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Stanford reportedly parts ways with long-time strength coach

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If you were to make a list of the three people most responsible for Stanford’s historic turnaround from Pac-12 doormat to powerhouse, they would be Jim HarbaughDavid Shaw and Shannon Turley, and not necessarily in that order.

Harbaugh, of course, got the ball rolling and Shaw kept it rolling, but Turley bridged the two eras as perhaps the most important person in the program other than the head coach: the strength coach.

Arriving at Stanford alongside Harbaugh and Shaw ahead of the 2007 season, it was Turley who turned the Cardinal’s “Intellectual Brutality” vision into a reality, molding the players who would create one of the most physical programs in college football.

And now Turley is no longer with the program.

According to Cardinal Sports Report, Turley had been on administrative leave since Feb. 4 but has now parted ways with the program, for reasons that are not entirely clear. From the piece:

Multiple sources told Cardinal Sports Report that there was an issue brought to Stanford’s attention involving a former player. There were no details beyond that as the situation was locked up inside the football offices, and the office of athletic director Bernard Muir, in the Arrillaga Family Sports Center.

In addition to building the players’ bodies and fostering the team’s culture, Turley was also successful at ensuring players’ health, as Stanford was annually one of the healthiest programs in college football while also playing a notoriously physical brand of football. He was recognized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and FootballScoop as the top strength coach in the industry. (Full disclosure: I also work for FootballScoop.) Turley also oversaw Stanford’s entire strength and conditioning program on top of his duties as the football team’s head strength coach.

In Turley’s absence, CSR reports that assistant strength coach Cullen Carroll has assumed the head strength coach role with the football program, but it remains to be seen if that’s an interim role or a full-time promotion.

Arkansas trading out artificial surface for natural grass

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Arkansas announced last year it would move back to natural grass at Reynolds-Razorback Stadium, and now that process has begun.

The Hogs concluded spring practice on Saturday, and on Tuesday the Hogs posted a time-lapse video of the artificial surface being torn out. The replacement, Tahoma 31, is currently being grown at Winstead Turf Farms in Arlington, Tenn.

The new sod is scheduled to arrive in Fayetteville on July 21, and the installation process will take place over several weeks. The Hogs won’t be able to practice on the new field until the final week of August, with the debut going down Aug. 31 against Portland State.

Arkansas last played on natural grass in 2009. With the move, the Hogs will leave Ole Miss as the only SEC West team playing on an artificial surface. Artificial surfaces are more commonplace in the SEC East, where Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt use the fake stuff.

Go west, young man: South Carolina RB Ty’Son Williams headed to BYU

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Ty’Son Williams began his college career at North Carolina, transferred to South Carolina, and will now transfer again for his final season. Williams on Sunday announced his intent to graduate transfer to BYU.

“I want to thank all the coaches and programs who reached out to give me an opportunity to continue my education for my last year,” he said in a tweet. “With that being said I will continue my last year of eligibility at Brigham Young University.”

After carrying 19 times for 57 yards as a Tar Heel in 2015, Williams sat out 2016 and then carried a combined 165 times for 799 yards and five touchdowns over the 2017-18 campaigns.

As a graduate transfer, Williams will be eligible to play immediately in 2019.

He’ll walk into a BYU running backs room that returns leading rusher Lopini Katoa but looses second- and third-leading rushers Squally Canada and Matt Hadley, who totaled a combined 162 rushes last fall.

USC WR Trevon Sidney transferring to Illinois

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Illinois has added another wide receiver and another Trojan in Trevon Sidney.

Sidney is the second player this month to leave Los Angeles for Champaign, following former 5-star defensive end Oluwe Betiku, Jr. He’s also the second wide receiver addition in the past two months, joining Richmond’s Dejon Brissett.

A Pasadena native, Sidney signed with USC in 2016 and redshirted his first year on campus. After undergoing offseason surgery on both hips, Sidney appeared in nine 2017 games, catching three passes for 35 yards. He caught seven passes for 104 yards in nine appearances last season.

Though he’s leaving USC, could Sidney return to his hometown by helping Illinois reach the Rose Bowl? Probably not, but he’ll stranger things have happened. Right?

Akron suing stadium builders over faulty concrete railings

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Akron is suing Welty Building Co. and “several other companies” over faulty concrete railings at InfoCision Stadium that the school says will cost more than $1 million to fix.

“The way they installed the railing was wrong. It’s not safe,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of UA, said in an interview Friday, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “That’s dangerous stuff — and we’ve got to get it fixed.”

According to the Beacon Journal, Akron and the state government of Ohio are everyone involved with the construction of the stadium and the concrete railings:

UA filed the lawsuit against HNTB Ohio Inc., which handled the design and construction administration of the stadium; Welty Building Co. in Fairlawn, the construction manager; Parsons Concrete Contractors Inc. in North Canton, which supplied the concrete; and EPI of Cleveland, which provided the grout to hold the railings in place. The university also is suing the surety companies that issued bonds on behalf of Parsons Concrete and EPI.

InfoCision Stadium was built in 2009 at a cost of $71 million.

“Since the problem was discovered approximately seven years ago we have continuously worked with the university to address any safety concerns, to identify those responsible and to get them to fix the problem,” Welty Building Co. said in a statement. “We are not aware of any ongoing safety concerns at this point and we have attended numerous meetings and mediations along with the university and other parties in an effort to resolve the issue. We expect the litigation will assign responsibility for the claimed defects where it is due, and that Welty will be found to have fully and properly performed its contract with the university.”