Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reporters' Notebooks

Tony Barnhart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: As expected, a proposal to allow coaches to challenge a call was approved by the NCAA. The rule allows for one challenge each game (registration).

Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: Air Force and Colorado haven't played since 1974, when tensions between Boulder's liberal set and the Academy regarding the Vietnam War led to hard feelings, but the Colorado athletic director wants that to change. The Buffaloes also received an oral commitment from a Pennsylvania defensive back (registration).

Brett McMurphy, Tampa Tribune: A Tampa automobile dealer is donating $3 million to the South Florida athletic department, part of an overall gift of $10 million.

Brian Rosenthal, Lincoln Journal Star: Nebraska has offered a scholarship to a junior college quarterback who could join the team this summer and begin his sophomore season of eligibility.

Kent Baker, Baltimore Sun: Navy has reached an agreement that could make it a regular visitor to the Meineke Car Care bowl (registration).

Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio State has lost its last four regular-season night games, including three on the road. No wonder Buckeye fans are worried.

Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal: Michigan State's plans for a Duffy Daugherty Football Building remain just that — plans.

Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer: After Penn State's victory in the Orange Bowl, applications for enrollment went through the roof (registration).

Robin Fambrough, Baton Rouge Advocate: Louisiana State received an oral commitment from one of the top quarterback prospects in Texas.

WCTV, Tallahassee: Fred Rouse, a freshman receiver who was recently kicked off the Florida State team, is in trouble with the law (thanks to reader Sam). Update: Story has blossomed quite a bit. Rouse and former teammate A.J. Nicholson, who also was booted from the team, are charged with burglarizing the home of current Seminole running back Lorenzo Booker, ESPN reports.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Refs Likely to Be Challenged

The Mountain West was the only conference to employ a coaches' challenge in its replay system in 2005. All that is expected to change Tuesday when the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel is scheduled to vote by conference call on a proposal to make a coach's challenge universal. The measure is expected to pass, but officials have expressed concern over the increasing length of games, which are nearing the 3 hour 30 minute mark. If the measure does pass, it could go one of two ways: coaches would be given one challenge per game, or coaches would be given one challenge per half (some registration).

Bush and His Reps: Greedy and Sloppy

Clearly, the best piece we've seen to date on the Reggie Bush situation. Jim Trotter of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Bush, running for yards last season against California, has no one to blame but himself for going from Heisman winner to bad guy in a matter of weeks. It was Bush who choose Joel Segal as his agent and Mike Ornstein as his marketing rep. Could he have picked a worse team? Trotter says Segal, whose background includes a one-year suspension by the NFL Players Association for funneling cash to a Florida athlete, blew Bush's chances of being the No. 1 selection in last month's draft. Ornstein, whose background includes a 1997 felony conviction for mail fraud, did line up a couple of big deals for his client, but when the news broke that Bush's family might have lived rent-free in a house of a man trying to partner with Bush in a fledgling sports-marketing company, Ornstein was nowhere to be found. Says Trotter: "In some respects, it's amazing to witness the ineptitude that has taken place."

Sunday, May 28, 2006

South Carolina Fans Have a Big Problem

Longtime South Carolina fan Charles Boan is feeling the big squeeze. The 72-year-old retiree has been attending Gamecock games since the 1950s and has kept his 5-foot-8 frame at 160 pounds. But in recent years he is finding it difficult to maneuver into his seat at 80,250-seat Williams-Brice Stadium. Why? Simply put, Boan says South Carolina fans are fat. Way too fat. The allotted space per seat — 16 inches — is simply not enough. Boan is not blaming Gamecock officials. He points the finger at America's ever-growing obesity problem. "In the '50s, we never had this problem. ... I came along before there was a Hardee's or a McDonalds," he said. Boan added that conditions have gotten so bad, he barely has room to complain. "Sometimes you are sitting there and you get a hunk of their cheek, or whatever, on your side." ... No word if the above fan has any eligibility left in case you happen to be a college coach seeking a run-stopping noseguard to beef up your goal-line defense.

Reporters' Notebooks

Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun: Mark your calendar for Sept. 2. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will be making the first of two trips to Florida Field.

Mark Bradley, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: With the glossy magazines already dotting the newsstands, there's no better time to take a long-range look at what will happen this fall (registration).

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: Maybe Alabama coach Mike Shula could take a lesson from Auburn counterpart Tommy Tuberville on how to address the arrest of linebacker Juwan Simpson.

Blaine Newnham, Seattle Times: Former Washington coach Don James, aka the Dawgfather, says getting out of the business probably saved his life.

Dave Reardon, Honolulu Star-Bulletin: Running back Nate Ilaoa became the second Hawaii player to be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Former Wisconsin tailback Booker Stanley is back in jail.

Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times: L.A. has UCLA and USC, so who needs an NFL franchise? The billionaire NFL owners, that's who.

Jeff Metcalfe, Arizona Republic: Receiver Mike Jones, the star of Arizona State's spring game, is making quite an impression on the baseball field.

Doug Binder, Oregonian: Tyler Krieg, a two-year starter on Duke's offensive line, is one of the first players to take advantage of the new transfer rule for players who have earned a degree. He has transferred to California and will be eligible this fall.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

ESPN Wants to Move Alamo Bowl to Jan. 7

Maybe it was San Antonio's River Walk, pictured above, or maybe it was the crazy finish to last year's Alamo Bowl between Nebraska and Michigan. Whatever the reason, ESPN is pushing to move the Alamo Bowl to Jan. 7, a Sunday night after two NFL playoff games. With no other network sports programming at that time slot, ESPN sees an opportunity for big ratings. The game would be promoted as ESPN's final bowl telecast and officials of the Big 12 Conference appear to like the idea. Of course the Big Ten, which has a tie-in to the bowl, would also have to sign-off on the deal. One problem is that the late date would cut into the start of the second semester at some schools. The Big 12 is also considering moving several other conference games to the Thanksgiving weekend beginning in 2008. Currently, Nebraska and Colorado and Texas and Texas A&M play that weekend, but other teams have expressed an interest in playing that weekend. You might remember last season's Nebraska-Colorado game in Boulder, when the Colorado student section became unruly and was ordered out of Folsom Field. Officials are drawing up plans to crack down on such rowdiness this fall (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

John Pruett, Huntsville Times: Can you believe it? We are less than 100 days from the first big weekend of games.

Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel: If there were ever any doubts about Central Florida's intention to become a football school, they were answered when the university decided to pay its coach a million bucks a year.

Donnie Webb, Syracuse Post-Standard: Joe Fields, who started six games at quarterback for Syracuse, is moving to free safety.

Heisman Pundit: Nice work by the Pundit, which has a complete breakdown of the ABC/ESPN and ESPN2 broadcast teams. To correct an earlier post, Kirk Herbstreit will remain on the "College GameDay" crew.

Burnt Orange Nation: The Texas site has an interview with Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls.

Jake Curtis, San Francisco Chronicle: Did the $3 million settlement with former coach Gary Barnett and the $700,000 buyout of replacement Dan Hawkins of Boise State lead to the termination of the Colorado men's tennis program?

Hilary Kindschuh, Lincoln Journal Star: Police have released the details of an incident with a Nebraska recruit who is facing burglary and sexual abuse charges in Oregon.

Dennis Dodd, Sportsline: A new rule that allows players with a fifth year of eligibility (essentially redshirts) to transfer immediately without penalty provided they have graduated with a bachelor's degree is getting a cool reception from coaches.

B.G. Brooks, Rocky Mountain News: Several former Colorado assistants will get a shot at beating the Buffaloes this fall.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Can You Say Big 12 Boondoggle?

If you are looking for accommodations in Colorado, they don't come any finer than the Broadmoor. The Wiz happens to be familiar with the joint, which is nestled next to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs. It was built in 1891 as a gambling casino and transformed into a five-star resort in 1918. It has a world-class spa, three golf courses and — most important — the Golden Bee, an authentic 19th-century English pub famous for its yard and half-size ales and ragtime pianist. So it's no wonder that Big 12 commissioners, who have been holding their annual meetings this week at the Broadmoor, have little to show for their efforts. The proposal for a ninth conference game was shot down despite the new 12-game season, and that Big 12 championship game? Yes, they will continue to have one. The only news was bad news: revenue took a dip from the record $105.6 million in 2004-05 to $102.5 million in 2005-06. Maybe it's time for a little belt tightening, boys! How about the Red Roof Inn down the road? Meanwhile, our gladiators, aka student-athletes, have next to nothing to show for their efforts (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

Paul Rosano, Hartford Courant: Slighty off-topic, but the governing body of Connecticut prep football has passed a score management rule that will result in the suspension of a coach who wins a game by 50 or more points. So if you're losing by 49, do you take the intentional safety?

Mike Lucas, Capital Times: Wisconsin, for one, won't be sorry to see Minnesota leave the Metrodome for its new on-campus stadium.

Bob Holt, Northwest Arkansas Times: Arkansas, which finished 4-7 in 2005, is reporting a huge spike in sales of season tickets. Of course, pro teams like USC to don't come to Fayetteville every year.

Sam Farmer, L.A. Times: Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart says he's ready to get out of L.A? But what about your friend (wink, wink) Paris Hilton?

Larry Stewart, L.A. Times: Keith Jackson recommended that Dan Fouts be moved to a play-by-play job. ABC and ESPN listened.

Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal: It's nervous time for college coaches, who are held responsible for players' actions in the summertime despite limited offseason contact.

Aaron Fentress, Oregonian: Speaking of trouble, an Oregon recruit from California pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree sexual abuse and first-degree burglary in Eugene.

Marcus Nelson, Palm Beach Post: Florida State coach Bobby Bowden appears to have kept the Seminole Nation happy with his ACC championship.

Jim Moore, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Things were more interesting around Washington football when Rick Neuheisel was at the controls.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Texas Title Ring Pulled From Auction

If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Well, the heat got turned up on the seller of the Texas national championship ring after word got out about the eBay auction, and the seller pulled the ring off the market. The bidding had reached $10,100 and the reserve price had not been met. The wholesale price of the ring is only $350. The mystery that remains is identifying the player who owned the ring to begin with. If the player happens to be a current member of the team, it would be a violation of NCAA rules. A former player would not be in violation. Each ring had the player's name and number engraved on the side, but those details were blacked out in the photos on eBay (note the top photo). The issue has troubled Texas officials, who actually discussed buying the ring to take it off the market and to find the identity of the player, according to the Austin-American Statesman (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

American Football Coaches Association: Southern Methodist graduated 100% of its freshman class of 2000-01, earning it the 2006 AFCA Academic Achievement Award.

Michelle Smith, San Francisco Chronicle: Stanford benefactor John Arrillaga, a developer and major sports donor, recently made a $100 million donation to the university.

Scott Wolf, L.A. Daily News: The sexual-assault case against USC quarterback Mark Sanchez could be wrapped up as soon as this week.

Kyle Hightower, Orlando Sentinel: Central Florida will announce a contract extension Thursday morning for George O'Leary that will pay the coach $1 million a year.

Alan Schmadtke, Orlando Sentinel: Officials of the Florida Citrus Bowl want to be in position to join the Bowl Championship Series rotation by 2010.

Carter Strickland, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia linebacker Dannell Ellerbe has been suspended for the first three games of the season as a result of his DUI arrest and theft of an automobile in January (registration).

Matthew Futterman, Newark Star-Ledger: Rutgers is considering upgrading its stadium to include luxury boxes and a swanky restaurant.

Mark Tupper, Decatur Herald & Review: Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther is in a tough spot over Chief Illiwek, the school's mascot.

Steve Kirk, Birmingham News: Alabama linebacker Juwan Simpson had a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor in the wake of his arrest on Saturday night.

Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser: Safety Leonard Peters, arguably Hawaii's best defensive player, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Chris Dempsey, Denver Post: Gerett Burl, a starter at cornerback last season for Colorado, has been dismissed from the team.

Associated Press: Lee Corso won't have Kirk Herbstreit to kick around any more on ESPN's "College GameDay." Herbstreit is moving to the booth for ABC's Saturday night games this fall, with Doug Flutie sliding into the studio chair.

Dennis Dodd, Sportsline: The Mountain West Conference's move to gain control over broadcasts of its games is being closely watched by the Big Ten, which is developing a similar strategy (thanks to reader Kevin).

Keith Whitmire, Dallas Morning News: The Big 12 Conference is leading an effort to save the financially strapped Houston Bowl, which could lose certification (registration).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Texas Rings Reportedly on eBay

A ring commemorating Texas' national championship is being auctioned on eBay, the Austin American-Statesman reports. Texas athletic department officials want to know the identity of the player whose ring is being auctioned in case a current member of the team is involved. That would be a violation of NCAA rules. The seller, who would not identify him or herself, also is auctioning a Longhorn ring from the 2003 Holiday Bowl. The seller told the paper that both rings were obtained from former player(s) directly. The title ring is pictured above. Link to the national championship ring on eBay (registration). Update: Kudos to Burnt Orange Nation, who we see had a note on this item yesterday before the good-old mainstream media got on board. Bidding for the title ring ended at $10,100. The reserve was not met. The item had a buy it now price of $20,000

Reporters' Notebooks

Jennifer Brevorka, Raleigh News & Observer: Fifty to 70 workers ran from a construction site at North Carolina State's University Stadium after immigration officers arrived to search for a fugitive (registration).

Alan Abrahamson, L.A. Times: USC president Steven B. Sample has raised concerns that the university could be left "totally vulnerable" should the NFL decide to return to the Coliseum.

Brent Schrotenboer, Union-Tribune: Five months after his hiring, San Diego State coach Chuck Long has yet to sign his contract.

Steve Warden, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: The attorney representing Indiana receiver James Hardy said he is confident his client will be found not guilty of two misdemeanor counts.

Eric Hansen, South Bend Tribune: Does Notre Dame have enough talent on defense to make a run at the national title? NFL scouts would say yes.

Arizona Daily Star: Former Arizona offensive lineman Joe Barresi will be joining his brother as a member of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Carter Strickland, Atlanta Journal Constitution: Georgia has decided on a penalty in the alcohol-related misconduct case involving linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, but coach Mark Richt has yet to decide on punishment (registration).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cotton Trying to Add Neutral Site Games

Cotton Bowl officials, having secured the Texas-Oklahoma game through 2010, have recently talked with about two dozen other teams about bringing neutral site games to the 76-year-old facility, among them Louisiana State, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Arkansas. State Fair president Errol McKoy also said he has talked with ESPN and Fox Sports about televising weeknight games and that the networks appear interested. Louisiana State officials said the talks with the Cotton Bowl had the Tigers likely playing a Big 12 opponent. Louisiana State in turn wanted to play Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish reportedly were not interested. All this after Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White said last week that the team — with the addition of the 12th game — would likely schedule one game at a neutral site. But it appears the Irish want to avoid games against top-flight teams and instead want to load up on carbs, so to speak. This cupcake stance isn't going over well with some Notre Dame fans (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

Mike Huguenin, Orlando Sentinel: Why was Florida State athletic director Dave Hart opposed to a 12-game schedule? He said it's only a matter of time before the Seminoles have to cancel a game because of a hurricane.

Dean Spiros, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota reported a jump in sales of season tickets as fans begin to position themselves for seats in the new on-campus stadium, set to open in 2009.

Sara Eaton and Steve Warden, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Receiver James Hardy, arguably Indiana's best player, is facing charges of domestic battery and interfering with the reporting of a crime.

Cliff Brunt, Associated Press: Purdue's strong agricultural background won out when it came down to choosing Bermuda grass or FieldTurf for Ross-Ade Stadium.

Scott Wolf, L.A. Daily News: USC safety Will Harris tore knee ligaments during a pickup basketball game and will be out for the season.

Steven M. Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star: Major Culbert, a defensive back recruit of Nebraska, was arrested on charges of first-degree burglary and first-degree sexual abuse stemming from a January recruiting visit to Oregon.

Dave Hickman, Charleston Gazette: West Virginia's Adam Bednarik (yes, he is the second cousin of Concrete Charlie) had shoulder surgery that will sideline the quarterback for the season.

Kevin Scarbinsky, Birmingham News: A new date for the Iron Bowl should give Alabama an edge against Auburn.

Bart Hubbuch, Jacksonville Times-Union: Former UCLA running back Maurice Drew is included in a civil lawsuit stemming from an April incident that resulted in him being charged with felony assault. Drew is denying involvement (some registration).

Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser: Hawaii coach June Jones says he is not worried that the contracts of his assistants expired on March 31 (thanks to Heisman Pundit).

Monday, May 22, 2006

Undefeated, Untied and Uninvited

They were part of another era, when small colleges could field good teams. In 1951, the University of San Francisco was 9-0, but despite the perfect record, the Dons were not invited to play in a postseason game. The Orange Bowl passed on San Francisco, saying the game "must have a top gate attraction." But many thought the real reason was the Southern insistence against integration. You see, San Francisco was among only a handful of teams that had African-American players, Ollie Matson and Burt Toler. Matson, the team's fullback who was the leading college rusher that season, went on to win two medals in the 1952 Olympics. Toler had his chance at a pro career dashed by a knee injury, but he became the first African-American NFL game official, working for 25 seasons. The team, coached by Joe Kuharich, who later was the coach of Notre Dame, was loaded with talent. Nine players went on to play in the NFL, five played in the Pro Bowl and three — Matson, Gino Marchetti and Bob St. Clair — are in the NFL Hall of Fame, the most members of any one squad. And the public relations man was none other than Pete Rozelle, who became commissioner of the NFL for 29 years. "If that team had played for Notre Dame, they'd still be writing about us," Marchetti once said. The university honored the team this past weekend.

Reporters' Notebooks

Jeff Shelman, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota got legislative approval for a 50,000-seat, on-campus stadium.

John Heuser, Ann Arbor News: A leading critic of the plan to renovate Michigan Stadium said the regents pulled what amounted to a "quarterback sneak."

Andy Boggott, Wisconsin State Journal: Wisconsin students are worried about a new ticket policy they say is targeted toward them.

Steve Kirk, Birmingham News: Alabama starting linebacker Juwan Simpson was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, possession of marijuana and carrying a pistol without a license (thanks to reader Bert).

Geoff Calkins, Commerical Appeal: Alabama coach Mike Shula has had to switch churches after being hounded by autograph seekers (registration).

Chip Cosby, Lexington Herald-Leader: Kentucky had to pay $550,000 — its highest guarantee ever — to secure a game against Louisiana Monroe.

Joseph Person, Columbia State: A 6-foot-7, 330-pound junior college offensive lineman appears headed to South Carolina.

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: University presidents, led by Georgia's Michael Adams, want to have it both ways.

Marlon W. Morgan, Commercial Appeal: Mississippi State and Mississippi are having a big impact with recruits for the class of 2007 (registration).

George Schroeder, Oklahoman: An interview with Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles, who has seen them come and seen them go (registration).

Eric Petersen, Ames Tribune: Iowa State has set a record for season tickets sales at 27,711 and officials remain hopeful of reaching 30,000.

Dave Matter, Columbia Tribune: Matter continues his solid series with a look at freshmen who could make in impact for Big 12 teams this fall.

Jerry Hill, Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw is against adding a ninth Big 12 Conference game to teams' schedules.

Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star: A hearing has been set for Arizona offensive lineman Peter Graniello, who is facing an extreme DUI charge.

Bob Condotta, Seattle Times: Washington is facing a tough sell when it comes to season tickets, even with the help of popular basketball coach Lorenzo Romar.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Rocky's Horror Picture Show

We've all encountered that person who talked proudly of their football career, often to the point that it became annoying. Then when you fired up the browser and checked their story on the Internet, you found out how much of a braggart that person really was. Today we bring you the case of Rocky Delgadillo, who happens to be the Los Angeles City Attorney. Delgadillo has made numerous claims in the past of getting a football scholarship to Harvard, where he was an Academic All-American before going on to become a professional football player. But now that Delgadillo is running for California Attorney General, he is doing some serious backpeddling. Ivy League schools don't award athletic scholarships, for one, and Delgadillo was only honorable mention Academic All-American, the Los Angeles Times reports. And that pro football career? Seems Hamilton of the Canadian Football League has no record of Delgadillo's alleged association with the team, and the Delgadillo camp can't produce any record of his time with the Tiger Cats. And his alleged time spent in mini-camp with the New York Giants also is rather murky. Here is a link to Delgadillo's site, and we wouldn't be at all surprised to see California voters deliver a knockout blow to Rocky when they go to the polls on June 6. His opponent in the Democratic primary is Jerry Brown, the former Governor and current Mayor of Oakland.

Size Does Matter at Michigan

That hotly debated $226 million plan to bring the greatest changes to Michigan Stadium since the joint was constructed in 1927 passed last week by a 5-3 vote by regents. President Mary Sue Coleman, right, and athletic director Bill Martin won the battle to modernize the facility, including the addition of 83 luxury suites and seating that will bring capacity to a projected 108,251. The site Save The Big House helped lead the fight against luxury boxes, which it said would divide the haves from the have-nots. "The very idea of private luxury boxes in Michigan Stadium runs contrary to the egalitarian ideals to which the U-M is dedicated," the site said. But one writer in Ann Arbor says wisdom prevailed and that the Big House, which is about to get bigger, isn't a museum.

Emtman Put the Bark and Bite Into Huskies

Steve Emtman was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame last week, and for those of us who saw this monster of a defensive tackle play at Washington, the honor was well deserved. Emtman led a defense that gave up only 67 rushing yards and 9.2 points a game in 1991, and the Huskies finished 12-0 and shared the national championship with Miami. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Emtman was a brute who could run — he once completed a mile in 5:14 — and he had only 9% body fat. On Tuesdays during the season, the No. 1 defense would go head-to-head with the No. 1 offense. Greg Lewis, an All-Pacific 10 running back, explained what would happen. "In full-tilt drills, these battles would erupt that would nearly turn into brawls," Lewis said. "Emtman and the defensive guys would try to take our heads off. It was all we could do to get plays off for positive yards. Compared to Tuesday, the Saturday games were easy." Coach Don James, the Dawgfather, eventually had to cut the drills down to 10 minutes. "We had a saying we'd tell Emtman and the players for that drill: 'No winners or losers,' " James said. "I'm not sure they listened to that part." Emtman's NFL career was derailed by a series of injuries, including a tearing of his right knee. The injury was so horrific that Emtman reportedly found his kneecap in the middle of his quadriceps muscle.

Friday, May 19, 2006

More Trouble Bruin in L.A.

No shortage of trouble for players in Los Angeles. Following USC's lead, three former UCLA players were charged with assault stemming from an alleged attack on a man in a Denny's restaurant in Westwood on April 23. Maurice Drew, left, Ricky Manning Jr. and Tyler Ebell allegedly were among a group that harassed a man working on a laptop computer at the restaurant. When the victim complained to the restaurant's manager, he was attacked. Drew was UCLA's rushing leader the past three seasons. Manning was a defensive back from 1999-2002 and Ebell, who led the team in rushing in 2002, finished his college career last year at Texas El Paso. Two current members of the team, linebacker John Hale and defensive lineman Jess Ward, also are facing assault charges from a February incident. They have a pre-preliminary hearing date for June 12. All of this is not going over well with the folks at Bruins Nation.

Reporters' Notebooks

Joe Rexrode, Lansing State Journal: A prison sentence began and a Michigan State career ended for cornerback Cole Corey.

Doug Lesmerisis, Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio State and Jim Tressel have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will make him one of college football's highest-paid coaches.

Jeff Rice, Centre Daily Times: Good luck if you're a Penn State fan looking for a hotel room in South Bend for the weekend of the Notre Dame game.

David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel: So it's no longer "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party." Maybe we are taking this political correctness stuff too far.

Joe Biddle, Tennessean: Georgia president Michael Adams' attempt to throw cold water on the Florida-Georgia game won't change a thing.

Mike Knobler, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Tech will keep its 1998 Atlantic Coast Conference title but will be limited to 79 scholarship players the next two seasons because of infractions (registration).

Ron Morris, Columbia State: Steve Spurrier and Phillip Fulmer are enemies, right? Think again. They actually enjoy each other's company.

Joseph Person, Columbia State: South Carolina is having second thoughts about changing its season-ticket policy.

John Helsley, Oklahoman: Offensive lineman Joe Baressi has left Arizona and could be headed to Oklahoma to join his brother, Ben (registration).

Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: Running back Jaslee Rouson, one of Colorado's 2006 recruits, will not join the Buffaloes after all (registration).

Andrew J. Beckner, Charleston Daily Mail: West Virginia has a two-year hole in its schedule after Maryland decided to back out of games in 2008 and 2009.

Gary Klein and David Wharton, L.A. Times: USC has responded to a letter from a women's organization that called on the university to crack down on players' off-the-field behavior.

Huntington Herald-Dispatch: Marshall running back Ahmad Bradshaw was sentenced to two years of probation for the theft of a PlayStation2 console from another student's dorm room.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

End of the Road for Derting

Will Derting was a linebacker's linebacker. Tough, smart, fast, ferocious. He wasn't a four-star recruit. He wasn't bombarded with calls from coaches because his family's ranch in Okanogan County (Wash.) didn't have a phone. Derting signed with Washington State in 2001 and the first time the Cougars turned him loose, he intercepted three passes and returned one for a team-record 98-yard touchdown against Nevada. In 2003, he was named All-Pac-10, leading Washington State to a 10-3 record and Holiday Bowl victory over Texas. But a knee injury during a 2005 game against Oregon State led to surgery and he was never the same player. He went to the NFL combine this spring and failed physicals. This week, he called it quits and went back to the ranch.

Reporters' Notebooks

Scott Wolf, L.A. Daily News: The sexual-assault case against USC quarterback Mark Sanchez is considered weak, according to sources close to the investigation.

Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and his family reportedly have declined to be interviewed by NCAA and Pacific 10 officials investigating their relationship with a sports marketing agency.

Mick McGrane, San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego State offensive line recruit Whitley Fehoko was recently crowned junior division champion of Hawaii's strongest man competition.

Stephen Tsai, Honolulu Advertiser: Cornerback Ryan Perry, the son of former NFL standout Rod Perry, is finalizing details to transfer to Hawaii.

Chad Hartley, Reno Gazette-Journal: Officials say a new training facility that recently opened puts Nevada in a class with the nation's upper-echelon programs.

Chip Cosby, Lexington Herald-Leader: Kentucky coach Rich Brooks dismissed his best defensive player and had another suspended by the NCAA for six games.

Rich Kaipust, Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska and Virginia Tech have reached agreement on a home-and-home series beginning in 2008 (registration).

Michael Pointer, Indianapolis Star: Defensive lineman J.B. Paxson has been released from his letter of intent by Purdue coach Joe Tiller.

Brian Landman, St. Petersburg Times: Former Florida State offensive guard Matt Meinrod, who we featured earlier, is still seeking employment after being bypassed in the NFL draft.

Richard Sandomir, New York Times: College administrators are facing a new challenge: Keeping misbehavior of athletes from being exposed on the Internet (registration).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Reporters' Notebooks

John Maher and Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman: Texas made only $100,000 from its Rose Bowl victory over USC in the Bowl Championship Series title game. And Longhorn assistants are getting sizable raises (registration).

Dave Matter, Columbia Daily Tribune: A look at the Big 12 Conference's 12 best nonconference games for the 2006 season.

Jim Moore, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Washington received word that prized quarterback recruit Jake Locker will put a pro baseball career on hold join the Huskies in the fall.

Scott Hotard, Naples News: How tough is the Atlantic Coast Conference? Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said to look at the first round of the NFL draft to gauge the strength of the conference.

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: Alabama's Mike Shula has a fat, new contract, but what happens if his team continues to lose to Auburn?

Joseph Person, Columbia State: South Carolina is spending $1.2 million to add a new videoboard to Williams-Brice Stadium.

Jerry Hill, Waco Tribune-Herald: Baylor has an oral commitment from a prep offensive lineman ranked among the best in Texas.

Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: You think you had it tough? Colorado recruit Marquez Herrod lived with his mother on the streets of San Diego (registration).

Mark Tupper, Decatur Herald & Review: A $116 million renovation of Illinois' Memorial Stadium has been approved.

Sportsline: A change in rules cleared the way for Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Geoff Grammer, Las Cruces Sun-News: New Mexico State has pulled a scholarship offer to a Kentucky prep after he was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl. Thanks to FanBlogs and EDSBS for finding the story.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Farm Owner Tells His Side of Taylor Story

The owner of a pecan farm near where Ramonce Taylor was arrested early Sunday on a drug charge spoke to the Austin American-Statesman. Rob Stewart said he was hosting a party for his daughter, who is graduating from Texas A&M, and that about 100 people had gathered for the event, which included a band, a fish fry and alcohol. Stewart said Taylor, who remains on scholarship at Texas pending the outcome of this case, had crashed the party with several friends. Stewart confronted the group after his son and several party guests complained to him that uninvited guests were trying to sell drugs. When Stewart encountered the uninvited guests, they were exchanging words and pushing and shoving with some partygoers. According to Stewart, as the group left, one of its members threatened to return with a firearm. That person was Taylor, according to a Bell County Sheriff's Department affidavit, which also stated that the backpack containing the marijuana that later resulted in Taylor's arrest was emblazoned with the words "Big 12 Conference." Taylor was released Monday on a $5,000 bond. ... Meanwhile, all of this activity has not gone unnoticed in Oklahoma, where a columnist says the Longhorns could be vulnerable without the playmaking Taylor. (some registration).

From Flutie to Fox to the Firing Irish

Doug Flutie is headed to a TV near you. It was announced during his retirement from the New England Patriots that he would be a college football analyst for ABC and ESPN this fall. ABC is scrambling after losing Aaron Taylor, Lynn Swann, Gary Danielson and, of course, the great Keith Jackson. ESPN's "College Football Gameday" never recovered from the firing of Trev Alberts. It's unclear exactly what Flutie will be doing for ABC/ESPN, but he did profess his love for the college game. "College football seems the better fit for me," he said. "There's a lot of cynicism in the NFL, and I don't want to have to be one of those guys who is always looking for negatives and ripping people to make a name for myself in the media." By the way Doug, we have news for you. ABC/ESPN is part of the media, and now so are you. ... We aren't done talking about the people who bring you the games. Fox has unveiled its Bowl Championship Series logo (thanks to MDG for getting us up to speed on this development). Not sure if the logo includes Fox attitude, but you be the judge. Finally, Hall of Fame radio play-by-play announcer Tony Roberts is out after calling Notre Dame games for 26 years. Roberts said he was fired by Westwood One Radio, which has rights to the games, and that he learned his fate by a teleconference. Nice. ... Roberts is being replaced by Don Criqui. Thanks to reader Kevin for the tip on the Firing Irish (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

Tom Witosky, Des Moines Register: Iowa officials have cleared members of the team of allegations that they provided tickets to a former cellular phone manager in exchange for accessories or account adjustments.

Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times: A prep football showcase in Palo Alto drew some heavy hitters among the coaching community.

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times: A court hearing scheduled this week for USC quarterback Mark Sanchez will probably be delayed until the end of the month.

Brian Rosenthal, Lincoln Journal Star: Nebraska has received an oral commitment from a defensive back from Oakland.

David J. Neal, Miami Herald: Former Virginia Tech badboy quarterback Marcus Vick signed a free-agent deal with the Miami Dolphins (registration).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Georgia Prez: Last Call for 'Cocktail Party'

Georgia president Michael Adams, who has been on a crusade to stop on-campus alcohol abuse, is now taking his fight to CBS. Adams is trying to pressure the network to curb its use of "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" in promoting the annual Georgia-Florida game it televises from Jacksonville, which will play host to the game through 2010. Adams also is trying to get Jacksonville officials to develop better management of the city's Landing area, where much of the debauchery takes place. And what if Jacksonville doesn't shape up? Adams told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia would take that into consideration when discussions begin about extending the contract with the city. ... Oh, and while we're on the topic of debauchery. ... Donald Leeburn Jr., a member of the Board of Regents and prominent Georgia athletics booster, is chairman of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee Crown Distributing, a big-time liquor distributor. Leeburn, if you recall, was involved in a March fight with the Mason Bentley, the son of former Athens mayor Upshaw Bentley. (some registration).

Attorney Says Taylor Is Innocent

Ramonce Taylor, who was Texas' all-purpose yardage leader in 2005, was arrested early Sunday morning after sheriff's deputies in Bell County (Texas) found a backpack containing roughly five pounds of marijuana in his Chevrolet Tahoe. He was charged with state jail felony possession of marijuana and will be arraigned Monday. Now Taylor's attorney, Buck Harris of Killeen, is already on the case. Harris said there were three other people in the Tahoe with Taylor, and that the backpack does not belong to his client. The other three individuals have yet to be identified. ... This is not the first time Taylor, who was excused from spring drills because of unspecified academic reasons, has been the focus of an investigation. In December, Taylor and former teammate Cedric Griffin were questioned about an alleged assault in Austin. Taylor also was questioned about a Sept. 4 assault in Austin involving a handgun. In each case, no charges were filed. An interesting sidenote: Taylor's mother, Ramona Clark, is a former state prison guard, including two years working on Death Row in Huntsville. Also of note: Burnt Orange Nation has a link to video of Taylor from last season. And regardless of the outcome of this latest incident, the boys over at Bevo Sports have just about had it with Taylor (some registration).

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Meet Illinois Coach Ron Zook

If you are looking for something of news value, stop here. If you are wondering what in the world Illinois coach Ron Zook is doing, join the club. Fans of the Fighting Illini are asking the same thing. We are not sure when the photo was taken or how it ended up on the Internet, but our guess is that Zooker was not in Illinois, judging by what appear to be palm trees in the background (unless global warming is really kicking in around greater Champaign and Urbana). Our best guess is that it was taken during his days in Florida. Thanks to the Midwest Correspondent for alerting us to this strange behavior.

Did Clausen Get Himself Into a Pickle?

Notre Dame appeared to have secured its quarterback of the future last month when California's Jimmy Clausen gave a non-binding commitment, but the way he went about it may have created more enemies than friends. Clausen made his announcement in South Bend at the College Football Hall of Fame, above, arriving 45 minutes late in a limo with a police escort. The news conference was put together by NFL agent and family friend Gary Wichard. A Georgia columnist summed it up: "Knute Rockne threw up. George Gipp asked for a shot. Ara Parseghian is thrilled to be out of the game. And the ghosts of deceased Hall members gathered together to make a statement: 'Get that punk-haired kid outta our Hall until he does something on the college level other than load up on gel and hype.' " Clausen, who turns 19 in September, is expected to be invited to the Elite 11 quarterback camp in July.

Reporters' Notebooks

Bud Withers, Seattle Times: Air Force, which agreed to move its 2005 game against Washington from Colorado Springs to Seattle, is owed $300,000 by the promoter.

Dennis Dodd, Is your coach on the hot seat? Dodd takes a look at the relative job security of the 119 coaches in Division I-A (complete list).

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times: Former USC receiver and ABC sideline reporter Lynn Swann has a lot of ground to make up in his bid to become Pennsylvania's governor.

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: Two new books about Alabama football are in the works, but one that was recently released contains an interesting chapter on Bear Bryant.

Howard Richman, Kansas City Star: Kansas State coach Ron Prince will help teach a class this fall titled "Current Topics in Leadership." (registration)

Doug Lesmerises, Plain Dealer: Ohio State's Allan Johnson, one of the nation's top strength coaches, has resigned, effective Aug. 31 (thanks to the great Ben Maller for this and the Prince item).

Dean Spiros, Star Tribune: Minnesota, with a graduation rate of 38% for the last decade plus, is facing the loss of scholarships for failing to meet standards set by the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate (registration).

Tom Oates, Wisconsin State Journal: The decision to increase the number of regular-season games to 12 might not be such a great idea.

Joseph Person, Columbia State: Some South Carolina fans are upset with the distribution policy for season-ticket holders. Also, the athletic department has run up a deficit of $5 million over two years.

Mike White, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh has added a top-rated prep quarterback to its list of non-binding commitments for the class of 2007.

Steve Scholfield, North County Times: Former USC running back Reggie Bush was given the keys to two new Hummer H2s, a gift from General Motors as part of its sponsorship of the NFL draft.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Men on a Mission

Over a 30-year period, hundreds of players at Brigham Young have interrupted their playing careers to serve a two-year mission for the Latter Day Saints Church. Critics say this gives the Cougars, being led on the field last season by coach Bronco Mendenhall, an unfair advantage. Players not only retain all of their remaining eligibility after completing their mission, but they are wiser and often more physically developed upon their return. But a mission can also have the opposite effect, forcing the BYU staff to be innovative to meet church requirements. For example: One player serving in Ecuador got sick twice and lost 25 pounds. And when church authorities in Ecuador banned weightlifting, the Cougar staff developed an exercise program with rubber bands. "We operate under the premise here that even though the players will contribute when they come home that first year, it won't be at the same level as it would after they've been home for a full year," Mendenhall said.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Money Game

When it comes to balancing an athletic budget, it pays to have a winning team. Football is the economic engine of college athletics, but cashing in often means spending more than the losers. "You can almost correlate programs that have the largest budgets and overall rankings in the Big 12 Conference," Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said, "and the reason you can correlate that is that if you have money to spend, you're going to get out and attract better coaches, support staff, better travel, more opportunities for recruiting. It's the same idea as a rising tide raises all ships. If you have resources, the tide raises all your programs." The Bryan-College Station Eagle breaks down the high-stakes game of college athletes and examines where Texas A&M stands in the battle against its Big 12 rivals. And a pricey ticket is not the only thing that upsets Aggie fans.

Reporters' Notebooks

Scott Wolf, L.A. Daily News: USC quarterback Mark Sanchez did not speak to police the night he was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, a factor that could help his case.

Ryan Wood, Lawrence Journal-World: Bill Whittemore, who was Kansas' quarterback in 2002 and 2003, has been named a graduate assistant for the 2006 season.

Bob Wieneke, South Bend Tribune: Crewcut Charlie Weis continues to score with recruits, getting an oral commitment from a New Jersey prep receiver.

Jon Malavolti, Lansing State Journal: Michigan State has an oral commitment from a former hockey player who became an offensive tackle.

Chip Cosby, Lexington Herald-Leader: Lonnell Dewalt, who blocked seven kicks in his freshman season, will not be returning to Kentucky.

Tennessean: Tennessee middle linebacker Marvin Mitchell reached a deal with prosecutors that could result in his disorderly conduct charge being dismissed.

Ian R. Rapoport, Clarion Ledger: Mississippi State thinks it may have added a playmaker in junior college receiver Co-Eric Riley.

Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun: Florida picked up an oral commitment from a California junior college quarterback, but a receiver has decided to transfer.

Josh Barr, Washington Post: One of the Washington area's top prep players won't be allowed to play this fall because he is too old (registration).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Naked Truth About USC

That NCAA investigation into the relationship between Reggie Bush's family and a fledgling sports marketer? Well, it's not going to be completed anytime soon. Because the founders of New Era Sports & Entertainment are planning to file a civil suit against Bush and his family, both sides are not about to give investigators information that could be used in court. David Cornwell, a lawyer who represents Bush and his family, told the L.A. Times, "I'm not going to give the other side free discovery." While we have a break in the action, so to speak, let us fill you in on a new controversy that has gripped the USC campus. Diane York Blaine, a visiting professor who lectures on feminist theory, recently linked her blog to a Flickr site that contains three photos of her topless. The photo above is also from the Flickr site, presumably of professor Blaine. The Wiz wants to thank reader Mike and the great EDSBS site for leading the way.

Did Switzer Hand Osborne Another Loss?

The joke making the rounds Wednesday was that Tom Osborne's campaign to become governor of Nebraska was sailing along until former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer showed up in February to help raise money for his friend. People in the Cornhusker state haven't forgotten that Switzer was 12-5 against Osborne and that the former Nebraska coach didn't win his three national titles until Switzer had left Oklahoma. But in all seriousness, Osborne's loss to incumbent Dave Heineman in Tuesday's Republican primary had everybody asking what the former Cornhusker coach would do next. Osborne offered few clues on Wednesday, but flatly said that retirement was not an option. "I don't believe in retirement," he said. Osborne has seven months left in Congress and didn't rule out another run for public office, but he made it clear that is unlikely to happen (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

Kyle Ringo, Boulder Daily Camera: In the first year of a new donor seating program, season-ticket renewals at Colorado were at 64% (registration).

Oklahoman: Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops lost consciousness for a few moments, but didn't lose his lunch during a ride with the Navy's Blue Angels (registration).

Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald: Chris Dukes and Joe Dailey were unhappy at Nebraska, but did the quarterbacks find what they were looking for after they transferred? (registration)

Melissa Pinion-Whitt, Ontario Daily Bulletin: Ivory Webb, the former Iowa receiver who shot an unarmed Air Force senior airman at the end of a car chase in January, no longer works for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

John Tomase, Boston Herald: It looks like Florida coach Urban Meyer has a new buddy in New England Patriot counterpart Bill Belichick.

John Maher, Austin American-Statesman: Texas is installing the world's largest high-definition screen in Royal-Memorial Stadium (registration).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Nebraska Republicans Say No to Osborne

Tom Osborne didn't experience losing often as Nebraska's coach and was 3-0 in the political arena, representing the state's Third District in the U.S. Congress since 2000. But Osborne lost his bid Tuesday to become Nebraska's governor in a humbling defeat to incumbent Dave Heineman in the Republican primary. At age 69, his political career has likely reached a dead end. Heineman, 57, finished with 50.43% of the vote, with Osborne getting 44.22% and Dave Nabity, 47, getting 5.35%. While Osborne carried Omaha and Lincoln, Heineman secured his victory by winning the rural counties. It was a stunning defeat for Osborne, given that polls had indicated a statistical dead heat between himself and Heineman entering Tuesday. "This is a tough one to take," Osborne told the Omaha World-Herald. "It's hard and, I guess, it's always hard to lose the last one." Said Loree Bykerk, a political science professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha: "When Osborne threw his hat into the ring, I don't remember anyone thinking he would lose. People were saying things like, 'Running against him was like running against God.' " ... Heineman will face Democratic nominee David Hahn, 50, in November (some registration).

Reporters' Notebooks

Brian Rosenthal, Lincoln Journal Star: Nebraska running back Cody Glenn escaped injury in an interstate crash that totaled his car.

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: Even though Mike Shula has a new contract to coach Alabama through Jan. 31, 2012, is it realistic to think he will be around to see the end of the deal?

Ray Melick, Birmingham News: The City of Birmingham spent Tuesday celebrating its return to the bowl business.

Evan Woodbery, Mobile Press-Register: Calvin Booker, who finished spring drills as Auburn's No. 3 quarterback, is transferring to Georgia Tech.

Kevin W. Smith, Arizona Daily Star: Arizona has spent $325,000 on a SportMotion simulator system that will utilize cameras, monitors and hardware to create accurate 3D computer animations of athletes.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

College Teams Play and the Public Pays

There is no doubt that college athletics is big business, so big that most universities need student fees and general school funds to help field teams. At the 164 biggest taxpayer-funded universities, more than $1 billion was pumped toward athletic budgets in 2004-05, according to a recent analysis by the Indianapolis Star. Without the outside funding, fewer than 10% of the athletic departments would have been able to support themselves, and most would have lost more than $5 million. There are stand-alone winners. Georgia, with its 92,020-seat Sanford Stadium, pictured above, leads the list, followed by Michigan, Kansas and Louisiana State. The paper has compiled the results in a database, and you can check your school by clicking here. And what would a player be worth to a university? The paper takes a stab at that question by using North Carolina and Illinois, the teams that advanced to the 2005 basketball title game, as an example.

Reporters' Notebook

Jeff Metcalfe, Arizona Republic: Arizona State's annual end-of-camp scrimmage won't be held at Camp Tontozona this fall.

Doug Haller, Arizona Republic: The Insight Bowl, which will feature a Big Ten-Big 12 matchup and is moving to Sun Devil Stadium, will be televised by the NFL Network.

Suzanne Halliburton, Austin American-Statesman: It was a busy day for Texas, which announced games against Arkansas, Texas El Paso, Texas Christian and Central Florida (registration).

John Helsley, Oklahoman: Can Oklahoma catch Texas in recruiting? It's a long way to the finish line, which gives the Sooners hope (registration).

Mike Baldwin, Oklahoman: Oklahoma State would appear to have plenty of depth at tailback with the addition of junior college transfer Dantrell Savage (registration).

Kevin Gorman, Tribune-Review: Prep quarterback Jeff Stewart, hoping to make an impression on Pitt assistant Matt Cavanaugh, knew which camp to attend.

Monday, May 08, 2006

They Don't Make Them Like They Used to

Ben Davidson likely would have gone unnoticed by today's recruiting services. Davidson, who is best remembered for his days with the unruly Oakland Raiders, didn't play high school ball and first put on a uniform while attending East L.A. College in 1957. It wasn't long before an opponent clipped him from behind. His reaction? "I reached into his helmet and there was his head, his face and right under my thumb I felt something like an eye socket," he said. "I gouged his eye a little. He screamed and ran off the field. That's when the light bulb went on in my head and I said, 'I can do this.' " Davidson eventually ended up at Washington, where he did more sitting than playing on two Rose Bowl teams, rotating between the second and third units. But somebody noticed his potential because when the NFL draft rolled around, he was drafted higher than any of his fellow Huskies.

Reporters' Notebooks

John Heuser, Ann Arbor News: If you get a chance to read only one piece today, check out this gem on former Michigan running back Tony Boles.

Doug Lesmerises, Plain Dealer: At Ohio State, they have class, which is a reason Buckeye players trying to make NFL rosters are forced to show up late for work.

Scott Wolf, L.A. Daily News: Chauncey Washington appears to have regained his eligibility, meaning he likely will be USC's starting tailback.

Joe Starkey, Tribune-Review: Angry? You betcha. Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt let it be known that receiver Greg Lee's decision to leave early — then not get drafted — was a big mistake.

Carter Strickland, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The addition of the 12th game will likely mean that true freshmen will see increased playing time (registration).

Dave Matter, Columbia Tribune: A lack of talent? Missouri's 11 players under contract in the NFL rank ninth in the Big 12, ahead of only Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Did USC Attorney Call It Quits?

Despite appearances, not everybody gets accepted to USC. At least that appears to be the case for the daughter of super-attorney Carmen Trutanich, who was retained so frequently by troubled Trojan players that the NCAA and Pacific 10 eventually conducted an investigation into his role with the team. No wrongdoing was found, and it was expected Trutanich would be retained by quarterback Mark Sanchez, who recently was arrested on sexual assault charges. But Sanchez pulled a stunner by hiring Leonard Levine, a UCLA graduate. L.A. Daily News reporter Scott Wolf may have uncovered the reason Trutanich is not representing Sanchez. Wolf reports on his blog that Trutanich is upset that his daughter did not get accepted to USC and, as a result, will no longer represent Trojan players. Wolf did ask Trutanich for his opinion on the case against Sanchez. "From what I'm hearing from people, it looks like a weak case," he said. Trutanich previously represented Trojans' Herschel Dennis and Eric Wright in sexual assault cases.

Reporters' Notebooks

Tim Bisel, Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas State and Miami have reached agreement on a home-and-home series for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Howard Richman, Kansas City Star: Fear of commitment? Not a problem for Kansas State, which has 13 players lined up for its class of 2007 (registration).

Chris Low, Tennessean: A decline in prep talent in the state of Tennessee might be part of the problem for Volunteer coach Phillip Fulmer.

Paul Finebaum, Mobile Press-Register: Don't count out Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom, who has taken his lumps but remains confident that he is building a winner.

Dave Curtis, Orlando Sentinel: Florida coach Urban Meyer isn't afraid to say that his team sits on the brink of greatness.

Andrew J. Beckner, Charleston Daily Mail: West Virginia is on pace to sell more than 40,000 season tickets.

Paul Strelow, Columbia State: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden's pitch for a new building to house football operations appears to be gaining momentum.

Joseph Person, Columbia State: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier wants to add up to 8,000 seats to Williams-Brice Stadium.

Michael Kiefer, Arizona Republic: Former Arizona State running back Loren Wade, charged with first-degree murder, was denied a request for a plea deal.

Steve Batterson, Quad City Times: Iowa received an oral commitment from a receiver who is regarded as the state's top prep prospect.

Armando Salguero, Miami Herald: Former Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick, invited to the Miami Dolphins' minicamp, is not expected to get an offer from the team (registration).