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BC announces coordinator hirings

Steve Addazio AP

Just a little over two weeks after leaving Temple for Boston College, Steve Addazio has made the two most critical hires for his new coaching staff.

The newly-minted BC head coach announced Wednesday that he has hired Don Brown and Ryan Day as his defensive and offensive coordinators, respectively.  Day will also serve as the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach.

Brown spent the past two seasons as UConn’s coordinator, in charge of a unit that is currently 10th in the nation in total defense.  Prior to his time with the Huskies, he was coordinator at Maryland for two years.

“We’re very excited to have Don Brown joining our Boston College family,” Addazio said. “Don is a New England guy who has tremendous ties and relationships in the Northeast to go along with a great coaching resume. He’s been a head coach at Northeastern. He’s been a head coach at Plymouth State. He’s been a head coach at the University of Massachusetts. He’s had coordinator experience at Maryland in the ACC and comes to us having most recently served as the defensive coordinator at the University of Connecticut.

“He has tremendous character and is a great family man who is a perfect fit here at Boston College.”

The hiring of Day serves as both a reunion and a return.  Day spent 2012 as Addazio’s coordinator with the Owls after spending seven seasons at BC — five years as wide receivers coach (2007-11) and two as an offensive assistant (2003-04).

“Ryan is one of the bright, young minds in college football,” Addazio said. “He’s so excited to be back and part of the Boston College family. This is home for him. He knows Boston College and he is thrilled to back.”

Day played his college football at New Hampshire.  His offensive coordinator? Chip Kelly, who in the midst of a new report on potential trouble for his current school took the time to heap praise on his former player.

“He was a great kid and one of the bright minds as well as one of the best players I have ever coached. I think he is one of the best young coaches in the country and it was just a matter of time before he was running the show, offensively, somewhere.”

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Arizona officially signs ex-USC QB Jesse Scroggins

jesse scroggins

Wednesday JUCO signing day, and former USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins is headed back to the Pac-12.

Arizona announced on its website Wednesday that Scroggins is coming to Tucson after one season in the JUCO ranks. He will be eligible to play immediately in the 2013 season.

Scroggins redshirted in 2010 and served as a backup in 2011 at USC before transferring to El Camino College. He will be a redshirt junior in 2013 with two years of eligibility remaining. That means he will be in the running to become Arizona’s starting quarterback as Matt Scott is a senior.

“He’s a talented guy. He’s probably a little hungry to go out and prove himself,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez told the Tucson Citizen. “We’re trying to create competition at every position, and he’ll certainly bring that.”

The Wildcats just finished an 8-5 season under Rodriguez, which included a New Mexico Bowl win.

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Two plead guilty in Montee Ball assault

Derek Watt, Jacob Fagnano, Montee Ball AP

Back in August, three men allegedly connected to an attack on Wisconsin running back Montee Ball were arrested and charged with substantial battery. On Wednesday, two of those men — 21-year-old Wendell J. Venerable and 22-year-old Robert A. Wilks — pleaded guilty to those charges.

Both offenders, who are Wisconsin students, were placed on a first-offender program while a third assailant, Deonte Wilson, has a plea hearing scheduled for Jan. 18.

Ball, a senior Doak Walker Award winner, suffered a concussion and a bruised jaw in the assault and missed the first week of preseason camp. A witness to the attack reported to police that he heard something along the lines of “one down, nine to go” by one of the assailants, possibly in reference to other UW football players.

The original police report stated Ball was attacked by five individuals. Ball has stated multiple times he did not know the identities of the assailants or why he was attacked. Police then looked into a possible precipitating event — a late July fight at a party involving two members of the Wisconsin football team — to see if there was a connection or motive.

Ball finished the year with 1,730 yards and 21 touchdowns.

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Buh-bye: Cal hires Badgers’ assistant as DC

Andy Buh

For the sixth time since Bret Bielema left for Arkansas, Wisconsin has lost an assistant to another football program.

The latest to leave is linebackers coach Andy Buh, who Cal officially announced Wednesday is Sonny Dykes‘ new defensive coordinator.  Buh lasted less than a year with the Badgers.

“Andy Buh is a highly sought-after coach that has led a series of strong defenses in multiple settings over the last several seasons,” Dykes said in a statement. “The experience and knowledge he will bring to Cal football on the defensive side of the ball will have a tremendous impact on our program. He also has significant experience recruiting in the state of California and will bolster our recruiting efforts in our own backyard. I have wanted to work with Andy for a long time and have tried to hire him in the past, so I’m glad that this opportunity has materialized.”

The Cal job will mark the third coordinator position Buh has held.  He was co-DC at Stanford for two years beginning in 2008, then moved on to his alma mater Nevada as solo coordinator in 2010 and 2011. Buh also held an offer from Bielema to join him in Fayetteville.

“I’m truly excited for the opportunity to come back to the Bay Area and the University of California,” Buh said. “Cal is a program that has all of the resources to be a consistent winner in the Pac-12. I have a tremendous amount of respect for coach Dykes and what he has done over his career. I cannot be more excited to meet the players, the staff and all that makes Cal a special place to be.”

Buh joins Charlie Partridge, Chris Ash, Matt CanadaZach Azzanni and Eddie Faulkner in the mass coaching exodus from Madison.  The former two joined Bielema’s staff at Arkansas while Canada was named North Carolina State’s offensive coordinator Saturday afternoon;  Azzanni was officially named as Tennessee’s wide receivers coach Sunday; and Faulkner was tabbed as NCSU’s tight ends/fullbacks coach Monday.

(Photo credit: Wisconsin athletics)

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Report: Big East has ‘reached out’ to Fresno State, UNLV

Z100 Artist Gift Lounge Presented By Pop Tarts At Z100's Jingle Ball 2012 - Gifting Lounge Getty Images

The BIG EAST is like Taylor Swift.

Sure, the BIG EAST was cute once, but it can’t keep a partner for more than a few months because once in a committed relationship — or, for this analogy, when a school agrees to become a partial or full member subject to an exit fee — that significant other realizes the BIG EAST is insane and wants to spend every waking moment together and get married and have babies but wait it doesn’t have a lucrative TV deal and oh God what have I done I think we should see other people, maybe?

So, the BIG EAST writes a radio-friendly lament (re: lawsuit) and moves on to someone else because it has the attention span of SHINY THINGS! 

(Also, it needs inventory. Like, real bad.)

In this case, BIG EAST  commissioner Mike Aresco has “reached out” to Fresno State and UNLV, according to a report from CBSSportsDennis Dodd. There have also reportedly been “informal conversations” between the BIG EAST and BYU, a second-year football Independent. Because the Big East is losing a sizable chunk of its basketball programs that are actually worth anything, the need to beef up its football brand is even more pressing. From Dodd’s report:

“Aresco is aggressively trying to assemble a group of football-playing schools to keep under the Big East banner. The problem: Uncertainty on all fronts. The Big East doesn’t how – or even if – it will proceed in football. The 10-team Mountain West hasn’t made a move to expand because of its uncertainty in its TV contract with CBS. The 10-year contract runs through the 2015 season, paying what is believed to be $8-$12 million per year. However one source said conference schools are hoping to gain control of some second- and third-rights (or games).

The BIG EAST has put an extra emphasis on combining programs in sizable markets (Houston, San Diego, etc) and with solid reputations (Boise State, ECU), hoping and praying the glue holds long enough for the product to be packaged with a giant red bow.

Right now, BIG EAST football isn’t a real desirable gift because of all the uncertainty. But, dammit, they’re trying.

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Report: NCAA infractions hearing looming for Ducks

Stanford v Oregon Getty Images

It’s been nearly a year since anything relevant has surfaced on the NCAA’s investigation of the Oregon football program as it relates to Willie Lyles.

Based on one report, that could very well change once the calendar flips from 2012 to 2013..

Oregon had been crossing every available appendage in the hope that the probe into its program would end in a summary disposition, with the NCAA agreeing to UO’s findings on rules violations and sanctions and end a saga that’s nearly two years in the making.  That apparently won’t be the case as Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the school’s bid for a summary disposition has failed, which will trigger an appearance in front of the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions.

While the exact date of the hearing is not yet known, Yahoo! reports that it will likely take place in the spring.  UO received its Letter of Inquiry from the NCAA in September of 2011.

In March of 2011, both Yahoo! and ESPN.com published reports that called into question the financial relationship between Oregon and a pair of so-called recruiting services.  One of those services was/is Complete Scouting Services, solely owned and operated by purported “street agent” Willie Lyles.

In late February of 2010, Oregon purchased for $25,000 from Lyles’ scouting service what was described as a “2011 National Package” that detailed recruits from several states.  One of the biggest problems with that? The package for 2011 purchased by UO contained zero recruits that would make up the following year’s recruiting class.  Instead, the vast majority of players highlighted in the 143-page book UO received from Lyles contained data on members of the 2009 recruiting class.

In the midst of rumors that Lyles had steered recruits such as Lache Seastrunk to the Ducks — and that he was paid handsomely for said steering (allegedly) — the man at the center of the controversy claimed in July of 2011 that UO “paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits. The service I provided went beyond what a scouting service should … I made a mistake and I’m big enough of a man to admit I was wrong.”

That claim came a couple of months after Lyles, who has spoken to the NCAA on multiple occasions, labeled as ““unequivocally false” reports that he steered recruits to universities.

This latest development comes amid speculation that Ducks head coach Chip Kelly could be headed to the NFL following the completion of the 2012 season.  Such a move would be eerily reminiscent of another Pac-12 head coach leaving for the for the next level amid a lingering NCAA cloud; shortly before the NCAA hammered the USC program for violations, Pete Carroll, in a move that should be considered nothing more than a coincidence winkwink nudgenudge, left for the Seattle Seahawks.

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Florida St.-Okla. St. officially announced as ’14 Cowboys Classic

Cowboys Stadium AP

Rumored to be in the works for months, a future Cowboys Classic featuring schools from the ACC and Big 12 has officially been announced.

In a pair of press releases, both Florida State and Oklahoma State confirmed that they will square off in the 2014 edition of the Cowboys Classic on August 30.  As has been the case for the previous four Classics, the game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex.

It will be the season opener for both schools.

“We are pleased to be playing Oklahoma State and with the exposure the game will provide our program and our university,” said FSU athletic director Randy Spetman. “I know that our fans will be excited about visiting Texas Stadium and the Dallas area. It is a football venue that is second to none.

“The announcement of this game is timely for Florida State in that we have in the past few weeks begun a determined effort to regularly schedule high-profile non-conference football opponents. We are in the preliminary stages of exploring both home-and-home and neutral site games with prominent programs in the near future.”

The 2014 game will mark just the fifth meeting between the two football programs, and the first since the 1985 Gator Bowl.  The Seminoles hold a 3-1 edge all-time over the Cowboys.

It was announced in late September of this year that the LSU-TCU game will be the 2013 version of the Classic.  It will mark the second appearances each for the Tigers (40-27 win over Oregon in 2011) and the Horned Frogs (30-21 win over Oregon State in 2010).

BYU beat Oklahoma 14-13 in the first Cowboys Classic in 2009, while Alabama rolled over Michigan 41-14 in this year’s game.

In addition to the FSU-OSU announcement, the Dallas Cowboys and ESPN revealed that the Cowboys Classic agreement between the two parties has been extended through the 2024 season.

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AP names Brian Kelly as its Coach of the Year

Brian Kelly AP

Earlier today Ben noted that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien claimed the Maxwell Coach of the Year Award over, among others, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly.

A short time later, the award roles were reversed.

For leading the Irish to a perfect 12-0 regular-season record and giving the school its first shot at a national championship since 1988, Kelly has been tabbed as the Associated Press Coach of the Year.  Kelly is the first Notre Dame head coach to claim the AP honor, which was established in 1998.

“When you’re talking about the coach of the year, there’s so many things that go into it,” Kelly said. “I know it’s an individual award and it goes to one guy, but the feelings that I get from it is you’re building the right staff, that you’ve got the right players and to me that is a validation of the program. That you put together the right business plan.”

Kelly was named on 25 first-place ballots, followed by O’Brien (14), Stanford’s David Shaw (four), Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin (three), Kansas State’s Bill Snyder (two) and Alabama’s Nick Saban (one).

The AP award is the third major coaching honor this month for Kelly as he was previously named the Eddie Robinson and Home Depot Coach of the Year.

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Stanford, Shaw reach agreement on long-term extension

Stanford Cardinal head coach Shaw stands behind a Pac-12 Championship trophy after defeating UCLA Bruins in Palo Alto AP

Instead of Stanford slipping back to its woeful football past after the departure of Jim Harbaugh for the NFL, the Cardinal has thrived under the leadership of David Shaw.  And, for that effort, one of the top coaches in the country has been rewarded.

In a press release, Stanford announced that the university has reached an agreement on a long-term contract agreement with Shaw.  As Stanford is a private university, the terms of the revamped deal, including length or value, were not released.

“David has demonstrated great success as a leader within the Stanford community and as a mentor to scholar-athletes who wear the Cardinal uniform,” said athletic director Bernard Muir. “This agreement provides added stability and reassurance that David will be at the helm to secure our football program’s long-term sustained success.”

Shaw was hired Jan. 13, 2011, one week after Harbaugh left the Cardinal for the head coaching job with the San Francisco 49ers.  In two seasons under Shaw, who had served as offensive coordinator the previous four seasons, the Cardinal has gone 22-4 after going 20-6 the previous two years.

This season, following the loss of star quarterback Andrew Luck to the NFL, Stanford claimed its first Pac-12 championship in 13 years and will face Big Ten champ Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.  The Cardinal also played in a BCS bowl (the Fiesta) in Shaw’s first season at a school for which he played wide receiver back in the early 90s.

“My family and I would like to thank Athletic Director Bernard Muir for being very proactive throughout this process,” said Shaw. “I am looking forward to seeing our athletic department continue to grow under his leadership. …

“I feel blessed to work every day with an outstanding staff and coach the best group of young men in America, and I am excited to lead the Stanford Football program for many years to come.”

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Bill O’Brien wins Maxwell Club Coach of the Year

Ohio State v Penn State Getty Images

Bill O’Brien didn’t orchestrate a massive on-the-field turnaround at Penn State. In fact, the Nittany Lions had one less victory in 2012 (eight) than a year ago (nine). O’Brien didn’t win those games with a bunch of talentless players, either. While the departure of running back Silas Redd to USC was a bummer for Penn State, the team still had a 1,000-yard rusher (Zach Zwinak) and receiver (Allen Robinson). That’s not even mentioning PSU’s veteran-laden defense. Penn State wasn’t the most talented Big Ten team, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.

But O’Brien did lead Penn State through its roughest year in history following the Jerry Sandusky scandal and was thrown under an NCAA bus of postseason bans and scholarship reductions. Still, O’Brien surpassed all expectations outside of Happy Valley and coached up Matt McGloin, once dreadfully inconsistent, to one of the better quarterbacks in the Big Ten.

For all his efforts, O’Brien has been awarded the Maxwell Club Coach of the Year over Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Kansas State’s Bill Snyder.

“Coach O’Brien has engineered a tremendous season for the Penn State football program while overcoming obstacles that many considered to be insurmountable,” said Maxwell executive director Mark Wolpert in a statement. “The team’s 8-4 record is a great testament to the hard work of Coach O’Brien and his staff, and also to the dedication shown by the student-athletes involved in the football program at Penn State.”

The Maxwell Club will honor O’Brien at a ceremony on March 1.

If you’ve visited this site often enough, you know that O’Brien was my pick for coach of the year long before the season ended. The confidence and stability he’s been able to provide the Penn State program during such turmoil was only complimented by the improvements the team showed on offense at times this year. PSU has a tough road ahead, but there’s no doubt in my mind that O’Brien’s the coach that can get through it.

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Oregon O-lineman reportedly denied extra year of eligibility

Oregon v USC AP

Kyle Long‘s career at Oregon has been anything but lengthy. Now, he won’t get an opportunity to try to play one more year with the Ducks.

Per the Eugene Register-Guard, Long has been denied another year of eligibility from the NCAA. That means next month’s Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State will be Long’s last game with the Ducks. Long has yet to comment on the matter officially.

Also, as we usually do with matters pertaining to the NCAA, here’s Bylaw Blog’s take on why Long was denied another year. It’s simple, really, but always worth a look.

The senior offensive lineman only played one season with Oregon and was hampered with an ankle injury early on in the year. Long, the son of NFL star Howie Long and brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long, initially signed with Florida State out of high school.

Long (pictured, No. 74) is considered a raw talent — he played both guard and tackle this year — but lacks experience. Oregon’s offense was again one of the most explosive in the country thanks to its O-line. The Ducks finished third nationally in rushing yards and second in points per game.

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Mizzou dismisses freshman DB following second arrest for pot possession

A marijuana plant is seen as officers of Baja California's State Preventive Police (PEP) search for more plants near Hongo in the municipality of Tecate in Baja California Reuters

It appears that Missouri safety Ka’ra Stewart didn’t learn from his first arrest for marijuana possession.

Stewart, a freshman who redshirted this year, was detained on Nov. 9 for possession of fewer than 35 grams of marijuana. Just over a month later, Stewart was busted again for pot possession, according to multiple media outlets.

University of Missouri police entered Stewart’s dorm room Monday because of marijuana odor coming from the room. Though Stewart told police he was not smoking and did not consent to a search, officers obtained a warrant and found four bags that later tested positive for marijuana.

Stewart was taken to jail and later released on $500 bond. Missouri has since dismissed Stewart from the team.

Stewart is the fourth Mizzou freshman to be arrested for marijuana possession in the past couple of months. In October, freshmen Dorial Green-Beckham, Torey Boozer and Levi Copelin were arrested by university police for the same charge.

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