Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or been in a coma underneath a rock, for the past few days, you’re aware of the videos that went viral of Mike Rice going Neanderthal on his Rutgers basketball players. The shocking clips of Rice hurling both basketballs and homosexual slurs at his players led to the coach’s dismissal and the same fate for athletic director Tim Pernetti, who laughably decided in December a three-game suspension and five-figure fine befitted the crime.
With a move from the American Athletic Conference (née Big East) to the Big Ten looming in July of 2014, some have asked what if any impact the controversy will have on the Scarlet Knights’ jump to the money-green pastures of the Midwestern conference. The short and equally obvious answer? None. Zero. Zip. Zilch.
As Rutgers is not yet an official member of the Big Ten, that conference will not comment on the current mess that is the New Jersey school’s athletic department. Off the record, and while they would obviously prefer this situation wasn’t an issue and do find it troublesome, the conference stands firmly behind a school that, along with Maryland, will become the league’s 13th and 14th members next year.
Simply put, the Big Ten didn’t add Rutgers because it was an athletic powerhouse in general or a football juggernaut specifically. Rather, Rutgers was plucked in one of myriad rounds of expansion musical chairs because of the potential television market it brings to the Big Ten Network — and the millions upon millions of additional dollars annually for its membership — and for its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities — and the multi-millions upon multi-millions of research dollars that brings.
Did the Mike Rice imbroglio and bungled and misguided coverup change either of those two factors? Not in the least, which means the Big Ten will be more than willing to weather whatever type of residual storm may come its way over the next year and a half.
Now, should this fiasco give the Big Ten second thoughts or a minute’s pause? Possibly, but remember, this is also the conference of Bobby Knight and Woody Hayes; it’s used to negative press on the coaching end and riding out the PR storm.
It’s a long time between now and July 1, 2014. A lot of time to make the Mike Rice embarrassment smaller and smaller in the rear-view. Right or wrong, that’s precisely how the Big Ten will allow this to play out.
You can add yet another name to the burgeoning free-agent quarterback pool.
Tuesday night, Nick Starkel used a tweet to announce that he has decided to transfer from Texas A&M and “will explore finishing my final two years of eligibility at another program.” Starkel will graduate from A&M this June, which would make him eligible to use the first of those two years of eligibility immediately in 2019.
Starkel was the Aggies’ starter to open the 2017 season, but suffered a broken ankle in that game that sidelined him for nearly two months. It turned out to not be a season-ending injury as Starkel returned to start the last four games of Kevin Sumlin‘s final season in College Station, a late-season stint that included a career-high 499-yard effort in a Belk Bowl loss to Wake Forest.
Entering the 2018 offseason as the incumbent, but with a new head coach in Jimbo Fisher in place, Starkel lost the starting job to Kellen Mond and played in just five games this past season — the first four of 2018 plus the bowl game. In those appearances, the redshirt sophomore completed 15-of-22 passes for a touchdown.
The A&M portion of his playing career will end with the Texas native having totaled 1,962 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions on 138–of-227 passing.
Barring a change of heart in the next couple of weeks, there won’t be a Primetime legacy in Tallahassee this coming season.
In October of last year, Shilo Sanders, the son of former Florida State great and College Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, received a scholarship offer from his father’s alma mater. three months later, the elder Sanders, a 2019 prospect, announced via video that he has committed to playing his college football at South Carolina.
The defensive back’s decision to commit to the Gamecocks came not long after a second visit to Columbia.
While holding an offer from FSU, Sanders chose USC over a group of schools that included Colorado State, Nebraska and Tennessee. He was also offered by, among others, Georgia, Oregon, Oregon State and UCF.
CSU was the only other school to which he took an official visit.
The elder Sanders is the offensive coordinator at his son Shilo’s school, Cedar Hill (Tex.) Trinity Christian High School. Shilo’s younger brother, 2021 prospect Shedeur Sanders, is a wide receiver at the school as well.
Shilo Sanders is rated as a three-star recruit on 247Sports.com’s composite board for the 2019 cycle.
Not long after losing a position coach to an SEC West rival, Joe Moorhead turned to an area of the country familiar to him to fill his Mississippi State staff void.
Tuesday, MSU announced that Terry Richardson has been hired by Moorhead to serve as the Bulldogs’ running backs coach. Additionally, Richardson will hold the title of assistant head coach.
Richardson will replace Charles Huff, who’s expected to move on to a job on Nick Saban‘s Alabama coaching staff. That move has yet to be confirmed by the Crimson Tide.
“Terry has coached running backs for nearly 20 years at both the college and NFL levels,” Moorhead said in a statement. “He has a firm grasp of our offense and will maximize the potential we have in our running backs room. Having played and coached in the NFL, he understands what it takes to develop players for the next level. Terry is also a dynamic recruiter with proven experience in the South, especially in the state of Florida. We are excited to welcome someone of Terry’s caliber to the Mississippi State family.”
The past two seasons, Richardson was the running backs coach at UConn. He’s also spent time in that position on staffs at Maryland (2015), Miami (2011-12) and again at UConn (1999-2010). During that first stint with the Huskies, Moorhead was that team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
From 2013-14, he was the running backs for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.
“This is a great opportunity to work with great people at an outstanding university in the best conference in America,” Richardson said. “I am excited to reconnect with Coach Moorhead and work with him again. He is a tremendous football coach and an even better person. We will be well-versed on all five phases of running back play, and our group will maximize our opportunities to make a major impact in winning football games.”
After a brief foray in the NFL, Gunter Brewer is back in college football and, more specifically, back in the ACC.
Brewer was announced as Louisville’s wide receivers coach on Tuesday, completing Scott Satterfield‘s initial staff.
This will be Brewer’s fourth different tour of duty in the ACC. He joined the conference as a Wake Forest wide receiver in 1985-86, then joined the Deacons’ coaching staff as a strength and conditioning assistant in 1986-87. He returned to the conference as North Carolina’s wide receivers coach from 2000-04, then coached the Tar Heels’ wideouts again from 2012-17.
In between those stints, Brewer has coached wide receivers at East Tennessee State, Marshall, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss. He has tutored two Biletnikoff Award winners and a third finalist — Randy Moss at Marshall (1997 winner) and Dez Bryant (2008 finalist) and Justin Blackmon (2010 winner) at Oklahoma State. (Blackmon also won the honor in 2011, but Brewer was at Ole Miss by then.)
Brewer spent the 2018 campaign as the wide receivers coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. His NFL stint ended with Alshon Jeffrey‘s drop against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional round.