Tag:Tom Fornelli
Posted on: August 10, 2011 4:59 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 5:05 pm

Illinois to hire Mike Thomas as new AD

Posted by Tom Fornelli

On Wednesday afternoon the Illinois athletic department tweeted that it would be making an announcement about its new athletic director. Well, you no longer need to wait for that announcement to find out what it is, as The News-Gazette is reporting that Illinois will be naming Cincinnati athletic director Mike Thomas to replace Ron Guenther in Champaign.

Thomas has been the athletic director at Cincinnati since 2005, and in that time he's seen a marked improvement to the school's football program. At the time Cincinnati was considered a basketball school thanks to the success the men's program had under Bob Huggins, but after Thomas brought in current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, the football program took off.

When you look at the situation at Illinois right now, it's very similar to what was taking place at Cincinnati at the time of Thomas' hiring. It's a basketball school that has had some success from time to time in football, but nothing sustainable. It could be that Illinois would like to see some improvement in the football program, as it has put money into renovating Memorial Stadium recently.

It may also mean that the seat head coach Ron Zook sits on may be hotter than it already has been for much of his time in Champaign, as Thomas may be on the hunt for his next Brian Kelly.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 1:27 pm

A&M official: Big 12 members 'tired of Texas'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There has been a lot of attention paid to Texas A&M over the last few months. Some of that attention has to do with the way the Aggies finished the 2010 season and whether or not Mike Sherman's program is ready to take that next jump to becoming one of the elite programs in the country. Still, even the preseason hype about A&M in 2011 pales in comparison to all the rumors and speculation about the school in 2012 and beyond.

Specifically, where will the Aggies be playing football? Will they still be a member of the Big 12, or will they be joining the SEC? The rumors ran rampant on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon that Texas A&M is considering a move, but according to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, that's not exactly the case.

Of course, just because the move isn't imminent, that doesn't mean Texas A&M is ruling it out either, and one school official said that Texas A&M isn't the only member of the Big 12 conference that is annoyed with that big burnt orange program in Austin.
But a high-ranking A&M official said Tuesday there were no "precipitating events that led to (Tuesday's) rumors and speculations," adding that there would be "no imminent announcement or anything of that matter" concerning the SEC.

The official, however, did cite A&M's general unhappiness with the Big 12 - thanks primarily to the ESPN-backed Longhorn Network of rival Texas - but stayed mum on whether a shift to the SEC might occur at some point. Another A&M official recently described the Aggies and other Big 12 members as simply being "tired of Texas" - primarily the Longhorn Network's pushing to air key high school games.
The Big 12 recently made the decision to table the decision of whether or not the Longhorn Network can broadcast high school games for a year. A decision that won't do anything to help put out the fires that many people seem to believe are burning within the Big 12 conference. Simply choosing to not talk about a problem for a year doesn't mean it isn't there, and if you ignore the elephant in the room long enough, eventually he's going to defecate all over the place.

Will the Big 12 survive all of this? I honestly couldn't tell you. The conference seemed to be at death's door last year before recovering and getting a new television deal. Still, that hasn't seemed to do anything to change how the nine remaining schools in the conference feel about the preferential treatment Texas seems to get.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 11:37 am

Texas' Scott threw repo woman to the ground

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Austin American-Statesman was able to get its hands on the arrest warrant for Texas safety Christian Scott, and it turns out that his arrest stems from his treatment of the woman who was repossessing his car. Scott was arrested for assault causing bodily harm on Monday afternoon in Austin, and suspended indefinitely by the team.

Jeanne Somers Doyle was in the process of repossessing Scott's car when she was blocked by another car while at Scott's apartment complex. Scott then got out of the car that was blocking Doyle, approached her in the car while screaming profanities at her. According to the police report, Doyle recognized Scott because she had repossessed his car last year. As Scott reached the car, he pulled Doyle from it and then threw her to the ground.

Scott then got into the car and fled the scene before being arrested at a nearby gas station.

Obviously if this is true, Scott's future as a Longhorn doesn't look good. I can understand the frustration of seeing your car getting taken away, and how you would want to stop the person doing it, but to attack that person -- particularly when it's a woman -- because you didn't make your car payments isn't the right way to go about things.

Doyle was just doing her job because Scott didn't.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:04 pm

Oklahoma loses Travis Lewis for 8 weeks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Life in the college football world is hard enough when you've already got the #1 appearing next to your school, but life just got a bit tougher for Oklahoma. According to senior associate athletic director Kenny Mossman, linebacker Travis Lewis suffered a broken bone in his foot during practice on Monday and is going to be out for eight weeks.

This is a major loss for the Oklahoma defense, as the All-American has led the Sooners in tackles the last three seasons. Lewis has also had 6 sacks and 8 interceptions to go along with the 362 tackles he's made in his first three seasons with the Sooners. In other words, he's not the type of player you can just replace.

"We're disappointed for Travis," said Bob Stoops. "He has worked very hard and I know he'll want to get back as quickly as possible.

"We'll adapt in the meantime. We've recruited very well and have some excellent athletes in those positions. I'm confident that those players will perform well." 

If there's any good news for Lewis it's that the foot will not require surgery.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:47 am

Texas suspends Christian Scott indefinitely

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Texas safety Christian Scott was arrested for assault causing bodily injury on Monday afternoon in Austin, and it did not take Texas very long to hand out its punishment. The school announced on Monday evening that Scott had been suspended indefinitely from the team.

“We’re aware of the situation with Christian Scott and disappointed any time one of our players is accused of wrongdoing,” said head coach Mack Brown. “We’ve talked to Christian and his family, and he has been suspended from all activities with our football team. Following the completion of the legal process, we will do what’s best for the university, Christian and the team.” 

Brown also said that Texas will wait until Scott's case is resolved before making a final decision on whether or not that Scott will ever play for the school again. Though the San Antonio Express-News points out that the last four Longhorns to get arrested never played again.

As for what Scott's absence does to the Texas depth chart, Scott has started 10 games in his career, with all of those starts coming last season. Though he was not going to be handed the starting job in 2011, as Texas was impressed with Kenny Vaccaro during the spring, and you have to assume that Scott's suspension will only help Vaccaro's chances of taking the starting job. 
Posted on: August 8, 2011 5:15 pm

Texas S Christian Scott arrested for assault

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems the Texas and Texas A&M rivalry does not take place solely on the field.

Earlier on Monday morning I wrote about Texas A&M linebacker Kyle Mangan getting arrested over the weekend after getting into a fight, and now Texas has it's own entry on the police blotter today.

The Austin American-Statesman is reporting that safety Christian Scott was arrested on Monday afternoon and charged with a Class-A misdemeanor for assault causing bodily harm. He's currently being held in the Travis County Jail and details of the incident aren't known at the time. Scott was arrested around 1pm local time. 

Scott has appeared in 25 games for the Longhorns, including 10 starts, and has made 68 tackles in his career. He's also broken up 4 passes, caused 3 fumbles, recovered 1 fumble and had 1 interception in his time with the Longhorns.

The school and Mack Brown have not yet made a statement regarding Scott's arrest. 
Posted on: August 8, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 1:54 pm

Texas Tech on the hunt for the football

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I couldn't help but read this story from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and not have some fun with it. While it's a philosophy that is in play just about everywhere, the phrasing begged for mocking. 
“Hunt together, kill together” is the new motto of the Texas Tech defense.

That’s the phrase the defense used to break from huddles Sunday, and cornerback Jarvis Phillips summed up its meaning for the media following practice.

“Hunt together, you know, just get to the ball,” Phillips said, “and kill together, I guess try to hurt ’em.”

The maxim’s origin can be traced to new defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow, who stresses accountability from his defense.

“One of the things we’re going to talk about all the time is hunting together as a unit,” Glasgow said. “We’ve got to have 11 guys that are running to the football as fast as they can and we’ve got to play smart as a defensive unit.”
Happy hunting, fellas.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 12:45 pm

Texas A&M's Mangan arrested for fighting

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With camps beginning all over the country this week -- with some getting under way last week -- college football players all over the country are counting down their final days of freedom before full-time football mode. This means that there were probably a lot of players going out over the weekend looking for one final blowout before getting down to business, and anytime that happens, you can expect at least one or two players to find themselves in trouble.

Enter Texas A&M linebacker Kyle Mangan.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Mangan was arrested early Sunday morning for disorderly conduct (fighting) by the College Station police in the Northgate bar district. Details of the fight are not known, but Mangan was one of three people arrested. The 21-year old linebacker was released on bond on Sunday.

“I have been made aware and it is an unfortunate incident,” said Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman in a statement. “Seems like some people have too much free time on their hands. That will be addressed shortly, as well as facing the consequences for this untimely and avoidable incident.” 

Mangan started 10 games for the Aggies during his freshman season in College Station, but has spent the last two years dealing with a shoulder injury. He had been expected to compete for a starting job this fall, but odds are this incident will have a significant impact on exactly how much he'll be able to compete for the job.
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