USC athletic director Pat Haden finally broke out of his well-crafted veneer of sensibility and reason on Tuesday to lambaste the NCAA for its maddeningly inconsistent application of its bylaws. Haden rightfully pointed out that USC continues to suffer from an array of penalties that did not fit the crime and that the NCAA’s relaxation of Penn State’s sanctions justifies his desire for immediate relief for the Trojans.
Haden didn’t say any of those things. Upon hearing the news that the NCAA would gradually ease Penn State’s pain, the USC athletic director released a statement that was about as generic as humanly possible:
“Like the rest of country, we have just learned of the NCAA’s actions regarding the restoration of some of Penn State’s scholarships.
“As you know, the NCAA is currently engaged in the process of evaluating and potentially reforming its governance structure. We look forward to having a positive impact on that process.
“We also are hopeful that the NCAA’s recently-enacted enforcement and penalty reforms will result in a consistent and fair enforcement and penalty process for all its institutions. USC will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA towards that goal.
“We are near the end of the NCAA sanctions imposed on us in 2010 and we look forward to their expiration.”
This statement has about as much passion and emotion as an English lord’s face after getting lightly slapped by his enemy’s silk glove. Surely Haden could take a moment to inject a little bit of color into such a reply, no? No one would blame him for pointing out the wildly disparate judicial actions of the NCAA. Would it kill him that much to act a little more like Kirk and a little less like Spock?
Even embattled USC coach Lane Kiffin showed some personality about the NCAA’s decision today, dropping a bit of sarcasm via Twitter:
There’s an old saying: You deserve what you accept. This has applied to USC a lot lately.
This is certainly an abrupt and unexpected development.
In a rather brief and terse press release, Purdue announced that Tony Levine is no longer a member of Jeff Brohm‘s (pictured) Boilermakers coaching staff. Per the school, Levine will be pursuing unspecified opportunities outside of the coaching profession.
Below is the text of the release, in its entirety:
Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm announced today that assistant coach Tony Levine has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of coaching.
The loss of Levine leaves a rather sizable hole for Brohm to fill. Not only was the 45-year-old assistant the team’s co-offensive coordinator, but he served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach as well. Levine had just completed his first season with the Boilermakers.
Levine was the head coach at Houston from 2011-14 and the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach at Western Kentucky prior to coming to West Lafayette.
Nick Saban has found his fourth offensive coordinator in 14 months, and he didn’t have to go very far do so.
With rumors swirling around a certain disgraced former SEC head coach, signs had seemingly been pointing to Saban possibly, or even likely staying in-house for his next Alabama coordinator on the offensive side of the ball. According to Chris Low of ESPN.com, the head coach plans to do just that as Mike Locksley is expected to be promoted to offensive coordinator. It’s expected Locksley will assume responsibilities as the Tide’s quarterbacks coach as well.
Locksley would replace Brian Daboll, who left after one season in Tuscaloosa for the same job with the Buffalo Bills earlier this month.
Locksley has spent the past two seasons with the Crimson Tide, the first as an offensive analyst and last year as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
The former New Mexico head coach last served as a coordinator at Maryland from 2012-15. He also spent three seasons (2006-08) in the same job at Illinois.
Yesterday, we noted that the door might be ajar for Jauan Jennings‘ return to the Tennessee football team. A day later, it appears he may have been given permission to walk across the threshold.
While there’s nothing official from the program, Jennings, who is enrolled at UT for this semester at UT, indicated on his private Instagram account Thursday evening that he will be playing “one last season” with the Volunteers.
In November of last year, Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.
Jennings has since met with new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and new athletic director Phillip Fulmer about a return. “I think (Pruitt has) put some parameters around” a return Fulmer stated during a radio interview late last week, “and I guess everybody has got to figure out what those are and if they’re really going to do it.”
In early September, prior to the off-field issue, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game.
Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.
A familiar face has returned to the Colorado coaching staff.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier this week, CU confirmed that Mike MacIntyre has hired Ashley Ambrose as the Buffaloes’ new cornerbacks coach. Ambrose spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Buffaloes, first as a defensive assistant and then, after a very brief stint as wide receivers coach, he took over CU’s defensive backs.
“We’re really excited about Ashley Ambrose coming to the University of Colorado, he brings great expertise for our corners that he’ll be coaching,” MacIntyre said in a statement. “He was here before, loved it then and I am glad to have him back now. Not only does he bring great coaching experience over the last few years, but he also brings phenomenal playing experience from being in the NFL, so he’ll add a lot to our secondary.”
Then past two seasons, Ambrose was the defensive backs coach at Boise State. He’s also had collegiate stops at Cal (2011-12), Idaho (2014), Texas State (2015).
Ambrose, a second-round pick in the 1992 NFL draft, spent 13 seasons at that level of football.