Pay bumps coming for Saban, staff?

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During his five years at Alabama, Nick Saban and his ever-evolving coaching staff has led the Crimson Tide back to preeminent status on the national stage, cleaning up the squalor left by the decade-long Shula-Franchione-DuBose triad.  And the Mike Price embarrassment.

Since being officially named head coach Jan.3, 2007, Saban’s Tide has won 55 games — versus just four SEC losses the last four years — and two BcS titles.  And four No. 1 Rivals.com recruiting classes in the past five years, which has set the table for yet another season in which Saban’s squad will enter a year deep inside the preseason polls.

How much is all of that success worth?  In 2011, and before Saban’s third title as a college head coach, the number was pegged at just over $4.8 million.  In 2012?  Go north, old committee men.

According to the Birmingham News, the compensation arm of the University of Alabama Systems board of trustees will meet Monday to discuss the contracts of two newly-hired Saban assistants — offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson.  Additionally — warning ! alliteration ahead!!! — the compensation committee’s conference call will consider, the News writes, “contract amendments for head coach Nick Saban and seven of his assistants.”

One of the “seven… assistants” is defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who at $850,000 was one of the highest-paid assistants for his job title last season.  Smart also oversaw a title-winning defense that finished 2011 No. 1 in nearly every major statistical defensive category.  Based on the performance of “his” defense, Smart surely should get a salary bump.  As (rightly) will the other holdovers from the crystal-hoisting staff.

The question is, will — or, more to the point, should — Saban get the compensation committee bump?  In 2011, Mack Brown was the highest-paid coach in America at nearly $5.2 million.

Symbolic or not, and probably in spite of what he actually cares about, it’s time for the financials to match the reality that most don’t or won’t want to acknowledge: Nick Saban is the best college football coach in the country.

Check the numbers; the gag reflex will soon pass, after the biases are left at reality’s doorstep.  He is, you see, regardless of what you don’t want is to be.

(Editor’s note: Jimmy Sexton did not contribute in any way, shape or form to the creation of this post.)

Georgia football’s account remains on Twitter suspended list

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Even as he now resides in South Florida, it appears Mark Richt has lost control of Georgia football’s Twitter account.

Shortly before Saturday’s second spring game under Kirby Smart, UGA’s Twitter account for the football program was suspended.  That marked the sixth time since January 17 of 2017 in which the account was suspended, and that suspension remains in effect as of this posting.

While there has been no official word from the university or athletic department on the latest suspension, it appears that it is related to, once again, a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice.  Essentially, UGA is accused of using copyrighted music in their tweets, which has led to their five previous suspensions.

Along with the most recent suspension as well as the first in January of last year, UGA’s account was suspended June 20, 2017; July 27, 2017; August 14, 2017; and February 7, 2018.  The last one came during National Signing Day, with USA Today noting at that time that “[t]he DMCA suspends accounts after three violations within a certain period.”

Western Kentucky QB Steven Duncan arrested for DUI

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Western Kentucky quarterback Steven Duncan was arrested Sunday morning on a charge of driving under the influence.

The WKU Herald reports that Duncan was booked at 2:43 on Sunday morning and, in addition to DUI, was charged with failure to produce insurance and failure to illuminate his headlights. “We are aware of the situation and currently gathering more information,” the program told the Herald. “We take this matter very seriously as a football program.”

Duncan is a redshirt sophomore from Charleston, S.C. He completed 2-of-2 passes for two yards as a redshirt freshman in 2017, and is in open competition with fifth-year senior Drew EcklesDavis Shanley and Graydon Kulick to replace the graduated Mike White as starting quarterback. White threw for 4,177 yards with 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions in head coach Mike Sanford‘s first season.

WKU concluded its spring on Saturday with a 92-play scrimmage.

“Spring game, beautiful day, great to have the fan base out here, it was a fun game,” Sanford said. “Obviously, it wasn’t a traditional spring game, tackle, playing with two true teams, but the work we wanted to get out of it we absolutely got out of it. We got 92 plays in the scrimmage. We wanted to make sure every single person on our roster got a rep today and that was good to see. Overall, I’m pleased with what I saw.”

Former Notre Dame player Kona Schwenke dies at 25

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Former Notre Dame defensive lineman Kona Schwenke died at his Laie, Hawai’i, home on Sunday, the program confirmed on Monday. He was 25.

Cause of death was not known as of press time.

Hailing from the same hometown as Manti Te’o, Schwenke was a 3-star member of Notre Dame’s 2010 class and appeared in 31 games with nine starts over the following four seasons. He collected 30 career tackles, helped the Irish post an undefeated regular season with an appearance in the BCS National Championship as a junior and won the Irish’s Next Man In Award as a senior.

He was signed to the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks but did not appear in a game before concluding his football career in 2016.

“We will tell the stories of how things were different with you. I love you my brother. Thank you for everything over the years,” fellow Hawaiian and former Notre Dame player Robby Toma wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday. “I am grateful for the time we got to spend with you on earth. My heart hurts, but I know the memories we have will last a lifetime. Look over us, my USO. My prayers are with my Schwenke Family. #RIPuso”

Funeral arrangements were not available as of press time.

Ohio State RB Antonio Williams transferring to UNC

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Ohio State running back Antonio Williams is moving a bit closer to home to continue playing his college football. The North Carolina native reportedly will transfer to the University of North Carolina to play for the Tar Heels. Williams announced his transfer news via Twitter.

“Though being at Ohio State provided me with the right path to reach those goals, the timing for me to be at OSU wasn’t the most ideal,” Williams said in a statement on Twitter. “With that being said, following the end of this semester, I will be transferring to the University of North Carolina.”

Williams appeared in 12 games for the Buckeyes last season, carrying the football 57 times for 290 yards and three touchdowns in a backup role. Ohio State’s running game was led by freshman breakout star J.K. Dobbins and sophomore Mike Weber. Both are back this fall to continue carrying the ball for Ohio State, which would have left Williams sitting no higher than third on the team’s depth chart.

Before attending Ohio State, Williams previously committed to UNC during his recruiting cycle. He switched his commitment status to Wisconsin before making one final switch to Ohio State.

Williams will have two years of eligibility after sitting out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Williams will likely burn his unused redshirt season this fall to retain two years of eligibility at UNC.