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Appalachian State extends Scott Satterfield’s contract through 2021

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Appalachian State rewarded head coach Scott Satterfield with a contract extension this week, with the formal approval of the board of trustees making it official. Appalachian State’s contract extension for Satterfield keeps him under the contract through the 2021 season.

“Scott Satterfield continues to take App State football to new heights,” Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a released statement. “In four seasons at App State, he has orchestrated one of the most successful transitions to FBS football and continues to build App State football for long-term sustainable success on a national level. Under Scott’s leadership, our football program is 27-5 over the last 32 games, which ranks among the nation’s best.”

Appalachian State shared the Sun Belt Conference championship with Arkansas State last season (the teams had identical conference records and did not play head-to-head for a tiebreaker), and the Mountaineers finished in second place in the Sun Belt with a 7-1 record in 2015 (trailing only undefeated Arkansas State). Appalachian State also finished in third place in the Sun Belt in 2015, their first year in the conference, but were ineligible for postseason play despite a record of 7-5 due to playing in a transition year after making the move up from the FCS. Appalachian State started their first year in the FBS with a 1-5 record that included a home loss to FCS Liberty, but the program then went on a run to close out the season on a six-game winning streak.

Satterfield is pretty much Mr. Appalachain State. The 44-year old coach from Hillsborough, North Carolina got his coaching career underway at Appalachian State in 1998 a few short years after wrapping up his college career with the program as a quarterback. Satterfield played and coached for legendary Appalachian State head coach Jerry Moore and was a part of the coaching staff with the program when the former FCS juggernaut upset Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2007. Satterfield held various assistant coaching roles with the Mountaineers from 1998 through 2008, including wide receivers coach, running backs coach, and quarterbacks coach. He took an opportunity to coach Toledo in 2009 as part of the staff led by former Toledo coach Tim Beckman. After one year with the MAC program, Satterfield headed south to take on the role of offensive coordinator at FIU under former FIU head coach Mario Cristobal, where he worked with wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

After two seasons at FIU, Satterfield returned home to Appalachian State to be the program’s offensive coordinator in 2012, and he took on the role of head coach the following season for his first head coaching opportunity. Under Satterfield, Appalachian State has completed the transition from the FCS to the FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. In three seasons in the Sun Belt, Appalachian State has played in, and won, two bowl games and had no worse than a seven-win season. Appalachian State has gone 28-10 in its first three years in the Sun Belt.

“Appalachian is home and it continues to be a dream realized to be the head coach at my alma mater, a place at which I have spent most of my life,” Satterfield said in a  statement. If he continues to produce wins at Appalachian State, his name will begin to float around in the rumor mill during coaching carousel season, which is why the contract extension is a comforting piece of news for Appalachian State for now.

Jonnu Smith’s pregnant girlfriend poured boiling water on him, ending FIU TE’s season

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Jonnu Smith won’t take the field again for Florida International, and the reason why is quite disturbing.

According to the Miami Herald, Smith sustained severe burns to his head, neck, back, shoulder and arm after his pregnant girlfriend poured boiling water on the tight end on Halloween.  The woman, who is five months pregnant, has been charged with aggravated battery.

An affidavit stated that the girlfriend, Mary Gaspar, was upset over how much attention was being paid to her by Smith.  From the Herald:

The two argued through the day over the attention Smith was paying her and their relationship. While in Smith’s dorm room and “feeling extremely emotional and stressed,” she told police, she boiled a pot of water. Then, she walked over to Smith and poured it on him.

When Smith didn’t react strongly enough for her, she started hitting him with her open hands, she told police.

Smith did not play in the Nov. 5 loss to Western Kentucky, and has since been ruled out for the remainder of the season because of the burns.  He has yet to use his redshirt so he could return next season as a fifth-year senior, although it’s expected he’ll still be a part of the 2017 NFL draft.

Smith is currently second on the team in receptions (39), receiving yards (441) and receiving touchdowns (three).  He will finish his FIU career third all-time in receiving touchdowns (17), and fifth in both catches (175) and yards (1,936).

Access denied: FIU doesn’t provide credential for only beat writer

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Exposure is everything in today’s college football landscape. Unfortunately for the players at Florida International University, the school’s decision makers don’t feel the same way.

FIU and the Miami Herald are caught in a little tiff.

The Herald is the only news agency in the area which employs a beat writer to cover FIU athletics. In the infinite wisdom of those making decisions at FIU, they denied access to the Herald’s beat writer, David J. Neal, for the Panthers’ season-opener against Bethune-Cookman.

“It’s unprecedented for any local team to refuse to credential our beat reporter without reason,” Miami Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez said. “The team does not get to choose who covers the program.”

The newspaper decided not cover the game at all after FIU denied the credential.

“We’re very disappointed the Herald has decided on this course,” Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, FIU’s senior vice president for external relations, said. “Credentials were given to other reporters. We regret that this is the Herald’s choice.”

FIU never provided a reason why Neal’s credential was denied.

It’s simply another misstep for a football program has been in a downward spiral since it fired Mario Cristobal. During Cristobal’s tenure the coach led the Panthers to two bowl games before he was unceremoniously dismissed. The team then struggled to find any coaching candidates that were interested in the vacant position. The team eventually hired Ron Turner, who finished with an 1-11 record during his first season.

Furthermore, the people hurt by this decision are the players. They don’t get the exposure they deserve for the work they’ve done. And the community doesn’t have the opportunity to read about a program the newspaper is willing to support.