Brady Hoke

Endowment in the offing for Michigan head coaching job


Stanford does it.  So does Northwestern and Vanderbilt among others.  In short order, Michigan could be headed down the same endowment path.

Pending approval from the university’s regents, Brady Hoke will officially be referred to as the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Head Football Coach.  The Board of Regents is expected to approve the move at a meeting Thursday.

The Harris family, through their foundation, donated $10 million recently for the “naming and endowment of the head football coach position.”  The family’s foundation is a longstanding donor to the program specifically and the university in general, with the Detroit Free Press writing that they “previously had named the football locker room and ‘created scholarships, endowed professorships and provided support’ to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, the Ross School of Business and the Ford School of Public Policy.”

“This endowed position will strengthen the program for years to come and ensure the future generation of student-athletes will continue to benefit from outstanding coaching and leadership,” a letter to the regents explained.

At Stanford, an endowment led to the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football, the official title of head coach David Shaw.  An anonymous donor also endowed the offensive coordinator position in honor of former Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck.

In a report from August of 2012, the New York Times notes that Rutgers, Duke and Texas Tech are all seeking endowments for their respective head football coaching jobs.  Another?  UM’s in-state rival Michigan State.  For the low, low price of “just” $5 million, a donor can endow MSU’s head football or basketball coach.  Another $500,000 would endow an assistant coaching position.

In an email to the Detroit News, MSU athletic director Mark Hollis explained that endowments are quickly becoming an integral part of the sport.

“Endowments in higher education are becoming more critical, including within intercollegiate athletics,” Hollis said. “Specific to athletics, endowments in scholarships, coaching positions and operations allowed a department to sustain excellence for years to come.”

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press
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As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.