USC at Notre Dame

Arizona State, Notre Dame reach deal on non-conference game


After all the commotion, Arizona State and Notre Dame will play in 2014 after all.

Via, ASU announced a new agreement with the Irish that will keep next year’s game in Tempe, but drop a 2017 trip to South Bend, which was part of the original series; an Oct. 5 game in Cowboys Stadium between the two programs this year is unaffected.

“The key for us was given the proximity of time to the date next year, we wanted to be able to maintain playing Notre Dame at home for our fans and student-athletes,” ASU AD Steve Patterson said. “The Pac-12 was willing to work with us (on the date change). We appreciate their help.

“Any time you go into a new conference like Notre Dame, it poses problems. If we’re going to represent certain standards, we’ve got to abide by contracts. It’s a good thing we were able to work it out for both parties.”

The game will now be played on Nov. 8, 2014.

Notre Dame attempted to get out of the ’14 trip to Tempe because, according to a report from, the Irish’s scheduling agreement with the ACC put Notre Dame against Florida State that year. That required another game to be bumped from the schedule and Arizona State was the odd program out. Understandably, ASU was none too happy about that news — the school had already started promoting the game — and fought to keep the Irish on the schedule.

As of April, ACC commissioner John Swofford said Florida State is still on Notre Dame’s 2014 schedule.

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

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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.