Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Tom Fornelli
Posted on: August 20, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Larry Coker not distracted by Miami scandal

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As the University of Texas-San Antonio prepares to play the first football game in school's history, a lot of the attention being paid to the team right now has to do with the school its head coach used to coach at. Larry Coker spent 12 years coaching at Miami, and won a national title with the Hurricanes as head coach in 2001.

The five years Coker spent as head coach at Miami coincided with the time that Nevin Shapiro claims he was lavishing the team with all sorts of gifts and perks, and while Coker feels bad for what's going on at Miami right now, he seems more concerned about life at UTSA.

“I'm almost more distraught, because I was there for 12 years,” Coker told the San Antonio Express-News. “(It's) not a distraction, because I haven't done anything. But the people there, the players ... it's very hurtful, it really is.” 

What Coker didn't do was say whether or not he knew of the things Shapiro was doing at Miami, saying in a report earlier in the week that he knew Shapiro by name only.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 2:29 pm
 

And Taiwan weighs in on Miami

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Honestly, if the news in America was done the same way that the news is done in Taiwan, specifically the NWA World Edition, then I'd probably be a lot more up to speed on current events.

Of course, from time to time, NWA World Edition does a story on something I'm already familiar with, and this is one of those times. I now present to you the Nevin Shapiro/Miami saga in computer-animated form.



Pretty sure that's exactly how everything went down. 
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 10:00 pm
 

Jordan Jefferson involved in bar fight

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The way things have been going this week, the much anticipated matchup of LSU and Oregon on opening weekend may be a battle of backup quarterbacks. First it was Oregon's Darron Thomas being in a car with marijuana as Cliff Harris put its engine to the test, and now reports out of Baton Rouge say that LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson was involved in a bar fight on Thursday night.
Police investigating a fight outside a Baton Rouge bar last night said LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and other LSU football players are believed to have been involved in the disturbance.

EMS responded to a call at the location on East Boyd Ave. around 2 a.m., but didn't transport anyone to the hospital.
According to the police, Jefferson and other LSU players were implicated in the fight by witness statements. Nobody was arrested, however, as the police are still investigating what took place. Also, it should be pointed out that just because Jefferson and company may have been involved in the fight, that doesn't mean they started it.

LSU head coach Les Miles released a statement about the incident on Friday afternoon.

"We are aware of the incident that took place at an off-campus location at which some of our players were present.  We don't know to what extent our players were involved.  We are trying to gather as much information as possible to get a better understanding of what exactly took place last night."
Posted on: August 19, 2011 12:43 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Big 12 may want to make things 'legally binding'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

After the Big 12 narrowly escaped its demise last summer, the remaining ten schools in the conference came to a gentlemen's agreement about staying together and keeping the Big 12 alive. Now that Texas A&M seems intent on leaving for the SEC, we can all see how binding that verbal agreemement between the schools last summer was.

Which is why Texas Tech president Guy Bailey feels that the conference needs to come up with something a bit more solid. As in signing your name on a sheet of paper and agreeing to a contract solid.

"It's incumbent on us to be aggressive in assuring the future of the conference," Bailey told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If not, we're going to be in the same boat again next year or the year after.

"We do have to do get something to secure our future... and that probably means putting your name on the dotted line. Doing that in a legally binding way is pretty important." 

In other words, this way when a school decides it wants to leave the Big 12 in the future, it's going to cost that school quite a bit of money to do so.

As for where the conference is now, Bailey said that the Big 12 needs to plan on Texas A&M leaving, and that means finding a school to replace the Aggies. The list of candidates are the same ones you've heard before: BYU, Houston, Notre Dame -- that noise you hear is Jim Delany laughing and saying "good luck with that" -- Air Force and TCU.

I'd say the most likely candidate to eventually join the Big 12 would be Houston. There's no doubt that Houston would like to move up from Conference USA to a BCS conference, and the state of Texas would love to add another one of its schools to a BCS conference as well. The concern with Houston is the school's athletic facilities, though the possiblity of both the basketball team and football team playing in the professional venues of the Houston Rockets and Houston Texans has been proposed as a solution.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Eye on Art!: Texas' statement on Longhorn Network

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Eye on Art! is a semi-regular feature of the Eye on College Football blog. You've heard the expression "a picture is worth 1,000 words?" Well pictures drawn in MS Paint are worth more like 500 words, but 500 should be good enough.

On Thursday the Austin American-Statesman's Kirk Bohls tweeted that the Longhorn Network -- aka SCOURGE OF THE BIG 12 -- will be showing two Big 12 games this season according to ESPN VP Burke Magnus. Which will cause some problems considering that the network originally said that it'd be showing only one Big 12 game a season.

Then, to make matters worse, Bohls later tweeted that The Longhorn Network will also be showing highlights of high school games, which should also go over really well with the rest of the Big 12 conference.

Concerned about the impact this news could have on the Big 12, Texas released a statement on Thursday in an attempt to smooth things over.



Yes, I'd say they are.
Posted on: August 18, 2011 12:03 pm
 

CBSSports.com Preseason All-WAC Team

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As part of the CBSSports.com season preview, here are my choices for the Preseason All-Big 12 team.

Offense


QUARTERBACK

Bryant Moniz, Senior, Hawaii

Moniz is the latest in a long line of quarterbacks to rack up insane yardage totals out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In 2010 he threw for 5,040 yards and led the country with 39 touchdown passes. He also led the nation in total offense, and "Mighty Mo" will look to do the same things in 2011 as he makes a Heisman push.

Also watch for: While Moniz gets the most attention in the WAC, don't forget about Fresno State's Derek Carr -- you may remember his older brother David -- and Idaho's Brian Reader. Those two could put up some nice numbers as well.

RUNNING BACK

Robbie Rouse, Junior, Fresno State

Rouse showed a lot promise in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs, rushing for over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he'll be looking to continue to impress in 2011. If he can, it will be a big boost to Fresno State's chances of winning the WAC.

Robert Turbin, Junior, Utah State

After missing all of the 2010 season with an injury, the only person who wants to see Robert Turbin on the football field more than Aggie fans is Turbin himself. As a sophomore Turbin started 11 games and rushed for 108 yards per game to become Utah State's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2001. Along with being a threat carrying the ball, Turbin is also dangerous catching balls out of the backfield and contributing in the passing game.

Also watch for: There are a number of good running backs in the WAC, but there are two that come immediately to mind. Nevada's Mike Ball will get plenty of carries with the Wolfpack now that Vai Taua is no longer around. Then there's Louisiana Tech's Lennon Creer.

WIDE RECEIVER

Rishard Matthews, Senior, Nevada

I do not envy the position that Nevada quarterback Tyler Lantrip is in trying to replace Colin Kaepernick at Nevada, but he could certainly do a lot worse than having Rishard Matthews around to throw the ball to. Matthews led Nevada with 55 receptions and 873 yards last season, and will be Lantrip's go-to option in the passing game.

Royce Pollard, Senior, Hawaii

With both Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares no longer playing wide receiver for Hawaii, somebody is going to have to step up and catch all those passes, and Pollard is the best bet. As Hawaii's third receiving option in 2010 Pollard finished the year with 64 catches, 901 yards and 7 touchdowns. Imagine the numbers he'll put up as a number one!

Also watch for: Louisiana Tech has a talented duo in Taulib Ikharo and Ahmad Paige. Of course, when it comes to receivers, just about everybody on Hawaii's depth chart is a candidate to excel this season.

TIGHT END:

Ryan Otten, Junior, San Jose State

Otten missed a lot of time for San Jose State thanks to injuries in 2010, but he came on strong at the end of the season. His three touchdown receptions came in the final two games of the season, and he still finished third on the team in touchdown catches even though he missed half the year. He'll be looking to build on the momentum he picked up after getting healthy in 2011.

Also watch for: Idaho sophomore Taylor Elmo and Utah State's Kellen Bartlett are two other tight ends capable of putting up some nice numbers this season.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Center Jeff Meads, Senior, Nevada

Meads earned the starting job at center last season, starting all 13 games, and played a key role on an offensive line that helped the Wolfpack finish third in the nation in rushing offense.

Guard Chris Barker, Junior, Nevada

Since redshirting in 2008, there hasn't been a single game that the Wolfpack guard hasn't been in the starting lineup. He's another big reason that Nevada ran the ball on everyone it came across last season.

Guard Kevin Saia, Junior, Louisiana Tech

Saia earned the starting job at left guard at the end of 2009 and held onto it during the 2010 year, helping open plenty of holes for running back Lennon Creer.

Tackle Austin Hansen, Senior, Hawaii

When you have an offense that drops back to pass as often as Hawaii's does, you're going to need a left tackle you can count on to keep your quarterback on his feet. Hansen has been just that for the Warriors, starting 22 games the last two seasons.

Tackle Tyrone Novikoff, Senior, Idaho

Novikoff has seen time on the Idaho offensive line since his freshman season, and has started 25 games the last two years at left tackle. There's a reason for it too, as the 6-foot-7 tackle is not the easiest man to get by.

Also watch for: Utah State boasts a nice pair on its line in Funaki Asisi and Philip Gapelu. There's also Stephen Warner at Louisiana Tech. New Mexico State's Sioeli Fakalata and Hawaii's Chauncey Winchester-Makainai deserve your attention for their names alone, but both are talented as well.

Defense


DEFENSIVE LINE

DE Matt Broha, Senior, Louisiana Tech

Broha is one of the most prolific pass rushers in Louisiana Tech history. His 9 sacks in 2010 moved him into third all-time on the schools sack leaders, and he'll be looking to climb to the top in 2011.

DE Travis Johnson, Junior, San Jose State

Johnson has started 17 games in his career as a Spartan, and he's only entering his third season with the team. In 2010 he led all SJSU defensive lineman with 62 tackles and led the team in sacks with 7.5. He also had 9.5 tackles for a loss.

DT Logan Harrell, Senior, Fresno State

Logan Harrell was a monster for the Bulldogs on the interior of the defensive line. Though defensive tackles aren't generally known to be pass rush specialists, that still didn't stop Harrell from leading the WAC with 10.5 sacks and racking up another 14 tackles for loss.

DT Brett Roy, Senior, Nevada

Nevada's Brett Roy also proved to be problematic for offensive lines in 2010, tallying 8 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss with the Wolfpack.

Also watch for: Hawaii's Kaniela Tuipulotu and Idaho's Michael Cosgrove were also terrors on the inside and should continue to improve this season. Also on Hawaii's defensive line is Vaughn Meatoga -- mmmmm, meat toga -- and Donte Savage lives up to his last name for New Mexico State.

LINEBACKERS

Bobby Wagner, Senior, Utah State

Wagner has already been named First Team All-WAC in his career at Utah State so why not go for a third? While he has other talented players around him, at times you get the sense that Wagner is the Utah State defense, as there is rarely a play run that he isn't a part of.

Corey Paredes, Senior, Hawaii

Corey Paredes is to tackles what Hawaii wide receivers are to receptions. He makes all of them. Paredes finished with 151 tackles last season, which was the second-highest total in school history. Paredes also showed that he could possibly play some wide receiver for Hawaii if he had to, picking off 4 passes during the year.

Adrien Cole, Senior, Louisiana Tech

Cole started only 6 games for the Bulldogs in 2010, but he made the most of the opportunity given to him. He finished the year as a second-team All-WAC selection, and I feel that if he shows the effort and skill that he did while making 80 tackles in limited time last year, he'll be making the leap to the first team this season.

Also watch for: The WAC is home to quite a few linebackers worthy of your attention. Keith Smith (San Jose State), Jay Dudley (Louisiana Tech) Aaron Brown (Hawaii), Kyle Gallagher (Utah State), James-Michael Johnson (Nevada), and Robert Siavil (Idaho) are just a few.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

CB Isaiah Frey, Senior, Nevada

Frey's 2010 season was good enough to have him named second team All-WAC, and he's looking to move up this year. He may be the most consistent corner in the entire conference, and finished 2010 with 14 passes broken up. He's also not afraid to stick his nose into the fray and make a tackle on a running back coming around the corner.

S Walter McClenton, Senior, Utah State

McClenton made ten starts at safety for the Aggies last seson and finished the year third on the team in tackles with 62. He also broke up 2 passes and had a sack. He's somebody I'd consider more of a run-stuffer than a coverage safety, but if he can improve on his pass defense in 2011 his stock will soar.

S Duke Ihenacho, Senior, San Jose State

Since San Jose State joined the WAC in 1996 its never had a player named first team All-WAC. This season Ihenacho will look to be the first. Unfortunately he didn't have the chance last season after missing the last ten games of the season with an injury, but he's back and healthy this year and will be a force once again.

S Phillip Thomas, Junior, Fresno State

Thomas is a safety that is loaded with potential and he flashed signs of it last season, finishing the year with 64 tackles, 9 passes broken up, 2 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions. Now, as a junior, he'll be looking to fulfill that potential even more, and I fully expect him to.

Also watch for: Given the amount of passing offenses in the WAC, safeties play an important role in slowing down offenses, and the WAC has a few who are more than capable. Players like Louisiana Tech's Chad Boyd, New Mexico State's Donyae Coleman, Richard Torres at Hawaii and Nevada's Duke Williams play key roles for their teams.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Kevin Goessling, Senior, Fresno State

P Bobby Cowan, Junior, Idaho

KR Kerwynn Williams, Junior, Utah State

PR Rishard Matthews, Senior, Nevada
Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:30 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 2:37 pm
 

AP: Kirby Hocutt approved Shapiro's access

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As the news of the latest allegations against the Miami football program and its relationship with booster Nevin Shapiro continues to spread, so does the story's reach. The actions of Shapiro and Miami do not just affect the Miami athletic department, but schools around the country as well.

One of those schools may be Texas Tech. In an AP report on Wednesday afternoon, a source claims that former Miami athletic director and current Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt approved Nevin Shapiro's access to the Miami program.
A person familiar with the situation said much of Shapiro's access to Hurricane programs in recent years was approved by former athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who has since left the school for Texas Tech. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing joint investigation between the university and the NCAA.

Hocutt, the person said, allowed Shapiro on the sideline before football games at times during the 2008 season, plus invited him to select gatherings reserved for the athletic department's biggest donors.

"That's what Kirby did," the person said. "His No. 1 job was to raise money and this Nevin Shapiro guy was one of the few people Kirby could get to write checks."

Shapiro had been on the Miami sideline before games an unknown number of times before Hocutt's arrival as athletic director in 2008.

Hocutt has declined comment on the Miami investigation.
Hocutt resigned as Miami's athletic director to take the job in Lubbock in February.

Obviously, if the allegations are true, this does not reflect well on Hocutt and could affect his job at Texas Tech. Meaning that Texas Tech could join Kansas State as Big 12 schools feeling the ramifications of Miami's misdeeds.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 8:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Miami misdeeds could be trouble for Kansas State

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you're anything like me, you're still trying to wrap your brain around the latest Yahoo! Sports bomb to be detonated, this time at Miami. Unfortunately for plenty of schools around the country, the allegations made against the Miami football program aren't confined to Coral Gables. They even stretch as far as Manhattan, Kansas and the Kansas State football program.

Current Kansas State linebacker and former Miami linebacker Arthur Brown is one of the many players that former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro claims he provided with a variety of benefits while they attended the school. To make matters worse for Kansas State, Brown's brother Bryce Brown -- Kansas State's running back -- was present when his brother received some of these benefits.

Here's a list of the benefits allegedly received by Arthur Brown.

- A dinner at Benihana and a trip to a strip club called The Cheetah in which Shapiro paid for all of Brown's food, drinks and private entertainment at the club.

- Lunch for Brown at Smith and Wollensky's with Brown, his parents, brother Bryce Brown and adviser Brian Butler which totaled $532. A bill paid for by Shapiro.

- Two rooms at the Continental Oceanfront Hotel for Brown, his family and adviser totaling $1,110.19. Paid for by Shapiro.

- Food, drinks and entertainment at Lucky Strike Lanes on at least one occasion.

- Food, drinks and entertainment during pool tournaments at Shapiro's mansion.

- Transportation from Miami staffer Sean Allen at the direction of Shapiro.

At the time of Bryce Brown's visits he was being recruited by Miami.

“[Arthur] also wanted me to meet his brother," Shapiro told Yahoo."Who was going to be the No. 1 recruited player coming out of high school that following year named Bryce Brown. I set up a trip for his mom, dad and spiritual adviser – which is another name for an agent – Brian Butler. They all came in from Kansas. I put them up at a hotel on Miami Beach.” 

This is not good news at all for Kansas State, as the team was counting on both the Brown brothers to be major contributors to the team this season. At this point, if Bill Snyder and the Kansas State staff chooses to let them play they run the risk of playing ineligible players which could lead to vacated wins and violations at Kansas State.

So, as you can see, this story is not just Miami's problem.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com