Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:08 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 11:16 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
On Monday night Boise State announced that they have responded to the NCAA regarding secondary violations in several sports (including football) and a major violation in women's tennis. Boise State had already self-reported a secondary violation in football, but a major violation in women's tennis this October has led the NCAA to allege a "lack of institutional control" at Boise State.
Boise State launched an internal investigation in March 2009 and according to the school, had reported all violations through May 2010. The violations in the football program mostly involved housing, transportation, and meals. The NCAA has determined that the total dollar value for the expenses over five years was $4,934. The NCAA Committee of Infractions will review Boise State's response June 10, but Boise State feels confident they have done due dillegence with their internal investigation.
“I am confident we have responded thoroughly to the NCAA. Our internal review was comprehensive and our response was very detailed. We will continue to provide our full cooperation,” Boise State president Bob Kustra said. “We are deeply committed to following all NCAA rules and to ensuring that our athletic department works diligently so that our procedures reflect the highest standard. I am disappointed that we face these allegations. It is unacceptable, and the athletic department staff understand and agree with my position.”
On the football front, this has not been a huge deal to this point with the violations being secondary. But the threat of a department-wide institutional control allegation is much more serious. Boise State has been very active making changes to prevent future violations, including beefing up their compliance department. If history says anything, complete cooperation is usually the best way to go. History also tells us that the NCAA rarely expedites any aspect of an investigation, so don't expect that final report for several months.
Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:09 pm
Posted by J. Darin Darst
It looks like Saturday, Dec. 17 will be the first day of the bowl season as the New Orleans Bowl officially announced their game to be held at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
As usual, the game will feature the No. 1 selection from the Sun Belt against a Conference USA team.
Bowl Chairman Ron Gardner expressed his enthusiasm for keeping the game on Saturday night, "We always enjoy when the date of our Bowl game allows fans and visitors to enjoy the entire experience of a New Orleans weekend with family and friends right before Christmas. We want everyone to be able to take advantage of what we have to offer as a City that thrives on hospitality and entertainment."
The Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho will also be on Dec. 17, but the time has not been announced. Check out the complete 2011-12 bowl schedule.
Posted on: April 28, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 1:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Former Ohio defensive lineman Marcellis Williamson died at the age of 23 on Wednesday according to a release from the school.
“We can confirm that former Ohio defensive tackle Marcellis Williamson, a native of East Cleveland, Ohio, passed away late this afternoon,” said Jason Corriher, assistant Athletics director for media relations.
Williamson checked himself into Euclid Hospital on Wednesday and was discharged, dying later in the day. While Ohio would not get into specifics regarding Williamson's death, friends and teammates say that Williamson suffered a heart attack.
Williamson graduated from Ohio at the end of the 2010 fall semester, and was a starter for the Bobcats the last two seasons. He finished the 2010 season with 36 tackles, 3.5 for loss and .5 sacks. He left a message on his Facebook page on Wednesday, his last, that read "I am blessed to have waken up this morning!! Enjoy today because tomorrow isn't guaranteed.
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:19 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
UCF has sworn they'll be part of of a BCS conference one day, a day that could come sooner rather than later if the Big East and Villanova can't get on the same page (and the alleged backroom efforts of USF to keep the Knights outside the league fall on deaf ears). But whatever argument the Knights might like to use, there's one that's always talked louder than any others: money.
And fortunately for the Knights, they've got it, as Forbes.com contributor Kristi Dosh illustrates in this report on the 2009-2010 financial picture in C onference USA. UCF leads the way in the conference with more than $15 million in football revenue, a number greater than several BCS schools and two Big East programs--UConn and Cincinnati.
Dosh points out that UCF's football profit wasn't necessarily a result of overwhelming fan interest so much as UCF's simple overwhelming size; at 56,000 students, UCF is the second-largest school in the country, and all those student fees and alumni donations add up. The Knights also boosted their bottom line by not immediately re-investing all their grosses back into the program, as the school's football spending (at approximately $8.5 million) lags in the middle of the conference.
But if anything, those details probably only emphasize why the Big East might take an interest. If the Knights can turn such a substantial profit even without a horde of ticket sales, what happens when interest both on- and off-campus receives the kind of spike that comes with BCS competition? If UCF's athletic department can turn out a C-USA champion and BCS top-25 team even while keeping their spending relatively in check, how good could they be with the budget boost that comes with a distribution check from a BCS league?
The Big East may still let some other conference find that out, of course. Adding UCF means adding yet another basketball team to an already over-swollen 18-team (hoops-centric) conference, and unless Villanova joins up as well, it still wouldn't give the conference the necessary 12 for a lucrative championship game. There's a reason the conference is taking its time in expanding beyond its TCU addition.
But there's also little doubt UCF's friendly bottom line will give the league's decision-makers some food for thought.
One other note on Dosh's report: it would be tempting to look at SMU's conference-leading spending and assume that explains their quantum leap forward under June Jones and C-USA division championship last year. But the next two schools on that list -- Rice and Memphis --suggest that it's not as easy as simply throwing money at the problem.
Posted on: April 22, 2011 12:06 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
I don't know if you pay attention to the Fulmer Cup over at Every Day Should Be Saturday, but if you do, then you already know that there is no way anybody is going to catch Auburn to take the title this year. Still, that doesn't mean some schools aren't going to try, and you have to give Rice some credit. Having four players arrested within 72 hours is nothing to sneeze at.
Which is exactly what happened, as four players from the school were arrested in two separate incidents. One last Saturday, and then another on Monday.
Reserve defensive end Cody Bauer and offensive lineman Cade Shaw were arrested on Saturday for possession of a firearm in their on-campus residence, according to Harris County court records.
The school has yet to make a decision on whether or not the players will be suspended, but I suspect the players will be at some point. As nebulous a description as the famous "violation of team rules" is, I'm pretty sure that being arrested is a violation of just about every team's rules.
Phillip Gaines is the only starter of the bunch, as he started ten games for Rice at corner last season and finished third on the team with ten tackles. While not starters, both Bauer and Gaddis played in all 12 games last year, while Cade Shaw saw limited action in 2010.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 2:09 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Say this for first-year San Diego State head coach Rocky Long: he's not a man to hide what he's really think.
"I think they ought to get rid of that blue turf. I think it's unfair," said Long, the former New Mexico coach ...
Long isn't the first coach to grumble about the Boise field's effect, though he might be the first to do so so publicly. We encourage him to continue, since the Aztecs' home game against the Broncos already shapes up to be one of the best in the 2011 Mountain West and should only get spicier from here. (Boise's Chris Petersen unfortunately wasn't willing to play along, politely saying his players don't notice any effects from the blue field "because we see it every day.")
But is there any truth to Long's claims? The Broncos did go 40-0 at home in their 10 years in the WAC and are (as the Idaho Statesman points out) an incredible 69-2 on the blue turf since 2000.
But the simpler explanation for BSU's success, of course -- and it's one we wish Petersen had made in retort -- is that the Broncos have been really, really good, and traveling all the way to Boise to play those good teams is very, very hard. Maybe Long is right that the combination of the field and the Broncos' blue uniforms is unsettling enough that it doesn't make for an entirely even playing field (and to be fair to Long, he does have personal experience with the Smurf Turf, having taken the Lobos to Boise in 1999), but whatever advantage Boise gets isn't nearly so big as the advantage of simply having the better team.
In short: with all due respect to Mr. Long -- and to the thousands of retinas scarred annually by the blue turf in high definition -- Boise shouldn't feel obligated to tear up the turf anytime soon.
Posted on: April 20, 2011 11:08 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Northern Illinois linebacker Devon Butler spent time in critical condition earlier this month after having been shot in the back, the unintended victim of a blind drive-by shooting into an apartment window. While the shooters await trial on charges of attempted murder, Butler has been in the hospital recovering.
Until now: Butler was publicly released from OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Ill. yesterday, per the DeKalb Daily Chronicle. NIU head coach Dave Doeren: on Butler's timetable for a potential return to the gridiron:
“I’m super excited for him and for the team, his family ... He’d been ready to get out of there for about a week” ...As you might expect, the NIU program has rallied to Butler's side, with several players wearing his No. 9 jersey during practice and linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz hosting Butler during the next stage of his recovery. Butler is hopeful of attending NIU's spring game Saturday, though that's not certain yet.
What is certain is that Butler's release is very good news, and in college football this offseason, we need all of that we can get.
Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: April 19, 2011 5:24 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
FBS football is about to get another new member, one that should make the already-competitive MAC that much more challenging.
The Midwestern league is set to announce that they will be inviting FCS power UMass to join as a football-only member, according to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The MAC Twitter feed has already confirmed that a press conference has been scheduled tomorrow featuring both conference and UMass officials; it's all but official.
Per the Plain Dealer, the Minutemen will play a full conference schedule as soon as 2012 but won't be eligible for the league championship until 2013. UMass is the second football-only member that plays its other sports in the Atlantic 10, joining Temple, and brings the MAC's total football membership up to 14.
The addition of the Minutemen will allow the conference to return to two even seven-team divisions after an awkward set up the past few years with seven teams in the East and six in the West. (The league will likely move area rivals Bowling Green and Toledo into the same division to accommodate the addition.) But more importantly, the move gives the MAC a member with a strong history of terrific football at the FCS level.
UMass won the national championship in 1998 (then I-AA) and finished as a runner-up in 1978 and 2006, pulling in their most recent conference championship in 2007. The Minutemen provide a few "big-time football" advantages to the MAC, including the use of the New England Patriot's Gillette Stadium for certain home games. As far as the Minutemen are concerned, the move to FBS opens the door to plenty of new opportunities - bowl games, exposure, money - and should come as welcome new to the UMass faithful.