Update: GPD clarifies incident involving UF’s Andre DeBose

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Earlier this month, Andre DeBose was granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Exactly two weeks later, the Florida wide receiver celebrated the extra year by doing what any normal person would: throwing a human being through a window.  Allegedly.

The Gainesville Television Network is reporting that DeBose was involved in some type of altercation Saturday night.  While the details are few and far between, the television station reported that DeBose tossed an individual through a window during the course of the altercation.

The Gainesville Police Department confirmed to GTN that there was an incident, but did note that DeBose was not arrested.  It’s unclear if DeBose or anyone else allegedly involved could face charges down the road.

UF has not commented publicly on the situation.

During summer camp last August, Debose tore an ACL and did not see the field in 2013.  Additionally, Debose missed his entire true freshman season in 2009 due to an injury he suffered running high school track.  The two missed seasons led to the NCAA approving a sixth season for the player.

A five-star member of UF’s 2009 recruiting class, Debose was rated as the No. 2 receiver in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 21 player at any position.  Debose appeared in 31 games and made eight starts from 2010-12.  He has 29 career catches for 543 yards and four touchdowns.  His most productive season as a receiver came in 2011 (16-432-4).

Debose has done the majority of his damage on special teams as his four career kickoff returns for touchdowns are a school record and tied for the most in SEC history.

(Tip O the Cap: Orlando Sentinel)

UPDATED 2:22 p.m. ET: And this is precisely why we use — or overuse in some cases — the words “allegedly” and “reportedly.”

Shortly after we posted the original story above, the Gainesville Police Department released a statement addressing the situation involving DeBose.  The key portion of the release appeared at the very bottom.

Note: Information originally released in a Sunday Morning “GPD Media Weekend Snapshot” email sent to local media reported that Debose was an aggressor, but this information was incorrect.

The GPD also detailed in the release the events that led up to officers being called to a local residence.  Suffice to say, all parties involved are very lucky that there were no injuries… or deaths.

Below is the GPD’s statement, in its entirety.

Gainesville, FLA – At 6:30pm Saturday, officers responded to an armed confrontation involving at least 2 subjects in the front yard of the house that were reportedly armed with a handgun and a rifle.  

When officers arrived, they found an SUV parked in front of the house with numerous bullet holes and shell casings in the road.  One subject retreated into the house but came out and was secured within moments.  Investigation determined that John Mark Honeycutt W/M 7/1/90, Andre Debose B/M 9/12/90, Victor Watkins II B/M 12/20/89 and Kristan Lipham W/F were eating together in the house.  

Debose and Watkins got into an argument resulting in Watson pushing Debose into a window.   The glass broke, but Debose was not injured.  This angered Honeycutt who retrieved a handgun and threatened Watkins with it.  However, Watkins immediately took the handgun from Honeycutt and then discharged several rounds into the ground outside the house.  

Honeycutt now retrieved the rifle and fired several rounds into Watkins’s SUV and into the ground in front of the house.  All parties were transported to CID where GPD detectives conducted interviews.  After an extensive investigation, detectives arrested Honeycutt for Aggravated Assault.  All other parties were released.

UPDATED 2:59 p.m. ET: The Gainesville Police Department has taken a somewhat unprecedented step by issuing yet another statement addressing the initial discrepancy involving DeBose while also directing an apology to the player for the initial, incorrect information.

Again, the complete statement from the GPD appears below.

Social media is both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, important information can be relayed to millions of people in a fraction of a second.

On the other hand, incorrect information can spread like wildfire.

This morning, as I read our end-of-shift reports, I copied and pasted the incident summary that included information about Florida Gators WR Andre Debose and sent it to my local media contacts as I do each and every day.  Unfortunately, the initial information released was incorrect.

The initial summary read that Mr. Debose, during an argument, threw another person into a window.  In fact, the names in the summary were transposed, and I did not catch the error before sending it to my local media contacts.  I did not catch the error until the wildfire had started, and now I am trying to help put that wildfire out.

Mr. Debose was actually the one pushed into the glass, and in fact tried to break this altercation up multiple times during the incident.  

To Mr. Debose: I apologize that my error put your name and reputation in jeopardy, no matter how briefly.  I take full responsibility for this error, and hope that the stories printed and published will correct your name and reputation.  Furthermore, I am extremely proud that you intervened in this incident and likely prevented anyone from being injured or killed.

-Officer Ben Tobias, PIO
Gainesville Police Spokesperson

LSU confirms promotion of Tiger great Kevin Faulk as RBs coach

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An LSU football legend officially has an on-field role at his alma mater.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Kevin Faulk would be promoted from his current position as LSU football director of player development.  Thursday, the Tigers confirmed that Faulk has been promoted by Ed Orgeron to running backs coach.

Faulk replaces Tommie Robinson, who left to take the same job at SEC West rival Texas A&M.

“We would like to thank Tommie (Robinson) for being a part of our national championship program and wish him the best in his future,” the LSU football head coach said in a statement. “Kevin is a great teacher and mentor and someone that has earned the respect and love of our players. We are honored to have one of the greatest players in LSU history as part of our coaching staff. This is a home run hire.”

Faulk played collegiately for LSU football from 1995-98.  He is still the school’s all-time leader in rushing yards (4,557) and rushing TDs (46).

Faulk was then a second-round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 1999.  He spent 13 years in the NFL, joining his high school alma mater’s football coaching staff upon his retirement following the 2011 season.

In 2018, Faulk rejoined the LSU football program in an off-field role.  This will be his field on-field role at any level of college football.

“The day I graduated high school I knew I wanted to be a coach,” the 43-year-old Faulk said. “The coaches I had growing up meant so much to me and the community, and I knew I wanted to be that guy. To coach at my alma mater is the best thing I could ever hope for. I wear the purple and gold with pride every day, and I am ready to get going to help win another national championship.”

Ford Field to host even more MACtion in 2020

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The MAC title game isn’t the only bit of #MACtion that Ford Field will see in 2020.

The conference recently released their annual football schedule on Wednesday and among the notable league games is the rivalry contest between Central Michigan and Western Michigan. While this one figures to have division implications on Oct. 17, things are going to be slightly different this year.

Namely that it won’t be on either campus and will instead be played at Ford Field.

“Ford Field has been the location of many great experiences for CMU Football, and this is an opportunity to create another iconic experience for our program and our university,” athletic director Michael Alford said in a release. “CMU’s continued success means out-of-the-box thinking. Bringing this game — and the events surrounding it — to Detroit allows our athletics program to help engage thousands of people who are passionate about CMU.”

It’s an interesting move that will push CMU to over a decade without a win over their directional rivals in Mt. Pleasant. Still, the larger venue and the opportunity to make things an even bigger event in the state’s largest city seem to have won out.

The Detroit News reported on Tuesday that the Chips wanted to do a multi-year deal at the home of the NFL’s Lions but that WMU said no thanks.

The Broncos have won seven of the last nine meetings, including last year’s 31-15 win in Kalamazoo. Despite that head-to-head victory though, Jim McElwain’s squad got the last laugh by winning the MAC West in one of the biggest turnaround stories of the 2019 season.

They wound up playing at Ford Field in the conference title game where they eventually lost to Miami (OH) 26-21. The venue has been the home of the MAC championship since 2004 and will have the next edition played on either Friday, Dec. 4 or Saturday Dec. 5.

Georgia Tech adds 2023 game against Bowling Green, makes slight change to 2021 schedule

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Georgia Tech is loving itself some #MACtion.

The school announced a pair of future schedule moves against teams from the eponymous league on Wednesday. Among the most immediate actions for the Yellow Jackets is that their 2021 contest against Northern Illinois will be shifted to become the season-opener at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sept. 4.

GT will then play FCS Kennesaw State at home and conclude the early non-conference slate with a trip to Notre Dame on Nov. 20, 2021. Their annual rivalry contest against Georgia will conclude the regular season the final weekend of November as usual.

Tech also added Bowling Green to their upcoming docket. The Falcons will head to Bobby Dodd Stadium on Sept. 30, 2023. A trip to Ole Miss and the in-state rival Bulldogs coming to Atlanta will round out the Jackets’ non-conference schedule with one more opening still to be signed (likely against an FCS opponent).

Head coach Geoff Collins’ 2020 squad will have their attention on a conference opponent to open the upcoming season as they take on ACC opponent Clemson at home on Thursday, Sept. 3. The two programs will also meet again in city for the 2022 season opener at nearby Mercedes-Benz Stadium as well.

While those big name opponents will get more attention from fans in the region, don’t discount a bit of that #MACtion heading South either.

Waiting to cancel game with FCS opponent cost USC an extra $500,000

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Keeping Clay Helton around wasn’t the only decision last year that upset USC fans. Now the school backtracking on a choice it just made has cost the program a pretty penny.

For those not in the know, cardinal and gold supporters up in arms last year when it was announced the program had agreed to a non-conference game with UC Davis for the 2021 season. Such a contest typically doesn’t draw much attention but it did in Los Angeles as it was the first FCS opponent the Trojans were to play in their illustrious history.

That would have left rivals UCLA and Notre Dame as the only two FBS programs not to play an FCS team.

Then things changed. The athletic director responsible for the deal, Lynn Swann, was shown the door. His replacement Mike Bohn has gone about trying to make amends and recently announced that USC had eventually backed out of the game against the Aggies.

In their place on the docket at the Coliseum that season is another Bay Area team, San Jose State. We already recounted how the Spartans made out quite nicely on the balance sheet as a result of this (and subsequent buyout from Georgia) swap. As it turns out though, they weren’t the only Northern California team to do so.

According to the Davis Enterprise, the buyout UCD was owed was only supposed to be $225,000. However terms called for that to jump to $725,000 after the start of the new year. Because the Trojans waited around they then had to pony up that extra half million for doing something they had been considering since the new administration came in.

“It’s pretty funny. We had every intention of playing that game,” Aggies senior associate athletics director Josh Flushman told the paper. “We just wanted to make sure (if there were) buyouts we were going to get the money.

“In December, (AD Kevin Blue) and I joking said, ‘Don’t take any phone calls from L.A. numbers until after the first.’”

The call didn’t come until February and the school is that much richer for it. On top of that they added a $400,000 guarantee game from Tulsa to replace Southern Cal on the schedule to boot.

Waiting may be the hardest part for some but it resulted in a nice seven-figure gain at UC Davis.