With the summer heat spreading, now is the time to perform some top-notch grounds-crew maintenance on football fields for the upcoming fall. Or, in the case of schools with artificial turf, now is the time to tear up the old rug and install the new one. That is what Troy is doing now inside their football stadium.
Troy showed off a look at the brand new artificial turf being installed in The Vet to be ready for the beginning of the 2019 season. The previous turf had been used since 2012, and as artificial turfs go, it has seen its fair share of wear and tear for the Trojans.
“This is an important project on numerous levels,” Director of Athletics Brent Jones said in a released statement. “First and most importantly the new turf is a commitment to the safety of our student-athletes, and the dynamic design of the turf will enhance our already strong brand recognition with every one of our home games broadcast live via an ESPN medium. The design also returns some traditional elements which our fans will enjoy while watching games in The Vet.”
As the diagram shown off shows, the Troy logo will be found at midfield and the shades of green will alternate every five yards. The Sun Belt Conference logo will be shown at the 25-yard lines, one toward each sideline. “TROY” will be painted in one end zone, and “TROJANS” will be found in the opposite endzone, both in accompanying Troy school colors. But if you look closely, you will see what appears to be the dueling swords emoji (⚔️) found at the 35-yard lines. That is intentional, as the university uses the emoji on social media platforms.
The turf is manufactured by Hellas Construction in Texas. The same company has provided turf surfaces to the Los Angeles Rams, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, and Oakland Raiders for either stadium surfaces or practice fields.
For the Buffalo Bulls football program, it’s lather, rinse, repeat on the contractual front.
In February of 2019, Buffalo announced a new five-year contract for Lance Leipold. A year and a couple of weeks later, the Bulls have announced that Leipold has agreed to a new five-year contract.
Leipold is now signed through the 2024 season.
“I’d like to first thank President Satish Tripathi and Mark Alnutt for this extension for our staff,” the Buffalo Bulls football head coach said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate the continued support of our administration in our pursuit of MAC championships and bowl appearances.”
Leipold just completed his fifth season with the Bulls.
In 2019, Buffalo claimed the program’s first-ever bowl win. The Bulls also set a program record with 10 wins the year before, breaking the old mark of eight set twice (2008, 2013). Some of the luster was taken off that historic campaign, though, as Buffalo suffered a come-from-ahead loss to Northern Illinois in the conference championship game and then coughed up four fumbles in a Dollar General Bowl loss to Troy.
Buffalo has won 24 games over the last three seasons, the second-most of any school in the Mid-American Conference over the same time and the most wins over a three-year span in school history.
“I’m very appreciative of Lance Leipold’s unwavering commitment and dedication to building a championship-caliber football program here at UB,” Alnutt said. “This program has seen outstanding growth and success both on and off the field during his tenure. I’m excited to work with Lance and his staff as we continue this positive trajectory for many years to come.”
Contractual details of the extension have not yet been revealed. In 2019, Leipold’s $615,000 in guaranteed compensation was fifth among the 12 MAC coaches listed in the USA Today coaches salary database.
The announcement of the contract extension comes two days before the Buffalo Bulls football team kicks off its sixth spring practice under Leipold.
A former Rice football player has acknowledged his role in the death of an ex-teammate.
In early March of 2018, Rice football player Blain Padgett was found dead in his apartment after he failed to show for a football workout and a wellness check was performed. In late June, the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the 21-year-old defensive end’s death was caused by the toxic effects of carfentanil, which was described as being designed originally as an elephant tranquilizer.
Seven months later, former Owls defensive lineman Stuart Mouchantaf was charged with manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance in connection to Padgett’s death. Authorities allege that it was Mouchantaf who sold Padgett the pills that directly led to his death. That charge was a second-degree felony that carries a penalty ranging from five years to 99 years or life in prison.
Thursday, however, Mouchantaf pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute causing death and possession with the intent to distribute causing death. Mouchantaf will be sentenced May 14. He is facing 20 years-to-life and a fine of up to $1 million.
The 27-year-old Mouchantaf was a defensive tackle at Rice from 2012-15 after beginning his collegiate career at Blinn College.
In 2016, the 6-5, 250-pound Padgett was second on the team in tackles for loss with 5½ and led all Owls defensive linemen with 41 tackles. He played in just three games in 2017 before going down with a shoulder injury. He also played in eight games as a true freshman in 2015, Mouchantaf’s last season with the Owls.
“You’ve got to remember he played football with Blain for one year, so we saw him on the football field,” Wyndi Marsh-Padgett, Blain’s mother, told the Houston Chronicle. “It’d be different if we didn’t know him at all. It’s hard to see him and think about. He has family. …
“We just miss [Blain] terribly. Miss him every day.”
Just a couple of months into his tenure as the Ole Miss football head coach, Lane Kiffin is already leaving his recruiting mark.
In November of last year, Marc Britt committed to play his college football at Florida. The Early Signing Period came and went without the four-star 2020 prospect signing with the Gators. On National Signing Day earlier this month, Britt didn’t put his Herbie Hancock on a National Letter of Intent with UF either.
A little over two weeks later, at a signing ceremony at his Miami high school, though, Britt confirmed that he had flipped his commitment to Ole Miss football.
Ole Miss football has not yet confirmed Britt’s signing. Kiffin, though, has been retweeting reports of Britt’s flip on his personal Twitter account as well as the recruit’s own tweets.
Britt is a four-star 2020 recruit. Coming out of high school in Miami, he’s rated as the No. 44 player regardless of position in the state of Florida. 247Sports.com’s composite has him listed as the No. 9 athlete in the country. Only two signees in the Rebels’ class this year are rated higher than Britt.
At this point, it’s unclear whether Britt will start his collegiate career as a wide receiver or a defensive back.
Ole Miss football currently has the No. 34 recruiting class in the country. That would also be 12th in the 14-team SEC.
We don’t know yet who will be the next Colorado football head coach. We do know (again), though, who it won’t be.
When Mel Tucker left for the Michigan State head job earlier this month, it triggered an unexpected coaching search at Colorado. Current Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and former Colorado football Eric Bieniemy was immediately considered the front-runner, although speculation of late had him staying in the NFL.
Overnight, Mike Klis of the NBC affiliate in Denver reported that Bieniemy “notified his alma mater Wednesday night he would no longer seek the job.” ESPN‘s Adam Schefter subsequently confirmed that Bieniemy has withdrawn his name from consideration.
Klis wrote that, “[a]lthough Bieniemy never formally interviewed for the CU head job, he and school officials stayed in contact either personally or through his agent, even while he and his family kept a long-scheduled, 5-day vacation.”
The 50-year-old Bieniemy was a running back with the Buffaloes in the late eighties, finishing third in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior season. He began his coaching career at his alma mater as running backs coach in 2001-02. He returned to Colorado football in 2011-12 as offensive coordinator.
Since 2013, Bieniemy has been a member of the Chiefs coaching staff.
So, to where does Colorado football now turn? Air Force’s Troy Calhoun has seemingly taken the front-runner mantle in some corners — he interviewed for the CU job this week — while former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema is in the mix as well. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian also interviewed for the job this week. Like Bieniemy, the former USC and Washington head coach has opted to remain in his current job.
Since being rebuffed by both Sarkisian and Bieniemy, it’s believed that Colorado has decided to expand its search for the next head football coach. That, of course, would mean the search could drag on into next week.