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ACC confirms Charlotte home of football title game through 2030

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A relationship that’s was wobbly as recently as last year has been further solidified thanks to today’s development.

Wednesday, it was reported that the ACC would be announcing future venues — or venue, singular — for its football championship game.  A day later, the league confirmed, as expected, that its title game will remain in Charlotte for the foreseeable future.

The new agreement will keep the game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium through the 2030 season.  The city was already set to host the game in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

“Charlotte has been a tremendous home for the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game and we’re pleased to announce the Queen City as our championship destination through 2030,” said conference commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “With the outstanding efforts by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, Carolina Panthers and city of Charlotte, our game has grown into one of the premier sporting events in the country. We look forward every year to this annual celebration of ACC Football.”

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010 before a controversial bill resulted in the conference yanking the 2016 game from the city and moving it to Orlando.  In 2017, the game was moved back to Charlotte.

Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).

Transferring Clemson, Duke players arrested for armed robbery

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Who says conference rivals can’t get along and work together off the field?

According to WSPA-TV, three individuals, 22-year-old Charlie Bernard “C.J.” Fuller, 22-year-old Quaven Maurice Ferguson, and 22-year-old Jadar Kentrell Johnson, are facing charges connected to an alleged robbery at gunpoint in downtown Clemson Wednesday afternoon.  All three are facing one count each of armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

From the television station’s report:

The three men are accused of knocking on the victim’s door and then forcing their way inside when the victim opened the door.

The suspects took cash and the victim’s cell phone before leaving in the direction of the downtown parking deck, according to police.

The suspects were identified after investigators were able to determine what type of vehicle they were using.

Fuller and Johnson played their college football together at Clemson, while Ferguson played at Duke.

Last season, Fuller (pictured), who began the year as the starter, was fifth on the Tigers with a career-high 217 yards and three touchdowns.  The football program announced in early February that the running back had decided to leave the team as a graduate transfer and would complete his collegiate playing career elsewhere.

Johnson was a first-team All-ACC safety for the Tigers in 2016, his senior season.

In January, Ferguson, a defensive tackle, announced he would be transferring from the Blue Devils and playing his fifth-year senior season somewhere else.

One of the highest-rated signees in Duke’s 2017 recruiting class to undergo knee surgery

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Spring practice has claimed yet another victim.

The latest to suffer a personnel loss is Duke, with the football program announcing Wednesday that Patrick Leitten will undergo surgery Friday to repair ligament damage in his left knee. The offensive tackle suffered the injury during a Monday practice session.

Duke gave no timeline for a return, saying only that Leitten will be out of action indefinitely.

A three-star member of the Blue Devils’ 2017 recruiting class, Leitten was rated as the No. 52 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 15 player at any position in the state of Tennessee. Only three signees in Duke’s class that year were rated higher than Leitten.

Leitten didn’t see the field as a true freshman, although he was expected to compete for playing time this coming season.

American, ACC announce officiating alliance

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The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.

With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.

Duke promotes Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri to co-DCs after Jim Knowles departs for Oklahoma State

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David Cutcliffe not surprisingly stayed in-house to find a new defensive coordinator.

The school announced a slew of staff changes on Friday and the most notable among them was the promotion of Ben Albert and Matt Guerrieri to co-defensive coordinators. Albert will remain the defensive line coach while Guerrieri will shift slightly from handling safeties to being responsible for the entire secondary.

The moves come after Jim Knowles left to be Oklahoma State’s new defensive coordinator last month. Additionally, Lanier Goethie was named linebackers coach for the Blue Devils and Derek Jones earned the title of Assistant Head Coach [Defense]/Cornerbacks.

“First off, I’m really proud of how our defensive staff has handled this situation,” Cutcliffe said in a statement. “We’ve had not good, but great conversations regarding staff organization and responsibilities, and I’m proud of how unselfish Ben, Matt and Derek all have been throughout the process. All three coaches are deserving of their new roles and I’m looking forward to watching them lead our defensive unit starting with spring practice next month. And as for Zac (Roper), his impact on our program goes well beyond coordinating our offense and coaching the quarterbacks. His efforts have been and will continue to be instrumental to our overall success, both on and off the field.”

Goethie heads to Durham after spending the past two years at Louisiana Tech but is plenty familiar with the way Cutcliffe runs a program after having played linebacker for him during their time at Ole Miss. The move to bring him aboard at Duke completes the 2018 coaching staff with a full complement of 10 assistants.