Tony Levine

Tony Levine fills his final assistant coaching vacancy at Houston

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Houston’s 5-7 season under first-year coach Tony Levine (pictured) saw the departures of the Cougars’ offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and defensive ends coach.

With the addition of Vernon Hargreaves as the team’s new linebackers coach, Levine has now rebuilt his coaching staff heading into his second year. Houston made the announcement Tuesday morning.

“We are excited to add a coach of Vernon Hargreaves’ caliber,” said Levine in a statement. “When you look at his resume, his track record speaks for itself. He’s a veteran of the game and he’s been known to develop linebackers that excel on the college and professional level as evident with seven NFL Pro Bowl honors shared by players he coached. Just last night I watched Tavares Gooden, who he coached in college, playing in the Super Bowl for the 49ers.”

Hargreaves spent the last three seasons under Skip Holtz at South Florida and previously served under Holtz at East Carolina. But Hargreaves has deep roots to the Miami area with stints at The U and FIU.

“I’m excited to join the Houston family and am really looking forward to getting to work with Tony and the rest of the staff,” said Hargreaves. “I’m familiar with the program having coached against it in the past, so I know there is great potential in a great environment. The future for this program is definitely an exciting one.”

Hargreaves joins offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, defensive coordinator David Gibbs and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee as Houston’s new coaches.

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

Associated Press
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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.