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Big 12 reportedly raked in a record $225.9 million in 2013-14

Bob Bowlsby

In college sports, the rich never do anything but keep getting richer.

According to federal tax records uncovered by CBSSports.com‘s Jon Solomon, the Big 12 distributed $225.9 million to its 10 members during the 2013-14 fiscal year. That’s up from a then-record $213 million provided a year ago.

The league’s contracts with ESPN and Fox accounted for $139.7 million of that cheese, with bowl game revenue ($42.6 million) and NCAA distributions ($37.3 million) taking up the next largest shares. The league distributed an average of $19.8 million, up about a million from last year. TCU and West Virginia will not receive full shares until 2015-16.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby nearly doubled his pay from 2012-13 to 2013-14, according to the report. His pay was up from $1.2 million to roughly $2.3 million. That’s more than SEC commish Mike Slive made in 2013.

Deputy commissioner Tim Weiser was the next-highest paid league employee at $288,570, followed by senior associate commissioners Tim Allen ($219,541) and Dru Hancock ($207,361).

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Famed Clemson landmark Howard’s Rock under attack again

The most famous slab of rock in college football is under attack. Again.

Following a 2013 episode where Clemson’s famed Howard’s Rock was vandalized, leading to the arrest of a 46-year-old, his 19-year-old son and the son’s 17-year-old friend. All three were charged with felonies. Now another fiend has taken aim at the rock.

“The damage was reported by construction crew members working on renovations to the suite and club levels of the stadium. Police were immediately notified, and the investigation continues,” a university statement says.

The 2013 incident led to safeguards that left the rock in its place today. “Damage was limited to the glass case protecting the storied rock, one of several security measures put in place following vandalism which occurred in June 2013. The pedestal upon which Howard’s Rock is attached was not damaged.”

The Rock is currently secure in an undisclosed location.

“Howard’s Rock is a very important and visible part of our campus and our stadium, and we know many students, alumni and fans come to see it throughout the year,” said Dan Radakovich. “We’ll work to quickly have it back in its home and available for all to see as quickly as possible.”

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Ex-Auburn players Kodi Burns, Ryan Pugh land coaching jobs

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game - Oregon v Auburn Getty Images

A pair of recent Auburn Tiger football players are continuing their climb up the coaching ladder.

As had been previously reported as a possibility, Middle Tennessee State announced this past Sunday that Kodi Burns has been hired as Rick Stockstill‘s wide receivers coach.  Burns spent 2013 as an offensive graduate assistant at AU. Prior to that, he served in the same position under Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State.

Burns, who played receiver for the Tigers from 2007-10, will be entering his first season as a position coach.

“Kodi was everything I was looking for in a coach,” Stockstill said in a statement. “He has enthusiasm, energy, passion, and will do a great job relating to our players. I am anxious for him to get started and excited about having him in the program.”

In addition to the news involving Burns, one of his former teammates, Ryan Pugh, has been added as a graduate assistant on Les Miles‘ coaching staff at LSU. Pugh, who started 45 games at center for the AU Tigers from 2007-10, will help with LSU’s offensive line. LSU’s current line coach, Jerry Grimes, was Pugh’s position coach at AU his last two years.

Pugh has been a grad assistant the past three years, with stops at AU (2012), Virginia Tech (2013) and Cincinnati (2014). While Pugh was at Tech, Grimes was the Hokies’ line coach.

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TCU makes in-house DC promotions official

Chad Glasgow

Long rumored to be the case, TCU has stayed in-house to fill its coordinating vacancy on the defensive side of the ball.

TCU announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that safeties coach Chad Glasgow and linebackers coach DeMontie Cross have been promoted to co-defensive coordinators. Both coaches will retain their positional titles as well.

The pair replaces Dick Bumpas, the long-time coordinator who announced his retirement earlier this month.

Glasgow is the most senior member of TCU’s defensive staff, having spent 13 seasons spent working under head coach Gary Patterson with the Horned Frogs. Cross, meanwhile, has been at TCU for two seasons.

Additionally, the school announced that Dan Sharp will take over as defensive line coach and Paul Gonzales has been named cornerbacks coach. The former spent 2014 as TCU’s director of player personnel for special team, while the latter was a Horned Frogs grad assistant the past three years.

(Photo credit: TCU athletics)

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Chronic foot issues force ‘Cuse DL Marcus Coleman to quit football

Marcus Coleman

A lingering lower-leg issue has cost Syracuse some depth along its defensive line.

Head coach Scott Shafer confirmed Tuesday that Marcus Coleman is expected to be medically disqualified and forced to give up the game. Coleman, a redshirt junior, has been dealing with chronic foot issues.

It’s tough for Marcus,” Orange defensive line coach Tim Daoust said according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. “I love Marcus; I recruited him. He’s a great kid, but he’s going to go on to bigger and better things.

“He does tremendously academically. He’s going to make it. He’s a guy I’ll be calling to manage my money, if I ever have any.”

Despite the injury woes, Coleman played in 11 games last season. All told, he played in 16 games in three seasons with the ‘Cuse.

He was expected to be a significant part of the Orange’s rotation in 2015.

(Photo credit: Syracuse athletics)

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NCAA says it didn’t declare Baylor walk-on ineligible

Question Marks

And the plot thickens.

In response to the claims of Baylor walk-on Silas Nacita that he had been declared ineligible by the NCAA for accepting impermissible benefits, the NCAA has responded to the ruckus.  And, essentially, stated that it had nothing to do with the situation.

From one of the official Twitter accounts of the NCAA:

In a statement released this afternoon, Baylor announced that “Nacita will not be a part of the football program moving forward due to rules violations that impact his eligibility.”  The violations involved Nacita, at least in his accounting of events, receiving housing from what he described as a close family friend.

“Because I accepted that offer instead of choosing to be homeless, I am no longer to play football and pursue my dream,” the player wrote on social media. “I had no idea I was breaking any rules, but I respect the decision of the NCAA.”

While still a soulless organization, this doesn’t appear to be an NCAA issue, aside from whatever Association violations BU uncovered.  The university, for the record, has not detailed those violations.

In its statement, BU announced that those would be its only comments on the matter moving forward.

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Four-star 2013 WR Ra’Shaad Samples leaving Okla. St.

Oklahoma State v Mississippi State Getty Images

Oklahoma State and one of the most touted members of its recruiting class two years ago have decided to part ways, the player’s father stated.

Speaking to 247Sports.com, Reginald Samples, a Texas high school head coach, confirmed that his son, Ra’Shaad Samples, has decided to transfer from the Cowboys. OSU has already granted to wide receiver a release from his scholarship, the dad confirmed.

The elder Samples also stated that his son already has offers from other school, although he declined to go into specifics. In addition to OSU, Samples had Ohio State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and USC as his finalists prior to committing to the Cowboys in July of 2012.

No reason was given for Samples’ decision, although the Cowboys return nine players who had at least one reception in 2014.

A four-star member of OSU’s 2013 recruiting class coming out of high school in Dallas, Samples was rated as the No. 33 receiver in the country and the No. 32 player at any position in the state of Texas. Along with fellow receiver Marcell Ateman and defensive back Jerel Morrow, Samples was the highest-rated member of that year’s class.

After redshirting as a true freshman, Samples played in six games in 2014. In that limited action, he caught three passes for 11 yards.

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Bielema looks to Okla. St. to fill hole on Arkansas staff

Jemal Singleton

Nearly three weeks after losing an assistant to the NFL, Bret Bielema has filled that lone coaching hole.

In a press release, and following up on speculation that had been building, Arkansas announced that Jemal Singleton has been hired as the Razorbacks’ running backs coach. Additionally, he’ll carry the title of special teams coordinator.

Singleton replaces Joel Thomas, who left Fayetteville earlier this month for a job with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

“We are very intrigued with Jemal’s history as a person, player and coach, and specifically his experience with the running back position,” a statement from Bielema began. “He will be a great asset that brings life experience to Arkansas. Jemal fits into our offensive and special teams philosophy. We are excited for him to join our program and help us win an SEC championship.”

Singleton comes to Arkansas from Oklahoma State, where he had spent the past four seasons as running backs coach. From 2006-10, Singleton served in the same capacity at alma mater Air Force.

From 2007-10, he added the title of running-game coordinator.

“After meeting with Coach Bielema, Mr. Long and the rest of the Razorback football staff, I knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of,” Singleton said. “It was just the perfect fit, both on and off the field. The opportunity to coordinate special teams and work with two returning 1,000 yard rushers was icing on the cake. My family and I cannot wait to join this great institution and community. I look forward to helping the University of Arkansas win an SEC championship.”

(Photo credit: Oklahoma State athletics)

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Baylor statement rules out return for walk-on ruled ineligible

darious Crawley, Nacita Silas

Instead of helping one of its own, Baylor has merely moved on.  And piled on.

A short time ago we noted that Bears walk-on Silas Nacita had been declared ineligible by the NCAA for receiving impermissible benefits in the form of a place to stay instead of being homeless.  It was hoped that common sense would prevail.  That hope, as it turned out, was short-lived.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Baylor announced that it had essentially washed its hands of Nacita.

“Silas Nacita will not be a part of the football program moving forward due to rules violations that impact his eligibility,” BU athletic director Ian McCaw wrote. “We appreciate his contributions to Baylor football and wish him well as he completes his studies.”

Kudos to both Baylor and the NCAA for their impressive shortsightedness.  It’s heartwarming to see student-athletes being looked after in such a manner, by ridding campuses of such riff-raff as Nacita and the like.

The real kick in the nether regions for Nacita?  The NCAA highlighting a student-athlete overcoming homelessness on the same day it punished a kid for attempting to avoid a similar fate.

Facepalm

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Utah State one of three FBS schools added to USC’s future slates

USC Utah State AP

Nothing like future contests against the likes of Alabama and Texas, USC has nonetheless added a handful of games further on down the road.

Wednesday afternoon, USC announced that three football games have been added to its future slates.  The most notable of that trio would be Utah State, with the Trojans hosting the Aggies in 2016.

This will mark the fifth game between the two programs, with the first coming in 1928 and the most recent in 2013.  USC, not so surprisingly, has won all five meetings.

The other two announced games are home matchups with Western Michigan (2017) and UNLV (2019).  Not only will the game against WMU mark the first-ever meeting between the two, it’ll mark the first-ever game for USC versus a school from the MAC.

USC and UNLV last met in 1997, although this time around, the latter announced, the Rebels will receive a guaranteed payout of $1.15 million.

“Adding a storied program such as USC to our schedule fits perfectly into our philosophy of signing one guarantee game every couple of seasons,” said UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy in a statement. “It will be an easy and memorable trip for our fans as well as allowing us to appear in a city that is an important recruiting area for us.”

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Choosing not to be homeless, Baylor walk-on ruled ineligible

Adam Jones, Silas Nacita

Another day, another case of the NCAA, one of the most reviled organizations in the country, just not getting it.  But, first, a little back story.

At one point homeless in Waco and unable to get into Baylor, Silas Nacita ultimately righted himself and earned acceptance into Cornell of the Ivy League in 2012.   Missing home, Nacita returned to Waco and attempted to enroll at BU again in 2013.  After that second attempt failed — he was unable to secure a loan to pay for school — he enrolled at a community college while at the same time saving money for tuition by waiting tables.

He saved up enough money to pay his BU tuition, ultimately walking on to the football team and earning Academic All-Big 12 honors in 2014.  Even that honor came with its own back story as Nacita couldn’t afford to pay for textbooks; instead, he took cell phone pictures of pages of the textbooks at the campus bookstore from which to study.

Fast-forward to today and Nacita has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA.  For declining to go through school homeless.  For accepting the generosity of friends.  For, essentially, following his dreams.

Unbelievably, Nacita had a classy response to the development on social media, declining to (rightly) take the NCAA to task for what appears on the surface to be a shortsighted ruling.

(If you read that and don’t feel the least beat of empathy and sympathy, and perhaps feel the eyes begin to well up, you have no heart.  Or are with the NCAA, which is actually redundant so never mind.)

At least one of his teammates, though, wasn’t as gracious.

Baylor is expected to release a statement on the situation today, a statement which will hopefully include not only the NCAA backing down from its ruling, but also an announcement that Nacita has been put on scholarship.

Rules are rules, but at some point common sense needs to come into play.  That, though, is something that’s in short supply in Indianapolis and elsewhere in collegiate athletics, with the schools making money hand over fist while at the same time the entity that oversees them punishes a broke kid for going into self-preservation mode by accepting a roof over his head.

The system’s broke and needs fixed.  This is just the latest, but not last, example of how serious the need is.

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Ducks TE Pharaoh Brown nearly had lower leg amputated

Pharaoh Brown

It was known that Pharaoh Brown had sustained a very significant leg injury this past November.  Until now, however, it wasn’t really known just how serious it actually was.

In a 24-point win over Utah, Brown sustained an injury serious enough that it kept him hospitalized in Salty Lake City for nearly a week, prompting a visit from the opposing head coach.

In an interview with The Oregonian a month removed from a third surgery on his leg, Brown revealed that doctors were mere hours away from amputating the leg below his right knee.  Brown also revealed that he sustained no broken bones; however, the paper writes, “[w]hat left him in the ICU of the University of Utah Hospital, however, was a stretched artery in his leg that caused internal bleeding and cut off blood flow below his right shin.”

The injury, which also consisted of a pair of torn ligaments, was of the non-contact variety. It was the arterial damage, though, that nearly led to the amputation. From the paper:

He expected to join his teammates back in Eugene the following day, believing the diagnosis was limited to ligament damage. In the early morning hours, a doctor burst into his hospital room — Brown remembers his message being so urgent that the doctor didn’t even introduce himself — to brief the tight end on the artery’s precarious condition. If not corrected soon, amputation was likely, he said he was told. Brown called an Oregon medical staffer to share the news and the recommendation came quickly: Get surgery.

“That just shocked me,” Brown said. “Once he said I wasn’t going to be able to walk or run again I was like, all right.”

Despite the significance of the injury, Brown is on the road to recovery.  He’s able to ride a stationary bike as well as jog lightly on an underwater treadmill.

Will he able, though, to play when the 2015 season kicks off?  That’s the great unknown.

“People ask me am I going to play, am I going to redshirt,” he said. “I mean, this is a career decision, so I want to make sure my stuff is fully healed, that I can do everything and not rush back. That’s why I don’t even look that long out. If I’m able to play, I’ll play. If I’m not, I’m not.

“I’m not getting out there till I’m 100 percent healed and not only 100 percent healed but 100 percent in my mind that I’m healed. A lot of people get out there and are timid to cut. When I’m on the football field, I’m a different guy and I only know how to play one way — that’s fast. I play hard, real nasty. I can’t take it soft. I know how I play and how I gotta be to play at that level.”

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Veteran Cincinnati DB Adrian Witty granted sixth season

Cincinnati v Houston

As it turns out, Cincinnati will have one of the most experienced defensive backs on its roster for the 2015 season.

UC has announced via a press release that Adrian Witty has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA. The school wrote that, “[b]ased on contemporaneous medical documentation and the granting of a medical hardship waiver for the 2014 season by the conference office, the NCAA staff approved the granting of a sixth year of eligibility for Witty to utilize during the 2015 season.”

Witty played in just one game during the 2014 season and four in 2010 because of injury, with none of the appearances coming past the midpoint of the season.

From 2011-13, Witty played in 36 games for the Bearcats. He’s totaled 90 tackles (56 solo), three sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, seven passes defensed and one interception.

The sixth-year senior earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in December 2013 and is working toward a master’s degree in health education (exercise/fitness).

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Dantonio brushes off talk of MSU football being in decline

Mark Dantonio

At least one writer from the World Wide Leader isn’t buying into the Michigan State “hype” heading into the spring and beyond.  And that’s not sitting well with the Spartans’ head coach.

Shortly after National Signing Day earlier this month, ESPN.com‘s Travis Henry wrote an article on teams that are trending downward post-signing day ($ link).  MSU was, obviously, one of those teams.

Two weeks later, Mark Dantonio was asked about the opinion piece and, not so unexpectedly, dismissed such talk.

“I don’t put much stock in a lot of that, usually,” the coach said.

“I think that was one guy, one abstract thing that somebody had to say on one day, because I don’t really see that very often. I haven’t seen a lot of people saying that, and I don’t see us declining. I see us moving forward.”

Arguably the only dents to Dantonio’s football program this offseason has been losing long-time defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to the head-coaching job at Pittsburgh and replacing 1,500-yard rusher Jeremy Langford. Aside from that, you could make the argument that the Spartans are trending up, not down.

They’re coming off 24 wins the past two seasons, the last of which was a big win over then-No. 5 Baylor in the Cotton Bowl. They’re middle of the pack in returning starters in the Big Ten with 13, which includes seven from a defense that is one of the best in the country. Their starting quarterback, Connor Cook, will enter 2015 as one of the better players at his position in the conference, perhaps behind just Ohio State’s three-headed quarterback.

You could see why, with the loss of Narduzzi, someone might see some slippage in East Lansing on the horizon, but it’s also easy to hear Dantonio say he “sees us moving forward” and nod your head in agreement.

Now, if moving forward means getting past Ohio State?  That’s another matter entirely.

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Land ho! Urban Meyer no longer ‘stranded’ at sea

Urban Meyer

You can now rest easy, citizens.  Our long national nightmare is over.

Well, technically, their 36-hour delay has come to an end, but still.

On a cruise to raise money for cancer research over the weekend, Urban Meyer, his wife and daughter, several current and former Ohio State players and a couple of thousand Buckeye fans were expected to arrive back in port in Tampa Monday morning.  Instead, heavy fog kept the Royal Caribbean ship out at sea for an additional 36 hours, with those on board finally docking and getting back on dry land Tuesday night.

All’s well that ends well, though, as Meyer has since taken a charter flight back home to Columbus after helping to raise more than $2 million for the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Some Buckeye fans who took part in the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer leaned on levity to pass the time, with some finding humor in the juxtaposition of one of the most powerful coaches in college football morphing into a simple stranded passenger like everybody else.

“I saw Urban a half an hour ago,” OSU alum Tom Thiry told the Cleveland Plain Dealer Tuesday night. “He was standing in line with [wife] Shelley and his luggage. It shows that no amount of prestige or money could have gotten you off this ship.

“Someone said that Urban can win a national championship with a third-string quarterback, but he can’t tackle the fog.”

On a completely unrelated note, the 2015 college football season kicks off in exactly 190 days. Please hurry. Please.

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