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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.

Charlie Strong adds familiar face as USF’s 10th assistant

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In rounding out his South Florida coaching staff, Charlie Strong has turned to a familiar face.

USF announced Wednesday evening that Strong has hired Tommy Restivo as his new safeties coach. Restivo will serve as the Bulls’ 10th assistant, a position allowed by a new NCAA rule that went into effect last month.

Restivo was on Strong’s Louisville coaching staff for four years, first as a defensive quality control coach and then as the Cardinals’ secondary coach. The two were also on the same staff at Florida for two seasons.

“I am very excited to have Tommy back as a member of my coaching staff and working with the Bulls,” the head coach said in a statement. “Tommy has great passion and energy for coaching and brings some tremendous experience having served as a defensive coordinator at two different programs. He will be a great fit with our staff and our players at USF.”

Restivo had spent the 2017 season as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at FCS South Carolina State.

AAC 2018 season kicks off with Civil ConFLiCT

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Defending American Athletic Conference champion UCF will kick off their conference title defense on August 30 when they visit UConn in the conference and season opener for both teams. The Civil ConFLiCT is the first game on the 2018 conference schedule released by the AAC on Tuesday. The conference will play a series of Thursday night games on national TV and will hold the conference championship game on Saturday, December 1. Kickoff times and television schedules will be decided at a later time, for the most part.

The AAC will continue to play an eight-game conference schedule with each team playing five games against division opponents and three games against teams from the opposing division. The conference championship game will be played at the top division champion’s campus at the end of the season just as it has the previous three seasons. The annual Army-Navy Game, which of course involves AAC member Navy, will continue to be played the week following the AAC championship game (Dec. 8).

The AAC’s Thursday night schedule will begin on September 20 with Temple hosting Tulsa and will feature Houston vs. Tulsa on Oct. 4, UCF vs. Temple on Nov. 1, and Houston vs. Tulane on Nov. 15. The Thursday night games could be altered depending on the NFL’s pending Thursday night schedule (Temple can’t play at home if the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled for a home game). The Thursday night games will be scheduled to air on ESPN, and the conference championship game will be aired on either ABC or ESPN (it has aired on ABC each of the past three seasons).

The AAC will also play games on Friday nights this season, including three on the day after Thanksgiving for the regular season finale; USF hosting UCF, Memphis hosting Houston, and Cincinnati hosting ECU. That could be a big day for the AAC with potential division championships on the line.

The AAC will have 19 nonconference games against power conference opponents, including eight against ACC teams, four against the Big Ten, and three against the Big 12.

You can check out the full AAC football schedule HERE.

Twitter accounts of Mizzou, USF suspended on National Signing Day

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A lot of the pomp and circumstance, especially for individual schools, when it comes to National Signing Day has shifted to social media in general and Twitter in particular.  Two FBS schools, though, have been hit with what’s likely a temporary ban hammer.

If you attempt to access the Twitter accounts for both the Missouri Tigers and USF Bulls football programs, you receive a notification that the accounts have been suspended.

No specific reason for the suspensions has been determined.

The suspensions, though, are the continuation of a mini-epidemic of sorts for the sport.  Overnight Monday, Texas Longhorns football saw its Twitter account suspended, staying that way until almost noon ET Tuesday morning before it was reactivated.

According to SBNation.com, that suspension likely “had to do with copyright policy pertaining to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” It appears Mizzou may have fallen victim to that recent phenomenon as well.

USF TE Kano Dillon transferring from Bulls

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Somewhat unexpectedly, South Florida has lost an experienced piece of its passing attack.

In a text message late last week to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, Elkanah “Kano” Dillon confirmed that he has decided to transfer from the USF football program. “Just want to seek a better opportunity for myself,” Dillon wrote. “It’s all love for USF.”

The tight end is on track to graduate in May, which would leave him eligible to play immediately in 2018 for another FBS school.  The upcoming season will be his final year of eligibility.

Last season, Dillon caught 11 passes for 119 yards.  He finishes the Bulls portion of his career with 504 yards and four touchdowns on 28 receptions.

Of the 33 games Dillon played, the 6-5, 262-pound tight end started eight of those contests.  Three of the starts came this past season.