- North Carolina State isn’t doing itself any favors with this video.
- A K-State O-lineman is fighting to get his scholarship release.
- A former USC safety started an apartment fire with a blunt… because God told him to.
- Michigan great Bob Chappuis passed away yesterday at the age of 89.
- Former Sooner Jerry Tubbs passed away as well.
- Mike Krzyzewski criticizes Joe Paterno‘s firing.
- Harvey Updyke is ready to begin his trial next week, his lawyer says.
Friday offseason one-liners
The BYU Cougars are on the receiving end of some B1G transfer help in the secondary for the 2014 season.
The football program announced in a release Thursday that defensive back Harvey Jackson has signed with the football program and will continue his playing career with the Cougars. As Jackson has already received his degree from NU, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2014.
“Harvey is an experienced player and a mature individual with excellent character,” head coach Bronco Mendenhall said in a statement. “He will join our program after graduating in construction management with a business minor. He is a great fit for BYU on and off the field.”
Jackson played in 35 games the past three years, starting four of those contests. He started the first three games of the 2013 season before losing that job.
In 2011, Jackson, a three-star member of the Cornhuskers’ 2010 recruiting class, was an Academic All-Big Ten selection
In mid-December last year, Lane Kiffin was brought to Alabama by head coach Nick Saban to help evaluate the Tide’s offense ahead of its BCS bowl matchup with Oklahoma. Less than a month later, the former USC head coach was hired as Saban’s offensive coordinator.
While another hire likely won’t come out of another high-profile visit, Saban has again decided to pick the brain of some offensive-centric football types in his never-ending quest to improve his football program.
Saban confirmed to the media that current Denver Broncos and former Tennessee Vols quarterback Peyton Manning, along with Manning’s coordinator Adam Gase, visited Tuscaloosa for two days last week for a meeting that may have violated the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. Saban said Manning has “been a friend and very well-respected for a long time,” and the visit came about as the player and coach were taking a football tour to select cities across the country.
Given the proliferation of no-huddle, spread offenses in the college game — and the Tide’s notorious struggles in stopping them — and Manning’s expertise in running such a system, Saban jumped at the opportunity to pick the brain of one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.
“Since they’re a no-huddle team, we had a lot of questions for them, in terms of what gives them problems and what defensive teams do that give them problems,” Saban said. “That was a mutual benefit. I know it was a benefit to us. I hope it was a benefit to them as well.”
Saban’s attempts to decipher the no-huddle riddle from a defensive standpoint has become almost legendary; earlier this month, a football clinic hosted by Saban featured, among others, the head coach of the fast-paced, high-octane Baylor Bears, Art Briles.
“The goals that you have for next year are basically the things that you struggled with last year,” Saban said in explaining the proliferation of high-profile visitors of late. “You make a list of those things through your quality control, and then you go out and look for people who might be able to help you develop a little more expertise, a better way to teach, a better way to coach some situation.
“Sometimes we bring somebody in here to visit with us. Sometimes we have people call us and ask us if they can come and visit us and try to learn from us, which we share with quite a few people. I think we usually learn from them as well when that happens.”
It was reported earlier this week that a group of individuals with too much time on its hands and not nearly enough of a life had filed a formal complaint to Clemson alleging that Dabo Swinney‘s football program blurs the line between the separation of church and state as mandated in the U.S. Constitution.
An attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation stated that “the football coaching staff is doing a number of things to promote Christianity to their student-athletes” such as conducting Bible studies with their players. A school spokesperson subsequently fired back that “no one is required to participate in any religious activities related to the football program” and that any participation is strictly voluntary.
Thursday, the university released a lengthier rebuttal to the group’s accusations, stating that “the FFRF is mistaken in its assessment” of the religious atmosphere in and around the Tigers football program. Below is the school’s statement, in its entirety:
“We believe the practices of the football staff regarding religion are compliant with the Constitution and appropriately accommodate differing religious views. Participation in religious activities is purely voluntary, and there are no repercussions for students who decline to do so. We are not aware of any complaints from current or former student-athletes about feeling pressured or forced to participate in religious activities.
“Clemson takes very seriously its obligation to provide a comprehensive program for the development and welfare of our student-athletes ¬ which encompasses academic, athletic and personal support, including support for their spiritual needs.
“We will evaluate the complaints raised in the letter and will respond directly to the organization, but we believe FFRF is mistaken in its assessment. The Supreme Court has expressly upheld the right of public bodies to employ chaplains and has noted that the use of prayer is not in conflict with the principles of disestablishment and religious freedom.”
(Tip O’ the Cap: OrangeAndWhite.com)
A story that both Jameis Winston and Florida State would prefer to quickly fade away simply won’t.
The attorney for the alleged victim who claimed she was raped by the Florida State quarterback in December of 2012 told USA Today that the university has halted its Title IX investigation into the case. The reason the probe is allegedly at a standstill? The attorney, Blaine Kerr, says it’s because Winston refuses to cooperate with the university.
“The university took the position that since he refused to respond to questions, they could not make any Title IX findings,” Kerr said according to the paper. “We have objected to that as impermissible reason to delay or terminate a Title IX sexual assault investigation because that would permit any charged party to thwart an investigation simply by refusing to answer questions.”
The paper went on to write that Kerr “wrote a letter to FSU earlier this month stating his objections to their investigation and calling for Winston to be charged under the school’s code of conduct policy.”
One law expert was baffled that the university would drop what’s a federally-mandated investigation simply because the accused refused to cooperate.
“The law is not supposed to operate in a way to reward people who don’t cooperate with either criminal or civil investigations,” said Erin Buzuvis, a professor of law at Western New England University and a Title IX expert. “It’s just bizarre to think that would result in, ‘Oh, I guess we just can’t do anything.’ Who would ever cooperate with anything?”
In early December of last year, following a three-week investigation, the Florida State’s Attorney office announced that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that the sexual encounter between Winston and the alleged victim was not consensual, and that no charges would be filed against the player. The state’s attorney in charge of that investigation, William Meggs, was highly critical of the Tallahassee Police Department’s investigation into the alleged rape in a New York Times report earlier this week, a report in which the university subsequently expressed its disappointment.
Earlier this month it was reported that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has launched its own investigation into FSU’s handling of the case.
While Winston will not face criminal charges in connection to the incident, the alleged victim is expected to pursue civil action against him as well as, potentially, FSU and the TPD.
At least from a legal perspective, a prominent member of Oklahoma’s defense has dodged a serious bullet. Whether he remaisn part of the program, however, remains to be seen.
The office of the Cleveland County (Ok.) District Attorney confirmed to both the Daily Oklahoman and the Norman Transcript that it has decided to not pursue charges against OU linebacker Frank Shannon related to an alleged incident of sexual assault Jan. 20. The decision to decline prosecution, DA Greg Mashburn told the Oklahoman, was made weeks ago.
It was reported Thursday that Nelson’s was named in a Title IX sexual misconduct allegation report filed with the university in which it was alleged he sexually assaulted a female student in his apartment. Conflicting statements from the two involved prompted the DA’s office to drop the matter and the Norman Police Department to drop its investigation.
In the report, a woman alleges that early on the morning of Jan. 20 after a party, Shannon offered her a ride home but stopped by his off-campus apartment. The two went into Shannon’s bedroom, where the woman claims he pulled her pants down and tried to forcibly have sex with her.
The woman and Shannon both say they knew each other before the incident. Shannon denied the allegations in the report, saying that the woman laid on top of him, kissed him and removed her own clothes, but that after an argument over whether or not she was menstruating, he went to the bathroom and she left the apartment.
The Oklahoman does write that “Shannon’s future at the University of Oklahoma, however, remains very much in limbo while an independent OU investigation runs its course, a legal requirement under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.” OU’s student conduct office could impose sanctions on Shannon, up to and including a dismissal from the university.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, Shannon started all 13 games and led the Sooners in tackles with 92. He neither practiced last Thursday nor played in Saturday’s spring game due to what head coach Bob Stoops described as personal reasons.
Well that certainly didn’t take long.
Just two days after confirming he was transferring out of the Texas A&M football program, Matt Joeckel confirmed that he would be transferring into TCU’s. And, in making his announcement, the quarterback did it the way all the cool kids are doing it these days: via Twitter.
I am now TCU Horned Frog. Go Frogs!—
Matt Joeckel (@MattJoeckel) April 17, 2014
It should be noted that the Horned Frogs have yet to announce Joeckel’s addition to the roster, although such an announcement is expected in short order.
Joeckel, the brother of former A&M All-American and 2013 No.2 overall NFL draft pick Luke Joeckel, served as Johnny Manziel’s primary backup with the Aggies in 2013 and entered spring practice with a significant edge in experience over his two competitors. A three-star member of the Aggies’ 2010 recruiting class, Joeckel was the No. 29 pro-style quarterback in that class coming out of high school in Arlington, Tex.
Coincidentally or not, Tyler Matthews tweeted on the same day of Joeckel’s departure from A&M that he was transferring from TCU. Matthews had been competing for the Horned Frogs starting job; now Joeckel, who as a graduate transfer will be eligible to play immediately, will join the TCU QB fray.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl will return to its roots and become the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl beginning with this year’s game.
The Atlanta-based bowl was known as the Peach Bowl from its inception in 1968 through 1997, when it became the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. In 2006, the game dropped “Peach” from its name and became just the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
Per the Journal-Constitution’s report, the name change had to do with the bowl becoming part of the College Football Playoff’s rotation. The other five bowls in the rotation all have traditional names plus corporate sponsors: The Allstate Sugar Bowl, AT&T Cotton Bowl, Discover Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl Presented by Vizio and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
A press conference is expected Monday to officially announce the name change.
The shock of Dorial Green-Beckham’s dismissal from the team probably hasn’t completely worn off at Mizzou just yet, even if quarterback Maty Mauk insisted “it’s behind us and we can’t do anything about it.” (via ESPN.com)
Mizzou’s spring game on Saturday, then, serves as an early look at who Mauk and the Tigers turn to in the absence of the team’s best returning receiver. It doesn’t help that Mizzou lost the 167 combined catches L’Damian Washington and Marcus Lucas had in last season’s run to the SEC Championship, either.
The good news is that Mizzou’s receivers still have good size and athleticism. Mauk, in the ESPN story, raved about 6-foot-3 Texas transfer Darius White, who only has 13 career catches to his name. Bud Sasser, who’s listed at 6-foot-2, caught 26 passes for Mizzou last year (and also threw a 40-yard touchdown to Washington at Georgia). Veteran Jimmie Hunt (22 catches in 2013) will also see an increased role in the Tigers’ offense.
Mauk lays out a few other players he’s been encouraged by in spring practice, and noted that Mizzou is being picked to finish near the bottom of the SEC East (not exactly an unfair assessment — in addition to the receivers, Mizzou lost QB James Franklin, RB Henry Josey, OL Justin Britt, OL Max Copeland, DE Michael Sam, LB Andrew Wilson and CB E.J. Gaines, among others).
But Mauk is somewhere between being diplomatic and confident in the guys around him with DGB no longer on the team. There’s still talent in Mizzou’s receiving unit; though we won’t find out if it’s good enough to compete in the SEC until the fall.
You’re the president of an organization under siege for a multitude of reasons. Maybe it wouldn’t be best to make some flippant comments on a popular national radio show.
But NCAA President Mark Emmert, on ESPN’s Mike & Mike Friday morning:
“If I can hire someone to play football for me why would I hire an 18 year old? Why not someone who plays in the CFL?” Emmert on unions
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) April 18, 2014
Mark Emmert on @MikeAndMike on deregulating food rules: If UConn wants to feed Shabazz breakfast in bed, they can.“
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 18, 2014
NCAA President says athletes are “taking seats from a paying student.” Wow.
— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) April 18, 2014
There are real, significant problems with the NCAA model that need to be fixed, and I’m sure current college athletes don’t appreciate the head of their organization saying stuff like this. To illustrate how deeply unpopular Emmert is, just look at the #AskEmmert hashtag on Twitter. An example, via our own John Taylor, sums things up:
#askemmert Have you ever had the feeling where you know you should stop talking but simply can’t?
— CollegeFootballTalk (@CFTalk) April 18, 2014
It’s not exactly a been a great day for Emmert, and it’s not even 10 a.m. on the East Coast yet.
Football players need more than six months of no-contact to properly recover from various forms of head trauma, a study by PLOS-ONE recently determined. At a time when we are learning more and more about the long-lasting effects of head trauma in football, could this one day change the approach at the college level when it comes to spring practices?
The Verge describes the procedure for conducting the study on head trauma and football players, which determine six out of 10 players showed signs of needing more time to recover from head trauma;
To study the effect of non-concussive, repetitive head impacts, researchers put accelerometers in the helmets of 10 University of Rochester football players. The scientists used these sensors to monitor the quantity and severity of the blows that the players suffered over the course of the 2011 season. They found that each player received between 431 and 1,850 impacts to the head during the regular season. And although none of these blows resulted in a concussion, they still caused mild brain injury. Moreover, six out of the 10 players continued to exhibit these signs at the end of a six month-long resting period.
Spring football games have gone into retirement at some schools, in part because of the fear of injuries and because of the added value placed on one more practice session. This study may not lead to the removal of spring football just yet, but it could help open the door for a conversation about potentially pushing spring practices back or to restructure how some are organized. The NCAA and schools tend to take head injury precautions seriously and there are already rules in place to reduce the risks associated with contact drills, but this study may be used as a reason for future changes to spring football.
Michigan State is coming off one of the most successful football seasons in quite some time, and head coach Mark Dantonio wants to see that enthusiasm continue with the upcoming spring game. Danotnio has said before he wants to see a big crowd for the Spartans’ spring game next week, and he has high hopes for a big turnout.
“I want to see 50,000 at the Green and White game,” Dantonio said according to MLive.com. “I think that’s where this program needs to go.”
Of course, weather can always be an issue. Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis is hoping for a good turnout as well, but as with most spring games the weather can always be a concern.
“I know the enthusiasm’s there, I think that was reflected out in Pasadena,” Hollis said. “But if it’s pouring rain, I don’t think we’ll have 50,000, but we might. If it’s sunny, I think we have the potential to exceed a number like that.”
Getting 50,000 fans would be a very respectable crowd, and would more than double the crowd that turned out for last year’s spring game in East Lansing and the Michigan spring game earlier this month. If Dantonio gets the crowd he desires, Michigan State would have one of the larger spring crowds this season and would very likely finish the spring with at least the fourth largest spring crowd in the Big Ten.
Penn State currently leads the nation in spring game attendance with an estimated 72,000 last weekend. Nebraska recorded a crowd of 61,772 and Ohio State was just behind the Huskers with 61,058. The only other school to record at least 50,000 for the spring game has been Tennessee (68,500). That is expected to change once Alabama and Auburn hold their spring games this weekend. Both SEC West schools tend to draw very well for the spring game.
This is a relatively up-to-date record of spring game attendance this year. Some schools have not provided spring attendance numbers so there are some missing figures, but it is mostly accurate.
Don’t make Alabama angry. You might not like them when they are angry.
To say Alabama’s end of the 2013 did not go well is a bit of an understatement. After one of the biggest surprises in college football history knocked Alabama out of the SEC Championship Game and BCS Championship Game picture, the Crimson Tide we left for dust by Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Alabama allowed 35 points to be scored off of five turnovers in the game, and that defensive performance has not been sitting well since January.
“It wasn’t the way we play,” linebacker Trey DePriest said to ESPN.com. “We don’t get that many points put up on us. That’s way more than what our goal is — 13 points or less. It didn’t seem like us. We were ready, we just didn’t go out and leave it on the field like it was our last game. It’s definitely been a driving force.”
The holes in Alabama’s defense were visible long before the Sugar Bowl though. Texas A&M racked up big yards and plenty of points against the two-time defending BCS champions last September in College Station as Johnny Manziel once again went wild on Alabama (although he did have a couple of turnovers as well). Alabama’s defense was able to get through most of the season on their overall talent alone last fall, but the holes were there all along. Oklahoma capitalized on it, giving Nick Saban and his program plenty to work on and fix this offseason.
Have opposing offenses found formula that can overcome Alabama, or will the Tide rise again as they make adjustments to slow down quick-tempo offenses designed to wear down physical defenses?
Alabama will very likely be one of the top teams in the country next fall, and fine tuning on defense will be key.
Kansas head coach Charlie Weis has named his starting quarterback for the Jayhawks in 2014. That task will belong to sophomore Montell Cozart, who will look to turn around the production at the quarterback position.
Cozart is coming off an admirable spring game performance, completing six of 10 pass attempts for 58 yards, and rushing for 70 more yards and a pair of touchdowns while leading his spring team to victory. He beat out Jake Heaps and T.J. Millweard for the job. Cozart may have been the most likely starter for 2014 because he replaced Heaps under center last season.
How high is the bar of success for Kansas? Each of the past two seasons have ended with the top two quarterbacks on the roster completing fewer than 50 percent of their passes and combining for 25 interceptions to just 15 touchdowns. It may be safe to say the bar is quite low, or perhaps there is plenty of room for improvement.
Weis initially wanted to keep the quarterback competition open leading up closer to the fall, but it seems he has seen enough. This could come in handy, as now Weis and his offensive assistants can start planning to build an offense Cozart will be best suited to lead, which should give players more time to be ready for whatever the coaches put together.
Hey, why not take an optimistic spin where you can?
Texas Tech is down to just one quarterback on the roster as the spring comes to a close. Davis Webb was named the starting quarterback for the Red Raiders last week, but who will be there to back him up? The Dallas Morning News reports walk-on quarterbacks Tanner Tausch and Mike Richardson are both leaving the program, leaving Webb as the only quarterback left on the roster heading into the summer.
Tausch is not leaving Texas Tech, but he is leaving the football team to focus on academics. Richardson is looking for a chance to compete for more playing time that is not likely to be available at Texas Tech. In all, Texas Tech has lost five quarterbacks over the past six months. Fortuneately for Texas Tech, the future is still bright under center.
Texas Tech will be adding a quarterback through the most recent recruiting class with Patrick Mahomes, a three-star prospect according to Rivals.com, and a handful of walk-ons are expected to join the team in the coming months as well, including the son of former Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde, Vincent Testaverde. The Class of 2015 already has one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation lined up as well with four-star recruit Jarrett Stidham already committed.
All head coach Kliff Kingsbury needs to do is get through the 2014 season without any quarterback injuries before he can really get to work with the future leader of his offense.
Michigan has not been bad since Brady Hoke took over as head coach, but the Wolverines have been traveling on a downward trend as far as wins are concerned. Will the 2014 season see things turn around in Ann Arbor? Hoke seems to like his chances, suggesting the chemistry cooking this spring was something he has not seen in years.
“This team has a chemistry that I think we haven’t had in a while,” Hoke said Wednesday during an interview on SiriusXM Radio, according to MLive.com. “When you look at the different groups and the leadership, we have really a team that’s back-loaded on the freshman and sophomore class. But we’ve got some really good guys in that senior class. Jake Ryan and Frank Clark. Devin Gardner. Desmond Morgan. We’ve got some really good leadership there.”
This is a pretty important year for Hoke. As MLive.com makes note of and as I have said before, this is finally Hoke’s team. Every player who signed with Michigan did so knowing Hoke would be the head coach of the Wolverines. Now it is time to show Hoke can develop that talent — Michigan has signed top three classes in the Big Ten according to Rivals.com in three of the last four years — he has brought in and make Michigan a contender in the Big Ten. Up until now he has fallen short of the high bar he set in his debut season when he took what was left from the Rich Rodriguez all the way to a Sugar Bowl victory. Since then, the Wolverines have stumbled to a mediocre 7-6 season capped with a loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
“We’re better mentally, and that’s a big part of it,” Hoke said earlier this week, according to MLive.com. “We’re not exactly where we want to be yet, but I like the way our team has reacted (to last season) and how we’ve gone about our business.”
If Hoke is right, Michigan could be in the winning business. It’s basic chemistry, yo.