This has not been a very good last 7-10 days for the USC football program.
Late last week athletic director Pat Haden was hospitalized twice for undisclosed medical reasons. Then, senior captain Josh Shaw turned from hero to fabricator in less than 48 hours, with his future on the team in limbo. Now? Some ugly and startling accusations are hurtling out of the Land of Troy.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian confirmed to the local writers covering the team that Anthony Brown has decided to quit the football team. Prior to that, the senior running back — he had recently been moved from cornerback in a switch he requested — went on Instagram and, well, went here:
That social media post appeared to be the impetus for Sarkisian’s announcement. From Scout.com:
Sark said he was “shocked” at these allegations, called them “ridiculous” and welcomed us to talk to anyone in or around the program and they would tell us that it simply wasn’t true.
Sark said they tried to accommodate Brown, moving him to running back. He was unfortunately hurt but Sark said they still tried to get him to stay on the team. Sark felt he could help the team. Brown refused, quit the team then posted the following on Facebook:
“Couldn’t play for a racist man!!!!!!!!!!!
Sarkisian is getting set to enter his first season as USC’s head coach and hasn’t even coached a game, yet he’s already seen two messy situations that need cleaning.
Already, though, his players are jumping to their head coach’s defense via Twitter.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.
One of the most productive pass-catching duos in the country has been cut in half.
Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery confirmed Tuesday that Keevan Lucas sustained a torn patellar tendon in the third quarter of Saturday’s loss to Houston. As a result, the wide receiver will miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
“He’s such an emotional leader for us and such a great kid,” the first-year coach said. “We’ll have to make a few adjustments offensively and move some people around and try to make sure we’ve got guys in the right spot but also guys who will step up and be ready to play.”
Lucas is currently second on the team with 26 receptions and 409 receiving yards, behind Keyarris Garrett‘s 33 and 539. His five receiving touchdowns, though, are tops on the team.
Montgomery expects Lucas to be healthy enough to participate in spring practice next year.