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

Stanford, Shaw reach agreement on long-term extension


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.”

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
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Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury