College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Standing Pat: Northwestern extends longtime coach Fitzgerald
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    Pat Fitzgerald already has been spent 11 seasons as Northwestern coach and he could potentially coach the Wildcats for at least another decade after signing an extension through the 2026 season.

    • The school announced the extension for the program's all-time winningest coach on Tuesday. Fitzgerald is 77-62 since taking over in 2006 and has recorded two 10-win seasons.

      The 42-year-old Fitzgerald was a star linebacker for the school from 1994-96 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He became a Northwestern assistant coach in 2001 before eventually being promoted to head coach.

      "This is home for me and my family, and I love this university," Fitzgerald, who grew up in the Chicago area, said in a statement. "I'm extremely privileged to coach the exceptional young men we invite here to earn the best education in college football and compete at the highest level in the Big Ten conference.

      "The best is yet to come, and we're excited for the future."

      The Wildcats went 7-6 last season and played in a bowl game for the seventh time in nine seasons.

      Northwestern has participated in just 13 total bowl games. Fitzgerald has been a part of 11 of those either as a player, assistant coach or head coach.

      Fitzgerald's previous contract ran through the 2020 season.

      Northwestern also announced an extension for basketball coach Chris Collins through the 2024-25 season on Tuesday.

  • Michigan LB Peppers tests positive for dilute sample
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, April 24, 2017

    Three days before the NFL Draft, it was revealed that Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers tested positive at the NFL Combine in March.

    • Peppers, projected to be a top-five draft pick, tested positive for a dilute sample, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday, adding that the NFL has notified teams of the result.

      While such news could plummet the stock of Peppers, his representatives at CAA quickly released a statement in an attempt to explain the dilute test.

      "Peppers went to the combine. He was sick after flying there from San Diego," the statement read. "He has a history of cramping. Peppers was being pumped with fluids, drinking 8-10 bottles of water before he went to bed, because he was the first guy to work out two days for the LBs and DBs. He had to go through that first day, come back on second day, and that was the fear. So Peppers was pounding water and under the weather. He never failed a drug test in his life, nor tested positive before for any substance."

      The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder Peppers was listed by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 1 outside linebacker prospect for 2017, although he is projected as a safety in the NFL.

      Peppers led Michigan and ranked third in the Big Ten Conference with 16 tackles for losses during his redshirt sophomore season. He had 72 total stops, which tied for second on the team, and had four sacks and one interception. He also returned 10 kickoffs for a 26-yard average and 21 punts for a 14.8-average and one touchdown.

      Peppers was named an All-American, the Big Ten defensive player of the year, linebacker of the year and return specialist of the year. He sat out Michigan's Orange Bowl loss to Florida State, citing a hamstring injury that he tweaked a day earlier.

  • Father of FSU WR Rudolph killed in accident
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, April 24, 2017

    Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph, a 2017 NFL Draft hopeful, received tragic news when his father was killed in an accidental shooting.

    • The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Monday that Darryl Rudolph, 55, was shot Friday morning while working on repairs inside a nightclub in West Palm Beach, Fla.

      The sheriff's office said Rudolph was hit in the neck/back area when a gun in an adjacent room went off accidentally. He later died after being transported to a local hospital.

      Travis Rudolph, who spent three seasons at FSU, hopes to be selected in this year's draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia. He is projected to go in the sixth or seventh round as the 30th-ranked wide receiver and No. 223 overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

      Rudolph starred at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach. He finished his college career with the Seminoles as a top 10 receiver in team history, with 153 receptions (seventh) and 2,311 yards receiving (eighth). He also scored 18 career touchdowns, tied for 13th on FSU's all-time list.

      Travis Rudolph made national headlines last season at Florida State for his actions off the field after a photo of him having lunch with an autistic boy went viral on social media. Rudolph developed a close friendship throughout the season with the boy, Bo Paske, a Tallahassee middle school student who was sitting by himself during lunch on a school day.

      Darryl Rudolph, who was a youth coach in the South Florida area, told ESPN at the time he was "overwhelmed with joy" when he learned what his son had done for the boy.

      "When I used to coach and help other kids with football, basketball and sports, Travis was small but he used to pay attention to what I was doing," Darryl Rudolph said in an interview with ESPN last September. "I told them get your education. You can be the best athlete in the world, but without an education, you're not going very far. That's what Travis followed through on."

  • Georgia releases four-star recruit after domestic incident
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, April 23, 2017

    Georgia released offensive lineman D'Antne Demery from his national letter of intent following charges of domestic violence, Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart announced Sunday.

    • The news shortly after Demery was released on bond from the Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) jail after his arrest on Saturday night.

      Demery, a four-star recruit from Brunswick, Ga., was charged with misdemeanor simple battery and criminal trespass for allegedly choking and shoving his girlfriend, who is also the mother of his 1-month-old child, according to ESPN. Demery, who is listed at 6-foot-7 and 310 pounds, was arrested by police around 9:30 p.m. Saturday and transferred to jail, where he was released on $1,500 bond Sunday afternoon.

      "University of Georgia football signee D'Antne Demery has been released from his National Letter of Intent according to an announcement by UGA head coach Kirby Smart," the school said in the announcement. "The release follows Demery's arrest Saturday night on charges of simple battery, criminal trespass-damaged property in downtown Athens.

      "The Brunswick, Ga., native signed with UGA in February and was scheduled to report to the University in June to begin classes."

      Officers were dispatched to a Waffle House because of a report of a man "choking a female," according to details of an incident report provided to ESPN by an Athens-Clarke County police spokesman.

      Demery and the woman had left the restaurant by the time officers arrived, but she called 911 and said she wanted to press criminal charges against Demery for hitting her, according to police.

      Demery was due to join the team this summer and was in Athens after attending the Bulldogs' spring game on Saturday.

  • Ex-Vols RB Hurd transferring to Baylor
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 22, 2017

    Former University of Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd announced during the middle of last season his intention to transfer and Saturday he revealed where he's headed.

    • Hurd tweeted a picture of himself saying it was time for the next chapter in his football career. Though he didn't include the name of the school in his text, he was wearing a Baylor shirt in the photo and holding two thumbs up.

      ESPN confirmed with Baylor that Hurd was headed to the Texas school and that he plans to move from running back to wide receiver.

      According to ESPN, Hurt also visited California, Ohio State and Louisville before deciding on Baylor.

      As a regular transfer and not a graduate, Hurd will have to sit out the 2017 season under NCAA rules before becoming eligible to play for the Bears in 2018.

      The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that Hurd visited Baylor the weekend of April 8.

      A junior last season, the 240-pound Hurd left the Tennessee program on Oct. 31 after rushing for 16 yards on eight carries in the first half two days earlier against South Carolina. He was held out of the second half because of injury.

      Earlier in the season, Hurd also missed a game against Texas A&M with an undisclosed injury.

      There were reports that Hurd was unhappy with the way he was being utilized in the Tennessee offense and also he was upset that his injuries were disclosed.

      " ... I want to play in an offensive scheme that highlights my abilities to run but also expands to allow me to show my abilities to catch the ball and be a mismatch for defenses," Hurd wrote last fall.

      Hurd entered 2016 as a preseason Doak Walker and Maxwell Award candidate but finished the abbreviated year with 451 yards on 122 carries and three touchdowns in seven games.

      In 2015, Hurd ran for a school sophomore-record 1,288 yards and was selected the Outback Bowl Most Valuable Player.

      Hurd finished his Tennessee career with 2,634 rushing yards, which ranks sixth in program history and just 444 yards behind the record held by Travis Henry.

  • College football notebook: Michigan to practice in Italy next week
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 21, 2017

    Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and his football team will hold three practices in Italy next week.

    • Harbaugh said 99 players are expected to make the nine-hour flight from Detroit to Rome. The majority of the team travels on Saturday for a sightseeing and educational trip that will also include the Wolverines' final three spring practices scheduled for April 27-29.

      Michigan will practice at the Olympic Training Center in Rome, take part in a coaching clinic and hold a scrimmage on the last day of practice at the Stadio dei Marmi stadium in Rome.

      Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, will see their infant son, John, baptized at the Vatican, according to The Detroit News.

      The trip is being funded by a Michigan donor who wishes to remain anonymous, the newspaper reported.

      --Michigan State freshman defensive end Auston Robertson was dismissed from the program just hours after being charged with third-degree sexual assault.

      Prosecutors announced the charges one day after receiving investigation results from police. The alleged assault took place on April 9 in Meridian Township, not far from the Michigan State campus in East Lansing.

      This is the second sexual allegation against Robertson in the past two years. He was accused of improperly touching a female classmate while in high school in October 2015 and charged with misdemeanor battery.

      Robertson was the fourth Michigan State player under suspicion of sexual assault in 2017.

      --Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon reached a civil settlement agreement with the woman he punched almost three years ago.

      Amelia Molitor, an Oklahoma student, and Mixon settled on her accusation of intentional infliction of emotional stress.

      He was suspended from Oklahoma's football team for the 2014 season.

      Mixon rushed for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016 as a third-year sophomore.

  • Former Oklahoma RB Mixon reaches settlement in punching incident
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 21, 2017

    Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon reached a civil settlement agreement Friday with the woman he punched almost three years ago.

    • Amelia Molitor, an Oklahoma student, and Mixon settled on her accusation of intentional infliction of emotional stress.

      Molitor's attorney released a statement via NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, although terms of the settlement remain confidential.

      "I am happy we were able to bring the lawsuit to an end. Joe and I were able to meet privately, without any attorneys, and talk about our experiences since that night. I am encouraged that we will both be able to move forward from here with our lives," Molitor's statement read. "From our private discussions I am satisfied that we are going to put this behind us and work towards helping others who may have found themselves in similar circumstances.

      "I greatly appreciate his apology and I think the feelings he expressed were sincere. We both could have handled things differently. I believe if we had a chance to go back to that moment in time, the situation would not have ended the way it did."

      Mixon also issued a joint statement with Molitor, admitting he was happy to have the opportunity to apologize.

      "I'm thankful Mia and I were able to talk privately. I was able to apologize to her one-on-one," Mixon's statement read. "The way I reacted that night, that's not me. That's not the way I was raised. I think she understands that.

      "Talking together helps move us past what happened. I know I have to keep working to be a better person, and this is another step in that direction. I love working with kids, and I'm looking forward to more chances to do that kind of work. I want to lead a life that inspires them, and I hope I can lead by example from today forward."

      The misdemeanor criminal charge against Mixon, acts resulting in gross injury, was pleaded to probation, counseling and community service. He was suspended from Oklahoma's football team for the 2014 season.

      The video from a sandwich shop's surveillance system shows the 6-foot-1, 226-pound Mixon delivering the punch to Molitor, breaking four bones in her face in July 2014. The video of the punch was released in December.

      Mixon rushed for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016 as a third-year sophomore.

      Mixon is expected to be selected during next week's NFL draft. However, there are reports that several teams don't have him on their draft boards due to the incident with Molitor.

  • Michigan State DL Robertson dismissed after sexual assault charge
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 21, 2017

    Michigan State freshman defensive end Auston Robertson was dismissed from the program on Friday just hours after being charged with third-degree sexual assault.

    • Prosecutors announced the charges one day after receiving investigation results from police. The alleged assault took place on April 9 in Meridian Township, not far from the Michigan State campus in East Lansing.

      Spartans coach Mark Dantonio announced last week that a player connected with an April 9 assault in Meridian Township had been suspended. He didn't identify the player but did comment about Robertson after Friday's events.

      "The criminal sexual conduct charges announced today against Auston Robertson are of the most serious nature," Dantonio said in a statement. "Sexual assault has no place in our community. While there is an ongoing criminal process, we're extremely disappointed that Auston put himself in this position. He is no longer a member of our football program."

      This is the second sexual allegation against Robertson in the past two years. He was accused of improperly touching a female classmate while in high school in Oct. 2015 and charged with misdemeanor battery.

      Robertson was allowed to enter into a diversionary program in that case and just completed it on March 11. The charges were cleared from his record on March 22.

      "Due to the charges he was facing during his recruitment, we took precaution in allowing Auston to be a part of our football program, including a thorough vetting, which we acknowledged publicly at his signing," Dantonio said. "This was a multiple-step process that continued through his final admission in the summer.

      "Following his arrival on campus, he underwent an extensive educational process with specific prerequisites put in place for his participation as a student-athlete. This included daily supervised sessions within the football program and regular meetings with university staff addressing appropriate behavior and developmental growth.

      "He also successfully completed his one-year diversionary program as directed by the court, which included a 22-week course focused on behavior changes that began in Indiana and was transferred to the state of Michigan (Prevention and Training Services). Despite these measures, Auston broke our trust and expectations by putting himself in a compromising situation."

      Robertson was the fourth Michigan State player under suspicion of sexual assault in 2017.

      Three unidentified players have been serving suspensions since Feb. 9 in relation to an alleged sexual assault on Jan. 16. Recruiting director Curtis Blackwell also was suspended in relation to the case.

      Prosecutors have not yet charged anyone in that case.

      According to the Detroit Free Press, there is a Title IX investigation being conducted in relation to possible violations of the university's sexual misconduct policy.

  • Wolverines head to Italy for practice next week
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 21, 2017

    Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and his football team will hold three practices in Italy next week.

    • Harbaugh said 99 of the players are expected to make the nine-hour flight from Detroit to Rome. The majority of the team travels on Saturday for a sightseeing and educational trip that will also include the Wolverines' final three spring practices scheduled for April 27-29.

      Michigan will practice at the Olympic Training Center in Rome, take part in a coaching clinic and hold a scrimmage on the last day of practice at the Stadio dei Marmi stadium in Rome.

      "What we hope to accomplish is making it the best experience in these youngsters' lives up until this point," said Harbaugh, who last year took his team to IMG Academy in Florida during spring break and held four practices.

      Harbaugh and his wife, Sarah, will see their infant son, John, baptized at the Vatican, according to the Detroit News.

      The trip is being funded by a Michigan donor who wishes to remain anonymous, the newspaper reported.

      "We're so excited," Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight said. "It's a tremendous opportunity. I've never been to Europe. There's only a select few that have been to Europe on our team. To do that from someone else's donation, that's pretty spectacular."

  • Florida C McCoy, girlfriend, hit by car
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, April 15, 2017

    Florida center T.J. McCoy has been hospitalized after being hit by a car early Friday morning.

    • McCoy and his girlfriend, Precious Ichite, were on a scooter near campus when they were struck by a 2011 Honda Civic, according to Gainesville (Fla.) Police.

      They were thrown from the scooter and taken to Shands Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the police report.

      McCoy's father, Tony, posted the following update on his Facebook page:

      "At 3 am this morning my wife and I received a call from the Trauma unit at Shands Hospital informing us that our son TJ had been in a hit and run accident and was found on the side of the road," McCoy wrote. "It turned out that a drunk driver hit TJ and his girlfriend at a stop light after they left the library and fled the scene. With little information and declaring VICTORY, my family and I headed to Gainesville. Seems like, within minutes after we received the call, his Offensive Line coach was in the hospital with him keeping us updated."

      Samantha Meldrem, 22, was arrested after hitting the scooter and fleeing the scene. She is facing two misdemeanor counts of DUI and property damage.

      McCoy transferred to Florida from North Carolina State following the 2015 season and started the final four games in 2016.

  • College football notebook: Two Middle Tennessee players dismissed
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 14, 2017

    Middle Tennessee dismissed two football players from the team on Friday amid an animal cruelty police investigation into a video of the men allegedly striking a dog.

    • Blue Raiders defensive lineman Justin Akins and linebacker Shalom Alvarez were first suspended by head coach Rick Stockstill on Wednesday after Murfreesboro, Tenn., police were contacted by a concerned citizen of a video on Akins' Snapchat account showing him allegedly hitting a puppy four times.

      "When confronted with situations of inappropriate conduct, it is easy for a coach to simply dismiss players in trouble without taking time to study the situation," Stockstill said in a statement Friday. "I feel it is important to consider the facts carefully, and seek input from others with information and expertise, before reaching a decision.

      "After reviewing the matter further, and speaking with authorities with the appropriate expertise, I have decided to dismiss Justin Akins and Shalom Alvarez from our football team. Their actions were in violation of the values and standards of our program."

      The dog did not belong to either player, according to WSMV-TV in Nashville. There have been no arrests or charges thus far in the investigation.

      --Former Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis received a two-year, show-cause penalty from the NCAA for unethical recruiting actions.

      According to the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, Davis provided "false or misleading information about impermissible recruiting contacts."

      Davis resigned under pressure as Alabama's defensive line coach on April 29, 2016. He now holds the same position at Texas-San Antonio.

      Alabama was assessed a self-imposed $5,000 fine and disassociated itself from a booster in Texas, identified as the mother of a then-Alabama student athlete.

      As part of the ruling, Davis is prohibited from recruiting off campus until April 13, 2019. Davis had a long history with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban -- being hired by Saban at LSU, the Miami Dolphins and twice at Alabama.

      --Alabama safety Deionte Thompson turned himself into authorities after an arrest warrant was issued in relation to a charge of felony aggravated assault in Texas.

      Thompson was excused from Friday's spring practice festivities by coach Nick Saban to "cooperate with law enforcement in this matter."

      Thompson is one of four people under suspicion in connection with an assault during spring break that left an 18-year-old man severely beaten.

      According to published reports, Noah Frillou was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion and broken bones in his face, nose and eye sockets during the incident at Crystal Beach near Galveston.

      Thompson and three of his former West Orange-Stark High football teammates from West Orange, Texas are suspects in the beating. KBMT-TV in Beaumont, Texas identified the other suspects as Morris Joseph, Rufus Joseph and Daletredricc Wolfford.

      --Former Clemson defensive tackle Scott Pagano announced he is transferring to Oregon.

      As a graduate transfer, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound Pagano will be eligible for the 2017 season. He chose Oregon over Oklahoma.

      Pagano recorded 31 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 12 games (four starts) for the Tigers last season. In three years at Clemson, he made 92 tackles in 31 games (13 starts).

  • Alabama S Thompson turned himself into authorities
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 14, 2017

    Alabama safety Deionte Thompson turned himself into authorities on Friday after an arrest warrant was issued in relation to a charge of felony aggravated assault in Texas.

    • Thompson was excused from Friday's spring practice festivities by coach Nick Saban to "cooperate with law enforcement in this matter."

      Thompson is one of four people under suspicion in connection with an assault during spring break that left an 18-year-old man severely beaten.

      "Once we have a better understanding of what happened, we will make a determination as to what needs to be done in terms of the appropriate course of action moving forward," Saban said in a statement.

      According to published reports, Noah Frillou was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion and broken bones in his face, nose and eye sockets during the incident at Crystal Beach near Galveston.

      Thompson and three of his former West Orange-Stark High football teammates from West Orange, Texas are suspects in the beating.

      KBMT-TV in Beaumont, Texas identified the other suspects as Morris Joseph, Rufus Joseph and Daletredricc Wolfford.

      Thompson played in 14 games last season as a redshirt freshman and had eight tackles on special teams.

  • Middle Tennessee dismisses two after animal cruelty incident
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 14, 2017

    Middle Tennessee dismissed two football players from the team on Friday amid an animal cruelty police investigation into a video of the men allegedly striking a dog.

    • Blue Raiders defensive lineman Justin Akins and linebacker Shalom Alvarez were first suspended by head coach Rick Stockstill on Wednesday after Murfreesboro, Tenn., police were contacted by a concerned citizen of a video on Akins' Snapchat account showing him allegedly hitting a puppy four times.

      "When confronted with situations of inappropriate conduct, it is easy for a coach to simply dismiss players in trouble without taking time to study the situation," Stockstill said in a statement Friday. "I feel it is important to consider the facts carefully, and seek input from others with information and expertise, before reaching a decision.

      "After reviewing the matter further, and speaking with authorities with the appropriate expertise, I have decided to dismiss Justin Akins and Shalom Alvarez from our football team. Their actions were in violation of the values and standards of our program.

      "I appreciate the work by the Rutherford County Pet Adoption and Welfare Services and Murfreesboro Police Department. Their expertise was invaluable in this process and will help educate our players."

      Stockstill said earlier in the week in a statement to WSMV-TV in Nashville that the players told him they were disciplining the dog and did not intend to harm it.

      "The players explained to me that the puppy urinated inside and they were simply spanking it as a form of discipline," Stockstill said Tuesday. "They told me there was never any intent to harm the dog. This was an important teaching moment. I talked to them about other approaches that should have been considered in this situation. And I pointed out how disciplining a pet in such a manner could be misconstrued, especially with the impact of social media."

      The dog did not belong to either player, according to WSMV. There have been no arrests or charges thus far in the investigation.

      Akins, a senior, played in all 13 games last season and recorded 27 tackles. He recorded 1.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

      Alvarez, a junior, joined the Blue Raiders in 2016 but did not play last year.

  • NCAA hits ex-Alabama assistant Davis with show-cause penalty
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 14, 2017

    Former Alabama defensive line coach Bo Davis received a two-year, show-cause penalty from the NCAA on Friday for unethical recruiting actions.

    • According to the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, Davis provided "false or misleading information about impermissible recruiting contacts."

      Davis resigned under pressure as Alabama's defensive line coach on April 29, 2016. He now holds the same position at Texas-San Antonio.

      Alabama was assessed a self-imposed $5,000 fine and disassociated itself from a booster in Texas, identified as the mother of a then-Alabama student athlete.

      The Infractions Committee ruled Davis took part in "prearranged, impermissible off-campus contact" with four recruits at a Houston high school between Dec. 1, 2014 and May 21, 2015. Davis later denied the meetings took place in separate interviews with Alabama and the NCAA enforcement staff.

      "Specifically, (Davis) denied seeing or interacting with any prospects at the high school," the committee's decision reads. "(Davis') statements are in direct contradiction to the information reported to the institution and enforcement staff by two involved football prospects and the high school's head football coach."

      As part of the ruling, Davis is prohibited from recruiting off campus until April 13, 2019.

      Davis had a long history with Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban -- being hired by Saban at LSU, the Miami Dolphins and twice at Alabama.

  • Clemson DT Pagano transfers to Oregon
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 14, 2017

    Former Clemson defensive tackle Scott Pagano announced Friday he is transferring to Oregon.

    • As a graduate transfer, the 6-foot-3, 295-pound Pagano will be eligible for the 2017 season. He chose Oregon over Oklahoma.

      "After much thought and deliberation, I have decided to transfer to the University of Oregon for my final year of eligibility and to pursue a Sports Management Master's," Pagano wrote in part on Instagram. "This was a tough decision because of all the great programs that expressed interest in me along with having to leave Clemson. I want to thank all the coaches that took the time to get to know me during this process. However, Oregon is where I felt most at home and it is a great fit for me both on and off the field. I can't wait to get to Eugene to start making new friends."

      Pagano recorded 31 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 12 games (four starts) for the Tigers last season. In three years at Clemson, he made 92 tackles in 31 games (13 starts).

      Pagano suffered a foot injury in 2016 that forced him to miss the final three games of the regular season. He returned to get two tackles in both the semifinal win over Ohio State and the College Football Playoff Championship against Alabama, won by the Tigers 35-31.

  • Washington's Petersen gets contract extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, April 11, 2017

    Washington coach Chris Petersen is the recipient of a contract extension that runs through the 2023 season.

    • The school announced Tuesday that Peterson's annual average salary will be $4.875 million per season.

      The rich extension comes after Washington went 12-2 last season. The Huskies qualified for the College Football Playoff and lost to Alabama 24-7 in the semifinals.

      "The University of Washington is such a special place, and it is a great fit for me and my family," Petersen said in a news release. "I am honored to work alongside such a talented staff, and this extension demonstrates the University's commitment to investing in a championship program."

      Petersen was slated to make $3.8 million in 2017 prior to the pay hike. He has a 27-14 record in three seasons at the school.

      Athletic director Jen Cohen felt locking up Petersen was important.

      "Chris Petersen represents all of our core values, and has demonstrated success in every area of his program," Cohen said in the news release. "His teams have performed extremely well on the field and have accomplished remarkable things in the classroom and the community. We are very fortunate to have Chris guiding our program and we want to ensure that he and his staff have everything they need to sustain a championship culture here at Washington."

      Petersen has compiled a 119-26 mark in 11 seasons as a college head coach. He went 92-12 in eight seasons at Boise State before taking the Washington job.

  • Former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes dies at 79
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, April 10, 2017

    Former Texas Tech football coach Spike Dykes died at age 79, the school confirmed Monday.

    • Dykes coached the Red Raiders from 1986 to 1999.

      "Sad to hear the news on Spike Dykes," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said via Twitter. "Great coach, mentor, and person. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family (and) the Tech community."

      Texas Tech played in seven bowl games in Dykes' 13 years in Lubbock. His sons, Sonny and Rick, also became coaches. Sonny is an offensive assistant at TCU and spent the previous four seasons as head coach at Cal.

      "Words cannot describe what coach Dykes meant to to west Texas, Texas Tech University, this program and me personally," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said in a statement released by the university.

      Spike Dykes was named coach of the year three times in the Southwest Conference and in the Big 12's inaugural season in 1996.

      "A lot of people in this world don't have any fun, but I've had a ball," Spikes said in 1999.

  • Ex-Duke QB Sirk transfers to East Carolina
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 7, 2017

    Former Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk announced Friday he will play his final collegiate season at East Carolina in 2017.

    • As a graduate transfer, Sirk will be eligible to play immediately for the Pirates this season.

      "Beyond blessed to have another year to play the game I love. I will spend my final year at East Carolina University," Sirk wrote on Twitter.

      Sirk was granted a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA in November after he missed the entire 2016 season due to an Achilles tear suffered last February. In August, he re-aggravated the injury to his Achilles' tendon -- the third of his career.

      Sirk was Duke's starter in 2015, throwing for 2,625 yards and 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions while leading the team with 803 rushing yards and eight scores.

  • Ex-Florida LB McMillian arrested on felony charges
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, April 7, 2017

    Former Florida linebacker Daniel McMillian was arrested on felony charges of attempted sexual battery and false imprisonment.

    • McMillian, who finished his Gators' career in 2016, was booked Thursday into the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville, Fla. Bond was set at $40,000.

      According to police, the victim knows McMillian because she is an employee at a company in which McMillian was a customer. She went to McMillian's apartment for "legitimate professional reasons" but McMillian locked her in his room, exposed his genitals and grabbed her, police said.

      The victim kicked McMillian in the genitals and escaped from the apartment, according to police. She was reportedly shaking and "hysterically crying" when describing the incident to police.

      McMillian, 23, worked out for NFL scouts at Florida's Pro Day last week. He had 29 tackles and one interception last season.

  • Former LSU QB Haris transferring to UNC
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, March 26, 2017

    Former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris announced Sunday that he is transferring to North Carolina.

    • Harris plans to graduate at LSU this spring, and that will make him eligible to play for the Tar Heels this fall.

      Harris lost his starting job at LSU after two games of last season to Danny Etling. He started 12 games in 2015 as a sophomore and passed for 2,165 yards, 13 touchdowns and six interceptions.

      Harris settled on North Carolina after a visit over the weekend.

      "Obviously, it has been an important time for me, looking for a great situation and another opportunity to grow as a young man and as a student as well as a football player," Harris wrote on Facebook. "The opportunity to accomplish that is very important to me. After my official visit this weekend to the University of North Carolina, I'm going to get that opportunity."

      North Carolina doesn't have a current starting quarterback as Mitch Trubisky departed school to enter the NFL draft. Trubisky is expected to be among the first picks in the draft.

  • South Florida DB Childs hospitalized after shooting
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, March 26, 2017

    South Florida senior defensive back Hassan Childs is hospitalized in stable condition after he was involved in an off-campus shooting Saturday, the school announced.

    • Bulls coach Charlie Strong also released a statement on Sunday, saying the team was "deeply concerned" about the overnight incident.

      "Thankfully, Hassan is in stable condition and being well cared for, and no one else was (injured)," Strong said in a statement.

      "There is an ongoing investigation of the incident and we are in the process of gathering further information. Out of respect for the integrity of the investigation, we cannot comment further at this time."

      Strong and the school did not provide information on where the off-campus shooting took place or in which hospital Childs is receiving treatment.

      Childs, who is from Kissimmee, Fla., recorded 16 tackles in eight games and also saw action on punt returns last season. He has collected 28 tackles and three interceptions in 26 career contests for the Bulls.

  • Former Penn State president Spanier convicted of child endangerment
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted of one count of child endangerment on Friday over his handling of a complaint against retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

    • Spanier also was found not guilty of conspiracy and a second count of child endangerment.

      Spanier, who is a first-time offender, could face anywhere from probation to a maximum sentence of five years, according to multiple reports. The 68-year-old Spanier did not show any emotion when the verdict was read and is free on bail until sentencing later this spring.

      Earlier this month, former Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment.

      Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison on 45 counts of child sexual abuse in 2012.

      Spanier, Schultz and Curley handled a complaint from former Penn State graduate assistant Mike McQueary in 2001. McQueary told the trio that he witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the team shower, but the three men elected against reporting the account to police or child welfare authorities and opted to instruct Sandusky that he wasn't allowed to bring children to Penn State anymore.

      Spanier, who did not testify during the trial, stepped down as Penn State's president in 2011 following Sandusky's child molestation charges.

      The scandal led to the firing of football coach Joe Paterno, who died of cancer at 85 in early 2012.

  • Coach sues Kiffin, claims he was promised job to secure recruit
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    Former Alabama receiver Antonio "A.C." Carter filed a lawsuit alleging fraud against Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin, the university and the state of Florida.

    • Carter alleges Kiffin misled him to believe he had a job on FAU's football staff as assistant wide receivers coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach, according to SEC Country.

      Carter's offer was revoked after two prior misdemeanor charges showed up on a conducted background check.

      The complaint, which was filed Tuesday in Shelby County, Ala., claims "Kiffin deliberately misled him regarding a job on the FAU football staff in order to benefit from his family relationship with a prospect."

      Carter was a three-year starter at Alabama before a leg injury ended his career in 2001. His comeback attempt lasted until 2004, and Carter finished his college career with 106 receptions for 1,294 yards.

      Carter served as a graduate assistant under Alabama coach Nick Saban in 2008, before leaving Tuscaloosa for a coaching position at Appalachian State.

      Carter was passing coordinator at Appalachian State (2008), wide receivers coach at Eastern Michigan (2009) and Samford (2010-12).

      Carter said in the lawsuit that he helped FAU on National Signing Day and had been recruiting a junior college prospect from his hometown.

      "The prospect's family had just celebrated New Year's Eve together with Plaintiff Antonio Carter and his family just a few weeks earlier," the lawsuit states. "It is believed that this relationship between Plaintiff Antonio Carter and the coveted prospect was known to the coaches and defendants at the time he was hired."

  • Saban rips media, NCAA's new camp rules
    By The Sports Xchange / Wednesday, March 22, 2017

    Alabama coach Nick Saban went on a fiery rant against the media and NCAA, and made it clear the Crimson Tide are not going to a conservative offense after losing the national title game.

    • Saban responded to a "ball-control question" from a reporter during Alabama's spring practice press conference on Tuesday and then moved on to rip the NCAA's camp rules.

      "I don't know where you came up with where we go to ball control," Saban said. "That's not what we do. The New England Patriots threw the ball over 60-something percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So, where does that assumption come from or do you do what everybody else in the media does -- create some (expletive) and throw it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere?

      "And the people who scream the loudest kind of get the attention and then we pass some rule that everybody has to live with or some law and the consequences mess up a lot of other things. Do it all the time. We're doing it right now. ... Where did that come from? I never said that, nobody in this building ever said that, so where'd you come up with that? Just had a dream about it, or what?"

      In the 35-31 loss to Clemson in the title game in January, Alabama had a nine-minute time of possession deficit and gave away a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.

      "We didn't block them," Saban said. "We didn't execute very well. We didn't throw the ball accurately when we had open people and a couple of times we dropped it. I think it was more a lack of execution than it was something schematically that we were doing. And that's on us as coaches. That's not to blame anybody but us for not having the players well-prepared. The defense also needs to get themselves off the field on third downs so they don't play as many plays. It's a combination of things.

      "But I do think we could have executed a lot better in that particular game. And I think most players would probably tell you that on both sides of the ball -- not to take anything away from Clemson. But it is what it is. But as we always do, we're going to self-assess what we did through quality control, what we did well, what we need to improve on and visit people, try to get better and the things we need to do better."

      Saban then went on a tangent about the new NCAA rules, raising concerns about high school coaches being prohibited from working summer camps.

      "And we pass some rule that everybody has to live with, or some law, where the consequences mess up a lot of other things," Saban said. "We do it all the time. We're doing it right now. The NCAA is doing it. We're going to change the way we have summer camps. We can't have high school coaches working summer camps. I mean, it's the most ridiculous thing that I've ever seen. It is what it is and whatever they do, they do.

      "So we say we don't want third-parties dealing with players. So we're not going to let the high school coach bring a guy to camp, but some third-party guy can bring him to camp now. Makes no sense at all. But all the people who have common sense, they don't say anything about it. But the people who scream the loudest will get the thing changed and it'll mess everything up. That's the way it goes. The way it goes in the world, politics, just the way it goes."

  • Minnesota exonerates three players in sexual assault scandal
    By The Sports Xchange / Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    University of Minnesota provost Karen Hanson upheld the punishments of two football players for their role in the school's sexual assault scandal while clearing three others of wrongdoing on Monday.

    • After hearing their appeals, Hanson ruled that defensive back KiAnte Hardin's expulsion and running back Carlton Djam's one-year suspension were suitable punishments.

      Meanwhile, she removed the one-year suspensions for defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr., running back Kobe McCrary and quarterback Mark Williams. The three players are expected to return to spring practice on Tuesday.

      "These couple of months have been nothing short of a nightmare for me and I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me and shown nothing but love," Winfield wrote Monday on Twitter. "Today I have officially been cleared and I am excited to tear up the field for my brothers and my gopher fans."

      Last September, a woman alleged she was pressured into having sex with multiple football players at the university. Players who admitted to having sex with the woman said it was consensual.

      No charges were filed, but the university launched an investigation and a report from the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action department concluded 10 football players were in violation of the school's conduct code.

      The suspensions of those 10 players resulted in a two-day player boycott and the team threatening to skip the Holiday Bowl, in which the Gophers were scheduled to face Washington State, because of a lack of "due process."

      The team eventually decided to play in the game, which Minnesota won 17-12. After the season, first-year coach Tracy Claeys was fired -- in part because of his controversial support for the players during their boycott. In January, the school hired P.J. Fleck to replace Claeys.

      Minnesota (9-4, 5-4 in Big Ten) finished fourth in the conference's West Division last season.