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Kyle Field renovations lead to cancellation of Texas A&M spring game


The 12th Man at Texas A&M will have to wait until the fall to get their Aggie football fix. Because Kyle Field is under massive renovations and will be unavailable for hosting a spring football game and because the school ran out of options to work with, Texas A&M announced Friday the annual spring football game will be cancelled. The school went as far as to apply for a waiver with the SEC to move the game to another location, but NCAA rules shut the door on that possibility.

“After careful consideration and in consultation with Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and the football coaching staff, we have decided not to play a traditional spring football game this year or next as Kyle Field is being redeveloped,” Texas A&M Director of Athletics Eric Hyman said. “We appreciate the cooperation of the SEC office in considering a waiver to play a spring game off campus, but other factors including NCAA rules and regulations regarding contact with prospective student-athletes also played into our final decision.”

While some schools have successfully moved their spring games to off-campus locations at nearby high schools, the NCAA rules prohibit coaches nd players from being able to interact with recruits and their families. Free admission to high school, prep school or junior college prospects and their coaches is also not allowed because it is not during the regular season and another location would likely be outside a 30-mile radius from the campus.

The SEC also prohibits schools from moving their spring games to alternate locations as a standard practice, although a waiver can always be filed. Under the circumstances it may have been likely the SEC would approve the temporary move for the Aggies, but NCAA rules make it more difficult to do so.

“I am disappointed we will not be able to hold a few scrimmages or the spring game inside Kyle Field the next couple of years,” Aggie head football coach Kevin Sumlin said.

The renovations at Kyle Field are expected to continue through 2015, but the stadium will be ready to host home football game sin the fall in 2014 and 2015.

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.