Report: Mizzou, Gary Pinkel reach agreement on new contract

4 Comments

Rumored to be in the works for months, Missouri and its head football coach have reportedly come to an agreement on a new deal.

Citing multiple sources, PowerMizzou.com is reporting that Gary Pinkel has signed off on a new contract that will increase his pay from $2.8 million in 2013 to at or just north of $3 million annually.  The Rivals.com website writes that “[t]he contract would not become official until all parties have signed and it has been approved by the University and the Board of Curators.”

A school official told CFT that an update on the status of the coach’s contract could come this week, although there’s been no official confirmation.

According to the site, the amount of years tacked on to the new agreement is unknown.  Pinkel’s current deal runs through the 2017 season.

In 2013, Pinkel was just eighth among the 14 SEC coaches, ahead of only Florida’s Will Muschamp ($2.72 million), Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen ($2.7 million), Auburn’s Gus Malzahn ($2.44 million), Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze ($2 million), Kentucky’s Mark Stoops ($2 million) and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin ($1.84 million).  Even with a bump that would put him at or slightly above $3 million, he’d still likely find himself behind the likes of South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier (3.3 million), Georgia’s Mark Richt ($3.2 million) and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin ($3.1 million).  In fact, three of those coaches mentioned — Malzahn ($3.85 million annually), Sumlin ($5 million), Spurrier ($4 million) and Freeze ($3 million) — have all received new contracts in the past few months, meaning that, even with a raise, Pinkel could still find himself somewhere between eighth and 10th in pay among SEC coaches.

In addition to Pinkel’s pay increase, the salary pool for his coaching staff is expected to be bolstered as well.  Last season, Mizzou spent just over $2.6 million on assistants, a figure that was 10th in the conference.  What dollar amount will be in play with the new salary pool is unknown.

Pinkel will be entering his 14th season with the Tigers, having compiled a 102-63 mark at the school.  The Tigers are coming off one of its most successful seasons under Pinkel, a 12-2 record that included an SEC East championship, a spot in the conference title game and a Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State.  That stunning success came on the heels of a 5-7 2012 season that included a 2-6 league record in the program’s first season in the SEC.

College Football Hall of Fame adds title sponsor

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The College Football Hall of Fame is no longer the College Football Hall of Fame. Well, it is, but it isn’t.

It’s still a massive museum dedicated to honoring our nation’s greatest sport, but it will no longer be known by that name. The Atlanta-based Hall has added a title sponsor, and it’s the same corporation that sponsors everything else college football within Atlanta, from the Peach Bowl to Paul Johnson‘s sock drawer (presumably) — Chick-fil-A.

The new name and logo was unveiled Thursday.

As of press time, there was no word on if the first 100,000 CFT readers will receive a free 12-pack of nuggets upon entry.

Report: Cannabis oil not the reason C.J. Harris denied walk-on opportunity at Auburn

Getty Images
1 Comment

A major brouhaha broke out on social media last last week when it was reported that C.J. Harris was denied by the NCAA an opportunity to walk-on at Auburn because of his prescription for cannabis oil, which he uses to prevent epileptic seizures. Harris claims to be seizure free since January 2017 thanks to the medication.

“After Auburn coaches and staff took a second look at his medical records, they told Harris’ father Curtis that his son could not compete in NCAA athletics while he was taking cannabis oil,” reported WGXA-TV, which broke the story.

“You’re taking something away from a kid who’s worked so hard in his life to get there,” Curtis Harris, the player’s father, said. “And you’re just taking it away because he’s taking a medication that’s helping with his disability.”

But according to Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover, the story is more complicated than that. A source told Marcello that it was Auburn’s doctors, and not NCAA rules, that will prevent Harris from suiting up for the Tigers. Writes Marcello:

Auburn’s team physician did not clear Harris due to the pre-existing medical conditions, a source close to the Auburn football program said. The Auburn medical staff was concerned about the epilepsy and wanted to protect his well being in a full-contact sport that could lead to head trauma, the source said.

That information will not stop people from ripping on the NCAA, however, largely because it’s fun to rip on the NCAA.

But the Harris situation is a flashpoint in a larger cultural issue. Public opinion on marijuana is changing — 61 percent of Americans believe it should be legal, according to a Pew Research poll in January, an increase from 57 percent in 2017 and a massive leap from the 31 percent who thought the same in 2000 — and cannabis is already legal for purchase on a medical basis in 29 states. And the opinion of Auburn’s doctors doesn’t change the fact Harris would still be ineligible under current NCAA rules.

However, the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports has discussed “medical marijuana and CBD products at recent meetings” and will do so again at its next gathering in June, according to SB Nation. The Harris situation — and the subsequent public reaction — should be a a topic of conversation.

 

Two Illinois players charged with theft for relocating deer sculpture

Getty Images
1 Comment

A pair of Illinois players have been charged with theft between $500 and $10,000 after taking a sculpture from a Champaign park and relocating it to the top of their apartment building.

Jimmy Marchese, a junior linebacker, and Drew Murtaugh, a sophomore linebacker, told police they were walking home on the night of April 29 and saw a sculpture of a running deer, titled “Startled,” lying on the ground and took it home, placing the sculpture on the roof of their apartment. The Champaign Park District pleaded for the sculpture’s return on Facebook, and an anonymous tip led the authorities to Marchese and Murtaugh.

“Startled” has since been reinstalled at Champaign’s Scott Park, where the $5,000 sculpture will require touch-up work by the artist who created it.

“We had to have the artist come and do some work on it. We think we got it worked out to where it would be a lot harder for anyone to take it out again,” Champaign Park District director Joe DeLuce told the Champaign News Gazette.

The Illini pair has already appeared in court for a probable-cause hearing, and are due back on June 12. They face penalties ranging from probation to five years in prison.

Illinois spokesman Kent Brown told the News Gazette that head coach Lovie Smith is aware of the incident but has taken no action.

Marchese, a native of Vernon Hills, Ill., played in all 12 games in 2017 with two starts, and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. Murtaugh, hailing from Crystal Lake, Ill., did not letter as a redshirt freshman in 2017, but joined his partner in petty crime as an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

 

Georgia DB Tray Bishop arrested on felony charge for alleged recording of sexual act

Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
2 Comments

Georgia freshman defensive back DetravionTray” Bishop was arrested on Wednesday on charges of felony eavesdropping/surveillance. The charges stem from an incident from this past fall, according to a report from Chip Towers of DawgNation.com. Bishop, who promptly turned himself over to the authorities after a warrant for his arrest was issued, has already been released from a county jail on a $5,700 bond.

The arrest follows an investigation by University of Georgia police responded to a complaint filed by a woman in April. The woman claimed Bishop recorded a sexual act between the two without her consent back in November.

“The complainant wished to report that there was a student going around showing people a sex tape of her … without her consent,” the police report said, according to the DawgNation report. “… A subsequent investigation into this incident led us into determining that the crime of unlawful eavesdropping occurred on [Nov. 5]. The investigation showed that Detravion Bishop had recorded [victim’s name] inside his dorm room without her permission and without her knowledge.”

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has responded to the situation, expressing concern over the circumstances Bishop is caught up in.

“We are investigating the matter and it’s important that we gather all information relevant to the situation before we determine what policies may come into play,” Smart said in his statement. “Then we can take appropriate action if necessary.”

Bishop was a three-star recruit in Georgia’s Class of 2017, according to his Rivals profile. Bishop red-shirted last season.