FSU season tickets sold out and Miami wants fans to come to fewer games

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Call it a tale of two programs, if you will. On one side, in Tallahassee, you have reigning national champions Florida State, a considerable favorite in the early playoff discussion for 2014 with a Heisman Trophy quarterback and a roster ready to make another run at an ACC title and perhaps defend its spot on top of the college football world. On the other hand, in Miami, you have a program still looking to recapture the glory of days past, with a new head coach now leading a program without any clouds looming over the program with uncertainty. The story of how tickets are being sold pretty much sums up where these two old rivals stand today, heading into the 2014 season.

For the first time since 2003, Florida State has sold every available ticket for the season. The school reports selling more than 45,000 tickets since winning the BCS Championship Game against Auburn. Season tickets were renewed at a 96 percent rate and more than 3,000 new season ticket packages were sold. There are still a few ticket packages to be sold to boosters and there will be some single-game tickets to be sold, but the point is Florida State is cashing in on the rewards of winning a national championship.

“We are excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming football season,” FSU athletic director Stan Wilcox said in a release. “Following the National Championship, the Athletics staff and Boosters worked hand-in-hand to ensure the momentum generated by the team and coaching staff last year continued this year.  A full Doak Campbell stadium is representative of those efforts.”

At Miami, the Hurricanes are left trying out new ideas to encourage fans to purchase tickets. That includes encouraging fans to attend fewer games. Wait, it makes sense.

Knowing that fans can sometimes struggle to purchase full season packages for any sporting event, Miami is offering fans a chance to purchase smaller ticket packages for a fraction of the home games. If six game plans are too expensive, perhaps a two-game package is more fitting. For Miami, anything is worth a shot considering the difficulty it can be for the program to fill Joe Robbie Stadium Pro Player Park Dolphins Stadium Land Shark Stadium Sun Life Stadium on a Saturday afternoon. Since moving home football games to the home of the Miami Dolphins from the old Orange Bowl to build this monstrosity, crowd shots of Miami games have become something of a running joke for many on social media. Miami faces a number of concerns other universities do with selling tickets, so any new ideas that can used are always going to be worth experimenting with.

Miami’s home schedule includes games against Florida A&M, Arkansas State, Duke, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Florida State and Pittsburgh.

(Yes, I am aware the pictures used of Sun Life Stadium here is from a soccer match.)

Alleged victim of Tennessee WR Josh Smith threatens $3 million civil suit

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Earlier this month, Tennessee wide receiver Josh Smith was charged with domestic assault following an incident at an off-campus house with his roommate. Now, the roommate is seeking damages of $875,000. If that sum is not paid, then the alleged victim may bring a $3 million civil suit to the court.

According to Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Kennedy Foster suffered a broken nose, broken teeth and damage to his eyes and right ear in the incident earlier this month that led to the charges filed against Smith. Foster sent a settlement demand letter to the attorney representing Smith.

“I’m not accusing him (Foster) of extortion, but that’s what it looks like,’’ Smith’s attorney, Keith Stewart said according to Hyams. “Given my understanding that Mr. Foster’s attempts to press charges against Malcolm Stokes were unsuccessful, it seems his motives are clear.’’

“I think when the truth comes out, Josh will be exonerated,” Stewart said of his client.

The deadline for paying the settlement demand is set for May 30 (tomorrow) by 5:00 p.m. and is to be delivered in the form of a cashier’s check along with a letter of apology for the incident. If the Smith family does not pay the requested sum, the legal team for Foster will move forward with a $1.5 million lawsuit seeking compensatory damages and a $1.5 million lawsuit for punitive damages. How either will hold up in court remains to be seen.

How some college football teams are recognizing Memorial Day on Twitter

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It’s not Memorial Day until the social media teams at college football programs start pumping out branded Memorial Day messages on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. As expected, teams and conferences are busy at pumping out the social media content for their followers today. Here is a sampling of what has been seen so far.

If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to read John’s annual Memorial Day post.

This Memorial Day, take time to remember

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(Reprinted and reposted with permission for an eighth straight year from, well, me.)

You have to admit that, despite the ongoing partisan slap-fights and political in-fighting and every other really crappy thing going on, we have a pretty damn good life, living in these United States of America.  It’s a far-from-perfect country, but, dammit, it’s ours.  Ours because our own have and will continue to shed their blood in the ultimate sacrifice.  Gave and will continue to give their lives, their hopes, their dreams so that we — and our children and our children’s children and their children — may live and realize ours and theirs.

As you go about your day today, doing whatever it is that you do on Memorial Day, take a second or two or sixty — or more — to reflect on what exactly this day is all about.

Please.  Just take a moment.  Take a moment to God bless those who have given so much.

God bless those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy day-in and day-out.

God bless those hundreds of thousands of millions who’ve lost fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in the ultimate sacrifice paid forward to every single one of us, for our freedoms.

And thank you — thank you, thank you, thank you with every fiber of my being — to those who continue serving this country and keep this great nation safe.

And, again, God bless families torn apart and made lesser by the heartbreaking losses, hellish and unthinkable holes in the soul that allow us to do whatever the hell it is we want to on this day and every other day of the year…

Iowa linebacker announces transfer

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Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has been known to have a program that could play some solid defense more often than not, but the depth at linebacker just got a bit more shallow this Memorial Day weekend. Redshirt sophomore Anthony Garbutt has announced he is leaving the program.

“After prayer, consulting with my family and Coach Ferentz, I have made the decision to leave the University of Iowa,” Garbutt announced in a statement on Twitter. “I am thankful for my years as a Hawkeye and will continue to support the franchise.”

Garbutt went on to announce he will make a decision after going through a recruiting process. No timeline for his decision was announced.

Garbutt still has three more years of eligibility remaining, although he has already burned one redshirt year after joining the Class of 2015 at Iowa. If he transfers to another FBS program, he will have to sit out the upcoming 2017 season and lose a year of eligibility in the process. He would be available to play immediately this fall if he transfers to a lower division football program.