Posted on: July 7, 2011 3:14 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:48 pm

Former Nebraska QB Green considering USC

Posted by Chip Patterson

When former Nebraska quarterback Cody Green left the Cornhuskers, he called the decision one of the "hardest things I've ever done." With that decision out of the way, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound signal caller from Dayton, Texas must now decide where to take his talents -- and there are some equally big names on the list.

Green told ESPN.com's Joe Schad on Thursday he plans to visit USC "as early as next week." Several members of the Trojans' coaching staff reportedly have a positive relationship with Green, and the former Cornhusker has them on the list as potential destinations. Green has already visited Tulsa and Kansas State and will take a look at Baylor as well. Nebraska's move to the Big Ten helped open up these Big 12 opportunities near his hometown, but Green has not made it clear which way he is leaning.

2010 saw an already crowded quarterback position become even more competitive with freshman Taylor Martinez emerging as the latest dual-threat star in the Nebraska backfield. Green started in two victories for the Cornhuskers last fall, including the division-clinching victory over Colorado. But at the end of spring practice, Martinez was still the number one quarterback, and Green realized that now is the time to search out other opportunities.

Green told Schad he plans to enroll in a new school in time to join the team for fall camp. Most FBS schools will start their fall camp on or around Aug. 1.
Posted on: July 5, 2011 12:45 pm

Bednarik Award Watch List also released

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Maxwell Football Club is best known, of course, for the eponymous best-player-in-the-country award whose Watch List was posted on this very blog just a few minutes ago. But the organization also hands out the annual Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation's best defensive player (since we all know no one's going to vote a defensive player as the best in college football, no matter how good he is). The 2010 recipient was LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

So the Club also released their Watch List for the Bednarik today, featuring the 65 players listed below in alphabetical order. The team with the best mathematical odds of snagging the award? Alabama, leading the way with five Watch List members, though none of them number among the three 2010 Bednarik semifinalists included below. Those players are Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o (pictured) and Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins.

Without further ado, the list:

Ray Ray Armstong, Jr., S, Miami
Ryan Baker, Jr., LB, LSU
Mark Barron, Sr., S, Alabama
Jake Bequette, Sr., DE, Arkansas
Brandon Boykin, Sr., CB, Georgia
Nigel Bradham, Sr., LB, Florida State
Tanner Brock, Jr., LB, TCU
Vince Browne, Sr., DE, Northwestern
Vontaze Burfict, Jr., LB, Arizona State
Tank Carder, Sr., LB, TCU
Morris Claiborne, Jr., CB, LSU
Quinton Coples, Sr., DT, North Carolina
Jared Crick, Sr., DT, Nebraska
Vinny Curry, Sr., DE, Marshall
Lavonte David, Sr., LB, Nebraska
Alfonzo Dennard, Sr., CB, Nebraska
Tony Dye, Sr., S, UCLA
Donnie Fletcher, Sr., CB, Boston College
Jerry Franklin, Sr., LB, Arkansas
Stephon Gilmore, Jr., CB, South Carolina
Zaviar Gooden, Jr., LB, Missouri
Casey Hayward, Sr., CB, Vanderbilt
Dont'a Hightower, Jr., LB, Alabama
Jayron Hosley, Jr., CB, Virginia Tech
Jaye Howard, Jr. DT, Florida
Delano Howell, Sr., S, Stanford
Bruce Irvin, Jr., DE, West Virginia
Brandon Jenkins, Jr., DE, Florida State
Coryell Judie, Sr., CB, Texas A&M
Mychal Kendricks, Sr., LB, Cal
Dre Kirkpatrick, Jr., CB, Alabama
Jake Knott, Jr., LB, Iowa State
Luke Kuechly, Jr., LB, Boston College
Robert Lester, Jr., S, Alabama
Travis Lewis, Sr., LB, Oklahoma
Brandon Lindsey, Sr., DE, Pitt
Mike Martin, Sr., DT, Michigan
Chris Marve, Sr., LB, Vanderbilt
Jonathan Massaqoui, Jr., DE, Troy
Tyrann Mathieu, Soph., CB, LSU
T.J. McDonald, Jr., S, USC
Chase Minnifield, Sr., CB, Virginia
Roosevelt Nix, Soph., DT, Kent State
Donte Paige-Moss, Jr., DE, North Carolina
Shaun Prater, Sr., CB, Iowa
Kheeston Randall, Sr., DT, Texas
Kevin Reddick, Jr., LB, North Carolina
Greg Reid, Jr., CB, Florida State
Kendall Reyes, Sr., DT, Connecticut
Xavier Rhodes, Soph., CB, Florida State
Keenan Robinson, Sr., LB, Texas
Shayne Skov, Jr., LB, Stanford
Sean Spence, Sr., LB, Miami
Alameda Ta'amu, Sr. DT, Washington
Keith Tandy, Sr., CB, West Virginia
Kenny Tate, Sr., S, Maryland
Bruce Taylor, Jr., LB, Virginia Tech
Devin Taylor, Jr., DE, South Carolina
Manti Te'o, Jr., LB, Notre Dame
Danny Trevathan, Sr., LB, Kentucky
Courtney Upshaw, Sr., LB, Alabama
Prentiss Waggner, Jr., S, Tennessee
Korey Williams, Sr., LB, Southern Miss
Billy Winn, Sr., DT, Boise State
Jerel Worthy, Sr., DT, Michigan State

Posted on: July 5, 2011 11:17 am

Maxwell Award watch list released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's that special time of year when the watch lists for all the major college football awards are released, and once again this summer we begin with the Maxwell Award watch list. The Maxwell Award is given annually to the nation's most outstanding collegiate fooball player by the Maxwell Football Club. Last season the award went to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Who will it go to this season? Your guess is as good as mine, but these are the 66 players you should be looking at now.


Edwin Baker, Michigan State, RB, Jr.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin, RB, Jr.
Vick Ballard, Mississippi State, RB, Sr.
Matt Barkley, USC, QB, Jr.
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State, WR, Jr.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee, QB, Soph.
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, WR, Sr.
Greg Childs, Arkansas, QB, Sr.
Marcus Coker, Iowa, RB, Soph.
Zach Collaros, Cincinnati, QB, Sr.
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State, QB, Sr.
Juron Criner, Arizona, WR, Sr.
Dayne Crist, Notre Dame, QB, Sr.
Dominique Davis, East Carolina, QB, Sr.
Knile Davis, Arkansas, RB, Jr.
Michael Dyer, Auburn, RB, Soph.
Andre Ellington, Clemson, RB, Jr.
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame, WR, Sr.
Nick Foles, Arizona, QB, Sr.
Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, RB, Jr.
Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M, WR, Sr.
Stephen Garcia, South Carolina, QB, Sr.
Mike Glennon, NC State, QB, Jr.
Ray Graham, Pittsburgh, RB, Jr.
Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M, RB, Sr.
Robert Griffin, Baylor, QB, Jr.
Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois, QB, Sr.
Montel Harris, Boston College, RB, Sr.
Jared Hassin, Army, RB, Jr.
Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State, RB, Soph.
LaMichael James, Oregon, RB, Jr.
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina, WR, Jr.
Damaris Johnson, Tulsa, WR, Sr
Landry Jones, Oklahoma , QB, Jr.
Case Keenum, Houston, QB, Sr.
Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina, RB, Soph.
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State, QB, Sr.
Zach Line, SMU, RB, Jr.
Andrew Luck, Stanford, QB, Jr.
E.J. Manuel, Florida State, QB, Jr.
Doug Martin, Boise State, RB, Sr.
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska, QB, Soph.
Bryant Moniz, Hawaii, QB, Sr.
Kellen Moore, Boise State, QB, Sr.
Aaron Murray, Georgia, QB, Soph.
Danny O'Brien, Maryland, QB, Soph.
Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati, RB, Sr.
Dan Persa, Northwestern, QB, Sr.
Chris Polk, Washington, RB, Jr.
Tauren Poole, Tennessee, RB, Sr.
Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky, RB, Sr.
Trent Richardson, Alabama, RB, Jr.
Denard Robinson, Michigan, QB, Jr.
Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois, QB, Soph.
Geno Smith, West Virginia, QB, Jr.
Rodney Stewart, Colorado, RB, Sr.
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M, QB , Sr.
Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, RB, Jr.
Darron Thomas, Oregon , QB, Jr.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State, QB, Sr.
Ed Wesley, TCU, RB, Jr.
James White, Wisconsin, RB, Soph.
David Wilson, Virginia Tech, RB, Jr.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin, QB, Sr.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, QB, Jr.
Robert Woods, USC, WR, Soph.

Posted on: July 1, 2011 1:01 pm
Edited on: July 1, 2011 1:18 pm

ND's fine reduced in wake of Sullivan death

Posted by Tom Fornelli

In March, Notre Dame was fined $77,500 by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Association (IOSHA) for its role in the death of videographer Declan Sullivan in October. Notre Dame then contested IOSHA's ruling in April in hopes of finding a different solution to the problem, and on Friday there was a new agreement between the two parties. Part of which will see the fine reduced from $77,500 to $42,000.
In exchange for the smaller fine, the university is required to launch a national education campaign on the safe use of scissor lifts. The school will also make a donation to Sullivan’s memorial fund and designate a liaison between Notre Dame’s athletic department and the risk-management division to make sure all employees are properly trained.

The university will not disclose how much it will donate to the memorial fund, university spokesman Dennis Brown said.

“What remains ever-present throughout this process is the reality of the loss experienced by Declan Sullivan’s family and friends, all of whom remain in the thoughts and prayers of the Notre Dame community,” university spokesman Dennis Brown said in a statement. “Notre Dame is committed to doing all we can to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again and is working with IOSHA and others on a national education initiative on aerial-lift safety in regard to setup, training and weather-related risks.”
The Sullivan family also released a statement supporting Notre Dame and the decision.

Now, while some people may see this as nothing more than Notre Dame having to pay less money for its role in Declan Sullivan's death, I feel that this is the better option for all sides to take. I'd rather the school pay a smaller fine and take a more proactive role in ensuring that a tragedy like this never happens again -- not only at Notre Dame but at every school around the country.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 12:32 am
Edited on: July 1, 2011 2:19 pm

Jury awards $10 million to Ereck Plancher family

Posted by Adam Jacobi

A jury in the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Florida decided Thursday to award $10 million to the parents of late University of Central Florida football player Ereck Plancher more than three years after Plancher died during workouts in March 2008. The jury found the University of Central Florida Athletic Association (UCFAA) negligent in Plancher's death, which an Orange County medical examiner determined was due to complications from sickle cell trait. The jury did not find gross negligence on UCFAA's part, eliminating the need for additional punitive damages. 

As the Orlando Sentinel reports, the Plancher family's lawyer emphasized the importance of player safety:

"If there's one message that we have sent very loudly and clearly, the welfare of any student athlete is at the top of any football program," Plancher family attorney Steve Yerrid said. "And that's how to have a winning program."

The Planchers declined to speak immediately after the verdict, allowing Yerrid to make a statement on their behalf.

Yerrid confirmed late Thursday night the Planchers turned down a settlement offer and UCFAA is responsible for the family's court costs. He estimated those could be about $1.5 million.

This ruling will probably not end the saga once and for all, however. Central Florida only has $8.5 million budgeted for football for the entire year, so it remains to be seen where the $10 million would come from. Additionally, that figure might not be what UCF ends up paying after the case is all said and done; UCF attorneys plan to appeal the decision, citing what they feel is "an ample of appeal opportunity" throughout the trial's proceedings. 

The two parties continued to disagree Friday, with Yerrid telling CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd that UCF had turned down an offer to settle the case for the sum of $4.7 million. UCF spokesman Grant Heston vehemently denied Yerrid's claim, calling the after-the-fact allegation "very poor form" and adding that Yerrid's settlement offer had been well above the final $10 million number.

UCFAA lawyers contended throughout the trial that Plancher's death could not have been caused by sickle cell trait, producing Boston University hematologist Dr. Martin Steinberg to testify to that claim, and that Plancher's death was the result of a previously unknown heart condition and thus unpreventable. The jury evidently did not agree with that assessment, though it's possible they agreed that head coach George O'Leary -- who some former players testified had punished Plancher in ways that might have contributed to his death -- bore no responsibility.

"I think the fact that punitive damages were not awarded shows that there was no credence to allegations that Coach [George] O'Leary withheld water or ordered trainers out [of the football facility]," Heston told CBSSports.com.

Posted on: June 30, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 12:41 pm

Utah AG Shurtleff wants legal help in BCS lawsuit

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The last time we checked in on Utah attorney general Mark Shurtleff's increasingly quixotic attempt to tear down the BCS with an antitrust lawsuit, he was hoping to find other state AG's who might join as co-plaintiffs. He hasn't had much luck there.

He's also asked for help from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has made some noise about stepping in for a look at college football's antitrust status but hasn't yet seemed to do much more than basic fact-finding.

None of this has swayed Shurtleff from what he sees as his appointed mission, though, and he was back in headlines Wednesday when he began soliciting law firms to make up the legal team necessary to bring the suit. As the Salt Lake Tribune reports:
“There are serious antitrust violations in the BCS system that are robbing taxpayers of hundreds of millions of dollars,” Shurtleff said in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “Putting together the strongest legal team from around the country will give us the best chance at bringing equity back to college football.”

Wednesday’s query is the second time Shurtleff has put out a “request for information” to law firms that handle antitrust cases. He first announced he was seeking requests for proposals in April. His latest pursuit to find a law firm to take the case is through BidSync (www.bidsync.com), where interested firms can file responses until Aug. 8.

Shurtleff's over-the-top statement (since when did college football ever have "equity"?) is met by an equally over-the-top statement from Bill Hancock, the BCS executive director. But rather than focus on either side's posturing, the better question is: Will Shurtleff actually be able to bring the suit?

Though there's been some doubt whether he'd have the financial muscle going it alone, a spokesman for his office says the suit is "right on track" to be filed this fall.

We remain somewhat skeptical. But with the DOJ paying some kind of attention and Shurtleff seemingly as committed than ever, it might be time to stop dismissing Shurtleff's chances of getting his day in court. He still needs the legal help he requested yesterday, of course, and a lot of other things (and that's before we even discuss his chances of winning if the suit is brought). But if he is indeed "on track," his story is one that will have to be followed this college football season.

Posted on: June 29, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 5:28 pm

LaBelle files countersuit against Army's King

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Singer Patti LaBelle has filed a countersuit against former Army cornerback Richard King.

As you may recall, King recently found himself in an altercation -- there is video of the incident in our original post -- with some of LaBelle's bodyguards at a Houston airport earlier this month. An altercation that resulted in King suffering a concussion and being suspended for a year from the football team, effectively ending his football career at West Point. As if all that wasn't enough, King was also sent into active duty.

Now, following the lawsuit that King filed against LaBelle, LaBelle has filed a countersuit against King.

LaBelle claims in the suit that King peppered her with racial insults before she ordered her bodyguards to beat him up, for which he is suing her.

King reportedly was beaten while he was in his hometown, Houston, for spring break on March 11. According to a lawsuit filed by King, he was beaten after LaBelle thought he was standing too close to her luggage at the airport.

At the time, LaBelle’s people claimed that King – who would have been a fifth-year senior this fall – was drunk, disorderly and causing problems.

I guess giving King another concussion -- one of many he has suffered from, as he missed his entire junior season due to concussions -- while having her security guards beat him down and then getting him sent into active duty wasn't enough. 

As I said in my original post on this story, I'm inclined to believe that if the Army has sent King back into active duty that there must be more to the story that we have not seen or heard. Still, when watching the video of the altercation, to me it doesn't look like King was doing anything that warranted the beating he received. I've no idea what, if anything, he said to LaBelle or her bodyguards as there's no audio, but I believe King has suffered enough -- maybe more than -- for whatever happened that day.

To file a lawsuit against him, even if it's just retaliation for the one he's filed against LaBelle, seems plain cruel to me. 

Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 11:35 am

ND's Floyd gets year of probation

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd is yet to be fully reinstated to the football team after a drunk driving arrest in March, but he has had his day in court. Floyd spent his Tuesday morning in a St. Joseph County courtroom where he was sentenced to a year of probation and will not be allowed to drive for 90 days.

Magistrate Brian Steinke ordered that Floyd be placed on administrative probation for one year, beginning Wednesday.

Floyd's driver's license will be suspended for 90 days, meaning he will be forbidden from driving. He will then be required to use an ignition interlock device in his car for six months. If the device detects alcohol on Floyd's breath, the car will not start, and it will be considered a violation of his probation.

Floyd must also attend a Victim Impact Panel, where he and other drunk-driving offenders must listen to a presentation by family members of people killed in drunken driving accidents.

He was also ordered to pay court costs.

Floyd's sentence is a standard one in St. Joseph County for first-time drunk-driving offenders.

Floyd's lawyer, William Stanley, told the South Bend Tribune that Floyd had asked that he be allowed to have limited driving ability to get to classes and to practice but that the judge denied the request. Stanley also said Floyd has finished his counseling classes at Notre Dame and did 30 hours of community service while back home in St. Paul, Minnesota in May.

As for when or if he'll be fully reinstated to the football team, that remains to be seen. Brian Kelly said in May that Floyd had to be "all in or not" in changing his life before he'll be reinstated. Though Kelly did allow Floyd to join the team at the beginning of June for voluntary workouts. That's a positive sign that the wide receiver is working his way back to the football team, even if he still has the word "suspended" hanging over his head. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com