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Reports: Tennessee chancellor never signed Schiano agreement


As Tennessee’s botched coaching search plunges further down the social-media rabbit hole, there was yet another development earlier today that will likely leave lawyers on both sides licking their billable-hours chops.

At least three media outlets Monday (Knoxville News Sentinel, Chattanooga Times Free Press, reported that UT chancellor Beverly Davenport never signed a memorandum of understanding between the university and Greg Schiano.  The former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator had been athletic director John Currie‘s choice to replace Butch Jones before a backlash driven by social media and fueled by a third-hand connection to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State forced the university to back away from a hiring.

It was thought that, because Schiano and Currie had signed the memorandum, Schiano would be entitled to some sort of compensation stemming from an agreement so far down the road that, according to Peter King of, a plane was in Columbus Sunday afternoon set to take both to an introductory press conference in Knoxville later that evening.  However, the fact that Davenport hadn’t signed the document has led some to question whether Schiano has a legal leg to stand on if he were to pursue some type of lawsuit against UT.

“[W]ithout Davenport’s signature, the memorandum could lack legal credibility if Schiano were to pursue litigation against Tennessee,” the Times Free Press wrote. “One veteran athletic director told ESPN that if the chancellor’s signature was missing, he would not consider the document to be fully executed and therefore legally binding,” the WWL noted.

However, if it was Currie/UT alone backing away from a signed agreement, Schiano and his lawyer(s) could still have a case if they choose to pursue it.

“I deeply regret the events of yesterday for everyone involved,” Davenport said in a statement released earlier Monday. “The university remains steadfast in its commitment to excellence, and I look forward to John Currie continuing the search to bring the next head football coach to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.”

Since Currie allowed social media to turn the search for a head coach into a laughable three-ring clown show, one Penn State trustee came out very publicly in Schiano’s defense, as have Bill Belichick (HERE) and Urban Meyer (HERE).  Conversely, there is growing speculation that Currie, who was hired nine months ago, may not survive this debacle as some boosters behind the scene are pushing for his ouster.

Regardless, as much as the Volunteers have struggled on the field the last several years, they are now even more laughable off of it.  Good luck, thanks to acquiescing to a vocal Twitter minority, getting anyone of substance to come to Rocky Top and help resurrect the once-proud football program.

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa injures thumb on throwing hand in spring practice opener

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This is not exactly the most optimal way to open the spring for Nick Saban and Alabama.

Shortly before seven p.m. ET this evening, grad transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew, who originally committed to play his last season of college football at Alabama, announced on Twitter that he will instead move on to Washington State.  Not long after that, after the Crimson Tide had completed their first practice of the spring, Saban confirmed that Tua Tagovailoa sustained an injury to the thumb on his right (throwing) hand.  Specifically how he sustained the injury wasn’t clear.

The rising sophomore will be taken to Birmingham for further evaluation; just how long he’ll be sidelined remains to be seen.

Jalen Hurts started every game but one at quarterback the past two seasons, guiding the Crimson Tide to a 26-2 record in that span.  He was under center for the national championship game loss to Clemson, and was in the same spot for this year’s title game against Georgia until a 13-0 halftime deficit compelled Saban to pull the trigger on a change.

And the rest, as they say, is history, as Tagovailoa played a significant role in a second-half comeback that was capped by the true freshman’s game-winning touchdown pass in the first overtime.  Even as it seems obvious to those on the outside that this is Tagovailoa’s team moving forward, given how much more advanced the backup is in the passing game than the erstwhile starter, Saban is not quite ready to pull the trigger on a full-time change at the position.  In fact, the head coach even stated that he’s open to playing both quarterbacks.

Minshew, who started five games at East Carolina last season, was viewed as experienced insurance in case Hurts decided to transfer.  Or, if Tagovailoa suffered an injury.

After committing to Alabama, grad transfer QB Gardner Minshew tweets flip to Washington State

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So much for the implementation of the Jalen Hurts Transfer Protection Plan™.

In late February, Gardner Minshew, a graduate transfer quarterback from East Carolina, confirmed that he had committed to play for Alabama and would enroll at the university in May.  Nearly three weeks later, Minshew shifted his course significantly, announcing on Twitter that he is “[p]roud to say that I’ll be playing my last year of college ball at Washington State.”

At least when it comes to the opportunity for playing time, the Cougars, looking to replace Luke Falk, make much more sense than the Crimson Tide, who has, in addition to a two-year starter in Hurts, national championship game hero Tua Tagovailoa.

As a graduate transfer, Minshew will be eligible to play immediately for Wazzu in 2018 and could be in line to win a starting job at the Power Five school.

Minshew started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards, 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions in completing just over 57 percent of his 304 pass attempts. Prior to his departure from ECU, he was penciled in as the Pirates’ 2018 starting quarterback.

The news of Minshew’s initial commitment to UA came a little over a week after Minshew visited the Tuscaloosa campus.  Earlier in February, it was reported that Alabama had an interest in Minshew, the quarterback who announced late last month that he had withdrawn from East Carolina to tend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi.

WATCH: Amazon releases trailer for ‘All or Nothing’ season following Michigan

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“All or Nothing” has been Amazon’s answer to HBO’s “Hard Knocks” with one clear distinction — “All or Nothing” actually follows its subject throughout the season. The first two seasons followed the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams, and has now expanded into the college game. Amazon on Tuesday unveiled the trailer for its upcoming season with Michigan, in which its cameras followed Jim Harbaugh‘s Wolverines through an 8-5 campaign where the maize and blue won no games of consequence.

This is not the first such documentary series to follow a college team. Showtime’s “A Season With” has chronicled seasons of Florida State, Notre Dame and Navy.

The upcoming season will hit all Amazon Prime streaming devices on April 6.

Report: Auburn WR Eli Stove undergoes surgery for torn ACL

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A significant development has gone under the radar at Auburn, until now. Junior wide receiver Eli Stove tore his ACL during Auburn’s first spring practice and underwent surgery last Tuesday, according to Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover.

As a sophomore in 2017, Stove caught 29 passes for 265 yards and rushed 30 times for 315 yards and two touchdowns, which made him the Tigers’ third-leading rusher.

Stove was expected to increase his portfolio heading into 2018, but now he’ll spend the foreseeable future working simply to get back on the field. No timetable has been set for Stove’s return.

Though Stove is one of Auburn’s most talented pass-catchers, the Tigers aren’t hurting for depth even in his absence. Nine wideouts caught a pass for Auburn last season, and not one of them was a senior.