Tajh Boyd laughs off, Dabo decries gambling ‘rumors’

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One of the best parts about the Internet is the vast amount of information available at one’s finger tips.  The worst part about the Internet is the vast amount of information available.  And some of the people disseminating it.

Case in point: a couple of hours prior to Clemson’s beatdown at the hands of Florida State, a “report” surfaced on a “website” — we’re not going to give the name here and funnel any traffic there; Google it — that Tajh Boyd had piled up an $80,000-plus gambling debt betting mostly on NFL games.  The fact that Boyd went out and had arguably his worst game as a starter on his biggest stage thus far only added to the squadron of black helicopters swirling overhead.

Because of the “report” — which the curator of the site told The State via email “comes from direct sources in Vegas that have ties to the bookies” — athletic director Dan Radakovich instructed his compliance department to investigate the “claims” and perform its due diligence.  According to the paper, university compliance officials interviewed Boyd as well as checking out the track record of the “site” before sending its findings to the ACC.

Those findings had everyone, at least at the university, in agreement: the “report” was baseless and Boyd is not a latter-day Art Schlichter.

“I don’t really know where that came from,” Boyd told the media Tuesday. “When I heard it, it was pretty shocking. That being built on top of the loss made it a rough little weekend.”

“I have Northland Cable. I only get two games on Sunday,” Boyd said, taking a jab at the rumors a gambling debt was centered on NFL games.

Boyd’s 78.2 passer rating was his second-worst since becoming a full-time starter in 2011, trailing only the 66.5 he put up against South Carolina that first season.  His 45.9 percent completion percentage was his worst since that 21-point loss to the Gamecocks, and the first time since the 2012 regular-season finale against the same team that he had completed less than 60 percent of his passes.

That performance only added fuel to the speculative fire… and served to raise the ire of Boyd’s head coach.

“That just added to my beautiful Sunday. … It’s disappointing that we live in this world where things like that happen,” Dabo Swinney said. “I have no reason to think that he lied to me. He’s never lied to me before. Obviously, it would be a major problem if you have somebody lying to you about something like that. You’d have to move on in a different direction. It’s that simple.

“I have no reason not to trust him, absolutely. No question, his integrity is impeccable.”

One final note: Boyd’s parents are contemplating a lawsuit, telling ClemsonInsider.com that “[t]hese reports are totally false. Please leave my son alone.”

Baylor strength coach apparently no longer with the program

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It seems every bit of news related to Baylor football nowadays has to do with the school’s on-going sexual assault scandal but it appears there is one bit of information coming out of the program that doesn’t have something to do with that.

A school spokesperson told ESPN on Friday that football strength coach Kaz Kazadi has been “reassigned to a role outside the athletic performance staff.” A report from the local ESPN Radio affiliate in Waco indicates that the move will eventually have the coach leaving the school altogether.

Kazadi spent nearly a decade with the Bears and played a big role in the team’s on-field turnaround under the former coaching staff. Several former players took to Twitter on Friday to express their shock over the loss of one of the cornerstones of the team in recent years.

After the hire of Matt Rhule this offseason, it isn’t too surprising to see some turnover among those staff members connected to the previous regime. Baylor’s new head coach brought most of his strength staff with him from Temple so it was probably only a matter of time before Kazadi moved on, though the timing of the quasi-announcement (the Bears started spring football last weekend) is somewhat interesting.

Either way, it appears Baylor will have a new direction in the weight room going forward.

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has ditched his Dockers for another

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Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Batman and Robin. Maize and blue. Jim Harbaugh and khakis.

All are iconic combinations, but it appears the latter is undergoing a few changes right now.

The Michigan head coach’s affinity for a pair of khakis has been so strong over the years that it’s become almost comical how much he likes the style of pant. Heck, he even got a commercial out of it a few years ago when he specifically started getting outfitted with Dockers brand khakis.

Despite being a paid endorser though, it appears that Harbaugh has dropped the famous Levi’s brand version of khakis to attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind in another pair of pants.

Not only is the switch from Dockers to Lululemon result in a lot more comfort for the Wolverines coach, it’s probably a bit more of a hit to the ol’ wallet than dropping by Walmart for a pair of khakis off the shelf. It probably doesn’t make a huge difference for Harbaugh though given that he’s the highest paid coach in the country but it might result in a few more trips to the mall.

Either way, what it does mean is that now we demand a new commercial featuring Harbaugh and khakis. After all, if you’re upping the clothing game, you’ve got to up the ad game as well.

Former Penn State president found guilty of role in Sandusky scandal

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Former Penn State president Graham Spanier’s day in court has come and has resulted in a guilty verdict.

The Centre Daily Times is among the outlets reporting that a jury has found Spanier guilty of one count of endangering the welfare of children in a trial related to his role in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. In addition, Spanier was found not guilty on two other counts, one a similar child endangerment charge and the other a count of criminal conspiracy.

The verdict comes after lengthy deliberations by the jury in the case, which took a turn last week when former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz plead guilty to child endangerment charges as part of the same trial. All three figure to be sentenced in the next few months.

Prior to the scandal, Spanier was widely considered to be one of the most respected college presidents in the country and heavily involved in NCAA matters. However he was one of several key figures fired by the school as a result of covering up the actions of Sandusky, the Nittany Lions’ former defensive coordinator who was found guilty on 45 charges of sexually abusing minors.

While the verdict is likely to be appealed, Spanier is nevertheless facing the prospect of joining Sandusky behind bars as a result of his own involvement in the scandal.

Dad of RB Kingston Davis says son will transfer from Michigan

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Michigan’s the latest football program to see its roster hit with the annual spring personnel attrition.

The father of Kingston Davis confirmed to Sam Webb of Scout.com that his son informed UM officials earlier Friday of his intention to transfer from the Wolverines.  Apparently there were two reasons that triggered the running back’s decision: a crowded backfield and chatter that he would be changing positions.

While 2016 leading rusher De'Veon Smith is gone, the Wolverines’ second-, third- and fourth-leading rushers from last season — rising sophomore Chris Evans (614 yards), rising junior Karan Higdon (425), rising fifth-year senior Ty Isaac (417) — all return. Kareem Walker, a four-star 2016 recruit rated as the No. 4 running back in the country, sat out last season because of academics but should be a part of the rotation as a redshirt freshman. They also added four-star (O'Maury Samuels) and three-star (Kurt Taylor) backs as part of their 2017 recruiting class.

A three-star 2016 recruit, Davis was rated as the No. 1 fullback in the country in that year’s class. As a true freshman, the 6-1, 245-pound back carried the ball twice for 17 yards.