At some point Sunday evening, rumors began to surface that Gary Pinkel was on his way out as Missouri’s head coach.
Perhaps fueled by Mizzou’s disappointing first season in the SEC, the speculation went that Pinkel would step down in short order, perhaps as early as Monday. While school officials didn’t specifically respond to the rumor mill’s belchings, they did issue a press release early this afternoon announcing that Pinkel would take part in a press conference Tuesday “to wrap-up 2012 season and look ahead to 2013 season.”
That was the first clue that the speculation was bogus. The second? Pinkel’s boss scoffing in the general direction of the conversation that had been bouncing off the vast expanses of Internet messageboards.
“Of course. Absolutely,” athletic director Mike Alden told the Columbia Daily Tribune when asked if Pinkel would return as the Tigers’ coach in 2013, before adding that he won’t force his football coach to make changes to his coaching staff, either.
“My thing is you want to empower your head coaches to do what they do, to run their programs the way that’s consistent with our core values. Gary does a great job with that.”
The Tigers were just 5-7 overall and 2-6 in conference play, a record that looked all the worse when viewed in the prism of Texas A&M, also a Big 12 refugee, and the outstanding season the Aggies enjoyed in their first season in the SEC.
The disappointment aside, it doesn’t appear that Pinkel, who will be entering his 13th season at the school next year, will be going anywhere anytime soon. If the Tigers struggle again in 2013? That might be another matter entirely.
One of the most talented players on the defensive side of the ball not only in the Big 12 but in the country has seen his season come to an abrupt end.
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen announced Tuesday that Karl Joseph will miss the remainder of the 2015 season because of an injury to his right knee. The hard-hitting safety sustained the injury in a non-contact drill during practice Tuesday.
The injury also marks the end of Joseph’s collegiate playing career as he’s off to the NFL next spring.
“I am devastated and heartbroken for Karl,” Holgorsen said in a statement. “He is a young man who has given everything he has to our football program and University over the past four years and who elected to return to WVU for his senior season to earn his degree and to be a part of something special with this team. He exemplifies what it means to be a Mountaineer. Karl is an All-American, a fierce competitor, a leader and I know he will have a full recovery, and I can’t wait to watch him on Sundays next fall.”
Joseph started all 42 games in which he played for the Mountaineers. He was first-team All-Big 12 last season, and his name littered numerous preseason All-American teams this year.
“I want to thank my teammates and my coaches for their outpouring of support,” Joseph said. “This has been difficult for me and my family but I know I will come through this stronger than ever. I will forever be a Mountaineer and will be cheering on our team every step of the way.”
While the news of late has been littered with the exits of two SEC wide receivers, one team from the Big Ten is welcoming back a player who plays the same position.
In a press release, Rutgers confirmed that Leonte Carroo has been reinstated to the Scarlet Knights football program. The release stated that head coach Kyle Flood, who is suspended himself, “reinstated Carroo after the student-athlete agreed to the conditions of his reinstatement and after he accepted the responsibility that comes with his return to the team.”
The reinstatement comes one day after a domestic violence charge against him was dropped after the alleged victim decided not to testify against he former boyfriend. Carroo had been accused of slamming a woman with whom he had a previous relationship into the concrete outside of the RU football facility last month.
Carroo has missed the last two games (Penn State, Kansas) because of the suspension. He will be eligible to return to practice today and play in Saturday’s game against 10th-ranked Michigan State.
Despite missing those two contests, Carroo is still tops on the team in receiving yards with 181 and tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. He’s also averaging nearly 26 yards per reception.
Carroo led the Scarlet Knights last season in receptions (55), receiving yards (1,086) and receiving touchdowns (10).