Washington State's Anthony Gordon leads North in Senior Bowl

Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon is used to waiting his turn. Gordon, who didn't start until his senior year, led the North to three touchdowns in the third quarter in a 31-17 victory over the South in the Senior Bowl on Saturday. The Cougars' prolific passer entered the all-star game for senior NFL prospects after halftime and twice took the North downfield. "I came out swinging when it was my time," said Gordon, who wore the No. 3 jersey in honor of late Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski.. "I guess that kind of correlates to my time at Washington State. I spent a lot of time waiting, but when my time came I was ready." Gordon, who finished second nationally in passing yards and touchdowns, completed 8 of 12 passes for 69 yards and two short touchdowns. That included a 2-yard touchdown pass to Notre Dame's Chase Claypool for a second straight big third-down completion. An off-balance Gordon then hit Liberty's Antonio Gandy-Golden late in the third for a 5-yard TD. It was set up with an interception by Troy Pride Jr. of Notre Dame. "My baseball background allows me to throw the ball from some unorthodox angles and AGG making that play for me was big time," Gordon said. The former high school baseball player backed up Luke Falk and Gardner Minshew before getting his turn. The game's most highly touted passer, Justin Herbert of Oregon, shined for the South and was named game MVP. The likely first-round pick was 9- of 12 for 83 yards and a touchdown, all in the first quarter, and added a 19-yard run. "In this day and age in the NFL, you've got to be able to make some plays with your feet and be able to create a little bit," said South coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals. Michigan's Shea Patterson delivered the game's biggest offensive play and passed for 131 yards. He opened the second quarter with a 75-yard touchdown pass on his first play. TCU running back Darius Anderson was wide open on a wheel route and sprinted down the left sideline. Anderson had just 128 yards receiving last season, but had 87 in this one to go with 43 rushing yards. The North's Joshua Kelley of UCLA had a game-high 105 yards on 15 rushes. The game featured two-minute drives to end each quarter. One of the game's top-rated prospects, South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, sat out the game with quad tendinitis, according to Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy.
January 26, 2020

Dartmouth's Lalos an MVP at Hula Bowl

Dartmouth defensive end Niko Lalos earned Most Valuable Player honors for Team Aina in its 23-7 loss to Team Kai at the Hula Bowl Sunday night in Honolulu. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Lalos, a first-team All-Ivy League selection as a senior, had six tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble. "I just want to thank all my teammates, you guys are a great group of guys. I had a blast this week. And the coaches, you guys are great, taught me a lot," Lalos said afterward. Idaho State wide receiver Michael Dean, at 5-6 the smallest player in the all-star classic, scored Team Aina's lone touchdown on a 28-yard reception. Several dozen players from the FCS level were included on the rosters as the Hula Bowl, which dates to the 1946 season, was played for the first time since 2008. Former NFL coaches Rex Ryan and Mike Smith led the Kai (Ocean) and Aina (Land) squads, respectively. Kansas State defensive end Reggie Walker was the MVP for Team Kai.
January 27, 2020

Big 12 suspends 4 players from KU-KSU brawl 25 games total

The Big 12 suspended four players from Kansas and Kansas State a combined 25 games Wednesday for their roles in a melee that spilled off the court and into a section of disabled seating in Allen Fieldhouse near the end of the third-ranked Jayhawks' win over the Wildcats. Kansas forward Silvio De Sousa, who already was suspended indefinitely by Jayhawks coach Bill Self, was given a 12-game suspension by the league office. His teammate, David McCormack, was suspended two games while Kansas State forward James Love received an eight-game suspension and Antonio Gordon got a three-game suspension. Both schools also were reprimanded by the Big 12 for violations of its sportsmanship policy. "This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last night's events," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter." De Sousa was the main instigator on the Kansas side Tuesday night, getting stripped of the ball as he was dribbling out the final seconds of an 81-60 win. He recovered to block a layup attempt by the Wildcats' DaJuan Gordon, then stood over the freshman in a taunting manner, triggering both benches to empty in a scrum that spilled into fans. At one point, De Sousa was preparing to swing a stool when it was plucked from his hands, and several players from both teams threw wild punches while a sellout crowd in Allen Fieldhouse watched in shock. "I have suspended Silvio De Sousa indefinitely pending the final outcome of the review by KU and the Big 12 Conference," Self said shortly after discussing the incident on the league's weekly conference call with reporters. "As I said last night, we are disappointed in his actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior." Kansas (15-3) has played six conference games, which means De Sousa's suspension from the Big 12 would last through the end of the regular season. The Jayhawks are a half-game back of top-ranked Baylor in the league standings, and they have a team that is capable of making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. "Obviously an unfortunate situation," said Dan Gavitt, the NCAA vice president for men's basketball. "It's a conference game so it will be up to the Big 12 to determine what actions need to be taken. Other than that, it's too early to say how it might affect them (in the NCAA Tournament)." Self said he spoke with a fan who was caught up in the melee, and that she was banged around "to the point where I'm sure we'll correspond with her today to see how she's feeling." "Obviously it's embarrassing," Self said. "It's not something to be proud of." Games between Kansas and Kansas State are always testy affairs, and for all but the final seconds their meeting at Allen Fieldhouse was rather subdued. The Jayhawks used a 19-2 run midway through the first half to seize control and the outcome was never in doubt the final 30 minutes. The fight drew comparisons to the brawl between Cincinnati and Xavier in December 2011 that left players bloodied and college basketball fans aghast. Eight players wound up suspended for a total of 30 games. Kansas State coach Bruce Weber told his players to allow the Jayhawks to dribble out the clock, and he was walking toward the scorer's table to shake hands with Self when the benches emptied. Both coaches eventually joined members of their staff, security officials and even Kansas cheerleaders in trying to separate the players. "Very, very sad by the event that happened last night," said Weber, adding the school would issue its own punishments soon. "It's sad and disappointing and you know, it leaves a bad picture for everybody. And I've been in this for a long time and you see it happen occasionally and you think you're not going too be part of it and obviously I was part of it - we were part of it - and its sad for college basketball, the game that I love and I've been part of basically all my life." The fracas continued a particularly difficult 12 months for Self and the Jayhawks, and De Sousa has played a big part in most of it. His name surfaced as part of the FBI probe into college basketball in October 2018, and that in part led to an NCAA investigation that resulted in a notice of allegations last September outlining major violations tied to recruiting in men's basketball. Those violations are being appealed and a decision is not expected until later this year. De Sousa was initially suspended for two seasons for his role in the case - last season and this season - and the school spent significant resources appealing the punishment. It eventually was reduced, allowing the junior forward to play this season.
January 22, 2020

FCS players impress at Shrine, NFLPA bowls

Former Illinois State running back James Robinson said he loves the doubters. Robinson, teammate Luther Kirk and more than two dozen players from the FCS level helped make believers with impressive performances at the two college football all-star games Saturday. Kirk and Robinson were standouts for the West in its 31-27 loss to the East at the 95th East-West Shrine Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. Chattanooga quarterback Nick Tiano won MVP honors following the National team's 30-20 victory over the American squad at the 9th NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Pasadena, California. Robinson, who capped his Illinois State career with over 1,900 rushing yards as a senior, gained 136 yards from scrimmage - 80 on seven carries and 56 on two receptions. Included was a 63-yard touchdown that was the longest run in the history of the game. Kirk, a safety, had an interception that led to a West touchdown and two tackles, claiming defensive MVP honors. "Today was great for me and Luther and we love the doubters," Robinson said. "For all the FCS players out there, remember playing at small schools doesn't mean anything. Keep working hard and show how talented you are." Also for the West, Montana linebacker Dante Olson, winner of the 2019 Stats Perform Buck Buchanan Award, had a team-high seven tackles, and Bucknell's Alex Pechin averaged 41.4 yards on five punts, dropping three inside the 30. East standouts included Princeton quarterback Kevin Davidson, who completed 6 of 11 passes for 51 yards, and Rhode Island wide receiver Aaron Parker, who caught two passes for 35 yards. At the NFLPA game, Tiano was 8 of 10 for 135 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass, in the National team's win. He teamed behind center with San Diego's Reid Sinnett, who was 9 of 16 for 93 yards with 13 more on the ground. "It was a good night," Tiano said. "For us small-school guys, this was a big opportunity to come out here and show what we can do." Tennessee State wide receiver Chris Rowland caught three passes for 15 yards and returned punts for the National team. For the American squad, Western Illinois defensive tackle LaCale London totaled five tackles and a forced fumble, South Dakota State linebacker Christian Rozeboom had four tackles and Weber State defensive end Jonah Williams added three stops, while Northern Colorado quarterback Jacob Knipp was 3 of 5 for 9 yards and Cal Poly's J.J. Koski caught a 20-yard pass.
January 20, 2020

LSU probing Beckham's apparent on-field payments to players

LSU has contacted officials from the NCAA and Southeastern Conference about Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr.'s apparent cash payments to Tigers players on the field after the national championship game, a university spokesman said. LSU athletics spokesman Michael Bonnette said initial information suggested that Beckham handed out "novelty bills" to players after the top-ranked Tigers defeated Clemson on Monday night. However, further investigation showed that Beckham may have given away real money, Bonnette said. "Information and footage reviewed since shows apparent cash may have also been given to LSU student-athletes," Bonnette said in a statement. "We were in contact with the NCAA and the SEC immediately upon learning of this situation in which some of our student-athletes may have been placed in a compromising position. We are working with our student-athletes, the NCAA and the SEC in order to rectify the situation." Beckham starred for LSU from 2011 to 2013 and was a first-round draft pick by the New York Giants. He was traded to Cleveland before last season. Videos posted on social media showed Beckham placing money in the hand of LSU receiver Justin Jefferson and celebrating with players in LSU's locker room in the Superdome. Jefferson, who just completed his junior season, is eligible to turn pro and enter this spring's NFL draft. LSU graduate transfer quarterback Joe Burrow, who has exhausted his college eligibility and is expected to be a top NFL draft choice this year, said on a Barstool Sports podcast that it appeared to him Beckham was handing out actual cash. The NCAA does not allow players to receive cash benefits while playing college football. Those rules are designed to prevent institutions from luring talent through the promise of direct or indirect payments.
January 15, 2020