- Jerry Sandusky passed on the Temple coaching job? The Owls dodged one there.
- The halo over Joe Paterno‘s head on a mural has been removed. Here’s a picture.
- Obviously, the Freeh report has dominated Penn State headlines, but the annual Lift For Life did raise over $100,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association.
- Spencer Hall and SB Nation take on the Big 12. If you need to laugh — and judging by many of the comments over the past 48 hours, I would say that’s an affirmative — I would recommend clicking the link.
- Frank Beamer lost 32 pounds? Good for him.
Saturday offseason one-liners
Army headed into the offseason with just one quarterback who had any experience at the collegiate level. Entering spring practice, that number is now down to zero.
Head coach Jeff Monken confirmed Thursday that A.J. Schurr will not participate in any of the service academy’s 15 spring practice sessions. Schurr underwent shoulder surgery shortly after the end of the 2014 season and still hasn’t sufficiently recovered.
As for a timeline for a return, Schurr should be available for the start of summer camp in August.
With Schurr sidelined, that leaves just three quarterbacks on the roster — sophomore Matt Kaufmann and freshmen Ahmad Bradshaw and Seth Gonzales — none of whom have played a down collegiately. HudsonValley.com’s Sal Interdonato explains the rather skimpy resumes of each player.
Kaufmann was the star of last year’s spring game. He left the team during the 2014 season but returned late to be a scout-team quarterback. Bradshaw missed a good portion of the 2014 season due to an administrative matter. Gonzalez was the jayvee quarterback in 2014.
That said, although it’s not like he has any other choice, Monken is looking forward to seeing how the trio handles the opportunity afforded them.
“We got a chance to see Matt be the scout-team quarterback and he’s such a great competitor and I don’t have any doubt that he will know what to do and he will compete,” Monken said. “Seth Gonzales got to play in jayvee games so he’s going to have a basis of the offense. I hope all three of those guys will compete and it will be interesting to see who comes out of that pack and then going into fall, we have a couple of guys coming in from the prep school and see how they will compete for the starting job.”
If experience means anything, though, Schurr will be the overwhelming favorite to win the job when he’s healthy.
Last season as a junior, Schurr started a pair of games for the Black Knights. He finished fourth on the team in rushing yards with 320 while his three rushing touchdowns were tied for third. In the passing game, such as it is with Army’s style of offense, Schurr passed for 242 yards and a touchdown on his 12 completions.
He entered summer camp last year as the favorite to win the starting job, but hamstring issues in large part derailed those aspirations.
It’s been days since Ohio State romped over Oregon to claim its first national title in more than a decade, but the Buckeye Nation can continue to revel in the unexpected run to the first-ever College Football Playoff championship.
Thursday, OSU debuted a video titled “Ohio State Football: National Championship Highlights.” In the four-minute salute — which is really well done, incidentally — there are not only highlights of the decisive 42-20 win over the Ducks, but there are also some unique behind-the-scenes clips of the run-up to the game contained in the piece as well.
(I don’t know about you, but, after watching that video, I’m ready for the 2015 season to start now. Right. Now.)
Not so coincidentally, the CFP’s official Twitter account got in on the title remembrance fun as well, reminding everyone who follows them that the 2014 Buckeyes were the “undisputed” national champs.
In somewhat of an odd coincidence, March 5 has been a pivotal date and the No. 18 a key number in the football career of Peyton Manning.
Earlier today the Denver Broncos announced that Manning had passed his required physical, which means the future NFL Hall of Famer will be returning for an 18th season at the professional level. As noted by the football program’s official website, it was 18 years ago today that Manning, the wearer of the No. 18 jersey in the NFL, announced that he would be returning to the Tennessee Volunteers for his senior season.
There would be no storybook ending for Manning in Knoxville in 1997, though, as he finished runnerup to Charles Woodson in the Heisman voting and the Vols, thanks in large part to yet another loss to Manning nemesis Steve Spurrier of Florida — “I know why Peyton came back for his senior year: he wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP” and “You can’t spell Citrus without UT” — failed to win a national championship for the third straight year with Manning as the season-long starter. To add insult to his title injury, the Vols, quarterbacked by Tee Martin, won the first-ever BCS championship the season after Manning left UT and was selected No. 1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts.
On a completely unrelated note, yes, it’s a slow news day. And this post shouldn’t have been your first clue, either.
(Photo credit: Tennessee athletics)
An assistant who would be very familiar to Atlanta Falcons fans over the past half decade or so is one of two additions that have been made to the Temple coaching staff.
In a press release earlier this week, and as had been previously reported as a likelihood, head coach Matt Rhule announced that Glenn Thomas as well as Frisman Jackson have been hired as Owl assistants. The former will serve as quarterbacks coach, the latter as wide receivers coach.
Adam DiMichele, the receivers coach last season, has been reassigned to director of player development, the school added
“I’m very excited to add such talent and diversity to our coaching staff,” Rhule said in a statement. “Frisman and Glenn have worked at the highest level and can lead our student-athletes to greater heights. I’m also excited about what each man brings to the table as a recruiter.”
Thomas had been on Mike Smith‘s Atlanta staff since 2008, the last three of which were as quarterbacks coach. Midwestern State (2001-07) was his last stop at the collegiate level, while he began his coaching career as a grad assistant at his alma mater Texas Tech (1998-2001).
Jackson was the receivers coach at North Carolina State the past two seasons. Last month, Jackson was let go by NCSU head coach Dave Doeren and replaced by George McDonald.
Following a six-year playing career, Jackson coached receivers at Northern Illinois (2012), Akron (2010-11), and Western Illinois (2008-09).
Memo to LSU basketball fans: step your game up and get with the program.
At least, that’s the message a member of the football team sent on social media Wednesday night after a double-digit home loss to Tennessee by the men’s hoops squad. The Tigers and Vols were actually tied at halftime before the latter, which came into the game losers of five straight and nine of its last 11, stretched the lead to as many as 18 points in the second half.
Because of the deficit, LSU fans began leaving the Pete Maravich Assembly Center en masse before the final horn sounded on the 78-63 loss. And because of that, LSU defensive back Jamal Adams took to Twitter to vent his frustration over the exodus.
Adams may take some heat from the LSU faithful, but he can take solace in knowing that, more than likely, Nick Saban has got his back on this front.
Christian Stewart played in 11 games in 2014, starting the final eight after Taysom Hill was lost for the season in October. The senior completed 199-of-348 passes for 2,621 yards with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. After throwing only two passes in 2013, Stewart stepped up and shined when needed, throwing for 408 yards and four touchdowns against Nevada and 433 yards with five touchdowns in a shootout win over California to close the regular season.
He had a rough day in the Miami Beach Bowl loss to Memphis, hitting only 23-of-48 passes for 348 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions, and that, supposedly, was that.
But Hill is not yet ready to return from injury and sophomore McCoy Hill injured his foot to open spring drills on Monday. Tanner Mangum is still on his church mission, and signee Beau Hoge has yet arrive on campus. Sophomore Hunter Moore is also on the roster, but not capable of properly testing the Cougars’ defense in an 11-on-11 setting, so BYU brought Stewart back for spring ball.
“I said, ‘You’re like gum on my shoe,'” head coach Bronco Mendenhall told the Associated Press. “‘I can’t get rid of you. No matter if I pull it, I stretch it, it just snaps back.’ So we laughed. Talk about a loyal alumni. I think he was maybe more excited than I was that he gets to play football again. Our team, they already loved him before, now he’s like idol status.”
BYU compliance cleared Stewart to practice in the spring, the AP noted, without penalizing the club. And it didn’t take much convincing to give Stewart one last shot at college football.
“I don’t necessarily feel any pressure, especially because what are the coaches going to do? Yell at me?” Stewart said. “They can’t really get on me because I’m the one doing them a favor. But myself, I demand a lot out of myself.”
Nearly 11 months to the day after his first arrest, Michigan State wide receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. was again in handcuffs. The rising senior was arrested over the weekend for drunken and disorderly conduct and obstructing, resisting, hindering or assaulting a police officer, according to a report from the Detroit Free Press.
He was taken into custody at 2:36 on Saturday morning and released on $200 bail.
A similar punishment could be in line here.
“We’re aware of the incident,” head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. “All of our student-athletes are held to a high standard, and individuals will be held accountable for their actions. We will manage this situation internally.”
The Free Press notes that Kings was sentenced to 13 months of probation last summer, but it was cut short in December. Part of that suspension he would still otherwise be subject to included avoiding alcohol and establishments where alcohol is served.
In 35 games, Kings has caught 76 career passes for 942 yards. With Tony Lippett and Keith Mumphery lost for graduation, Kings’ 29 grabs for 404 yards and a touchdown qualifies him as the Spartans’ leading returning receiver. He was also the team’s punt returner in 2014.
If you can’t beat ‘em, legislate ‘em.
That’s the way Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn sees it. One year after conference foes Nick Saban and Bret Bielema led the charge to institute a 10-second delay before snapping the ball, the NCAA is now considering reducing the space offensive linemen are permitted to roam downfield on pass plays from three yards to one.
“That’s part of the creativity of the game,” Malzahn told AL.com on Wednesday. “I’m not into anything that takes the creativity out of the game. You know, you see a lot of coaches around the country, specifically high school coaches that are coaching in college, that’s very important to them.”
Malzahn, like many of his offensive-minded peers, would rather see the existing rule enforced before creating a new one.
“You know, that’s been a rule that’s been in place for a while, and you see a lot of offenses utilizing that,” Malzahn said. “My whole deal is just make it a point of emphasis to start calling it if guys are downfield.”
The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel is slated to meet Thursday and decide on whether or not to implement the change.
The good news for Malzahn, though: if the rule does pass, there’s no one in college football better suited to find a new, creative way to drive his peers crazy.
A player who would’ve been competing for playing time along Syracuse’s defensive line has instead decided to call it quits.
The Syracuse Post-Standard reported Tuesday that Ryan Sloan (pictured, top right) has decided to take his leave of the Orange football team. The fifth-year senior lineman will not transfer, rather finish out his academic career at the ‘Cuse and earn his degree in child and family studies in May.
Sloan’s decision to quit the team came against the advice of his family.
“After multiple long conversations with my step parents (who strongly suggested that I stay a fifth year), I came to the decision that I didn’t want to come back,” Sloan said. “I didn’t feel like it was the right place for me anymore. There were a couple of incidents that happened over the past two years that made me realize ‘Cuse wasn’t the right place for me.”
The Post-Standard described those incidents, as relayed by the player it should be noted, thusly:
Sloan said he felt pressured to transfer by the Syracuse staff in 2013, was held out of summer workouts due to a weight requirement the following offseason and wasn’t guaranteed a fifth year of eligibility until late in his redshirt junior year.
Sloan played 14 games the past two seasons, including a career-high 10 in 2014.
It hasn’t been a very good last couple of months for Kentucky at the quarterback position.
In early January, Maxwell Smith announced he was transferring from UK, ultimately ending up at San Diego State. Three weeks later, Drew Barker, along with two Wildcat teammates, was allegedly involved in a bar dispute that ended with an Eastern Kentucky football player suffering from multiple facial fractures.
Now the football program has an injury at the position with which to deal. The mother of Reese Phillips announced on Facebook Wednesday that her son had ruptured his Achilles tendon and she was on her way to Lexington to be with him. The university subsequently confirmed that Phillips sustained the injury during team workouts earlier today.
Phillips will undergo surgery Thursday and won’t participate in spring practice, although there’s a chance he could be back for summer camp.
The injury and Smith’s transfer leaves the Wildcats painfully thin at quarterback, with just two scholarship players available this spring: Barker and last year’s starter, Patrick Towles. As for Barker’s potential legal predicament that could potentially sideline him for at least part of the spring?
Somewhat lost amidst Baylor’s come-from-ahead loss to Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl was, literally, the largest of all fat guy touchdowns.
Late in the third quarter of that postseason matchup, Laquan McGowan caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Bryce Petty to extend the Bears’ lead to 41-21 in what would ultimately be a 42-41 loss to the Spartans. What made the play utterly unique and positively fabulous and spectacularly breathtaking is the fact that McGowan was — the key word there being “was” — a 390-pound offensive lineman who shifted from his normal guard position and was lined up as an eligible receiver on the play.
Fast-forward two months, and the 6-7 McGowan is now listed as 410 pounds on the team’s official website. He’s also getting significant and meaningful looks at the tight end position during spring practice, with Art Briles stating that the experiment, such as it is, will likely continue through the non-conference portion of BU’s 2015 slate before the staff decides whether to use him at that position during Big 12 play.
“We’re looking at him as kind of a slot and tight end type of guy,” the head coach said according to the Waco Tribune. “He can certainly help us in the run game in those situations. The way we’re looking at it is we’ve got three games in nonconference to kind of feel it out and see what he can do and teach him what to do in live action.”
The pass-catching ability of McGowan, who is currently sporting a very receiver-ish No. 80 on his spring jersey, has certainly caught the attention of the man who will likely be the Bears’ new starting quarterback.
“His hands are about as big as my leg, so I can pretty much put it wherever, and he can snag it out of the air,” Seth Russell said.
The Roanoke Times is reporting that running back Shai McKenzie was charged with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor following an incident that occurred last month. Both of those charges are misdemeanors.
An 18-year-old Tech student, Devin Gavion, was charged with a felony after both he and McKenzie were investigated for carnal knowledge of a child between the ages of 13 and 15, an investigation that remains ongoing. From the Times’ account of the warrants filed against both McKenzie and Gavion:
Police obtained a warrant for McKenzie and Gavion’s DNA on Feb. 27 after two girls, one 15 years old and another 14, met two adult males using social media, who they later identified as McKenzie and Gavion.
The warrant states that an investigation included information that the group met at a home in Christiansburg “and it was revealed” they “had sexual intercourse” between Feb. 11 and Feb. 15. Four condoms were also recovered from the residence, according to the warrant.
As a result of the charges, McKenzie has been indefinitely suspended from the football program by head coach Frank Beamer.
“We are aware of the situation and misdemeanor arrest. We take these matters seriously,” Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement to the paper. “Coach Beamer has suspended Shai indefinitely from all team related activities as of yesterday. It’s in the hands of the proper authorities and we will respect the process.”
McKenzie, a four-star member of Tech’s 2014 recruiting class, was second on the team in rushing with 269 yards when he tore an ACL in late September. He was expected to be a limited participant during spring practice but return healthy for the start of summer camp.
Tuesday afternoon, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, along with his director of football operations, Jim Minick, witnessed a car accident on an icy stretch of I-94 and went to the aid of the two victims until emergency personnel arrived.
Both the women, 53-year-old Christine Mowrer and her 73-year-old mother Katherine Brinkley, survived, and one of them was contacted by mlive.com to relive her brush with a famous figure in the world of sports. The thing is, the woman needed to be made aware that she had just had a brush with a famous figure in the world of sports.
“They took care of me until the ambulance got there,” Mowrer said of Harbaugh and Minick. “I didn’t even know who he was until the state police told me later. …
“I would like to tell them thank you but I really don’t know how to get a hold of them. I really appreciate what they did for me and my mother.”
From the sounds of it, it was a rather serious accident to which the Michigan Men responded. The vehicle Mowrer was driving flipped over several times after hitting an icy spot in the highway, ultimately ending up going over the concrete median. Despite wearing her seat belt, Mowrer stated that she was partially ejected from the vehicle.
Mowrer, who remains hospitalized with a ruptured disc in her spine, credited Harbaugh with keeping her from going into shock.
“I had blood dripping out of my nose and he helped me out and got me onto the ground,” she said. “He got coats and blankets on us and put up an umbrella to block the wind. He probably kept me from going into shock.
“He was very, very nice.”
While one of the victims was lauding Harbaugh, Harbaugh was deflecting the credit to Minick.
When Ronnie Stanley announced in mid-January that he would be eschewing early entry into the NFL draft to return to Notre Dame, it looked as if the Irish would return all five starting offensive linemen for the 2015 season. That, though, won’t be the case.
In a surprising turn of events, Matt Hegarty confirmed to ESPN.com in a statement that he has decided to transfer from the Irish and play his final season of college football elsewhere. Hegarty attributed his decision to transfer to the coaching staff recently informing him that they wanted him to change positions.
“They also explained that with many younger players in the wings, they wanted to develop them more heavily in the rotation– a need that I understand and appreciate,” Hegarty wrote in a portion of his statement.
“Unfortunately, I have already had to miss a precious amount of football battling back from my stroke [in 2012], and I value every rep and opportunity going into my final year of college ball that much more. My goal is to contribute this season, continue to develop my skills and pursue my dream of playing in the NFL. Because of this goal, I have asked for a transfer to play at another school where I can contribute more on the field. Notre Dame has amassed formidable depth on the O-line and have many very talented players to fill all positions.”
Last season, Hegarty started 11 games at both center and guard. The year before, and because of an injury to Nick Martin, he made his first career start in the regular-season finale against Stanford, then followed that up with another start in the Pinstripe Bowl.
A four-star member of the Irish’s 2011 recruiting class, Hegarty was rated as the No. 6 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Mexico. Hegarty signed with ND over offers from, among others, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Texas, UCLA and USC.
As he will graduate from Notre Dame in May, Hegarty would be eligible to play immediately in 2015 at another FBS school if he enters into a grad program not offered at his previous school.
Just as the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker was about to hit the rarefied air of double digits, a member of the Western Kentucky football program has swooped in and saved the day.
In a shocking turn of events, a college student, Evan Sayner, was arrested over the weekend and charged with multiple alcohol-related offenses. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, the WKU defensive lineman was charged with alcohol intoxication in a public place, displaying or possession of a canceled or fictitious license and being a person age 18-20 possessing/purchasing/attempting to purchase/having another purchase alcohol.
Other than the arrest taking place late Friday night, no details of what led to the charges have been made available.
A school spokesperson stated “[w]e are aware of the incident” and that “[t]he football program is currently handling the situation internally.”
Sayner, a two-star member of the Hilltoppers’ 2014 recruiting class, played in one game as a true freshman. That appearance came in the season opener.
(Photo credit: Western Kentucky athletics)