A new record has been set, although it’s not one anyone is celebrating.
The Heisman Trophy of the late Colorado running back Rashaan Salaam has been sold at an auction for a record price of $399,608. That number beats out the previous record held by Bruce Smith, a 1941 winner out of Minnesota, whose stiffarm trophy sold for $395,240 in 2005. The winner of Saturday’s auction is not immediately known.
Salaam passed away in 2016 in a death that was ruled as a suicide. He was 42. His Heisman was put up for auction last month, with a target price of $300,000. CTE is believed to be a motivator in his suicide, and the record funds will be used to contribute to CTE research.
How Salaam’s trophy went up for auction in the first place is a point of considerable controversy. The official story is that Salaam sold his trophy in 2014 to a memorabilia collector — winners are officially prohibited from selling their trophies, though who’s going to stop them? — who sold it to Denver real estate investor Tyler Tysdal, who put it up for Saturday’s auction and says he has a signed letter of authenticity from the winner himself and an invoice. However, Salaam’s mother believes it was stolen.
“When we went to Boulder to bury Rashaan … I didn’t see it in his apartment,” Khalada said. “I thought it was in a restaurant or something. I thought it would pop up,” Khalada Salaam told CBS Sports. “It didn’t pop up.”
Salaam won the 1994 Heisman as a junior running back for Colorado. He rushed for 2,055 yards and 24 touchdowns while helping the Buffaloes finish 10-1 with a No. 4 final ranking. He beat out Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter, Alcorn State quarterback Steve McNair and Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins for the honor.
Salaam entered the NFL draft in 1995, where he was selected in the first round by the Chicago Bears.
Just when you thought he was out, it pulls him right back in.
Earlier this month, Davin Cotton opted to place his name into the NCAA transfer database, the first step in a move away from LSU. Two days later, however, the defensive lineman, as is his right, opted to pull his name from the portal and remain with the Tigers.
A week later, though, Cotton has reportedly reentered the database.
A four-star member of LSU’s 2018 recruiting class, Cotton was rated as the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. Cotton played in two games as a true freshman this past season.
Cotton is the second LSU defensive lineman to enter the database this week. Wednesday, citing a desire to be closer to his home in Texas, Dominique Livingston took to Twitter to announce his decision to transfer from the Tigers.
A week after losing his special teams boss to the NFL, James Franklin has found a replacement.
Penn State confirmed Thursday that Joe Lorig has been hired as Franklin’s new special teams coordinator. Lorig will also serve as an unspecified defensive assistant as part of Franklin’s Nittany Lions coaching staff.
The move to hire Lorig comes after Phil Galiano, who spent two years with the Nittany Lions, left earlier this month for a job in the NFL.
“We are looking forward to having Joe join our staff,” a statement from Franklin began. “We conducted a comprehensive study of special teams coordinators across the country to find the best fit for our staff and identified Joe as the best candidate. His special teams units have a history of being among the best in the country and we know he can continue that success here. I have also known Joe for many years, dating back to when we worked together at Idaho State under Larry Lewis.”
“I am extremely excited to join the staff at Penn State University and begin working with such a storied program,” Lorig said. “Penn State is a program with outstanding players, coaches and tradition. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Franklin and his entire coaching staff. My wife, three children and I are very appreciative of the opportunity to join the Nittany Lion family, and we look forward to helping Penn State win championships!”
The past three seasons, Lorig was the special teams coordinator at Memphis. He also served as the outside linebackers coach for the Tigers.
Rod Wright is officially returning to the state that helped launch his coaching career.
As had been speculated on over the last few days, UT-San Antonio has announced that Wright has been hired by Frank Wilson as the head coach’s new defensive line coach. Wright played his college football for the Texas Longhorns in the mid-aughts, earning All-American and All-Big 12 honors as a defensive lineman during his time in Austin.
“We are excited to announce Rod Wright as our new defensive line coach,” Wilson said in a statement. “He was an outstanding collegiate player and he has done an exceptional job mentoring defensive linemen everywhere he’s coached. We think he’s one of the best young coaches in the country and he will be a great addition to our staff.”
This past season, Wright served as the line coach at East Carolina, his first on-field role at the FBS level. Prior to that, he spent four seasons at FCS Sam Houston State.
Wright began his coaching career at his alma mater, working as a student assistant/defensive special assistant for three years at UT beginning in 2011.
The transfer train has made yet another stop in South Florida, and this one brought a passenger with a helluva high school pedigree with not a lot to show for yet on his college résumé.
In mid-December, it was reported that Jaelan Phillips would be transferring from UCLA. A little over two months later, Phillips announced on Twitter that he will continue his collegiate playing career at Miami.
Because of NCAA transfer rules, Phillips will likely have to sit out the 2019 season. He would then have two years of eligibility to use beginning in 2020.
Phillips was the No. 1-rated recruit in the entire country for the Class of 2017 on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Despite that lofty ranking, although in large part due to injury, his collegiate career thus far hasn’t amounted to much.
As a true freshman, Phillips started four of the seven games in which he played. Despite missing nearly half the season because of an ankle injury, he finished fourth on the Bruins in tackles for loss with seven and second in sacks with 3.5. Battling additional injuries in 2018, including concussions, Phillips played in just four games this past season.
Phillips would be at least the seventh FBS player — and sixth from a Power Five program — to transfer to Miami since Manny Diaz took over at The U, joining USC safety Bubba Bolden (HERE), Virginia Tech defensive end Trevon Hill (HERE), Auburn running back Asa Martin (HERE), Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell (HERE), Buffalo wide receiver K.J. Osborn (HERE) as well as Phillips’ former UCLA teammate, defensive tackle Chigozie Nnoruka (HERE).