Jon Embree

Embree assured he’ll return, but changes to Buffs’ staff looming


As for the next candidate to join others already on the coaching unemployment line, it appears Jon Embree will, for at least another year, avoid the firing squad.

Others on his Colorado coaching staff, however, might not be so lucky.

With a 42-35 loss to Utah in the season finale Friday, the Buffaloes fell to 4-21 in two seasons under Embree.  Included in that total is an abysmal 1-11 mark in 2012, the program’s worst winning percentage since a winless season in 1890.  The Buffs were also winless at home for the first time since 1920.

Despite the historic futility, Embree said following the latest loss that athletic director Mike Bohn has assured him he will return as CU’s head coach in 2013.  The Boulder Daily Camera seemed to concur with Embree’s assessment of his standing, writing that “[a]ll indications from school officials point toward him being retained.”  It should be noted that Bohn has yet to come out and say definitively that Embree will return.

Embree did allow, though, that changes could be coming to his staff if he is indeed given a reprieve.

“I want to make sure as I go through this that we’re doing the right things and talking to the right people,” Embree said according to the Denver Post. “I don’t have a deadline, but it’s something I’ll start thinking about and I have been thinking about it.”

If Embree’s assistants will indeed be falling on the sword, there will be myriad candidates.

Entering the game with the Utes, the Buffs were tied for 123rd in the country in scoring offense and 121st in total offense.  Unbelievably, they were slightly worse on defense — 124th in scoring and 122nd in yards allowed.  There are 124 teams at the FBS level in 2012.

If changes are indeed coming to the staff, the first places to look would be at the two men in charge of those two units, offensive coordinator and former CU star Eric Bieniemy and defensive coordinator Greg Brown.

The former, at least publicly, is not concerned about what fate may lie ahead.

“Whatever is going to happen is going to happen,” Bieniemy said when asked about his future at his alma mater. “You don’t coach this game scared. Everybody is hired to be fired. I’m going to keep working my ass off and being who I am. If they decide to go in a different direction, that’s what we do. I know who I am and I know what I’m about.”

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.