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Posted on: September 3, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Oklahoma State's thoughts on Big 12 future

Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis released a statement Saturday regarding Big 12 Conference discussions.

"We want to be clear that we worked actively to encourage Texas A&M to remain in the Big 12 Conference and regret they decided to leave," Hargis said. "We are moving ahead.

"Oklahoma State University's athletic program has never been stronger from top to bottom, putting us in a position to explore and pursue options, including the possible expansion of our current conference. We are in close communications with our colleagues at the University of Oklahoma and expect a decision soon that will be in the best interest of our institutions and the state of Oklahoma."

In other words, if Oklahoma is leaving to the Pac-12/16, Oklahoma State fully expects to go with them.

Hargis' statement comes a day after Oklahoma President David Boren said the Sooners had been contacted by multiple conferences and that the Sooners were not "going to be a wallflower when all is said and done."

Like Hargis, Boren said he tried to prevent Texas A&M from leaving the Big 12. The Aggies are expected to join the SEC.

Boren said the Sooners expect to decide whether to leave in three weeks. He said he flew to Missouri to confer with chancellor Brady Deaton,the chairman of the Big 12 board of directors, and to College Station, Texas, to try to prevent Texas A&M from leaving for the SEC.

Oklahoma was offered chances to join both the Pac-10 and the SEC last year, but decided to stick with the Big 12, even as Nebraska left to join the Big Ten and Colorado joined the Pac-10, now the Pac-12.

"Of course, we have some great partners in the existing Big 12," Boren said. "We have interest from other conferences and other universities, so it's really a tribute to the strength of our program at the University of Oklahoma that there is so much interest in us.

"So, we have to carefully evaluate the various comments that are being made to us and the various possibilities that are being shown to us before we decide what's best for the university to do."


Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:26 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 11:52 am
 

Lee Roy Selmon hospitalized after stroke

Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon remained in "critical condition" at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, Fla, on Saturday, a day after suffering a stroke.

David Lewis, a former Tampa Bay Bucs teammate of Selmon's told The Tampa Tribune, that Selmon was showing signs of improvement and was breathing on his own. Selmon was able to squeeze the hand of his son, Lee Roy Jr., and recognized family members, including older brothers Lucious and Dewey, who flew from Oklahoma to Tampa on Friday, Lewis told the Tribune.

Selmon suffered a stroke in his home on Friday, University of South Florida spokesperson Michael Hoad said. A nursing supervisor at St. Joseph's Hospital said Saturday morning Selmon was in critical condition.

On Friday evening, WTSP-Ch. 10 in Tampa, Fla., quoting three unnamed sources, incorrectly reported that Selmon had died. Soon afterwards, a spokesperson with Selmon's restaurant released a statement expressing "deepest and most profound sorrow that we learned of our dear friend Lee Roy Selmon's passing this afternoon."

Then WTSP-Ch. 10 retracted its report and reported Dewey Selmon told the station Lee Roy was on life support and making progress.

Oklahoma spokesperson Kenny Mossman also posted on Twitter that Selmon was in fact still alive: "Just talked to Selmon family. Lee Roy has not passed away as of [7:37 ET]."

An hour after the restaurant released the statement, the spokesperson at Selmon's restaurant apologized and said the statement had been "prematurely released."

Selmon is 56. He was an All-American at the University of Oklahoma before being drafted as the No. 1 pick of the Tampa Bay Bucs in 1976, playing nine seasons until retiring because of a back injury.

After his playing days with the Bucs ended, he remained in Tampa. He was formerly an assistant athletic director and then athletic director at the University of South Florida until stepping down in February 2004 because of high blood pressure. Before resigning Selmon took a six-week sabbatical in January 2004 because of "heart" and "stress related" problems, Dewey Selmon told me.

Selmon, who played a big part in the start up of football at USF in 1997, has been president of USF's Foundation Partnership for Athletics since 2004. His name is on a chain of restaurants in the Tampa Bay area and a Tampa crosstown expressway is named after him.

He is the only Buccaneer to have his number retired and the first player inducted into the team's Ring of Honor.
Posted on: September 1, 2011 6:09 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Mississippi State suspends 5 players vs. Memphis

Mississippi State suspended five players, including starting DT Fletcher Cox, for Thursday night's game at Memphis for violating team rules, the school announced.

The other suspended players were freshman LT Blaine Clausell, who was listed as a co-starter at left tackle, Dylan Favre, Chris Hughes and Malcolm Johnson.

Favre was listed as the Bulldogs' back-up quarterback. Hughes, a sophomore linebacker, and Johnson, a freshman wide receiver, are not listed on MSU's two-deep.

All five players are expected to return for the Bulldogs' next game, Sept. 10 at Auburn, a MSU spokesperson said.



Posted on: September 1, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Ohio State suspends 3 key players for Akron game

Ohio State suspended starting running back/punt returner Jordan Hall and starting cornerback Travis Howard and back-up cornerback Corey Brown for Saturday's game with Akron for receiving impermissible benefits of $300 or less each at a charity event they attended earlier this year.

The Buckeyes already were without RB Dan Herron, WR Devier Posey, OL Mike Adams and DL Solomon Thomas, part of last year's infamous Tattoo Five. Those four plus former QB Terrelle Pryor were allowed to play in last season's Sugar Bowl and had their suspensions delayed until this year. Also, LB Jordan Whiting had been previously suspended for the Akron game.

According to the school Ohio State's actions were "consistent with past practice" and "the university immediately reviewed this information and self-reported the infractions to the NCAA and the Big Ten."

Ohio State has filed for the players' reinstatement for the remainder of the 2011 season, but the university said it also is considering institutional sanctions for these student-athletes.

"We take this matter seriously," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. "Our commitment to institutional integrity is steadfast, and we must hold everyone associated with our athletics programs accountable for lapses in judgment.  We believe in transparency with the NCAA, all regulatory bodies and all of Buckeye Nation."

The university, which self-reported the violations, said it will have no further comment on the violations.

Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:06 pm
 

LeGrand joins Rutgers radio network

When I spoke with Rutgers senior Eric LeGrand last month, the former Scarlet Knights defensive tackle said he planned on attending all of RU's home games this season.

That plan remains in place, but now LeGrand will be attending Rutgers' home games in a different role - as an analyst for the Rutgers Football Radio Network.

LeGrand will be on the broadcast for a segment during the pre-game show, at halftime and on the post-game show for every game this season. LeGrand will attend the home games and will call in for his segments for Rutgers' road games.

"I think it's really cool," Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. "He's going to do post (game), pre (game) and halftime. So we're going to get our 'E-Rock' report."

LeGrand wants to be a sports broadcaster after graduation. During the Scarlet-White spring game, LeGrand spent the third quarter calling the action for RVision, the official broadband network of Rutgers Athletics.

The Rutgers Division of Intercollegiate Athletics also has announced the establishment of the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to support Eric LeGrand and his family. LeGrand suffered a spinal cord injury Oct. 16, 2010 vs. Army and was paralyzed.

However, LeGrand told me his goal is not only to walk again, but run onto the field at High Point Solutions Stadium.

"I can't wait to run out the tunnel with 'my' team," LeGrand told CBSSports.com. "I can't control it, I have to play the waiting game and pray to God every night, every day. He's blessed me so far. I have to believe He will continue to do so."

Contributions to the LeGrand fund are not tax deductible and can be made by sending a check payable to the “Eric LeGrand Believe Fund” to:

“Eric LeGrand Believe Fund”
PNC Wealth Management
Attn: Kimberly G. Kingsland, Senior Trust Advisor
One Palmer Square Suite 201
Princeton, NJ 08542


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:08 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 11:12 pm
 

C-USA QBs causing some sleepless nights

Defensive coordinators John Skladany of UCF and Andre Patterson of UTEP might want to get some extra shut eye in the next two weeks. Because once the season starts, they’ll be having their share of sleepless nights.

Conference USA returns a national-best four quarterbacks that threw for at least 3,000 yards last season – East Carolina’s Dominique Davis, Southern Miss’ Austin Davis, Tulsa’s G.J. Kinne and SMU’s Kyle Padron.

UCF and UTEP each have to face those four quarterbacks this fall – and it’s even worse for Patterson’s UTEP club, who also has to play Houston and likely NCAA record holder Case Keenum, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility.

“I think four or five years from now, people will look back and say ‘Wow, all those guys came out of that league,’ ” Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora said.

Nine of C-USA’s 12 schools return their starting quarterbacks. Besides Keenum, Dominique Davis (3,967 yards passing, 37 TDs), Padron (3,828, 31 TDs), Kinne (3,650 yards, 31 TDs) and Austin Davis (3,103, 20 TDs), other returnees include UAB’s Bryan Ellis (2,940 yards, 25 TDs), UCF’s Jeff Godfrey (2,159 yards, 13 TDs) and Tulane’s Ryan Griffin (2,371, 14 TDs).

“The non-BCS schools have to play ‘up’ in non-conference games so you better be doing something a little bit different and take some chances in games with schemes or you’re going to have a tough time winning all four non-conference games,” SMU coach June Jones said. “The quarterbacks are benefiting. They’re spreading the field and doing something different and each team has their own mark.”

C-USA also returns a national-best six quarterbacks who threw 20 or more touchdowns last season.

“They’re all so versatile and they’re also great leaders,” East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeil said. “Which is not easier said than done.”

Even without Keenum last year, C-USA still had seven of the nation’s top 40 quarterbacks in passing yards per game, including four of the top 18.

“It’s an offensive league,” UTEP coach Mike Price said. “But you’re going to win it on defense if you can just slow some people down.”

All of the league’s offensive firepower has taken a huge toll on C-USA defenses. Last year, seven league teams ranked among the nation’s 27 worst defenses in passing yards allowed.

“If you don’t like going against the best [quarterbacks], then you’re not one to be in this conference,” UCF defensive end Darius Nall said.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 9:34 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 10:03 am
 

Biggest AP preseason poll busts since 2001

Take a good long look at the top 10 teams in the Associated Press preseason poll released today because based on the past decade, chances are at least one will not finish the season ranked in the Top 25. Who do you think that team will be?

The AP preseason top 10:

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

In the past 10 years, nine teams ranked in the preseason Top 10 finished the season out of the Top 25 in the final poll.

Since 2001, Tennessee has been the biggest preseason bust. The Volunteers were ranked No. 3 in the 2005 preseason poll, but finished 5-6 and unranked.

The Volunteers also have the distinction of being the only school in the last 10 years that finished the season not in the final rankings twice after being ranked among the top 10 preseason teams.

In 2002, Tennessee was No. 5 in the preseason poll, but an 8-5 record left the Volunteers out of the Top 25. Last season, Texas also was No. 5 in the preseason poll, but finished 5-7.

In the last 10 years 26 percent of the teams – or 6.5 teams per year – that were ranked in the Top 25 preseason poll were not ranked in the final AP poll. Last year, nine teams ranked in the Top 25 preseason poll were nowhere to be found when the final poll was released led by preseason No. 5 Texas.

Here’s a look at the biggest busts based on the AP preseason poll since 2001:

Year-PreRank School (final record)

2005–No. 3 Tennessee (finished 5-6)
2010–No. 5 Texas (finished 5-7)
2002–No. 5 Tennessee (finished 8-5)
2008–No. 9 Clemson (finished 7-6)
2002–No. 9 Washington (finished 7-6)
2003–No. 9 Virginia Tech (finished 8-5)
2008–No. 10 Auburn (finished 5-7)
2007–No. 10 Louisville (finished 6-6)
2002–No. 10 Nebraska (finished 7-7)
2001–No. 11 Oregon State (finished 5-6)
2006–No. 11 Florida State (finished 7-6)
2004–No. 12 Kansas State (finished 4-7)
2009–No. 12 Cal (finished 8-5)



Posted on: August 18, 2011 4:38 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2011 5:35 pm
 

One Miami grad's opinion on NCAA hypocrisy

In May, Adam Bates received his law degree and master's in Middle Eastern studies from Michigan. In 2007, he got his undergraduate degree in political science at Miami.

Bates, 26, is starting an internship with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., next month. He is a bright young man, very bright.

He also happens to have been a walk-on offensive lineman at the University of Miami from 2003-05. He feels strongly about the hypocrisy of the NCAA and its "amateur athletics."

Bates told me he's been making these arguments for years, but the Miami situation hit home, so he made his feelings known with an impassioned take on his Facebook page Wednesday night.

"I have a hard time stomaching the party line that this is amateur athletics," Bates told me. "It's all about the money. The arm races, the [salaries of] coaches.

"The NCAA doesn't want to deal with this -- if it all. If not for [the media] discovering these situations, the NCAA would still stick its head in the sand. If [the media] sorted through everyone's laundry, they would find the same stuff that Yahoo did at Miami."

Bates' strong view on the so-called "amateur" aspect of college athletics:

"There is an awful lot of righteous indignation floating around college football lately. A man spending the next 20 years of his life in federal prison for fleecing investors out of more than $900 million says he gave some money and benefits to some Miami Hurricanes over the last 10 years. I'm not interested in talking about what did or didn't happen. I'm not interested in confirming or denying the spiteful ramblings of an insecure snitch with an inferiority complex. I'm interested in talking about hypocrisy.

"I want to talk about the hypocrisy of the NCAA and, by extension, its constituent school administrations; the very people who have enriched themselves so shamelessly on the backs of the kids they're soon to righteously delight in punishing.

"First, a little background: I had it easy at the University of Miami, and it often felt like it was too much to bear. I had an easier time in class than most of my teammates, and far less was expected of me on the football field. I went to school on academic money and I played football because I wanted to and because I had played my whole life, not because it was the only way for me to get through school or make a better life for myself and my family. I can't speak about what it's like to be a high profile recruit, an All-American, or a future NFL star and the pressures such statuses entail. But I can tell you this: College football is a grind.

"The NCAA says players put in 20 hours a week. Anybody who has spent any time around a college program knows that 60 is a better number. Then add 12 to 15 hours a week of class on top of that. Seventy-five hours a week, in exchange for a stipend mathematically designed to make your ends almost meet.

"The president of the NCAA makes more than $1 million a year. Any head coach worth his salt is making two or three times that. Talking heads at ESPN/ABC/CBS and the presidents of most major institutions join them in the seven-digit salary club.

"That's what this is really about, and people have to understand that. Why is it a problem for [former Georgia wide receiver] A.J. Green to sell his jersey when the NCAA sells 22 variations of the very same jersey? Why can't [former Ohio State quarterback] Terrelle Pryor get some free ink from a fan? Why don't people react the same way to that as they do to hearing that Peyton Manning is selling phones for Sprint or that Tiger Woods gets paid $100 million to wear Nike gear? What's the difference?

"The difference, as far as I can tell, is that the NCAA has done a wonderful job duping people into believing this multibillion-dollar-a-year industry is pursued for the sake of amateurism. It's a total sham. The coaches aren't amateurs, the administrators aren't amateurs, the corporate sponsors and media companies that make hundreds of millions of dollars a year on the backs of these players aren't amateurs. The only 'amateurs' involved are the guys doing all the work. Pretty nice racket if you can get it.

"The NCAA and ESPN are going to be telling you that some great kids are scumbags because they allegedly broke rules designed to keep them poor and implemented by people making money hand over fist. An ESPN shill in a $5,000 suit is going to ask you to morally condemn the kids who provide the framework for said shill to make enough money to afford that suit because those kids might have taken some free food and drinks. They're going to be called 'cheaters' despite the obvious fact that boat trips don't make you run any faster or hit any harder.

"Oklahoma gives Bob Stoops $3 million a year and nobody blinks. A car dealership in Norman gives [former OU quarterback] Rhett Bomar a couple hundred bucks and everyone wets themselves. Urban Meyer sat on TV this very day, making approximately $1,500 an hour to sit there and flap his lips, and was asked to judge a bunch of 20-year-old kids for allegedly accepting free food and drinks and party invites.

"Is that immense delusion intentional or do people actually not realize the hypocrisy they perpetuate?

"What's that you say? The rules are the rules? I call bull----. When the rules are propagated by the very same people they're designed to benefit, I say the rules must be independently justifiable. What is the justification for saying that A.J. Green can't sell his jersey? That he won't be an 'amateur' anymore? Doesn't the scholarship itself render him no longer an amateur by any objective definition? Doesn't the fact that Georgia spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising itself to A.J. Green render him no longer an amateur? Doesn't he stop being an amateur when UGA promises him that his career at Georgia will net him NFL millions? Doesn't the fact that millions of dollars change hands thanks to the service he provides make him not an amateur?

"Is it because athletes should be treated like other students, lest they not appreciate the 'college experience?' Other kids get to sell their belongings, don't they? They get to go to parties and drink and throw themselves at women, don't they? They get to have jobs and earn their worth, don't they? And other kids don't spend 60 hours a week having their bodies broken or their spring mornings running themselves to death in the dew in the dark.

"It's nonsense. Unmitigated, indefensible nonsense. The players are ‘amateurs' for the simple reason that they're cheaper to employ that way. What is bad about giving a poor kid some money to spend? What is wrong with showing your appreciation for the service someone provides by giving them some benefit of their own? I'm supposed to believe it's wrong because the NCAA says it is?

"These players are worth far more than a free trip to the strip club and a trip around the bay on a yacht. A.J. Green is worth more to the NCAA and the University of Georgia than the cost of his jersey, and Terrelle Pryor is worth more than the value of a tattoo.

"I don't know much about players taking 'illegal benefits' and if I did I wouldn't be snitching about it like a lowlife, but I can tell you this: I hope to the bottom of my soul that every player in America is on the take, because they're getting shafted. The powers that be make too much money this way to ever change, and the rest of the country seems far too committed to delusions, institutional partisanship, and jealousy to see their own glass houses, so take what you can get while you can get it, youngbloods. You earned it."

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com