The NCAA has been locked in several major court battles in the state of California but a judge in Los Angeles Superior Court just dealt a huge blow to the organization’s ability to sanction coaches caught up in infractions cases.
According to the LA Times, judge Frederick Shaller finalized an earlier ruling that said that show-cause penalties given to coaches violated state law as “an unlawful restraint” on pursuing a lawful profession. At the heart of the matter is former USC assistant Todd McNair, who has been battling the NCAA over the one-year show-cause he was handed as part of the Reggie Bush case involving the Trojans over a decade ago.
“McNair’s ability to practice his profession as a college football coach has been restricted, if not preempted, not only in Los Angeles, but in every state in the country,” Shaller wrote in his decision.
The ruling is significant far beyond USC and McNair’s case as it essentially strips the NCAA’s ability to give coaches and administrators a show-cause (as in, schools must show-cause why they should hire individuals) in major infractions cases. While a few figures, like Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, wrote into the court saying this could affect the ability of California schools to remain in the NCAA, nobody expects the front office folks in Indianapolis to start kicking out UCLA, Stanford, Cal and others starting next week.
“The NCAA disagrees with the court’s ruling, which is wrong as a matter of law and does not impact Todd McNair’s show-cause order that expired more than six years ago,” the NCAA said in a statement. “We will explore all avenues for relief to ensure that NCAA member schools in California can continue to abide by the same rules as the rest of the NCAA’s membership.”
We’ll count this as a big ‘L’ for the NCAA in court even though the decision figures to be appealed going forward. Something says a few other states might take notice of the ruling though and wonder if NCAA bylaws and decisions may be at odds with other laws either way.
Former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Ken Zampese is joining Florida’s staff as an analyst, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Andy Benoit.
Zampese spent the 2016-17 seasons as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator after serving 13 seasons as Marvin Lewis‘s quarterbacks coach. Cincinnati went 13-18-1 in Zampese’s two seasons running the offense, which is why he spent 2018 as the Cleveland Browns’ quarterbacks coach and the first part of 2019 as the offensive coordinator for the AAF’s Atlanta Legends.
He is the son of former Chargers, Rams, Cowboys and Patriots offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese.
It is not immediately known what the younger Zampese’s role will be with the Gators, but his experience indicates he’ll work with Dan Mullen and coordinators John Hevesy and Billy Gonzales to develop Florida’s offensive plan and help Brian Johnson tutor the quarterbacks, or perhaps use his coordinator experience to self-scout Florida’s offense and scout Florida’s future opponents.
All the reporting that came out since the bombshell reports saying Connecticut is looking to leave the American Athletic Conference to rejoin the non-football Big East have confirmed that, yes, this is really happening, likely in time for the 2020-21 athletic year. The reporting has also said that UConn’s soon-to-be-homeless football program will not drop down to FCS, but instead join a different conference or try to make it as an FBS independent.
On Saturday, Stadium’s Brett McMurphy tweeted that UConn has determined it will not return to FCS, where the program competed for most of its history before joining the then-power conference Big East in 2004.
On Sunday morning, NCAA.com’s Andy Katz followed with a note saying it looked like the Huskies will try to make a go of it as an independent, writing that UConn will attempt to schedule neighbors like UMass (a fellow independent), Boston College, Syracuse and Rutgers while honoring existing contracts for home-and-homes with Duke, Illinois, NC State and others.
For a check in with someone who might actually know something, let’s see what Huskies head coach Randy Edsall has to say.
Either way, it sounds like the train is moving and we could hear something official sooner rather than later.
Steve Spurrier hasn’t coached a college football team since 2015, but that doesn’t mean the Head Ball Coach has retired.
The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and national championship head coach returned to his alma mater to serve as a brand ambassador in 2016, he’s appeared in commercials, and he won a self-proclaimed championship as head coach of the Orlando Apollos of the short-lived Alliance of American Football.
Now, he’s getting into the restaurant business.
On Friday, it was reported the 74-year-old Spurrier will announce that he’s seeking a partner to “operate his new American casual dining concept.”
Details are scarce at this point–that’s probably the point of the press conference–but I’m imagining Margaritaville with footballs. We’ll find out on Monday.