- 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
On the field, no one did it better under center for Oregon than Marcus Mariota.
He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection each of the last two years, and left the Ducks holding the all-time school record for, among others, total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He stands as the conference’s all-time leader in total touchdowns and the league’s single-season leader for passing yards and passing touchdowns. He staked his claim to a slew of awards including the Walter Camp, Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, Manning and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm as well as being the first-ever UO player to be the recipient of the Heisman Trophy.
Off the field he may have been even more impressive as there might not have been a more likable or respected player in all of college football.
And, for all of that, the university is grateful. In particular, his former fellow student-athletes at the school, who put together a “thank you” video and released a couple of days before Mariota is expected to be selected no lower than No. 2 in the NFL draft.
Simple and extremely well done. Bravo, young men and women.
Not that we really expected any different outcome, but coaches in the Southern part of the country won’t be permitted to accept Jim Harbaugh‘s offer of Northern hospitality.
Late last week, in the midst of criticism from others in his profession over the controversial move of guest coaching at satellite camps across the country, Harbaugh took to Twitter to invite all college football coaches to a Michigan camp this summer. Even as “guest coaches,” SEC coaches are barred by their conference from attending such camps more than 50 miles from their campus and, unfortunately, that will remain the case.
Well that’s a buzzkill. The thought of Nick Saban or Les Miles or Steve Spurrier guest coaching in Ann Arbor is enough to make a grown man giddy.
Oh well, maybe next year — unless that loophole’s closed across the board as some are pushing for, that is.
After seeking and failing to get a lawsuit filed against tossed, at least for now, Florida State has claimed one legal victory.
The Associated Press reported Monday that the lawsuit filed against the university by Erica Kinsman, the former FSU student who accused Jameis Winston of raping her, has been moved from a federal court in Orlando to one in Tallahassee. The U.S. District Judge in Orlando, Gregory Presnell, agreed with FSU’s contention that he had no jurisdiction over the school.
Kinsman’s lawyers had argued against the change of venue, with the alleged victim claiming she fearful of her safety if the case was moved to Tallahassee. She also feared she couldn’t get a fair trial in the same city in which Winston had starred for the Seminoles.
In January of this year, Kinsman filed the lawsuit, seeking a trial by jury and damages, against the university’s trustees. In the suit, it was claimed that the university was responsible for Title IX violations because of a ‘clearly unreasonable response'” to the sexual assault allegations and “allowing a ‘hostile educational environment.'”
Winston was never charged criminally in connection to the allegations of sexual assault. The lawsuit was filed nearly three weeks after Winston was cleared in the school code of conduct hearing, which was also connected to the rape allegations. The accuser appealed that ruling, but it was subsequently upheld.
In April of last year, attorney’s for the accuser blasted the university for either delaying or outright terminating a Title IX investigation into the allegations. Five months later, it was reported that the university had reopened the investigation.
Winston’s adviser subsequently released a scathing statement claiming that the accuser was the one dragging her feet when it came to the federally-mandated investigation. That adviser, David Cornwell, also accused the alleged victim’s camp of seeking $7 million from Winston to keep quiet.
Also in April of last year, 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.
The quarterback position at Kansas took a significant shot over the weekend. Just how significant remains to be seen.
As previously reported, Michael Cummings sustained a knee injury in Saturday’s spring game. Two days later, KU announced that Cummings will undergo surgery in the not-too-distant future to repair the damage.
The specific nature of the injury wasn’t detailed, nor was a timeline for a return given.
“Michael sustained a left knee injury that is going to require surgery,” Jayhawk head coach David Beaty said in a statement. “Following his surgery he will work diligently, alongside our medical staff, to get back to the field as quickly as possible.”
While quarterbacks were off-limits for contact, Cummings was inadvertently tackled by a teammate on the play that led to the injury to his left knee.
“It was a complete freak accident,” said Cummings in his statement. “I have reviewed the film from Saturday and Michael Glatczak (the player who made the tackle) was being blocked down the field and had his back to the action for almost the entire play. At the last second he turned to make the tackle without having any idea who was carrying the ball. He is a great kid, a great teammate and again it was just a very unfortunate accident.”
Or maybe not.
Cummings started the last seven games at quarterback for the Jayhawks and accounted for a total of 13 of KU’s 25 offensive touchdowns — nine passing, four rushing. Provided he’s healthy, Cummings will enter summer camp as the front-runner for the starting job.
Last Monday, LaQuvionte Gonzalez took to Twitter to announce he was transferring from Texas A&M. A week later, Gonzalez took to the same social media platform to announce where he will continue his collegiate playing career.
In a tweet, Gonzalez revealed that he has decided to transfer to “the University of Kansas.” After sitting out the 2015 season t satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws, the wide receiver will have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2016.
A big reason for Gonzalez’s decision to move on to the Jayhawks is David Beaty. In his first year as KU’s head coach, Beaty spent three years (2012-14) as A&M’s wide receivers coach and, in addition to serving as his position coach, helped recruit Gonzalez to the Aggies.
A four-star member of A&M’s 2013 recruiting class, Gonzalez was rated as the No. 30 player at any position in the state of Texas and the No. 234 player overall byRivals.com.
As a true freshman in 2013, Gonzalez was fifth on the team with 21 receptions and 240 receiving yards. His production took a precipitous drop in 2014, however, as he finished with just five receptions for 77 yards.
Only a little over four months until college football. That’s practically nothing! It’s only one-third of the year!
Fortunately, we have some stuff to talk about this Monday morning involving that first week of the season. The 5dimes sportsbook released some fresh Week 1 odds, with the following highlights:
Ohio State – 20.5 @ Virginia Tech
TCU – 19.5 @ Minnesota
UCLA – 16 @ Virginia
Alabama – 12.5 vs. Wisconsin (Arlington, Texas)
Auburn – 12.5 vs. Louisville (Atlanta, Ga.)
Notre Dame -12.5 vs. Texas
South Carolina – 7.5 vs. North Carolina
Texas A&M – 5.5 vs. Arizona State
Utah – 3.5 vs. Michigan
There’s plenty of time for transfers, injuries and suspensions to affect these lines. Ohio State and Virginia Tech may have opposite trajectories right now, but the Buckeyes being nearly a three-touchdown favorite on the road against a Power Five opponent stands out.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jim Harbaugh certainly won’t have an easy debut heading to Salt Lake City. And while Texas is still grinding through a rebuild, Notre Dame only has beat two Power Five teams at home by more than 12 points in the last three years (Michigan 2014, Wake Forest 2012).
After being feted at the White House and showing off multiple title rings and myriad other events, one more celebratory festivity was held as Ohio State officially closes the book on the 2014 season and shifts its full focus to 2015.
At the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta Sunday, head coach Urban Meyer was officially presented with the MacArthur Bowl, handed out annually by the National Football Foundation to the FBS champion. The Buckeyes, thanks to their 42-20 win over Oregon in the first-ever College Football Playoff title game this past January, are the 57th team to be presented the trophy since it was first handed out in 1959.
It also marked the fourth MacArthur Bowl for the OSU football program, joining the 2002, 1970 and 1968 teams. Meyer also won two (2006, 2008) during his time at Florida.
“On behalf of the Ohio State University I want to thank Chick-fil-A… obviously the National Football Foundation and Steve [Hatchell] and then this beautiful Hall of Fame for having us here,” Meyer said in quotes sent out by the NFF. “It should be a tradition for the head coach to come celebrate at this incredible facility with fans. I want to thank our players, we had an incredible group and they should be here. They are part of history. We really try to develop a program where the players love each other and it’s a family atmosphere.
“The 2014 Buckeyes, that was a real team. How did they overcome adversity? Because they cared for each other. I’m honored to be here and on behalf of Ohio State, my football players and coaching staff to accept this incredible award. It has incredible history and we’ll forever be grateful to be on the side of this beautiful trophy.”
And, yes, this particular trophy is named in honor of the famed Army general.
Ohio State closed out the last of its spring practice sessions last weekend, setting an all-time spring game attendance record in the process. OSU will open up its defense of the 2014 title with a road trip to Blacksburg against Virginia Tech, the only team to beat the Buckeyes in 2014.
The head football coach at Penn State will offering his ceremonial services to a stick-and-ball sport in the near future, the school announced this past week.
In a press release, Penn State revealed that James Franklin will throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium Tuesday prior to the start of the New York Yankees-Tamp Bay Rays game. The contest will essentially serve as a Penn State night at the Bronx stadium, with Nittany Lions fans able to purchase tickets for up to 50-percent off.
This will actually serve as Franklin’s second on-field trip to that particular ballpark in less than four months.
In late December, Penn State squared off with Boston College in the fifth annual Pinstripes Bowl at Yankee Stadium. The Nittany Lions were able to claim an overtime win after the Eagles’ kicker misfired on an extra point attempt in the first overtime session.
“It’s such an awesome opportunity to throw out the first pitch and take in a Yankees game at such an iconic stadium,” Franklin said in a statement. “The Yankees’ staff was great to work with and hosted a first-class event in the Pinstripe Bowl. The experience our student-athletes, coaches and staff had at Yankee Stadium in December was second to none. I am looking forward to taking the mound, maybe I will try to get some pitching advice from Masahiro Tanaka or Michael Pineda.”
Franklin and his Nittany Lions concluded spring practice last weekend with the third-highest attendance total for a spring game this year, and will open the coach’s second season in Happy Valley Sept. 5 at Temple. The home opener comes a week later against Buffalo of the MAC.
Antonio Crawford might be in for what some people would call “a culture shock.”
Following a couple of weeks worth of speculation, Miami confirmed in late February that Crawford was no longer a part of the Hurricanes football program. Crawford had aired his grievances with his position on the roster on social media, which hastened the parting of ways.
Nearly two months later, the defensive back and Tampa native has reportedly taken his football talents from near South Beach to Morgantown.
Crawford, a three-star member of the Hurricanes’ 2012 recruiting class, started two of the 38 games in which he played the last three seasons. Both of those starts came in 2013.
The defensive back likely would’ve entered summer camp as Miami’s top nickel corner, a role he had manned the past two seasons. Instead, after sitting out the 2015 season, he’ll have one final season of eligibility in 2016.
Because of what were described as personal issues, Jaxon Hood twice left the Arizona State football program shortly before and then during the 2014 season.
While he’s not returned from the second sabbatical, he could in the near future. Maybe.
On his protected Twitter account Friday, Hood proclaimed “I’m back” and “[t]he road to greatness continues.” When a writer who covers the Sun Devils wrote on Twitter that “Hood’s tweets insinuate nothing about playing football” and that the tweets “[c]ould mean anything in [his] personal life,” Hood responded.
Hold the bus on the Welcome Wagon, though.
The Arizona Republic, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, is reporting that Hood is not officially back with the football team. As of early Sunday afternoon, Hood was not listed on ASU’s online roster, although head coach Todd Graham said late this past week that he wouldn’t rule out an eventual return.
Such a development would be a positive one for ASU’s defensive line rotation.
In starting 12 games as a true freshman in 2012, Hood earned numerous Freshman All-American honors. He was the starter at nose tackle in 2013, then started the first eight games of the season before missing the remainder of the year with his second bout with personal issues.
Nearly two months to the day after Ra’Shaad Samples‘ decision to transfer from Oklahoma State went public, the wide receiver has found a landing spot.
Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, Mark Berman of KRIV-TV is reporting that Samples has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Houston. The school has yet to officially announce the addition of Samples to the roster, although that’s expected to happen at some point this week.
Because of NCAA transfer rules, Samples will be forced to sit out the 2015 season. He’ll then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2016.
A four-star member of OSU’s 2013 recruiting class coming out of high school in Dallas, Samples was rated as the No. 33 receiver in the country and the No. 32 player at any position in the state of Texas. Along with fellow receiver Marcell Ateman and defensive back Jerel Morrow, Samples was the highest-rated member of that year’s Cowboy class.
After redshirting as a true freshman, Samples played in six games in 2014. In that limited action, he caught three passes for 11 yards.
In an interview with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh that appeared on an ESPN NFL draft special last week, the former FSU quarterback, for the first time, stated publicly that he had received a seafood hook-up from an individual who worked at a Tallahassee grocery store. Winston went on to claim that he had gotten a similar hook-up from the Publix employee on at least one other occasion prior to that.
While Winston’s former head coach Jimbo Fisher stated that FSU’s compliance department had previously looked into the issue but felt like it was an isolated incident, athletic director Stan Wilcox subsequently released a statement saying “we will work in partnership with the NCAA to determine whether a violation occurred.”
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, which cites a source close to the football program, the school “does not expect any NCAA violations to stem from the latest revelation in Jameis Winston’s shoplifting incident.” Wilcox declined to respond to the Democrat’s report, but did state that he doesn’t expect the situation be a drawn-out one.
After leaving the Seminoles early for the NFL, Winston is widely expected to be the top pick in the upcoming draft.
Leave it to the NCAA and its policies to be the buzzkill, at least temporarily, as it concerns a potentially heartwarming story.
Last week it was reported that high school senior Jake Olson will attempt to become a walk-on at USC this year. Olson is a young man who, in addition to being a USC super fan, lost his eyesight to a rare form of cancer a few years ago and was essentially adopted by the Trojans football program in general and former head coach Pete Carroll specifically.
Flipping a middle finger in the general direction of his blindness, Olson became a long-snapper on his high school football team. He became so adept at that particular skill, in fact, that current USC head coach Steve Sarkisian very firmly stated that, when it comes to Olson snapping in a game for the Trojans, “it will happen” someday.
Before someday comes, though, Olson will have to navigate some NCAA obstacles.
Olson, you see, is one of this year’s recipients of a Swim With Mike scholarship, a handful of which are awarded annually from the Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship fund at USC. Because that scholarship is considered an athletic one, the Orange County Register explains, Olson would count as one of the 85 scholarship players for the Trojans. From the Register‘s report:
The way the NCAA determines counters, football supersedes all other sports. According to bylaw 126.96.36.199, even a student-athlete “who was not recruited and/or offered financial aid to participate in football and who competes in football and one or more (other) sports shall be counted in football.”
Schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision have annual caps of 25 “initial counters” (incoming freshmen and transfers) and 85 total scholarships. USC has reached its limit of initial counters for 2015 – the first year it has been able to add a full recruiting class since 2011 because of NCAA sanctions.
The university will seek a waiver from the NCAA that would allow Olson to be a counted as a non-scholarship walk-on and not count against the 85-man limit.
As it turns out, there are other potential “issues” for which the family is being proactive and very upfront about in working with the school’s compliance officials. “Jake is a published author, makes motivational speeches and is involved in a charitable foundation – all of which the Olsons plan to vet through USC’s compliance department,” the Register writes.
“Jake has aspirations to walk on to the team and play football at USC,” Jake’s father, Brian Olson, told the paper. “There has to be a process of approaching the NCAA. We’re putting faith in the process that there’s a positive outcome for Jake. We’ll take it as it comes.
“It’s nothing negative. It’s just the way things are at the college level.”
The Register is of the belief that it’s unlikely the NCAA will deny Olson the waiver. Hopefully, the NCAA gets it right this time.
(Photo credit: openyoureyes.org)
When it comes to spring football, the Big Ten and SEC tend to rule the attendance game. It only makes sense with the largest stadiums in the country mostly residing within the Big Ten or SEC, not to mention some of the top brands in the game. Both conferences went over the 400,000 fan mark this year in the conference-wide spring game attendance figures.
Both conferences closed the books on spring practices Saturday with Tennessee and Arkansas the last two SEC schools to play a spring game and Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin closing out the Big Ten spring schedule. When all was said and done, the Big Ten edges the SEC in spring attendance by roughly 2,000 fans.
The Big Ten’s spring total added up to 410,943 fans. That includes a new national record set by Ohio State (99,391) and three other schools with over 60,000 fans (Nebraska, Penn State, Michigan). Michigan State also set a new school record with 48,000 fans on Saturday. Illinois, Maryland and Northwestern are not included in that total due to not keeping track or recording a spring game attendance.
The SEC ended the spring with 408,599 fans coming out to SEC stadiums. The Big Ten numbers were top heavy, but there was a little bit more even distribution of fans throughout the SEC, with the notable exception of Vanderbilt. It should be noted Kentucky and Texas A&M did not play a spring game or record any spring attendance numbers. It should be expected Texas A&M be a solid spring draw next year after the completion of renovations on Kyle Field (better than Jerry World?). That could be enough to push the SEC in front of the Big Ten if we assume most of these attendance numbers are roughly the same in 2016.
Numbers are still coming in for the Big 12 and Pac-12, but none of the other power conferences will even sniff 200,000 fans this spring. It’s just a different routine in the Big Ten and SEC every spring, and the attendance numbers show it.
Source: 2015 Spring Football Attendance
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was pushing to get 50,000 fans to show up at Spartan Stadium for the annual spring game, but he had to settle for 48,000 fans instead. That was still good enough for a school record for the spring game.
The 48,000 fans that did show up were treated to a handful of trick plays and familiar dominance in the trenches. The only touchdown of the game was scored by center Jack Allen, who found space on his way for a short touchdown run after 300-pound guard Donavon Clark rumbled 13 yards on a lateral from quarterback Connor Cook. Do not expect to see too much of that during he regular season, but do not forget about it either. Dantonio is know for pulling some tricks in key moments, but even that might be considered a bit of a costly risk.
As for individual performances, Shilque Calhoun was credited for 2.5 sacks in the game.Cook went 11-of-22 for 105 yards. It was not a stellar performance from the Spartans’ quarterback, but there is no real reason for concern in East Lansing. that is because the starting offensive line was split between teams. Put them all together and Cook should be in good shape in the fall. Cook’s backup, Damion Terry, did not play in the spring game as he recovers from injury.
Michigan State’s crowd of 48,000 was locked in as the fifth best this spring around the Big Ten. Ohio State, Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan all finished ahead of the Spartans, but Dantonio should feel good about the crowd that turned out. In Madison, Wisconsin, the crowd was considerably smaller, but there is a lot to do in Madison. Michigan State’s attendance (combined with the totals from Wisconsin and Iowa on Saturday) pushed the total spring attendance around the Big Ten to 410,943, giving the Big Ten the largest combined spring attendance in 2015.