Tag:NCAA
Posted on: September 8, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Gators' Floyd suspended two games by NCAA

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When Florida announced just before kickoff Saturday that defensive lineman Sharrif Floyd had been declared ineligible by the NCAA, their assurance that Floyd's "issue" was "not related to sports agents, University of Florida boosters or his recruitment to Florida" suggested that he might return to the lineup sooner rather than later. That suggestion has been proven correct.

The NCAA announced Thursday that Floyd will have his eligiblity reinstated following a two-game suspension and the repayment of $2,700 in benefits to charity. Assuming Floyd makes the payment, he will miss this week's game against UAB but be eligible to return for Florida's Week 3 SEC opener against Tennessee.*

According to the NCAA statement, Floyd was declared ineligible by Florida "for violations of NCAA preferential treatment rules, including receiving $2,500 cash over several months from an individual not associated with the university."

That individual has been reported to be a man named Steve Gordon, president of an organization titled the Student Athlete Mentoring Foundation. Involvement with Gordon and his organization has led to eligiblity issues for both Floyd and South Carolina freshman receiver Damiere Byrd. " "We don’t steer players (to specific schools), and the proof is in the pudding," Gordon told Columbia (S.C.) newspaper The State. "All I know is they are punishing Damiere and Sharrif for something they didn’t do."

To some extent, the NCAA seemed to agree, reducing Floyd's suspension from four games to two for "mitigating circumstances." Their statement explains:
In its decision, the reinstatement staff cited the totality of Floyd’s circumstances, including his personal hardship that led to the impermissible benefits being provided to the student-athlete by someone other than a legal guardian or family member.
Even that doesn't sound like it was enough for Florida. Gator AD Jeremy Foley released a statement stating that the Gators were "comfortable" with Floyd's eligiblity status, " yet the NCAA staff interpreted that there were violations."

He described Floyd's upbringing as "an environment where he didn’t have the things most of us take for granted ... In the absence of parents, there were kind people, in no way affiliated with the University of Florida, who were not boosters or sports agents, that helped him along the way."

While Byrd was unlikely to become a major contributor so soon for the Gamecocks, Floyd had reportedly been a terror in Gator practices throughout the offseason and was set to start at either tackle or end. He was named a CBSSports.com preseason All-SEC selection and should give Will Muschamp one more weapon on what already shapes up as one of the SEC's best defensive line.

So if Muschamp walks with just a little more pep in his step today, we won't blame him.

*On CBS, we just think you should know.

Posted on: September 6, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Brandon Willis officially enrolls at UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Defensive tackle Brandon Willis has landed has landed at UCLA. Again.

After initially committing to Tennessee as a senior in high school (twice), Willis signed a letter of intent with North Carolina after Lane Kiffin's staff left for USC. After six months in Chapel Hill, he then packed up his bags and headed west to UCLA in March. He lasted all of seven months in Westwood before deciding to transfer back to the Tar Heels in March. In August, he announced he was leaving UNC once again.

Now he's back with the Bruins and enrolled in classes, the school has announced. He will begin practicing with the team, which badly needs healthy defensive linemen, Tuesday afternoon but will not be eligible to play in a game. The school has begun the NCAA waiver process in order to get him eligible to play this season but he will only be able to practice until it is completed.

So it looks like Willis is back where he began (transferring to), just with a few more frequent flier miles in his account. Heck, Willis could be the first person to be on a Pac-10, Pac-12 and ACC team before finally playing a down in the Pac-16.
Posted on: September 5, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 12:39 pm
 

Surveying the Field: Reviewing Week 1

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Yes, it's back.

234 days after Auburn defeated Oregon in Glendale, college football has returned. And did it ever.

At some point during Russell Wilson's return at Wisconsin, Baylor and TCU's shootout, Auburn's furious comeback or Texas A&M's blowout of SMU, one just had to take a deep breath, take in everything that was going on around the country and say, yes, the sport is back.

As Washington beat writer Bob Condotta summed up, "College football spent 9 months trying to drive everyone away and in about 18 hours has brought everyone back."

Three straight days worth of games (and one more tonight) couldn't have come at a better time either after, as Condotta alluded to, a rough offseason. Realignment and infractions were in most writers' computer clipboards just from all that went on. Ohio State, Oregon, USC, Miami, etc., were the schools being talked about in lieu of directional schools being beat up by state schools.

The newest addition to the great CBSSports.com crew, senior columnist Bruce Feldman, broke down The Big Picture from opening weekend and now it's time to dive into the details.

Stat of the week

Admission: I'm a passionate baseball fan. I write, live and breath college football for a living but to me, there's nothing like the intricacies of a baseball game. There's Vin Scully in the booth, phenom call-ups, the DH debate and John Sterling going as over the top as you can get on a home run call. The sport isn't for everyone though, and the biggest reason most point to is the pace of the games.

Turns out, the baseball players have come around to that point too. I've watched a ton of Red Sox-Yankees games over the years and still enjoy every pitch despite them routinely taking around four hours to play.

"It's brutal. I can't stand playing a nine-inning game in four hours. It's not baseball," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "I don't even know how to describe it. If I was a fan, why would I want to come watch people sitting around and talking back and forth, going to the mound, 2-0 sliders in the dirt? Four-hour games can't be fun for a fan, either?"

On Thursday, the opening day of college football, the Yankees and Red Sox played nine innings in four hours and 21 minutes. 4:21. Not one football game all week took longer than four hours during week one that wasn't extended due to weather. Heck, out of 1,526 games during the 2010 season, the average length of a game was 3:12.

Stats like this make me glad I cover football and am just a fan of baseball. The excessive TV timeouts in the college game might make some angry but do keep things in perspective: at least it's not baseball.

Other stats of note

- SEC teams scored 63 touchdowns, 22 through the air, five on defense and five through returns.

- Florida running back Jeff Demps broke the 2,000 yard rushing mark for his career while his teammate Chris Rainey (left) scored a touchdown receiving, rushing and via a punt return. He was the first Gator to ever score in those three ways in one game.

- Arkansas's Joe Adams managed to return two punt returns for touchdowns against Missouri State.

- The 53 pass attempts from by Oregon's Darron Thomas were the most by a Ducks quarterback since Kellen Clemons on October 9, 2004.

- North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner had a great debut for the Tar Heels, going 22-23 for a 95.7% completion percentage. That's an ACC record and is the second best mark in NCAA history behind Tennessee's Tee Martin at 95.8%.

- USC's Robert Woods caught a school-record 17 passes and Matt Barkley threw a school-record 34 completions.

- Kellen Moore has 102 career touchdown passes against just 20 interceptions after his game in the Georgia Dome. According to Tony Barnhart, 10 of those interceptions came in his first year.

- UCLA hadn't lost in the state of Texas in 34 years (to Houston) before falling to the Cougars on Saturday. They also hadn't lost to a team from Texas since Houston beat them at the Rose Bowl in 1979. More than the record books though, Rick Neuheisel badly needed a win for this year's record.

- Oregon State true freshman Malcolm Agnew is the nation's leading rusher after a 223 yard performance... but his team still lost to an average FCS team this weekend.

- No surprise to see FIU's T.Y. Hilton turn in another great all-around performance, racking up a nation's-best 283 all-purpose yards against North Texas.

- Amazingly, Oregon-LSU was only the seventh time two ranked Pac-12 and SEC teams met on the field in the last 10 years. The SEC has a 4-3 edge after the Tigers took care of business in Arlington.

The NCAA is following Miami

The NCAA taking a road trip to see Miami tonight…. NCAA.com that is.

The site is wrapping up a five game, five state, five day road trip to kick off the season and is taking a behind the scenes look at several programs along the way. They were in Charlotte, N.C. to check in on student-athlete Stephen Garcia leading South Carolina to a win over ECU. The were soaked after rain storms shortened West Virginia's victory over Marshall. Tonight they'll be in College Park to see Maryland and Miami play.

While the trip is noble, there's a tinge of irony that the NCAA is taking their talents to see the team from South Beach play. Either way, check it out here.

I'm not sure which of the 16 different uniform combinations Maryland is using Monday night either but maybe they can figure out a way to wear the all white ones despite it being a home game. After all, seems like this would be their only chance since you certainly can't wear (all) white after Labor Day.

Don't forget about these guys

- Notre Dame was as sloppy as the field they played on and there's not much else to say beyond that. Yes it was rainy, yes it was the first game of the year but all that shouldn't matter for the Irish - looking to finally live up to expectations and be a top 10 team this year. There's still plenty of time for them to get it together but their lack of fundamentals and now very real quarterback controversy will be something Brian Kelly will have to figure out quickly. On the bright side, Michael Floyd (right) had 12 catches, 154 yards and two touchdowns.

- Auburn is a young team and they're going to take some lumps given their difficult schedule. Let's get that statement out of the way. They can - and should - be better than what everybody is saying they'll be but still, it was a bit shocking to see the Tigers on the brink of a loss at Jordan Hare Stadium to Utah State. It will take some time for this young team to gel and get caught up to the pace of the game. Auburn got a very real wake up call that Cam Newton wasn't taking the snap, now it's time to see how they'll respond.

"We are a long way off from being able to win very many games right now," head coach Gene Chizik said.

Aggies true freshman Chuckie Keeton was the star of the show if you look beyond the box score (21-30, 213 yards) thanks to the tremendous poise he had in his first game ever at the collegiate level. He'll be one to keep an eye on in the future.

- If you were a Michigan fan who managed to stay dry at the Big House, you had to be somewhat encouraged at the progress your defense made. Yes there's nowhere to go but up from last year but Greg Mattison looked like he had the team being much more aggressive. The players still aren't the caliber they once were but there are some bright spots, such as linebacker Brandon Herron.

- It's hard to read too much into Alabama's game against Kent State other than that their defense is nasty (90 total yards allowed) and they have an unfair advantage with Eddie Lacy and Trent Richardson in the backfield. It appears AJ McCarron has the edge at quarterback but both him and Phillip Sims tossed two interceptions. The real test comes when both go into a hostile Happy Valley to take on Penn State. That's when Nick Saban will truly find out which is his "guy."

- Memo to Bob Stoops: walk-on transfer Dominique Whaley needs a scholarship. It's the least Oklahoma's head coach can do after Whaley ran for 131 yards and four touchdowns in the Sooners opener against Tulsa. It's the Sooners bye week, perhaps Stoops can find the cash lying around for a full-ride.

- A so-so debut for Missouri quarterback James Franklin on Saturday. There were positives and negatives for Blaine Gabbert's replacement as he seemed about a half-step behind where he should have been in the passing game, failing to hit open receivers at times. Third down conversions (3 of 13) is one area that has to be concerning but certainly his skills running the ball have to be somewhat exciting to Tigers fans but there will have to be a bit of polishing going on before they take on the big boys like Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

- No surprise to see LSU corner Tyrann Mathieu named as SEC player of the week. He was all over Cowboys Stadium for the Tigers and made one of the biggest plays of the game when he recovered/forced a muff punt and scooped and scored.

More on College Football
Analysis
Dennis Dodd Dennis Dodd
LSU's Tigers sink teeth into Ducks, show they could be in running for No. 1 ranking. Read >>
Brett McMurphy Brett McMurphy
A changed Garcia makes all the difference for Gamecocks. Read >>
Tony Barnhart Tony Barnhart
Boise State's dominant win over Georgia proves they're ready to run the table. Read >>
Related links
Video
Pulling Rank

The AP and coaches polls don't come out until Tuesday with a game being played on Monday. Here's Dennis Dodd's latest power poll top 10 however.

1. Oklahoma, 2. LSU, 3. Boise State, 4. Alabama, 5. Wisconsin, 6. Virginia Tech, 7. Florida State, 8. Stanford, 9. Texas A&M, 10. Nebraska.

Not a big disagreement with that group, but perhaps the Cardinal is a bit undervalued at number eight.

Links for later

- With plenty of time to talk about conference realignment before the games begin again, be sure to check out Dallas Mavericks owner - and Indiana alum - Mark Cuban's thoughts on what Big 12 schools should do. Namely, just say no.

- The video of the week comes out of Lubbock, as Texas Tech's head coach Tommy Tuberville gets the Red Raider fans fired up in this pre-game intro. It didn't work as well as the second half intro, as Tech pulled away 50-10.

- A precision attack from Kellen Moore and his receivers picked apart Georgia's defense. Here's how they did it.
 
- Good column from Sun Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde, who gets Al Golden to open up and share his view of the scandal that has engulfed his program.

- Is The Longhorn Network the sticking point for Texas going to the Pac-16? Yes, but it appears they can get out of it if they want.

Where We'll Be This Week

Looking ahead, Dennis Dodd will be on-hand to see Joe Paterno can try and pull of a massive upset as Alabama travels to Penn State. Tony Barnhart will be seeing if Georgia can bounce back and save Mark Richt's job as the Bulldogs take on South Carolina while Brett McMurphy travels to Ann Arbor for the big night game between Michigan and Notre Dame. Gregg Doyel is going to see one independent take on a possible future independent as BYU travels to play Texas. Finally, myself and Bruce Feldman will carpool to the Coliseum and witness the first ever Pac-12 conference game between Utah and USC.

Across the goal line

Finally, let's not forget how the first day of Oh-thank-goodness-college-football-
is back ended for most of us. I'm really not sure why a game between two commonwealth schools would be played in the state of Tennessee in the first place, but it was. I understand wins in the state are hard to come by, but just how bad was the Kentucky-Western Kentucky game?

The highlight of the night was pretty much Hilltoppers linebacker (and first-team All-Namer) Andrew Jackson telling the nation, "They supposed to be in the SEC?" Of course his team was down at the time but you understood why he chose to make the remarks.

Wildcats' punter Ryan Tydlacka said afterwards, "I'm kind of exhausted." If your punter says he's exhausted after a game, it better be because he ran more than two fake punts, not because he averaged 47 yards on seven punts.

But it was football. The game we love so, so much has returned.

And good, bad, ugly or Kentucky, we'll take it.


Posted on: September 1, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 11:25 pm
 

Sources: USC coach resigns due to NCAA probe

Posted by Bryan Fischer

USC defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza resigned from his position Thursday due to his involvement with a NCAA recruiting probe, two sources told CBSSports.com.

Garza cited personal reasons unrelated to the school as the reason for his departure in a statement but sources said his resignation was a direct result of his involvement with former scout Will Lyles and a related NCAA probe into possible recruiting violations.

Lyles interviewed with NCAA investigators for several hours with his lawyers present on Tuesday. During the interview, Lyles revealed that he had a "relationship" with Garza prior to becoming an assistant at Tennessee according to sources. USC officials were notified on Wednesday of the connection and moved swiftly to work out Garza's departure. 

NCAA enforcement staff is currently investigating Lyles' scouting service connections to several programs, including Oregon and LSU. A source said it was not related to Tennessee's NCAA case that was recently completed.

Garza, a former safety at Texas, followed head coach Lane Kiffin from Tennessee to USC in 2010 and was entering his second season with the Trojans before abruptly resigning. USC is currently on NCAA probation stemming from the school's major infractions case involving former running back Reggie Bush.




Posted on: August 30, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Morris among new starters after Cane suspensions

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Simultaneous to the NCAA ruling on the eight Miami players now suspended for the Hurricanes' Monday opener against Maryland, the program also released its first depth chart of the 2011 season. With the suspended players absent from the depth chart, here's a rundown of who will be starting for the 'Canes against the Terps:

Stephen Morris, quarterback. With Jacory Harris unavailable, the 6'2" sophomore unsurprisingly gets the nod over Spencer Whipple. Morris appeared in six games a year ago and started four, with the typical ups-and-downs of freshman quarterbacks; he led the Hurricanes to victories over Maryland and Georgia Tech late in the year but only completed 54 percent of his passes and tossed more interceptions (nine) than touchdown passes (seven).

Allen Hurns, wide receiver. A true sophomore, Hurns saw action in nine games in 2010 -- mostly on special teams -- before suffering an injury. He did not record a reception. But he'll get the start against the Terps anyway after the suspensions of Aldarius Johnson and Travis Benjamin.

Darius Smith, defensive tackle. Potential All-American Marcus Forston is out, so in steps the 6'2", 360-pound JUC transfer tackle from Lackawanna (Pa.) College. (No doubt he'll be a favorite of fans of The Office.) Smith was originally recruited to Temple by head coach Al Golden before failing to qualify academically.

Andrew Smith, defensive end. Smith started seven games as a sophomore but came off the bench as a junior. With both Olivier Vernon and Adewale Ojomo suspended, though, Smith is set to get the call against Maryland. Even as a substitute, Smith tied for fourth on the team with three sacks in 2010.

James Gaines, linebacker. All-ACC 'backer Sean Spence is among those sitting the single game against Maryland, so sophomore Gaines, a native of Canisuius, N.Y., will get the call. Gaines appeared in six games as a true freshman and made one assisted tackle.

Michael Williams, cornerback. The suspended Ray Ray Armstrong was a safety, but Jojo Nicolas's move back to that position to fill that hole opened one up for Williams, a senior who sat out last seaso nafter transferring from Wake Forest. Williams started four games for the Demon Deacons in 2009.

Miami has not named a starter at tight end, the position of the suspended Dyron Dye.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 7:05 pm
 

NCAA is watching The Longhorn Network. Closely.

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The controversal Longhorn Network launches Friday at 6 p.m. central time but before taking the air (to only a handful of minor cable operators) the NCAA wanted to deliver a message to ESPN and Texas about their joint venture before flipping the switch: We're watching you. Very, very closely.

The NCAA is monitoring content on the Longhorn Network and its news coverage of high school sports. With respect to NCAA bylaws as the Association has continued to review the issue, acceptable content is limited to scores, statistics, standings and news video used to report those details. 

We will continue to monitor the Longhorn Network to determine if the content is produced within those guidelines.

After being denied the chance to televise high school games, network executives later announced they would instead limit programming to highlights of selected games. This, ESPN has argued, is allowable because they are news and don't fall under the broad definition of high school programming. Seems like the NCAA is making sure all parties realize there are some limits to this however.

So for now the NCAA is sitting back in their recliners and watching an All-Access look into Mack Brown's program and the latest news about the Longhorn swim team, keeping an eye out for programming that goes beyond the lines.

Illustration by Tom Fornelli

Posted on: August 25, 2011 7:29 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 6:12 am
 

Report: Eight Miami players declared ineligible

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Miami has declared eight football players ineligible and begun the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement process, according to The Miami Herald.

Quarterback Jacory Harris was the only player named in the report as being ineligible, which stems from alleged extra benefits provided by former Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro. Four other players, according to the report, were cleared because they accepted fewer than $100 in benefits and can repay the amounts to a charity of their choice in order to play.

It is not known if the ineligible players will complete the reinstatement process in time for Miami's first game against Maryland on September 5. The university was expected to get the proceedings started early in hopes that the NCAA can determine their status for the season opener sooner. Speaking earlier Thursday, head coach Al Golden delayed releasing a depth chart due to the uncertain status of so many players involved in the investigation.

“We'll practice enough guys because we don't know what the future brings,” Golden said. “Hopefully we'll find out in the near future if there are any suspensions or penalties and we'll adjust accordingly.”

Golden said ACC rules require depth charts to be released on Tuesday but that Miami was working with the conference and with the Terrapins to coordinate its release.

At least 12 players involved in the NCAA probe practiced Thursday afternoon according to reports.


Posted on: August 25, 2011 5:01 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Russell Shepard ineligible, to miss LSU opener

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

What must already be one of the longest weeks of Les Miles' coaching career is getting even longer.

The "compliance issue" which threatened the eligibility of star receiver Russell Shepard will result in his suspension for the opener against Oregon and "a number of games" more, LSU has announced. Thanks to Shepard having spoken with a teammate about that teammate's meeting with NCAA officials prior to the meeting, he has been ruled ineligible.

LSU stated they would apply to have Shepard reinstated and his eligibility restored, but there is no current timetable for a ruling on that application.

A former five-star recruit, Shepard has yet to fulfill his substantial pre-arrival hype in Baton Rouge, but the versatile athlete still finished 2010 LSU's third-leading receiver and fourth-leading rusher. (If there's any silver lining to Thursday's news for the Tigers, it's that the Ducks will be missing the suspended Cliff Harris; as Chris "Heismanpundit" Huston put it on Twitter, "Oregon will not have its best corner available to cover LSU's best suspended receiver.")

Still, if Shepard's suspension is followed up with further trouble for Jordan Jefferson, the Tiger offense -- never the team's strong suit -- will enter the Oregon match-up beyond shorthanded.

The full text of LSU's statement is below:
LSU wide receiver Russell Shepard has been declared ineligible by LSU for violation of an NCAA rule, it was announced Thursday.
LSU will seek reinstatement for Shepard but he is expected to miss a number of games until the reinstatement can be considered by the NCAA. He can continue to practice with the team.
Shepard has been found by the NCAA and LSU to be in violation of Bylaw 32.1.4. Shepard was determined to have discussed an NCAA inquiry with a teammate who was scheduled to meet with an NCAA representative and his actions were deemed to have violated NCAA protocol.
No timeline has been determined for the reinstatement process.


 
 
 
 
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