Arizona Wildcats

Rich Rodriguez
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Video: Fan steps into Arizona pass rush drill, dominates

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Under Rich Rodriguez, Arizona has always been ahead of the curve in getting fans involved in the Wildcats’ athletics program. Whether it be calling plays or running out of the tunnel with the team, Arizona has taken the extra step to get their fans involved.

But never this involved. (Skip to the 1:05 mark.)

Let’s watch that again in .gif form.

Arizona gif

It’s a moment that hasn’t been duplicated on the field since the time Matt Williams came out of the stands for a halftime kicking contest at Texas Tech in 2008 and ended up becoming the team’s kicker.

Except this is, you know, actual football.

Someone in red and blue needs to inquire about our man Xavier’s eligibility.

New Pac-12 policy to prohibit transfers with misconduct issues

BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 05:  The Colorado Golden Buffalo Marching Band performs prior to facing the Oregon Ducks at Folsom Field on October 5, 2013 in Boulder, Colorado. The Ducks defeated the Buffs 57-16.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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In May of 2015, the SEC announced that it had enacted a rule that would bar conference schools from accepting transfers who had been disciplined for “serious misconduct” at that student-athlete’s previous institution, with “serious misconduct” defined as sexual assault, domestic violence and sexual violence.  Nearly a year later, a fellow Power Five member is taking a similar tack.

Saturday, the Pac-12 announced that its presidents and chancellors — the Pac-12 CEO Group — have “approved a policy prohibiting [future transfers] from receiving athletic aid or participating in athletics if the transfer student-athlete is unable to re-enroll at a previous institution due to student misconduct.” For the purpose of this new policy, “student misconduct” is defined as “assault, harassment, academic fraud, and other violations of campus behavior conduct policies.”

The policy further stipulates that “[i]t will not apply to academic performance reasons unrelated to misconduct.”

As part of this new policy, transfers into any Pac-12 institution in any sport will be required to self-disclose whether they would be eligible to re-enroll at the university from which they are transferring. It will be up to each member institution to institute an appeals process for those potential transfers who are deemed ineligible under the new policy.

The conference itself will not play a role in handling appeals.

“This is an important step to strengthen our student-athlete transfer admission processes and to address the safety of our students,” said UCLA chancellor and CEO Group president Gene Block.

Loss to The Citadel reportedly cost South Carolina shot at hiring Tom Herman

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16:  Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman looks on as his team took on the Tulane Green Wave at Yulman Stadium on October 16, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Will Muschamp is South Carolina’s head coach. The how’s and why’s of the previous sentence are no longer relevant, all that matters is what is.

But, in the event Muschamp’s second head coaching job goes the way of his first, many in the garnet and black will look back on the events that led Muschamp to Columbia. Then they’ll remember the Gamecocks’ loss to The Citadel on Nov. 21, 2015, and then they’ll find themselves with a violent and urgent need to stick their heads in the nearest trash can.

In his look at the Muschamp era at South Carolina, USA Today‘s Dan Wolken detailed how it nearly didn’t happen:

South Carolina, in fact, first targeted Houston’s Tom Herman and was so far down the road toward an agreement, according to two people familiar with the process, that the school’s administration had essentially shut its search process down.

Those same people, who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity, said Herman’s mind changed after South Carolina lost to The Citadel on Nov. 21 and it became clear the next coach would have a massive rebuilding job on his hands. Herman decided to stay at Houston for a deal worth nearly $3 million per year and, presumably, wait for a more high-profile situation.

South Carolina, meanwhile, turned next to Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, who instead went to Georgia, and talked extensively with Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez, who turned down an offer he did not view as legitimate, according to people familiar with the process.

Of course, it’s hardly as if that 23-22 setback to The Citadel reveled a truth that wasn’t already self-evident. The Gamecocks had already completed a 1-7 campaign within the SEC, and the Citadel loss dropped South Carolina to 3-8 on the year. A 37-32 defeat at the hands of No. 1 Clemson a year later closed South Carolina’s season at 3-9.

And now, for the reasons Wolken outlined above, Muschamp is the Gamecocks’ head coach. For better or worse, Muschamp’s self-diagnosis of what he needs to fix from his Florida tenure can be summed up simply. “What did I learn? You need to score more points. It’s real simple,” Muschamp said. “We’re not splitting the atom.”

Report: Arizona St. DL coach leaving for same job at Mizzou

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Prior to today, Todd Graham had lost four assistants from his Arizona State coaching staff the last five-plus months.  Less than two days before National Signing Day, that number has climbed to five.

The Arizona Republic is confirming the initial radio report coming out of the area that ASU defensive line coach Jackie Shipp is leaving the Sun Devils to take the same job at Missouri.  If the reports come to fruition, Shipp would replace Chris Wilson, who was hired by first-year Mizzou head coach Barry Odom in mid-December but then left for a job with the Philadelphia Eagles late last month.

Wilson had replaced Craig Kuligowski, who had been a Tigers assistant for the previous 15 seasons before leaving for a job on Mark Richt‘s new Miami staff.

Mizzou beat writers, however, are warning that the reports are premature, although none have labeled them as inaccurate.  Regardless, an official announcement is not expected until after signing day Wednesday.

Shipp has spent the past three seasons with the Sun Devils.  Prior to that, he spent 14 seasons as the line coach at Oklahoma.

Graham has already lost Mike Norvell to the Memphis head-coaching job, with the offensive coordinator taking two of his boss’ assistants along with him.  The man hired by Graham to replace Norvell, Chip Lindsey, very nearly left to take the head-coaching job at Southern Miss before electing to stay in the desert.

The initial defection hit close to home as Bo Graham, the head coach’s son, abruptly resigned as running backs coach last August.

LB Michael Barton leaving Cal for Arizona as grad transfer

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Randall Telfer #82 of the USC Trojans is tackled after his catch by Michael Barton #8 of the California Golden Bears at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Michael Barton may be leaving Cal, but he won’t be leaving the Pac-12.

On Twitter Sunday, Barton announced that he has decided to transfer from Cal and play his final season of college football elsewhere.  Specifically, the linebacker will be transferring to Arizona to finish out his playing career.

As Barton will enter Rich Rodriguez‘s Wildcats program as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

In 2013 and 2014, Barton combined to start 13 games.  Following a 2014 season in which he led the Golden Bears in tackles, he was named honorable mention All-Pac-12.

However, Barton lost his starting job in summer camp last year and didn’t start a game, playing in only 10 of Cal’s 13 games.