College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Georgia Tech DT Adams dies at 21
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Brandon Adams, a defensive tackle at Georgia Tech, passed away Saturday in Atlanta, the school announced Sunday. He was 21.

    • No cause of death was released.

      "On behalf of the entire Georgia Tech athletics family, I offer my deepest condolences to Brandon's family and friends, including his past and present coaches, and his brothers in the Georgia Tech football family," Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury said in a statement. "As we mourn the loss of such an incredible young life, we are also here to support Brandon's family and friends, his past and present coaches and his brothers within the Georgia Tech football family in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping Brandon and everyone who loved him in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

      Ranked as a three-star prospect in the Class of 2016 by the 247Sports composite, Adams attended Brentwood Academy in Tennessee. At Georgia Tech, he majored in business administration and aspired to be a CEO, according to his school biography. He interned last summer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

      In three seasons with the Yellow Jackets, he played in 33 games. Last season, he played 13 games at nose tackle and had 24 tackles, five tackles for loss, 12 solo tackles and two forced fumbles, all career highs.

      In Saturday's editions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an article that named him a player to watch in spring practices, which begin Tuesday.

      "Our entire Georgia Tech football family is heartbroken by the news of Brandon's passing," said Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins, who was hired in December. "In the short time that I have had the privilege and honor of knowing Brandon, I admired and respected him, first and foremost as a terrific human being, but also as an outstanding teammate and leader."

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-kicker Boermeester sues Southern Cal
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 22, 2019

    A former Southern Cal kicker has sued the school, alleging he was wrongly expelled in 2017.

    • Matthew Boermeester, who transferred to USC in 2014, was booted from the school after a Title IX investigation into an alleged domestic incident with his girlfriend in the parking lot of a McDonald's.

      In his lawsuit, Boermeester cites selective Title IX enforcement, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and negligence, according to ESPN. He is seeking unspecified monetary damages.

      Boermeester and his girlfriend, Zoe Katz, have contended they were just playing and weren't fighting when a passerby said Boermeester put his hands around the woman's neck and pushed her into a wall. He was never investigated by police in the alleged incident, ESPN reported.

      After the investigation, he was expelled two classes short of graduation and with a year of eligibility remaining. He unsuccessfully sued in Superior Court to have the expulsion overturned.

      Katz and Boermeester are still together, and she told the following to the Los Angeles Times in mid-2017:

      "When I told the truth about Matt, in repeated interrogations, I was stereotyped and was told I must be a ‘battered' woman, and that made me feel demeaned and absurdly profiled," Katz said. "I understand that domestic violence is a terrible problem, but in no way does that apply to Matt and me."

      His attorney, Andrew T. Miltenberg, said in a statement to the media that the former player "lost his education and his future career in the NFL," adding USC made "a complete mockery of the Title IX process."

      The attorney also contends that Boermeester has suffered from mental and physical health problems and that his reputation has been damaged because of USC's actions.

      Boermeester made the game-winning field goal in the 2017 Rose Bowl, when USC beat Penn State 52-49. In the 2016 season, he hit 53 of 54 extra point attempts and 18 of 25 field goal attempts.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Pac-12 referees rip commisioner
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    Three former Pac-12 football officials blasted conference commissioner Larry Scott and other conference leaders in a letter published Thursday.

    • The retired officials -- Mack Gilchrist, Charles Czubin and Fred Gallagher -- outlined a list of grievances including the conference's replay review process, assignments for bowl games, a lack of accountability on the part of administrators, and communications breakdowns between the league and its officials.

      "We do not appreciate the direction this Conference is headed under your direction by disgracing its long and respected heritage," they wrote to Scott in a letter published by the San Jose Mercury News. "... We as retirees, of what was once a quality and elite Officiating program that has now become the laughing stock of the power 5 Conferences and throughout the entire nation, are asking for necessary changes in a positive manner."

      The Pac-12 hired a consulting firm last month to conduct an independent review of its officiating program, the Mercury News reported. Conference officials did not comment on the letter.

      Gilchrist, Czubin and Gallagher combined for more than 100 years of experience as Pac-12 officials. Gilchrist retired following the 2017 season, while the other two officials told the Mercury News that they "were retired" after the 2018 campaign.

      --Field Level Media

  • Woman accuses Cal football players, staff of sexual harassment
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 21, 2019

    The University of California at Berkeley released a statement saying that it has referred an allegation of sexual harassment made by a former intern to its own watchdog office.

    • The university on Wednesday said it has referred allegations made by former sports medicine intern Paige Cornelius to its Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

      "We are aware of the very disturbing public allegations made on social media," Cal's statement read, per multiple reports. "Allegations of sexual violence and sexual harassment by campus employees are confidential unless officials determine policy is violated, and disciplinary action has been decided."

      Cornelius wrote in a Facebook published Wednesday that she had "medically withdrawn from school, seeking intensive therapy and psychiatry for the post traumatic stress syndrome and anxiety that happened from the time I spent working for the Cal Football team."

      She told ESPN in a phone interview that last fall she notified Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton and football coach Justin Wilcox, among others, about her claims but did not receive a response.

      Among Cornelius' allegations is that a former volunteer assistant threatened to get her fired if she did not have sex with him. ESPN reported that the assistant is no longer with Cal's football program.

      She also alleged on Facebook that a "coach (who) is still employed by Cal Football" followed her home and suggested they go swimming because she would "look amazing in a bikini."

      "Campus prevention and response efforts have increased in recent years," Cal said in its statement. "All university staff and all students are required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training. In addition, the athletic department sponsors supplementary formal training for coaches, staff and student-athletes in sexual violence awareness and prevention, bystander intervention, and campus reporting procedures."

      --Field Level Media

  • Alabama approves three-year deals for new coordinators
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 20, 2019

    The University of Alabama approved new contracts for several football assistant coaches Wednesday, including for new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Pete Golding.

    • Sarkisian, in his second stint under head coach Nick Saban, has a three-deal worth an average of $1.6 million per year. Golding, promoted after Tosh Lupoi left for the Cleveland Browns, has a three-year contract that will pay him a total of $3.5 million.

      Alabama's compensation pool for its 10 assistants has jumped to $7.541 million, up from $6.123 million last season, according to USA Today. Ohio State has the highest combined salaries for assistants last season at $7.383 million.

      USA Today also reported that Alabama is paying nearly $565,000 in buyouts for four coaches it hired, in addition to lending Sarkisian $500,000.

      Alabama has seven new assistant coaches for 2019. The six other than Sarkisian received two-year contracts.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas Tech suspends CB Fields, three others
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    Texas Tech suspended starting cornerback DaMarcus Fields and three others players for "internal reasons," first-year coach Matt Wells announced after Tuesday's spring practice.

    • Wells said the other suspended players are junior defensive tackle Joseph Wallace, junior running back Da'Leon Ward and redshirt freshman receiver Corey Fulcher.

      Wells said the discipline involved multiple issues and he described it as "just some internal reasons we're going to get straight."

      Wells didn't reveal a timetable for the returns of the players.

      "They could be back soon. They could be back in a while or could never be back. We'll see," Wells told reporters. "We've got to get some things cleaned up off the field and we'll get it done."

      Fields, a junior, has started 23 games over the past two seasons. He had 38 tackles and two forced fumbles in 12 starts last season.

      Wallace recorded 37 tackles last season -- including four for losses -- while starting seven of 12 games.

      Ward rushed for 341 yards and three touchdowns in nine games (six starts) in 2018.

      Fulcher redshirted last season.

      Wells replaced the fired Kliff Kingsbury and is trying to change the culture of a program that has experienced losing campaigns in four of the past five seasons.

      "We're not going to lower the standard. There's a way to do things around here," Wells said. "It's an honor, it's a privilege to work and to play and to coach at Texas Tech. Nobody's entitled, and I'm not inferring that those guys are. I'm just saying that we're going to do things the right way around here, or we're not going to play or practice or coach."

      --Field Level Media

  • Transfer QB Martell immediately eligible at Miami
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    The NCAA cleared Ohio State transfer quarterback Tate Martell to be immediately eligible at Miami, where he began spring ball Tuesday.

    • Martell enters the season with three seasons of eligibility with the Hurricanes after the NCAA approved his waiver request to avoid the usual transfer penalty of sitting out a season.

      Martell joins a competition that includes sophomore N'Kosi Perry and redshirt freshman Jerren Williams. Perry completed 50.8 percent of his 191 passes for 1,091 yards, with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions last season as Miami went 7-6 before coach Mark Richt announced his retirement.

      Freshman quarterback Peyton Matocha will arrive from Houston in the summer.

      It's a clean slate under new Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz.

      "What we have done today is what we wanted to do -- we have knocked everyone out of their comfort zone, which is ideally what we wanted," Diaz said after the first practice of spring ball. "There's not a guy on the field who has it all figured out. That's part of what we think is going to make us better."

      Martell, a 5-foot-11 dual-threat quarterback, was the national Gatorade Player of the Year following his 2016 season at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. He redshirted at Ohio State in 2017 while J.T. Barrett handled the bulk of the duties, and Martell was mostly a spectator to Dwayne Haskins' superb 2018 season as the Buckeyes' starter.

      Martell was 23 of 28 for 269 yards and a touchdown last season, also rushing 22 times for 128 yards and two TDs.

      Although Haskins moved on to the NFL Draft, Martell appeared to be eclipsed again after the season when Ohio State brought in Georgia transfer Justin Fields, a former five-star recruit. Fields spent one season as a backup with the Bulldogs before also winning a waiver to be immediately eligible at his new school.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Auburn OL Ashley to transfer to FAU
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    Former Auburn offensive lineman Calvin Ashley, a five-star signee coming out of high school, announced Monday night on social media that he will transfer to Florida Atlantic.

    • Ashley had entered the NCAA transfer portal in February.

      He was a USA Today first-team All-American and an Under Armour All-America selection at St. John's College High School in Washington D.C. Ashley (6-foot-6, 322 pounds) was the sixth-best offensive tackle recruit in the 2017 class, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

      He redshirted as a freshman in 2017 and played in five games last season, with one start, missing the final seven games because of an undisclosed medical issue. His eligibility status at FAU for 2019 wasn't immediately clear.

      --Field Level Media

  • Washington State QB Neville plans to transfer
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 18, 2019

    Washington State sophomore quarterback Connor Neville is leaving the school and his name is now in the NCAA's transfer portal.

    • Neville tweeted the NCAA's notification that Washington State had submitted his transfer request and that he was now in the portal.

      "Free to talk to coaches and will be immediately eligible," Neville wrote, also indicating the school agreed to sign a waiver so he wouldn't have to sit out a season.

      Neville, a four-star high school recruit, hasn't stepped on the field for the Cougars. He redshirted in 2017 and didn't get any snaps last season.

      Washington State needs a new starting quarterback after the departure of star Gardner Minshew II. Eastern Washington transfer Gage Gubrud is the favorite to be the 2019 starter after starring at the FCS level.

      --Field Level Media

  • LSU's Orgeron set for raise, extension
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 18, 2019

    LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is in line for a raise and an extension when the LSU Board of Supervisors considers his contract in a meeting Wednesday.

    • The school has proposed that Orgeron earn $4 million per season, up from $3.5 million, while adding two more years to a deal that runs through the 2021 season.

      Orgeron could earn as much as $1.5 million in incentives each season, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

      Orgeron, 57, is 25-9 at LSU since taking over on an interim basis during the 2016 season for fired coach Les Miles. The school removed the interim tag at the end of the regular season.

      His proposed buyout from the school jumps from $5.3 million to $10 million, with that amount decreasing by $250,000 each month until Feb. 28, 2021. After that, his buyout would stay at $4 million for the rest of the contract.

      Oregon is 41-36 in seven seasons as a head coach, including stops at Ole Miss (2005-07) and as an interim leader at USC during the 2013 season.

      Orgeron's 2018 salary was 36th-highest in the nation and 10th in the SEC, according to the USA Today salary database.

      LSU went 10-3 last season, beating Central Florida in the Fiesta Bowl and finishing No. 6 in the AP poll.

      --Field Level Media

  • Hurricanes QB Weldon to transfer
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 18, 2019

    Miami quarterback Cade Weldon, a redshirt sophomore, intends to transfer.

    • Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz confirmed the decision in a press release Monday, noting the decision for Weldon to seek a better fit was mutual.

      Weldon was suspended for four games last season for a violation of team rules. The Miami Herald reported it was one of multiple "off-field missteps" for Weldon.

      "Cade and I talked, and we decided that it was in his best interests to pursue opportunities at another school," Diaz said. "We wish him all the best in his future plans."

      Weldon, 20, was not a frontrunner for the vacant starting job at Miami.

      The son of Florida State 1991 Heisman Trophy runner-up Casey Weldon, Cade Weldon was running behind 2018 part-time starter K'Nosi Perry, redshirt freshman Jarren Williams and Ohio State transfer Tate Martell.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas legend, Olympic gold medalist 'Lam' Jones dies at 60
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 15, 2019

    Johnny "Lam" Jones, a two-sport star who won an Olympic gold medal and was a first-round NFL draft pick, died Friday morning at age 60, the University of Texas announced.

    • He had fought a long battle with cancer.

      Jones was a state champion sprinter in high school in Texas and made the U.S. Olympic track team in 1976 before he ever competed for the Longhorns. He won a gold medal in the 4x100 relay and also ran the 100 meters, finishing sixth.

      At Texas, he was a wide receiver and running back for the football team from 1976-79 and ran track in 1977-78. He was an All-American in football (1978-79) and track (1977) and the football team's MVP in 1978. He used his speed to score eight touchdowns of 45 yards or longer for the Longhorns.

      He received the nickname "Lam" while his Longhorns teammate of the same name was called "Ham." The names were assigned based on their Texas hometowns: Lampasas and Hamlin.

      The New York Jets chose Jones with the No. 2 overall pick of the 1980 NFL Draft, trading the Nos. 13 and 20 overall picks to move up in the draft order. He never achieved the success he had in college, however, playing just five seasons at wide receiver.

      The Jets signed him to a six-year, $2.1 million contract, which was an NFL record at the time.

      In his NFL career from 1980-84, all with the Jets, Jones gained 2,339 yards from scrimmage and scored 13 touchdowns but fumbled six times.

      "I know how they remember me in New York: I'm the guy they blew the draft pick on," Jones said in a 2005 interview with the New York Daily News, admitting he was addicted to cocaine and alcohol during his playing days. "That's OK. I didn't live up to their expectations, but I didn't live up to my own expectations, either."

      --Field Level Media

  • Nebraska RB Washington surrenders on porn charges
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 11, 2019

    Nebraska running back Maurice Washington surrendered to authorities in California Monday morning to face charges of child pornography and "revenge porn."

    • Coach Scott Frost confirmed to reporters that Washington was not at practice on Monday and that he expected the running back to return to Lincoln, Neb., later in the day.

      Washington was booked into jail in Santa Clara County with bail set at $35,000. He posted bail, and his next court date was set for April 10, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

      "Working through his lawyer, I know he wanted to get out there and surrender and satisfy the warrant as quickly as he could," Frost said. "They had it worked out for today, so Maurice flew out to California (Sunday) night."

      Washington has been charged with a felony count of child pornography for possession of a video of a person under 18 engaging in or simulating sexual conduct. Authorities also filed a misdemeanor count of sharing a recording without consent of the subject. The video was recorded in 2016, but the acts he's charged with allegedly occurred in 2018.

      The young woman and Washington were involved in a relationship in ninth grade, his attorney has said.

      Washington was a freshman in the 2018 college season and had a productive year with the Huskers. He played in 11 games and gained 455 yards on 77 carries, adding three touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 221 yards and a score.

      Frost previously said Washington's participation in spring practice would be limited because of the legal proceedings.

      --Field Level Media

  • Fox hires Meyer, Bush for new pregame show
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 11, 2019

    Fox Sports has hired former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and former Southern California running back Reggie Bush to join a college football pregame show launching this fall, the network announced on Monday.

    • They will join host Rob Stone, former USC quarterback Matt Leinart and former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn on the planned one-hour program.

      "Urban and Reggie will make fantastic additions to our already impressive college football roster, and we're looking forward to seeing Brady shine in his new role," Fox Sports National Networks president Mark Silverman said in a statement. "We think that this entire lineup will educate and entertain viewers with the unique FOX attitude that viewers are familiar with."

      Multiple reports have claimed the show is expected to be a direct challenger to ESPN's "College GameDay."

      The Sporting News reported in January that Meyer and Fox Sports were nearing a deal that would allow the 54-year-old Meyer to have his choice of working as an analyst in the studio or in the broadcast booth.

      Meyer worked as a studio analyst for ESPN in 2011 after leaving Florida and before taking the Ohio State job.

      Meyer walked away from Ohio State after the Buckeyes' defeat of Washington in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. He cited health issues as the reason for his retirement, which ended a tough season that saw him suspended for the first three games over his handling of a staff member's alleged domestic violence.

      He won three national championships as a coach and compiled a 187-32 record in 17 seasons at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State.

      Bush, 34, followed a prolific college with an 11-year run in the NFL, including a Super Bowl title with the New Orleans Saints. Bush and Leinart both won the Heisman Trophy while at USC, though Bush was forced to forfeit his years later following an NCAA investigation into his eligibility.

      Quinn has called games for Fox Sports over the past five seasons, while Stone and Leinart have been frequent contributors.

      --Field Level Media

  • Reports: Ex-Badgers QB Hornibrook lands at FSU
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 10, 2019

    Quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who last month entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal, has decided to transfer to Florida State, according to multiple reports on Sunday morning.

    • Hornibrook visited to the school on Friday, meeting with coaches and players and taking in practices.

      Provided Hornibrook graduates on schedule in May, he will be able to play immediately for the Seminoles. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

      Hornibrook, a redshirt senior, quarterbacked Wisconsin for three seasons. He appeared in 35 career games but was limited to nine in 2018 because of concussion-related symptoms. The MVP of the 2017 Orange Bowl, he completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 5,438 yards with 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions during his three seasons playing with the Badgers.

      However, he wasn't expected to be handed the starting job in 2019. A competition between Hornibrook, junior Jack Coan and standout freshman Graham Mertz was likely to unfold.

      Florida State, by contrast, needs an experienced quarterback.

      The Seminoles have two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster: redshirt sophomore James Blackman and redshirt freshman Jordan Travis, a transfer from Louisville. Travis is ineligible to play in 2019 under NCAA rules, although Florida State has applied for waiver.

      Blackman has appeared in 17 games for the Seminoles -- 13 in 2017 and four in 2018 before redshirting the rest of the season. He has thrown for 2,740 yards along with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

      The 2018 starter, Deondre Francois, was dismissed from the team in early February following allegations of domestic violence.

      Florida State also has walk-on quarterback Nolan McDonald on the roster.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas fires ex-QB Young from campus job
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 9, 2019

    Legendary Texas quarterback Vince Young has been fired by his alma mater for poor job performance.

    • Young, who worked part-time as a development officer and football camp specialist, "failed to maintain standards of conduct suitable and acceptable to the university," according to school documents released to the Austin American-Statesman.

      The former NFL quarterback made $50,000 a year in the job.

      Young, 35, learned of his termination in a letter dated March 1. His "documented history of work performance" and a pair of arrests on drunk driving charges contributed to the decision, according to the newspaper.

      He previously received a letter in September 2017 warning him that further poor performance on the job could lead to his dismissal.

      Young was arrested outside of Houston on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in February and posted $500 bond. He previously paid a $300 fine and was ordered to perform 60 hours of community service after pleading no contest to a similar charge stemming from an arrest in January 2016.

      In three seasons at Texas, Young passed for 6,040 yards and 44 touchdowns with 28 interceptions and rushed for 3,127 yards and 37 more scores. He led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship.

      Young was drafted third overall by Tennessee and played for the Titans for five seasons, appearing in 54 games and starting 47. He ended his career after one season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, playing in six games and starting three.

      Young finished with 8,964 yards passing and 46 touchdowns with 51 interceptions in the NFL. He rushed for 1,459 yards and 12 scores.

      He will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.

      --Field Level Media

  • North Carolina TE Fritts tears ACL again
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 9, 2019

    North Carolina tight end Brandon Fritts suffered a torn right ACL during spring practice, the school announced.

    • In 2018, he tore his left ACL in spring practice and missed the entire season.

      A school news release said he has been ruled out for the spring and "will continue to be evaluated heading into the fall."

      The 2019 season will be his sixth, and it's his final year of eligibility. He entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal in December but changed his mind and decided to stay with the Tar Heels.

      "Obviously, I'm disappointed with this injury, but I'm going to attack the rehab process and see what might be possible during the fall," Fritts said in a statement. "I made a commitment to be at North Carolina because I wanted to play with my teammates and this coaching staff, and I'm going to work to try and make that a possibility."

      Head coach Mack Brown also issued a statement about Fritts.

      "I feel terrible for Brandon, but he's a tough young man and he'll work really hard during the rehab process," Brown said. "He's been through this before, so that may help him as he navigates the next few months. ... We'll do everything we can to support him, pick him up, and make sure he knows that he brings a ton of value to what we're doing, both on and off the field."

      In his three seasons at North Carolina, Fritts has caught 47 passes for 439 yards and nine touchdowns.

      --Field Level Media

  • QB Hornibrook makes official visit to Florida State
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 8, 2019

    Quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who last month entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal, made an official visit to Florida State on Friday as he investigates potential landing spots.

    • Hornibrook, a redshirt senior, quarterbacked Wisconsin for three seasons. He appeared in 35 career games but was limited to nine in 2018 because of concussion-related symptoms. The MVP of the 2017 Orange Bowl, he completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 5,438 yards with 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions during his three seasons playing with the Badgers.

      However, he wasn't expected to be handed the starting job in 2019. A competition between Hornibrook, junior Jack Coan and standout freshman Graham Mertz was likely to unfold.

      Florida State, by contrast, needs an experienced quarterback.

      The Seminoles have two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster: redshirt sophomore James Blackman and redshirt freshman Jordan Travis, a transfer from Louisville. Travis is ineligible to play in 2019 under NCAA rules, although Florida State has applied for waiver.

      Blackman has appeared in 17 games for the Seminoles -- 13 in 2017 and four in 2018 before redshirting the rest of the season. He has thrown for 2,740 yards along with 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

      The 2018 starter, Deondre Francois, was dismissed from the team in early February following allegations of domestic violence.

      Florida State also has walk-on quarterback Nolan McDonald on the roster.

      Provided Hornibrook graduates on schedule in May, he will be able to play immediately at his new school. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

      --Field Level Media

  • Florida, Miami to kick off season on Aug. 24
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 7, 2019

    The opening of the college football season just got an added boost when it was announced Thursday that Florida and Miami will meet on Aug. 24 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

    • A request to move up the marquee matchup a week from Aug. 31 has been approved by the NCAA.

      The neutral-site game, with a 7 p.m. ET kickoff, will be televised by ESPN.

      "Moving the Camping World Kickoff to Aug. 24 is a unique and rare opportunity that showcases college football, both storied programs, and the state of Florida," Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin said.

      The decision was made after the idea was initially pitched by the College Football 150th Anniversary Organization and ESPN. Talks about the game being part of a celebration to open the 150th anniversary season of college football also involved both schools and Florida Citrus Sports.

      A waiver from the NCAA to move the date of the game was required.

      "We understand that the new game date could affect Hurricanes fans who had already made travel plans for the original game date," Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "We will work diligently with any of those affected to help ensure that they can still attend the Camping World Kickoff and have a great experience."

      Miami's Manny Diaz will make his debut as head coach, while Florida's Dan Mullen enters his second season with the Gators. The two schools haven't met since 2013.

      "We are excited to kick off the celebration of 150 years of college football on August 24 in Orlando," Mullen said in a statement. "It will be a great showcase for the university, our program and all of Gator Nation."

      Also playing that day are Samford and Youngstown State in the 2019 Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff in Montgomery, Ala., and FBS schools Arizona and Hawaii in Honolulu.

      --Field Level Media

  • Maryland implementing changes after McNair’s death
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 7, 2019

    Maryland has made a number of changes as the result of the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair after suffering heatstroke during a workout in May 2018.

    • Walters Inc., a sports medicine consulting firm led by Rod Walters, made 20 recommendations after it was hired by the university to conduct a separate investigation into McNair's death. Maryland athletic director Damon Evans reported to an advisory council Wednesday, and said that the athletic department has implemented 18 of those recommendations in an effort to prevent a similar incident from happening again.

      McNair showed signs of extreme exhaustion during a May 29 workout (his body temperature was measured at 106 degrees at the hospital), and he died on June 13. He was 19 years old.

      The changes will include providing cold water immersion devices at all practices, ensuring specific temperature readings are done at each practice location, and posting emergency plans at all activity sites, with staff members receiving additional instruction.

      Recommendations still to be implemented include establishing a medicine review board for student-athlete health issues -- which is expected to be done by May -- and providing a supervision model for athletic trainers.

      A report on the changes is planned to be delivered to university president Wallace D. Loh and the board of regents.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oklahoma coach Riley: QB Hurts in spring 'battle'
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    Quarterback Jalen Hurts, jumping from Alabama to Oklahoma, will be one of the most intriguing grad transfers of the 2019 season.

    • But as he tries to follow in the quarterback footsteps of the past two Heisman winners -- Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray -- he will first have to navigate his first spring camp with the Sooners, beginning on Thursday.

      "Within our walls, Jalen is just like any other player," coach Lincoln Riley said at a press conference Wednesday.

      "He's got a great skill set. He's done a nice job acclimating to our players, to our staff, to Norman. He's handled it all well. But he's in a battle. He knows that, our team knows that. That is just part of how we are always going to do it here."

      Hurts is widely expected to win the job, but the Sooners will also get a good look at redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai over 15 spring practices. He is a former four-star dual-threat quarterback from Texas.

      "He and Tanner are both doing a nice job," Riley said of Hurts.

      "We'll obviously get to see more once we get on the field tomorrow. You feel them both stepping up. Just in the time we're able to meet with them now, you feel the sense of urgency in the meeting room from them both. Both are inexperienced guys within this system right now, and you feel them really pushing hard to get better.

      "They can both do everything you need to do to play the position well. ... The competition will be great."

      Hurts was a two-year starter at Alabama, going 26-2 and helping the Crimson Tide win the 2017 national championship, although he was replaced at halftime of the title game against Georgia as Tua Tagovailoa led a comeback in an overtime victory.

      Tagovailoa won the camp battle to be the 2018 starter, but Hurts stuck around and cemented his place in Alabama lore when he came off the bench to lead another Crimson Tide comeback against Georgia, this time in the SEC title game.

      In his three seasons at Alabama, Hurts threw for 5,626 yards with 48 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He added 1,976 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.

      Five-star recruit Spencer Rattler arrives at Oklahoma in the summer.

      "Jalen has been through a lot, which will do nothing but help Tanner and the rest of the guys in our room," Riley said.

      "And that's a big deal. I know we've had big names and guys who have done a lot in this sport over the last few years, but we've always had a competitive room ... and they also supported and helped each other. I suspect we will have that again."

      --Field Level Media

  • Kelly hopes to coach Irish for 5 more years
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    Brian Kelly said he hopes to remain the head coach at Notre Dame for at least five more seasons.

    • Entering his 10th season with the Fighting Irish in 2019, Kelly has three years left on his contract.

      "I may look to see if we can add two more years," Kelly told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday. "I think if I'm fortunate enough to go five more years here, I would be very happy."

      Kelly, 57, would become the longest-tenured head coach in the history of the prestigious program if he sticks around that long in South Bend, Ind.

      The legendary Knute Rockne holds the record, having coached Notre Dame for 13 seasons from 1918-30. Frank Leahy (1941-43, 1946-53), Ara Parseghian (1964-74) and Lou Holtz (1986-96) each led the Fighting Irish for 11 seasons.

      Notre Dame is 81-35 with eight bowl appearances in nine seasons since Kelly took over the program in 2010.

      Kelly needs 25 victories to pass Rockne (105) for the school's all-time lead.

      Kelly has been linked to NFL head coaching vacancies in the past, including the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this year.

      --Field Level Media

  • Texas to add All-ACC grad transfer OL
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 4, 2019

    Parker Braun, a first-team All-ACC offensive guard from Georgia Tech, will play at Texas this season as a grad transfer, according to multiple reports Sunday.

    • Braun is likely to step into the starting left guard position, vacated by the departure of senior Patrick Vahe.

      The Longhorns hope to plug in Braun as seamlessly as they did last season with another hyped grad transfer offensive lineman, Calvin Anderson from Rice. Anderson held down the left tackle position last season as Texas went 9-4 and finished No. 9 in the AP poll.

      Braun earned first-team All-ACC honors last season after being second-team all-league in 2017. He started 32 games in three seasons for the Yellow Jackets.

      Braun is expected to graduate from Georgia Tech in May. He was considered one of the top non-quarterback grad transfers available this offseason.

      --Field Level Media

  • Trump fetes North Dakota State with fast-food treats
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 4, 2019

    North Dakota State celebrated its FCS title at the White House the same way Clemson marked its championship there: with a fast-food feast.

    • With a skeleton kitchen staff on hand amid the federal government shutdown in January, President Donald Trump treated Clemson to a boatload of burgers, fries and such. And on Monday, he stuck with the menu for North Dakota State's visit.

      The Bison, who have won seven of the past eight national titles, had a spread of food from Chick-fil-A, McDonald's and Domino's.

      "We could have had chefs -- we could have -- but we got fast food," Trump told the team. "I know you people very well."

      In return, the team presented Trump with a green and gold jersey bearing his name and the number 45.

      While some of the Clemson players stayed home from the White House trip in protest of Trump's policies, all of the Bison players attended, coach Matt Entz said.

      "This isn't a political trip, this is a Bison trip and, personally, I sold it as two things: It's one more opportunity for the 2018 team to be together, but also in my mind the start of the 2019 season and the things we're going to do together," Entz told the Grand Forks Herald.

      NDSU took the 108 players who were at the Division I FCS national title game in Frisco, Texas, and two players who have joined the team since.

      The Bison captured the FCS title on Jan. 5 with a 38-24 defeat of Eastern Washington.

      --Field Level Media

  • Utah extends Whittingham's contract
    By Field Level Media / Monday, March 4, 2019

    Utah's Kyle Whittingham, the dean of Pac-12 football coaches, has signed a contract extension through December 2023, the school announced Monday.

    • The deal adds two years to his previous contract. Financial terms, were not disclosed, but according to USA Today, Whittingham made $3.78 million last season.

      "Coach Whittingham is one of the top coaches in college football and extending his contract was a high priority in my first year here," athletic director Mark Harlan said in a statement. "Kyle's teams compete for championships on the field and in the classroom, and his loyalty to the University of Utah has made this a great partnership."

      Whittingham led Utah to its first Pac-12 South Division title last season, losing in the conference title game to Washington. The Utes joined the league from the Mountain West in 2011.

      Whittingham, 59, is 120-61 in parts of 15 seasons as Utah's head coach. He is 11-2 in bowl games.

      The announcement came as Utah opened spring camp on Monday.

      --Field Level Media