Vols receive minor violation for Fulmer

Tennessee has reported a minor NCAA violation that involved athletic director Phillip Fulmer instructing offensive linemen during a football practice. This was one of eight Level III athletics violations that Tennessee reported over the last six months of 2018. They were obtained through a public records request and first reported by the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Fulmer, a former Tennessee football coach, was attending a Sept. 11 practice when he gave instructions to two offensive linemen. That violates an NCAA bylaw limiting that type of instruction to official members of the coaching staff. School officials said he was "acting on instinct" and that his communication with the two players lasted less than 30 seconds. Fulmer was prevented from attending football practice for five days as part of the Southeastern Conference's penalty.
January 17, 2019

Tide QB Jalen Hurts transferring to Oklahoma

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley could not help but admire Jalen Hurts from a distance. He respected how the Alabama quarterback who lost his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa put the team above his pride. Hurts could have transferred right after Alabama went another direction, as so many quarterbacks do these days. Instead, he stuck it out and delivered a moment for the ages. After Tagovailoa went down with an injured ankle during the SEC title game against Georgia, Hurts rallied the Crimson Tide to victory. "Could not be more impressed with Jalen Hurts, how he handled that," Riley said as Oklahoma prepared to face Alabama in the playoff last month. "Big fan of that kid and how that entire situation was managed." Riley will get to know Hurts a lot better soon: The quarterback announced Wednesday in a story in the Players' Tribune that he will transfer to Oklahoma. He will be available immediately as a graduate transfer. "So to my about-to-be family in Norman, I truly appreciate you for bringing me on board. Y'all don't know me yet... but just for now, to introduce myself: I'm a motivated coach's son from the Eastside of Houston, and I love to play ball," Hurts wrote. Hurts leaves Alabama with 5,626 yards and 48 touchdowns passing and 1,976 yards and 23 touchdowns rushing. If he starts for the Sooners in their wide-open offense, more huge numbers are possible. If so, he will follow in the footsteps of Kyler Murray, another dual threat maestro who is currently deciding whether to play in the NFL or Major League Baseball. Murray waited his turn behind future No. 1 NFL draft pick Baker Mayfield, then delivered the second-most efficient passing season in FBS history while rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Riley's short history with transfers is spectacular. Murray transferred from Texas A&M before winning the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma this past season. Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech before winning the Heisman at Oklahoma in 2017. Neither was very efficient in their stops before playing for Riley. Hurts could be next in line to make a dramatic leap. "I'm very fortunate to have this opportunity, and I'm excited for the journey ahead," he said. Thirteen months ago, Hurts was a two-year starter who led Alabama to a pair of national championship games and was Southeastern Conference offensive player of the year as a freshman. In the 2018 national title game, with Alabama down big at halftime against Georgia, Tagovailoa replaced him and led the Crimson Tide to victory. Tagovailoa then beat out Hurts for the starting job heading into this past season and finished second in the Heisman voting. Hurts finished the season with 765 yards passing and 167 yards rushing. Hurts should help Oklahoma smooth its transition from Murray at quarterback. Last year's backup, Austin Kendall, is expected to transfer. Tanner Mordecai, a freshman last season, is the only quarterback currently on scholarship for the Sooners. Five-star recruit Spencer Rattler, the consensus No. 1 quarterback in the Class of 2019, is committed to the Sooners. Hurts has a special place in Alabama history. When he graduated with a degree in public relations, he got a standing ovation as he walked across the stage. "And to my Bama family, once again, THANK YOU - for everything. It's been a great three years. I'll love you until the end of time!" he said.
January 16, 2019

Colorado State coach turns down $100K raise after 3-9 season

Colorado State football coach Mike Bobo declined a $100,000 pay increase for next season after the Rams struggled to a 3-9 record. Bobo called director of athletics Joe Parker shortly after the season ended to announce he would forego a raise due to him next season. Bobo said he believed "accountability is a two-way street" in an interview posted Tuesday on the school's website. Parker said the gesture "really speaks to the character of Mike Bobo." The 44-year-old Bobo dealt with health issues leading up to the 2018 season opener. He was hospitalized for peripheral neuropathy after experiencing numbness in his feet. It made walking the sideline difficult for him all season. Bobo is 24-27 in four seasons with the Rams.
January 8, 2019

Vince Young, Rocket Ismail highlight Hall of Fame class

Texas quarterback Vince Young and Notre Dame speedster Raghib Ismail have been selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, along with 11 other players and two coaches. Young was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship with a memorable performance in the Rose Bowl against Southern California. Ismail, better known as Rocket, was an electric receiver and kick returner for the Fighting Irish and the Heisman runner-up in 1990. The rest of the players to be enshrined at the National Football Foundation's award banquet in December include Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Oklahoma defensive back Rickey Dixon, John Carroll linebacker London Fletcher, Texas A&M defensive lineman Jacob Green, North Carolina State receiver Torry Holt, Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer, USC defensive back Troy Polamalu, Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Florida State defensive back Terrell Buckley, Michigan State running back Lorenzo White and Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis. Dennis Erickson, who coached Miami to two national championships, and Joe Taylor, who won 233 games at historically black colleges, were selected for induction as coaches. Young was the first FBS player to pass for more than 3,000 yards and run for more than 1,000, leading Texas to an undefeated season in 2005. Against USC in the Rose Bowl, Young passed for 267 yards, ran for 200 and scrambled for a game-winning touchdown on fourth down with 19 seconds left in a 41-38 victory. Ismail was part of Notre Dame's 1988 national championship team and had six return touchdowns in his career, including five on kickoffs. He is best remembered for taking two kicks back for touchdowns against Michigan in 1989. McFadden was a two-time Heisman runner-up, coming in second behind Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith in 2006 and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in 2007. The Goodyear Blimp was also named an honorary member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
January 3, 2019

UConn asks court to dismiss complaint by ex-coach Ollie

The University of Connecticut asked a judge Friday to dismiss a complaint filed by former basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who contends his firing was in part racially motivated. The school argues that the federal court doesn't have jurisdiction and Ollie doesn't make a specific claim under federal law in his complaint, which was filed this month. UConn also says the former coach's lawyer never notified the school that he planned to bring the complaint despite a conference call between the sides minutes before the motion was filed. The school's lawyers described that as an "apparent attempt to deprive the university of the opportunity to be heard." Both sides made oral arguments Friday and U.S. District Court Judge Kari Dooley set another hearing for Jan. 25. UConn fired Ollie in March after a 14-18 season, citing NCAA violations. The school said because the firing was "for cause" it did not have to pay the coach about $10 million left on his contract. Ollie filed an internal grievance seeking that money and the case is now headed to arbitration. Ollie, who is black, argues in his complaint, he was treated differently from former coach Jim Calhoun, who is white. Calhoun wasn't fired after being penalized for recruiting violations. Ollie also contends the university has illegally tried to deter him from pursuing a state or federal racial discrimination case. The school's collective bargaining agreement with the union that represents Ollie states that UConn is not obligated to follow its internal grievance process, which includes arbitration, if the employee "seeks to resolve the matter in any other forum, whether administrative or judicial." Ollie's attorneys want the judge to order the school to continue arbitration even if he pursues a complaint with the state's Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The school says the argument is moot because it has never indicated it would end arbitration if he pursued a discrimination complaint and he has yet to file such a complaint.
December 28, 2018

ECU names Nicole Mealing new women's basketball acting head coach

East Carolina University assistant women's basketball coach Nicole Mealing will fill in as head coach for the rest of the season. Interim head coach Chad Killinger, who led the Pirates to a convincing 9-2 record in his first season as the head coach, the team's best start in the past six seasons, is taking a leave of absence to deal with a non-life threatening health issue that came after a recent medical evaluation. Mealing has served as an assistant coach for ECU for the past three years, but has been in Greenville for the past seven years.
December 27, 2018

Sooners Murray named AP Player of the Year

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been named The Associated Press college football Player of the Year, the AP announced Thursday. Murray is the second straight OU quarterback and fifth Sooner overall to win the award since it was established in 1998. He received 39 first-place votes and a total of 145 points, topping finalists Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama (117 points) and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State (55 points) in voting among 56 AP college football poll voters who submitted player of the year ballots. Murray joins former Sooners Josh Heupel (2000), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008) and Baker Mayfield (2017) as previous winners from Oklahoma. No other school has had more than two players win AP Player of the Year. "It's humbling and an honor to be named AP Player of the Year - to be mentioned in the same realm as a lot of great players, a lot of hall of famers," said Murray. "It's a special deal for me and hopefully I can continue to make my family and teammates proud. It's been a long journey with a lot of waiting, but I think it's all been worth it. All the hard work with my teammates has really paid off." "It's been a long journey with a lot of waiting, but I think it's all been worth it." Murray leads the nation in total yards (school-record 4,945), points responsible for (306), passing efficiency rating (205.7; FBS record is 198.9), yards per pass attempt (11.9; FBS record is 11.1) and yards per completion (16.8; tied). He also ranks second in completion percentage (.709; first among Power Five players). The Allen, Texas, product has completed 241 of 340 passes this year for 4,053 yards and 40 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He has also rushed for 892 yards and another 11 scores. He needs 108 rushing yards to become just the second player in FBS history to throw for at least 4,000 and run for at least 1,000 in a season (Clemson's DeShaun Watson did it in 2015 with 4,109 passing and 1,105 rushing in 15 games). Murray has thrown at least two touchdown passes in 12 of 13 games this season, and has thrown at least three TD passes in 10 contests. He had his school- and Big 12-record streak of eight games with at least three TD passes snapped in a win against Oklahoma State on Nov. 10.

Other award winners:

Maxwell Award College Player of the Year Winner: Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama Finalists : Kyler Murray, Oklahoma; Will Grier, West Virginia
Chuck Bednarik Award College Defensive Player of the Year Winner: Josh Allen, Kentucky Finalists: Quinnen Williams, Alabama; Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Biletnikoff Award Outstanding receiver Winner: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama Finalists: Andy Isabella, Massachusetts; Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award Nation's outstanding kicker Winner: Andre Szmyt, Syracuse Finalists: Cooper Rothe, Wyoming; Cole Tracy, LSU
Ray Guy Award College Punter of the Year Winner: Braden Mann, Texas A&M Finalists: James Smith, Cincinnati; Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah
Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Nation's best quarterback Winner: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma Other Finalists: Gardner Minshew, Washington State; Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Outland Trophy Nation's best interior lineman Winner: Quinnen Williams, Alabama Finalists: Christian Wilkins, Clemson; Jonah Williams, Alabama
Jim Thorpe Award Nation's best defensive back Winner: DeAndre Baker, Georgia Finalists: Julian Love, Notre Dame; Greedy Williams, LSU
Doak Walker Award Nation's premier running back Winner: Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin Badgers Finalists: Travis Etienne, Clemson Tigers; Darrell Henderson, Memphis Tigers
Bronko Nagurski Award Best defensive player Winner: Josh Allen, Kentucky
Butkus Award Best linebacker Winner: Devin White, LSU
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Best senior quarterback Winner: Gardner Minshew, Washington State
Burlsworth Trophy Most outstanding player who began as a walk-on Winner: Hunter Renfrow, Clemson
Walter Camp National Player of Year Winner: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
John Mackey Award Best tight end Winner: T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
AP Coach of the Year Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Lambert Trophy Best linebacker Josh Allen, Kentucky December 17, 2018

NCAA penalizes Oregon for hoops, track and field violations

The NCAA has imposed two years of probation on Oregon after finding the school violated rules related to the men's and women's basketball teams and the track and field program. The NCAA said women's basketball coach Kelly Graves failed to "monitor and promote an atmosphere of compliance in his program." He must serve a two-game suspension this season. The team is 7-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country. That infraction stemmed from an assistant strength coach's participation in on-court activities during and after practices, which caused the team to exceed the number of allowable coaches. The NCAA found men's coach Dana Altman failed to properly monitor his director of basketball operations, who took part in or observed at least 64 individual voluntary workouts in violation of NCAA rules. Also, the NCAA said an adjunct instructor changed a grade for a track and field athlete, allowing the competitor to remain eligible. The decision said the football program improperly used an electronic reader board in the team's facilities for recruiting purposes. The team immediately stopped after being told it may be out of compliance. Oregon received notice of the allegations last December. At that time, the university said it self-reported the infractions and acknowledged that they occurred, but disagreed with the level that the NCAA assigned to some of them, including the charges involving the head coaches. Oregon said it had already taken steps to address the issues. "I regret that some members of my staff made errors of judgment, and I have taken actions to ensure that it doesn't happen again," Graves said in a statement when the university received notice. "I am steadfastly committed to building a winning program at the UO that operates in full compliance with NCAA bylaws and is committed to the highest levels of integrity." The director of basketball operations, Josh Jameison, was suspended by Altman for one month. He must also attend NCAA rules seminars for the next two years. The school said the faculty member changed the grade of the track athlete from failing to passing contingent on the athlete completing the work. The university removed the athlete from competition and reported the violation to the NCAA, which determined it was an impermissible academic benefit. The name of the athlete was not made public by the NCAA. All records in which the athlete participated in while ineligible must be vacated. In addition to the probation and Graves' suspension, the NCAA said the men's team must reduce the number of coaches at a regular practice by five hours this season, which the women's team much do the same for 10 hours this season. The school was also fined $5,000 plus 1 percent of the men's and women's basketball budgets.
December 5, 2018

Brown Inducted Into NFF College Football Hall Of Fame

The New York Hilton Midtown's Grand Ballroom played host to an all-star cast of history's greatest football legends and the sport's most promising student-athletes during the 61st National Football Foundation (NFF) Annual Awards Dinner tonight. A celebrity-laden College Football Hall of Fame class took center stage at the event during their formal induction, and 13 of the game's current-leading student-athletes collected $241,000 in postgraduate scholarships as NFF National Scholar-Athletes. The festivities began with Clemson's Christian Wilkins being declared the recipient of the 29th William V. Campbell Trophy® as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation, and the evening culminated with a poignant speech from Hall of Fame inductee Mack Brown responding on behalf of the 2018 class. A packed house of 1,600, including more than 80 current collegiate head coaches and 40 returning Hall of Famers attended the event, which took place for the second year at the New York Hilton Midtown. ESPN's Joe Tessitore, the voice of "Monday Night Football," entertained the crowd as the emcee for the annual celebration, which lived up to its historic role of bringing the college football community together at the end of the regular season to pay tribute to the game and its greatest legends. The 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class was introduced by NFF Board Member Archie Griffin, a Hall of Fame running back from Ohio State. The class included Trevor Cobb (Rice), Kerry Collins (Penn State), Dave Dickenson (Montana), Dana Howard (Illinois), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Paul Palmer (Temple), Ed Reed (Miami [Fla.]), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia), Aaron Taylor (Nebraska), Charles Woodson (Michigan) and coaches Frank Beamer (Murray State, Virginia Tech), Mack Brown (Appalachian State, Tulane, North Carolina, Texas) and Mel Tjeerdsma (Austin College [Texas], Northwest Missouri State). NFF Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Archie Manning (Mississippi) conducted the Official Hall of Fame Ring Ceremony. The 10 players and three coaches bring the total number of players in the Hall of Fame to 997 and the number of coaches to 217. Brown, the former coach and current ESPN broadcaster who won a national championship at Texas and led his teams to 22 bowl games during a remarkable 30-year career at four schools, responded on behalf of the 2018 Class. "I'm honored to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame," said Coach Brown. "I'm also very appreciative that I get to speak tonight. First we'd all like to thank our families, because coaches' and players' families are really on a rollercoaster. It's up and down, coaches are gone a lot and you spend a lot more time with other people's kids sometimes than your own. And our families have been wonderful examples for us, and all of us have great families here with us tonight, so thank you very much… "Football is the ultimate team sport. It's not about any of us. It's about a village. It's about family. It's about years of people that have pulled together to make something really, really special…When you ask yourself, 'Why football?' When you ask yourself, 'Does coaching matter?' And you ask yourself, 'Does football matter?' Just look around. Yes it does."
December 4, 2018

SEC fines Texas A&M $50,000 after Aggie students flood field

The Southeastern Conference is fining Texas A&M University $50,000 after Aggie fans surged onto the field after A&M's 74-72 win in the seventh overtime period over No. 12 LSU on Saturday. The SEC said the field invasion violates the conference's competition area policy. The $50,000 fine is for a first violation. A second offense would bring a fine of up to $100,000, while a third and subsequent violations would bring fines of up to $250,000. The conference said it also "remains in contact" with A&M and LSU officials regarding reports of a postgame altercation between A&M and LSU staff members. That is according to a report by The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
November 26, 2018