Washington State Cougars

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 07:  Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott stands in front of the Stanford Cardinal as they celebrate the Pac 12 Championship after defeating the Arizona State Sun Devils 38-14 at Sun Devil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Pac-12 to tamper down on select #Pac12AfterDark kickoffs

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When you allow television networks to pay you $3 billion to broadcast football games and happen to be located on the West Coast, you’re going to pay for it in the form of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox want eyeballs on their networks as long as possible on fall Saturdays, and they’re not putting SEC games on at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

So, naturally, the Pac-12 drew those time slots.

And they absolutely hated it.

Remember, this is a conference that only recently joined the 21st century. For decades, the conference was happy with its 10 teams, its football games played on Saturday afternoons and its basketball schedule diced into a handy Thursday-Saturday format. Larry Scott was hired in 2009 to modernize the league while increasing the bottom line, and part of that required late kickoffs.

But on Tuesday the conference announced it has worked with its television partners to reduce the number of late kickoffs. ESPN and Fox won’t change their late slots, but the conference has received clearance to play Pac-12 Network games in previously exclusive windows of 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. local time. The change is expected to reduce the late night kickoffs by “up to” four games.

“The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans,” Oregon AD Rob Mullens said in a statement. “The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person.”

Additionally, the conference announced it has instituted a field storming fine structure of $25,000 for a first offense, $50,000 for a second offense and $100,000 for a third offense. The SEC has a similar structure on its books.

“The Pac-12 Council carefully considered this policy and its impact on our fans who loyally support our teams,” Cal AD Mike Williams said. “This enhanced policy underscores the importance our universities place on the safety and welfare of our student-athletes, officials and fans, and will allow us to educate staffs and fans on procedures going forward.”

Finally, Pac-12 Network will start broadcasting eSports contests between member schools. Clear your schedule now.

57 centers named to Rimington Award spring watch list

AJ McCarron, Ryan Kelly
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You know how I know we’re getting closer to the start of a new season?  The first watch list of the offseason has arrived.

The first for that honor this year is the Rimington Award, which on Tuesday released its spring watch list that is 57 players strong.  The Rimington Award, named in honor of former Nebraska standout Dave Rimington, is presented annually to the top center in the nation and is determined by the consensus All-American center pick from three existing All-America teams — Walter Camp. Sporting News and FWAA.

None of the finalists for the 2015 award, won by Alabama’s Ryan Kelly, are included on this year’s initial watch list as all three have since moved on with expired eligibility.

The ACC and SEC pace all conferences with eight watch listers apiece, followed by the AAC and Big 12 with seven each.  The Big Ten placed six, while the Pac-12’s three was the least of all of the Power Five programs.

All 10 of the FBS leagues, plus one independent (Notre Dame), are represented on the spring watch list, the full roster of which appears below.

AAC
Deyshawn Bond, Cincinnati, senior
Ryan Crozier, UConn, redshirt sophomore
Will Noble, Houston, sophomore
Drew Kyser, Memphis, sophomore
Evan Brown, SMU, junior
Brendan McGowan, Temple, redshirt senior
Chandler Miller, Tulsa, sophomore

ACC
Jay Guillermo, Clemson, senior
Alec Eberle, Florida State, redshirt sophomore
Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech, redshirt senior
Nicholas Linder, Miami, junior
Lucas Crowley, North Carolina, senior
Alex Officer, Pittsburgh, redshirt junior
Jason Emerich, Syracuse, redshirt senior
Jackson Matteo, Virginia, senior

BIG TEN
Joe Spencer, Illinois, senior
Sean Welsh, Iowa, junior
Brendan Moore, Maryland, sophomore
Mason Cole, Michigan, junior
Dylan Utter, Nebraska, senior
Michael Dieter, Wisconsin, sophomore

BIG 12
Kyle Fuller, Baylor, senior
Dalton Risner, Kansas State, sophomore
Jonathan Alvarez, Oklahoma, junior
Brad Lundblade, Oklahoma State, junior
Austin Schlottman, TCU, junior
Tony Morales, Texas Tech, senior
Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia, redshirt senior

CONFERENCE USA
Michael Montero, FIU, senior
Dillon DeBoer, FAU, redshirt senior
Daniel Stephens, Middle Tennessee State, senior
Nick Clarke, Old Dominion, sophomore
Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, senior
Max Halpin, Western Kentucky, redshirt senior

MAC
Tim McAuliffe, Bowling Green redshirt junior
James O’Hagan, Buffalo, sophomore

MOUNTAIN WEST
Jake Bennett, Colorado State, junior
Asotui Eli, Hawaii, redshirt sophomore
Nathan Goltry, Nevada, senior
Arthur Flores, San Diego State, senior
Austin Stephens, Utah State, senior

PAC-12
Toa, Lobendahn, USC, junior
Coleman Shelton, Washington, junior
Riley Sorenson, Washington State, senior

SEC
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas, junior
Brandon Kublanow, Georgia, senior
Jon Toth, Kentucky, senior
Ethan Pocic, LSU, senior
Jamaal Clayborn, Mississippi State, senior
Robert Conyers, Ole Miss, senior
Alan Knott, South Carolina, redshirt junior
Coleman Thomas, Tennessee, junior

SUN BELT
Devin Mondie, Arkansas State, senior
Andy Kwon, Georgia Southern, senior
Gabe Mobley, Georgia State, sophomore
Steve Matlock, Idaho, senior

INDEPENDENTS
Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame, junior

Mike Leach endorses Donald Trump at Spokane rally

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 08: Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines during the first quarter of the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium on November 8, 2014 in Corvallis, Oregon.  (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Washington State head coach Mike Leach officially endorsed Donald Trump for President on Saturday, speaking for the presumptive Republican nominee at a rally in Spokane. “It’s time for Mr. Trump to assist us together in our country…making America great again,” Leach said, according to KOIN-TV.

Leach’s affinity for Trump should come as no surprise. The two have been friends dating back to the coach’s days at Texas Tech, and Trump even introduced the Red Raiders’ starters during ABC’s telecast of their 2007 upset of No. 4 Oklahoma.

Leach returned the favor for Trump on Saturday.

 

Washington State followed Leach’s endorsement with a statement clearing Leach’s ability to support Trump while also distancing itself from its head coach’s opinion.

View Leach’s comments at Saturday’s rally below.

When it comes to speaking off the cuff and following every rabbit trail that enters his mind to completion, Leach and Trump are truly two peas in a pod.

Leach is the first FBS coach to endorse Trump — and quite possibly the last.

Mike Leach rips NCAA’s decision to ban satellite camps

Washington State head coach Mike Leach speaks to reporters during NCAA college Pac-12 Football Media Days, Friday, July 31, 2015, in Burbank, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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The Pac-12 was one of the four power conferences to vote in favor of banning satellite camps, but that doesn’t mean everybody within the Pac-12 was in favor of the decision. Washington State head coach Mike Leach had no problem sharing his displeasure over the decision that was made official earlier in the day.“It appears that the selfish interests of a few schools and conferences prevailed over the best interests of future potential student-athletes,” Leach said in a text message to

“It appears that the selfish interests of a few schools and conferences prevailed over the best interests of future potential student-athletes,” Leach said in a text message to The Seattle Times on Friday. “The mission of universities and athletic programs should be to provide future student-athletes with exposure to opportunities, not to limit them. It appears to me that some universities and conferences are willing to sacrifice the interests of potential student-athletes for no better reasons than to selfishly monopolize their recruiting bases.

“I will be fascinated to hear any legitimate reasoning behind this ruling. We need to rethink this if we are actually what we say we are.”

Leach hits the nail on the head with his assessment of this ruling. The SEC and ACC have a great interest in protecting the fertile recruiting grounds of the south. The Pac-12 could feasibly want to lock down the exposure to talent on the west coast, while the Big 12 should want to dominate the recruiting opportunities in the southwest as much as possible.

The shutting down of satellite camps is being viewed as a big win for the SEC, and perhaps the ACC, but Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com reported the Big 12 and Pac-12 also voted in favor of shutting down the practice. The Big Ten was the lone dissenting power conference.

Michigan lineman-turned-Wazzu commit Logan Tuley-Tillman gets probation for filming sex

Logan Tuley-Tillman
Michigan athletics
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This long-running sordid chapter in the life of Logan Tuley-Tillman has nearly been put in the player’s rear-view mirror.

According to the Seattle Times, the 21-year-old Tuley-Tillman was sentenced Washtenaw (Mich.) County Trial Court to two years probation for filming a woman during consensual sex without her consent Last month, Tuley-Tillman pleaded guilty to two counts — to capturing or distributing an image of an unclothed person and using a computer to commit a crime.

In September, Michigan announced that Tuley-Tillman had been dismissed from the football program for “conduct unacceptable for a Michigan student-athlete.”  A month later, it was revealed that the offensive lineman had been charged with three felonies stemming from a Sept. 4 incident in which he was accused of filming a sex act with a woman without her knowledge.

Tuley-Tillman was a four-star member of Brady Hoke‘s second-to-last UM recruiting class, rated as the No. 24 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Illinois.  He played in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2014, the season opener against Appalachian State.

Prior to his dismissal, he had been listed as the No. 2 left tackle and played in the 2015 opener.

In January, Tuley-Tillman announced that he would be transferring to Washington State.  However, the lineman is still said to be considering other schools, including Houston and Ole Miss.  Because he will graduate from Michigan in May, Tuley-Tillman will be eligible to play immediately in 2016 at whichever program he lands.