Baylor football improved to 3-0 in the early going of the 2016 season under new head coach Jim Grobe. After the game, a former Bear was spotted in the team’s locker room, which drew some questions for the head coach of the Bears today. Shawn Oakman visited his former teammates to exchange a few words of encouragement, and it must have been difficult not to spot him considering his considerable size.
When asked about Oakman being allowed inside the Baylor locker room after the win against Rice, the head coach of the Bears denied having any knowledge of who he was.
I’m sorry, but that is just not an answer that should be allowed by the head coach fo the Baylor football program, even if he had no previous ties to Oakman. There is no possible way a head coach hired to regain control of the program and provide it with a level of respectability sorely needed through well-respected leadership can have absolutely zero clue who Oakman is.
Not when Oakman was indicted in a sexual assault case this past July the very next day after Grobe suggested there was not a culture problem to address at Baylor (which, by the way, is the exact reason he was even hired in the first place). Oakman was arrested on sexual assault charges in April, and this was not the first time Oakman had gotten into some legal trouble just since his arrival at Baylor.
Even if you do want to believe Grobe is so out-of-touch with his own program or want to believe he is among the most naive people in Waco and honestly does have no clue who Oakman is, then what is the excuse for anyone else tied to the Baylor program who would have been able to grant locker room access to Oakman? Somebody knew who he was, and somebody should have had the awareness to realize now is probably not a good time to be allowing him entrance to the team’s locker room.
If hiring Grobe was supposed to spin the PR around Baylor in a positive direction, that mission is failing spectacularly.
Not surprisingly, the memorials are pouring in for the passing of a College Football Hall of Famer.
Friday morning, the four daughters released a statement through Ohio State announcing that their father, former Buckeyes head coach Earle Bruce, had passed away at the age of 87. Shortly thereafter, OSU released a statement from its current head football coach on the man who had battled Alzheimer’s for years.
“I’ve made it clear many times that, other than my father, Coach Bruce was the most influential man in my life,” Urban Meyer said. “Every significant decision I’ve made growing up in this profession was with him involved in it. His wife [Jean] and he were the role models for Shelley and me. They did everything with class. He was not afraid to show how much he loved his family and cared for his family.”
Others expressing their condolences included Jim Harbaugh of rival Michigan as well as Iowa State, where Bruce was the head coach from 1973-78 before taking over in Columbus in 1979, and the Cyclones’ current coach for good measure.
Koda Martin‘s collegiate playing career has taken a familial turn.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, the offensive lineman announced that he would be transferring from Texas A&M. Not only that, but Martin confirmed that he already has a new college football home — Syracuse.
Martin’s dad, Kirk Martin, was named as the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse earlier this year. Last summer, Koda Martin married Jazzmin Babers, who happens to be the daughter of Orange head coach Dino Babers.
Whether it’s coincidence or not, Martin’s move from College Station comes two weeks after a heat stroke he suffered during an Aggies spring practice session left him near death according to a social media post from his father.
As Martin will graduate from A&M in May, he’ll be eligible to play for the Orange in 2017. The upcoming season will be the lineman’s final year of eligibility.
Martin had started 14 games for the Aggies the past two seasons, including 10 last season as a redshirt junior.
Colorado State’s athletic department coffers will be a little more full thanks to one development this week.
CSU announced Thursday a 15-year agreement with Public Service Credit Union for the naming rights to the university’s year-old football stadium. The long-term agreement will result in the school being paid $37.7 million over the life of the deal. Per the school, “annual escalator clauses for inflation, as well as a signing bonus,” are also included in the agreement.
The on-campus stadium opened in July of last year at a cost of $225 million, with the first game played in August of 2017.
“This is a partnership that makes so much sense for our university community and for Public Service Credit Union, and we’re thrilled to announce this new agreement,” said CSU president Tony Frank in a statement. “Our stadium will carry the name of a Colorado-based business that shares our commitment to creating opportunity and opening doors for people at all income levels. Our mission and our values as a university align so well with those of PCSU, and the investment by the credit union and its members in our campus and programs will bring great visibility to how much they accomplish as a visionary community partner.”
According to the school’s release, the new naming rights deal, when combined with the field naming rights deal previously announced, actually compares reasonably well with some of the agreements reached by Power Five programs.
The agreement, which when added to the $20 million given in 2016 to name Sonny Lubick Field, brings the total naming rights revenues at Colorado State to $57 million for the stadium. This is comparable to the recently announced $69 million United Airlines Memorial Coliseum at University of Southern California and the $41 million Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium at the University of Washington.
Interestingly, Lubick, the legendary former Rams head football coach, currently serves as the vice president of community outreach for the credit union.
The extended Ohio State family is mourning the loss of one its own.
In a statement attributed to the four daughters of Earle Bruce, OSU confirmed Friday morning the passing of the former head football coach. The beloved coach had been battling Alzheimer’s for years prior to his death at age 87.
Below is the daughters’ statement, in its entirety:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, Coach Earle Bruce, early this morning, Friday, April 20. He was a great man, a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, and a respected coach to many. Our family will miss him dearly, but we take solace in the belief that he is in a better place and reunited with his beloved wife, Jean. We thank you for your prayers and good wishes.
His loving daughters: Lynn, Michele, Aimee and Noel
Bruce played his college football with the Buckeyes, and embarked on his coaching career as an OSU student assistant under the legendary Woody Hayes in 1951. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant from 1966-71 and then again in 1979 as the head coach as he replaced Hayes, who was fired after his infamous sideline punch of a Clemson player in a 1978 bowl game.
In nine seasons as the head coach of the Buckeyes, Bruce compiled a record of 81-26-1. OSU won outright or claimed a share of the Big Ten title four times during Bruce’s tenure. They played in a pair of Rose Bowls under Bruce, part of eight bowl games they qualified for in his first eight seasons as head coach.
In 2002, Bruce, who was the head coach at Iowa State prior to coming to Columbus, was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.