Is this the year for Derrick Thomas? College Football Hall of Fame ballot released

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The ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 has been revealed by the National Football Foundation. In all, there are 75 names from the world of the FBS, including Oklahoma’s Brian Bosworth, Miami’s Warren Sapp (pictured), Ray Lewis and Jerome Brown, Penn State’s Shane Conlan, SMU’s Eric Dickerson, TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson, Texas’s Ricky Williams and Colorado’s Rashaan Salaam. One other name on the ballot is Alabama’s Derrick Thomas, who appears to be this year’s successor to Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier after long being overlooked on the ballot.

The official class will be announced in May, honored in December and formally inducted at a time to be determined in 2015. Votes will be submitted by members of the National Football Foundation and hall of fame members.

FBS PLAYERS

Trev Alberts, LB, Nebraska

Eric Bieniemy, RB, Colorado

Dre Bly, DB, North Carolina

Tony Boselli, OT, USC

Brian Bosworth, LB, Oklahoma

Bob Breunig, LB, Arizona State

Jerome Brown, DT, Miami

Ruben Brown, OT, Pitt

Larry Burton, WR, Purdue

Dave Butz, DT, Purdue

Freddie Carr, LB, UTEP

Mark Carrier, S, USC

Wes Chandler, WR, Florida

Shane Conlan, LB, Penn State

Tim Couch, QB, Kentucky

Tom Cousineau, LB, Ohio State

Bob Crable, LB, Notre Dame

Paul Crane, C/LB, Alabama

Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska

Randall Cunningham, QB/P, UNLV

Troy Davis, RB, Iowa State

Eric Dickerson, RB, SMU

Mike Dirks, DT, Wyoming

D.J. Dozier, RB, Penn State

Tim Dwight, WR/Returner, Iowa

Jumbo Elliott, OT, Michigan

William Fuller, DT, North Carolina

Thom Gatewood, WR, Notre Dame

Willie Gault, WR, Tennessee

Kirk Gibson, WR, Michigan State

Charlie Gogolak, K, Princeton

Joe Hamilton, QB, Georgia Tech

Al Harris, DE, Arizona State

Dana Howard, LB, Illinois

Randy Hughes, DB, Oklahoma

Bobby Humphrey, RB, Alabama

Raghib Ismail, WR, Notre Dame

Roy Jefferson, WR, Utah

Ernie Jennings, WR, Air Force

Keyshawn Johnson, WR, USC

Clinton Jones, RB, Michigan State

Lincoln Kennedy, OT, Washington

Tim Krumrie, DT, Wisconsin

Greg Lewis, RB, Washington

Jesse Lewis, DT, Oregon State

Ray Lewis, LB, Miami

Robert Lytle, RB, Michigan

Bob McKay, OT, Texas

Cade McNown, QB, UCLA

Mark Messner, DL, Michigan

Darrin Nelson, RB, Stanford

Ken Norton Jr, LB, UCLA

Tom Nowatzke, FB, Indiana

Jim Otis, FB, Ohio State

Paul Palmer, RB, Temple

Antwaan Randle El, QB, Indiana

Simeon Rice, LB, Illinois

Ron Rivera, LB, Cal

Willie Roaf, OL, Louisiana Tech

Mike Ruth, NG, Boston College

Rashaan Salaam, RB, Colorado

Warren Sapp, DT, Miami

John Sciarra, QB, UCLA

Larry Seivers, WR, Tennessee

Sterling Sharpe, WR, South Carolina

Art Still, DE, Kentucky

Derrick Thomas, LB, Alabama

Zach Thomas, LB, Texas Tech

LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU

Jackie Walker, LB, Tennessee

Wesley Walls, TE, Mississippi

Lorenzo White, RB, Michigan State

Clarence Williams, RB, Washington State

Ricky Williams, RB, Texas

Steve Wisniewski, OG, Penn State

FBS COACHES

Mike Belotti – Chico State, Oregon

Jim Carlen – West Virginia, Texas Tech, South Carolina

Pete Cawthon – Texas Tech

Danny Ford – Clemson, Arkansas

Billy Jack Murphy – Memphis

Darryl Rogers – Call State-Hayward, Fresno State, San Jose State, Michigan State, Arizona State

You can see the full ballot, which includes brief biographies and the list of FCS, Division 2, Division 3 and NAIA candidates as well via the National Football Foundation.

Ex-Oregon QB Terry Wilson to take JUCO route

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As Terry Wilson looks to restart his football playing career, he’ll do so at a much lower rung on the collegiate ladder than which he started.

On his personal Twitter account Tuesday, Wilson announced that he will play for Garden City Community College, a junior college in Kansas, in 2017.  GCCC was the top team at the JUCO level in 2016, going undefeated last season.

The move comes a month or so after the quarterback decided to transfer from Oregon.

A three-star member of the Ducks’ 2016 recruiting class, Wilson was rated as the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma.  He had originally committed to Nebraska before signing with UO.

After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Wilson began spring practice this year as the No. 2 quarterback.  However, he quickly tumbled to at least third on the depth chart, which triggered the decision to transfer.

New Mexico AD Paul Krebs in hot water for Scotland golf trip

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New Mexico AD Paul Krebs (right) had it all figured out. He wanted to go to Scotland to play golf (who doesn’t) but he didn’t want to pay for it (who does?). So he came up with a solution: he’d turn it into a UNM fundraising trip and make the school pay for it.

The school sold 23 packages to travel across the pond for a getaway of luxurious accommodations and bucket-list golf, but put the bills of himself, two UNM executives and a handful of local businessmen on the school’s dime. Lots of dimes, in fact. The trip cost the Lobos nearly $65,000.

“The trip was a working trip and it was designed to immerse us with these donors. It was an intensive experience and I understand why people may question it,” Krebs told KRQE-TV earlier this month.

Despite his attempt at justification, it appeared Krebs knew from the start the trip was an ethical no-no. The $65,000 bill was classified as a basketball tournament on UNM’s accounting paperwork, and Krebs failed to disclose the nature of the June 2015 trip to acting president Chaouki Abdallah until last week.

“VP Krebs came to me and told me that he wanted to tell me something that he had forgotten or did not tell me before,” Abdallah told KRQE. “I was not happy.”

It is not clear why the UNM Foundation or the Lobo Club,  non-profits that handles the school’s and the athletics department’s fundraising efforts, respectively, did not cover the cost of the trip, especially since Lobo Club executive director Kole McKamey was one of the UNM officials who was on the trip. Putting the bill on the university’s ledger also appears to be a violation of the state’s anti-donation laws. The $24,000 cost to take the Albuquerque businessmen has since been refunded by an anonymous donor.

“(Krebs) told me about it in no uncertain terms,” Abdallah told said. “He didn’t try to sugarcoat it. He said I made a mistake. I didn’t tell you about it before. Here’s what happened. I’m going to try to fix it.”

 

Miami Beach Bowl officially moves to Frisco, Texas

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The Miami Beach Bowl was an unnecessary bowl game played in a metro area already populated by bowl games — but at least it was in Miami. Bowl games may have lost their luster over the past decade-plus, but it’s hard to complain about being sent to South Beach in December for a football game.

The Miami Beach Bowl is no more, and it’s now been reincarnated as another unnecessary bowl game to be played in a metro area even more populated by bowl games — and it won’t be anywhere near as interesting as Miami.

Meet the Frisco Bowl, the newest ESPN-created postseason college football game to be played in the scenic locale of Frisco, Texas.

The north Dallas suburb will host the game at Toyota Stadium, a 20,500-seat outdoor venue that’s home to MLS club FC Dallas as well as the FCS National Championship every January. The Frisco Bowl will also compete for sponsorship dollars and public attention with the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas and the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.

“We are pleased to be able to host this game in one of the most vibrant football markets in the country,” said ESPN vice president of events Clint Overby. “The infrastructure and facilities that exist in Frisco are outstanding and will be an excellent venue for the teams, players, administrators and fans traveling into the marketplace. We look forward to working with civic organizations and businesses in the area to create an annual event that embraces the spirit of the community.”

The first annual Frisco Bowl will pit an American Athletic Conference team against a to-be-determined conference at 8 p.m. ET on Dec. 20.

2017 Texas signee sees felony drug charge reduced to misdemeanor

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It appears the door to one member of Texas’ 2017 recruiting class arriving in Austin this summer has opened a little wider.

In late February, Reese Leitao was arrested at his Oklahoma high school on a charge of possession/delivery of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to sell within a thousand feet of a school, a felony.  Tuesday, the Austin American-Statesman is reporting, Leitao pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug possession charge.

As part of the plea agreement, Leitao received a four-year deferred sentence; provided he stays clean during that time, the charge will be wiped off his record.  The American-Statesman writes that, “[a]ccording to Leitao’s attorney, Leitao has ‘some probationary work,’including speaking engagements at schools, and will be under the supervision of the district attorney.”  A $1,000 fine was part of his punishment as well.

The ball is now in the hands of first-year UT head coach Tom Herman as to whether Leitao will have a football future with the Longhorns.

“I’m happy,” the attorney, Allen Smallwood, told the newspaper. “Hopefully the University of Texas will be happy.”

At the time of Leitao’s arrest, a statement attributed to Herman said that “[w]e’re collecting information, will talk to Reese and his family, let the legal system run its course and then address it further at the appropriate time.” As of this posting, the university has yet to publicly address the development.

Leitao was a three-star 2017 signee, rated as the No. 19 tight end in the country and the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Oklahoma.