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WATCH: Memphis head coach Mike Norvell surprises walk-on with scholarship at community service event

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Memphis defensive lineman Joseph Dorceus thought he was accompanying Tigers head coach Mike Norvell to a community service event at a Memphis restaurant.

Turns out, Dorceus was the evening’s honoree, as Norvell surprised the walk-on with a scholarship.

Norvell surprised Dorceus, a walk-on, with a scholarship

“The work that you put in, and everything you mean to not only me, but our football program, and today all these people are here celebrating you, because now you are officially on a full scholarship here at the University of Memphis,” Norvell said.

A redshirt sophomore from Spring, Texas, Dorceus appeared in 11 games and collected 16 tackles with one sack and five TFLs in 2017. His older brother, Doroland Dorceus, played for Memphis from 2013-17.

Memphis adds former Oregon State defensive coordinator in off-the-field role

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Memphis has added an experienced voice to its defensive room. The Tigers have announced the hiring of former Oregon State, Utah State and Hawaii defensive coordinator Kevin Clune as a senior defensive assistant.

Clune spent the past two seasons coordinating defenses in Corvallis for head coach Gary Andersen, but was not retained by new head coach Jonathan Smith. After inheriting a unit that ranked 116th nationally in yards per play allowed in 2015, Clune bumped the Beavers to 79th in 2016, but they subsequently fell to 121st last fall. Clune spent 2015 as the defensive coordinator at Utah State, where the Aggies placed 17th nationally in yards per play allowed. Clune also spent one season — 2014 — as the defensive coordinator at Hawaii, helping the Warriors improve from 117th to 84th nationally.

Clune also has defensive coordinator experience at Southern Utah and Weber State.

Memphis went 10-3 in 2017 despite a defense that finished 75th in yards per play and 102nd in scoring. The Tigers won the American Athletic Conference’s West Division, but fell to UCF 62-55 in double overtime in the AAC Championship.

 

American, ACC announce officiating alliance

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The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.

With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.

Memphis’ Jared Gentry gets the boot after felony weed arrest

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The latest incident to cause a resetting of the “Days Without An Arrest” ticker has also caused the player involved to lose his spot on the team.

According to the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, Memphis defensive tackle Jared Gentry was arrested Wednesday on drug-related charges. Friday, the lineman was arraigned on one count of felony possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture, deliver and sell as well as one count of possessing drug paraphernalia.

From the Commercial-Appeal‘s report:

According to a police affidavit, officers received information alleging Gentry had drugs in his campus apartment at the Carpenter Student Housing complex.

Police then searched Gentry’s room and discovered two mason jars, one of which had two individually wrapped bags containing 29.8 grams of marijuana. Officers also found two sets of small scales and multiple plastic bags.

As a result of the felony arrest, Gentry has been dismissed from the football program. Additionally, a statement from the athletic department read, “Gentry has been placed on interim suspension from campus for violations of the UofM Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities while this matter is reviewed by the Office of Student Accountability, Outreach and Support.”

After playing in 12 games as a true freshman in 2015 and then 11 games the following season, Gentry started the 2017 opener before going down with what turned out to be a season-ending leg injury. Prior to his dismissal, he had been expected to play a significant role this coming season.

AAC 2018 season kicks off with Civil ConFLiCT

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Defending American Athletic Conference champion UCF will kick off their conference title defense on August 30 when they visit UConn in the conference and season opener for both teams. The Civil ConFLiCT is the first game on the 2018 conference schedule released by the AAC on Tuesday. The conference will play a series of Thursday night games on national TV and will hold the conference championship game on Saturday, December 1. Kickoff times and television schedules will be decided at a later time, for the most part.

The AAC will continue to play an eight-game conference schedule with each team playing five games against division opponents and three games against teams from the opposing division. The conference championship game will be played at the top division champion’s campus at the end of the season just as it has the previous three seasons. The annual Army-Navy Game, which of course involves AAC member Navy, will continue to be played the week following the AAC championship game (Dec. 8).

The AAC’s Thursday night schedule will begin on September 20 with Temple hosting Tulsa and will feature Houston vs. Tulsa on Oct. 4, UCF vs. Temple on Nov. 1, and Houston vs. Tulane on Nov. 15. The Thursday night games could be altered depending on the NFL’s pending Thursday night schedule (Temple can’t play at home if the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled for a home game). The Thursday night games will be scheduled to air on ESPN, and the conference championship game will be aired on either ABC or ESPN (it has aired on ABC each of the past three seasons).

The AAC will also play games on Friday nights this season, including three on the day after Thanksgiving for the regular season finale; USF hosting UCF, Memphis hosting Houston, and Cincinnati hosting ECU. That could be a big day for the AAC with potential division championships on the line.

The AAC will have 19 nonconference games against power conference opponents, including eight against ACC teams, four against the Big Ten, and three against the Big 12.

You can check out the full AAC football schedule HERE.