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ESPN acquires Miami Beach Bowl, will move it out of Florida

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The state of Florida will play host to one less bowl game when the 2017 postseason rolls around.

The American Athletic Conference, which created the Miami Beach Bowl and has owned and operated the event since 2014, announced Friday that the game has been purchased by ESPN.  The AAC will continue its affiliation with the bowl game; it’s expected Conference USA, the MAC and Sun Belt will do the same.

The conference also confirmed that the game will no longer be played at Marlins Park or in the state of Florida.  A new venue will be announced at a later date, although the state of Texas is the early favorite to land the bowl.

“We are proud of the postseason opportunities that we have been able to provide to student-athletes through our founding of the Miami Beach Bowl, and we appreciate the relationships that we have built with the Miami Marlins, Marlins Park and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach,” said AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This transfer makes sense on many levels. We are excited to enhance our overall relationship with ESPN and to continue our affiliation with the bowl.”

Memphis (2014), Tulsa (2016) and USF (2015) have previously represented the AAC in the game.  The first two won their matchups with BYU and Central Michigan, respectively, while the latter dropped a 10-point decision to Western Kentucky.

Duke transfer QB Thomas Sirk tweets decision to play for East Carolina

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He may have left Duke, but Thomas Sirk will remain in the state of North Carolina.

On his personal Twitter account Friday, the erstwhile Duke quarterback revealed that he will spend his final collegiate season at East Carolina.  As a graduate transfer, Sirk will be eligible to play immediately this season for the Pirates.

The move comes a week or so after Sirk had paid a visit to South Carolina.

In February of this year, Sirk announced his decision to transfer from the Blue Devils.

Sirk continues his recovery from what was a third Achilles injury, which he sustained last August, and would have been held out of contact had he remained at Duke for spring practice. The same injury cost the quarterback both the 2013 and 2016 seasons.  Sirk started all 12 games during the 2015 season before rupturing his Achilles in early February of 2016.

Because of those injuries, Sirk was granted a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA this past November.

Duke transfer QB Thomas Sirk to visit South Carolina

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A month after opting to leave Duke, Thomas Sirk is getting down to the business of finding a new college football home.

According to 247Sports.com, Sirk will take an official visit to South Carolina this weekend.  Kurt Roper was Sirk’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach his first two seasons with the Blue Devils in 2012 and 2013, and now serves as the Gamecocks’ co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

It’s believed that East Carolina is another potential landing spot for the former Duke quarterback.

Regardless of which FBS program Sirk ultimately lands at, he’ll be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.  Provided he can get and remain healthy, of course.

Sirk continues his recovery from what was his third Achilles injury, which he sustained last August, and would have been held out of contact had he remained at Duke for spring practice. The same injury cost the quarterback both the 2013 and 2016 seasons.  Sirk started all 12 games during the 2015 season before rupturing his Achilles in early February of 2016.

Because of those injuries, Sirk was granted a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA this past November.

East Carolina looks to Temple for new WRs coach

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After a hiccup related to an off-field incident, Scottie Montgomery has filled a hole on his East Carolina coaching staff.

The football program announced that the second-year head coach has added Keith Gaither as a Pirates assistant. Specifically, Gaither will serve as ECU’s wide receivers coach.

Gaither comes to Greenville after spending a little over a month in the same position at Temple.

“Keith’s background of success at all levels not only speaks highly of his coaching ability, but also his aptitude to understand, implement and value various offensive philosophies,” Montgomery said in a statement. “His recruiting ties, especially across North Carolina, run deep and will impact our program significantly.”

Prior to his very brief stint at Temple, Gaither was the receivers coach at Army. He’s also spent time as an assistant on coaching staffs at Ball State (2011-14) and Elon (2009-10).

Montgomery had been prepared to hire former Purdue interim head coach-turned Cincinnati running backs coach Gerad Parker in the position that ultimately went to Gaither. However, after a going away party late last month, Parker was arrested on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  The football program opted to move in a different direction as a result of that incident.

ECU won’t be hiring ex-Purdue interim HC charged with drunk driving

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An off-field incident involving alcohol has unofficially cost an assistant coach a job.

It had been reported that Gerad Parker, who served as Purdue’s interim head coach last season, decided to leave his new job at Cincinnati to take another at East Carolina. That reported move was complicated after reports surfaced that, following a going-away party in West Lafayette early Tuesday morning, the coach was pulled over and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

Parker had been expected to take over the wide receivers coach job at ECU; Wednesday, multiple reports indicated that the Pirates are moving on from the coach in light of the recent development.

In a tweet that has since been deleted from his Twitter account, Parker apologized. “I’m sorry to all my friends and family,” the coach wrote. “Thanks to all that have reached out and shown support.”

Parker would’ve replaced Phil McGeoghan, who left ECU in late January for a job with the Buffalo Bills. ECU’s search for a replacement will continue.