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Posted on: July 24, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Tar Heels not focusing on upcoming penalties

PINEHURST, N.C. – North Carolina is going to get hit by the NCAA – and probably hit hard – but two UNC seniors said Sunday they’re trying not to think about the upcoming penalties. 

“We really don’t think about that too much,” UNC senior center Jonathan Cooper said during the ACC's Football Kickoff. “It’s in the back of our minds, it’s on the back burner – what happens, happens. We’re just trying to work on improving.”

When the allegations came out, Cooper said he didn’t bother reading the NCAA’s 42-page report. 

“I just heard people say it was out,” Cooper said. “It was probably more information than what we already know. I don’t pay much attention to it honestly. Whatever happens, I don’t have any control.”

The NCAA’s report listed nine allegations against the Tar Heels’ program. Several players were suspended for part or all of last season because of the allegations. However, both Cooper and North Carolina senior defensive tackle Tydreke Powell don’t hold grudges against those teammates – even though the program could see significant penalties. 

“I think all of them are great guys,” Cooper said. “We all make mistakes. I’ve made mistakes in my life and I can’t say I’m any better than them. It hurts what could have been [if those players weren’t suspended], I still love the guys, they’re my teammates, they’re Tar Heels. I don’t hold anything against them.”

Powell had similar thoughts. 

“I don’t have anything against them,” Powell said. “Everyone makes mistakes. There’s no one that’s perfect in this world, I don’t hold any grudges at all.”

Powell said the Tar Heels can’t dwell on what might happen with the upcoming penalties or it will affect this year’s performance. 

“We’ve just got to throw it over our shoulders and strap up and play,” Powell said. “No matters what happens, we’ve still got to play.

“You can’t think about it [possible infractions]. If you think about it, it will wear you down. There’s nothing we can do about it. Why think about it? If you want to come out and have a great season you have to avoid thinking about it.”



Posted on: July 22, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Miles discusses LSU's use of recruiting services

HOOVER, Ala. – LSU coach Les Miles, whose school is under NCAA investigation for its dealings with Willie Lyles, said he uses recruiting services primarily for the video services they provide.

“We use XOS, it does just a tremendous body of work,” Miles said Friday. “We certainly want to cover the country. We have to have film video of prospects really across the country. We feel like there are certain areas we need to cover in other years more and certainly we want to recruit from Houston through to Florida. We’re going to hit those things hard absolutely.

“Certain years we’re going to be interested in junior colleges, but the point being you get it done, you get [the video] just as efficiently as you can and you study it. That’s how we’re going to recruit.

“There’s really nothing else a service can provide us other than video.”

Miles said he was prohibited from talking about Lyles and said the school was fully cooperating with the NCAA.

LSU paid $6,000 for Lyles’ junior college package. Oregon paid $25,000 and Cal $5,00 for Lyles’ recruiting services, which have been exposed as incomplete and fraudulent.

Miles, in his initial interview session at SEC Media Days, was asked about SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s proposed changes, including multi-year scholarships and increasing the GPA for incoming freshman from 2.0 to 2.5.

“There always will be change,” Miles said. “There’s a positive piece there. I think cost of attendance is a wonderful piece. I think [Slive] brings to light a multi-year scholarship that could be [extended to] six years. In my opinion anything that extends the timeline to allow our guys to graduate is a very good thing.”

Miles wasn’t as agreeable with the increased GPA. He believes colleges shouldn’t be “elitist” and said college was a place individuals “learn to develop.”

“I might see the 2.5 [GPA] in a freshman year before he plays as a real issue,” Miles said. “I got a degree in economics from a very prestigious institution [Michigan]. I can’t tell you when I achieved a 2.5, I hope I have. So that may have prohibited me from taking snaps – other than my lack of talent.”

Also, an LSU spokesman said that WR Russell Shepard has not been suspended. Shepard was scheduled to attend media days, but was replaced. Miles said Shepard had some personal issues he had to resolve in Baton Rouge, La., but would not elaborate.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Dooley says inequality in football 'fun'

HOOVER, Ala. – Tennessee coach Derek Dooley was asked Thursday about SEC commissioner Mike Slive’s proposal to provide multi-year scholarships and the possibility of a conference-wide discipline policy.

But when Dooley was finished answering the question, he gave some insight into the inequality between the automatic qualifying BCS schools and non-BSC schools.

And Dooley shed some light into the difference between the BCS and non-BCS schools and why a lot of folks, including BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, believe there will be a split within the FBS ranks.

“It goes back to what you believe philosophically,” Dooley said. “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.”

Dooley wasn’t finished.

“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,” Dooley said. “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. That’s not level. 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.”



Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Slive says you can win without cheating

HOOVER, Ala. – In the past two weeks, CBSSports.com has reported in depth on cheating in college athletics. And even since the series began three more schools – West Virginia, Georgia Tech and LSU – have received major NCAA sanctions.

So I posed the question Wednesday to SEC commissioner Mike Slive that our series sought out to answer: Can you win in college football these days without cheating?

The commissioner’s answer: “Yes.”

“There’s a tendency to overstate – if there’s a school on probation for phone calls or text messaging, you’re going to lump that in with another school who might had done something very different,” Slive said.

“We need to figure out what we really want to stop and go from there.”

In the past 25 years, SEC programs have committed the most NCAA major infractions of any conference. Since 1987, every SEC football program, except for Vanderbilt, has received a major infraction.

SEC football programs are hardly the only guilty parties. Since 1987, only 21 of the 67 automatic qualifying BCS conference schools have not committed a major infraction. That number likely will reduce to 20 after the NCAA rules on the various allegations concerning North Carolina.


Posted on: July 14, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Georgia Tech vacates 2009 ACC title

Georgia Tech has vacated its 2009 ACC Championship and was put on four years probation by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions.

CBSSports.com first reported the Yellow Jackets would vacate the 2009 ACC title.

Georgia Tech’s penalties include using ineligible student athletes during the 2009 season. Two of those student athletes involved are former wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and defensive back Morgan Burnett, a source said. Thomas was a first round pick in the 2010 NFL draft and Burnett was a third-round selection.

In 2009, Georgia Tech defeated Clemson 39-34 in the ACC championship game in Tampa, Fla., and then ended the season with a 24-14 loss to Iowa in the Orange Bowl.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions cited Georgia Tech for a lack of cooperation during an investigation, a failure to meet the conditions and obligations of membership, and preferential treatment violations.  The official punishment, according to the NCAA release, included a $100,000 fine, recruiting restrictions, vacation of records, and four years probation.

The football team, specifically, will suffer from the four years probation that will last until July 13, 2015, and the vacation of all contests won by the football team during the 2009 season after November 24, which includes their ACC title game victory over Clemson. Georgia Tech's crimes in the football program stem from a lack of action after being made aware of eligibility questions with a student-athlete.  CBSSports.com was told Thomas and Burnett were involved.

Judging by the phrasing in the report, the NCAA was most upset with Georgia Tech's attitude towards possible violations/investigations.

"The staff members provided, before the NCAA could conduct their interview, information about what would be discussed in the interview," NCAA Committee on Infractions chair Dennis Thomas said. "These actions impeded the enforcement staff investigations and hindered the Committee in getting to the truth in this case. Otherwise this case, as it pertains to the football program, would have been limited to impermissible benefits and preferential treatment violations."

The report from the NCAA goes on to state that the student-athlete in question competed in the final three contests of the 2009.  In this case, several items of clothing (valued at approximately $312) was the culprit.  A friend of a sports agency employee gave the gifts, and thus the student-athlete was ineligible for those contests.

"The championship game that they played in was vacated," Thomas said. "Most people in athletics take that very seriously as a major deterrent for playing ineligible athletes."

Despite the issues with Georgia Tech as an institution during the infractions process, no individuals were penalized as a result of non-cooperation.

"The committee felt that a show cause was not appropriate," Thomas said. "The committee reviewed the evidence and did not feel that anyone needed to be singled out in terms of an individual violation. We looked as it being more of an institutional matter."

"This case provides a cautionary tale of the conduct that member institutions should avoid while under investigation for violations of NCAA rules," the committee stated in its report.

Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson said the school could have done some things differently.

"Georgia Tech is committed to the integrity of its athletics program, including full cooperation and support of the NCAA," Peterson said. "Given the information we had at the time, I believe we took reasonable and appropriate steps to determine the proper course of action and acted in good faith. Looking back, there are things we could have done differently. Because of our unwavering commitment to NCAA compliance, we have already taken a number of steps to address perceived shortcomings, hopefully ensuring that our programs remain beyond reproach."

CBSSports.com's Chip Patterson and Bryan Fischer contributed to this report.


Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Another one bites the NCAA infractions dust

And then there were 73.

For the past two weeks, CBSSports.com has been reporting on various elements involved with cheating in college football.

During the series, we had referenced that there had been 72 major violations at 56 schools since SMU received the Death Penalty in 1987.

Well, it’s now up to 73 major infractions and 57 schools after West Virginia's July 8 violations, stemming from failure to monitor charges against former coaches Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart, are now included in the database of NCAA infractions.

West Virginia had been one of 23 automatic qualifying BCS conference teams that had not committed a major violation since 1987, so now that number is reduced to 22. That also means 45 of the 67 AQ BCS schools - 67.1 percent of the schools from the six power conferences.

The final and fifth installment of our series is Friday, so it’s doubtful the NCAA would rule on any major infractions before then. But, then again, you never know.

Here’s the updated list of the 22 AQ football programs without a major infraction since 1987:

ACC–Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest.
Big East–UConn, Louisville, South Florida.
Big Ten–Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue.
Big 12–Iowa State, Missouri.
Pac-12–Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA.
SEC–LSU, Vanderbilt.


Posted on: July 12, 2011 6:08 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Mendenhall receives 3-year extension

PROVO, Utah - BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall will lead the Cougars into the unchartered waters of being an independent and he'll do so with a new contract. Mendendall said Tuesday that he signed a three-year extension through the 2013 season.

"I am absolutely satisfied with my job here and I have been treated more than fairly," Mendenhall said. "I am very realistic. There is a lot on the line going independent, so I want to ensure that I am worthy of my position. I want to give everything I have and lead the charge through independence."

Mendenhall is 56-21 in six seasons with the Cougars and has taken BYU to six consecutive bowl games. His 72.7 winning percentage is tied for seventh among the active FBS coaches with at least five years experience, trailing Boise State's Chris Petersen (92.4 percent), Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (80.6), TCU's Gary Patterson (77.8), Penn State's Joe Paterno (74.8), Utah's Kyle Whittingham (74.0) and Georgia's Mark Richt (73.9). Arkansas' Bobby Petrino is tied with Mendenhall for seventh.

Mendenhall, who took over the defensive coordinator duties midway through last season, also said he will again be BYU's defensive coordinator this season.

"Bronco is an incredible leader and one of hte best coaches in the country," BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe said. "He is committed to the program and we are committed to him as the leader of our football team. Bronco is loyal to this team and the university and does things the right way, on and off the field. We are excited for the future as we begin our journey as an independent."





Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:58 pm
 

BYU doesn't deserve automatic BCS access - yet

PROVO, Utah - Since BYU joined the indepedent ranks, should the Cougars now receive automatic access to a BCS bowl like Notre Dame?

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe says not yet.

“I don’t think we deserve the same access as Notre Dame,” Holmoe said. “I don’t. I just have an incredible amount of respect for Notre Dame. What they have accomplished over decades and decades. I’m not talking 20-30 years, I’m talking about 100.

“The BCS folks brought them in at even keel and I agree with that. They belong. It’s their responsibility once they’re there to continue to be good.”

Leaving the Mountain West should give the Cougars a better shot at reaching a BCS bowl, though, Holmoe said.

“You have to start winning games,” Holmoe said. “TCU, Boise State and Utah – as hard as it is for me to say that – they’ve earned respect of the nation by going to BCS games and winning. I think if we play well – we’re going to have a better schedule now than in the Mountain West – if we can be undefeated with our schedule, we’ll be in a BCS game.”

The Cougars are one of only seven Football Bowl Subdivision programs to win 10 or more games in at least four of the past five seasons. But that won’t mean anything from here on out: especially with future schedules featuring games against Texas, Ole Miss, Utah, Oregon State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and West Virginia.

“If we win, we’ll get noticed and we’ll earn people’s respect and people will take notice,” Holmoe said. “I think we belong in a BCS conference, but I’m not going to kick anybody out and we haven't been invited. There’s reasons we haven’t been invited.”

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