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Mark Dantonio and staff get raises at Michigan State

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As expected, Michigan State is giving head coach Mark Dantonio and his staff well-deserved bumps in pay. The new contract for Dantonio, which was announced on Friday, will see Dantonio be paid $4.3 million per year through January 15, 2020. Michigan State will also set aside an extra $250,000 to be used on assistant coaching salaries.

“The University remains committed to providing all of the tools necessary to sustain a championship-caliber football program,” Dantonio said. “I wish to thank President Simon, Mark Hollis, the Board of Trustees and the entire administration for their trust, loyalty and support.

With the new $4.3 million annual salary, Michigan State has made Dantonio the third highest paid coach in the Big Ten. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($7 million), Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($5.86 million), and Penn State’s James Franklin ($4.4 million) still rank ahead of the Spartans head coach, but he did pass Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz ($4.075 million). Outside of Meyer at Ohio State, no coach in the Big Ten is as accomplished a coach as Dantonio, so the raise is justified and earned. Dantonio has coached Michigan State to a 36-5 record over the past five seasons and the program has soared to new heights after a bit of a transition phase for Dantonio as a head coach in East Lansing. In addition to two Big Ten titles and a spot in the playoff, Dantonio has also coached Michigan State to victories in the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl.

The breakdown of Dantonio’s new contract is as follows;

  • $2,264,480 base compensation
  • $1,000,000 supplemental compensation
  • $700,000 contingent annual bonus
  • $185,520 benefits
  • $100,000 Nike apparel agreement (that’s a lot of Air Jordans)
  • $50,000 guaranteed performance incentives

“With a berth in the College Football Playoff this past season, Coach Dantonio has again shown his excellence in building a nationally prominent football program,” Michigan State President Lou Anna K. Simon said in a released statement. “He is an outstanding leader committed to MSU’s values who empowers his players to become the best Spartans they can be, whether on the field, in the classroom or as part of the MSU community.”

Vanderbilt transfer originally committed to Tulane reverses course, heads to UCF instead

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Welp, so much for that.

In mid-December, Bailey Granier (pictured, No. 75) announced on Twitter that he would be transferring from Vanderbilt to Tulane after graduating. However, on the same social media site this month, Granier revealed that, instead of Tulane, he would instead be transferring to UCF to finish out his collegiate playing career.

The offensive lineman, who attended the Green Wave’s spring game this year, gave no specific reason for the about-face.

Granier played in 27 games during his time with the Commodores, starting five of those contest during that time. All of those starts came at right tackle — two this past season, three in 2015.

Bowling Green loses part-time starting corner to transfer

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As you’re likely well aware already, it’s not just Power Five programs who see a roster reshuffling this time of the year.

The latest Group of Five school to experience that personnel phenomenon is Bowling Green, with Cam Jefferies announcing on his personal Twitter account that, “[a]fter a countless amount of prayer and conversation with those closest to me,” he will be transferring from that Falcons. The cornerback gave no specific reason for the decision to move on from the MAC school.

According to his tweet, Jefferies is set to graduate from the university in August. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.

A two-star recruit coming out of high school in Ohio, Jefferies took a redshirt as a true freshman in 2015. The past two seasons, the defensive back started 12 of the 21 games in which he played. Seven of those starts came this past season.

Dabo Swinney, Hunter Johnson address QB’s transfer

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Clemson has officially bid adieu to a highly-touted member of its 2017 recruiting class.

Earlier in the day Monday, reports surfaced that Hunter Johnson had decided to transfer from the Tigers, with a couple of Big Ten schools already listed as potential landing spots. Not long after that news made the rounds, Dabo Swinney acknowledged the reports, calling the quarterback “one of the best young men I’ve ever coached” in sending his former player his well-wishes.

“While it is always disappointing to lose a great person and a great player, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Hunter and watch him grow and develop over the last year and a half,” the full statement attributed to the head coach began. “Hunter is one of the best young men I have ever coached and has a very bright future ahead of him.

“I wish him all the best as he decides on his destination.”

Johnson himself issued his own statement through the school’s sports information department addressing the development.

“I want to thank Coach Swinney and the Clemson family for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something special,” said Johnson. “I’ve met some amazing people who I will forever call family. I am a better man and a better football player because of my time spent at Clemson. Go Tigers!”

The composite board on 247Sports.com had Johnson rated as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 30 player at any position for the Class of 2017. As a true freshman, Johnson completed 21 of his 27 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in seven appearances.

It’s believed that Johnson, who will have to sit out the 2018 season but would then have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 2019, is eyeing Northwestern or Purdue as potential transfer destinations.

Former USC assistant coach Todd McNair loses defamation lawsuit vs. NCAA

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By a vote of 9-3, former USC running backs coach Todd McNair has lost his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA. Following six days of deliberation, the verdict brings to a close the Reggie Bush scandal that began more than a decade ago, a scandal that saw the Trojans lose their 2004 BCS national championship and Bush be stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

McNair sued the NCAA after it found him guilty of unethical conduct while Bush received impermissible benefits. He was given a 1-year show-cause penalty, and has not worked since his contract expired in the summer of 2010.

McNair sought $27 million in damages from the NCAA.

McNair’s attorney Bruce Broilett told ESPN his team was “very disappointed … disappointed in the result. Assessing the situation and considering our next steps.”