When June Jones took over SMU in 2008, the program hadn’t made a bowl game since receiving the death penalty in the 1980s. After a 1-11 opening season, Jones led SMU to 30 wins and four straight bowl games from 2009-2012.
Despite a disappointing 5-7 inaugural season in the American Athletic Conference, SMU is set to announce a contract extension for Jones, according to Bill Nichols of the Dallas Morning News.
It’s a smart move for SMU, seeing as Jones is the best coach the program has had in decades. And for Jones, it gives him job security as he continues to build the program from the ground up.
SMU was a truly awful program when Jones took over, with the cloud of the 1986 death penalty lingering. After returning to play in 1989 after a two-year ban, SMU had nine seasons with two wins or less in its next 20 seasons. Despite being located in the talent-rich state of Texas, SMU never was able to recover from the death penalty until Jones came to campus.
So even with a 5-7 season this year, Jones earned that contract extension — and SMU would’ve been foolish to let him go.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reports it’s a three-year extension for Jones.
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.
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 Gridiron.com, 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.