Skip to content

Notre Dame safety Eilar Hardy transferring, will be eligible to play next fall

Navy v Notre Dame Getty Images

After four years in South Bend, Indiana, as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, safety Eilar Hardy is ready to finish his college football career at another program.

Prior to the team’s appearance in the Music City Bowl, Hardy tweeted it was his last game with his Fighting Irish teammates. Now, he’s officially set to transfer with a few possible destinations already in mind:

Miami (OH) would be the logical destination for Hardy since Chuck Martin, who previously served as Notre Dame’s secondary coach turned defensive coordinator, took over as the head coach of the Redhawks program in 2014. There is an obvious connection with the man that originally recruited him.

Hardy was considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the nation’s 15th-ranked safety in 2011 when he originally committed to Notre Dame.

As a member of the Fighting Irish, Hardy played in 15 games over the past two seasons and started two games during the 2013 campaign. The safety was one of players suspended at the beginning of the 2014 campaign due to an academic investigation, though. Hardy recorded 35 tackles when given the opportunity to play.

As a graduate transfer, Hardy will be able to play immediately for his new team.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

Bobby Hauck officially added to San Diego State staff

Nevada v UNLV Getty Images

As expected, Rocky Long has added a veteran presence to his San Diego State football program.

Friday afternoon, SDSU announced that Bobby Hauck has been hired as Long’s special teams coordinator. It’s a position he has coached 21 of the past 22 seasons, the school noted in the release.

Another note is that Hauck is now the fourth former Div. 1 head coach in the Aztecs program, joining including Long (San Diego State, 2011-current; New Mexico, 1998-08), associate head coach/offensive coordinator/running backs coach Jeff Horton (Minnesota [interim], 2010; UNLV, 1994-98; Nevada, 1993), and director of player personnel Kevin McGarry (San Diego, 1996-03).

Hauck’s last job was as a head coach, guiding fellow Mountain West member UNLV for five seasons. He resigned in late November of last year with one game left to play, finishing his tenure with the Rebels with a 15-49 record. He was also the head coach at Montana from 2003-09.

Prior to that, he was, in part, the special teams coordinator at Washington (1999-2002) and Colorado (1995-98). He was also in charge of special teams at both of his head-coaching stops.

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

Ex-UGA DB Brendan Langley reportedly lands at FCS Lamar

Georgia Bulldogs v Arkansas Razorbacks Getty Images

A little over seven weeks after exiting stage left in Athens, Brendan Langley has reemerged in Beaumont.

In a tweet, Wes Mitchell of GamecockCentral.com reported that Langley has decided to continue his collegiate playing career at Lamar.  The FCS program has yet to officially announce the defensive back’s addition to their roster.

Langley had left Georgia in search of a better opportunity at playing time, and he’ll get that opportunity immediately at his new home as he will be eligible to play in 2015.

Over the past two seasons, Langley had played in a total of 14 games.  He started five of those contests, with four of those coming as a true freshman in 2013.

A four-star member of UGA’s recruiting class that year, Langley was rated as the No. 21 cornerback in the country and the No. 16 player in any position in the state of Georgia.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

Sizable staff dollars highlight Harbaugh’s “guaranteed” contract

University of Michigan Introduces Jim Harbaugh Getty Images

It’s been nearly a month since Jim Harbaugh was introduced as Michigan’s new head football coach, and some new details of his contractual particulars have been obtained.

As had previously been reported, Harbaugh’s seven-year deal will be worth a minimum of $40.1 million, $7 million of which the UM coach will earn in 2015 — $500,000 base pay, $4.5 million “additional compensation” and a $2 million signing bonus.  He’ll also be eligible for 10-percent raises following the third and fifth years of the contract, as well as what’s referred to as $5 million in what’s referred to as deferred compensation.

Those are some of the known.  Here are some of the previously unknown, as detailed by the Toledo Blade, Detroit Free Press and mlive.com through Freedom of Information requests:

  • A budget of $4-$5 million for his nine-man coaching staff.
  • Per the Blade, “Harbaugh must also notify Michigan within 48 hours – either before or after – if he discusses coaching opportunities with any other college or professional football programs.”
  • Should Harbaugh leave for another job at either the NFL or collegiate level, he’d be responsible for the prorated portion of his $2 million signing bonus at the time of his departure.  If he left after one season, he’d owe approximately $1.71 million.  If he left after two seasons, he’d owe approximately $1.43 million and so on.
  • If Harbaugh is fired without cause, the Free Press writes, “Michigan would owe him his base salary plus additional compensation at the time of termination for the remainder of the contract term.”  For example, if he were to be fired after Year 3, the university would owe him in the very ritzy neighborhood of $20 million ($2 million total base salary plus $18 million total additional compensation times four years remaining).  In other words, Harbaugh’s contract is virtually guaranteed for at least the first five years, at which point the buyout for a firing without cause would drop to around $10 million.
  • Per the Blade, “he will receive $4,000 annually as an apparel allowance to be used with Adidas; the use of two cars, moving expenses and temporary housing.”
  • Per mlive.com, “Harbaugh will be allowed to use a private aircraft for recruiting purposes. Additionally, he’ll be allowed up to 25 hours per year in private aircraft travel for personal, non-football related use.”

Aside from the contract being virtually guaranteed through at least the first five years, the most notable aspect of the deal is the budget for his coaching staff.

With a total staff budget of $4 million, just four FBS staffs in 2014 surpassed the amount budgeted for Harbaugh: LSU, Alabama, Clemson, Auburn (Oklahoma was at $4.07 million).  Just two were above $5 million: LSU ($5.5 million), Alabama ($5.21 million).  The closest in the Big Ten?  Reigning national champion Ohio State ($3.6 million).

UM’s budget last season was $3.5 million for Brady Hoke‘s staff.  As Hoke total pay was around $2.8 million in 2014, it means that, combined with the increase in assistant pay, the Wolverines will pay anywhere between $4.7 million and $5.7 million more this year than they did last year for their 10 football coaches.

Permalink 11 Comments Back to top

Starting ISU DB dismissed, three other Cyclones transfer

Baylor v Iowa State

At least as it pertains to Iowa State, it’s dismissal — and departure — day as we head into the weekend.

Earlier Friday it was reported that wide receiver P.J. Harris had been dismissed from the football program.  Now, the school is announcing that safety TJ Mutcherson has been dismissed as well. No reason for the dismissal was revealed, although the player had been suspended for the final two hames of the 2014 season for unspecified violations of team rules.

In 2014, Mutcherson started all 10 games in which he played as a redshirt sophomore. His 76 tackles were second on the team while his two interceptions were third.

The defensive back played in eight games in 2013.

In addition to Mutcherson, it was also announced that wide receiver Damein Lawry, tight end Alex Leslie and offensive lineman Duaron Williams have all decided to transfer from the Cyclones.  Lawry played in 17 games during his time in Ames, mostly on special teams, while Leslie played in 10 last season.

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

Iowa State WR P.J. Harris dismissed, THEN arrested

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptq5nze1m2i2yzjkmmnkmdu3yjezzjbingy5zdjjywi4 AP

Normally it’s an arrest that precedes the dismissal of a college football player.  In the case of P.J. Harris, it’s the exact opposite.

An Iowa State spokesperson confirmed to Bobby La Gesse of the Ames Tribune that Harris had been dismissed from the football program Jan. 13.  The reason for the dismissal was your standard violation of unspecified team rules, although the school hadn’t previously announced or publicly acknowledged the forced separation.

Then, earlier today, the wide receiver was arrested on a charge of aggravated domestic assault/strangulation. From the Tribune:

Harris was charged at 10:48 p.m. on Thursday, according to Ames arrest records. The incident between Harris and the victim occurred on Thursday morning, according to Ames Cmdr. Jason Tuttle. The two got into an argument when the victim went to Harris’ apartment at 4503 Twain Circle, Apt. 306. Harris allegedly pushed the victim onto a wall, threw the victim down on a bed and strangled the victim with his hands, Tuttle said.

Harris was one of the Cyclones’ top receivers early on in 2014 before going down in mid-September with what turned out to be a season-ending broken leg. At the time of his injury, Harris was tied for second — with two other players — on the team with nine receptions.

Harris, a three-star member of ISU’s 2012 recruiting class, caught seven passes as a redshirt freshman in 2013.

Permalink 9 Comments Back to top

Trojans ‘look forward to’ Uchenna Nwosu rejoining team

Uchenna Nwosu

Uchenna Nwosu did not make the trip with his USC comrades for the Trojans’ bowl game this past season, and hasn’t been a part of the team since. That’s expected to change in the coming months. Maybe.

A school spokesperson confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Nwosu is not currently enrolled in school. Additionally, he’s not participating in team activities, and hasn’t been since an unspecified violation of team rules kept him out of the postseason.  Rumor had it that Nwosu was involved in a physical altercation with a teammate and that triggered the rules violation,. although that’s never been confirmed.

That said…

“We look forward to him rejoining the team this summer,” USC’s sports information director, Tim Tessalone, told the Times regarding the linebacker’s future status with the program.

The Orange County Register writes that “[i]t is believed that Nwosu could be eligible to play next season even after missing the spring semester.”

Mainly on special teams, Nwosu played in all 12 regular season games as a true freshman last season. He was a three-star member of the Trojans’ 2014 recruiting class.

Nwosu joins Rahshead Johnson as players whose separation from the program to be reported this week. Johnson’s separation, however, is expected to be permanent.

(Photo credit: USC athletics)

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

Bajakian’s NFL bolt leaves hole for Vols, continued search for Chips

Butch Jones AP

Tennessee has officially lost its offensive coordinator.  And Central Michigan is still officially searching for a new head coach.

After a few hours of uncertainty and conflicting reports Thursday afternoon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that Mike Bajakian has been named as the NFL club’s quarterbacks coach.  Earlier in the day it was reported that Bajakian had agreed to leave for the NFL job, although a development at one of his former coaching stops gave the assistant a bit of pause.

Dan Enos yesterday abruptly left his post as CMU’s head coach to become the offensive coordinator at Arkansas.  Bajakian, who had a pair of stints with the Chips (2002-03, 2007-09) previously, was mentioned as a potential, and perhaps even likely, successor to Enos.

Instead, CMU remains the lone FBS program without a head coach a couple of weeks away from National Signing Day.  Athletic director Dave Heeke stated that he would employ a search firm to aid in the search and would like a replacement in place by signing day Feb. 4; that seems highly unlikely, although not impossible.  Nate Schneider of the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun makes an excellent point regarding the potential for an expedited timeline.

Can Heeke find a new head coach in the next two weeks, absolutely. But finding the right fit could take longer and should take as long as need be. Heeke also said getting the right fit might take some time and that’s exactly the right strategy going forward.

As for the Vols, they will be losing a coordinator who’s spent the past two seasons at UT.  It also means head coach Butch Jones has lost a long-time and trusted aid; Bajakian had spent the past eight seasons, in stops at CMU (2007-09), Cincinnati (2010-12) and UT (2013-14), on Jones’ coaching staff.  The two were also on the same staff at CMU in 2002-03.

“We’d like to thank Coach Bajakian for his two years at Tennessee and his efforts in helping us rebuild this storied program,” Jones said in a statement. “We wish him much success with his goal of coaching in the NFL.”

Jones could look in the building for a successor, with wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Zach Azzanni most often mentioned in that vein. There would also likely be no shortage of outside candidates if that’s the route Jones wants to take.

Permalink 7 Comments Back to top

Pat Haden unsure of his future as USC’s AD

Pat Haden

USC athletic director Pat Haden is in a better place now than he was during last year’s football season. Even so, Haden’s future with the program beyond this year is still up in the air.

Is Haden planning to step down any time soon?

“I don’t know, Haden told the Orange County Register‘s Michael Lev. “I know I’m coming back next year. Other than that, I don’t have a lot of clarity on that.”

The athletic director’s health was a concern.

“I am happy, and I am healthy,” Haden continued. “I went through some issues (last year), but I’m fine and doing better. … Ninety percent of this job is fantastic. We have the world’s best athletes, and that’s indisputable, and we have some of USC’s best students. I get to work on a college campus; it happens to be my alma mater. It’s a vibrant, intellectually interesting place. All those things make the job really interesting. There’s a grind to it, too.”

Not only does Haden serve as USC’s athletic director, he is also a member of the College Football Playoff committee. Plus, he continued to deal with sanctions handed down by the the NCAA.

“We had two formal shots with the NCAA and three informal ones [to get restitution],” Haden said. “I’ve been back [to Indianapolis] three times. I was back there the day after the Penn State sanctions were reduced the first time. I was back there the next day. The idea was, if they’re getting credit for being good soldiers, we’ve been more than good soldiers. What’s the rationale? And of course we get the apples-and-oranges discussion. … I understand people’s frustration. Nobody’s more frustrated than I am. I’ve had to live through this more than anybody really. I’ve had to live through the fan base being upset. I appreciate the concern about it. But it’s not like we’re sitting on our hands here.”

The athletic director obviously had plenty on his plate this past year. He could have easily burnt out with all of the extra work he was doing. Instead, he persevered as he enters his fifth year as his alma mater’s athletic director.

Haden’s time is coming — maybe sooner rather than later — but he has yet to reach that point.

Permalink 9 Comments Back to top

Florida State quickly replaces Sal Sunseri with Brad Lawing

Brad Lawing

It didn’t take Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher long to find a replacement for Sal Sunseri as the team’s defensive ends coach.

Hours after news broke that Sunseri would take a position as part of Jack Del Rio‘s staff with the Oakland Raiders, Fisher targeted and obtained the latest addition to his staff.

“Warchant.com has confirmed with a source inside the football program that Florida assistant head coach and defensive line coach Brad Lawing has been hired to take over as FSU’s new defensive ends coach,” Gene Williams reported.

The Seminoles might have even upgraded their coaching staff with this hire. Lawing isn’t simply one of the better defensive line coaches in college football. He’s also a top-notch recruiter.

Prior to Lawing’s two-year stint with the Gators, he served as Steve Spurrier‘s defensive line coach from 2006-12.

In his 23 years as a head coach, Lawing has developed 15 NFL defensive linemen. He’ll now get his hands on Florida State’s talent-laden defensive front.

(Photo courtesy of Florida’s athletic department)

Permalink 11 Comments Back to top

Oklahoma State officials finally meet with NCAA over SI story

SI OSU Cover

Over a year after the release of Sports Illustrated‘s “The Dirty Game” cover story, Oklahoma State’s brass finally had its day in “court.”

The Tulsa World reported that “university President Burns Hargis and additional Oklahoma State officials were in Indianapolis for a Thursday meeting with the NCAA Committee on Infractions.”

The story originally accused Oklahoma State’s football program of payments to players, improper benefits from boosters, no-show work programs, etc. Y’know, just run-of-the-mill major violations at every level of the program.

As soon as the exposé was released, sources began to poke holes in the story. The esteemed news outlet was even sued by one of Oklahoma State’s boosters who named in the piece.

The NCAA already stated that the allegations were “fundamentally unfounded.” The governing body and Oklahoma State even released a joint statement in October discussing the claims.

“…[a]fter a thorough review by the NCAA Enforcement Staff and an outside consultant hired by Oklahoma State University, allegations of misconduct in the Oklahoma State football program as reported by the media in September 2013 were fundamentally unfounded.”

While the NCAA felt at the time that the majority of the claims lacked substantial credibility, it still continued to investigate the school over three possible Level II violations, according to the Tulsa World‘s Bill Haisten. Those violations involved flawed drug-testing, Orange Pride (student hostess) oversight and a failure to monitor the program.

Those violations aren’t nearly as serious as the original claims, but there is still a possibility that Oklahoma State could lose scholarships over the infractions that were found by the NCAA.

Oklahoma released a statement after the meeting that said, “The university appreciated the opportunity to present its position to the committee and expects a ruling in the near future.”

Permalink 5 Comments Back to top

Boston College’s Ryan Day joins Philadelphia Eagles staff

Ryan Day

Boston College head  coach Steve Addazio must find a new offensive coordinator as National Signing Day approaches.

After three stints in Chestnut Hill, the Philadelphia Eagles announced former Boston College offensive coordinator Ryan Day will serve as their new quarterbacks coach.

Day served as Boston College’s offensive coordinator during the last two seasons, its wide receivers coach from 2007-11 and a graduate assistant for the 2003-04 seasons.

During his time between those stops, Day squeezed in two stops at Temple, a short stay at Florida under Urban Meyer and even began his coaching career as tight ends coach for Chip Kelly at New Hampshire in 2002.

Day’s experience with Kelly goes beyond a single season as an assistant coach, though. The current coach used to be a record-setting quarterback under Kelly at New Hampshire. He’ll now replace Bill Musgrave as  Kelly’s quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia.

Last season, Boston College finished as the nation’s 14th-best rushing attack. In 2013, Eagles running back Andre Williams was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Whoever steps into Day’s shoes will likely have a strong pedigree in running the football.

Wide receivers coach Todd Fitch previously served as the team’s passing game coordinator alongside Day. He was as an offensive coordinator during previous stops at South Florida and East Carolina. If Addazio decides to promote from within, Fitch is the most likely candidate to replace Day.

(Photo courtesy of Boston College’s athletic department)

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

Former Michigan OL coach lands in Akron

Darrell Funk

The Akron Zips finished 106th in rushing offense during the 2014 season. The program should receive a boost in its ground attack due to the team’s latest addition.

The team announced the hire of former Michigan offensive line coach Darrell Funk Thursday. Funk will serve as the Zips’ offensive line coach and offensive run game coordinator.

“I am extremely excited to have Darrell join our staff here at the University of Akron,” Akron head coach Terry Bowden said in a statement. “He is one of the top offensive line coaches in the country and will add a wealth of experience to our staff. Just as importantly, Darrell is a man of high character, and he will fit in nicely with the family atmosphere that we believe in here at Akron.”

Funk added, “I’m excited for the opportunity to join Coach Bowden and the staff at Akron. I’m looking forward to getting started.”

The offensive line coach served on Brady Hoke‘s staffs at Ball State, San Diego State and Michigan. During his time with the Wolverines, Funk coached a Rimington Trophy winner (David Molk), a two-time All-American (Taylor Lewan) and a First Team All-Big Ten performer (Patrick Omameh).

Akron offensive coordinator A.J. Milwee will now receive help from Funk in creating the team’s offensive game plan each week.

(Picture courtesy of Michigan athletic department)

Permalink 3 Comments Back to top

Report: Sal Sunseri to leave Florida State for position with Oakland Raiders

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Sal Sunseri doesn’t stay in one place for very long.

Florida State’s defensive ends coach worked with three different programs since the start of the 2009 season. His longest tenure since the start of the new millennium came from 2002-08 when he was the defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers.

Sunseri is prepared to return to the NFL, according to Noles247.com.

“Multiple sources have informed Noles247 that Florida State defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri is headed to the NFL and he’s taking a job with the Oakland Raiders,” 247Sports.com’s Josh Newberg reported.

The Tallahassee Democrat‘s Corey Clark confirmed the initial report:

Since his coaching career began in 1985, the Raiders are the 12 different organization to employ Sunseri. The coach’s longest tenure at any stop was eight years at the University of Pittsburgh to begin his career.

Sunseri will now join Jack Del Rio‘s new staff. His exact role has yet to be revealed, but his only previous NFL experience came in Carolina working with the defensive line.

It seems to be the perfect time to leave Florida State, too.

The Seminoles lost their first game in two years during the Rose Bowl against the Oregon Ducks. The team also lost its two most talent defensive linemen, Eddie Goldman and Mario Edwards Jr., to the NFL draft.

With Sunseri’s departure, assistant head coach Odell Haggins will likely take full control of the defensive line.

Sunseri’s family clearly supports the move:

Permalink 6 Comments Back to top

VaTech officially loses WRs coach to A&M

Aaron Moorehead

Frank Beamer‘s loss is officially Kevin Sumlin‘s gain.

Following up on reports from this past weekend, Texas A&M announced Thursday that Aaron Moorehead has been named as the Aggies’ wide receivers coach.  Moorehead replaces David Beaty, who left A&M to take the head-coaching job at Kansas.

Moorehead spent the past two seasons as receivers coach at Virginia Tech.  Prior to Moorehead’s arrival in Blacksburg, the Hokies had never had three players with 40-plus catches each in a single season; they had it during both of Moorehead’s seasons.

Prior to that, he spent three seasons as the offensive assistant for receivers at Stanford.  His first coaching job was as receivers coach at New Mexico in 2009.

After his collegiate career at Illinois came to an end, Moorehead played five seasons in the NFL.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top