Virginia Cavaliers

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 20: Close up view of a Virginia Cavaliers helmet during their game against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Provo, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images )
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Former Virginia receiver sues school for alleged bullying and hazing


Former Virginia wide receiver Aidan Howard is suing the University of Virginia for what he claims to have been a “culture of bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination.” According to Howard’s lawsuit, he claims to have witnessed football players force teammates to imitate and mimic sexual acts and forced players to fight and wrestle while naked or partially naked.

Howard’s lawsuit was filed Friday in a district court in Pennsylvania, according to a report from ESPN. In addition to the university,Virginia wide receivers Doni Dowling and David Eldridge are named as defendants. Another defendant name din the lawsuit is Virginia wide receivers coach Marques Hagans. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall is not a defendant in the suit.

In the lawsuit, Howard claims coaches were aware of injuries suffered through such acts but did not step in to bring an end to the behavior within the Virginia program. Furthermore, the lawsuit argues the school, school officials and coaches as well as students may have been in violation of Title IX laws, in part stemming from verbal insults Howard claims were hurled at players. Hagan has also been diagnosed with a learning disability, which he believes led to some of the allegedly discriminatory insults directed at him.

Howard’s suit claims that coaches knew about his injuries and what caused them, but did nothing to reprimand the football players who he says verbally and physically assaulted him, nor did they enforce school and NCAA rules against hazing, bullying and discrimination. The suit alleges that the university, administrators, coaches and fellow students violated aspects of federal Title IX gender equity laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act and negligence laws, among others.

“[They] would question Aidan’s ‘toughness’ and ‘manliness’ and would call him ‘stupid,’ ‘dumb,’ ‘slow,’ and ‘retarded,'” the lawsuit states.

“We want some accountability by the university and the student-athletes who were responsible for doing this to Aidan,” said Howard’s attorney, C. James Zeszutek. “Now these student-athletes are continuing to play their sport, continuing to attend classes, and there’s been no ramifications to them whatsoever. Our client is a victim who has been injured, damaged and he’s out of competition this year.”

Howard was granted a release from the Virginia program in August. He transferred to Robert Morris University.


‘Doubtful’ longtime Pitt CB starter Avonte Maddox plays vs. Virginia

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01:  Avonte Maddox #14 of the Pittsburgh Panthers breaks up a pass intended for Deon-Tay McManus #4 of the Marshall Thundering Herd during the third quarter at Heinz Field on October 1, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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Since the middle half of the 2014 season, Avonte Maddox has been a fixture in Pittsburgh’s secondary.  Come Saturday, that appears likely to change.

Ahead of the Week 7 game against Virginia in Charlottesville, Pitt has listed Maddox as doubtful with what’s only described as an upper-extremity injury.  Maddox sustained the vague injury in the second quarter of the win over Georgia Tech last weekend.

Maddox has started the past 24 games for the Panthers. He started the last five as a true freshman in 2014, then all 13 in 2015 before the first six in 2016.  After being credited with 75 tackles, 12 pass breakups, three interceptions and a blocked kick last season, the true junior was accorded honorable mention All-ACC honors.

The negative defensive injury news isn’t limited to Maddox, though, as linebacker Mike Caprara is listed as questionable with a lower-body injury.  Caprara, a starter entering the season, has missed most of the last three games because of the injury.

Status quo: ACC officially sticking with eight-game league slate

Associated Press

Monday, we asked the question, “Is a nine-game conference schedule coming to the ACC?”  Two days later, we all have our answer.

Following a vote of its athletic directors, the ACC announced Wednesday that the conference will continue to play an eight-game league schedule in football.  As of yet, there’s no word as to how the voting shook out, although the fact that Notre Dame has a football scheduling agreement with the league along with a handful of annual rivalry games with SEC teams likely made it at least an 8-6 split against going to nine league games.

The conference will continue to require its members to schedule at least one game per year against another Power Five conference member.

The Big 12, Pac-12 and Big Ten currently play nine-game league slates, with the SEC joining the ACC as the Power Five holdouts on that front. The Big Ten and SEC also have the Power Five requirement for at least one non-conference game per season.

Additionally, the Big Ten is the lone Power Five league to ban its teams from scheduling future games against FCS opponents.

Jela Duncan, Duke’s leading rusher, ruled out of Virginia game

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 24:  Jela Duncan #25 of the Duke Blue Devils rushes for a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 24, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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A significant piece of Duke offensive puzzle won’t be available to the Blue Devils in Week 5.

On its weekly injury report released Thursday, Duke announced that Jela Duncan will not play against Virginia Saturday because of an unspecified leg injury. The running back sustained the injury in the 38-35 win over Notre Dame last weekend.

With 314 yards, Duncan is far and away the Blue Devils’ leading rusher.  Next closest is Shaun Wilson‘s 122 yards.

Duncan, a senior who’s endured a rocky career thus far, also leads the team with four rushing touchdowns, while his 5.6 yards per carry is tops amongst Blue Devils with 10 or more carries.

The football program also confirmed that defensive end Dominic McDonald will miss a second straight game because of what’s described as an upper-body injury.  McDonald started the first three games of the season before missing the Notre Dame game with the same injury.

And, finally, the school announced that linebacker Tinashe Bere will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a leg injury.  While he didn’t start any of the four games in which he played this season after starting six last year, he’s sixth on the team in tackles with 13.

ACC makes football title game move to Orlando official

ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 05:  A general view of the field prior to the game between the Mississippi Rebels and Florida State Seminoles ahead of the Camping World Kickoff at Camping World Stadium on September 5, 2016 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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After originating in the state, the ACC championship game is headed back to Florida.

In an announcement that should come as a shock to absolutely no one, the ACC confirmed Thursday that the 2016 football title game will be played in Orlando. The game will be held at Camping World Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7:45 p.m. ET.

The 65,000-seat stadium serves as the home of the Citrus Bowl postseason game and also played host to this year’s Ole Miss-Florida State opener on Labor Day. ACC officials met with their counterparts from the city earlier this week to finalize the deal.

An announcement on the new site likely would’ve come earlier were it not for a pair of high school football championship games scheduled for the same day at the same venue. Those games will now be played the following weekend.

The move to Charlotte comes almost two weeks to the day that the ACC announced it was yanking the title game away from the city of Charlotte and out of the state of North Carolina. The move was in response to the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), a law which some claim fosters discrimination against members of the LGBT communities.

Charlotte had played host to the ACC football championship game every year since 2010. Prior to 2010, the first three league title tilts were played in Jacksonville (2005-07) and the next two in Tampa (2008-09).