LB officially transferring to Houston, ready to play in ’13

trevon randle

Houston defensive coordinator James Bryant will have one of the top linebackers from 2011′s recruiting class to work with.

After just one season with LSU, Houston-area LB Trevon Randle is coming back to play for the Houston Cougars, according to Sam Khan of the Houston Chronicle. Randle, from League City, Texas, will be eligible to play for the Cougars in 2013.

Randle was a three-star LB and ranked No. 17 at that position according to Rivals. Khan has a more in-depth look at Randle’s high school career and recruitment.

Although Randle didn’t make an impact for Tigers this season, he is still relatively well-known for different reasons. In the height of the Willie Lyles investigation at Oregon, the NCAA interviewed Randle about a possible connection with Lyles, the owner of Complete Scouting Services. LSU used recruiting material provided by Lyles, although the legitimacy of that material has come into question.

(photo courtesy of Rivals.com) 

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Updyke’s lawyer files motion for delay, change of venue

Harvey Updyke AP

The lawyer for Harvey Updyke, the man accused of poisoning the trees at Toomer’s Corner, has filed two more motions — a delay in trial a change in venue — in addition to the request that the judge overseeing Updyke’s case be removed as Updyke’s case gets closer to trial.

Updyke’s attorney, Everett Wess, asked for the delay in the trial, which is currently set for March 5, on Tuesday at the Lee County Circuit Court so that he could “enlist experts on the poisoning of trees.” Wess also asked that the trial be moved to Birmingham, Jefferson County, Mobile County or Madison County.

So far, the motions are under consideration, although judge Jacob Walker said “This is not the appropriate time,” for such requests. For the record, Walker will remain the judge for Updyke’s case.

Updyke pleaded not guilty in May to two felony counts of first-degree criminal mischief, two felony counts for unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from a farm animal or crop facility and two misdemeanor counts of desecrating a venerated object.

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Some want criminal investigation over assault video from night of BCS title game

Allstate BCS National Championship Game - LSU v Alabama Getty Images

Alabama walked away from the BCS championship game last week with a 21-0 victory over LSU, but the joy of their second BCS title in three years has been dampened by a viral video showing an Alabama fan sexually assaulting an unconscious LSU fan.

Some background: the video taken from a cell phone first appeared on the YouTube channel for “BamaSportsForum” (which has since been deleted) and was picked up by Deadspin.com two days ago. The incident took place at a Krystal restaurant on Bourbon Street the night of the BCS championship game.

The video, about five minutes long, features several Alabama fans hazing, poking and taking pictures of the unconscious man. Then, one individual exposes himself and places his genitals on the unconscious fan before a restaurant employee steps in to disperse the crowd.

The video, as one could imagine, has caused an outrage among both programs and fan bases, and at least one local figure wants a criminal investigation of the incident. From WDSU in New Orleans:

“The fact that it could happen with that additional amount of police officers being available is absolutely appalling and the reaction to it, to me, is pretty appalling,” said Dale Standifier with the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children.

New Orleans police said their Sex Crimes Unit was aware of the incident and was waiting to be contacted by the victim before taking action.

“The man was obviously passed out, intoxicated and unable to defend himself, and he was assaulted,” Standifier said. “He was sexually assaulted, and humiliated and tormented while people cheered, and he shouldn’t have to stand up for himself and say, ‘I want to press charges.’ The city should be pressing charges and trying to move forward. If you had a murder victim, you can’t expect the victim himself, the corpse, to testify.”

Remi Braden, a spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department, says the head of the Sex Crimes Unit is aware of the video and has reviewed it, but that all involved, including the victim, are unknown and no one has come forward to file a complaint.

“In sexual assault cases, victims make the ultimate decision to inform police so that we can thoroughly investigate a situation.Should that person in this video decide to come to us, we will launch a complete investigation,” Braden said.

Alabama has issued a statement on the video, which reads:

“UA hopes that our fans will act with class and dignity and we are disappointed when they don’t. We are aware of the video… and will appropriately deal with any student who might have been involved.”

It’s unknown if the individual who assaulted the fan is a student at Alabama.

LSU has chosen not to comment on the video at this time.

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Purdue RB leaves program

Reggie Pegram, Crosby Wright AP

Just weeks after having his best game of the 2011 season, Purdue running back Reggie Pegram has decided to leave the program, the school confirmed on Tuesday.

Associate sports information director Matt Rector did not give a reason for the departure, nor was there any news as to what Pegram’s next move would be.

Pegram saw very limited action this season, but did record five rushes for 24 yards and three catches for 20 yards, combining for two total touchdowns, in Purdue’s Little Caesar’s Bowl win over Western Michigan. Prior to that game, Pegram had just 17 carries for 85 yards.

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Bruins reach into NFL to fill DC void

Ryan Kerrigan AP

UCLA has already targeted one NFL assistant for its vacancy at defensive coordinator, only to see that candidate remain with the organization after being handed a promotion.

Undeterred by that rebuffing, the Bruins and new head coach Jim Mora went with the same professional tack in their effort to fill the vacant position.  This time, the pursuit paid off.

As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, UCLA announced that Lou Spanos has been named as the Bruins’ new coordinator.  Spanos has spent the past three seasons as an assistant with the Washington Redskins, coaching the linebackers last season.

Prior to that, he spent 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a defensive assistant.

“I am thrilled a coach with Lou’s NFL background and defensive pedigree has agreed to join our staff,” Mora said in a statement. “I’d like to thank [athletic director] Dan Guerrero for his support as we sought to bring the finest coaches in football to UCLA. We have a collection of men that will not only be mentors to our student-athletes, but given their experience at the highest levels of football, will also be able to provide them a blueprint for competing and winning, and reaching their athletic potential.”

The hiring completes Mora’s first UCLA coaching staff.

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Michael Dyer officially transfers to Arkansas State

Alabama v Auburn Getty Images

Rumored for a couple of weeks to be headed for a reunion with his former offensive coordinator, Michael Dyer‘s move from Auburn is now official.

Arkansas State, coached by ex-Tigers OC Gus Malzahn and the subject of most of the Dyer transfer speculation prior to his AU release, announced in a press release Tuesday evening that Dyer has transferred to the school and signed a scholarship to play for the Red Wolves.

“We are excited to have one of the top running backs in college football join our program, and we welcome him to our Arkansas State family,” said Malzahn.  “Michael is obviously a proven player, and he will certainly make a great addition to our team.”

As for when the 2010 title game offensive MVP will suit up for his old coordinator, that still remains up in the air.  When the initials reports surfaced that Dyer would be seeking a transfer, it was rumored that he would seek a waiver in order to be eligible to play immediately in 2012.  The basis for that appeal is unclear, as is his availability for the 2012 season.

“That has not been determined yet,” ASU sports information director Jerry Scott told CFT in a follow-up email regarding Dyer’s status for the upcoming season. “I am unsure exactly when we will know his status for the 2012 season due to transferring rules.”

Regardless of the eventual ruling on his status, the soon-to-be junior will participate in spring practice in a couple of months.

Dyer had rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of his two seasons with the Tigers, and was a first-team All-SEC performer this year, but found himself ensconced in Gene Chizik‘s doghouse over the latter portion of this past season.  The sophomore was suspended Dec. 11 for violating unspecified team rules and did not play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Virginia.

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Michigan WR Stonum gets wrong end of Hoke’s boot

Darryl Stonum AP

The roller coaster ride that’s been Darryl Stonum‘s career at Michigan has officially come to an end.

By way of a press release, U-M head coach Brady Hoke announced that the wide receiver has been dismissed from the football team for violating unspecified team rules.  The dismissal comes 11 days after Stonum was sentenced to 10 days in jail on a probation violation.

“I love Darryl and wish him nothing but the absolute best,” Hoke said in a statement.  “However, there is a responsibility and a higher standard you must be accountable to as a University of Michigan football student-athlete.  That does not and will not change.  It’s unfortunate because I believe he has grown a great deal as a person since the beginning of the season.  My hope is that maturing process continues.”

Stonum’s probation stemmed from a DUI arrest back in May.  As part of his sentence, he was placed on two year’s probation and had his driver’s license stripped for at least a year.  He was pulled over by Ann Arbor police earlier this month, which triggered the jail sentence.

The May arrest was the second alcohol-related arrest in less than three years for Stonum; in September of 2008, he was charged with his first DUI and ultimately served three days in jail for various probation violations.

When not running into legal issues off the field, he was a force on it.  Stonum had started 25 of the 36 games in which he’s played since coming to Michigan as a member of their 2008 recruiting class.  In 2010, he finished second on the Wolverines in receptions (49) and receiving yards (633), and his four receiving touchdowns were tied for second on the team as well.

He did not play at all in 2011, instead taking a redshirt for the season as he worked his way through his off-field situation.  It’s unclear what Stonum’s football future will hold — he still has a year of eligibility remaining — although he will stay in school at Michigan to finish his degree.

“I appreciate everything the University of Michigan, [athletic director] Dave Brandon and Coach Hoke have done for me,” said Stonum.  “I look forward to continuing my football career down the road, but more importantly, right now I’m focused on graduating from Michigan this Spring.

“I understand only I am responsible for my actions. I’m sad about how all of this turned out, but I completely understand.  I love this school and my team and will miss them all greatly.  But I’ll always be a Wolverine.  I know I have grown and matured as a person over the last nine months, and I will continue to learn and grow every day.  I want to thank everyone for all of their support, and I hope they will support me in the future.”

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Badgers turn to Canada as new offensive coordinator

Football head shots taken at Memorial Stadium on 6/23/09_Mike Dickbernd

The individual, not the country.

In a press release Tuesday afternoon, Wisconsin announced that Matt Canada has been tabbed as the Badgers’ new offensive coordinator.  The move comes almost four weeks after Paul Chryst accepted the head coaching job at Pittsburgh.

“I’m truly excited for the opportunity to come to Wisconsin,” Canada said in a statement. “It’s a program that I’ve followed closely for a number of years. I’ve always been impressed with their tradition, especially offensively with their style of play, and I can’t wait to be a part of that.”

Canada spent last season as the coordinator at Northern Illinois, his second stint at the MAC school; in 2003, he held the same position with the Huskies.  Prior to the his second go-around with NIU, he was the coordinator at Indiana for four years.

“Matt has a terrific history as an offensive coordinator and has excelled at developing quarterbacks throughout his career,” head coach Bret Bielema said. “I know he is very excited about running a pro-style offense and handling a game the way we typically have at Wisconsin. I think this is a great hire for us and I can’t wait for him to get to work with our coaches and players.”

(Photo credit: Wisconsin Athletics)

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Updated: Kansas QB found out of his dismissal via Twitter

Brock Berglund

Yesterday, Kansas coach Charlies Weis held a Q & A for over 30 minutes with reporters, during which time he spoke about a variety of topics, ranging from introductions of new players (Dayne Crist, Jake Heaps and Justin McCay) to the dismissal/departures of 10 players from the program (it was reported yesterday as just a handful of departures when in fact it was more like two).

Included in that group was quarterback Brock Berglund, who spent most of the 2011 year dealing with a legal issue that turned out to be a third-degree assault case in his home state of Colorado.

Weis wouldn’t go into great detail about the 10 cases, but an interesting tidbit was written about Berglund’s dismissal. Apparently, Berglund found out about it via Twitter, rather than from the coaches. From KUSports.com‘s recap:

Berglund, whose highly publicized legal battle in Colorado kept him away from the program for nearly all of the 2011 season, called the Journal-World on Monday evening and said he learned of his dismissal via Twitter. The freshman quarterback who said he will pursue playing options at other schools said he planned to return to Kansas as recently as a week ago but had softened on the idea after learning that his request to contact others to discuss his future had been denied. KU officials said Berglund sent an email to several people in the KU athletic department at 3:08 p.m. Sunday informing them that he would not be at a mandatory 5 p.m. Sunday team meeting. The fact he missed it was enough for Weis to make the decision for him.

“He was considered dismissed from the team for not attending the mandatory team meeting,” a KU spokesperson said of Berglund.

Obviously, there are several unknown factors here and KU hasn’t officially offered a response to this report. It seems Berglund was already thinking of other options and it’s not uncommon for a new coach to kick players to the curb if they don’t “meet expectations” just as the coach is bringing in two new transfers. Weis said yesterday that each of the players dismissed had an opportunity to return to the team provided they met certain criteria, and that they did not.

The point is that these things happen, as unfortunate as they may be; the concerning part is that Berglund reportedly was made aware of his dismissal in the worst possible way. Whether KU attempted to contact him with the news or not hasn’t been revealed.

But no matter how the whole thing went down, this sounds like a case where a split is the best thing for both sides.

UPDATED 5:30 p.m. ET: Berglund has come forward and shared his version of the story with TheShiver.com. The quarterback doesn’t divulge too many things that the Journal-World does not, although it sounds more and more like Weis didn’t give Berglund “the opportunity to come back.”

Of course, that’s to be expected from someone who was just dismissed from the team, but Weis doesn’t come out smelling too good from both reports.

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USF looking to K-State for new DC

Chris Cosh

A week after losing its defensive coordinator to Texas A&M, USF is reportedly looking at another Big 12 school for a replacement.

According to Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times, Kansas State coordinator Chris Cosh was in Tampa this past weekend interviewing for the position on Skip Holtz‘s coaching staff.  An announcement of a hiring could come as early as today, Auman writes.

Cosh has been with the Wildcats for the past three seasons, and has also spent time as a coordinator at Maryland (2006-08), South Carolina (2003), Michigan State (1998) and Illinois (1992-96).  During Cosh’s time with the Gamecocks — he also served as linebackers coach beginning in 1999 — Holtz was also on the USC coaching staff.

In the year prior to Cosh’s arrival in Manhattan, the Wildcats finished 110th (35.8 ppg) in the country in scoring defense.  Under Cosh, KSU has finished 68th in 2011 (29.2), 78th in 2010 (29.1) and 46th in 2009 (23.3).

(Photo credit: K-State Athletics)

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Irish confirm additions of Kiel, ex-USC RB Carlisle

Amir Carlisle AP

Following up on reports from a couple of different fronts, Notre Dame announced Tuesday the additions of four players to its football roster.

Two of the four?  The top-rated quarterback in the Class of 2012 and one of the top all-purpose running backs from the Class of 2011.

In a press release, the Irish confirmed that QB Gunner Kiel is one of three recruits who signed their scholarship forms and enrolled early at the school.  Kiel, of course had been committed to LSU up until yesterday, when he was expected to become one of the Tigers’ early enrollees.

Instead, and reportedly thanks to an emotional plea from his mother, the Columbus, Ind., product will be a member of the Fighting Irish.

“This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me,” Kiel said in a statement released by the school. “There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas.

“Coach Kelly was great throughout my recruitment, as many times our conversations had nothing do with football. That really showed me he had my best intentions in mind. He was persistent yet also patient while recruiting me and I look forward to playing for him the next four years. I couldn’t be happier to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team. I’m excited about the future of the program.”

In addition to being Rivals‘ top-ranked pro-style QB, the recruiting service also rates the 6-4, 220-pound Kiel as the No. 19 prospect at any position in the country.

As previously mentioned, Kiel isn’t the only highly-touted prospect who’s found his way to South Bend.  A little over a week ago, it was reported that RB Amir Carlisle would be transferring from USC to Notre Dame.  On the first day of ND’s spring semester, that move was confirmed as well.

“I’m really excited to be here at Notre Dame,” Carlisle said. “I had great respect for the school and football program when I went through the recruiting process a year ago and I’m proud to be enrolled here. I know this will be a great fit for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

As a four-star member of USC’s 2011 recruiting class, Carlisle was the No. 4 all-purpose running back in the nation and the No. 9 overall player in the state of California according to Rivals.com.  As a true freshman, Carlisle averaged over six yards on his 19 carries as well as catching seven passes, one going for a touchdown.  he was also hampered by knee and ankle issues.

The two other early enrollees for the Irish were defensive lineman Sheldon Day (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central) and defensive back Tee Shepard (Fresno, Calif./Washington Union).

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Tyler Gabbert finally ends up at UCF

Tyler Gabbert

Former Missouri quarterback Tyler Gabbert appears to have finally found his new home after spending 2011 playing college football musical chairs.

No promises, though.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Gabbert will play for Central Florida, months after he visited the school. Gabbert is currently working on his degree from a community college in St. Louis after taking off the 2011 season. The quarterback could fill the hole left by sophomore Jeff Godfrey, who transferred from the Knights unexpectedly last month.

The Sentinel reports Gabbert would have three years of eligibility remaining.

Gabbert was in a quarterback battle with James Franklin last spring as Mizzou looked for a replacement for Tyler’s older brother, Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Although it appeared for a while as though Gabbert might have the upper hand in the competition, Franklin eventually won the starting job.

Gabbert transferred from the Tigers just a few weeks later and ended up at Louisville, which would turn out to be just a temporary stop for the quarterback.

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Mom’s plea led to Gunner Kiel’s flip from LSU to Irish?

Brian Kelly AP

And now we’re finding out the rest of the story.

Word broke Monday afternoon that Gunner Kiel, the nation’s top-ranked quarterback in the Class of 2012, was reconsidering his verbal commitment to LSU and could be flipping to Notre Dame.  Now it appears Kiel’s move to the Irish is all but official.

And, apparently, both schools have the recruit’s mother to thank for the development.

According to a report by Glenn Guilbeau of the Shreveport Times, Kiel was set to enroll early at LSU as previously planned on Monday.  However, his mother’s emotional plea prior to his departure for Baton Rouge prompted a change in heart and a change in plans — Kiel will enroll today at Notre Dame, a school roughly 500 miles closer to his Columbus, Ind., home.

“From what I have been told, he is no longer coming to LSU,” recruiting expert Michael Scarborough of Rivals.com told the Times. “He wants to come to LSU, but his mother (Aleta Kiel) got very emotional Monday and did not want her son to leave. He plans to enroll in classes at Notre Dame on Tuesday.”

Scarborough went on to add that “[w]hat has been relayed to me is that he wants to come to LSU, but his parents want him at Notre Dame because it is closer to home.”

As school’s are not permitted to discuss potential recruits, there’s been no confirmation by the Irish of Kiel’s impending arrival in South Bend.

Kiel had previously committed to Indiana before reopening his recruitment this past summer.  In December, he officially gave his nonbinding verbal commitment to LSU.

Scarborough noted that the LSU coaches are not headed to Indiana to try to change Kiel’s mind.  So, barring yet another change of heart between now and when he actually puts pen to early enrollment paper, Brian Kelly and his staff will have landed the top QB in this year’s recruiting class.

Whether that’s a permanent landing or just a temporary one remains to be seen.

(Tip O’ the Cap: Mr. SEC.com)

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