Mack Brown on the LHN: ‘I didn’t ask for it’

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When the Longhorn Network launched last year, the $300 million third-tier partnership between ESPN and the University of Texas was supposed to be a landmark deal to further increase the exposure of Longhorns athletics. However, it’s mostly caused complications and hasn’t been picked up by as many carriers as was originally thought. Now, Texas coach Mack Brown is expressing his frustration with the network and its “all access” approach.

“Like I said, I didn’t ask for it,” Brown said about the six hours a week he apparently spends taping shows for the network. “We were given a deal we had no input in, and we’ve been trying to make it the best we can for both (UT and ESPN).”

The network gets access to the first 30 minutes of practice each day… which Brown says may be tipping off coaches to schemes, injuries, etc… which is an excuse eight letters long rhyming with “pull spit.”

“It’s a true advantage (for opponents),” Brown said. “They can watch our attitude, they can watch our coaches.”

Can they watch the missed tackles? How about the quitting attitude your team showed against Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout this year? Not sure the 100 people who actually get the LHN needed 30 minutes of practice time to see that. But criticizing Brown for whining  about something every other program in the country would take in a heartbeat is too easy. The fact is Brown just publicly took shots at a rather high-profile and very influential business partner. We’ll let that speak for itself.

In response, ESPN issued the following response to the Houston Chronicle: “UT, along with ESPN, launched Longhorn Network to serve the school’s tremendously passionate fan base with quality content. A network of this kind has never been done at this level and it continues to evolve.” Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds added “Anything that’s troubling to Mack we will address.”

What both parties have told or will tell Brown in private is likely to be more interesting, but it also won’t be anything Brown doesn’t know already. Besides, it was Brown who essentially answered his own concerns about the LHN and the “overexposure” it gives the program.

“I’m a soldier,” Brown said. “They tell me to go work with the Longhorn Network, I’ll go do it.”

Yes, you will, and so will the next coach who takes that job.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has ditched his Dockers for another

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Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Batman and Robin. Maize and blue. Jim Harbaugh and khakis.

All are iconic combinations, but it appears the latter is undergoing a few changes right now.

The Michigan head coach’s affinity for a pair of khakis has been so strong over the years that it’s become almost comical how much he likes the style of pant. Heck, he even got a commercial out of it a few years ago when he specifically started getting outfitted with Dockers brand khakis.

Despite being a paid endorser though, it appears that Harbaugh has dropped the famous Levi’s brand version of khakis to attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind in another pair of pants.

Not only is the switch from Dockers to Lululemon result in a lot more comfort for the Wolverines coach, it’s probably a bit more of a hit to the ol’ wallet than dropping by Walmart for a pair of khakis off the shelf. It probably doesn’t make a huge difference for Harbaugh though given that he’s the highest paid coach in the country but it might result in a few more trips to the mall.

Either way, what it does mean is that now we demand a new commercial featuring Harbaugh and khakis. After all, if you’re upping the clothing game, you’ve got to up the ad game as well.

Former Penn State president found guilty of role in Sandusky scandal

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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s day in court has come and has resulted in a guilty verdict.

The Centre Daily Times is among the outlets reporting that a jury has found Spanier guilty of one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. In addition, Spanier was found not guilty on two other counts, one a similar child endangerment charge and the other a count of criminal conspiracy.

The verdict comes after lengthy deliberations by the jury in the case, which took a turn last week when former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz plead guilty to child endangerment charges as part of the same trial. All three figure to be sentenced in the next few months.

Prior to the scandal, Spanier was widely considered to be one of the most respected college presidents in the country and heavily involved in NCAA matters. However he was one of several key figures fired by the school as a result of covering up the actions of Sandusky, the Nittany Lions’ former defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 charges of sexually abusing minors.

While the verdict is likely to be appealed, Spanier is nevertheless facing the prospect of joining Sandusky behind bars as a result of his own involvement in the scandal.

Dad of RB Kingston Davis says son will transfer from Michigan

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Michigan’s the latest football program to see its roster hit with the annual spring personnel attrition.

The father of Kingston Davis confirmed to Sam Webb of Scout.com that his son informed UM officials earlier Friday of his intention to transfer from the Wolverines.  Apparently there were two reasons that triggered the running back’s decision: a crowded backfield and chatter that he would be changing positions.

While 2016 leading rusher De'Veon Smith is gone, the Wolverines’ second-, third- and fourth-leading rushers from last season — rising sophomore Chris Evans (614 yards), rising junior Karan Higdon (425), rising fifth-year senior Ty Isaac (417) — all return. Kareem Walker, a four-star 2016 recruit rated as the No. 4 running back in the country, sat out last season because of academics but should be a part of the rotation as a redshirt freshman. They also added four-star (O'Maury Samuels) and three-star (Kurt Taylor) backs as part of their 2017 recruiting class.

A three-star 2016 recruit, Davis was rated as the No. 1 fullback in the country in that year’s class. As a true freshman, the 6-1, 245-pound back carried the ball twice for 17 yards.

Fresno State formally announces Jamar Cain as DL coach

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Jeff Tedford‘s first coaching staff at Fresno State is once again whole.

As first reported earlier this month, the Bulldogs have confirmed that Tedford has hired Jamar Cain as his defensive line coach.  Cain will replace Tony Tuioti, who left last month — after less than two months with the football program — to coach outside linebackers at Tedford’s former employer, Cal.

“We’re excited about Jamar, I’ve had my eye on him a long time,” said the head coach in a statement. “He had a proven track record as a winner at North Dakota State, he’s highly respected in the field, a quality person, a great recruiter, and cares about the student-athletes on-and-off the field.”

Cain comes to Fresno from San Jose State, where he had spent less than two months as the line coach for the Mountain West rivals.  Prior to that, he spent three seasons (2014-16) as the line coach at FCS power North Dakota State.

Prior to NDSU, Cain was an assistant defensive line coach at Wyoming (2013), Cal Poly (2009-12), and Missouri State (2006-08). While with the Cowboys, Cain was promoted to interim defensive coordinator at midseason after Chris Tormey was “relieved of his duties.”