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Wazzu’s leading returning receiver cited

Oregon v Washington State Getty Images

For the third time this month, a member of the Washington State football program has found his name in the names following an off-field incident.

The latest is wide receiver Gabe Marks, who the Spokane Spokesman-Review reports cited in an alcohol-related incident early Sunday morning.  Officially, Marks was cited for “MIP-Exhibiting,” which is police speak for a minor exhibiting the effects of alcohol consumption.

The school is aware of the latest incident involving one of its football players, and will handle the matter internally.

Marks finished the 2012 season with 49 receptions and 560 yards as a freshman.  Thanks to Marquess Wilson‘s chaotic and messy exit from the program, Marks is the Cougars’ leading returning receiver.

In early February, it was reported that running back Leon Brooks was charged with drunk driving.  A day later, walk-on wide receiver Drew Loftus was charged with third-degree theft, minor in possession of alcohol and public intoxication.  Loftus was subsequently dismissed from the football program.

(Tip O’ the Cap:

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Texas Tech sells out season tickets for first time in school history

Iowa State v Texas Tech

Texas Tech has done something never before achieved in school history. The Red Raiders have sold out all of the season tickets available for the upcoming home schedule in 2014. The school announced the historic development Wednesday on Twitter.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has revitalized the program and has generated a swagger for the program, making Texas Tech a bit of a cool program on the rise in his short time on the sidelines in Lubbock. This is one of the reasons Kingsbury was a good hire for the program. He played at Texas Tech and therefore understands how to handle the program and reach out to the fans. The results seem to be paying some early dividends.

It also helps that Texas Tech has an attractive home schedule at Jones AT&T Stadium this fall. The Red Raiders host Arkansas in non-conference play and Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia in Big 12 play. The final game of the regular season, against Baylor, will be played in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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Report: 22% of athletic departments have oversight of sex crime investigations at schools

Mark Emmert

NCAA President Mark Emmert was one of the witnesses for what turned out to be an informative and constructive Senate committee hearing regarding the mix of collegiate athletics and academics. Emmert at times was on the receiving end of some valid criticisms of the NCAA, many of which Emmert confirmed are in the process of being addressed by the NCAA membership in the coming months, but he survived the afternoon hearing in one piece. There was most certainly a healthy of dose of politicians getting on their soapbox during their time slots in the schedule, which was to be expected.

One of the more striking revelations during the Senate committee hearing on Wednesday was when Missouri senator Claire McCaskill drilled into Emmert, asking why his position even exists and whether or not he is a leader or a minion of university presidents. The Senator was armed with data from a brand new report, conveniently published today by McCaskill’s office, which claimed 22 percent of the athletic departments in the country allow athletic departments to have oversight of investigations relating to sexual crimes allegedly committed by student-athletes. Only 34 percent of schools surveyed have an office on campus designed to assist victims of sexual abuse.

According to the details of the comprehensive study, 30 percent of public universities allow athletic departments to have oversight of any investigations tied to sexual crimes involving student-athletes. That is eight percent higher than the national sample (22 percent). McCaskill discussed the report’s findings while addressing concern over recent investigations around college football, singling out the Jameis Winston case at Florida State.

“We will never know if he was guilty or not because of who he is,” McCaskill said referring to Winston, addressing her concern over star players being able to escape justice. Winston was never charged with a crime by state authorities, and Florida State University’s own investigation failed to find a reason to punish the star quarterback. Of course, state authorities did not charge Winston with any crime either, which McCaskill neglected to mention.

The percentage of athletic departments with oversight on sex-related investigations is higher for medium-sized schools with an enrollment between 1,000 and 9,999 students, where 37 percent of the athletic departments having oversight authority. Division two schools, many falling within that previous range, have the highest percentage, with 48 percent of the schools having oversight privileges for athletic departments. Part of the reason for the higher numbers for medium-sized schools and D2 schools may be due to the available staff for schools of that size. With smaller schools to manage, the need for expanded staffing may not be as necessary, but eery institution is different.

So is this an alarming problem? That may be up for debate, and that debate may just be getting underway. You can read the full report and evaluate all of the data and come to your own conclusions. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Now you can buy one of Bear Bryant’s signature hats

Few in history wore a fedora the way legendary Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant did while patrolling the sidelines in Tuscaloosa. Now you have a chance to see how you would look wearing one of Bryant’s hats.

Two hats said to have been worn by Bryant are up for auction on, as pointed out by The classic houndstooth hat is for auction here, and another with a herringbone design can be found here. As the descriptions for the hate claims, the hats were gifts to Max Baer Jr., of “The Beverly Hillbillies” fame. This probably attracts a second audience of potential bidders as well, so be prepared to spend a pretty penny on either hat.

You have to figure there is an Alabama fan that will stop at no cost to be able to get one of thee hats. The big question might be if the hat would be worn to an Alabama game. Not if I happened to be the winner. That hat would be placed in a nice display case and displayed on a shelf. But then again, I am not sure any hat is worth $500.00.

How high do you think these hats will go in the bidding process?

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Texas A&M now has college football’s largest scoreboard

Rice v Texas A&M

They say everything is bigger in Texas. That certainly applies when talking about scoreboards. Texas A&M is now claiming to have the largest scoreboard in college football.

The plans for the new scoreboard have been in place since the school finalized the budget for the $450 million renovation of Kyle Field, which will not be completed in full until next year. In all, the scoreboard measures 47 feet high and 163 feet wide. For those keeping score in the state of Texas, and you know there are people doing just that, the scoreboard in Austin measures 55 feet high and 134 feet wide for a square footage of 7,340 feet. Texas A&M’s new scoreboard beats that by 291 feet according to the numbers reported by The Austin American-Statesman in February.

You might think the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys still own the largest scoreboard (72 feet high by 180 feet wide for 11,520 square feet) in the state of Texas. That is actually not the case. Texas Motor Speedway features a video board measuring 94.6 feet hight by 218 feet wide (20,622 square feet). The Houston Texans also edge the Cowboys with a video board measuring 52.5 feet high by 277.17 feet wide for a square footage of 14,548.7 square feet.

Baylor’s new football stadium opening this season will have a video board measuring 5,018 square feet.

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NCAA president being grilled by Senate committee

Mark Emmert

If you thought NCAA president Mark Emmert on the witness stand in the Ed O’Bannon trial was something, his day in front of a Senate committee must surely be a spectacle. The Senate Commerce Committee arranged to have Emmert as a witness for questioning regarding the promoting and well-being and academic success of college athletes. The goal of the committee is to get a better understanding of how the NCAA is integrating athletics with academics and to determine if student-athletes are being exploited in the process.

“Critics of the [NCAA] and intercollegiate athletics have contended that the NCAA and its member schools are not carrying out their mission to protect and promote the well-being of college athletes, and that reports of exploitation of athletes by colleges and universities have become commonplace,” a statement about the hearing read, according to Dennis Dodd of “In response to these concerns, Chairman Rockefeller, along with Commerce Committee Members Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), wrote the NCAA earlier this year to ask about the organization’s policies and its oversight of member institutions so that student athletes can be protected from potential exploitation.”

Emmert ws given plenty of time to prepare for this hearing. The NCAA president was sent a letter outlining the requested information and reason to have him as a witness back in late May. The letter highlighted various quotes from Emmert as well as relevant data from various reports and studies to support the reason for concern by the committee.

Emmert tends to keep his cool when under fire, sometimes by dismissing questions in a jovial way. That will not likely fly in front of a Senate committee.

Emmert will not be the only witness called to testify before the committee. Former Florida State player Myron Rolle and former North Carolina player Devon Ramsay and former athletics director at Temple, Bill Bradshaw, are also on the list of expected witnesses.

You can watch the hearing live online starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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Missouri fulfills SEC non-con scheduling requirement with Purdue series

Purdue v Ohio State

With the ACC and SEC now requiring conference members to schedule one non-conference game per season against a school from another power conference, Purdue seemed like a likely candidate to receive plenty of phone calls. Missouri is the first to add Purdue to the future non-conference schedule.

Missouri and Purdue have agreed to a home-and-home series that will be played in 2017 and 2018, the schools announced Wednesday. The Tigers will host the first game on September 16, 2017. The Boilermakers will play the role of host on September 15, 2018. The series will satisfy Missouri’s non-conference scheduling requirement enforced by the SEC. Recently, listed Purdue as one of the most attractive non-conference scheduling possibilities from a power conference. Purdue has not won a game against another power conference school from outside the Big Ten since 2007, defeating Notre Dame 33-19.

The two schools have faced each other eight times before, but the most recent game was played in the 1980 Liberty Bowl. The most recent regular season meeting was played in 1956. Purdue holds the upper hand in the series, leading 6-2.

That’s nice, but what about Kansas?

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SEC Network on pace for solid debut

Mike Slive, John Skipper

If there were any fears from SEC fans about not being able to get the SEC Network, which hits airwaves next month, many of those nightmare scenarios are starting to calm down. Today ESPN and Cox Communications announced the two sides have reached an agreement to bring the SEC Network to Cox subscribers.

“The addition of Cox is another very important step in the development of the SEC Network, bringing millions more viewers nationwide to the network when it launches on August 14,” said SEC commissioner Mike Slive in a released statement. “As one of the largest cable television distributors in the U.S., including five states in the SEC footprint, this agreement with Cox has a significant impact on exposure for the SEC.”

It certainly is. As it stands now, the SEC Network is scheduled to go live with access to an estimated 26 million customers.

It is important to make note the Big Ten Network’s launch faced a different TV environment and had to break down some walls to be able to help sell the idea that a conference-specific network was desirable and worth adding. Since then the Pac-12 has launched the Pac-12 Network, media rights deals have skyrocketed and now the ACC is contemplating the possibility of launching its own network. The customer base expected to have access to the SEC Network when it launches in mid-August is a testament to the popularity and demand for conference-specific programming from region to region.

The SEC Network is currently scheduled to be available to customers of Dish Network, Google Fiber, AT&T U-Verse and assorted smaller carriage providers throughout the region (Comcast is not a done deal yet, but expected to be finalized before launch; Verizon FIOS should not be far behind either). The SEC Network still has to get by the DirecTV hurdle, but there is still time to sort out that one.

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25 top punters named to Ray Guy Award watch list

Texas A&M Aggies v Arkansas Razorbacks

On the same day the Lou Groza Award watch list was unveiled, so too was the Ray Guy Award watch list. The Ray Guy Award is presented to the top punter in the country, but having the best net punting average is not always the end of the discussion for the award. Other factors include the percentage of punts landing inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and percentage of punts not returned. Other qualities such as leadership and self-discipline are thrown into the mix as well, as it is with most awards.

Last year’s Ray Guy Award winner was Tom Hornsey of Memphis. Texas A&M punter Drew Kaser is the lone finalist from last year returning on the watch list this season. The Ray Guy Award has been presented to a player from a non-power conference each of the last three seasons.

Here is this year’s Ray Guy Award watch list:

Wil Baumann, N.C. State
Riley Dixon, Syracuse
James Farrimond, Rice
Tom Hackett, Utah
Thomas Hibbard, North Carolina
Taylor Hudson, Vanderbilt
A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech
Sam Irwin-Hill, Arkansas
Cameron Johnston, Ohio State
Drew Kaser, Texas A&M
Sean Kelley, Florida Atlantic
Cole Leininger, California
Justin Manton, ULM
Anthony Melchiori, Kent State
Will Monday, Duke
Peter Mortell, Minnesota
Hunter Mullins, UAB
Nick O’Toole, West Virginia
Trevor Pardula, Kansas
Zach Paul, Akron
Austin Rehkow, Idaho
Spencer Roth, Baylor
Mike Sadler, Michigan State
Garrett Swanson, Fresno State
Tyler Williams, Marshall

Catch up on your watch lists released this week:

Maxwell Award (best player)

Bednarik Award (best defensive player)

Hornung Award (most versatile player)

Mackey Award (best tight end)

Rimington Trophy (best center)

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Lou Groza Award watch list headlined by FSU’s Aguayo

Roberto Aguayo

Award watch list season continued Wednesday with a nod to the kicking game. The watch lists for the Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award were on the agenda for the day, giving special teams players their day in the sun. First up is the Lou Groza Award, which is awarded to the best place-kicker in the country by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

Last year’s Lou Groza Award went to Florida State’s Roberto Aguayo. He headlines this year’s watch list as he looks to become the first player since Sebastian Janikowski, also from Florida State, to win the award in consecutive seasons. Janikowski won the award in 1998 and 1999. No school has more Lou Groza Award winners than Florida State. In addition to Janikowski and Aguayo, Graham Gano won the award in 2008. Joining Aguayo on the watch list is 2013 Lou Groza Award finalist Marvin Kloss of USF.

Semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award will be announced November 6 and the finalists will be unveiled on November 24. The winner will be named at the award’s banquet on December 9.

Here is this year’s Lou Groza Award watch list:

Roberto Aguayo, Florida State

Kyle Brindza, Notre Dame

Ryan Bustin, Texas Tech

Jack Cantele, Kansas State

Will Conant, Air Force

Brad Craddick, Maryland

Colby Delahoussaye, LSU

Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo

Jake Elliott, Memphis

Kyle Fischer, Louisiana Tech

Elliott Fry, South Carolina

Michael Geiger, Michigan State

Zane Gonzalez, Arizona State

Dan Goodale, Boise State

Michael Hunnicutt, Oklahoma

Maxwell Johnson, New Mexico State

Marvin Kloss, USF

Austin Lopez, San Jose State

Shawn Moffitt, UCF

Marshall Morgan, Georgia

Jaden Oberkrom, TCU

Will Oliver, Colorado

Andy Phillips, Utah

Jared Roberts, Colorado State

Niklas Sade, North Carolina State

Carl Salazar, Tulsa

Tyler Tate, Bowling Green

John Wallace, Louisville

Jordan Williamson, Stanford

Josiah Yazdani, Ohio

Catch up on your watch lists released this week:

Maxwell Award (best player)

Bednarik Award (best defensive player)

Hornung Award (most versatile player)

Mackey Award (best tight end)

Rimington Trophy (best center)

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Utah’s Travis Wilson ready to finish career on high note

Travis Wilson

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson is feeling optimistic these days, as well he should. Afer a concussion ended his 2013 season with a few games still to be played, Wilson has started to feel really good about his health as the offseason creeps closer and closer to the start of the 2o14 season.

This week Wilson is helping out with the Elite 11 camp, one of the top offseason camps for the top high school football players from around the country. Speaking to, Wilson said he is ready to get the juices flowing once more for the upcoming season.

“It was amazing, I’m super blessed to be able to play again,” Wilson said to “I know the doctors worked super hard to find the results and the school did a great job getting the right statement out. I’m just happy to be back and ready to finish out my career at Utah strong.”

Wilson’s head injury lingered into January, which put Wilson’s football career plans in jeopardy at the time, but Wilson was cleared to resume football activity for spring practices. Utah added Oklahoma transfer quarterback Kendal Thompson, but Wilson was later cleared to play during the upcoming season so Utah’s quarterback depth looks to be in better shape than it could have been. Wilson is in good shape too, which is even more important.

“As spring went along, though, I felt myself really separate from the other QBs,” Wilson said. “Hopefully I’ll keep on doing that in fall camp.”

Wilson had his ups and downs last season before being sidelined with a concussion. Wilson completed 56.1 percent of his passes for 1,827 yards and 16 touchdowns with 16 interceptions.

You can read the full story via

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Oprah getting in on the Jerry Sandusky story with new interview

Matt Sandusky

Have you had enough already of the Jerry Sandusky story? Well, too bad, because now Oprah Winfrey is getting in on the three-year old story.

Matt Sandusky, the oldest son of the former Penn State assistant coach, has been interviewed by Winfrey, a veteran talk show host and interviewer. In the interview, Sandusky reportedly describes grooming, methodical control and manipulation by his father in claiming sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky. The interview will be scheduled to air on July 17 on The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Jerry Sandusky was sentenced two years ago on 45 counts related to sexual abuse of children, effectively handing him a life sentence. During the trial, Matt Sandusky spoke out and claimed to have been abused by his father in addition to the known victims at the time of the trial.

Penn State was criticized for its response to Sandusky. An internal review of the university by former FBI director Louis Freeh led to the NCAA slamming the school with hefty sanctions. Penn State will start the 2014 season with two years of a postseason ban remaining, unless the NCAA alters the sentence to the program any more. The NCAA has already given back a number of scholarships to the football program.

Will you be watching the upcoming Matt Sandusky interview with Oprah, or have you heard and seen enough at this point?

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Germany’s rout of Brazil ignites college football Twitter

Andre Schuerrle

Germany blasted host nation Brazil in a World Cup semifinal, 7-1. The match quickly, with the Germans sprinting out to a 5-0 lead before the half. Of course, in a lopsided international match-up like this, not involving the United State, one of the best ways to enjoy the rout is to follow Twitter’s snark and commentary. This also happens to be one of the best ways to enjoy college football, so naturally some of college football’s finest Twitter users were on the mark this afternoon as Brazil was sinking.

Here are some quick samples to enjoy, unless you are a fan of Brazil.

Finally, I’m sure this one has played out by now, but I received some positive feedback for this one…

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Tuberville has doubts about scheduling Alabama for home-and-home

Tommy Tuberville

Tommy Tuberville still wants a piece of Alabama. In fact, he wants two shots at the Crimson Tide if he can get it.

Tuberville, the head coach of Cincinnati and a former head coach at Auburn, added a spark to the talk of a potential Alabama-Cincinnati match-up during a recent radio interview, suggesting it is difficult to get schools to agree to play Cincinnati because the Bearcats want to lock up home-and-home deals.

“It’s just hard to get a team to say we’ll have a home-and-home with Cincinnati … it’s a little bit risky,” Tuberville said Tuesday on 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Alabama, as transcribed by “We’re just not going to be one of those teams that’s going to just go somewhere and play and not get a return game.”

Tuberville wants Alabama, but it sounds as though he is not getting the response he desires.

“I’m in charge of our schedule right now, so, I’m out there trying to find teams to play,” Tuberville said after being asked specifically about the possibility of playing Alabama. “Now would I be really fired up about (playing Alabama)? Probably not because it’d be a one-game match.”

And therein lies the problem with any potential Alabama-Cincinnati game, which had been rumored to be in the works for 2015. Alabama head coach Nick Saban has complained before about not being able to schedule games, and he has gone on record expressing interest in challenging schedules. Cincinnati may not fit the power conference profile, but they are certainly among the top of the rest of the crop. It is Tuberville’s goal to schedule games against elite opponents because that is the best way to take a shot at the playoff in the end.

“If we’re going to have a chance to get into the Big Dance, you’re going to have to play teams like that,” said Tuberville.

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New Houston stadium gets corporate sponsor

Zeke Riser

In this day and age, having a corporate sponsor attached to a new stadium is almost mandatory. It is essentially free money for a team or school. There are some relics out there today at the bluebloods o college football with no corporate sponsorships, but if a new stadium is being constructed the odds are very good there will be a sponsorship attached to the name.

Such is the case at the University of Houston, where today it was made official the naming rights to the stadium have been sold to Texas Dow Employees Credit Union. The name of Houston’s new football stadium will be TDECU Stadium. Doesn’t that just roll right off the tip of your tongue?

The new stadium name was originally reported by The Houston Chronicle and made official during an afternoon press conference.

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Torn ACL costs USC redshirt freshman DL the 2014 season

Photo: USC Athletics

The depth on USC’s defensive line took a blow on Tuesday. Kenny Bigelow, a redshirt freshman expected to compete for a starting job on the defensive line, suffered a torn ACL in his right knee. The injury will sideline Bigelow for the entire 2014 season.

The injury was reported by USC via Twitter Tuesday afternoon. The injury was suffered during voluntary player workouts.

Bigelow enrolled at USC in the spring of 2013 after graduating from high school early. Despite arriving on campus early, Bigelow sat out the 2013 season after being redshirted for the year. With a year to focus on improving and preparing for competition on the defensive line, Bigelow was expected to make a push for playing time on the defensive line this season for the Trojans. Now he will lose a year of eligibility by default, although it could be possible to apply for a medical waiver to regain a lost year of eligibility from the NCAA.

There is no word on whether or not that will be pursued by Bigelow at this time. For now, the focus will be on rehabbing the right knee and getting back in the mix for 2015.

Photo credit: USC Athletics

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