Eric Dickerson

Chad Morris begins mission to reunite SMU football family

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Any time a new head coach takes over a college football program, one of the first items on the agenda is to smooth things over with the former players that have played for the program. Sometimes a coaching change comes about under a stressful situation with the removal of a beloved head coach. Other times the program has sunk so low that even former players are blasting it from afar. Chad Morris is no idiot, and he knows the rebuilding of SMU is going to take all the help it can get, so why not extend a hand to those who came before him at SMU?

Morris attended a recent SMU basketball game with former SMU defensive back Sterling Moore, now in his fourth season with the Dallas Cowboys, according to The Dallas Morning News. Morris has also reached out to former SMU receiver Cole Beasley, in his third season with the Cowboys. Beasley told the Dallas newspaper he intends to stop by the SMU program at some point in the future to talk to the team and meet the new SMU head coach.

It always helps having the support of the former players behind you when you are a football coach. Not that their opinions ultimately sway the decision-making, but it makes for an easier time moving forward when the support is there. Now, if Morris can smooth things over with one of the greatest players to come out of SMU, Eric Dickerson, then Morris will be in business.

In early September, Dickerson took a flame thrower to his former program, taking aim at the state of the program, the potentially missed opportunity to find a spot in a power conference and more. Odds are when Morris does eventually get a chance to talk things over with Dickerson and chat about the plans for the future of the program, Morris will receive the support of Dickerson. Dickerson’s heated comments came from frustration with the state of his once-proud program. He, like any loyal SMU Mustang, just wants to see the Pony Express ride again.

Former college stars lend support for O’Bannon lawsuit plaintiffs

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A number of former college football standouts have signed their support for the plaintiffs in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA. Among the names signing a statement of support are SMU legend Eric Dickerson, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and ESPN college football analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard. The lawsuit, which targets the NCAA’s use of player likenesses, is scheduled to go to trial later this summer, although a judge has encouraged both sides to negotiate some sort of agreement.

The statement of support was obtained by Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com. The statement came through the law office of Michael Hausfield, the lead attorney representing O’Bannon, a former UCLA basketball player, and the growing list of defendants added over the course of the potentially groundbreaking lawsuit’s lifespan. It reads as follows;

“We, athletes who competed in NCAA sponsored collegiate sporting events, express our full support of and agreement with the lawsuit brought by Ed O’Bannon on behalf of current and former collegiate athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Further, we wish to call attention to the compelling need for dramatic change in the relationship between college athletes and the NCAA and respect for athlete rights.”

In addition to Dickerson, Foster and Howard, some of the other more notable names from the football world to sign the statement are Lendale White, Thurman Thomas, and Gino Marchetti. You can see the full list of football and basketball players to have signed the document in Fowler’s report.

Helmet sticker to CBSSports.com.