Ex-USC player claims Ed Orgeron berated him for going to class

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On the same day that the NCAA released its annual APR scores citing student-athletes’ academic success, TIME magazine published a piece suggesting not everyone takes schoolwork as seriously.

In an interview with the publication, former USC player Bob DeMars (1997-2001) says he was cursed at by assistant coach Ed Orgeron for leaving practice early to attend a statistics class. Orgeron was an assistant for the Trojans from 1998-2004, and came back to Los Angeles in 2010.

From the piece:

In order to show up on time for a required statistics course one semester, he says he had to leave spring practice twenty minutes early, once a week. His defensive line coach, Ed Orgeron, wasn’t happy. You motherf—-r, DeMars remembers Orgeron, who went on to become head coach at Ole Miss from 2005 to 2007, and is now back at USC as assistant head coach, shouting at him. “He M-F’d me all over the place,” says DeMars. “He made me feel like a bad person for going to class.”

And later…

DeMars says that when other players ran sprints for missing class, Orgeron would give DeMars the “stink-eye,” as if DeMars let him down for actually going to class. 

(Writer’s note on the alleged “stink-eye”: pretty sure that’s just how Orgeron looks all the time.)

DeMars said he originally wanted to major in the university’s cinema program, but scheduling conflicts with practice resulted in DeMars switching to a business major. He currently works as a filmmaker.

In response, USC athletic director Pat Haden released the following statement to TIME (Orgeron was not made available to comment):

“While the alleged events happened before my time as athletic director at USC, I can say that all our football practices have been open to the media and players’ families since before Bob was here, and have been open to the public for most of that time as well. The transparency of practice would have brought to light this type of alleged inappropriate behavior. We also have high standards for our coaches and monitor and evaluate them as we would any of our employees.

“Additionally, we have always been proud to support our student-athletes in a full range of academic pursuits. Majors represented in 2012 among football alone included Theatre, Business Administration, Psychology, Communications, Economics, Chemical Engineering and Political Science.”

Generally speaking, let’s not pretend that an education comes  first for some (many?) players, but those who do want to make it a priority — or at least enough of one to stay eligible — need to be able to do so without reprimand. Or a stink eye.

Especially if that’s the “payment” they receive.

Colorado defensive starter Aaron Maddox enters transfer portal, per report

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Colorado may be about to lose some depth at the safety position. Starting safety Aaron Maddox has decided to enter his name into the transfer portal, according to a report Monday afternoon. News of the transfer portal decision was reported by 247 Sports on Monday.

This comes as a somewhat surprising development because Maddox had been a starter for the Buffs this season before being slowed down by a leg injury. The JUCO addition in 2018 had experience with the Buffs after appearing in 12 games last season and the first three games of the 2019 season, as a starter. Maddox was injured in the third game of the season and has since been replaced by Derrion Rakestraw, a junior playing nickel back for Colorado. Maddox did not travel with the team this past weekend, but he remained listed at the top of the depth chart for the road game at Washington State.

By entering the transfer portal, Maddox is free to communicate with any other college football program looking to recruit him, but this does not guarantee a departure from Colorado. Maddox may still decide to remain in Boulder at any time and withdraw his name from the transfer portal.

Because Maddox has only played in three games this season, he would be able to use the 2019 season as his redshirt year to preserve a year of eligibility. However, he would still have to sit out the 2020 season at his next potential home if it happens to be another FBS program, per NCAA transfer rules.

Scott Frost says RB Maurice Washington not part of Nebraska’s plans ‘in the immediate future’

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Maurice Washington played in Nebraska’s most recent game, a 34-7 loss to No. 12 Minnesota on Oct. 12, toting the ball six times for 20 yards in the setback.

However, the running back has not practiced with the team since that game and is apart from the team indefinitely, Scott Frost revealed Monday.

What’s notable here is Frost said Washington’s absence is not related to the running back’s pending court date in California, where he is accused of violating the state’s revenge-porn laws. As our own John Taylor summarized the issue just a few short days ago:

It’s alleged that Washington sent a sexually-explicit 10-second video, recorded two years prior by someone other than Washington, involving a then-15-year-old female and two other boys, neither of whom was Washington, to that same female in early March of 2018. The female has claimed she is being sexually assaulted in the video, which allegedly shows the teenager performing oral sex on one boy while another masturbates.

Washington is facing a felony count of possessing a video or photograph of a person under 18 who is engaging in or simulating sexual conduct and a misdemeanor count of posting a video or photograph of a person engaging in or simulating sexual conduct without consent, leading to the person suffering emotional distress. Washington had dated the alleged victim prior to the video being recorded.

If facing a felony count of disseminating a sexually explicit video involving a 15-year-old girl doesn’t qualify as “non-negotiable,” one has to wonder what exactly Washington did to get himself removed from Nebraska’s team this time around. One would have to assume it’s something serious; otherwise, why would Nebraska go through the trouble to keep a player, only to give him a soft boot for, say, sleeping through a workout?

As it stands, the sophomore from Stockton, Calif., ranks second among Husker running backs with 50 carries for 298 yards and one touchdown. Time will tell if that number changes over the remainder of the season.

It’s official: LSU-Alabama moving to daytime for the first time since 2010

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Astute observers of college football’s television contracts (read: nerds) perked up when CBS announced over the summer it had chosen Notre Dame’s Sept. 21 visit to Georgia as its annual primetime selection, meaning LSU’s Nov. 9 trip to Alabama would likely be played under sunshine for the first time since 2010.

However, there remained a question that CBS could work a backroom deal with ESPN to get Tigers-Tide in prime time, like it did back in 2011 when CBS initially used its annual primetime pick on Florida-Alabama and then nabbed LSU-Alabama when it became apparent that would be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game. With history repeating itself on the field — Alabama is No. 1 in the AP poll, LSU is No. 2 — one had to wonder if history could also repeat itself in the boardroom.

That question was answered Monday, when CBS announced LSU-Alabama on Nov. 9 will indeed be played in the SEC on CBS’s traditional time slot of 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT.

Playing the Crimson Tide in daylight could be a good omen for LSU. The Tigers, losers of seven straight primetime affairs, won the most recent afternoon kickoff, a 24-21 decision on Nov. 6, 2010.

Mark Richt suffers heart attack, says he’s ‘doing fine’

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From the outside, it seems as if Mark Richt is the most relaxed, stress-free person in the entire college football universe. In 18 seasons as the head coach at Georgia and Miami, Richt had an inner peace and perspective that never seemed to let the stresses of the job get to him in the way it did most other coaches or people in similar high-stakes gigs.

Now, he’s very much living that retired multi-millionaire life.

That’s why it was so surprising when Richt announced Monday he suffered a heart attack earlier this morning.

“I am assuming word travels fast,” he tweeted. “So I wanted to be able to inform everyone that I did have a heart attack this morning. I am doing fine. As I went through the experience I had peace knowing I was going to heaven but I was going to miss my wife. I plan to be at work this week.”

While Monday’s news was obviously frightening, it’s comforting to know Richt survived and will hopefully be around to eat many, many more cheese balls on the beach.