Mark Dantonio

Prior to Rose Bowl, Mark Dantonio’s new contract blooms


Just as Michigan State was preparing to take the field for the opening kickoff of the 100th Rose Bowl game, a report about a new contract for head coach Mark Dantonio had surfaced.

According to Joe Schad of, Dantonio’s new contract will make him one of the three highest paid coaches in the Big Ten. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer is making a total of $4.6 million this season and his staff receives a total pay adding up to $3.74 million according to the coaching salary database organized by USA Today. Michigan’s Brady Hoke earned $4.15 million and his staff earned $3.07 million. Dantonio was previously reported to be making $1.95 million in total pay at Michigan State, the fourth lowest in the Big Ten. His staff was earning $2.41 million, the fifth highest among Big Ten coaching staff payrolls on record.

The pay raise for Dantonio is certainly worthy after guiding the Spartans to the Big Ten championship and earning a rare trip to the Rose Bowl. Giving Dantonio a raise should also fend off any overtures from other programs looking for a new head coach. Texas had been reported to be interesting in talking to the Spartans head coach, and defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, this year’s Broyles Award winner as the top assistant coach in the nation, is becoming a name to consider for a head coaching gig.

Vols ‘very confident there was no inappropriate conduct’ between Butch Jones, player

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers watches the action during a game against the Chattanooga Mocs at Neyland Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the midst of reports that he had a physical altercation with one of his Tennessee players during summer camp this year, Butch Jones labeled the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.”

Apparently, his bosses agree with the head coach.

At a board meeting Thursday, UT-Knoxville chancellor Jimmy Cheek stated that he and athletic director Dave Hart had done their “due diligence” in investigating the accusations that Jones and senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder were involved in some type of physical skirmish during practice this past August.  The end result of interviews with Jones, coaches and players was the conclusion that there was nothing to the reports and message-board rumors.

“There’s been a lot of rumor and misinformation on social media and message boards about an alleged incident during football practice,” Cheek said according to‘s Wes Rucker. “It’s not our practice to respond to rumors, but I thought it was important to let you know that we’ve done our due diligence and Dave Hart and I are very confident there was no inappropriate conduct with any players or coaches.”

Shortly after Cheek spoke at the board meeting, Crowder took to Twitter with a series of missives that speaks around the issue.

Michigan’s keeping ‘fingers crossed’ for leading rusher’s availability

De'Veon Smith
Associated Press
Leave a comment

Michigan played without its leading rusher in Week 5.  The Wolverines are hoping there won’t be a repeat in Week 6.

De'Veon Smith sustained a lower-leg injury in the Week 4 win over BYU and didn’t travel with the team for last Saturday’s win over Maryland.  Smith has been practicing with his teammates throughout the first few days of this week, and head coach Jim Harbaugh is guardedly optimistic that the running back will be available for what’s turned into a huge Big Ten matchup with Northwestern Saturday in the Big House.

“He’s practicing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’s going to stay good and be ready to play,” Harbaugh said during a radio appearance Thursday morning. “But we’ll (keep) looking at that every day.”

Despite essentially missing a game and a half, Smith currently leads the Wolverines with 331 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He’s added four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown coming out of the backfield the first four games.

Should Smith be unable to go again, the Wolverines have three other backs with at least 100 yards on the ground: Ty Isaac (187, 7.2 yards per carry), Drake Johnson (125, 4.2 ypc) and Derrick Green (100, 3.3 ypc).

In addition to Smith, Harbaugh is hopeful Channing Stribling will be available this weekend as well.  The starting cornerback didn’t play against the Cougars because of injury