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Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 3:46 pm
 

MWC and C-USA forming new conference

Posted by Tom Fornelli



CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported on Monday that both the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA would be dissolving to form a new conference starting in the 2013 school season.
The new league – which is yet to be named – is expected to consist of Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference.

Temple also is a possibility as the school was contacted by Conference USA, sources told CBSSports.com, when the Big East last week opted to invited Memphis instead of Temple.
It's a move that has been discussed and speculated for a while now, ever since the conference landscape began shifting so abrubtly last year. Now, however, it's official.

And you can't have an official conference without an official conference name, and as McMurphy pointed out in his story, the conference doesn't have one yet. Which means that its time to make your voice heard in two ways:

1. By heading over to the Eye On College Football page on Facebook and voting for your choice in our poll

2. By leaving the name you've come up with that we should have had in that poll in the comment section of this post. We'll use the best suggestions in another post tomorrow.

Though we can't guarantee that they'll listen to us, by working together, we can do our best to make sure this new conference has the name it deserves ... or at least, a nickname it deserves.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: September 19, 2011 12:04 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 12:05 pm
 

Iowa State mascot suffers broken arm

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Iowa State got off to a 3-0 start to the season for the first time since 2005 after beating UConn on Friday night, but it appears the team did not return from Connecticut unscathed. The team's mascot, Cy, suffered a broken arm during the game. How he suffered that broken arm is also in question.

According to the police report, there was no foul play involved, and Zane Brugenhemke merely tripped on the stairs while wearing the mascot uniform.

“The police determined there was no physical altercation tied to the event and no charges were filed,” UConn athletic department spokesman Mike Enright told the Hartford Courant. “Instead, it was determined that the injuries were caused when the student in the mascot costume tripped down the stairs. These facts were confirmed by the student mascot in an interview with police.” 

Now Brugenhemke told police during the interview that he tripped on his own, but on his Facebook page he had a different story. That's where, after posting the photo of himself with an arm in a sling, Brugenhemke claims a UConn fan "pushed me out of the stands...eight foot drop onto concrete." Then there was another witness report from a local fire official who told the state police that Brugenhemke had gone into the stands to celebrate, and after his wing hit a student, that student then pushed Brugenhemke, causing him to fall.

So I don't know what to believe happened on Friday night. All I know for sure is that no charges have been filed due to the incident, and that a bird can't fly with a broken wing. So there will be a new person occupying the Iowa State mascot's body next week.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Welcome to Compliance 2.0

Posted by Chip Patterson

North Carolina's Notice of Allegations, delivered to the school earlier this week by the NCAA, is certainly stocked with all kinds of facts, figures, and redacted information to be discussed and debated between now and the Oct. 28 hearing with Committee on Infractions. The case will end up being a standard for NCAA enforcement in modern college football history. It may be buried well below the lede on Sportscenter, but trust me: we will remember this case.

One aspect of the case that is particularly notable is in alleged violation 9b.
In February through June 2010, the institution did not adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity that visibly illustrated potential amateurism violations within the football program, which delayed the institution's discovery and compounded the provision of impermissible benefits provided in Allegation Nos. 4-a, 4-c, 4-d and 4-e.
This is where the entire investigation started. All 42 pages of letters and allegations can be summed up in a series of 140-character tweets from Greg Little and Marvin Austin. Well, technically, it was a combination of tweeting some Rick Ross lyrics, TwitPic'ing pool parties and expensive dinner bills, along with some other loose evidence of misconduct.

So the NCAA is wondering how North Carolina's compliance office did not see a red flag when their star student athletes were living a lavish lifestyle in big cities the summer before their senior season. Now, being charged with Failure To Monitor, this case becomes the NCAA's official acknowledgement of social networking in collegiate sports.

Unfortunately, they are probably entering the game a little too late. Acting reactively, as usual, the NCAA has essentially let compliance offices all over the country know that this is something they should be monitoring closely. Here's the thing: it's really not that hard.

Make Twitter lists, download Tweetdeck, organize the accounts however you choose -- there of plenty of options. If the "search" function is too difficult to figure out, then require athletes to include their Twitter handle at the same time you get the rest of their contact information. Most of these student-athletes (particularly the ones most at-risk of impermissible benefits) will want as many people as possible to have unprotected access to their Twitter accounts. Amateurism rules prevent an athlete from benefiting off their own likeness financially, but Twitter allows a pro prospect to begin marketing themselves while in school. Certain athletes enjoy building their brand, interacting with fans and getting a more hands-on approach to shaping people's perception.

All the compliance office has to do is watch, and ask questions.

Recently Maryland defensive lineman and Twitter extraodinaire A.J. Francis (@The_Franchyze) tweeted a lyrics from a song by Rick Ross (surprise!) and Kanye West -- "Live Fast, Die Young."
Seems like we getting' money for the wrong things,
Look around Maseratis for the whole team.
Now, someone with a common knowledge of the lyrics on Ross' 2010 release Teflon Don might recognize that quote. But none of those people are in Maryland's compliance office. To them, this seemed like a questionable Twitter-post that could possibly be dealing with impermissible benefits. No need to launch an investigation, but the office took action.



Now Francis was asked to remove the post, but I think once Compliance explained the situation he understood. There could be a discussion about free speech, but we have yet to see a Chad Ochocinco-type character challenge the authority of his school on those grounds. But the point of the matter is that if North Carolina's compliance office had been keeping an eye on the profiles of its star athletes, there could have been more immediate action to nip the wrongdoing in the bud.

So the message has been sent to compliance offices everywhere. It's time to wake up and follow your student-athletes on their social networking sites. The fans are, most of the media is, and for both of those groups to find out about a potential violations well before the compliance office is unacceptable.

Go ahead, just follow them. Trust me, most student-athletes will be happy to raise their follower/friend count.

(Image Credit: Twitter)
Posted on: February 7, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Seto out as UCLA defensive coordinator

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week UCLA hired Rocky Seto to be its new defensive coordinator. Seto, who used to be an assistant at USC under Pete Carroll, was pretty excited about the new job. In fact, he was so excited about it, that he even announced that he'd gotten the job on his Facebook page so all of his friends could click "Like" and leave comments saying "Congrats! xoxo"

Well, UCLA did not click like. In fact, if there had been a button that said "Fire," they'd have clicked that. Since there isn't a "Fire" button, the Bruins did the only other thing they could do. They just fired Seto.

Yes, it seems that UCLA took umbrage to Seto announcing that he was the school's new defensive coordinator on Facebook, as I guess UCLA still considers itself a MySpace stalwart. Apparently this caused a lot of fan backlash amongst the faithful who had been hoping that Randy Shannon or somebody else would get the job over the inexperienced Seto.

Whatever the case, let this be a lesson to the rest of you. Facebook is to be used for nothing more than posting party pictures, pictures of your children, and helping you remember all of your friend's birthdays. That's it. If you have to play that farm game, fine, but there are a lot better games out there that you could be wasting your time with.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 3:24 pm
 

LSU's Ridley declares for draft on Facebook

Posted by Chip Patterson

We sit in the era of social media, and while reporters try to be the first to tweet out breaking news - some athletes have become savvy enough to beat the public to the punch.  LSU running back Stevan Ridley has decided to launch his NFL Draft Facebook campaign with a video of his draft declaration.  

Ridley thanked his family, teammates, and the many coaches and administrators at LSU in this video on his Facebook page.  He wished his best to the team in 2011, and let his fans know that they can keep up with Ridley's draft preparation and interact with Stevan on his Facebook page.

For a prospect like Ridley, who is absent from CBSSports.com's recent mock drafts and is only ranked #21 of all junior running backs, the social media campaign can be a way to raise your status heading into draft day.  With such a flood of talented players in the game right now, and so many teams using multiple running backs in their rotation, all Ridley needs to do is catch the eye of one team to get his best shot at making an impression in the NFL.  

Players who are able to develop a following through social media may carry more intangible upside than a player who grades better in a few combine drills.  When sometimes all players need is a chance, we are entering an age where you have to work every angle you've got.  In the Not For Long league, that includes building your own fan base.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 5:50 pm
 

Join us for tonight's game

Posted by Tom Fornelli



Tonight is a bittersweet evening for us here at the College Football Blog.  On the surface, we're all extremely excited for the title game between Auburn and Oregon tonight.  No matter how you feel about the BCS and the way that college football settles things, it's hard to argue that the matchup between these two teams isn't as good as it will get in college football this season.

Underneath all of that, though, remains one rather depressing fact. After tonight, we don't have any more college football games for nearly nine months.  That's an entire pregnancy.  That's right, an entire living human can be conceived and formed in the time that will pass before you get to see your favorite schools line up on a Saturday afternoon again.

Still, we'll deal with that crippling withdrawal when we have to.  For now, we soldier on and look forward to the legends that tonight will bring.  No matter where you're watching the game, just know that the boys and I will have you covered.  If you like, you can join me, Tom Fornelli, over on our Facebook page as I'll be holding a live chat throughout the game.  If Twitter is more your thing, then follow our Twitter account (@CBSSportsNCAAF) where Adam Jacobi will be making observations about what he sees.  Or, if the social media thing just isn't your scene, you can stay right here on the blog.  Chip Patterson will have live updates here on the site all night long.

So join us tonight as we celebrate the culmination of what has been our first season here with you at CBSSports.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, and in the end, you'll know that no matter what happens, you're a better person for just being there.  Or you'll just have spent a few hours watching a great football game.  Whatever you prefer.  Just join us, won't you?
Posted on: December 21, 2010 4:11 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 4:11 pm
 

Derek Dooley has problems with Facebook

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Okay, so here are some new rules for the Tennessee athletic department.  All student-athletes should avoid bars for the time being, and coaches need to stay off Facebook.  Even if they're just tending to their farm or whatever it is you kids are doing on Facebook these days.  Both of those activities have led to secondary violations at the school in recent days.

The latest ones come courtesy of head coach Derek Dooley, who, when trying to reply to a recruit via a Facebook message, accidentally posted the message on the player's wall for the whole world to see.
Dooley violated NCAA bylaw 13.4.1.2 on June 3 when he inadvertently posted a message on four-star high school tight end Nick O’Leary’s Facebook wall.
According to the bylaw, “electronically transmitted correspondence that may be sent to a prospective student-athlete (or the prospective student-athlete’s parents or legal guardians) is limited to electronic mail and facsimiles.”
This secondary violation, coupled with another recently learned self-reported transgression involving 26 football players receiving improper benefits from Bar Knoxville, constitute the first known violations involving the UT football team since Dooley took over as coach in January. Under Lane Kiffin in 2009, the Vols committed at least six secondary violations.

The recruit, Nick O'Leary, also happens to be the grandson of some former golfer.  His name is Jack Nicklaus or something like that.  After finding out about their mistake and reporting it, Dooley and his staff weren't allowed to contact O'Leary for two weeks, which left his Facebook wall mighty empty and no doubt made him feel incredibly lonely.

As for why Dooley left the message on O'Leary's wall, it seems that it was all a mistake because Dooley knows that was against the rules.  It's just he was answering the message on his cell phone and thought he was answering O'Leary's message, not posting it on the wall.

In other words, life at Tennessee is like a bad sitcom that gets inexplicably high ratings.  Something we wouldn't know about here at CBS.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 2:31 pm
 

Join us for a live chat during Alabama and LSU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Hello there, football fans. 

I'll be hosting a live chat over on our Facebook page during CBS' broadcast of LSU and Alabama this afternoon, so why not head over there and join me?   We can make fun of Les Miles , talk about Nick Saban's hair helmet, or just comment on the game.

Whatever you want!

After all, this is a pretty important game in the grand scheme of things in the SEC West.  Win and you're still alive to get to the SEC Championship.  Lose and get ready for the Capital One Bowl.  So come on over and marvel at Jordan Jefferson's ability to overthrow any receiver he sets his sights on.  it'll be fun.

Just remember that in order to partake in the discussion, you have to like us on Facebook .  Please, help our self esteem!
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com