Butch Jones

Cincinnati makes Butch Jones’ extension official

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A little over a month after reaching an agreement in principle, Butch Jones and Cincinnati have officially sealed the deal on a new contract.

In a release, UC announced that Jones has agreed to a new deal that contains both a three-year extension and a bump in annual compensation.  Jones, who just completed his second season with the Bearcats, is now signed through the 2017 season.

“I have tremendous faith in Coach Jones and his ability to lead our young men on the football field, in the classroom and in the community,” athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement. “I appreciate his loyalty to the University of Cincinnati and we look forward to great things in future seasons.”

Jones made just under $1.4 million in 2011; in 2012, he will pull in $1.575 million.  The new deal will include built-in annual raises that will help the contract top out at just over $2 million in the final year of the deal.  Additionally, Jones will be eligible for $300,000 retention bonuses in the last three years of the new contract.

In his two years at the school, the Bearcats have gone 14-10.  Following a 10-win 2011 season that saw UC claim a share of the Big East title, Jones was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.

After that six-win turnaround, Jones’ name was attached to openings at North Carolina, Illinois and UCLA.

“I’m very grateful of the support shown from UC President Dr. Gregory Williams, the UC Board of Trustees and director of athletics Whit Babcock,” Jones said. “This a commitment to our staff and to the football program as a whole. It’s another illustration of the tremendous support our administration as we continue to work on a daily basis to build a college football program of national relevance.”

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah

Report: Duke Williams injured Auburn teammate with punch in ‘bar rampage’

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 29:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers misses a touchdown catch in the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the Iron Bowl at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 29, 2014 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.

Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program.  A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.

The unnamed, however, now has a name.

According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”

Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.

No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.

“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”