Day: February 14, 2014


Auburn four-star recruit has drug charges dropped


One of Auburn’s top defensive recruits in the Class of 2014 now has a legal bump in the road behind him. Defensive back Kalvarez Bessent was cleared on all drug-related charges from an arrest last week.

Bessent was charged for possession fo 20 grams of marijuana and for the intent to distribute last week during a traffic stop. He was charged along with two others during the traffic stop in Nassau County, Florida. This week the charges were dropped, including one for possession of drug paraphernalia found inside the car. A gun was also found in the car, although one of th other passengers in the car said the gun and the marijuana did not belong to Bessent.

“After meeting with the state attorney’s office yesterday, we are pleased to hear the state has decided there was no evidence to support the charges against Kalvaraz,” attorney Travis A. Reinhold said in a report by “All charges have been dropped. From the beginning of this ordeal, Kalvaraz maintained he had no involvement in the alleged conduct and he is looking forward to graduating from Camden County (Ga.) High School and attending Auburn University.”

Rivals ranks Bessent as a four-star defensive back and the 13th top player in the state of Georgia.

Photo: Rivals

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

Sam Houston State v Texas A&M

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.

Looking at Clemson, ex-Tide RB Kamara arrested

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Before he settles on a new football home, Alvin Kamara will have to settle a bit of a legal issue he stepped into recently.

According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, Kamara was arrested Thursday evening and charged with multiple misdemeanors, including driving on a suspended license, no driver’s license, safety belts required and failure to appear.  The initial stop, as Kamara was on his way to do laundry, was the result of a police officer observing Kamara driving a vehicle with no seat belt in use.

The failure to appear stemmed from a situation that began shortly after he signed on as part of Alabama’s 2013 recruiting class.

The responding officer soon learned that Kamara did have a learner’s permit, which would have allowed him to be behind the wheel alongside a licensed driver over 21 years old.

If it hadn’t been suspended.

According to the report, Kamara’s learner’s permit was under “an active suspension for failure to appear” and had been suspended since Dec. 17. The violation which Kamara allegedly did not attend court to address occurred on May 15 of last year. The nature of that violation was not specified.

It was confirmed in the middle of last month that Kamara would be transferring from the Tide after just one season.  During that one year in Tuscaloosa, Kamara racked up more suspensions (two) than carries (zero).

Kamara is reportedly interested in transferring to Clemson, having already visited the ACC school according to at least one report.  Florida State and Oklahoma State are also rumored to be under consideration.

Coming out of Norcross, Ga., as a four-star recruit, Kamara was rated as the No. 2 all-purpose back in the country in the Class of 2013.

Pitt loses one assistant, gains another

Brooks Bollinger

When it comes to moves within a college coaching staff, sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some.  Or, in the case of Pittsburgh, you do both in the same day.

Head coach Paul Chryst confirmed to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Friday that quarterbacks coach Brooks Bollinger has decided to leave the Panthers football program.  Not only has the former Wisconsin quarterback left his Pitt post, he’s leaving coaching, period.

Chryst told the Tribune-Review that “retiring” from the profession is something he and Bollinger have discussed for years.

“For him and his family, he is going back to Minnesota and is not going to coach,” the coach told the paper. “He is interested in some professional pursuits away from football, and I know everyone at Pitt wishes him only the very best.

“He loves the coaching part (of the job), but there is a part of him that wants to sink deep roots in a community. That’s hard to do as a coach.”

Chryst said he will take on the duties previously manned by Bollinger, who had spent the past two seasons with the Panthers.

On the other hand, Chryst also confirmed that he has hired John Settle as his running backs coach.  Settle had spent the past five seasons in the NFL, the last three as an assistant with the Cleveland Browns.  He and Chryst coached together at Wisconsin from 2006-10.

Chryst must still replace wide receivers coach Bobby Engram, who left late last week for the same job with the Baltimore Ravens.

Report: Rice extends Bailiff’s contract yet again

David Bailiff
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In March of last year, Rice rewarded David Bailiff with a contract extension coming off a seven-win season.  Just a little over 11 months later, it’s lather, rinse and repeat coming off an even more successful season for the football Owls.

While it’s not yet been announced by his school, Bailiff confirmed to FOX26 Sports Friday morning that he has reached an agreement on a new contract with the university.  The five-year contract replaces the old one signed last year, which still had three years remaining on it.

Bailiff is now signed through the 2018 season.

While a bump in salary is most certainly included, the financial particulars were not detailed.  In 2013, Bailiff’s total was just over $646,000 according to USA Today.

“It’s really an exciting time for my family, for Rice, that we get an opportunity to continue to build the program that will sustain year after year,” Bailiff told the television station in an interview. “It makes you feel good that I’m appreciated.”

The Owls’ 10-4 mark in 2013 was just the third time in school history they’ve reached the 10-win plateau.  The TV website wrote that “[o]ver the past two years the Owls have won a total of 17 games, which equals Rice’s best performance over two years in school history.”

Last season also marked Rice’s first outright conference title since 1957.