Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Tom Fornelli
Posted on: July 22, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 12:15 pm
 

Mark Ingram uninjured in car accident

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While all the eyes of Tuscaloosa were on coach Nick Saban at SEC Media Days on Friday morning, there was some scary news for the Alabama family as well. Former Tide running back and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram was involved in a car accident with an 18-wheeler on Friday morning in Huntsville.

Police said Ingram's 2008 Infiniti was traveling southbound on Leeman Ferry Road when it collided with an 18-wheeler driven by Paul Clewis. Ingram's girlfriend was also in the car.

Police said both airbags deployed in Ingram's car, but neither Ingram nor his girlfriend were hurt, and neither was the truck driver. 

Police spokesman Harry Hobbs said the preliminary accident report indicated that alcohol or drugs were not involved in the wreck, which happened at the intersection of Leeman Ferry and Metro Circle.

Thankfully, everybody was OK, because in an accident involving a car and an 18-wheeler, many times things can turn out tragically. 

Ingram, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints this spring, was picked up at the scene by friends. He had been in Huntsville on Thursday night with former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones for a meet and greet in which he and Jones posed for photos with fans and signed autographs.
 

Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 4:54 pm
 

SDSU's receiving corps takes a big blow

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There were a lot of questions facing San Diego State this season coming off of a bowl appearance, and perhaps none of them were bigger than trying to figure out how the Aztecs would replace the production of their top two receivers from 2010: Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson. That question just got a lot harder to answer on Thursday when we learned that San Diego State would be without both Dominique Sandifer and Jay Waddell for the entire 2011 season.

SDSU’s most experienced returning receiver, junior Dominique Sandifer, has been ruled out for the coming season with a knee injury suffered during offseason drills. Redshirt freshman receiver Jay Waddell also hurt his knee in the offseason and will be out for the year.

Looking at the bright side of it, head coach Rocky Long said, “We don’t see it as a big blow because we had inexperienced receivers anyway.”

“They were all going to be given a chance in the fall,” Long said. “The ones that played the best were going to get a chance to play. I don’t think situation has changed dramatically whatsoever.”

Long may have a point in his response to the news, but no matter how he tries to brush it off, this is still a big blow to the Aztecs offense. Sandifer may not have had a lot of experience in his career, but he's still the most experienced receiver San Diego State has after making 23 catches for 263 yards last season. He was also slated to be the Aztecs' deep threat in 2011, and while tight end Gavin Escobar will be a useful target for quarterback Ryan Lindley, he's not exactly going to stretch the field.

The upcoming season is going to be an important one for the Aztecs. Even though Brady Hoke left for Michigan, the expectations with the program are high enough that a second consecutive bowl appearance is the expectation. With Lindley, Ronnie Hillman and Walter Kazee all back, the Aztecs had the weapons on offense to ensure that it would happen again provided that the inexperienced receiving corps stepped up.

Now that Sandifer has been lost, along with Waddell, nobody can be sure what will happen to a passing attack that finished 12th in the nation in yards per game last season.  

Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Derek Dooley at SEC Media Days

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Tennesse head coach Derek Dooley hasn't been at Tennessee all that long, but he's routinely one of the more entertaining coaches to listen to every summer during SEC Media Days. Much like his father, Vince Dooley, Derek isn't exactly afraid to speak his opinion on a subject, particularly when he feels strongly about something.

When Dooley faced the media on Thursday, there was one topic that sent him off onto a long, thoughtful answer. Dooley was asked what he thought about the SEC's new policy of having a uniform discipline policy when it comes to players, and also on the idea of one-year renewable scholarships to multi-year scholarships.

Dooley started by addressing the scholarship issue.

"You know, I get a kick out of a lot of these issues. They're fun to read about. A scholarship is a contract. I mean, that's what it is. It's a contract between two parties. Both parties have obligations to do things to continue the contract.

"I hear about how it's so awful when a player gets a scholarship taken away. I'm sitting there going, Universities give academic scholarships all the time, and if a student doesn't meet certain academic requirements, they take it away from them.

"It's no different to me in athletics. We have a commitment to them, and they have a commitment to us. So we're giving them a benefit and they're giving us a benefit. That's why it's a contract.

"So I think how we have things is good, it's fair. It is one year. It's renewable. I think the market takes place when a team is abusing that situation. If a coach is just taking away scholarships, kicking people off the team, the market is going to take care of it in recruiting. Who is going to want to go play for the guy? Allow the market to act."

Obviously, there are some differences between academic scholarships and athletic scholarships. For starters, while both can be taken away, academic scholarships come with set guidelines for what you need to do to keep that scholarship. Athletic scholarships have a lot more gray area. Still, Dooley did make some interesting points in his response.

Just like he did when he tackled the player discipline issue.

"It goes back to what you believe philosophically. Are we going to allow the institutions and programs to set their rules, then allow the market to handle which way they go and the success they have, or are we going to take over and define what everybody does all the time? I think it's absurd to have across-the-board disciplinary measures when you're talking about dealing with young people.

"Otherwise what we need to do is get off the campuses and form us a little college league like the NFL if we're going to go in that direction. Then it's one group, we represent the college football league, not the school, we're all the same, we all wear the same sideline gear except the color of everything. It's all uniform.

"That's what makes college unique. We got programs that have $100 million competing with programs that have $10 million. Things aren't level. Things aren't equal. That's just the way it is. I think that's a unique thing, fun. Makes great fodder for the fans, brings pride to the institution because of their uniqueness. I don't think that's something we should be ashamed of."

Dooley then finished his answer in typical Dooley fashion, drawing a laugh from the entire room.

"I don't even know if I answered your question."

No doubt Dooley's comments about forming "a little college league like the NFL" caused a few ears across the country to perk up, as there are some who believe that may be the direction that college sports are taking. The idea that sometime in the not-too-distant future, the BCS will separate from the NCAA entirely to form its own league.

Some other highlights from Derek Dooley's session:

On his relationship with Will Muschamp - "Will and I are good friends. Of course, we talked a lot. I know he told you guys that prior to him getting the job at Florida. We still stay in touch. Not as much, obviously. We certainly don't talk about the same things we did before." 

"Of course, I had mixed feelings. I was proud of him. He deserved it. He's earned it. But I'd rather him been at Texas because he's a friend of mine. I mean, that's just how it is. "

On Tennessee's search for a new athletic director, and the performance of interim AD Joan Cronan - "Yeah, I've had a lot of contact with Joan. Joan has been phenomenal. When Joan took over at interim athletics director, I thought it was very important to try to define for her three or four things where she could help us before we hired a new athletics director. She has responded beautifully. She has done a phenomenal job of kind of running the ship in the interim phase. "

"I am not involved in the hiring process, nor should I be, because it's going to be my boss. I've appreciated Dr. [Jimmy] Cheek's communication with me at every step, which he has. I've appreciated his asking questions on what I thought was important. I know that he's going to make a great decision for Tennessee." 

On recruiting services - "The biggest role they play is providing video to evaluate players. You know, in the old days, I say 'the old days,' I'm a young guy. The old days were like 10 years ago to me. You got your film from a high school coach. So when you went to the schools, you would share video.

"With technology, with digital, it's been a lot easier. There's a better way where the high school coach can one time send his games to a service, and then that service can send it out to all the colleges."

"We spend a lot of money on it. I don't apologize for that. We recruit across the country. We have to stretch our wings out pretty far and need to get video from a lot of areas to build our board.

"But we do try to stay fiscally responsible that the services we are using are giving us a little return on the back end." 

On the SEC East's decline compared to the SEC West - "I don't have a theory other than to say I've been watching SEC football all of my life, as you guys know, and everything goes in cycles, it always does. Programs have their great runs. Programs have their bumps along the way. I don't think that's ever going to change. I mean, that's the competitive nature of our sport.

"So certainly the east looked a little different last year than it has in the past. But we'll see how it turns out this year." 

"Here is what I do know: every time you think a team is down, they emerge and they whip your tail. Every time you think a team's on top, things probably don't go their way.

"What I can't do is concern myself with where the other programs are. We have to concern ourselves with where we are as a program, and each week try to figure out a way to beat that team because we only have to be better than them on one day of the year. That's what our focus is."

SEC Media Days will conclude tomorrow with Nick Saban, James Franklin, Houston Nutt and Les Miles all scheduled to address the media. Keep reading CBSSports.com and the Eye On College Football Blog for continued coverage.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:51 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:58 pm
 

UCF QB Jeff Godfrey arrested

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UCF quarterback Jeff Godfrey was arrested by campus police on Saturday night for driving on a suspended license.

According to the officer that pulled over and arrested Godfrey, he knew that Godfrey was driving on a suspended license because he'd already given him a ticket for it on April 9th. The officer also wrote on his report that he felt the tint on the windows of Godfrey's car were too dark.

Godfrey was booked into Orange County Jail on Sunday morning and was later released after posting $250 bail. His court date is set for August 5th.

Godfrey's license had been suspended after he failed to pay two traffic fines in 2009, along with another one last month. His license also expired on May 25th, so even if it hadn't already been suspended, it wouldn't be valid anyway.

UCF head coach George O'Leary is aware of Godfrey's arrest and said in a statement that he has "spoken with Jeff in regards to correcting his driver license status.

Posted on: July 20, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:55 pm
 

Big 12 media preseason poll released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The preseason media poll for the Big 12 was released on Wednesday afternoon, and for the most part, it looks exactly like you'd expect it to. Though it definitely doesn't look like something that Texas fans will enjoy or approve of. Forty-three members of the media voted in the poll, and Oklahoma was the runaway favorite as the Sooners garnered 41 of the 43 first-place votes.

Here's how the entire poll looked.

  1. Oklahoma (41) - 428 points
  2. Texas A&M (1) - 362 points
  3. Oklahoma State (1) - 360 points
  4. Missouri - 281 points
  5. Texas - 265 points 
  6. Baylor - 194 points
  7. Texas Tech - 191 points
  8. Kansas State - 140 points
  9. Iowa State - 93 points
  10. Kansas - 51 points
Obviously, the thing that sticks out more than anything is the fact that Texas -- Texas -- comes in ranked fifth. Even though Nebraska has left the conference, the Big 12 media still feels that there are four teams in the conference better than the Longhorns.

Now, personally, I think preseason polls of any kind are silly. How any of us are supposed to pretend we know how good a football team will be without seeing it run a single play against another team is trivial.

Still, Texas is fifth! Only one spot ahead of Baylor! Think about that.

It's amazing how one bad season can have such an impact on a school's reputation. I can't see ranking the Longhorns any lower than fourth in the conference, and I'd have them above Missouri. I just can't help but feel that even though Garrett Gilbert struggled last year, coming into 2011 with that experience will only help him, and the Longhorns offense can't be much worse than it was in 2010. Meanwhile, Missouri has lost Blaine Gabbert to the NFL, and that's not an easy person to replace on offense. 
Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Bobby Petrino at SEC Media Days

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino was the first SEC coach to be subjected to the throngs of reporters at the SEC Media Days on Wednesday in Birmingham, and here are a couple highlights of his session.

On why he's had so much success with quarterbacks wherever he's been - "I think when you look at our success in coaching quarterbacks, one thing I really believe in is it's our job to find out what they do well and then ask them to do that.

It's our coaches' job, my job, to find out what our quarterback does best. Let's take this nice, fancy playbook we have, set it to the side, and develop the offense around the quarterback and give him a chance to be successful. I think the other thing that helps a lot is when you get the other ten guys to play real well around him." 

On Tyler Wilson's performance in spring practice this year - "Tyler and Brandon [Mitchell] were the two guys taking reps with the ones. I really believe that those reps, they really tried to take advantage of them. I think Tyler also really understood that 'I just need to settle down, relax, and play the game the way I know how to play the game.' Not try to be Ryan Mallett. In [spring 2010 when Mallett was injured] at times he tried to do things that were out of his element and I thought this spring that was something he really understood 'Hey this is what I do well, this is what I have to work on, and I'm going to continue to do what I know how to do to move the ball.'"

On how Arkansas having so much depth at RB and WR helps the quarterback - "I think it'll really help our new QB, Tyler or Brandon, whoever it is. The fact that  I have to distribute the ball according to what the defense is doing. There's been years when you're on offense and you know who your number one receiver is, your number two receiver is and sometimes, particularly when you're inexperienced, you try to force the ball into that guy. Our quarterbacks understand that we're very talented. I have to read the defense, understand what's going on and distribute the ball. Get it to my players and let them make plays for me. I think that's something we will rely on, and it'll really help us if you can turn around and hand it to Knile [Davis] 20 to 25 times a game and get to the proper third downs. That's what really helps there."

On Knile Davis and what he means to the team - "I think the first thing you look at when you look at Knile Davis is you look at his work ethic. Here's a young man that, in the weight room, has continued to get stronger and faster. In fact, he just did a great job in the weight room this past week.

"He's a young man that, in the winter, when we had our testing days, he went in there with every group. He didn't have to, but he was in there cheering them on, spotting guys. The offensive line came in after the running backs, he stayed and spent time with the offensive lineman. So it's become extremely important for him to show how much he cares, and how much he encourages his teammates.

"As far as his ability to run the football, you can see he can run with power, speed and has very, very good vision. I'm excited to see him take a step forward and make improvements in what he did from a year ago. He understands what he needs to do to do that."

On Arkansas' defensive line and how important defensive line play is in the SEC - "I'm excited for our defense this year because I really feel like it's the first time where we're physically where we need to be on the defensive front. Our guys will be big and physical and athletic. We've got speed on the edges which matches what we see every week in the conference.

"I've always believed since I was in the conference as an assistant and then coached in another conference as a head coach that the thing that separated the SEC from everybody else in America was the defensive front. The speed and athleticism on the edges and the athleticism and size on the inside. I found out when I came back into the league as a head coach that that was true."

On playing in a division as tough as the SEC West - "It's tough, you're going against guys that are very, very good players. Tremendous coaching staffs. That's what makes it hard is everybody is going to be well-prepared, understands how you play the game and has the talent to win the game. I think it's real important for us that we're disciplined, we understand how to play on the road and how to find a way to win in the fourth quarter."

On the high expectations at Arkansas - "I'm not afraid of high expectations. I'm excited with the fact that two years in a row now we have very high expectations....It's fun to approach the year that way."

On Ryan Mallett sharing Arkansas' hand signals with Jon Gruden in an ESPN special - "Yeah, they're changed. We already changed them. I wasn't real happy with him, by the way, when I was informed that he did that. He called me up and apologized, but he gave us a few ideas for some new hand signals, so that always helps."

On whether he considers 2010 to be an 11-win season rather than a 10-win season after Ohio State had to vacate the Sugar Bowl - "It's a ten-win season, we were 10-3. We had every chance in the world to win that game but were beat on the field."
Posted on: July 20, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 2:13 pm
 

NCAA still sniffing around Auburn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As Auburn head coach Gene Chizik recently found out in Destin, Florida after a rather testy exchange with NCAA Vice President of Enforcement Julie Roe Lach, the NCAA's investigation into Auburn is not over. More specifically, Chizik will "know when we're finished, and we're not finished." Now according to a report from outkickthecoverage.com, we know that the NCAA was in Montgomery asking questions as recently as last month.

According to the report, NCAA investigator Jackie Thurnes was in Montgomery interviewing a businessman with ties to the school.

As part of the latest round of investigation in Montgomery, Thurnes conducted interviews with Montgomery businessmen with relationships to Auburn University. Reached for comment by outkickthecoverage.com multiple individuals who spoke with Thurnes declined comment. Those interviews dealt with the NCAA's continuing probe of Cam Newton, but also focused on allegations levied on HBO's Real Sports by former Auburn player Stanley McClover. McClover told HBO that he'd been paid to play football for Auburn. The NCAA investigating McClover's claims is interesting because typically the NCAA statute of limitations on collegiate wrongdoing is four years. McClover last played at Auburn in January of 2006, but the NCAA reserves the right to expand the statute of limitations if there is a connection or pattern of wrongdoing.

Here's our original story on Stanley McClover

One allegation that Thurnes is reportedly looking into has to do with the suit Cam Newton wore to the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

One such individual, Thomas Buckelew, a tailor at Buckelew's Clothing for Men in Montgomery, Alabama, finds himself buffeted by allegations that he provided high-priced suits to Cam Newton at reduced costs. The very suits, you guessed it, that Newton wore at the Heisman ceremony. According to sources, Newton's suits, ties included, cost in excess of $4,000 each. NCAA investigator Jackie Thurnes was informed of this allegation, and the NCAA has spent time investigating its validity.

Since providing the suits at a reduced rate, if proven, would constitute an improper benefit and hence an NCAA violation, the NCAA has to take each allegation seriously. Indeed, last week Georgia Tech's 2009 ACC title was stripped for a mere $312 in improper clothing benefits.

When contacted by outkickthecoverage.com Buckelew admitted that he knew Newton and had worked with him but then said he'd "rather not get into it" and that he hasn't talked to anyone with the NCAA about his relationship with Newton. Buckelew also went on to say that he hopes the attention on him continues because it's been "good for business."

Maybe for him, but should these allegations turn out to be true and the NCAA keeps looking around and finds more violations at Auburn, it won't be very good for business at Auburn. 

Posted on: July 19, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:50 am
 

NCAA to discuss COI decision on LSU today

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday LSU head coach Les Miles talked about how important it is to cooperate with the NCAA in any investigation, saying that it was "fundamental" and "necessary." Miles said that when asked about LSU's recent discussion with the NCAA regarding its relationship with Will Lyles. While that's a situation that likely won't be resolved for some time, LSU may find out shortly how cooperating with the NCAA can be beneficial to a program when it comes to possible penalties.

In 2010 LSU self-reported recruiting violations that took place in 2009 to the NCAA and had a hearing in front of the Committee on Infractions this past April. Now, according to a tweet from Yahoo's Charles Robinson, the NCAA has a conference call this afternoon to discuss the committee's decision in regards to LSU's case.



The violations LSU reported stem from the recruitment of former defensive tackle signee Akiem Hicks and former assistant coach D.J. McCarthy.  LSU found that McCarthy's recruitment of Hicks included improper phone contact, transportation and housing. Hicks never attended LSU and McCarthy was relieved of his duties after the violations were found. LSU also self-imposed recruiting sanctions on the program by docking two scholarships in its 2011 recruiting class along with its 2012 class.

Whether the NCAA will impose any further sanctions against LSU, well, we'll find out soon enough it seems. Though since LSU self-reported the issue, imposed its own sanctions and cooperated with the NCAA, I wouldn't expect any possible further punishment to be too severe.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com