Marshall v Houston

Cross Houston’s Rhoades off A&M’s AD to-do list

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(Probably… maybe)

Just a day or two after Bill Byrne announced his “retirement” as Texas A&M’s athletic director earlier this past week, Mack Rhoades, Byrne’s contemporary at Houston, was mentioned as a potential successor.

Not so coincidentally, reports subsequently emerged that UH had been proactive in guarding against an attempted pilfering.

According to Mark Berman, sport director of KRIV-TV in Houston, Rhoades and the university reached an agreement on a new five-year contract earlier this year.  The Houston Chronicle confirmed the new contract as well.

The new deal will pay Rhoades $500,000 annually, up from $350,000 a year in his old deal.  Berman also writes that “the deal includes an incentives package”, presumably above the $75,000 annually for which he’s currently eligible.

While the new contract, signed in January, doesn’t necessarily preclude Rhoades from bolting for the Aggies, the AD said in a statement that he hasn’t spoken to anyone about a job at another school and doesn’t appear particularly interested if they were to call.

“I am very happy at the University of Houston and certainly appreciate how diligently our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked to create a championship culture,” Rhoades said in the statement provided to local media outlets.

“One byproduct of that success is other programs take notice and it’s flattering. We have schools reach out about our people all the time, but as for me, I have not spoken to anyone about another job. My complete focus is on the University of Houston. We have accomplished a great deal in a short period of time, but the road is just beginning.”

During his three years at UH, Rhoades has, among other things, spearheaded the effort to raise funds for a new stadium, which is scheduled to begin construction in December.  He will also lead UH from Conference USA to the Big East in 2013.

This would’ve been the Aggies’ second attempt in six months at raiding UH’s athletic department.  The first attempt was successful as the Aggies hired Kevin Sumlin away from the Cougars as the replacement for Mike Sherman.

Rico McWilliams, 18-game starter at corner for Gamecocks, gives up football

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 10:  Malachi Dupre #15 of the LSU Tigers catches a pass in front of Rico McWilliams #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during the third quarter of a game at Tiger Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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South Carolina has seen one of the most experienced members of its secondary not only leave the program but the sport as well.

Rico McWilliams has decided to leave the Gamecocks and give up football, first-year USC head coach Will Muschamp announced Monday.  No reason was given for the decision.

McWilliams had started 18 the past three seasons, but began to tumble down the depth chart in the spring and failed to gain much ground in summer camp.  He had left camp early on for what were described as personal reasons, but eventually returned.

I am back with the team and have to stay focused,” the cornerback said just three days ago.

As a redshirt junior last season, McWilliams started 10 of USC’s 12 games, the lone exceptions being the contests against Georgia and Texas A&M.  He was credited with 32 tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Additionally, Muschamp announced that redshirt freshman wide receiver Christian Owens had left his team as well.  A three-star 2015 signee, Owens didn’t play as a true freshman.

Jim Harbaugh clarifies comments on Colin Kaepernick anthem controversy

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Via social media, Jim Harbaugh has attempted to walk back some of his strong talk.

Monday, the Michigan head coach was asked to comment on one of his former San Francisco 49er players, Colin Kaepernick, who kicked up quite the controversy this past week by sitting down during the playing of the national anthem to protest what he believes to be the mistreatment of African-Americans in this country. Not surprisingly, the outspoken Harbaugh didn’t mince many words.

“I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” the coach said.

A short time later, Harbaugh took to Twitter to offer a clarification that he had no issue with Kaepernick’s motivation, merely his methods.

Baylor suspends starting safety Chance Waz for first two games

WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 12:  Chance Waz #18 of the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Even as Baylor looks to put a tumultuous offseason in the rearview mirror, the football team simply can’t get away from the dark cloud hanging over the program.

Interim head coach Jim Grobe announced Monday that Chance Waz has been suspended for the Bears’ first two games of the upcoming season.  The only reason given was unspecified disciplinary issues.

The suspension will cost the defensive back games against Northwestern State and SMU.  Waz will be eligible to return for the Sept. 16 game against Rice.

After playing in 11 games as a true freshman in 2014, Waz started 11 of the 13 games in which he played last season.  He was again projected as a starting safety entering summer camp.

Speaking of BU starters, Ishmael Zamora is still listed as a first-team wide receiver on the final preseason depth chart released by the Bears Monday.  Zamora was caught on video beating his dog with a belt and kicking it, and was ultimately charged with misdemeanor animal abuse.

Grobe said he’s still awaiting the university’s decision on what if any punishment Zamora may be facing as a result of the incident.

LB Xavier Preston reportedly suspended for WVU’s opener vs. Mizzou

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The West Virginia football team has had a rough go of it the last month or so.

In late July, Larry Jefferson, expected to be a part of WVU’s defensive line rotation, was arrested on drug charges and removed from the roster.  This in mid-August, two-year starting safety Dravon Askew-Henry sustained a torn ACL that will knock him out for the season; shortly thereafter, starting left guard Adam Pankey was arrested on a drunk-driving charge and ultimately suspended for at least the opener against Missouri.

As it turns out, Pankey won’t be alone on the suspension sidelines as WVMetroNews.com is reporting that linebacker Xavier Preston will be suspended for the opener as well. No reason has been given for the punitive measure, and the football program has yet to confirm it.

The third-year sophomore would be eligible to return for the Sept. 10 Youngstown State game.

Preston played in 13 games last season. He has been described as the heir apparent to Nick Kwiatkowski at outside linebacker for the Mountaineers.