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Week after sentencing on felony plea, Michigan fully reinstates Grant Perry

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One Michigan football player is officially back in the good graces of the program.

In an extensive and detailed statement, UM announced Friday night that Grant Perry has been fully reinstated to the Wolverines football team.  Previously, the wide receiver had been cleared to practice with the team during summer camp; this move clears him to play in any and all games this season.

Below is the program’s complete release:

The University and Michigan Athletic Department have closely followed the legal proceedings involving Grant Perry since October.

During this time, he has met every institutional expectation. Grant has served multiple team suspensions, missing two games during the 2016 season as well as the Orange Bowl against Florida State. He was suspended from all team activities in the Winter of 2017, including all of spring practice and the team’s trip to Rome. Grant was only recently allowed to participate in summer conditioning prior to the start of fall camp.

We conducted an athletic department and institutional review following the conclusion of the legal process. Based on that review, we have determined that Grant is reinstated to full participation with the football team.

In order to maintain his full participation with the team, and in addition to complying with the terms of his probation, Grant must continue to meet additional internal requirements from the university, athletic department and football program.

In mid-October of last year, Perry was accused of groping the groin and buttocks of a female Michigan State student outside of an East Lansing bar.  As a result, Perry was initially charged with two counts of sexual assault, and one each of a minor in possession of alcohol and resisting an officer.  The latter charge was a felony, the others misdemeanors.

Perry pleaded guilty in late June to one felony count of resisting a police officer and one misdemeanor count of assault and battery.  Earlier this month, he was sentenced to 12 months probation; fined $748; will be forced to pay $117.95 in restitution for counseling his victim received; abstain from drugs and alcohol for a period of 12 months; and undergo random drug and alcohol testing.

Below are excerpts, from mlive.com‘s report a week ago, of the impact statement the victim, who stated she’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder because of the incident, read in front of the court at the August sentencing:

She claimed Perry “made the decision to get intoxicated, use false identification, cut in line, repeatedly harass, intimidate, demean and sexually assault me, and, finally, run from police officers.”

She continued: “The defendant’s eyes were one thing I’ll never forget. His wide eyes while he was saying foul words, licking his lips, hunching his shoulders over me and then grabbing the most personal part of my body with intent to make me feel as if I had no control over my body,” she said. “I had to physically shove him off of me, causing him to stumble backwards. When he got up and went to rush back toward me a friend had to once again push him back. Both of us feared he’d continue to assault me.

“While my entire body was physically shaking, I was crying. The aggressive harassment continued. He was mocking my words as I described how I felt violated to my friends. He stared me down while I was waiting for police to arrive, with his wide eyes and taunting smile. All while his main concern was to get into the bar.

“Just as police were arriving, the defendant entered my personal space yet again. Puffing out his chest, rounding his shoulders, yelling in my face. His friends felt the need to apologize for him. But the defendant has never once shown remorse through this entire process. In fact, he denied his actions to the fullest extent. Upon agreeing to this plea deal he has claimed to have simply pushed me out of his way.

“Clearly on this night you forgot your humility. And I’m not talking to you as a student-athlete at all. I’m talking to you as a human being (out) in the world. Your student-athlete days will be over in the blink of an eye. You’re going to go out in the world and have interactions with people all the time. All different types of people in different circumstances,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter if you’re feeling full of yourself on that day or full of alcohol, nothing ever gives you the right to assault another person, to degrade another person or to run from or resist police. … It seems like you were feeling very entitled on this particular night.

“I would like to say I’m sincerely sorry for everyone that had to get involved,” Perry said at his sentencing. “I want to personally apologize to (the victim) and her family and the officers involved for my behaviors actions.”

Last season, Perry had 13 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown.  His 14.1 yards per catch were third on the team for players with 10-plus receptions.  Over his career, the junior has 311 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 27 catches.

Report: Steve Spurrier Jr. leaving WKU for job at Wazzu

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With coaching holes throughout his Washington State staff to fill thanks to significant offseason poaching, Mike Leach has added a very famous college football surname.  Reportedly.

According to the Bowling Green Daily News, Steve Spurrier Jr. is leaving Western Kentucky to take a job under Leach at Wazzu.  The son of College Football Hall of Famer Steve Spurrier just completed his first season as the Hilltoppers’ quarterbacks coach.  He also held the title of assistant head coach under Mike Sanford.

It’s unclear what specific title Spurrier Jr. will hold at Wazzu.

Prior to his one season at WKU, and one season as an off-field staffer at Oklahoma, Spurrier Jr. had been an assistant on his father’s South Carolina staff for 11 seasons.  During his time with the Gamecocks, he served at various points as wide receivers coach (2005-15), passing-game coordinator (2009-11) and co-offensive coordinator (2012-15).

Spurrier Jr., who played wide receiver at Duke, has also spent time during his coaching career as receivers coach at Oklahoma (1999-2001) and with the Washington Redskins (2002-03).

Ex-Texas All-Big 12 defensive tackle takes DL coaching job at Baylor

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Baylor’s latest coaching addition is a very familiar name in the state of Texas.

BU confirmed Wednesday evening that Frank Okam has been added to Matt Rhule‘s coaching staff.  Okam, who was a Freshman All-American and two-time All-Big 12 defensive tackle at Texas from 2004-07, will coach the Bears’ defensive line.

“Frank is a living embodiment of everything the young men in our program should want to accomplish,” the head coach said in a statement. “He’s a college graduate, an All-American, a Big 12 champion, a national champion, a NFL draft pick and then he continued life after football earning his master’s degree from Rice and is now one of the top young football coaches in the country.

“We are excited to have Coach Okam on staff and for him to mentor our defensive line group and help take them to the next level.”

The 32-year-old Okam, who went to high school in Dallas, spent the past four seasons at Rice, the last two as the Owls’ line coach.  This will mark Okam’s first coaching job at a Power Five program.

Longtime ESPN play-by-play man Mike Patrick announces retirement

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ESPN’s roster of college football play-by-play announcers suffered a high number of attrition of late. Brent Musburger retired. Brad Nessler replaced Verne Lundquist at CBS. Sean McDonough moved to Monday Night Football. Now the dean of ESPN’s Saturday voices is going away, too.

Mike Patrick announced his retirement on Wednesday, ending a 32-year run that began in 1982, three years after the network launched.

“It’s wonderful to reflect on how I’ve done exactly what I wanted to do with my life,” Patrick said. “At the same time, I’ve had the great pleasure of working with some of the very best people I’ve ever known, both on the air and behind the scenes. While I’m not sure exactly what’s next for me, I’m looking forward to continuing my journey with new life experiences.”

His biggest assignment came as the voice of ESPN’s Sunday Night Football from 1987 until the package moved to NBC after the 2005 season, but outside of that he was one of the Worldwide Leader’s leading college sports voices. He was the lead voice on the network’s ACC basketball package, he called the Women’s Final Four for a decade and a half, and he was a leading voice on the College World Series and served as the play-by-play man for ESPN’s Thursday night and Saturday night packages, before ESPN turned its Saturday primetime window into the top package owned by the network.

You may remember this moment.

ESPN will say goodbye to Patrick through a pre-recorded tribute voiced by Rece Davis airing throughout the day on SportsCenter and a tribute during the network’s coverage of the Louisville vs. Duke basketball game tonight (9 p.m. ET).

Heisman winner Chris Weinke hired as Tennessee’s running backs coach

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It can be argued that the only reason Tennessee has a national championship is because of Chris Weinke. As we know, the Vols claimed the 1998 national championship by defeating Florida State in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl, the first national championship game of the BCS era. Tennessee won that game, 23-16, thanks in large part to a pick-six thrown by Marcus Outzen, a third-string quarterback forced into action due to an injury by the two signal callers ahead of him on the depth chart.

Here’s how a Sports Illustrated article described Weinke and that FSU team in its 1999 preview issue:

Don’t think of 1999 as a new season for Florida State, think of it as the resumption of an old one. Before quarterback Chris Weinke was dumped on his head and suffered a season-ending ruptured disk in his neck in a 45-14 win over Virginia last Nov. 7, no team in the country was playing better than the Seminoles, who had bounced back from an early-season defeat at North Carolina State. So how cruel was this? Upset losses suffered by Ohio State, UCLA and Kansas State sent 11-1 Florida State to the national title game in the Fiesta Bowl, but without its best quarterback. The Seminoles and backup signal-caller Marcus Outzen struggled on offense and lost to Tennessee.

Nevertheless, Tennessee won that season’s title, Weinke would lead Florida State to the 1999 national title and take the Heisman Trophy a year after that. The past is the past.

But now the past is the present, as the former Florida State quarterback on Wednesday was announced as Tennessee’s running backs coach.

“I’m excited to have Chris Weinke on our staff to coach running backs,” Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt said in a statement. “He has played the game at the highest level and what he has accomplished on the field speaks for itself. He is also an outstanding coach and teacher of the game, coaching in the NFL, in college this past season and at the high school level. He has a great eye for talent and knows the game on the offensive side of the ball as well as anybody I’ve been around. He will be a great fit for our Tennessee program.”

Weinke entered the NFL as a 26-year-old and lasted seven seasons with the Panthers and 49ers before moving into coaching. He first worked as a trainer at IMG Academy, then moved onto coaching the high school program, where he went 19-2 as head coach and offensive coordinator. From there he deposited a stint as the Los Angeles Rams’ quarterbacks coach before spending the 2017 season as an offensive analyst at Alabama, where he hooked up with Pruitt.

Weinke will be charged with re-building the Vols’ backfield after losing John Kelly to an early entry into the NFL draft. Rising sophomore Ty Chandler is Tennessee’s leading returning rusher, carrying 71 times for 305 yards and two touchdowns in 2017.