College Weekly Report
by Brent Beaird
AP POLL SINCE 1998: (thenationalchampionshipissue.blogspot.com.) This site looked at all the first-place votes cast in The Associated Press and coaches' polls since the dawn of the BCS era in 1998, and discovered that USC has had the most No. 1 votes in that span (19 percent), followed by Ohio State (16 percent), Oklahoma (15 percent), Miami (15 percent) and Florida State (9 percent). Twenty-eight other schools have combined for the remaining 26 percent.
SEC TITLE GAME TV TIME: The SEC title game will again be televised at 4 p.m. ESPN will televise the ACC title game at 8 p.m. and ABC will carry the Big 12 title game.
SEC PLAYERS AT MEDIA DAYS: July 22--Arkansas -- Tight end D. J. Williams and defensive tackle Malcolm Sheppard, Vanderbilt -- Center Bradley Vierling and cornerback Myron Lewis, LSU -- Offensive tackle Ciron Black and linebacker Jacob Cutrera, Kentucky -- offensive tackle Zipp Duncan and cornerback Trevard Lindley
July 23--Alabama -- Offensive guard Mike Johnson and linebacker Rolando McClain, Georgia -- Quarterback Joe Cox and defensive tackle Jeff Owens, Ole Miss -- Quarterback Jevan Snead and defensive end Greg Hardy, Florida -- Quarterback Tim Tebow and linebacker Brandon Spikes
July 24-Auburn -- Tight end Tommy Trott and defensive end Antonio Coleman, South Carolina -- Receiver Moe Brown and outside linebacker Eric Norwood, Mississippi State -- Offensive tackle Derek Sherrod and linebacker K.J. Wright, Tennessee -- Tailback Montario Hardesty and safety Eric Berry
LSU: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Tim Molton, whom LSU coach Les Miles raved about during spring drills, injured his knee in seven-on-seven, non-contact drills recently in the Tigers' offseason program and could miss a significant part of the 2009 season. Contacts of Molton, though, have said that he could miss a lot of the season, if not all of it.
Molton is the third receiver LSU has lost since the end of the 2008 season. Jared Mitchell, who would have been a senior this season, opted to focus on LSU baseball and was recently a Major League Baseball first round draft choice. Ricky Dixon, who would have been a junior, transferred. LSU also was close to signing DeAngelo Benton out of Bastrop High last February, but the scholarship offer was removed late in the process, and he signed with Auburn instead.
Molton (6-foot-3, 173) caught 44 passes for 912 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior at Destrehan High in 2007 when his quarterback was Jordan Jefferson, now the starting quarterback at LSU. Molton caught 36 passes for 608 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. (LSUBEAT.com)
FLORIDA: University of Florida president Bernie Machen said Monday he is scheduled to meet with Jacksonville city leaders at the end of the month, and expects an agreement to be reached on a contract extension for the annual Florida-Georgia game. The current contract expires after the 2010 game. Machen said he expects the game to remain in Jacksonville on an annual basis.
Machen said he has had conversations with Georgia president Michael Adams about the game, but said ultimately he believes Georgia wants the game to remain in Jacksonville. Machen said he plans to address security at The Jacksonville Landing, crowd control and stronger enforcement of open container laws. He would like to agree upon a long-term contract, but added: "I think it depends on how far they are willing to go to help us improve some of these issues,'' (Tampa Tribune)
Georgia officials said they have not had their internal meeting about the game. (AJC.com)
The Gators have reported two secondary violations after Urban Meyer and an assistant improperly contacted prospects in the last year. Through public records, the Sentinel requested any secondary and major NCAA violations committed by the football team within a 12-month span. UF's response, spanning from June 2008 to June 2009, indicates that no major violations have taken place. Florida's punishment for the violations consisted of a letter of admonishment from the SEC, the inability to recruit the specific prospect for two days and an "institutional action," is assumed to be an in-house punishment. (Orlando Sentinel)
Travon Van (5-11, 200), a receiver from New Berlin Milford Academy, N. Y., has committed to the Gators. He is commitment No. 15. Florida and Miami have offered him. Troy Starr, the former Gator Director of Football Operations, is his high school coach in San Diego, Calif. Jesse Scroggins (6-3, 195), a four-star quarterback from Lakewood, Calif., said he has limited his choices to Florida, Tennessee and Southern Cal. Scroggins has visited Tennessee and Florida recently and is camping at USC this week. Ten of Florida’s remaining freshmen will be moving in this week. Summer B doesn’t begin until June 29. Defensive end Kedric Johnson (6-4, 210), who is from Palmetto, is coming Wednesday.
Former Gator Scot Brantley has already had hip replacement surgery and his shoulders and neck causes him to take a dozen ibuprofen every day. He was doing his radio show in Tampa late last fall when he had a mini-stroke. The stroke hit him in the voice box. A hole in Brantley’s heart caused chunks of plaque to go into his brain and cause the problem. Doctors prescribed an aspirin a day to take care of the problem. Three weeks later, it happened again. This mini-stroke caused a swollen optic nerve in his left eye. His vision was impaired to the point where he could not see out of the lower half of his left eye. Today, that vision is about 95 percent impaired. In May, Brantley had surgery to repair the hole in his heart so that there would be no more of these mini-strokes. But the vision in his left eye likely will never be restored. (Gainesville Sun)
ALABAMA: The reports out of Alabama on Thursday that preliminary discussions are under way to extend Nick Saban's contract shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's another telltale sign that Saban means it when he says there are no other horizons for him in coaching.
Granted, he's been a coaching nomad for much of his career, but those closest to him insist that he wants to finish his career at Alabama. He's equally eager to get the word out to recruits in the face of this latest NCAA probation for the Crimson Tide that he's as committed as he ever was to bringing a championship trophy back to Tuscaloosa. Several people close to the situation said it would probably be later this summer before a new deal was finalized, but Alabama officials have made it clear that they're interested in extending Saban's contract, which currently runs through the 2014 season. Alabama signed him to an eight-year, $32 million deal in 2007. He's scheduled to make $3.9 million this coming season, $4.1 million in 2010, $4.15 million in 2011 and $4.2 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Of course, the more Saban makes, the better it is for LSU's Les Miles, who has a clause in his contract that says he must be paid $1,000 more than the SEC's highest-paid coach. Miles is poised to soar to an even higher tax bracket once Florida's Urban Meyer gets his bump, and he's certainly going to get a big one from his current salary of $3.25 million. Florida president Bernie Machen has already said that Meyer deserves to be the SEC's highest-paid coach. What that means is that we're probably going to have three coaches in this league making more than $4 million per year by the time they kick it off for the 2010 season. (ESPN.com)
Alabama officials announced that they will appeal the loss of 21 wins levied by the NCAA as a result of the NCAA textbook case. Bert Bank, 94, died this week. Bank was a war hero, state legislator and the founder of the Alabama radio network. He remained the producer emeritus until his death.
Jay Williams, punter from Thomasville High School, chose Alabama over scholarship offers from Florida and Houston. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound prospect received an offer from Alabama after participating in the Tide’s recent kicking camp. He averaged more than 47 yards per punt. Williams is the second special teams player to commit to the class of 2010 with Cade Foster, Scout.com four-star kicker from Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas, committed at the end of April.
Deion Belue, cornerback from Deshler High School in Tuscumbia, became the second commitment of the day. Belue was a standout at Alabama’s summer camp measuring 5-11, 165 pounds and clocked a 4.30, 40-yard dash. Belue held scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Southern Miss and South Alabama.
Defensive back signee Dre Kirkpatrick appears to have cleared his final academic hurdle to enroll at the University of Alabama. Kirkpatrick needed an additional correspondence course this summer to attain eligibility. After obtaining the grade he needed, Kirkpatrick has now been certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse, according to BamaOnline.com. He plans to enroll next month for UA's second summer session. (Tidesports.com)
GEORGIA: The Bulldogs home game on Sept. 12 against South Carolina and the Sept. 19 game at Arkansas will both be prime time kickoffs on ESPN. Bulldog players have reported offseason workouts are much more intense than last year.
The Bulldogs picked up their tenth commitment Friday and sixth from the state of Florida when Deon Rogers (6-3,197), an outside linebacker from Port. St. Lucie, Fla., committed. He has offers from Buffalo, FIU, South Alabama, Western Michigan and Duke.
Jacksonville athlete Derek Owens (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), who confirmed his decision to UGASports, said the Bulldogs are recruiting him as a cornerback. He chose the Bulldogs over Florida, Miami and South Carolina. He said he also held offers from Purdue, South Florida, Louisville, Florida International and Florida Atlantic.
Owens joins fellow Jacksonville standout and offensive lineman Brent Benedict, linebacker Demetre Baker, linebacker B.J. Butler and safety Marc Deas as Florida natives who have chosen to join the Bulldog program. Owens enters his senior year at Jackson High with 15 career interceptions.
Scott Howard has been named as the permanent play-by-play voice of the Bulldogs to succeed the legendary Munson. Former Georgia quarterback Eric Zeier is returning as the color commentator. Munson retired last season at age 86 due to health concerns after calling two home games. He was in his 43rd season calling Georgia games. (OnlineAthens.com)
On one wall in the defensive team meeting room are photos of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and coach Urban Meyer with the score "Fla. 49, UGA 10." And on the other wall, Georgia Tech players are celebrating with pieces of Sanford Stadium's hedges and the score "Ga. Tech 45, UGA 42." "Do you remember the Feeling?" is the question posed. (OnlineAthen.com)
OLE MISS: Ole Miss defensive end Greg Hardy, is recovering from his second foot surgery last spring. He said his workouts consist of mostly running on an underwater treadmill, but he's also progressed to do some regular sprints and also some squats in the weight room. Hardy is up to 275 pounds.
The team's motto this year is "Unsatisfied." Last year it was "One Heartbeat”. (Clarion-Ledger)
AUBURN: Sophomore safety Christian Thompson, redshirt freshman linebacker Marcus Jemison and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jomarcus Savage were dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons and will not return. Savage and Thompson both plan to transfer. Jemison's plans are not known at this time. A source close to the situation told AuburnSports.com that the players were involved in disrupting a classroom, and also missed multiple classes and workouts this summer.
Thompson played sparingly as a true freshman in 2008, registering one tackle in 10 games on special teams and as a backup safety. He finished spring as the second-team safety behind returning starter Mike McNeil, who suffered a broken leg at the end of spring practice.
Jemison, who broke his leg during two-a-days last fall, moved from safety to linebacker in the spring. He finished spring as a third-teamer at Sam (strongside) linebacker. Savage battled through injuries, including shoulder surgery, which limited his practice time during the fall and spring. He was listed as a third-team defensive tackle following spring practice.
The Tigers’ home game against West Virginia on Sept. 19 will kick off at 7:45 p.m. on either ESPN or ESPN2.
Jonathan Mincy (5-10, 175), a three-star quarterback from Decatur, Ga., has committed to the Tigers. LSU, Miami, Michigan and Tennessee are among the schools to offer him. Tyrik Rollinson, a dual-threat quarterback signee from Sulphur Springs, Texas, has been certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse.
Auburn is expected to see a 6-7 percent decline in revenue generated from 2009 season tickets, executive associate athletics director Tim Jackson said Wednesday. A heavy dose of it can be attributed to the nation’s economic woes, while last season’s 5-7 finish without a bowl trip can also be seen as a culprit, he said. Over the past few seasons, members of Tigers Unlimited — Auburn’s fundraising arm — have gobbled up the lion’s share, if not all, of the roughly 50,000-55,000 seats reserved for season tickets. The rest are for students, faculty, suite-holders and visiting fans. (Auburnsports.com)
MISSISSIPPI STATE: Mississippi State will be without the services of sophomore wide receiver Arceto Clark for the 2009 regular season. Head coach Dan Mullin confirmed Clark has been ruled academically ineligible for the fall semester. Clark, who had been arrested in March of ‘09 for petty larceny by campus police, was suspended by Mullen indefinitely at that time. He is currently working out with the Bulldogs. Clark did not see the playing time in 2008 until game eight of the season against Middle Tennessee State. He played in five games, rushing three times for 21 yards, and caught three passes, totaling 11 yards.
The 5’10” 160 lb. Clark was rated as a two- star prospect by Rivals.com in 2007 from Shannon High in Shannon, Ms. Clark’s teammate Maurice Langston, a defensive back, remains sojourned after being arrested back in February on charges for possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. While he remains suspended from practices and game appearances, he has been cleared. (ESPN.com)
TENNESSEE: The UCLA home game on Sept. 12 will kick off at 4 p.m. on ESPN. Coach Lane Kiffin told the Knoxville News Sentinel that freshmen Bryce Brown and Nu’Keese Richardson have been impressive in summer workouts according to various players. He said Brown is up to 218 pounds.
ESPN officials said Tennessee and NC State will open the 2012 season against one another in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The two schools have only met twice in their history, the last time being in 1939. There is still an opening for the 2011 Kickoff Game and while Atlanta officials would love to lure Georgia into the game, it doesn’t look now as though the Bulldogs will be willing to give up a home game in Athens
The Vols have reached an agreement with strength coach Mark Smith and sent him packing after just six months on the job. They will pay him what he's owed in full for the next two years provided he doesn't land another job. The Vols have hired away North Texas' Aaron Ausmus. Smith was due to make $190,000 this year and $200,000 next year. Ausmus received a $50,000 raise to come to Tennessee from South Carolina. But several individuals close to the program said recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron was never fully on board with Smith. Ausmus was Orgeron's strength coach at Ole Miss, and Ausmus also worked with Kiffin and Orgeron at Southern California. Ausmus was a track and field All-American at Tennessee.
Vol summer camp has a lot of Florida high school players in it. In fact, 58 of them were expected to come from Florida, including 13 from Pahokee High School. Last month, Pahokee High School principal Ariel Alejo demanded and received a public apology from UT first-year head coach Lane Kiffin for what he regarded as disparaging comments about the school and community during the recruiting process. (Volquest.com)
Tennessee has lost the services of freshman Toney Williams from Alpharetta, Georgia for the ’09 season. Williams tore his ACL during off season conditioning workouts. He is likely headed for a red-shirt in 2009. Williams enrolled early at Tennessee in January. The true freshman was impressive in spring drills and the Orange and White Game. In his first scrimmage, he tallied 81 yards on 14 carries and 1 TD. During the team’s second scrimmage, Williams gained 80 yards on 11 attempts. The spring game saw him end his day with 79 yards on 11 rushing attempts, good for a team leading 6 yard average per carry. Williams ended his first spring in Knoxville with a 6.6 yard per carry rushing average, good for 240 yards and 2 TD scores. A schedule date for surgery is to be determined. (ESPN.com)
KENTUCKY: The opener against Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium will be televised at noon on ESPNU.
The defensive end position is undoubtedly the biggest question mark for the University of Kentucky football team. Jeremy Jarmon is preparing for next month's NFL supplemental draft. Junior-college transfer DeQuin Evans can provide some help once he gets on campus and Donte Rumph would be a big help if he can gain eligibility. Another defensive end signee, Demetri Merritt, also has not yet qualified and could be headed to Southwest Mississippi Junior College, which is where former UK signee Mychal Bailey enrolled after not qualifying two years ago. The only certainties at this point are sophomore Chandler Burden, who played sparingly as a true freshman, and redshirt freshmen Collins Ukwu and Taylor Wyndham. True freshman Patrick Ligon is already on campus and might make the rotation by default. (Lexington Herald-Leader)
SOUTH CAROLINA: Redshirt freshman quarterback Reid McCollum has separated himself from the pack and should enter the season as the top backup along with Zac Brindise. Running back Eric Baker has been slowed by what Spurrier described as a "little hernia problem.” Spurrier did not specify the severity of the injury or how long Baker is expected to be out.
If USC had to play a game tomorrow, USC's starters at defensive tackle would be Nathan Pepper and Travian Robertson, line coach Brad Lawing said, with Ladi Ajiboye, Melvin Ingram and Kenny Davis involved in the picture. As expected, Cliff Matthews and Clifton Geathers should start at defensive end. Top backups Devin Taylor and Chaz Sutton have yet to play in a game. On third-and-long situations, Eric Norwood will become another defensive end.
Nathan Pepper, who missed most of the 2007 season after tearing left knee ligaments while scoring a touchdown against S.C. State, underwent arthroscopic surgery recently on the same knee to clean up some of the loose cartilage. The surgery, though, was not considered serious and he should be ready to step on the field when pre-season camp opens Aug. 4.Overall, Spurrier reported summer workouts have gone smoothly under new strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald with close to 100 percent participation for the first time in his five seasons.
South Carolina played the waiting game with Alshon Jeffery before the Calhoun County receiver signed with the Gamecocks. Calhoun County coach Walt Wilson said Jeffery should receive the results next week of an SAT he took this month. As insurance, Jeffery is taking an online science course through Edisto High in the hope of boosting his GPA in his core classes.
Columbia High defensive back Chris Payne — is among three signees headed for prep school or junior college in the fall. Gamecocks recruiting coordinator Shane Beamer said receiver Charles Holmes would attend junior college after failing to qualify, while defensive lineman Duane Chisolm would enroll in a prep school or junior college. (The State)
ARKANSAS: Former Hog quarterback Mitch Mustain, currently the third string quarterback at USC, has an academic issue he must clear up in order to become eligible before the season begins.
SEC BOWLS: There is going to be some competitive bidding among the bowls to retain their contracts. AutoZone Liberty Bowl executive director Steve Ehrhart said he thought his meeting with the conference office and the athletic directors from the 12 league schools a couple of weeks ago in Birmingham went well. The two bowls that don't have a contract with the SEC -- the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville and the Texas Bowl in Houston -- want to get involved in the bidding (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
FLORIDA STATE: Warchant.com has confirmed that Leon High linebacker C.J. Mizell has fallen just short of qualifying academically for the upcoming season. Leon football coach Bill Ragans said Mizell was a few points short. Mizell needs to re-take one core class and improve his test score in order to enroll at Florida State. That leaves Mizell with two options. He can go to a prep school, most likely Hargrave Military Academy and play a year while working on his test score. He also could forgo football this year, stay in Tallahassee and take the class either at Leon or at a community college.
Sophomore linebacker Maurice Harris has been suspended following being arrested on felony grand theft (removing a motorcycle boot) and possession of a motor vehicle with altered identification numbers. Aaron Greshman is hoping to contribute this season after being redshirted in 2007 and missing last year with a torn ACL. He might move to fullback since senior Seddrick Holloway and junior Marcus Sims are likely leaving the team. (Tallahassee Democrat)
Recent commitments: Tavaris Barnes (6-5, 250), a defensive tackle from First Coast High in Jacksonville, Fla., committed to FSU over the weekend. Clemson, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina among others have offered him. De’Joshua Johnson (5-11, 150), a four-star receiver from Pahokee, Fla., is commitment No. 5. Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama and Auburn has offered him. Johnson said he has gotten close to assistant coach James Coley. Merrill Noel (5-8, 163), a three star defensive back from Pahokee, Fla., is commitment No. 6. He was also considering Wake Forest.
The Florida State football team last week held its annual conditioning show -LB Dekoda Watson ran a 4.39. That was the fastest time on the defense (it probably helped that CB Patrick Robinson didn't run).
-RB Tavares Pressley ran a 4.4. Not bad for a guy nine months removed from ACL surgery. He told me he was running in the 4.3 range before the injury.
-WR Richard Goodman ran a 4.36.
-QB E.J. Manuel ran a 4.51.
-LB Nigel Bradham ran a 4.48.
-LB Maurice “Smiley” Harris ran a 4.48.
-LB Kendall Smith ran a 4.52. That should play well in the middle of FSU’s defense.
-RB Jermaine Thomas ran a 4.49.
Fastest time of the day, though, belonged to Bert Reed. He got down there in 4.3 seconds. (ORLANDO SENTINEL)
APPEAL: Florida State is appealing the vacation-of-wins penalty that, if upheld, could cost football coach Bobby Bowden as many as 14 wins. The infractions committee said among other things that the punishment fit the scope and nature of the infraction. The committee also argued it could have brought harsher penalties to the table - postseason bans and more severe scholarship cuts among them - but decided otherwise. FSU has until July 1 to craft its rebuttal. The university already has asked for an oral argument before the appeals committee, which has yet to be scheduled. Also, university president T.K. Wetherell said FSU is prepared to take the matter to court if it isn't satisfied with the outcome of the appeals process.
In its 23-page report, the committee said the vacation penalty “is a penalty that flows naturally from the university's use of ineligible student-athletes in competition and it is a penalty often imposed in cases that far fewer aggravating factors than those that exist here." The committee stated that it had "specifically considered a ban on postseason competition, but ultimately rejected such a penalty precisely because the violations were so widespread." It also reminded that, without the vacation penalty, the scholarship reductions would have been severe.
FSU argued in its appeal that the vacation penalty was excessive, that the appeals committee had reduced or overturned that penalty in prior cases, that the infractions committee did not put appropriate weight on FSU's cooperation and that the infractions came from confusion and not malicious intent. (Warchant.com)
MIAMI: Cane coaches have admitted to going back to studying tape of recruits instead of depending on Internet recruiting services.
Louis Nix (6-2, 320), a defensive tackle for Raines High School, has left some doubt about his Cane commitment. Nix told Canesport.com that he might be attending Seminole Showdown and Florida’s Friday Night Lights. He is also considering Ole Miss and Alabama State.
GEORGIA TECH: A-Back Roddy Jones did indeed hurt his right wrist earlier this week. Jones status for the opener against Jacksonville State is uncertain, but he will likely return for a Thursday night game against Clemson the following week. If Jones can’t play in the opener then Marcus Wright, Anthony Allen or Embry Peeples could play. Allen had to sit after transferring from Louisville last year. (AJC.com)
CLEMSON: Coach Dabo Swinney has gone out of his way to contact former Clemson coaches such as Danny Ford, Lawson Holland (Tiger receiver coach from 1979-85), Whitey Jordan (former Tiger assistant for 14 years) and Larry Van Der Hayden (Clemson assistant from 1979-92) to get advice. (TigersIllustrated)
KELLEN LEWIS: ESPN’s Joe Schad is reporting former Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis has decided to transfer to Division II Valdosta State. Lewis, who was kicked off by head coach Bill Lynch after violating a team rule, had just been switched from quarterback to wide receiver. He’ll go back behind center at Valdosta State according to Schad’s report.
SOUTH ALABAMA: Two candidates with ties to the university and Mobile, Ole Miss senior executive associate athletic director John Hartwell and Southeastern Louisiana athletic director Joel Erdmann, both confirmed this week that they are interested in the athletic director position replacing Joe Gottfried. Former Troy athletic director Johnny Williams also expressed interest in the job, and sources close to Birmingham-Southern athletic director Joe Dean Jr. indicate that he may be looking at it as well. Gottfried announced on June 2 that he is retiring effective Aug. 1. (Mobile Press Register)
COWBOY STADIUM.COLLEGE FOOTBALL: With the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and efforts to attract more big games to Fair Park, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is making a run at becoming the nation’s capital of college football, financially and on the field. The five games in Arlington this coming season, including the Big 12 Conference championship game and the AT&T Cotton Bowl, should generate more than $50 million.
And last week, Dallas officials said they were actively working to bring a new bowl game to Fair Park, as early as the 2010-11 bowl season. Oklahoma (No. 5) and Brigham Young (No. 25) at will play at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 5. OU returns Oct. 17 for its annual game against Texas (No. 4) at Fair Park. Texas Tech (No. 12) plays Baylor at Cowboys Stadium on Nov. 28. Texas A&M meets Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium on Oct. 3. Rick Baker, president of the Cotton Bowl, said his goal is for the Cotton Bowl eventually to be a national championship game.
A&M and Arkansas each expect to earn at least $4 million from their game. In typical home-and-home schedule arrangements, the home team keeps the revenue, meaning one big payday every other year. Now, the payday can come every year. The schools’ agreement with Cowboys Stadium runs for 10 years and can be extended to 30 years.
Games at the new stadium also should be revenue bonanzas for other teams. The Baylor-Tech game moves to the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park in 2010. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones, has said he would like to schedule 10 college games a season in the team’s new stadium. Notre Dame will play Arizona State, from the Pacific 10 Conference, there in 2013.
Tom Starr, who left former director of the Armed Services Bowl in Fort Worth, said if another site for BCS championship games is ever added, it would come down to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium. Starr is working with Dallas officials to bring a new bowl and more regular-season games to the renovated Cotton Bowl Stadium, which can seat 92,000 for football. The ESPN deal with Cowboys Stadium, aiming for a marquee game at the beginning of the each season, runs for five years.
With standing room and temporary seating, the new Cowboy stadium can hold more than 80,000.In its deal with the stadium, the Big 12 gets the ticket revenue, and the stadium gets parking, food, beverage and some merchandise sales. (Star-Telegram)
Not every SEC underclassman will be back. Florida's Nick Calathes, who was the SEC's seventh-leading scorer (17.2 points), signed a professional contract to play in Europe. Ole Miss' David Huertas opted to begin a pro career in Puerto Rico. And the SEC's leading scorer in 2008-09, Kentucky's Jodie Meeks, decided to try his luck in the NBA Draft.
Eight of the SEC's top 10 scorers in 2008-09 were underclassmen who tested the water. Five of them – Michael Washington, Devin Downey, Tasmin Mitchell, Patrick Patterson and Tyler Smith -- are returning. In addition, Washington, Patterson and Jarvis Varnado were three of the SEC's top four rebounders last season.
SEC IN THE NBA DRAFT: The SEC was shut out of the first round for the third time since the NBA and ABA merged. Even scoring phenom Jodie Meeks, who decided not to return to Kentucky, didn't go in the first round. He was, ultimately, the first SEC player chosen, going No. 41 overall. That officially made it the worst draft day ever for the SEC. Never before had the league failed to have a single player go in the first 40 picks. (Tuscaloosa News)
FLORIDA: Lamont “Mo Mo” Jones, a combination guard from Oak Hill Academy has chose Arizona over Florida. The recruitment of Jones became a big issue for the Gators after Calathes left school early to sign with a professional team in Greece and high school prospects John Wall and Eric Bledsoe signed national letters of intent with Kentucky. Florida also was in the running for Miami-Dade Community College guard Rico Pickett, who opted to sign with Manhattan.
A former USC signee, Jones got a release from his letter of intent when Coach Tim Floyd resigned amongst NCAA allegations earlier this month. Previously committed to Louisville and Virginia Tech before signing with USC, Jones listed UF and Arizona as his finalists in the end.
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