Everyone loves watching football players dance, right? Here's the video from the dance-off Rutgers held at the conclusion of fall camp.

If there's any portion of the video that is mandatory viewing, fast-forward to the 2:15 mark. You get to see this. Well done, Kevin Wilkens.

We are a bit disappointed that the players weren't told of the dance-off via emails from Kyle Flood to their professors in the upcoming sector. Though it would be hilarious if the dance-off was the subject of the emails Flood allegedly sent to a Rutgers faculty member that has prompted a university investigation into the contact.

Rutgers opens the season against Norfolk State on September 5.

For more Rutgers news, visit ScarletRNation.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 29, 2015, 8:28 pm

Arkansas freshman punter Blake Johnson was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with public intoxication, minor in possession of alcohol, and disorderly conduct.

The arrest comes one day after freshman tight end C.J. O'Grady was arrested on charges of DWI.

Johnson is likely to redshirt this season after Toby Baker won the starting punting role during fall camp.

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As Arkansas Fight points out, this is not Johnson’s first disciplinary issue this month. Earlier in camp, he was seen carrying a mattress around the field, a punishment Bielema said he used when players showed up late.

Guess Bielema treats specialists the same as RB/WR... P Blake Johnson & LS George Madden w/ the mattress punishment. https://t.co/Wlpf10fPmp

— Andrew Hutchinson (@NWAHutch) August 18, 2015

For more Arkansas news, HawgSports.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 29, 2015, 7:45 pm

With a day off before Saturday night’s U.S. Final in the Little League World Series, the Mid-Atlantic Region champions from Red Land Little League (just south of Harrisburg, Pa.) made the hour-long trip west from Williamsport to Happy Valley to watch Penn State’s practice on Friday.

When Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin heard about the kicking prowess of Red Land second baseman Braden Kolmansberger, he issued a challenge. If Kolmansberger hit a 30-yard field goal in front of the entire Penn State football team, Franklin would do 30 push-ups. If he missed, Kolmansberger’s Red Land teammates would do 30 up-downs.

The 13-year-old Kolmansberger was up to the challenge.

Coach tried to put the pressure on w/a field goal challenge, but it was no sweat for the #RedLand champ http://t.co/TcYsEpdqRJ #KICKISGOOD

— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) August 29, 2015

With the encouragement of the Penn State players, Kolmansberger drilled it right down the middle.

When you perfectly hit Coach Franklin's 30 yrd FG challenge & he has to answer w/as many push-ups. #winning #RedLand pic.twitter.com/yDuObQitrc

— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) August 29, 2015

Kolmansberger said he’s a big PSU fan and told Pennlive.com that he was “probably more nervous” about the kick than he will be for Saturday night’s nationally televised game against Texas.

Franklin was impressed.

“I never thought that he’d hit a 30-yard field goal,” Franklin said. “I thought that was money in the bank but obviously it was not. Great moment for them. The way their season is going on, I guess it doesn’t surprise me. Good things are happening for them through hard work and opportunity.”

Franklin followed through on his end of the bet after practice.

So, this happened... pic.twitter.com/Q5LgcLU4w9

— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) August 28, 2015

The Red Land team gave Franklin a Mid-Atlantic LLWS jersey, which he said he would wear while he watched the game with his daughters.

He was happy the jersey is blue, too.

“They gave me a really cool jersey that’s the right colors,” Franklin said. “Thankfully, their colors aren’t red and white, that would have been a problem. I’m going to be watching the game with this jersey on with my girls.”

For more Penn State news, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 29, 2015, 6:18 pm

It appears Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin learned an important Twitter lesson on Saturday.

In what was clearly meant to be a direct message, Sumlin sent out a tweet to his 71,000 followers that poked fun at USC head coach Steve Sarkisian’s recent drunken episode at a booster event.

@celebrityhottub @edsbs I'm sure he didn't mean to tweet this publicly, but it just makes me love the man even more. pic.twitter.com/FB58eQhr0S

— Paul Heggen (@PaulHeggenWSMV) August 29, 2015

Man Kevin Sumlin is a savage for this #sarkafterdark pic.twitter.com/bFH4yK6N4a

— Jamie (@jspride) August 29, 2015

Sumlin realized his mixup pretty quickly, and the tweet was only up for a few minutes before it was deleted. Unfortunately, a few minutes is all it takes for plenty of eyes to see and screenshot the tweet.

Sumlin isn’t the first coach to make the mistake. During his time as head coach at Florida, Will Muschamp publicly tweeted what were clearly DMs intended for recruits on multiple occasions -- but those didn't include jokes about other coaches.

Not too long after he sent the accidental tweet, Sumlin and A&M received a verbal commitment from four-star running back Rakeem Boyd. So his Saturday afternoon is doing better already. 

#YESSIR!

— Kevin Sumlin (@CoachSumlin) August 29, 2015

As for Sarkisian, he apologized for his behavior and admitted that he had mixed alcohol and medication before using profanity in front of a large crowd of people. 

For more Texas A&M news, visit AggieYell.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 29, 2015, 5:38 pm

(AP Photo/Samantha Baker)Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has always been a guy who speaks his mind, and on Friday night, he expressed his disdain toward another SEC program: Auburn.

According to the Arkansas News Bureau, Bielema was speaking at a fan event in Springdale, Ark., and was going through the Razorbacks’ schedule “to the audience of fans and donors” when he jabbed at Auburn.

From the News Bureau:

The third-year Razorbacks coach was going game-by-game, blow-by-blow through the schedule to the audience of fans and donors. The players had already left, a night free from football constraints. Bielema said Arkansas wasn’t the program he wanted it to be until it beat Alabama, mentioned the bye week that followed this year’s game against the Crimson Tide and how the Hogs beat LSU coming off last year’s bye, then it came.

“Probably doesn’t need to be said in here how much I hate Auburn,” Bielema said.

And in classic Bielema fashion, the comment was made slyly.

Bielema didn’t say with hostility. He also didn’t say it as a complete joke. It felt more like a nod to the old days, two years ago. The Arkansas coach is hardly afraid of speaking his mind. He knew the media were gathered Friday night. Television cameras lined the back of the room directly across from where he spoke at the podium. The day-to-day print folks gathered at a table nearby.

The words were calculated. They were moderately tongue-in-cheek, but definitely purposeful.

This isn’t the first time Bielema has ruffled some feathers at Auburn during his tenure in Fayetteville.

Bielema and Tigers coach Gus Malzahn had a nice back-and-forth through the media about up-tempo offenses back in 2013. Later that year, Bielema voiced his issues with the game film provided by Malzahn and the Tigers.

The two had reportedly patched things up since then, but it appears Bielema couldn’t resist on Friday, especially now that the Razorbacks are on the rise in the SEC.

It certainly makes Auburn’s Oct. 24 trip to Arkansas that much more intriguing. 

For more Arkansas news, HawgSports.com.

For more Auburn news, visit AuburnSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 29, 2015, 4:46 pm

Illinois has fired head coach Tim Beckman just a week before the season opener, replacing him with OC Bill Cubit on an interim basis. Illinois Insider J Leman has the reaction from Champaign-Urbana, how the firing impacts the 2015 season, and what to expect from the Illini in the wake of the firingTim Beckman went on the offensive Friday evening to defend his reputation just hours after being fired at the University of Illinois.

Beckman said in a statement to Fox Sports that “the University’s actions today are in violation of the procedures mandated under my employment agreement. As such, I will vigorously defend both my reputation and my legal rights.”

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas announced Friday that the university was parting ways with Beckman following an investigation into allegations that he was mentally, physically and verbally abusing players.

“The health and well-being of our student athletes is of paramount importance to me,” Beckman said. “And any statement made to the contrary is utterly false.”

The investigation into allegations against Beckman was opened after former offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic took to Twitter to vent his concerns about abuse he suffered because of Beckman.

According to Cvijanovic, Beckman "uninvited" him from the team's end-of-the-year banquet after the starting left tackle missed the final four games of the year after suffering the labrum tear. Beckman wanted Cvijanovic to play through the season-ending injury.

Other players told CNN that Beckman was physically rough with players and verbally abusive.

A statement by the Illinois athletic department confirmed those allegations.

During a preliminary briefing from the external reviewers, Thomas said he learned of efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries. He also said in some instances student-athletes were treated inappropriately with respect to whether they could remain on scholarship during the spring semester of their senior year if they weren’t on the team.

However, Beckman took issue with the fact that he was fired before the investigation had been completed.

”The fact that the university did not even complete its investigation in this matter is evidence that the entire process was nothing more than a rush to judgment," Beckman said, "and confirms the University’s abject bad faith.”

Illinois said Beckman violated the terms of his contract and there it would not pay the the $3.1 million remaining on the last two years of his original five-year contract or the $743,000 called for if his contract had been bought out.

For more Illinois news, visit OrangeandBlueNews.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 28, 2015, 11:42 pm

Oct 11, 2014; Gainesville, FL, USA; LSU Tigers offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Cam Cameron prior to the game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsLSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron confirmed Friday that he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. 

Cameron told reporters he was diagnosed "a couple weeks ago," but underwent treatment and has since been given "a clean bill of health." Cameron has been coaching with "very few limitations" throughout preseason practice and will coach the 2015 season, he said. 

The 54-year-old Cameron, who is entering his third season with the program, said the entire situation from the initial diagnosis to Friday was about a "four-week process." He expressed gratitude for the support he's received from the program. 

"The support from this program and our players and (head) coach (Les) Miles, I've never experienced anything quite like it," he said. 

Tigers head coach Les Miles also addressed reporters Friday, and said he asked the team to keep quiet about Cameron's diagnosis. Miles said the team did "a great job" keeping the news private. 

"We've really respected the rights of coach Cameron in every way," Miles said. 

The Tigers put up a program record 543.3 yards per game in Cameron’s first year as offensive coordinator in 2013. The team also totaled 5,893 yards that season – second best in program history.

Playing behind two inexperienced quarterbacks, the 2014 LSU offense was a different story. The Tigers averaged 387.5 yards per game with only 162 of those yards coming via the pass.

The news of Cameron's diagnosis comes a week before LSU opens its season against McNeese State. After the McNeese State game, the Tigers have back-to-back SEC games at Mississippi State and at home versus Auburn.

To disuade any perceived limitations, Cameron made it clear Friday that he has moved his focus toward the season. 

Added Miles: "He's ready to go."

Before his time at LSU, Cameron was an assistant at Michigan and the head coach at Indiana. In the NFL, he had a one-year stint as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins and assistant gigs with the Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens. 

In two seasons with Cameron serving as offensive coordinator, the Tigers are 18-8 and 9-7 in the SEC. 

For more LSU news, visit TigerBait.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 11:33 pm

Oregon quarterbacks Vernon Adams, left, and Travis Jonsen head to the locker room after a closed practice in Eugene, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. It was Adams' first day with the team after transferring from Eastern Washington. (Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard via AP)Vernon Adams has been named the starting quarterback for Oregon’s season opener against Eastern Washington on Sept. 5.

Jeff Lockie, the backup last year and the frontrunner coming out of spring, will serve as backup.

Adams earned his undergraduate degree from Eastern Washington, but opted to transfer for his final season of eligibility. Adams was not even eligible to start practicing with the Ducks until Aug. 13.

Adam was a two-time Walter Payton Award runner-up as FCS player of the year and threw for 3,483 yards and 35 touchdowns for the Eagles last season.

Adams needed to pass a math class earlier this month in order to graduate from Eastern Washington and enroll at Oregon. However, he spent all offseason working out and learning the Ducks offensive system, which was similar to the one he ran at Eastern Washington.

Even though he was late to campus, Adams’ athleticism, skill and experience seemed like a natural fit at Oregon, especially in replacing Heisman winner Marcus Mariota.

Adams passed for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns in three seasons at Eastern Washington.

For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 28, 2015, 10:36 pm

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Maryland will go with junior Perry Hills at quarterback when its season begins next Saturday.

Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall announced the decision to reporters on Friday afternoon and said that redshirt junior Caleb Rowe will serve as Hills’ backup. Additionally, senior Daxx Garman, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, is No. 3 on the depth chart.

According to the Washington Post, Hills took “the bulk of the first team reps” during a scrimmage last Saturday and completed 12-of-17 passes for 72 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Hills has past starting experience – seven starts as a true freshman in 2012 – but has seen limited action the past two seasons, including a redshirt in 2013.

In 2014, Hills was the third-stringer behind C.J. Brown (who graduated) and Rowe. He played in just one game last year, completing 5-of-10 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown against Iowa.

Hills emerging from camp as the starter is a minor upset, considering the edge in experience both Rowe and Garman have. Rowe appeared in 13 games combined, including three starts, over the past three seasons, throwing for 1,768 yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He missed spring practice and the final seven games of the 2014 season due to a knee injury.

Garman, who was seen by many as a favorite to win the job, started eight games at Oklahoma State in 2014 and threw for 2,041 yards, 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Coming off a 7-6 record in 2014, the Terps open up at home against Richmond on Sept. 5.

For more Maryland news, visit TerrapinSportsReport.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 10:25 pm

Dartmouth players can take their practice field frustrations out on a robot.

Though we're guessing that the robot can cause some frustration too. The school developed a tackling dummy that can move and change directions. Here's a look at it in action.

 

The Mobile Virtual Player – MVP of course – was designed by Dartmouth students at the behest of coach Buddy Teevens. He had eliminated tackling during practice and wanted his players to still be able to practice with a reduced risk of injuries.

From NPR:

"To my knowledge, no one else does it at the Division I level," Teevens said about his no-tackling protocol, acknowledging that his players were initially skeptical. "It was not received well to be honest with you because [tackling] is sort of fundamental, but I was committed to it."

The MVP may even be more athletic than you are too.

He said the 5-foot-11-inch, 200-plus-pound MVP can weave, cut, stop and start — even "run" a respectable 4.8-second 40-yard-dash.

Does it work? Well, Teevens said missed tackles were cut in half in the first season after the team started using the tackling dummy. And given that football is a copycat sport, if a couple other coaches see value in it, Dartmouth may be working overtime to produce robots for other schools.

The robot is controlled via a remote on the sidelines and the school would love to eventually program robots to be able to run pass patterns.

"It can be used a running back, it can be a target for a QB — attach a net to it or a pouch and it can be a wide receiver. It can be a blocking obstacle or device for downfield blocking for a lineman," the coach said. "There's nothing that it can't do — that was one of the thoughts."

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 28, 2015, 9:43 pm

College football is full of amazing players.

The difference between the talent levels from team-to-team is almost indistinguishable, but there are always a few players that seem to rise to the top.

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And we here at Dr. Saturday have done our best to honor those players we think will be amazing at their particular positions. There was no scientific process to this each of Dr. Saturday’s writers — Graham Watson, Nick Bromberg and Sam Cooper — picked their lists and the best two out of three won.

Honestly, there’s no fool-proof way to pick a list like this. Inevitably, one of these players will get hurt, have an off year or some unknown face will seize an opportunity and produce a fantastic season (looking at you, Nick Chubb). So this list is praise for past work and the hope for a bright future ahead.

Presenting the inaugural Dr. Saturday Preseason All-American Team (or you can click the picture above and see the slideshow):

OFFENSE

QB: Cody Kessler, USC
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
RB: Nick Chubb, Georgia
WR: Rashard Higgins, Colorado State
WR: Josh Doctson, TCU
WR: Tyler Boyd, Pitt
TE: OJ Howard, Alabama
OT: Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
OG: Pat Elflein, Ohio State
C: Max Tuerk, USC
OG: Landon Turner, North Carolina
OT: Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame

DEFENSE

DE: Joey Bosa, Ohio State
DT: Anthony Zettel, Penn State
DT: A’shawn Robinson, Alabama
DE: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
LB: Scooby Wright, Arizona
LB: Myles Jack, UCLA
LB: Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
CB: Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
CB: Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
S: Jeremy Cash, Duke
S: Vonn Bell, Ohio State

SPECIALISTS

K: Roberto Aguayo
P: Tom Hackett, Utah
KR/PR: Adoree’ Jackson, USC

Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 28, 2015, 8:17 pm

(AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)After suffering a serious foot injury, Arkansas senior running back Jonathan Williams could take a medical redshirt and return in 2016, but Williams said Thursday that he has other plans.

According to the Associated Press, Williams said he would “most likely” head to the NFL once this season ends. And though his injury required surgery and is scheduled to keep him out of action for 4-5 months, Williams is holding out hope that he may be able to play this season.

From the AP:

Williams, who led the Razorbacks with 1,190 yards rushing last season, was injured during a scrimmage almost two weeks ago – an injury that led to surgery to insert two screws to help ligaments heal.

While he said the rehabilitation is expected to take 4-5 months, he still holds out the hope of being able to play at Arkansas again this season. And he was very clear, whether the plays or not, that he's still an active member of the Razorbacks, who elected him as a team captain last week.

“I'm still definitely 100 percent on this football team, so later in the season if I'm fully cleared and I feel good about being able to play and being healthy, I'll definitely try to play,” Williams said.

Williams is a well-respected guy around the SEC, as evidenced by a note sent to Williams by league commissioner Greg Sankey. Williams posted the note on his Twitter account on Friday:

My commissioner > yours. Thank you @GregSankey pic.twitter.com/6J2ZYrcPnL

— Jonathan Williams (@Jwillpart2) August 28, 2015

Williams has 2,321 career rushing yards, so his absence is a big loss for the Arkansas offense. Luckily, junior Alex Collins is back for the Razorbacks. Collins rushed for 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014.

Coming off a 7-6 record in 2014, Arkansas (No. 16 in the Dr. Saturday Top 25) opens up at home against UTEP on Sept. 5. 

For more Arkansas news, HawgSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 8:14 pm

Maryland tight end P.J. Gallo realized his professional goal wasn't in football. And when he got the opportunity to achieve it in the near future, he decided to chase it.

After a 10-week internship over the summer with Goldman Sachs, Gallo was offered a job on Wall Street as a security analyst. He could start working in July of 2016, too. But there was a catch. He'd have to give up playing football to take the job.

So the junior told Maryland coach Randy Edsall he was leaving after the 2015 season. From the Washington Post:

“It was actually an easier conversation than I thought it was going to be because he was very supportive of it,” said Gallo, who is on schedule to graduate from Maryland in the spring and move to New York shortly after. “I made the right decision for myself, for my future. Hopefully, five years from now, I can still look back and say it was the right decision.”

Balancing the internship and football over the summer was a juggling act. He worked out alone at NYU while other teammates were back in College Park, Maryland going through group workouts.

His decisions certainly isn't unprecedented. Many athletes have chosen to put their non-sports careers ahead of their playing careers. And Rice defensive end Brian Nordstrom said in February that he wasn't going to play in 2015 to take a job in the energy sector.

But Gallo still has one more season to double his career touchdown total. He got the first two catches of his career in 2014 and one of them went for a touchdown.

“He has contributed a great deal for us, and while he was here, he also got himself ready for life after football,” Edsall told the post. “Not everybody is going to go to the next level, but eventually everybody has to go to work and make a living.”

For more Maryland news, visit TerrapinSportsReport.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 28, 2015, 8:00 pm

Illinois head coach Tim Beckman walks the sidelines during the first quarter of an NCAA football game against Penn State Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb)llinois announced Friday that it has fired head coach Tim Beckman, "citing preliminary results of an external review into allegations involving the program."

The move comes one week before Illinois is slated to open its season against Kent State. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, former coach at Western Michigan, will be the interim head coach.

Throughout the offseason, former football players alleged Beckman was mentally, verbally and physically abusive to them. Former offensive lineman Simon Cvijanovic took to Twitter to vent his concerns about abuse he suffered because of Beckman.

According to Cvijanovic, Beckman "uninvited" him from the team's end-of-the-year banquet after the starting left tackle missed the final four games of the year after suffering the labrum tear. Beckman wanted Cvijanovic to play through the season-ending injury.

Illinois hired a law firm to investigate the claims.

Kerry Knight, a tight end, and three other players alleged in a CNN report that Beckman was physical and angry with players.

Recently graduated football player Kenny Knight and three other former players who spoke to CNN say they witnessed two incidents in the past two years in which head coach Tim Beckman was physically rough with players. One player is still on the team and declined through his teammates to talk about what happened. But witnesses said that at the start of one practice, the player ran onto the field with his helmet unbuckled, and Beckman ran over to him, grabbed his face mask and jerked his head back and forth, yelling at him.

In 2013, Knight says, a similar thing happened to him. He says Beckman grabbed and tackled him from behind, throwing him to the ground during a practice. Two former teammates who witnessed the incident backed him up.

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas had issued support to Beckman saying that feedback he had received from players and players’ families was that Beckman treated his player ‘like his own children.”

Thomas’ tone changed Friday following the release of preliminary findings from the investigation.

“The preliminary information external reviewers shared with me does not reflect our values or our commitment to the welfare of our student-athletes, and I’ve chosen to act accordingly,” Thomas said. “During the review, we have asked people not to rush to judgment, but I now have enough information to make this decision in assessing the status and direction of the football program.”

From the Illinois release:

During a preliminary briefing from the external reviewers, Thomas said he learned of efforts to deter injury reporting and influence medical decisions that pressured players to avoid or postpone medical treatment and continue playing despite injuries. He also said in some instances student-athletes were treated inappropriately with respect to whether they could remain on scholarship during the spring semester of their senior year if they weren’t on the team.
“Both of those findings are unsettling violations of University policy and practice and do not reflect the culture that we wish to create in athletic programs for our young people,” Thomas said. “I expect my coaches to protect players and foster their success on and off the field.”
He said the review continues and a final report has not yet been issued. To date, more than 90 individuals have been interviewed by the Franczek Radelet law firm and 200,000 documents have been reviewed, along with a large volume of practice and game video from Beckman’s three years as head coach.

I appreciate all the support I have received. Huge step in bettering athletics and in helping us prevent future wrongdoings. #Illini

— Simon Cvijanović (@IlliniSi) August 28, 2015

Beckman came to Illinois from Toledo after the 2011 season. Beckman was reportedly sued in 2013 by a former Toledo player for negligence and violation of Ohio's hazing law. In three seasons at Illinois, Beckman is 12-25.

According to the school, "Beckman will not receive the $3.1 million remaining on the last two years of his original five-year contract or the $743,000 called for if his contract had been bought out."

For more Illinois news, visit OrangeandBlueNews.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook

Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 28, 2015, 6:45 pm

Rodrick Williams has a leash and a harness for his lizard so he can take it on a walk.

Yes, that sentence is true.

The Minnesota running back has a savannah monitor, which is a two-foot lizard. The lizard is named Kilgharrah from the dragon on Merlin. And as you can guess, the nickname for the lizard is the same as his coach's last name. So Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has given Williams a nickname too.

From ESPN:

Williams has shown pictures and videos of his pet to its namesake, Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill. After laughing, Kill --the coach, not the pet -- began referring to Williams as "Lizard Boy." It's an appropriate nickname, as Williams used to bring all sorts of amphibians and reptiles into his house while growing up in Lewisville, Texas, much to his parents' chagrin.

The lizard lives in a 75-gallon cage in Williams' apartment and his girlfriend doesn't let him bring roaches in to feed Kill. The monitor, now 10-months-old, could grow to be five feet long and Williams got it because his apartment complex doesn't allow dogs

"When he gets big enough, I'll probably give him his own corner of the house, or build him a cage," Williams said.

Side note: Do you have to pick up after a lizard if it does its thing outside while you're walking it like a dog?

Williams is being counted on to help replace the production of David Cobb, who led the Gophers in rushing in 2014. Cobb ran for 1,626 yards as a senior in 2014, a school record. Williams lost 20 pounds over the spring to help prepare himself to attempt to duplicate Cobb's efforts.

And Lizard Boy is not the first weird nickname he's had at Minnesota. He apparently earned the nickname of "Nugget" after he ate 50 chicken nuggets at McDonald's while on his recruiting visit to Minnesota.

So we're inclined to completely believe Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner's assessment of the Lizard Boy nickname.

"It’s kind of fitting for him," Leidner told ESPN. "It's not too much of a surprise if you know how goofy he is."

For more Minnesota news, visit GophersIllustrated.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 28, 2015, 6:41 pm

Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott filed for trademarks to use his nicknames Zeke and Eze on merchandise as well as a trademark on the restaurant name "Zeke's Crop Top Bar and Grill," according to records in a public database kept by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Elliott became a household name earlier this year as he rushed for 696 yards and eight touchdowns during three postseason games and helped lead the Buckeyes to a national title.

He becomes the latest of a growing trend of athletes who are trademarking their names and phrases associated with their names for future earning potential. Last fall, Dak Prescott applied for trademarks on the "Dak Attack" and "Who Dak" phrases that fans were using on signs and T-shirts

Former Heisman-winning quarterback, Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel both applied for trademarks during their college careers.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 28, 2015, 6:08 pm

(via Arkansas athletics)The highest-rated recruit in Arkansas’ 2015 freshman class was arrested Friday.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, tight end C.J. O’Grady was arrested early Friday morning for driving his motor scooter while intoxicated. The arrest report states that O’Grady was pulled over at 1:33 a.m. just north of campus because the scooter did not have a working taillight.

The arresting officer said in the report that O’Grady had “watery, bloodshot eyes, was slurring his words and smelled of alcohol.” After being taken into custody, O’Grady “registered a blood alcohol level of .099” at 2:47 a.m.

In addition to the DWI charge, O’Grady was hit with a minor in possession of alcohol charge and was cited for the improper taillight and not having proof of insurance.

O’Grady, who was released on bond before noon, has a hearing in Fayetteville District Court scheduled for Monday.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound O’Grady was rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 90 overall prospect in the country by Rivals.com. O’Grady was also rated as the top player in Arkansas and the second-best tight end in the entire 2015 recruiting class.

Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema said Thursday that O’Grady was likely to redshirt this season.

O’Grady is the second Arkansas player to be arrested for DWI this offseason. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Tevin Beanum was charged in February. 

For more Arkansas news, HawgSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 6:03 pm

Louisville announced a $55 million expansion project for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

The expansion, which was unveiled Friday, “will enclose the north end zone, create multiple new fan amenities, and enlarge and enhance the training facilities for the football team,” the university said in a release.

As part of the expansion, close to 10,000 seats will be added to the stadium, bringing the capacity to 65,000. Additionally, “1,000 modern club seats, 65 premium loge level boxes, and 10 exclusive field level suites” are also a part of the expansion.

(via U of L athletics)
(via U of L athletics)
(via U of L athletics)

"We are extremely excited to launch this project and I know our fans are thrilled as well," said athletic director Tom Jurich. "We worked extremely hard on this one to assure the timing was right before we moved forward. We feel that we have a plan in place that will excite our fans and continue to advance our program, which has truly gained a national stage with our university's move to the ACC."

Another part of the project is an upgrade of the team’s complex, which is in the north end zone of the stadium. The team weight room and conditioning center “will double in size,” while the players’ lounge, locker room and meeting areas will also be expanded.

(via U of L athletics)
(via U of L athletics)

Construction on the project is expected to take approximately 18 months, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

For more Louisville news, visit CardinalSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 4:43 pm

An attorney who represents the woman who accused former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual assault has been hired by the woman raped by former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu.

John Clune confirmed to the Dallas Morning News that he's been retained by the former Baylor soccer player. She's also being represented by a Waco-area lawyer.

Baylor announced earlier in the week that it was starting an internal investigation into the handling of the incident. Ukwuachu was sentenced to six months in prison and 10 years probation on August 20. He was not indicted regarding the October 2013 incident until June 2014 and news of his trial didn't break until shortly before it began.

“We are glad to see that President Starr and Baylor have chosen to conduct their own investigation and look forward to learning the outcome of that process,” Clune said in a statement released by his firm, Hutchinson Black and Cook, LLC of Boulder.

“Regardless of what facts these investigations may bare, there is a significant teachable moment here for all in higher education and we are hopeful that Baylor University embraces that great opportunity.”

Clune, who specializes in Title-IX related affairs, represented Erica Kinsman at Florida State as the university and authorities investigated Winston's actions. Winston was never criminally charged regarding the accusations and was cleared by Florida State. The school's handling of the situation came under severe scrutiny and she settled a Title-IX civil lawsuit she filed against the school.

Ukwuachu's history at Boise State has become a widely-investigated topic as he was reportedly involved in troubling episodes with his then-girlfriend. The woman testified at his sexual assault trial that he had abused her in their time together in Idaho.

Both Boise State and Baylor officials have said they did not know about the domestic abuse allegations at the time of the transfer. Ukwuachu was dismissed from Boise State in May 2013 and transferred to Baylor soon after. Then-BSU coach Chris Petersen has said he "thoroughly apprised" coach Art Briles of what he knew about Ukwuachu.

Ukwuachu's father said he heard the Petersen's side of the phone conversation between the two coaches. He was in the football offices to meet with Petersen about his son and was in an outer office around Petersen's.

From KWTX:

“We could hear the whole conversation,” he said.

“Petersen said ‘Samuel is a dynamic player, a good boy’ (and) said he would be pleased if you take him into your school,” Felix Ukwuachu said.

Petersen “did not let Samuel go because of sexual abuse or any kind of abuse,” Ukwuachu said.

“Samuel was depressed, Samuel was homesick it was making him...think suicidal thoughts, so we decided that we told him you have to come home,” he said.

Ukwuachu never played a down for Baylor, sitting out both the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

For more Boise State news, visit Blue-Turf.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 28, 2015, 3:46 pm

(via Rivals)Less than a year after five-star defensive end Josh Sweat suffered a serious knee injury, he is expected to play for Florida State in the Seminoles’ season opener against Texas State.

Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher said Thursday that Sweat, who suffered a torn ACL and dislocated kneecap in September, hasn’t missed a single practice during fall camp.

“He’ll play. He’s healthy enough to play,” Fisher said per the Tallahassee Democrat. “He hasn’t missed a practice. Nothing. Havent seen one thing (slow him down) and am very blessed with that.”

Sweat, a native of Chesapeake, Va., was rated as the top player in Virginia and the No. 34 overall prospect by Rivals in the 2015 recruiting class.

Sweat enrolled early at FSU in January and missed all of spring practice due to the injury. He was once considered a long shot to suit up at all for the Seminoles in 2015. Now, there’s a chance he could start in the opener with sophomore Lorenzo Featherston on the mend from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Redshirt junior Chris Casher, another defensive end, also recently had arthroscopic knee surgery but returned to practice this week.

Fisher said Casher “may be ready” for the Texas State game. 

For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 3:31 pm

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 1: Bryan Mone #90 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after recovering the fumble during the first quarter of the game against Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan Stadium on November 1 , 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)A projected contributor on Michigan’s defensive line will likely miss the 2015 season due to injury.

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed Thursday that defensive tackle Bryan Mone broke a bone in his leg during preseason camp. Harbaugh referred to the injury as “long-term” and said it occurred on blocked field goal return.

From The Detroit News:

"Freak play, never seen it before in practice or games," Harbaugh said. "We blocked a field goal attempt, the ball came onto the defensive side of the ball, which we shouldn't be returning that ball. Unfortunately that teaching moment came with one of our players picking it up, running around the edge, and Bryan was trying to lead block for him and they got their feet tangled up. When Bryan went down to the ground, his toe came down at an inopportune angle, and unfortunately a bone broke."

Mone, a 6-foot-4, 325-pound sophomore, was expected to be a major contributor for the Wolverines alongside junior Ryan Glasgow at nose tackle. He played in 12 games last season and registered nine tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

Additionally, Harbaugh told reporters he was unsure if running back Drake Johnson would play in the season opener at Utah on Sept. 3. Johnson tore an ACL against Ohio State in last season’s finale, but has been a full participant in practice.

"Drake is cleared practicing and I haven't decided whether he's going to play in this ball game or not, but he is ahead of schedule doing a fantastic job," Harbaugh said. "He's been getting bumped around, he's in practice. He's an explosive football player as you know, maybe better than I do, but I've been watching him lately, and I'm really excited about him."

Johnson rushed for 361 yards and four touchdowns in 2014.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 2:47 pm

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)Notre Dame defensive lineman Ishaq Williams will not play in 2015.

Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly announced Thursday that Williams, who was one of five players suspended for his involvement in an academic fraud investigation before the 2014 season, was denied a waiver by the NCAA.

“We heard back from the NCAA on Ishaq Williams and his appeal was denied. He will not compete,” Kelly said per BlueandGold.com. “We knew and I think Ishaq knew it was going to be an uphill fight, but where he never wavered was coming back to school and getting his degree. The silver lining here was he is in school and we're very optimistic that he'll be able to finish his degree here in the short term.”

As Kelly mentioned, Williams was able to re-enroll at Notre Dame this summer but still faced eligibility issues – issues that were too big to overcome in the NCAA’s eyes evidently.

Though he can’t suit up for the Fighting Irish, Williams will remain on scholarship won’t count toward the team’s 85-man limit. Additionally, Kelly said Williams still will have a locker and will be able to use the team’s facilities.

“I think he’s going to get himself organized academically now that he has finality with this and I think he’s still interested in maybe pursuing the NFL, but he’s still kind of figuring out what he wants to do,” Kelly said.

Williams played in 35 games for the Irish in three seasons and totaled 45 tackles, six tackles for loss and one sack.

Cornerback KeiVarae Russell, a two-year starter, was cleared to return by the NCAA earlier this month despite being suspended under similar circumstances as Williams.

Ranked No. 12 in Dr. Saturday’s preseason Top 25, Notre Dame opens its season at home against Texas on Sept. 5.

For more Notre Dame news, visit BlueAndGold.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 28, 2015, 2:03 pm

The Ohio State University comes into 2015 on a wave of hype like no other team ever, but will it last? Yahoo Sports' Kevin Kaduk and Jay Busbee discuss the Buckeyes' chances for a repeat, plus a quick look at who the four college football playoff teams will be. Enjoy, and have your say in the comments below.

This debate is part of Yahoo Sports' new ongoing Grandstanding series, in which Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk kick around every topic in sports. Check out the Grandstanding podcast, where we dive deeper into the day's big stories, and find us on Twitter (@kevinkaduk and @jaybusbee) Facebook (Kaduk here, Busbee here) or via the hashtag #grandstanding. Thanks for checking it out!

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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Author: Jay Busbee
Posted: August 27, 2015, 10:26 pm

Grandstanding: A Yahoo Sports podcast
Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed

College football is just one week away, and we're happy to welcome aboard another college football legend to preview the upcoming season and give his take on the state of the game.

Joey Harrington quarterbacked the Oregon Ducks in the early 2000s, including a 2001 season when, by all rights, the Ducks should have gone to the national championship. (Thanks, computers.) He spent plenty of time with us talking every element of the college game, including:

• His take on whether college athletes should be paid: "When we were playing, all we wanted was to get on the depth chart high enough to see our number in the video game," he says. "It wasn't about getting a check for $173 in a class-action suit."

• "When you're running a business, the CEO makes the most money, the people at the top make the most money," he says. "The people who are making the product in the factories make the least money. For an 18, 19-year-old kid to come in and be offered, what, a quarter-million dollar education? ... I think that people are overlooking or downplaying the fact that these kids are being paid ... [Colleges] offer these players a chance to build connections, to open doors, to get started on a path."

• His intriguing thoughts on when Oregon got bounced from the national championship game in favor of a Nebraska team that didn't even win its conference championship. ("It was garbage," he says, but adds that there might have been a bright side to it all in that it sparked both change in the BCS and sustained success at Oregon.)

• How Oregon post-Mariota resembles Tennessee post-Peyton Manning

• The difference between quarterbacks in a system and quarterbacks who define a system

Harrington has an encyclopedic memory of the games he played, and recalls in exact detail routes and plays from games 15 years ago. He also hasn't forgotten the tricks Wisconsin allegedly pulled on Oregon when the Ducks visited Madison all those years back. For Pac-12 and Oregon fans, this is a must-listen; for everyone else, you'll learn plenty about West Coast football. Check it out.

Thanks for listening to the Grandstanding podcast with Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk. Hit us up on Twitter (@kevinkaduk and @jaybusbee) Facebook (Kaduk here, Busbee here) or via the hashtag #grandstanding. See you next ep!

[Music by Chris Salmon and Tobin Summerfield]

____
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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Author: Jay Busbee
Posted: August 27, 2015, 10:10 pm

(AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)New Florida head coach Jim McElwain still has not chosen a starter, so both Treon Harris and Will Grier will play in the Gators’ season opener against New Mexico State on Sept. 5.

Harris and Grier both arrived on campus last season, but Harris has the experience edge over Grier.

Harris started the final six games of the 2014 season whole Grier took a redshirt. Harris threw for 1,019 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions, but completed only 49.5 percent of his passes. He added 338 yards and three more scores on the ground.

Grier, who was rated slightly higher (No. 46 nationally) than Harris (No. 69) in the Rivals class of 2014 rankings, took a redshirt while nursing a back injury.

McElwain told reporters Thursday that he has no timetable for choosing a starter.

McElwain: 'I mean this. There isn't a timetable" for QBs. Need to see what they do live. 'How they elevate play around them.' #Gators

— Chris Harry (@GatorsChris) August 27, 2015

No matter who is under center, the Gators should be able to handle NMSU in McElwain’s debut. The Aggies lost their final 10 games in the 2014 season to finish with a 2-10 record.

For more Florida news, visit InsideTheGators.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 10:05 pm

Florida freshman tackle Martez Ivey will have arthroscopic knee surgery Friday to look into a pre-existing injury that has been plaguing one of Florida's starting offensive linemen.

Mac on Ivey: "He'll be back. I don't know how quickly. It doesn't appear to be season-ending."

— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) August 27, 2015

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Arthroscopic surgery could result in an easy fix of the injury or the discovery of something worse (like a torn ligament). If it’s an easy fix, Ivey could be back in a short turnaround. If it’s something more complex, it could cost him the season.

Ivey, who was the top-rated offensive lineman in the 2015 class, was already working with the first team during fall camp.

"You don't think of him as a freshman, really, the way he's playing,” coach Jim McElwain said in an earlier interview. "That’s great to see. We kind of thought that when we recruited him."

In Ivey's absence, Fred Johnson will stick at RT, Mason Halter will play at OT, Trip Thurman could play on the edge as well

— Landon Watnick (@LandonWatnick) August 27, 2015

For more Florida news, visit InsideTheGators.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 27, 2015, 9:59 pm

Tennessee football is hoping to gain an advantage by monitoring the sleeping patterns of its players.

In a story by the Associated Press, Tennessee in conjunction with Rise Science, a Chicago-based company, is monitoring players by giving them sleep goggles to block out blue light from computers and phones, and sleeping masks. It's also fitting players' sleeping areas with sensors above their mattresses and under the sheets to monitor heart rate, movement and respiration rate.

The hope is to encourage more sleep so that players perform better when they’re awake.

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“Look at any college student - the two things they struggle with are time management and sleep,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said. “To be able to perform at a high level, you need your sleep, you need nine hours every day, you need to sleep in 68-degree room temperatures, all those things that we're constantly stressing with our players.”

Three former Northwestern students came up with the idea three years ago. They studied how increased sleep produced better athletic performance and started assisting various Northwestern teams. Tennessee is the first major college program to begin working with Rise Science since the company's official formation last year.
Rise Science officials cite studies showing that players sleeping over eight hours per night were 50 percent more likely to play error-free throughout an entire practice and high school athletes sleeping at least eight hours per night were 70 percent less likely to get injured. They say an extra 30-90 minutes of sleep per night can increase reaction time by 10 percent. Other studies show increased sleep leads to higher field-goal accuracy, better weight training and faster sprint times.

Allison Maurer, a Tennessee sports dietitian, told the Associated Press the school paid “upwards of $30,000” for the study. Rise Science told the AP that Tennessee received a discounted rate for being the first FBS program to essentially be a guinea pig for the analysis.

For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 27, 2015, 9:08 pm

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said Wednesday that the program was considering taking money from a player’s cost of attendance stipend as a form of discipline.

It appears the program already had quite an elaborate fine system in place.

On Thursday, the Richmond Times-Dispatch published two images of a television monitor outside the team’s players’ lounge that detailed the various fines. The fineable offenses ranged from missing class to having a dirty locker or dorm room. Take a look:

(via Richmond Times-Dispatch)
(via Richmond Times-Dispatch)

As you can see, the fines become larger for multiple offenses. A seventh offense for “improper equipment” would cost a player a whopping $1,600.

According to the Times-Dispatch, a third screen detailed various fines already levied to players.

A third screen listed players who apparently had already been assessed fines, with their name, offense, date it occurred and amount fined.

One player, for example, had been fined $20 for missing a meeting on Aug. 17, $10 for missing breakfast that day and $20 for missing treatment the following day, according to the monitor. Another player was listed as having $100 unsportsmanlike conduct fine and two $20 fines for missing special teams meetings.

In total, the screen showed five players being fined a total of $330.

After learning of Foster’s comments, Hokies athletic director Whit Babcock quickly intervened and put an end to it.

“I had no idea of any of it,” Babcock told the Times-Dispatch Wednesday night. “It has been discontinued 100 percent.”

Additionally, Babcock met with Foster, head coach Frank Beamer and associate athletic director John Ballein about the situation on Thursday morning. Babcock said none of the fine money “can be or was associated with cost of attendance.”

He also said a different fine system had been in place “for a number of years.”

From the Times-Dispatch:

“We talked about it,” Babcock told the Times. “There has been, in place for a number of years, not to this extent, but for a number of years, a little bit of a, and I hate to use the word, but I can’t use another one, but a fine system, disciplinary for our players and such. And I think it’s come out of bowl type stuff. So I was not aware that we were doing that. It’s not against NCAA rules. It’s probably more prevalent than people think, but I was not aware of it.”

It’s unclear when the fine system was implemented and whether or not the fines listed on the monitor were enforced.

For more Virginia Tech news, visit HokieHaven.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 8:17 pm

Alabama's Altee Tenpenny finds an opening in the Kentucky defensive line during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky. Alabama defeated Kentucky 48-7. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)Running back Altee Tenpenny is working on his third college football program in eight months.

Nicholls State confirmed to al.com Thursday that Tenpenny has joined its program after being dismissed from UNLV earlier this month for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

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Tenpenny, a four-star recruit and the eighth-best running back in 2013 class, started his collegiate career at Alabama. He rushed for 218 yards on 48 carries before leaving Alabama in January.

Tenpenny has been practicing with Nicholls State this week, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play this season.

For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 27, 2015, 7:55 pm

Northwestern’s quarterback competition has come to an end.

Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald announced Thursday that Clayton Thorson will start the team’s opener against Stanford on Sept. 5.

Per @coachfitz51, redshirt freshman Clayton Thorson will be the #B1GCats starting quarterback Sept. 5 at Ryan Field. pic.twitter.com/xCIJ60XiaC

— #B1GCats (@NU_Sports) August 27, 2015

Thorson, a redshirt freshman, beat out fifth-year senior Zack Oliver and redshirt sophomore Matt Alviti for the starting role.

Thorson was a highly decorated four-star recruit coming out of Wheaton, Ill., and was rated No. 136 nationally by Rivals.com in the 2014 class. Additionally, Rivals tabbed Thorson as the sixth-best dual-threat quarterback and seventh best player from Illinois in his class.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Thorson redshirted the 2014 season while Trevor Siemian played out his senior year. Oliver and Alviti both saw action behind Siemian last season, but Thorson was able to overcome their edge in experience and win the job.

Northwestern has typically used a two-quarterback system in recent years, but Thorson has the mobility to run the zone read, a play often utilized in offensive coordinator Mick McCall’s offense. 

For more Northwestern news, visit WildcatReport.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 7:31 pm

North Dakota State is joining the “cost-of-attendance” movement.

The school announced Thursday that it would provide full cost of attendance to all of its scholarship athletes beginning in the 2016-17 season. The school said it believes it’s one of only two FCS programs to take this step.

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Cost-of-attendance stipends had been a big topic of debate on the FBS level before the Power Five conferences decided to endorse the move and allow school to add miscellaneous funds for items beyond tuition, fees, room, board and books.

However, full cost of attendance scholarships have not been discussed at the FCS level. But NDSU is not the typical FCS program. It has won four straight FCS titles and has competed well against FBS opponents. It not only has raised the bar on the field, but it's now putting pressure on other FCS schools to keep up in order to attract high-level athletes.

“For us it was about who you recruit against,” NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said. “We’re recruiting against programs that are going to offer this. We thought it was important to give our coaches the tools to be apples to apples with those programs.”

Liberty University (Va.) is the only other known FCS program to offer cost of attendance scholarship in all sports.

NDSU estimates it will take $600,000 to $700,000 to cover this venture — works out to $3,400 per student-athlete — that will come from external fundraising.

“Could a student probably get a job? Yeah, they probably could but not if we want to be successful with all the things we make them do,” Larsen said. “And that is to be special athletes and do great in school and all those things. This certainly alleviates a lot of that.”

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 27, 2015, 7:00 pm

(AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Gary McCullough)The injury bug continues to bite Tennessee.

Vols head coach Butch Jones said Thursday that senior safety LaDarrell McNeil will be out “for an extended period of time” due to “neck instability.”

“This one came kind of out of nowhere,” Jones said. “He's had some neck instability there, so he's undergoing further examination, but he will be out an extended period of time. It could be a lengthy period of time, but everything is about the welfare of our student athletes and making sure that there's life after football and everything that he's going through.”

McNeil is entering his fourth year as a starter for the Vols. He has played in 36 games, including 31 starts, over the past three seasons and is one of the leaders of the defense. In those three seasons, McNeil has tallied a total of 188 tackles and three interceptions.

Jones also announced that senior receiver Pig Howard is suspended for the season opener against Bowling Green for violating team rules. Jones said the violation occurred months ago.

“This isn't something that just occurred, this is something that dates back many months,” Jones said. “However, to (Howard’s) credit, I like the way he's approached training camp. He's had the best training camp he's had since we've been here. I'm appreciative of his efforts, but he will miss the Bowling Green game.”

Howard had 54 catches for 618 yards and a touchdown last season to lead the team in both categories. He also added two rushing touchdowns.

In his three seasons, Howard has 111 catches for 1,060 yards and five touchdowns.

Additionally, Jones told reporters that freshman receiver Vincent Perry is out with a meniscus injury and junior receiver Jason Croom, who has been dealing with a knee injury, will have his knee scoped on Friday. Croom, who caught 21 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns in 2014, originally injured the knee in December and has missed most of preseason camp.

Guard Austin Sanders (biceps), defensive back Rashaan Gaulden (foot) have already been ruled out for the season. Guard Marcus Jackson is also expected to miss the season with a biceps injury.

For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 6:39 pm

USC coach Steve Sarkisian was open and apologetic Tuesday when he admitted a mixture of alcohol and medication led to unprofessional comments during a booster event last Saturday.

Sarkisian told the Pac-12 Network on Thursday that the school was going to help him get treatment.

“I think the biggest thing is, I’m at the greatest university in the world,” Sarkisian said. “And I’m fortunate for that. We have unbelievable people here in place that can make that happen. I’m fortunate for that. Is it ideal? No. It’s not. But I think it sends a great message to our team that I’m willing to step forward and want the treatment. To figure out exactly to what extent that is. And our team has been awesome about it.”

While he noted the players were supportive of his honesty regarding the situation, he didn’t escape their wrath as they made him do up-downs after practice, and typical punishment for a violation of team rules.

Steve Sarkisian does up-downs.

In the end, Sarkisian said he was happy to have another chance and eager to address the behavior that got him in trouble in the first place.

“I don’t know if it’s a total blessing or a total positive because there are repercussions that come from it,” Sarkisian said. “But, I’m fortunate I’m at the University that I’m at, and that this university is offering the support that they’re offering me. That’s why you choose to come to a place like USC.”

For more USC news, visit TrojanSports.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

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Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 27, 2015, 6:17 pm

Florida State's Tyler Hunter (1) looks to tackle North Carolina State's Shadrach Thornton (10) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)N.C. State running back Shadrach Thornton will miss the first two games of the season.

Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said Thursday that the senior is suspended for violating athletic department policy. According to the News & Observer, Doeren said the suspension stems from “a university issue that happened six months ago.” Doeren did not provide specifics.

This is the third suspension of Thornton’s N.C. State career. He missed a game in 2013 after a June 2013 misdemeanor assault arrest that involved his then-girlfriend. Those charges were later deferred.

Thornton also was hit with a marijuana possession charge in December 2013, but the charge was dropped and he did not miss any games.

The 6-foot-1, 218 pound Thornton led the Wolfpack with 907 rushing yards in 2014. He also had nine rushing touchdowns and 133 yards and a touchdown on 15 receptions. Overall in his career, Thornton has 2,369 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing.

In his absence, junior Matt Dayes will start at running back. Dayes had 573 yards and led the team with 13 rushing touchdowns last season. Dayes also had 32 catches for 321 yards and five touchdowns.

After missing home games against Troy and Eastern Kentucky, Thornton will be eligible to return to the field at Old Dominion on Sept. 19.

For more North Carolina State news, visit TheWolfPacker.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 5:58 pm

Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville, left, speaks with a reporter at the American Athletic Conference NCAA college football media days in Newport, R.I., Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)A day after Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster raised some eyebrows for saying the Hokies were considering taking money from a player’s cost of attendance stipend as a form of discipline, Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville told ESPN that the Bearcats are considering the same.

Tuberville said the idea is to hold players “accountable” if they break team rules or do not meet academic requirements.

From ESPN:

Cincinnati said that the plan, which Tuberville has considered long before Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster made similar comments Wednesday, would be subject to an appeal.

Tuberville said "effort" -- in addressing off-the-field shortcomings, not athletic performance -- would be a factor in determining any withholdings.

Bearcats athletic director Mike Bohn said it would be a “tool” to help student-athletes.

“It’s not a fine. It’s not a threat. It’s a tool,” Bohn told ESPN. “We want to help our student-athletes and are committed to helping them. Our expectations are high. Coach told them, ‘We love you but don’t think that if you continue to do the wrong things that we are required to provide every piece of that support package.’ It’s an accountability measure.”

That sounds a whole lot like a threat to me.

The cost of attendance stipend (Bohn says Cincinnati’s is more than $5,200 per student-athlete) is a part of a player’s scholarship; it’s not money a program should be able to give and take at its own discretion.

Bohn told ESPN that violations that would warrant a stipend reduction include academic fraud or drinking and driving. Additionally, Cincinnati senior associate director of athletics Maggie McKinley said that there is language in a student-athlete’s scholarship that gives the school the ability to “reduce or terminate” it if an athlete violates the student code conduct policy or the athletic department policy.

But does that open up the possibility of withholding money for far less egregious offenses? Or is it just for student and athletic department conduct policies?

Violating school policies is one thing, but if Tuberville thinks it’s a good idea to withhold money for a player having bad grades, that’s heading down a completely different avenue.

For what it’s worth, McKinley said student-athletes would be informed of any rules surrounding the issue.

From ESPN:

McKinley noted that coaches will have clear and consistent policies that must be clearly communicated to their teams and that financial reduction decisions will be reviewed by an oversight committee.

When Foster, Virginia Tech’s longtime defensive coordinator, brought up the possibility on Wednesday, Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock quickly put a stop to it. He told The Roanoke Times that taking money “out of cost of attendance would not be permissible.”

Cincinnati should probably follow Virginia Tech’s lead on this one. 

For more Cincinnati news, visit BearcatReport.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 4:40 pm

When Louisville hosts Clemson on Sept. 17 for a primetime Thursday night matchup, the Cardinals will wear brand new black alternate uniforms.  

Get 6 for the 502. @UofLFootball’s new #ChromeVille TECHFIT x #Primeknit uniform. #L1C4 #teamadidas pic.twitter.com/18dd1hqNo6

— adidas Football US (@adidasFballUS) August 27, 2015

It's official, #CARDNATION. #BlackOut PJCS Thursday night Sept 17th vs. Clemson. #Primetime #ChromeVille pic.twitter.com/qKkHLPaKwL

— Cards FB Recruiting (@ULFBRecruiting) August 27, 2015

Louisville is no stranger to alternate uniforms. The program wore a similar black look in its opener against Miami last year and also wore an all-grey combination against Florida State.

This new black uniform is the second alternate look the program has unveiled this offseason. In the season opener against Auburn on Sept. 5 in Atlanta, the Cardinals will go with new “Uncaged Cardinal” uniforms.

#Uncaged. Ready for flight. A close-up of the new uniform. WATCH- http://t.co/Z60vYRpiqg #L1C4 #teamadidas pic.twitter.com/FM43WE0d55

— LouisvilleFootball (@UofLFootball) June 25, 2015

Here's another glimpse of the new uniform combo to be worn versus @FootballAU on Sept. 5 @adidasFballUS #L1C4 pic.twitter.com/4rYdl12Bh0

— LouisvilleFootball (@UofLFootball) June 26, 2015

Louisville went 9-4 in 2014.

For more Louisville news, visit CardinalSports.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 2:47 pm

Did Auburn's athletic department influence the school's decision to keep its public administration major?

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the school had decided to eliminate the major in 2013. However, following discussions with the athletic department, the major survived.

From the Wall Street Journal:

In addition to meeting with the school’s provost to urge him to spare public administration, the documents show, top athletic officials also offered to use athletic department funds, if necessary, to help pay its professors and support staff. Gary Waters, Auburn’s senior associate athletic director for academic services, wrote in an email in January 2013 that athletics had made “similar investments in academic programs during the last few years,” although in those cases, he added, “it has not been publicized.”

In the fall semester of 2013, more than half of the roughly 100 students majoring in public administration were athletes, records show, including nearly all of the top stars on the Auburn football team, which would win the Southeastern Conference title and play in the national-championship game. “If the public administration program is eliminated, the [graduation success rate] numbers for our student-athletes will likely decline,” a December 2012 internal athletic department memo said.

An Auburn spokesman said that while various groups may provide input on curriculum decisions, the “athletic department has not improperly influenced academic decision-making.” The school said athletics has donated money and other resources to help several academic programs over the years, “but public administration is not one of them.”

The report in the WSJ comes days after Rutgers revealed it was investigating communication between coach Kyle Flood and a lecturer regarding a Rutgers football player who may be on the cusp of being academically ineligible.

The report says the political science faculty at Auburn voted unanimously to eliminate the program in 2012. In early 2013, Auburn provost Timothy Boosinger met with Waters and athletic director Jay Jacobs. After waiting for a new dean for the College of Liberal Arts, the school kept the major later in the year.

It also states that fewer than one percent of Auburn students pursue a public administration major. 26 football players on the 2014 team had public administration majors.

Clustering athletes in the same majors isn't a new phenomenon. Many North Carolina athletes majored in African-American Studies, the program at the center of the academic fraud controversy that enveloped the university.

It's clear to see why athletic departments would want its athletes to have majors that may be considered "easy" even if it may not be the most ethical of practices; it helps decrease the risk of eligibility issues. And the more players that graduate, the better a team's Academic Progress Rate. Teams with poor APRs can face NCAA punishment.

While reports like this may be eye-opening to some, don't expect the trend to change as long as there's extreme pressure to win.

For more Auburn news, visit AuburnSports.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 27, 2015, 2:11 pm

UConn now has a completely gray uniform to wear in 2015.

The Huskies unveiled the uniform on Wednesday.

#UConnFootball pic.twitter.com/Hd9A5RsM0x

— UConn Football (@UConnFootball) August 27, 2015

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The best part of this uniform is easily the helmet. Gray is an overplayed color in college football to begin with, and going all gray just seems really drab. But Nike loves gray and UConn is a Nike school, so it made sense that the Huskies were going to have gray uniforms at some point.

Simply adding blue pants or a blue jersey to the other gray elements would be a huge step up. We'll see when UConn wears this uniform in 2015. Hopefully it's not on an overcast day in Storrs. That may be too much gray to handle.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 27, 2015, 11:52 am

Vanderbilt linebacker Nigel Bowden is the man who makes the defensive play calls for the Commodores. And Coach Derek Mason wanted his voice to be more "authoritative" in 2015.

“Since the beginning of time that position has been a leader. You go where you’re middle linebacker goes,” Mason told the Tennesseean. “I just asked Nigel to step outside his comfort zone. … As he is authoritative, guys will start to understand who the leader is, and that’s a strong position.”

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Bowden was a redshirt freshman in 2014 and led the team with 78 tackles. He made the play calls last year as Vanderbilt went 3-9 and 0-8 in the SEC. The 6-1, 240 pound player was a four-star recruit in the class of 2013 and the No. 9 inside linebacker in the country.

“(My voice) has to come out hard and aggressive this year,” Bowden said. “We’re not here to be nice to each other.”

Of course, a deeper voice isn't going to simply mean Vanderbilt makes an improvement on both sides of the ball. While finding a productive quarterback and offensive consistency will be considerably helpful, so will a better defense. Vanderbilt was 13th in the SEC in total defense last year. Mason, who was in his first season as the team's head coach in 2014 is now the team's defensive coordinator too.

Though maybe Bowden's voice will help with intimidation if Vanderbilt's defense gets off to a good start under Mason's leadership.

“He really has tried to deepen his voice. He’s become a loud and powerful guy out there,” DE Caleb Azubike said. “You can definitely hear him when he talks. You’ll almost be able to hear him from the stands.

“His voice has become so stern that you almost feel that you have to listen to him when he talks.”

For more Vanderbilt news, visit VandySports.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 27, 2015, 11:33 am

The Rutgers faculty member that Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood emailed about cornerback Nadir Barnwell was reportedly "likely" a part-time faculty member making less than $5,000 per class.

According to NJ.com, the faculty union at Rutgers believes Flood, who made $987,000 last year as head football coach, was contacting a part-time teacher.

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But union officials suspect the instructor who received Flood's email related to an academic issue involving his player is a part-time adjunct professor in the Mason Gross School of the Arts on the New Brunswick campus, said David Hughes, president of Rutgers' faculty union.

"You can imagine how someone in those situations would feel," Hughes said. "A guy earning a million dollars is talking to an instructor earning less than $5,000."

Flood is under university investigation for the email. The NCAA forbids coaches from pressuring teachers about the grades of athletes. Barnwell, a junior, may be in danger of not qualifying academically to play in 2015.

The coach is cooperating with the investigation. Flood said in a statement before Tuesday's practice that communication with faculty members was not uncommon.

"Any correspondence that I had with a professor in regards to a student athlete would really be of this nature; one – to be in support of whatever decision that faculty member made," Flood's statement read. "And two – to inquire as to whether or not there would be an opportunity to earn a better grade. This practice is not unusual at Rutgers. Many students all over campus receive what are called T grades, doing work outside when the class ends that semester to earn a better grade."

However, Hughes told NJ.com he was concerned about the "firewall" preventing faculty members from being influenced and disagreed with Flood's assessment of the practice of coaches communicating regularly with faculty.

He also said that there's an understanding that only academic support personnel should communicate with teachers about students.

"Obviously, we are concerned to maintain the firewall that protects instructors from any type of influence," said Hughes, a veteran anthropology professor. "It would be extremely helpful if President Barchi would make a statement. We would like him to reaffirm the autonomy of the faculty."

Rutgers declined comment to the media group through a spokesperson.

For more Rutgers news, visit ScarletRNation.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 27, 2015, 10:51 am

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster got a lot of people's attention Wednesday afternoon when he said the Hokies would possibly be fining players out of their cost-of-attendance stipends.

The COA stipends, instituted this year after NCAA reforms, are over $3,000 per athlete at Virginia Tech and paid to students in two-week increments.

From the Daily Press:

“We’re going to look at that right now,” said Foster, who is entering his 20th season as Tech's defensive coordinator, and his 29th overall season on coach Frank Beamer's staff. “Some people got in trouble for getting up and punishing people at 6 a.m. in the morning. Obviously, you need some discipline for some discipline issues. I think that’s one way that you can potentially do that, control that a little bit. You know, these guys right now haven’t had access to money, unless they’ve been Pell Grant recipients. They’ll want that when it’s all said and done at the end of the day.

“The bottom line is we want guys doing the right thing, being a team all the time, being consistently good, developing those habits and all those type of things, because in the real world, if you don’t adhere to rules and regulations, you get fired. We’re not in a position to fire anybody right now.”

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But the cost-of-attendance stipends are part of players' scholarships. Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock issued a statement Wednesday night disputing Foster's notion and said the school would not be going with the COA fine method.

"It will be discontinued immediately," Babcock said in a statement via HokieHaven.com.

Foster is likely not the only coach in college football who has had the idea that players could be fined out of their cost-of-attendance stipends. And, quite frankly, it's not a surprising thought. It's natural for college coaches to wonder if taking away players' newfound stipends would be an effective form of discipline. Virginia Tech has fined players other perks before. But those perks are just that and not part of their scholarships.

But the idea of COA fines should never have gotten past the wonder page into anything remotely resembling concrete; especially not one communicated to reporters. Foster received lots of much-deserved flack for his comments, which made him look unaware and uneducated when it came to recent NCAA reforms. And given the swift response to his remarks, you can bet a lot of other college football coaches were paying attention and will be choosing their words about cost-of-attendance much more carefully in the future.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 27, 2015, 10:24 am

With UCLA’s season opener less than two weeks away, Bruins head coach Jim Mora decided Wednesday night it was time to name his starting quarterback.

The decision came down to redshirt junior Jerry Neuheisel and true freshman Josh Rosen, and Mora opted for Rosen.

BREAKING: #UCLA head coach Jim Mora named Josh Rosen the starting QB against Virginia. #GoBruins pic.twitter.com/jPqIED0hpX

— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) August 26, 2015

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Rosen, a native of Bellflower, Calif., was a five-star recruit in the 2015 class and enrolled early in order to participate in spring practice and gear up for the competition with Neuheisel. Rivals.com rated Rosen as the best quarterback in his class and the second-best prospect in the country, so expectations have been sky high.

The Bruins return their entire offensive line, a nice stable of receivers and Pac-12 rushing leader Paul Perkins (1,575 yards, 15 TDs), so Rosen has plenty of weapons to work with.

Neuheisel, the son of former UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, was the backup to Brett Hundley the past two seasons. He came on in relief of an injured Hundley against Texas and led the Bruins to a come-from-behind win. Overall, he has appeared in a combined four games over the past two seasons and thrown for 318 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Bruins open their season at home on Sept. 5 against Virginia. 

For more UCLA news, visit BruinSportsReport.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 12:45 am

Ohio State's Noah Brown warms up before the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Oregon Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)Ohio State took a hit to its receiving corps on Wednesday.

Head coach Urban Meyer confirmed to the Columbus Dispatch that wide receiver Noah Brown suffered a broken leg during practice and was "taken off the field by cart and transported to the OSU Medical Center." He is expected to miss the entire season.

"Surgery soon and full recovery expected," Meyer told the Dispatch in a text message.

Brown, a 6-foot-2, 222-pound sophomore, was expected to be a big part of the Buckeyes’ high-powered offense this season.

According to several reports, media access following Wednesday evening’s practice was abruptly canceled. Before it was confirmed, Buckeyes wide receivers coach Zach Smith sent out this tweet, hinting to an injury:

This is not our plan... This is God's plan. Have to have #Faith in His plan and stay true to Him - It will all work out in the end. 🙏🏼

— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) August 26, 2015

Fellow OSU wide receivers Corey Smith and Michael Thomas also sent out tweets in support of Brown.

Count yo blessings at all times NB I got bro 😪🙏🏾

— Corey Smith Jr (@dreamchaser_cj5) August 26, 2015

I'm not going to give up my faith, I know the Lord has something greater for you. Just a bump in the road we have to overcome together... NB

— Mike Thomas (@Cantguardmike) August 26, 2015

Brown played in 11 games as a true freshman for the Buckeyes in 2014 and tallied just one catch for nine yards. In addition to the loss of Brown, Jalin Marshall, Dontre Wilson and Smith are all suspended for the season opener against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 27, 2015, 12:09 am

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10-year-old Ivan Applin was worrying about one of life's most important things when he was preparing for heart surgery at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State.

Applin, from Toledo, Ohio, is an Ohio State fan. He didn't want the device that was about to be inserted into his heart to change his loyalties.

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“He asked if the Michigan doctors were going to make his heart love University of Michigan instead of Ohio State,” his mother Jennifer said (while laughing) to the University of Michigan's health blog.

It did not. The device, called Cardioform, works like a plug to close holes in the heart. He had several holes in his heart at birth and they grew larger as he got older. He was referred to Michigan's hospital by his doctors at Toledo.

Dr. Grifka, of Mott’s Congenital Heart Center team, performed what’s called a cardiac catheterization. The procedure involved placing a small catheter into a vein in Ivan’s leg, advancing the catheter into his heart and inserting the new device.

Ivan was walking and eating later the same day and able to return home the following morning. He had no incision, stitches or blood transfusion, and will be able to return to normal activities within a few weeks.

He can't wait to get back to normal either.

“He keeps asking me to take out the calendar and show him the exact day his recovery period is officially over so he can stop resting,” Jennifer said. “He wants to make sure it’s in time for his first soccer practice.”

We're guessing the game between the Buckeyes and Wolverines on November 28 is marked on that calendar too.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 26, 2015, 7:34 pm

Duke's Breon Borders, left, and Bryon Fields celebrate stopping Arizona State on fourth down during the fourth quarter of the Sun Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Victor Calzada)Duke will be without one of its defensive starters for the entire 2015 season.

Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe announced Wednesday that cornerback Bryon Fields suffered a torn ACL in his right knee on Tuesday.

"The cruelest element of college football – and for all of college athletics – is injury, and we certainly feel heartbreak at this time for Bryon and his family," Cutcliffe said. "We know Bryon is in great hands with our medical staff, and I have all the confidence in the world in Bryon’s dedication and perseverance to overcome this obstacle. The challenge for a football team to lose a player with Bryon’s ability and experience is significant, but it’s one we’ll embrace."

Fields, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior, started all 13 games for Duke in 2014 and had 70 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one interception. He also played in 14 games (one start) with 42 tackles in 2013.

Fields is the second defensive starter Duke has lost for the season this summer. Senior linebacker Kelby Brown also suffered a torn ACL in July, ending his career.

Coming off a 9-4 record last season, Duke’s 2015 campaign opens up at Tulane on Sept. 3. 

For more Duke news, visit DevilsIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 26, 2015, 7:32 pm

Holy Cross relied on two assistant coaches to loosen things up at practice on Wednesday. Outside linebackers coach Alex Bresner and tight ends coach Steve Cully certainly delivered.

While surrounded by the entire team, Bresner, aka “The Marblehead Magician,” and Cully, aka “The Great Cullini,” met in a full-on WWE-style wrestling match. It ended in devastating fashion.

HC FB Summerslam: The Marblehead Magician @Coach_Brez vs The Great Cullini @SCullOT! #chokeslam @FootballScoop pic.twitter.com/D3hSjxDArM

— Jon Guynes (@coachGuynes) August 26, 2015

After Bresner looked to have the upper hand, Cully bounced back and finished the match off with a textbook chokeslam. The team went absolutely nuts. 

Those two looked like they would have fit in well at Summerslam over the weekend. 

Holy Cross, an FCS program from Worcester, Mass., opens its season at Monmouth on Sept. 5. The Crusaders went 4-8 in 2014. 

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 26, 2015, 6:42 pm

(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)East Carolina quarterback Kurt Benkert will miss the entire 2015 season due to a knee injury, the program announced Wednesday.

The news comes a week after Benkert, a redshirt sophomore, was announced as the Pirates’ starting quarterback.

According to a release from the program, Benkert “experienced discomfort after practice Tuesday.” After further testing, the severity of the injury was revealed Wednesday morning. The program did not provide specific details on the injury other than that it occurred in his right knee.

“Everyone in college football is affected by injuries and we are no different,” ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill said in a statement. “I am disappointed for Kurt because he has worked so hard for this opportunity. We’ve got a lot of talent on this team and we’ll be asking everyone to step up.”

Benkert saw action in three games for the Pirates last season as the backup to Shane Carden and completed 8-of-10 passes for 58 yards. He also rushed for two scores.

With Benkert out, McNeill said juniors Blake Kemp and Cody Keith will now compete for the starting role.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Kemp redshirted the 2014 after transferring to ECU from Mesa Community College. When Benkert was announced as the starter last week, McNeill said Kemp would serve as the No. 2 quarterback.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Keith returned to practice this week after missing two weeks of action due to a foot injury. He has been with the program since 2011, but has dealt with a variety of injuries, including an elbow injury that kept him out for the entire 2014 campaign. His only action came in 2013, when he appeared in three games as a backup and completed 7-of-11 passes for 57 yards.

The Pirates went 8-5 in 2014 and open up against Towson at home on Sept. 5.

For more East Carolina news, visit PirateIllustrated.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 26, 2015, 6:05 pm

Nov 1, 2014; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Zack Greenlee (17) looks to throw a pass against the Wyoming Cowboys in the second quarter at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY SportsZack Greenlee will open the 2015 season as Fresno State’s starting quarterback, Bulldogs head coach Tim DeRuyter announced Wednesday.

Greenlee, a redshirt sophomore, beat out redshirt junior Ford Childress, redshirt freshman Kilton Anderson and true freshman Chason Virgil to win the starting gig. The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Greenlee played in three games (one start) for the Bulldogs last season as a redshirt freshman, completing 18-of-41 passes for 213 yards and one touchdown.

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DeRuyter said Greenlee’s ability to take care of the football separated him from the rest.

"The competition was extremely close between the top three quarterbacks," DeRuyter said in a release from the program. "The completion percentages in fall camp and decision making were all relatively close, but the big separator was taking care of the football. Zack only had two picks and he had those the first week of camp. Since then he's done a great job taking care of the football."

DeRuyter said Greenlee’s performance in an Aug. 20 scrimmage – 9-of-11 for 166 yards and two touchdowns – was a big moment for him in camp.

"He's been in our system the longest, you'd expect those kind of things from him because he has been here," DeRuyter said. "He competed really well and has made tremendous improvements over last year, has improved since the spring and I'm proud of him."

Though Greenlee is the starter, DeRuyter said Virgil will see action in Week 1. Childress, a West Virginia transfer, may play as well.

"Zack knows that we are going to play two quarterbacks," DeRuyter added. "If he lights it up in the first quarter against Abilene Christian or doesn't, he is going to play and at some point we are going to bring in Chason and potentially will bring in Ford."

The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Virgil enrolled early at Fresno in January and participated in spring practice. He was rated as a three-star recruit and the 23rd-best dual-threat quarterback in the country by Rivals in the 2015 class.

Childress started two games at West Virginia in 2013 and completed 36-of-63 passes for 427 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. He spent the 2014 season redshirting at Trinity Valley Junior College (Texas) before landing at Fresno.

Coming off a 6-8 record in 2014, the Bulldogs open up at home against Abilene Christian on Sept. 3 before traveling to face Ole Miss on Sept. 12.

For more Fresno State news, visit FSBulldogs.com.

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 26, 2015, 5:18 pm

AthlonSports.com is a leading website for preseason and in-season football previews, predictions, rankings and analysis.

The offensive line is often the most overlooked position for any college football team. While the linemen in the trenches don’t get enough credit, they are often the most important piece to a successful offense. Flashy skill talent and quarterbacks take home all of the accolades and headlines, but neither position can thrive without a solid offensive line.

Which teams are strongest in the trenches heading into the 2015 season? Five SEC teams rank among college football's best lines, while Ohio State and Michigan State give the Big Ten two teams inside of the top three. 

Related: College Football's Top 50 Players for 2015

How did we come up with these rankings? A couple of factors were considered. Depth, overall talent, production, level of competition and projected output in 2015 all factored into the rankings for the backfield. While some teams may have experienced a down year last season, having a different quarterback or a change of scheme can make a huge difference. These rankings reflect projection for 2015, not solely what teams have accomplished in 2014.

CFB's Top 30 Offensive Lines for 2015

1. Georgia

New line coach Rob Sale couldn’t ask for a better way to begin his tenure in Athens. This unit allowed only 12 sacks in SEC games and excelled in run blocking by clearing lanes for rushers to average 6.0 yards per carry. All-SEC center David Andrews will be missed, but Sale’s group is set with the return of rising star Greg Pyke at guard, along with the standout tackle duo of John Theus and Kolton Houston. Brandon Kublanow is the favorite to replace Andrews at center.

2. Michigan State

The Spartans boasted one of the nation’s top offensive lines last season, and this unit is only getting better with the return of four starters, along with the emergence of sophomore guard Brian Allen. Left tackle Jack Conklin and center Jack Allen headline a group that gave up only 11 sacks last season and allowed rushers to average 5.2 yards per carry. Senior guard Donavon Clark and right tackle Kodi Kieler anchor an experienced right side.

3. Ohio State 

After a shaky start to the 2014 season, no line in the nation progressed as much as Ohio State’s. The Buckeyes gave up seven sacks in the loss to Virginia Tech in Week 2 but allowed only 15 sacks in Big Ten games, and quarterback Cardale Jones was sacked once in the national title win over Oregon. Four starters are back, and the Buckeyes expect this group to be even stronger. Left tackle Taylor Decker and right guard Pat Elflein are the unit’s top performers and first-team Athlon Sports All-Americans for 2015. Jacoby Boren returns at center, while Billy Price (left guard) and Chase Farris (right tackle) round out the starting five.

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2015

4. Baylor

The success of Baylor’s high-powered offense starts in the trenches. Left tackle Spencer Drango considered an early jump to the NFL, but the three-year starter is back and is a first-team Athlon Sports All-American for 2015. Three other seniors join Drango up front, including guard Blake Muir and tackle Pat Colbert. Center Kyle Fuller started all 13 games last year and will push for all-conference honors in 2015. The coaching staff wants to develop more depth, but there are few concerns about the starting group. This unit gave up only one sack every 22 pass attempts and allowed Baylor rushers to average 4.5 yards per carry.

5. Arkansas

The Razorbacks return four starters from the nation’s largest offensive line. This unit cleared the way for rushers to average 5.1 yards per carry and allowed only 14 sacks in 2014. All five projected starters for 2015 weigh over 300 pounds, with converted guard Denver Kirkland slated to anchor the line at left tackle. Kirkland and Dan Skipper are among the SEC’s best up front, and the tackle duo will have plenty of support from the starters on the interior. Sebastian Tretola is a mauling 322-pound guard, and senior Mitch Smothers enters 2015 with 21 career starts. Sophomore Frank Ragnow is the only new starter for this unit. 

Related: SEC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2015

6. Auburn  

The Tigers must replace standout center Reese Dismukes and guard Chad Slade, but this unit remains a strength for coach Gus Malzahn. Three starters are back, including tackle Avery Young and left tackle Shon Coleman. The return of guard Alex Kozan from a back injury should bolster the interior, while Austin Golson and Xavier Dampeer are locked into a tight battle to replace Dismukes at center. Promising sophomore Braden Smith is expected to start at right guard. This unit allowed only 10 sacks in SEC play last season.

7. LSU  

LSU’s passing offense is once again surrounded in mystery. However, there’s no doubt about the strength of the Tigers’ offense. The rushing attack should be among the best in the SEC and is anchored by rising star Leonard Fournette. The line is also a big part of LSU’s success on the ground, as three starters return from a unit that helped the Tigers average 224.5 rushing yards per game in 2014. Tackles Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins are among the best in the SEC, while Ethan Pocic (a returning starter) is penciled in at left guard. Freshman Will Clapp (center) and Garrett Brumfield (right guard) should round out the starting five.

Related: Ranking the SEC's Top 15 Players for 2015

8. Alabama  

The Crimson Tide’s offensive line is undergoing some renovations with the loss of three starters. However, line coach Mario Cristobal has plenty of talent to develop, while the two returning starters – left tackle Cam Robinson and center Ryan Kelly – are among the best in the nation at their position. Redshirt freshman Ross Pierschbacher is expected to start at left guard, while Bradley Bozeman and Alphonse Taylor are battling for snaps at right guard. Senior Dominick Jackson has the inside track at right tackle.

9. USC  

The Trojans need to settle on a starting five, but this unit has plenty of promise and talent leading the way for one of the nation’s top offenses. Solidifying the left tackle position is critical, as junior Chad Wheeler is working his way back from a knee injury suffered in 2014. Toa Lobendahn could start at left tackle if Wheeler isn’t ready, or the talented sophomore could shift inside to left guard. Max Tuerk is arguably the nation’s best center, while the Trojans also boast returning starters at right tackle (Zach Banner) and right guard (Viane Talamaivao).

10. TCU

Protecting quarterback Trevone Boykin won’t be a problem for TCU in 2015. The Horned Frogs return four starters from a unit that allowed 23 sacks in 13 games last season. Hala Vaitai missed time in the spring due to a shoulder injury, but the senior is penciled in at left tackle after starting on the right side last year. Center Joey Hunt is among the nation’s best, while fellow seniors Jamelle Naff and Brady Foltz round out the returning starters.

11. Stanford

12. Notre Dame  

13. Texas Tech 

14. Boise State  

15. Georgia Tech 

16. UCLA  

17. Missouri  

18. Texas A&M 

19. Ole Miss  

20. Oregon  

21. Pittsburgh  

22. Wisconsin 

23. Kansas State 

24. Indiana  

25. North Carolina 

26. Minnesota  

27. Oklahoma State

28. Michigan

29. Texas

30. Bowling Green

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Watch for more rankings, previews and predictions from the good folks at Athlon here on Dr. Saturday. And don't forget to follow @YahooDrSaturday and @AthlonSports for all your college football information.

Author: Steven Lassan
Posted: August 26, 2015, 4:00 pm

The Big 12's athletic directors support a transfer rule preventing players who have had misconduct issues at their previous schools from transferring into the conference.

According to the AP, support for the rule is unanimous.

From the AP:

In a text to The Associated Press, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Tuesday that conference ADs meeting in New Orleans ''supported a policy draft similar to that of the (Southeastern Conference).'' Bowlsby said the draft would still need to be refined and submitted to a joint council of faculty athletic representatives and athletic directors for approval.

The SEC instituted a transfer ban on players who have had "serious misconduct" issues at their former schools. The rule was approved in May and came after former Georgia DT Jonathan Taylor was dismissed from Alabama after a domestic violence accusation against him. Taylor was dismissed from Georgia because of domestic violence allegations. He transferred to Alabama while charges were pending in Georgia.

The SEC defines serious misconduct as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

The Big 12's move to support the rule comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding former Boise State DE Sam Ukwuachu's rape conviction. Ukwuachu, who was sentenced to 180 days in prison and 10 years probation on Friday, was convicted of raping a former Baylor soccer player in the fall of 2013. He transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State in May of 2013 and never played a down for Baylor.

According to ESPN, Ukwuachu was diagnosed with depressive disorder three days before he was dismissed from Boise State on May 6, 2013. However, given what's been reported heavily over the past week, it's unclear at best if Ukwuachu would have been subject to the Big 12's potential transfer ban.

He was not dismissed from the university, and according to a statement from Boise State on Tuesday night, the school did not know of his domestic violence issues. His former girlfriend at Boise State testified at the sexual assault trial that he had physically abused her. The school said the accusations were not reported while Ukwuachu was at Boise State.

The ESPN report details an April 2013 incident where Ukwuachu had suicidal thoughts.

"[Student-athlete] had voluntarily walked in stating [he] had suicidal thoughts & a plan to carry out (hanging)," Paul wrote in his notes. "Was w/ girlfriend @ time."

Ukwuachu received counseling throughout his 72-hour hold and left the hospital on April 14, 2013. On April 25, 2013, Paul met with Ukwuachu's girlfriend to discuss their relationship. She said they had been in an argument but believed their situation was getting better, "but wishes he would retake anger management classes," according to Paul's notes. Paul told her their relationship was scary for a number of reasons.

"We know there [are] issues [including] verbal abuse," Paul wrote. "She acknowledged arguments & name calling/yelling, etc., but refused to elaborate further. When asked if [she] would admit if physical violence occurs, stated [probably] not & quickly added 'but he's much better now & has it under control.'"

At the bottom of his notes, Paul wrote: "NOT Healthy Relationship!"

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

For more Boise State news, visit Blue-Turf.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 26, 2015, 3:50 pm

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)It was only a matter of time before Purdue named Austin Appleby its starting quarterback, and head coach Darrell Hazell did just that on Tuesday.

Appleby, a redshirt junior, outlasted redshirt freshman David Blough to grab hold of the starting gig. He took the majority of the team's first-team reps throughout the spring and during preseason camp.

“I like where he is right now,” Hazell said of Appleby, per Purdue Athletics. “He did a good job taking care of the ball throughout fall camp and made enough of those makeable plays, and that’s why we are going with Austin.

“I think he’s so much better at understanding everything around him. My message to Austin was he has to think like the head coach in terms of the big picture. Situational football, red zone, coming off the goal line, understanding if it’s third-and-long get us to a fourth-and-short, so we can go for it. I think that’s where he’s made strides.”

According to the Associated Press, Appleby threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions while Blough threw two interceptions and one touchdown in a scrimmage on Saturday.

Appleby started the final seven games of the 2014 season for the Boilermakers after Danny Etling was benched. Etling has since transferred to LSU.

In 10 total games played in 2014, the 6-foot-5, 239-pound Appleby threw for 1,449 yards, 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while completing 52.9 percent of his passes.

In his seven starts, Appleby had a 1-6 record with his lone win coming in a 38-27 decision at Illinois.

The Boilermakers, who were 3-9 last season, open up at Marshall on Sept. 6.

For more Purdue news, visit GoldandBlack.com.

Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 26, 2015, 3:43 pm

The lawyer for Florida State running back Dalvin Cook said Monday that he felt it was unfair for Florida State to suspend his client before a more thorough investigation into the allegations against him. Cook was found not guilty of misdemeanor battery on Monday. He was alleged to have punched a woman in the face outside a bar.

Ricky Patel made the comments on Yahoo Sports Radio's Primecut. You can listen to the full audio of his remarks below. An excerpt of them is also included below.

"Whenever I speak with [Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher], I make sure that he understands I think he’s gone over and beyond," Patel said. "And when I say that, when he kicked Dalvin Cook off, I was very very upset … here’s the thing. You have a guy that’s being accused of some type of crime, OK? There’s no tangible evidence where you’re saying 'OK, there’s no doubt that he can be kicked out.' It wasn’t one of those situations like Johnson. Johnson, I understand. You’ve got to kick him off because you know for a fact he’s punched someone."

Johnson is De'Andre Johnson, the Florida State backup quarterback who was dismissed from the team after he was caught on surveillance cameras punching a woman at a bar. The alleged incident involving Cook happened a day before Johnson's incident.

Fisher said at ACC media day in July that his team had no tolerance for players hitting women.

While Patel is clearly speaking from a lawyer's point of view when it comes to due process – and has valid points about players at Florida State being there for athletics moreso than academics – Florida State was in a position where it needed to do something given that the accusations against Cook surfaced after the Johnson incident.

And an indefinite suspension before the season to let the criminal trial take place isn't a crazy course of action either. With the timing of the trial, Cook's legal fate was set to determine whether or not he would miss any football games. And he won't because of the accusations.

He was reinstated to the team on Monday following the verdict and his presence gives Florida State a boost in the running game. As a freshman last season, Cook ran for over 1,000 yards and is FSU's leading returning rusher. His first day of practice was Tuesday and Fisher said he looked "good" after doing conditioning drills on his own during the suspension.

"[Cook] is one of our leaders, but I feel all of our backs have been consistent," FSU FB Freddie Stevenson said via Warchant. "But he is our leader, and it is very big to have him back."
For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 26, 2015, 2:27 pm

Boise State broke its silence regarding former defensive end Sam Ukwuachu by releasing a statement Tuesday saying the university had no knowledge of accusations of domestic violence or sexual assault regarding Ukwuachu or his girlfriend, who was a former Boise State athlete.

The incidents and factors that contributed to Sam Ukwuachu's dismissal from the Boise State football team had nothing to do with accusations of any sexual assaults or with accusations that he physically assaulted any women. However, federal laws protecting privacy prohibit Boise State from releasing information about what did result in his dismissal from the Boise State University football team.
Boise State University never received any reports nor had any knowledge of Sam Ukwuachu being involved in any accusations of sexual assault before or during his time at Boise State. .

Ukwuachu was convicted last week of sexually assaulting a former Baylor women’s soccer player in 2013 and sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation.

During the trial, questions began to swirl about what Baylor knew about Ukwuachu and whether the football staff knowingly placed female students in jeopardy by bringing him to campus. Baylor coach Art Briles vehemently denied knowing about Ukwuachu’s domestic abuse and said Boise State never made him aware of any such issues.

Washington coach Chris Petersen, who was the head coach at Boise State at the time of Ukwuachu’s dismissal, issued a statement saying Briles was “thoroughly apprised” of the circumstances involving Ukwuachu's dismissal from the Boise State program. However, he declined to give specifics.

Boise State’s statement flies in the face of a Sports Illustrated story published Tuesday afternoon that cited two former members of the Florida athletic department saying Boise State informed the football staff about Ukwuachu's domestic abuse issues.

That included the former freshman All-America defensive end's alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend and an allegation that Ukwuachu put his fist through a window while drunk at the couple's home, one of the ex-staffers said. (Ukwuachu was not charged in either incident.)

Is it possible a few Boise State athletic department staffers, including Petersen, knew about Ukwuachu’s transgressions and didn’t say anything to any higher ups? Sure. We still don’t know what Petersen said to Briles on the phone and we might never know. Petersen declined to elaborate on his statement again Tuesday.

Boise State did say in its statement that it planned to do a Title IX investigation into the allegations of domestic abuse despite the fact that neither athlete was still enrolled at the school.

In widely reported testimony from the Aug. 20 Texas trial, Ukwuachu's former girlfriend stated Ukwuachu hit and choked her while they were students at Boise State. This information about their relationship was not reported to Boise State when the two were students here. While neither student is currently enrolled at Boise State, the University has requested a transcript of the testimony and will begin a Title IX inquiry immediately based on this testimony about a potential physically abusive relationship between the two former students. That inquiry, like all such inquiries, will not be subject to public records requests for privacy reasons.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law restricting the ability of an institution of higher education to release student information without their specific written permission. Nevertheless, an exception exists for the release of information where a validly issued subpoena is produced. University officials coordinated with McLennan County prosecuting attorneys, releasing records to them pursuant to a valid subpoena, as required by FERPA. Those records, despite having been released pursuant to subpoena, remain protected, and FERPA prohibits Boise State from releasing even those that have become part of the public record in the trial. In addition to FERPA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act restricts Boise State from releasing certain information about students as well. .

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

For more Boise State news, visit Blue-Turf.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook

Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 26, 2015, 1:20 am

Washington State may be scrambling to find alternatives for its first game of the season because of wildfires in eastern Washington.

The record-setting wildfires have burned 200 homes as the area has not received its normal amount of rainfall. And the smoke from the fires have made the air quality unhealthy. If the air quality continues to be poor as the Cougars' game against Portland State on September 5 approaches, Washington State could be forced to move or postpone the game.

"We're watching it really close," Washington State athletic director Bill Moos told the Spokesman Review. "Of course we are concerned about the health and safety of our student athletes and our fans, as well as coaches and staff. I'm hoping we will get some relief with some rain. We're testing it every day."

One practice has been moved inside already because of the wildfires. An Air Quality Index score of 150 or higher is considered dangerous, but the threshold could be 100 for the game to go on because of fans with possible respiratory issues and children. Though the paper notes that the AQI in Pullman, Washington was currently below 100.

The Spokesman Review cited sources that said WSU has looked at possibly having the game at Idaho's Kibbie Dome. The Kibbie Dome has a much less capacity than Washington State's stadium, so any move there would likely be as a last resort given the ticket scrambling that would have to occur. Moos also didn't rule out moving the date of the game.

"The Kibbie Dome would not be the only option in my mind, there are other options where maybe we could go," Moos said. "We want to play the game. Another option is, can we reschedule it? That's happened before when you look back September 11th, and those things, people had to get creative with their schedules.

Washington State went 3-9 overall in 2014 and 2-7 in the Pac-12.

For more Washington State news, visit WazzuWatch.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Nick Bromberg
Posted: August 25, 2015, 11:00 pm

From left to right, South Carolina quarterbacks Michael Scarnecchia (12), Connor Mitch (6), Perry Orth (10) and Lorenzo Nunez (19) pose for a photograph during NCAA college football media day in Columbia, S.C., Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)When South Carolina opens its season, Connor Mitch will start at quarterback.

Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier announced the news Tuesday, saying Mitch, a redshirt sophomore, will be under center when USC opens up against North Carolina on Sept. 3 in Charlotte.

Mitch came out on top of a lengthy four-man quarterback battle with junior Perry Orth, redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia and true freshman Lorenzo Nunez. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Mitch played briefly in two games last season, completing 2-of-6 passes for 19 yards.

A native of Raleigh, N.C., Mitch was a Rivals.com four-star prospect (No. 248 overall) coming out of the 2013 recruiting class. He was ranked as the 13th-best pro-style quarterback and the seventh best player in North Carolina in his class.

Mitch follows in the footsteps of Dylan Thompson, last year’s starter who led the Gamecocks to a 7-6 record while throwing for 3,564 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

For more South Carolina news, visit GamecockCentral.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 25, 2015, 8:58 pm

Art Briles has changed the face of Baylor football, but does that make him the best coach in the Big 12? Find out what associate editor Rich Cirminiello thinks as he breaks down his top five Big 12 coaches.Baylor has gone to great lengths to show that it did not know about Sam Ukwuachu's history of violence against his girlfriend while at Boise State. However, an article published in Sports Illustrated’s Campus Rush on Tuesday says at least one school did know Ukwuachu was troubled, which ultimately caused it to pass on the star defensive lineman.

According to Sports Illustrated, which cites two former Florida athletic department employees, Florida was interested in recruiting Ukwuachu in May 2013 after he was dismissed from Boise State. That recruitment was halted when a Boise State athletic department employee detailed Ukwuachu’s domestic violence issues with the Florida athletic department and then-coach Will Muschamp decided against recruiting him.

That included the former freshman All-America defensive end's alleged physical abuse of his girlfriend and an allegation that Ukwuachu put his fist through a window while drunk at the couple's home, one of the ex-staffers said. (Ukwuachu was not charged in either incident.)
"There was no way," one of the former Florida employees told The Inside Read of Ukwuachu. "[Muschamp] wouldn't touch him."

Ukwuachu was convicted last Thursday of sexually assaulting a former Baylor soccer player in 2013 and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation. On two occasions — once after the verdict and once after the sentencing — Baylor coach Art Briles claimed he knew nothing of Ukwuachu's violence toward his girlfriend and claimed Boise State never informed Baylor of the transgressions. Chris Petersen, the former Boise State coach who is now at Washington, issued a statement saying he initiated a call to Briles and “thoroughly apprised” the Baylor coach of the circumstances involving Ukwuachu's dismissal from the Boise State program.

Baylor responded to Petersen by making public the transfer information request form provided to Baylor by Boise State. One question on the form asks if the player had been "suspended or disqualified by the institution for disciplinary reasons" and the box next to it was checked “No.” However, Boise State never expelled Ukwuachu, it merely kicked him off the football team.

Ukwuachu’s former high school football coach also tried to come to Baylor’s aid by saying he also didn’t know about Ukwuachu’s violent past. However, it’s reasonable that Boise State did not disclose this information because of FERPA laws, which prohibit the release of sensitive student information.

Petersen and Briles are friends and the call between them could have been Petersen giving his friend a courtesy heads-up, regradless of the FERPA laws that prohibited him from doing so.

Petersen was asked about his statement again during a press conference Tuesday and declined to comment further.

Here's what Petersen said about Ukwuachu, Baylor, etc. pic.twitter.com/6JzbcHKapj

— Christian Caple (@ChristianCaple) August 25, 2015

One of the Florida athletic department sources told Sports Illustrated that Ukwuachu was not forthcoming about his issues at Boise State.

Said the ex-Florida official to Sports Illustrated: "There was absolutely no doubt."

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

For more Boise State news, visit Blue-Turf.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook

Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 25, 2015, 8:32 pm

If Utah needed a little extra motivation for the season opener against Michigan, it might have found it in the most unlikely source.

A calendar section in the most recent edition of Popular Mechanics magazine lists the Sept. 3 Michigan season opener with the note: "College football season gets underway tonight with the University of Michigan in a cupcake game against Utah."

Popular Mechanics magazine called Michigan's game against Utah a cupcake game.

According to Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City, this random mention was brought to the attention of the Utah coaching staff and was subsequently tacked up in the locker room as “bulletin board material.”

First of all, what the heck does Popular Mechanics know about college football? That’s not an insult to Popular Mechanics. I’m sure if Dr. Saturday published a story about, um, popular mechanics, the magazine would question whether we had the acumen to do so.

Moreover, Utah isn’t what most would think of as a “cupcake.” This is a team that’s coming off a 9-4 season and is also a 5.5-point favorite at home against Michigan, a team that finished 5-7 a year ago. It’s also worth noting that these teams have played three times and Utah has won the last two, including a 26-10 decision at Michigan Stadium last year.

Fox's Salt Lake City affiliate asked players what they thought of the assessment from the DIY magazine:

"Our team is always juiced, no matter what," Utah senior wide receiver Kenneth Scott said in a video on the website. "So with that little thing that they put in our locker room about us being a cupcake game, it definitely puts more intensity into the game, just because of that little statement that was made. And plus, we're always trying to prove everybody wrong, because everyone sees us as the underdog. We always have the chip on our shoulder."

For more Utah news, visit Utezone.com.

For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @YahooDrSaturday

And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook

Author: Graham Watson
Posted: August 25, 2015, 7:45 pm

Clemson defensive tackle D.J. Reader Clemson's D.J. Reader responds to questions during the ACC NCAA college football kickoff in Pinehurst, N.C., Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)has decided to step away from the football team for an unspecified period of time.

Reader, a senior who was listed as a starter on the Tigers’ most-recent depth chart, is dealing with personal issues, according to head coach Dabo Swinney.

“D.J. Reader has decided to step away from football for a while,” Swinney said in a statement. “He has some personal issues he has to deal with at this time. We are not sure when he will return. We will support him any way we can. This is no different than a player being lost for a period of time due to injury.”

[Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!]

The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Reader played in 12 games and made one start for the Tigers last season and had 27 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Reader also had 43 tackles, five tackles for loss and three sacks in 2013 (three starts) and 40 tackles in 2012.

With Reader out, redshirt sophomore Scott Pagano and true freshman Christian Wilkins could potentially fill in as a starting defense tackle. Pagano played in four games and registered 10 tackles in 2014. Wilkins was a five-star recruit in the 2015 class and was rated by Rivals as the 21st-best player in the country.

“We will move forward at the tackle position,” Swinney said. “We have many players who will do an outstanding job in the defensive line.”

The Tigers open their season at home against Wofford on Sept. 5.

For more Clemson news, visit TigerIllustrated.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 25, 2015, 7:22 pm

Grandstanding: A Yahoo Sports podcast
Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed

Quarterbacking USC is a job, like being President of the United States or lead singer of Van Halen, that not a lot of people have held, and even fewer have done well. Matt Leinart served at USC with distinction, winning both a national championship and a Heisman Trophy, and he joins us today on Yahoo Sports' Grandstanding podcast to talk college football.

We begin with the story of USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, who made some unfortunate comments on Saturday night while under the influence of what he says was a combination of alcohol and medication. Leinart, who worked with Sark while at USC, nonetheless didn't hold back:

"Obviously, what he did is inappropriate and unacceptable," Leinart told Yahoo Sports. "He understands that. That's not how you represent any college, let alone USC, but I think he's handled it like a man. I buy his apology. He understands that it's not tolerated, and it can't happen again." (Hear the full interview above.)

From there, we speak of more on-the-field college football matters:

• Is USC's Cody Kessler a legit Heisman candidate? What's it like coming into a season so highly heralded?

• Is USC or Oregon the class of the Pac-12?

• Can anybody beat Ohio State?

• What did Leinart think of the Super Bowl play-calling of his old coach Pete Carroll?

Thanks for listening to the Grandstanding podcast with Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk. Hit us up on Twitter (@kevinkaduk and @jaybusbee) Facebook (Kaduk here, Busbee here) or via the hashtag #grandstanding. See you next ep!

[Music by Chris Salmon and Tobin Summerfield]

____
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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And keep up with Jay over on Facebook, too.

Author: Jay Busbee
Posted: August 25, 2015, 6:58 pm

East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden (5) is sacked by South Florida linebacker Tashon Whitehurst (51) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Two veteran linebackers will miss USF’s first two games.

Bulls head coach Willie Taggart announced Tuesday that junior Nigel Harris and senior Tashon Whitehurst have been suspended for violating team rules.

Whitehurst was projected to start at weakside linebacker with Harris serving as his backup.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Whitehurst has played in 32 games in his career, including five starts, and has totaled 70 tackles, six tackles for loss and three sacks. Whitehurst had his best season in 2014 when he registered 49 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Harris started 11 games in 2014 and tallied 77 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and set a school record with six forced fumbles. Harris also played in 12 games as a freshman in 2013 and had 35 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.

With Whitehurst and Harris out, redshirt Jimmy Bayes, freshman Danny Thomas and senior C.J. Garye are potential replacements at weakside linebacker, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

"We count on everyone; we've talked about being all-in from Day One," Taggart said Tuesday, per the Times. "We're counting on every guy to come out there, but we're not gonna let any of those guys' mistakes stop us from what we're trying to do.

"We're gonna continue to go out and play and next guy up...and those guys have got to work their butt off to come back and play and earn the job back."

The Bulls should be able to get away with the drop-off at the position in their opener against FCS Florida A&M. Their Week 2 matchup – at Florida State – will likely provide a different outcome.

For more USF news, visit RunningTheBulls.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Author: Sam Cooper
Posted: August 25, 2015, 6:53 pm

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