LSU v Florida

Update: GPD clarifies incident involving UF’s Andre DeBose

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Earlier this month, Andre DeBose was granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Exactly two weeks later, the Florida wide receiver celebrated the extra year by doing what any normal person would: throwing a human being through a window.  Allegedly.

The Gainesville Television Network is reporting that DeBose was involved in some type of altercation Saturday night.  While the details are few and far between, the television station reported that DeBose tossed an individual through a window during the course of the altercation.

The Gainesville Police Department confirmed to GTN that there was an incident, but did note that DeBose was not arrested.  It’s unclear if DeBose or anyone else allegedly involved could face charges down the road.

UF has not commented publicly on the situation.

During summer camp last August, Debose tore an ACL and did not see the field in 2013.  Additionally, Debose missed his entire true freshman season in 2009 due to an injury he suffered running high school track.  The two missed seasons led to the NCAA approving a sixth season for the player.

A five-star member of UF’s 2009 recruiting class, Debose was rated as the No. 2 receiver in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 21 player at any position.  Debose appeared in 31 games and made eight starts from 2010-12.  He has 29 career catches for 543 yards and four touchdowns.  His most productive season as a receiver came in 2011 (16-432-4).

Debose has done the majority of his damage on special teams as his four career kickoff returns for touchdowns are a school record and tied for the most in SEC history.

(Tip O the Cap: Orlando Sentinel)

UPDATED 2:22 p.m. ET: And this is precisely why we use — or overuse in some cases — the words “allegedly” and “reportedly.”

Shortly after we posted the original story above, the Gainesville Police Department released a statement addressing the situation involving DeBose.  The key portion of the release appeared at the very bottom.

Note: Information originally released in a Sunday Morning “GPD Media Weekend Snapshot” email sent to local media reported that Debose was an aggressor, but this information was incorrect.

The GPD also detailed in the release the events that led up to officers being called to a local residence.  Suffice to say, all parties involved are very lucky that there were no injuries… or deaths.

Below is the GPD’s statement, in its entirety.

Gainesville, FLA – At 6:30pm Saturday, officers responded to an armed confrontation involving at least 2 subjects in the front yard of the house that were reportedly armed with a handgun and a rifle.  

When officers arrived, they found an SUV parked in front of the house with numerous bullet holes and shell casings in the road.  One subject retreated into the house but came out and was secured within moments.  Investigation determined that John Mark Honeycutt W/M 7/1/90, Andre Debose B/M 9/12/90, Victor Watkins II B/M 12/20/89 and Kristan Lipham W/F were eating together in the house.  

Debose and Watkins got into an argument resulting in Watson pushing Debose into a window.   The glass broke, but Debose was not injured.  This angered Honeycutt who retrieved a handgun and threatened Watkins with it.  However, Watkins immediately took the handgun from Honeycutt and then discharged several rounds into the ground outside the house.  

Honeycutt now retrieved the rifle and fired several rounds into Watkins’s SUV and into the ground in front of the house.  All parties were transported to CID where GPD detectives conducted interviews.  After an extensive investigation, detectives arrested Honeycutt for Aggravated Assault.  All other parties were released.

UPDATED 2:59 p.m. ET: The Gainesville Police Department has taken a somewhat unprecedented step by issuing yet another statement addressing the initial discrepancy involving DeBose while also directing an apology to the player for the initial, incorrect information.

Again, the complete statement from the GPD appears below.

Social media is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, important information can be relayed to millions of people in a fraction of a second.

On the other hand, incorrect information can spread like wildfire.

This morning, as I read our end-of-shift reports, I copied and pasted the incident summary that included information about Florida Gators WR Andre Debose and sent it to my local media contacts as I do each and every day.  Unfortunately, the initial information released was incorrect.

The initial summary read that Mr. Debose, during an argument, threw another person into a window.  In fact, the names in the summary were transposed, and I did not catch the error before sending it to my local media contacts.  I did not catch the error until the wildfire had started, and now I am trying to help put that wildfire out.

Mr. Debose was actually the one pushed into the glass, and in fact tried to break this altercation up multiple times during the incident.  

To Mr. Debose: I apologize that my error put your name and reputation in jeopardy, no matter how briefly.  I take full responsibility for this error, and hope that the stories printed and published will correct your name and reputation.  Furthermore, I am extremely proud that you intervened in this incident and likely prevented anyone from being injured or killed.

-Officer Ben Tobias, PIO
Gainesville Police Spokesperson

Western Michigan dismisses pair accused of alleged stick-up

KALAMAZOO, MI - SEPTEMBER 4: Western Michigan Broncos fans get fired up before the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Waldo Stadium on September 4, 2015 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Western Michigan has dismissed a pair of players accused of sticking up a female WMU student after committing an on-campus robbery, the program announced Sunday. The players, linebacker Ron George and wide receiver Bryson White, were both freshmen.

The pair are accused of holding the student up with a semi-automatic firearm and a knife. It is not clear which player is accused of holding which weapon. “He had the gun to the back of my head and he slammed the back of my head with the gun,” the woman said.

The woman says the players stole “hundreds of dollars, along with a stereo speaker.”

“I’m so scared. I couldn’t sleep last night,” the woman told WWMT-TV. “I haven’t ate anything since. I’m so scared. I don’t want to live here anymore.”

“This has been a difficult time for our University, community and football family,” head coach P.J. Fleck said in a statement. “With this action we are moving forward and we are focusing our attention on Northwestern.”

George was a three-star signee out of Pittsburgh. White was a walk-on from Ohio.

Western Michigan visits Northwestern Saturday (noon ET, ESPNU).

Texas Tech boss Kirby Hocutt becomes latest million-dollar AD

LUBBOCK, TX - JANUARY 16: Texas Tech Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt answers questions from the media after being named the chairman of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee on January 16, 2016 at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
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It’s been a good year for Kirby Hocutt. His basketball team returned to the NCAA Tournament, then made a nice rebound hire in Chris Beard when Tubby Smith bolted for Memphis. His baseball team won its first-ever game at the College World Series, then held onto head coach Tim Tadlock when Texas came calling. His football program is positioned for a solid year, with rare stability at the defensive coordinator position and perhaps the most talented quarterback in school history in Patrick Mahomes. He reached a new level of professional currency when he was named chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee.

That last bit has led to a handsome new contract that pushes his salary to north of $1 million a year.

As detailed by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Hocutt has inked a seven-year contract that pays him a sum of $7.525 million. He’ll earn $1 million in the first year and net raises of $25,000 each year, plus bonuses that could reach as much as $225,000 each year. All told, theoretically, Hocutt could earn $1.4 million by the final year of his contract.

“I couldn’t feel more fortunate to have the support that I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy at Texas Tech University,” Hocutt told the paper. “The leadership continues to be tremendous. I couldn’t be more excited about President Schovanec. The support he provides, that Chancellor (Robert) Duncan provides, I couldn’t be more fortunate as an athletics director.”

Salaries for athletics directors aren’t as easy to track as coaches but, according to the most recent data on file, Hocutt appears to be one of just eight active ADs to earn seven figures — and more than the ADs at both Texas and Texas A&M.

In addition to Tech’s success in the big three sports — the Red Raiders were the only Big 12 program to reach the postseason in football and men’s basketball while also reaching the College World Series — 11 of the school’s 14 other programs also reached the postseason, including Big 12 titles in soccer, men’s tennis and baseball.

Lombardi Award changes criteria so ‘a Johnny Manziel’ can’t win it

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 09:  Johnny Manziel #2 of the Texas A&M Aggies drops back to pass in the first half during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Kyle Field on November 9, 2013 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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The Lombardi Award had a nice thing going. Run by the Rotary Club of Houston, the award had chugged along since 1970, honoring college football’s best offensive lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker. Past winners include the likes of Lee Roy SelmonSteve EmtmanOrlando PaceAaron Donald and Scooby Wright, to name a few current and future College Football Hall of Famers.

Essentially, the Lombardi Award was the Heisman Trophy for players who never had a snowball’s chance in Tempe to actually win the actual Heisman.

Except the Rotary Club this week announced it will open the Lombardi’s criteria to all players…. exactly like the Heisman, therein rendering itself totally irrelevant. And the reasoning makes even less sense after they explain it.

“If someone were to push me in a corner and ask me, ‘What’s the difference between this award and the Heisman Trophy award?’ I would tell you this. The difficult truth is a Tim Tebow could have won this award, but a Johnny Manziel could not have won this award. That’s the difference,” former Oklahoma running back and longtime college football television analyst Charles Tillman told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Ignoring the brain-melter that Manziel himself wouldn’t have been eligible for the Lombardi Award’s stiffarm under the previous system, the character-based system presents a couple questions:

A) Where is the “character” line drawn, and who draws it? As the Plain-Dealer points out, all we knew of Manziel by the time he collected his Heisman in December 2012 were some viral photos of him (obviously) drinking underage in a Scooby Doo costume and a misdemeanor arrest for being involved in a fight and producing a fake ID. That doesn’t make him Tebow, but it doesn’t make him significantly worse than a lot of other talented players, either.

B) Hasn’t the Jerry SanduskyJoe Paterno saga taught us anything? Sandusky and Paterno were exalted as saints among mere mortals until the passage of time exposed them as something far worse. The same could happen to Tebow. It probably won’t, but it could. And that’s the problem: we don’t know these guys. All we know is the image they project. On-field performance never changes, but our awareness of players’ supposed character could irrevocably flip at any moment.

There are dozens of college football awards, each elbowing for a glimmer of sunshine the Heisman doesn’t grab for itself. The Lombardi Award had some of that sunshine. It had history, it had a niche and it had credibility. To render itself irrelevant is already strange, but to do so for such a dubious reason is even more perplexing.

Report: Pac-12 reaches deal with Fox Sports Australia

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 02:  Larry Scott, CEO of the WTA speaks to the media during the draw for the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships at the Pearl conference centre on Novemeber 2, 2008 in Doha, Qatar. The Championships willl take place in Doha from November 4-9, 2008.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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What, you thought Cal was going all the way to Sydney for…. fun? The student-athlete experience?

No, there was always a pot of gold at the end of that transpacific rainbow.

According to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News, a good of a source as there is for all things Pac-12, the league has reached a content agreement with Fox Sports Australia to show Pac-12 football and basketball.

Wilner reports that Fox Sports Australia will show 21 men’s basketball games and 13 football contests, with the possibility of other Pac-12 teams heading Down Under in the near future.

Globalization has been a key charge of Larry Scott‘s commissionership. Washington opened the 2015-16 college basketball season by “hosting” Texas in Shanghai last November and, of course, there was Cal’s game with Hawaii Friday night.