College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Saturday, February 28, 2015
    UNC QB Williams out for spring practice
    By The Sports Xchange

    North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams will miss spring practice because of a hip injury.

    • Williams, one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC last season, "will return full speed in August," the school announced Saturday.

      As a redshirt junior last season, Williams threw 21 touchdown passes and nine interceptions and ran for 788 yards and 13 touchdowns. North Carolina went 6-7, 4-4 in the ACC.

      With Williams out this spring, Mitch Trubisky will run the first-team offense.

      "There's a lot of continuity with 'Quise coming back," quarterbacks coach Keith Heckendorf said. "Marquise is our starting quarterback, and it's been that way since the middle of the season when he kind of took the reins and went with it. But that's not going to eliminate the competition."

  • Friday, February 27, 2015
    Texas A&M assistant sues former school
    By The Sports Xchange

    Johnny Chavis, the new defensive coordinator at Texas A&M, reportedly has filed a lawsuit against his new school and his old one, LSU, to avoid paying a $400,000 buyout.

    • Texas A&M later denied that a suit was filed against it, however.

      Chavis' old contract with LSU mandated that he pay the school if he left with more than 11 months remaining on his contract. That deal ran through Dec. 31, 2015, and the question is over the timing of his departure, according to KBTX in College Station, Texas, which reported the lawsuit.

      Texas A&M's hire of Chavis was reported Dec. 31, 2014, and Chavis claims in the lawsuit that LSU athletic director Joe Alleva demanded the $400,000 payment on Jan. 2. But Chavis said he did not turn in his 30-day notice until Jan. 5, making Feb. 4 his final day -- less than 11 months before the expiration of his LSU deal.

      Chavis is arguing he does not owe LSU $400,000, and his reported suit against Texas A&M is an apparent safeguard in case he loses his case against LSU.

      In the lawsuit, Chavis says Texas A&M is "currently obligated to satisfy or cause to be satisfied the liquidated damages, if any, associated with Chavis' previous Employment Agreement with LSU."

      According to the suit, Texas A&M is "unwilling to tender the liquidated damages demanded by LSU because it does not believe that liquidated damages are called for under the Employment Agreement as mentioned above."

      Later Friday, Texas A&M University denied any claim that a suit has been filed against it by Chavis, nor does it agree that Chavis owes the LSU Tigers any money.

      "There is not a dispute between Coach Chavis and Texas A&M," the university said in a statement reported in the Advocate. "The University stands behind its commitment to Coach Chavis to pay any buyout due to LSU. The issue is that Texas A&M disagrees with LSU that any buyout payment is actually due."

      LSU attorney Thomas Skinner told KBTX, "We're not going to comment on the substance of the allegations in the lawsuit other than to say that LSU is going to seek to fully enforce its rights under the contract and we're very confident in the outcome."

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015
    Mississippi State extends Mullen's contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    Dan Mullen, who guided Mississippi State to a No. 1 ranking in 2014, signed a four-year contract extension through the 2018 season on Thursday.

    • Mullen's $4.275 million annual average salary will make him the ninth highest-paid coach in college football but fourth in the SEC behind Alabama's Nick Saban, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and LSU's Les Miles, according to USA Today data. The four-year extension is the longest permitted by state law.

      "Dan has done a phenomenal job in leading our football team the past six years and we're happy to be in a position to reward his efforts while making sure he'll be able to continue building a championship program for Mississippi State," Bulldogs athletic director Scott Stricklin said.

      "Under Dan's guidance, Bulldog football has achieved a level of consistent success unparalleled in our history, during which time we've been ranked No. 1 in the nation and appeared in elite bowl games. We're proud Dan is our coach."

      Under Mullen, Mississippi State has compiled a 46-31 record in six seasons, including a 10-3 mark in 2014.

      The extension might quiet some of the speculation about Mullen leaving Starkville for another opportunity.

      "It's a privilege to represent our university, our program and our fans here at Mississippi State," Mullen said. "I appreciate Scott Stricklin and our administration who have given us the tools and resources to be successful and develop Bulldog football into a national brand over the last six years.

      "We spent five weeks ranked No. 1 last season for the first time, but we have only scratched this surface on what we can accomplish here. We have created a winning culture both on and off the field and built a program that has sustained success in the nation's toughest conference. I've always said we are going to win a championship here, and I firmly believe that."

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015
    College football notebook: LSU reportedly punished
    By The Sports Xchange

    The LSU football team will be prohibited from signing early enrollees to financial-aid agreements for two years as part of SEC-mandated punishment for a violation last year, according to a report Thursday.

    • LSU reported the violation after a recruit who had signed a financial-aid agreement backed out on enrolling and went to Alabama instead, according to the Advocate. The financial agreement had allowed LSU unlimited contact with the recruit, but when he chose not to attend LSU that contact became a violation. LSU reported it Feb. 3.

      The SEC's punishment also includes a loss this year of 10 percent of LSU's recruiting days (21 of 210), which includes any visit to a recruit's school.

      --- TCU quarterback Trevor Boykin will undergo surgery on his left non-throwing wrist in April but is expected to be 100 percent for voluntary summer workouts.

      Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said this week that the procedure involves repairing a fractured bone that Boykin played with for much of last season while wearing a soft cast.

      TCU starts spring practice on Friday and Boykin will be involved until he has the surgery.

      --- Linebacker Alton Meeks said he will transfer out of the Iowa State football program. The school confirmed Meeks' departure to the Ames Tribune.

      Meeks was a high school quarterback who started two games at middle linebacker as a redshirt freshman in 2014 before losing his starting job. He finished the season with 12 tackles in 11 games.

      Meeks' transfer brings to nine the number of players who have departed the Cyclones' program since January.

      Juniors Kane Seeley and Jordan Harris are expected to compete for the starting middle linebacker job.

      ---Former Baylor walk-on running back Silas Nacita, who received national attention when people learned he had been homeless for a year, said Thursday he is sorry for breaking the rules by living with an acquaintance.

      "The bottom line is that I broke the rules," he wrote on Twitter. "I should've never accepted the help and I am deeply sorry for my actions.

      "At the time I did not think this was inappropriate behavior, but now I can see that I made a mistake by disregarding guidance from Baylor compliance on what benefits I may accept," said Nacita, who was dismissed by the team Wednesday. "I take full responsibility for my choice to accept these inappropriate benefits."

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015
    Report: LSU punished for recruiting violation
    By The Sports Xchange

    The LSU football team will be prohibited from signing early enrollees to financial-aid agreements for two years as part of SEC-mandated punishment for a violation last year, according to a report Thursday.

    • LSU reported the violation after a recruit who had signed a financial-aid agreement backed out on enrolling and went to Alabama instead, according to the Advocate. The financial agreement had allowed LSU unlimited contact with the recruit, but when he chose not to attend LSU that contact became a violation. LSU reported it Feb. 3.

      The SEC's punishment also includes a loss this year of 10 percent of LSU's recruiting days (21 of 210), which includes any visit to a recruit's school.

      A financial aid agreement commits the school to the player and allows unlimited contact, but the player can still be recruited by other schools and ultimately can sign elsewhere.

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015
    TCU's Boykin will have wrist surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    TCU quarterback Trevor Boykin will undergo surgery on his left non-throwing wrist in April but is expected to be 100 percent for voluntary summer workouts.

    • Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said this week that the procedure involves repairing a fractured bone that Boykin played with for much of last season while wearing a soft cast.

      TCU starts spring practice on Friday and Boykin will be involved until he misses final week when he has the surgery.

      "We're going to make sure that gets fixed right," Patterson said. "He won't go through the last three practices of spring, three or four. We'll get that done so he's ready to go come August."

      Boykin did not miss a game last year after sustaining the injury in October. After a breakout 2014 season in which he was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, the senior is expected to enter 2015 as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015
    Cyclones LB Meeks transferring
    By The Sports Xchange

    Linebacker Alton Meeks said he will transfer out of the Iowa State Cyclones football program. The school confirmed Meeks' departure to the Ames Tribune.

    • Meeks was a high school quarterback who started two games at middle linebacker as a redshirt freshman in 2014 before losing his starting job. He finished the season with 12 tackles in 11 games.

      Meeks' transfer brings to nine the number of players who have departed the Cyclones program since January.

      Juniors Kane Seeley and Jordan Harris are now expected to compete for the starting middle linebacker job.

  • Thursday, February 26, 2015
    Once-homeless Silas Nacita 'deeply sorry' for violation
    By The Sports Xchange

    Baylor walk-on running back Silas Nacita, who received national attention when people learned he had been homeless for a year, said Thursday he is sorry for breaking the rules by living with an acquaintaince.

    • "The bottom line is that I broke the rules," he wrote on Twitter. "I should've never accepted the help and I am deeply sorry for my actions.

      "At the time I did not think this was inappropriate behavior, but now I can see that I made a mistake by disregarding guidance from Baylor compliance on what benefits I may accept," Nacita wrote continued via Twitter. "I take full responsibility for my choice to accept these inappropriate benefits."

      Nacita, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., was a backup last season and rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns. He walked on at Baylor in the summer of 2014 after being homeless.

      "Silas Nacita will not be a part of the football program moving forward due to rules violations that impact his eligibility," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said Wednesday in a statement released by the school. "We appreciate his contributions to Baylor football and wish him well as he completes his studies."

      Earlier Wednesday, Nacita said on Twitter that the NCAA ruled him ineligible because he accepted impermissible benefits while he was homeless last summer.

      The NCAA, however, tweeted that it did not issue any decision regarding Nacita's eligibility: "The NCAA did not declare Silas Nacita ineligible and Baylor has not requested a waiver for him."

      An errant autocorrect gave fan favorite Nacita the nickname "Salsa Nacho."

      "A few months before enrolling, a close family friend approached me and said they didn't want me sleeping on floors and wondering how I was going to eat the next meal," Nacita wrote on his @Salsa_Nacho Twitter account, "so they insisted on putting me in an apartment and helping out with those living expenses.

      "Because I accepted that offer instead of choosing to be homeless, I am no longer eligible to play football and pursue my dream. I had no idea I was breaking any rules, but I respect the decision of the NCAA."

      Nacita clarified Thursday that the family friend was merely an acquaintaince from Bakersfield, Calif., and that the university compliance office was uncomfortable when the arrangement was first offered.

      Nacita had transferred from Cornell but was unable to enroll in 2013. He said he lived homeless for the next year and took online community college courses at a library. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in his first year at Baylor.

      Nacita thanked coach Art Briles and said he would gladly return to the team if it ever becomes an option.

      "From here," Nacita wrote, "I would like to get back to my studies so that I'm not paying off these student loans when I'm 50. Thank you."

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015
    College football notebook: Formerly homeless Baylor player released
    By The Sports Xchange

    Baylor walk-on running back Silas Nacita, who received national attention when people learned he had been homeless for a year, is no longer on the team.

    • Nacita, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., was a backup last season and rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns. He walked on at Baylor in the summer of 2014 after being homeless.

      "Silas Nacita will not be a part of the football program moving forward due to rules violations that impact his eligibility," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said Wednesday in a statement released by the school. "We appreciate his contributions to Baylor football and wish him well as he completes his studies."

      Earlier Wednesday, Nacita said on Twitter that the NCAA ruled him ineligible because he accepted impermissible benefits while he was homeless last summer.

      Nacita had transferred from Cornell but was unable to enroll in 2013. He said he lived homeless for the next year and took online community college courses at a library. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in his first year at Baylor.

      ---Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown's playing future is unknown as he recovers from a serious injury that nearly resulted in amputation of his leg.

      In a win over Utah on Nov. 8, Brown suffered two torn ligaments in his right knee and a stretched artery that caused internal bleeding and cut off blood flow below his right shin. That issue had doctors contemplating amputating the lower leg, he told The Oregonian.

      Brown was hospitalized in Salty Lake City for nearly a week after the game and has had three surgeries on the leg since then.

      He is riding a stationary bike and jogging lightly on an underwater treadmill, but he is unsure whether he will be back in time for his senior season or whether he might redshirt.

      "I mean, this is a career decision, so I want to make sure my stuff is fully healed, that I can do everything and not rush back," said Brown, who caught 25 passes for 420 yards and six touchdowns last season. "That's why I don't even look that long out. If I'm able to play, I'll play. If I'm not, I'm not."

      ---Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will receive an honorary degree from USC on May 15, the day before he is inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame, the school announced Wednesday.

      Carroll led USC's program from 2001 through 2009, a decade during which the Trojans dominated college football. They won two national titles (2003 and 2004) and lost in a third championship game in 2005, amassing a 97-19 record under Carroll.

      He left USC after the 2009 season to become coach of the Seahawks and has taken the NFL team to the Super Bowl in each of the past two years. Last year, when the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, Carroll became the third coach to win championships in college and the NFL.

      In 2010, the NCAA retroactively revoked USC's 2004 title and all 12 wins from 2005 -- part of the penalties the organization administered after it found that running back Reggie Bush had received improper gifts and should have been ineligible during those games.

      The NCAA's actions were criticized by Carroll and many outside observers, with Carroll saying in 2010 that he was "shocked and disappointed in the findings" and adding in 2014 that the NCAA had made a "terrible error."

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015
    Once-homeless Baylor RB Nacita no longer on team
    By The Sports Xchange

    Baylor walk-on running back Silas Nacita, who received national attention when people learned he had been homeless for a year, is no longer on the football team.

    • Nacita, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., was a backup last season and rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns. He walked on at Baylor in the summer of 2014 after being homeless.

      "Silas Nacita will not be a part of the football program moving forward due to rules violations that impact his eligibility," Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said Wednesday in a statement released by the school. "We appreciate his contributions to Baylor football and wish him well as he completes his studies."

      Earlier Wednesday, Nacita said on Twitter that the NCAA ruled him ineligible because he accepted impermissible benefits while he was homeless last summer.

      The NCAA, however, tweeted that it did not issue any decision regarding Nacita's eligibility: "The NCAA did not declare Silas Nacita ineligible and Baylor has not requested a waiver for him."

      An errant autocorrect gave fan favorite Nacita the nickname "Salsa Nacho."

      "A few months before enrolling, a close family friend approached me and said they didn't want me sleeping on floors and wondering how I was going to eat the next meal," Nacita wrote on his @Salsa_Nacho Twitter account, "so they insisted on putting me in an apartment and helping out with those living expenses.

      "Because I accepted that offer instead of choosing to be homeless, I am no longer eligible to play football and pursue my dream. I had no idea I was breaking any rules, but I respect the decision of the NCAA."

      Nacita had transferred from Cornell but was unable to enroll in 2013. He said he lived homeless for the next year and took online community college courses at a library. He earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 honors in his first year at Baylor.

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015
    USC will honor Carroll with degree
    By The Sports Xchange

    USC apparently holds no grudge against Pete Carroll for the way his spectacular tenure as its football coach ended.

    • Carroll, now coach of the Seattle Seahawks, will receive an honorary degree from USC on May 15, the day before he is inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame, the school announced Wednesday.

      Carroll led USC's program from 2001 through 2009, a decade during which the Trojans dominated college football. They won two national titles (2003 and 2004) and lost in a third championship game in 2005, amassing a 97-19 record under Carroll.

      He left USC after the 2009 season to become coach of the Seahawks and has taken the NFL team to the Super Bowl in each of the past two years. Last year, when the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, Carroll became the third coach to win championships in college and the NFL.

      In 2010, the NCAA retroactively revoked USC's 2004 title and all 12 wins from 2005 -- part of the penalties the organization administered after it found that running back Reggie Bush had received improper gifts and should have been ineligible during those games.

      The NCAA's actions were criticized by Carroll and many outside observers, with Carroll saying in 2010 that he was "shocked and disappointed in the findings" and adding in 2014 that the NCAA had made a "terrible error."

  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015
    After near-amputation, Oregon TE Brown's future in doubt
    By The Sports Xchange

    Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown's playing future is unknown as he recovers from a serious injury that nearly resulted in amputation of his leg.

    • In a win over Utah on Nov. 8, Brown suffered two torn ligaments in his right knee and a stretched artery that caused internal bleeding and cut off blood flow below his right shin. That issue had doctors contemplating amputating the lower leg, he told The Oregonian.

      Brown was hospitalized in Salty Lake City for nearly a week after the game and has had three surgeries on the leg since then.

      He is riding a stationary bike and jogging lightly on an underwater treadmill, but he is unsure whether he will be back in time for his senior season or whether he might redshirt.

      "I mean, this is a career decision, so I want to make sure my stuff is fully healed, that I can do everything and not rush back," said Brown, who caught 25 passes for 420 yards and six touchdowns last season. "That's why I don't even look that long out. If I'm able to play, I'll play. If I'm not, I'm not.

      "I'm not getting out there 'til I'm 100 percent healed and not only 100 percent healed but 100 percent in my mind that I'm healed," he added. "A lot of people get out there and are timid to cut. When I'm on the football field, I'm a different guy and I only know how to play one way -- that's fast. I play hard, real nasty. I can't take it soft. I know how I play and how I gotta be to play at that level."

  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015
    Meyer, Buckeyes stuck on cruise ship
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama's defense couldn't do it.

    • Neither could Oregon's defense.

      Urban Meyer and Ohio State was unstoppable this year. That is until Tuesday.

      And leave it up to Mother Nature.

      Meyer is one of 2,500 passengers, which include numerous former players and Buckeyes fans, aboard the Royal Caribbean liner Brilliance of the Seas, which has been stopped in its tracks because of dense fog near Tampa.

      The ship was supposed to dock Monday, but the fog is not expected to lift until Tuesday night.

      On the bright side, the extra day at sea has given organizers of the Buckeyes Cruise for Cancer some more time to raise even more money.

      "We are good. No worries," Meyer texted the Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday. "We raised upward of $2 million. However, we are ready to get home."

  • Tuesday, February 24, 2015
    Bradley to lead UCLA defense
    By The Sports Xchange

    West Virginia senior associate head coach Tom Bradley was hired as defensive coordinator at UCLA.

    • Bradley played at Penn State and spent more than 30 years in State College. He served as Joe Paterno's defensive coordinator for 12 years before replacing Paterno in November 2011 as interim head coach during the Jerry Sandusky scandal after the university board of trustees removed Paterno.

      Bradley also coached the Mountaineers' defensive line.

      Bradley replaces Jeff Ulbrich, who joined the Atlanta Falcons as linebackers coach on Feb. 10, and be the third defensive coordinator for coach Jim Mora Jr. in the past three seasons.

      The Bruins run a 3-4 scheme but Bradley has primarily coached the 4-3 defense.

  • Sunday, February 22, 2015
    Ex-Saints TEs coach Malone lands at Purdue
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Terry Malone is headed back to the college ranks.

    • Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell announced Sunday that Malone has joined the Boilermakers as tight ends coach.

      Gerad Parker, Purdue's tight end coach the previous two seasons, will take over as the wide receivers coach and maintain his role as the recruiting coordinator.

      The Saints parted ways with Malone this offseason after nine seasons.

      "I am very excited to have Terry join our staff," Hazell said in a statement. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience from the highest levels of football. He will be a valuable asset in the continued development of our offense."

      Malone, a veteran of more than 30 years of coaching, was one of the original members of Sean Payton's coaching staff in 2006 and helped New Orleans capture its lone Super Bowl title in 2009. Malone coached Jimmy Graham while in New Orleans, helping to elevate him into an All-Pro player and one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL.

      Before joining the Saints, Malone spent nine seasons as the offensive line coach and eventually the offensive coordinator at Michigan. He was a staff member of the Wolverines' 1997 national championship team under former head coach Lloyd Carr.

      Malone also has worked at Boston College (1996), Bowling Green (1986-95), Holy Cross (1985) and as a graduate assistant at Arizona (1983-84).

  • Friday, February 20, 2015
    N.C. State gives Doeren extension, raise
    By The Sports Xchange

    North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren, whose team improved by five wins in his second season, was given a two-year contract extension Friday.

    • Doeren, now signed through 2019, also received a raise in 2015 from $1.8 million to $2.2 million.

      "When we hired Coach Doeren, we realized he had the vision and commitment to elevate our program," athletic director Debbie Yow said. "He is an outstanding leader, is committed to building a championship-level program the right way, and positively impacts the lives of our student-athletes. We look forward with anticipation to what he and his staff will do over the next several years."

      Doeren replaced Tom O'Brien in December 2012, and the Wolfpack went 3-9 in 2013, including 0-8 in ACC games. But last season, they went 8-5 and beat Central Florida in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

      "My family and I are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of N.C. State and for the tremendous support we've received from Chancellor (Randy) Woodson, athletic director Debbie Yow and the entire Wolfpack Nation," Doeren said. "From an outstanding coaching staff to visible progress in adding and maintaining the best facilities, we have so much momentum right now and I'm excited for the future of N.C. State football."

  • Thursday, February 19, 2015
    Big Ten discusses freshman ineligibility
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Big Ten is seeking input from the member schools about the feasibility of making freshman football and men's basketball players ineligible to help them adjust to college life.

    • The conference said in a statement to ESPN.com on Thursday that there is no official proposal, but it is trying to determine the interest from its universities in a "national discussion regarding a year of readiness for student-athletes."

      Maryland's student newspaper, The Diamondback, reported Thursday that the Big Ten distributed "A Year of Readiness" document to schools and that Maryland's athletic council met to discuss it.

      "What I like about the concept of the proposal is it puts right up front the basic issue: Are we basically a quasi-professional activity or primarily an educational activity?" Maryland president Wallace Loh told The Diamondback. "And if you support it, you are basically saying very clearly the No. 1 priority is the education of the students.

      "If they do well because they spend more time, get more academic advising ... their freshman year, they're going to graduate. And I think it's worth spending an extra year of financial support to ensure that they graduate."

      Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz sees merit in keeping incoming freshmen off the field during their first year in college.

      "That would be one of the healthiest things we could do for college sports right now," Ferentz said, according to ESPN.com. "Recruiting's kind of a runaway train, and what a lot of people don't consider is there's a lot of serious pressure that's put on some players' shoulders that I'm not sure is healthy for them big picture-wise.

      "It would allow the guy to transition a little bit with a lot less fanfare and get their feet on the ground and get a good foundation established."

      Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby both have said there is growing interest in the idea among their colleagues.

      First-year freshmen have been eligible to compete during their first year of college since 1972. Before that, they were not permitted to play until their sophomore year.

      Opponents argue that such a restriction would hurt the conference in recruiting. The one-year rule currently in place for basketball, which allows players to leave school after one season for the NBA, is considered another deterrent.

      "One-and-done is a small percentage -- it's not even 1 percent of our student-athletes when you take all the schools," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told ESPN.com. "That's way off base to me. Do we have challenges with young people who aren't really prepared the way they should be to attack college education? No doubt about it.

      "I have not been a proponent of freshman ineligibility, but I keep my mind open that maybe it's something we have to consider."

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015
    College football notebook: Buckeyes RB Elliott faces wrist surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott will have a second wrist surgery on Thursday, according to 11warriors.com.

    • Meanwhile, Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett posted Tuesday on Instagram the screws removed from his right ankle that was fractured during the regular-season finale against Michigan.

      Elliott, the Buckeyes' leading rusher during their national championship season, had surgery on his right wrist in August. He compiled 1,878 rushing yards in 15 games last season, including 696 yards against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, Alabama in the Sugar Bowl semifinal game and Oregon in the championship game.

      Barrett might be able to participate in spring practice in some fashion but is expected to be full speed for fall camp in August. The sophomore-to-be will be part of a highly anticipated quarterback battle with Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller for the starting job.

      ---Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson was booked on an aggravated rape charge after turning himself in on Tuesday.

      According to the Knox County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office, Johnson was released on $40,000 bond about 30 minutes after he arrived at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility in Knoxville, Tenn.

      Johnson, 23, and Tennessee cornerback Michael Williams, 21, were listed as suspects by authorities in a Nov. 16 alleged rape of a 19-year-old female student-athlete in Johnson's apartment after a game. Williams also is a suspect in a sexual assault of a second woman who has chosen not to pursue the case.

      Johnson graduated in December and was to participate in the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, but the league withdrew the invitation after the charges came to light. He was a four-year starter for the Vols and finished his career with 425 tackles.

      ---Before heading to NFL Combine in Indianapolis later this week, two of the top quarterback prospects have made a detour to Ann Arbor, Mich.

      Jameis Winston, who many believe will be the No. 1 pick in the draft, as well as Bryce Petty were on the Michigan campus Tuesday preparing for the combine with new Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh.

      Winston and Petty had been working out with noted quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr. in San Diego before traveling to Ann Arbor. Whitfield, according to reports, went with Winston and Petty to Michigan.

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015
    Buckeyes' RB Elliott to have wrist surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott will have a second wrist surgery on Thursday, according to 11warriors.com.

    • Meanwhile, Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett posted Tuesday on Instagram the screws removed from his right ankle that was fractured during the regular-season finale against Michigan.

      Elliott, the Buckeyes' leading rusher during their national championship season, had surgery on his right wrist in August. He compiled 1,878 rushing yards in 15 games last season, including 696 yards against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, Alabama in the Sugar Bowl semifinal game and Oregon in the championship game.

      Elliott, a junior-to-be, is one of the leading contenders to win the Heisman Trophy next year.

      Barrett might be able to participate in spring practice in some fashion but is expected to be full speed for fall camp in August. The sophomore-to-be will be part of a highly anticipated quarterback battle with Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller for the starting job in 2015.

      Barrett took over to start last season when Miller suffered a shoulder injury in preseason camp and led the Buckeyes to 11 wins.

  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015
    Former Vols LB Johnson arrested on rape charge
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former University of Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson was booked on an aggravated rape charge after turning himself in on Tuesday.

    • According to the Knox County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s Office, Johnson was released on $40,000 bond about 30 minutes after he arrived at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility in Knoxville, Tenn.

      Johnson, 23, and Tennessee cornerback Michael Williams, 21, were listed as suspects by authorities in a Nov. 16 alleged rape of a 19-year-old female student-athlete in Johnson's apartment after a game. Williams also is a suspect in a sexual assault of a second woman who has chosen not to pursue the case.

      Williams was indicted Thursday on two charges of aggravated rape and also named as aiding and abetting in two counts of aggravated rape. He was released on $40,000 bond last Thursday.

      The two players, who were suspended from the team in December, say they are innocent.

      Johnson graduated in December and was to participate in the NFL Combine this week in Indianapolis, but the league withdrew the invitation after the charges came to light.

      Johnson was a four-year starter for the Vols and finished his career with 425 tackles, the second-highest total at the school since 1970.

  • Sunday, February 15, 2015
    College football notebook: Alabama State coach reportedly committed violations
    By The Sports Xchange

    Brian Jenkins, who became the Alabama State head football coach in December, allegedly committed some serious NCAA violations while he was the head coach at Bethune-Cookman, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

    • The alleged violations, including impermissible benefits and practice violations, as well as mistreatment of players, were revealed by former players and coaches interviewed by the Advertiser.

      Players in the report also told of being threatened with a knife at a pregame team meal.

      Players said the team often practiced 26 to 28 hours a week, considerably more than the NCAA limit of 20 hours per week.

      When Jenkins required his players to practice three times in a day in one instance, some players refused. Jenkins responded by locking those players out of the weight room and locker room for two days.

      Melvin Hines, Alabama State's interim athletic director, said he knew of the allegations against Jenkins before hiring him. Hines also said he made the allegations known to the school's president and trustees.

      --North Carolina head football coach Larry Fedora and athletic director Bubba Cunningham sent checks totaling $27,170 to Duke to cover the cost of spray-paint damage done to the Blue Devils locker room and practice field following the Tar Heels' victory in November, the Charlotte News & Observer reported.

      Cunningham also sent a letter of apology to Duke athletic director Kevin White, and included a photo of spray-paint damage to North Carolina's South Building, which was tagged with the letters D-U-K-E on Feb. 19, 2014, before the Duke-North Carolina basketball game.

      "The University of North Carolina bore the cost of sandblasting these pillars and did not make public comments of the transgression," Cunningham stated in his letter, according to the News & Observer report. "I acknowledge we have no idea who did this, but I simply included it to demonstrate that all fans, teams, coaches, students, etc., need to appreciate and respect the rivalry."

      --Auburn football fans gathered at Toomer's Corner at the corner of College Street and Magnolia Avenue on Saturday as symbols of the university were restored on sacred ground.

      A pair of oak trees found a new home, two years after two 80-year-old trees were poisoned by an Alabama fan and had to be removed.

      According to AI.com, the process of replacing the poisoned trees took over a year. Auburn officials selected the two 35-foot trees from more than 9,000 that were available.

  • Sunday, February 15, 2015
    Report: Alabama State's new coach allegedly committed violations
    By The Sports Xchange

    Brian Jenkins, who became the Alabama State head football coach in December, allegedly committed some serious NCAA violations while he was the head coach at Bethune-Cookman, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

    • Jenkins won or shared four Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles and earned three FCS playoff berths in his five seasons Bethune-Cookman.

      The alleged violations, including impermissible benefits and practice violations, as well as mistreatment of players, were revealed by former players and coaches interviewed by the Advertiser.

      Players in the report also told of being threatened with a knife at a pregame team meal. Players are not permitted to talk during those meals and when linebacker Rahdeese Alcutt laughed when a teammate spilled a drink, Jenkins got angry and confronted him.

      "At this time, Brian Jenkins walked over to me and picked up a knife and pointed it at me and (defensive end Brandin Hudson) saying, 'Do I have to cut your (expletive) throats to get you to be quiet?'" Alcutt wrote in a letter to the paper.

      According to the report, there were accusations that Jenkins gave tight end Isaac Virgin $250 to pay off parking tickets and other items on his student account at South Florida so the school would release his transcript.

      Virgin had transferred from South Florida to Bethune-Cookman in 2012, but he had played in two games before obtaining his transcript from USF. That would have made him ineligible.

      Players said the team often practiced 26 to 28 hours a week, considerably more than the NCAA limit of 20 hours per week.

      When Jenkins required his players to practice three times in a day in one instance, some players refused. Jenkins responded by locking those players out of the weight room and locker room for two days.

      Before Jenkins left Bethune-Cookman in December, the school investigated some allegations against him. The school told the newspaper that "anything that needed to be reported (to the conference and NCAA) was reported."

      Melvin Hines, Alabama State's interim athletic director, said he knew of the allegations against Jenkins before hiring him. Hines also said he made the allegations known to the school's president and trustees.

  • Sunday, February 15, 2015
    Report: North Carolina pays Duke for damage
    By The Sports Xchange

    North Carolina head football coach Larry Fedora and athletic director Bubba Cunningham sent checks totaling $27,170 to Duke to cover the cost of spray-paint damage done to the Blue Devils locker room and practice field following the Tar Heels' victory in November, the Charlotte News & Observer reported.

    • Duke had billed North Carolina for the damages, according to information the News & Observer obtained in a public records request.

      Most of the money went toward new carpet in the Duke visitor's locker room.

      Cunningham also sent a letter of apology to Duke athletic director Kevin White, but in that apology Cunningham noted other issues.

      In the letter to White on Feb. 3, Cunningham said he was disappointed that Duke head coach David Cutcliffe never returned an apology call from Fedora.

      Cunningham also included a photo of spray-paint damage to North Carolina's South Building, which was tagged with the letters D-U-K-E on Feb. 19, 2014, before the Duke-North Carolina basketball game.

      "The University of North Carolina bore the cost of sandblasting these pillars and did not make public comments of the transgression," Cunningham stated in his letter, according to the News & Observer report. "I acknowledge we have no idea who did this, but I simply included it to demonstrate that all fans, teams, coaches, students, etc., need to appreciate and respect the rivalry."

  • Sunday, February 15, 2015
    Poisoned trees at Toomer's Corner replaced
    By The Sports Xchange

    Auburn football fans can feel whole again.

    • On Saturday, they gathered at Toomer's Corner at the corner of College Street and Magnolia Avenue as symbols of the university were restored on sacred ground.

      A pair of oak trees found a new home, two years after two 80-year-old trees were poisoned by an Alabama fan and had to be removed.

      According to AI.com, the process of replacing the poisoned trees took over a year. Auburn officials selected the two 35-foot trees from more than 9,000 that were available.

      The university's horticulture department was instrumental in selecting the trees.

      "We had certain criteria we wanted for the trees," said professor of horticulture Gary Keever. "We wanted the lowest branches to be above head height, and we wanted to have trees that would be difficult for fans to climb. We were also looking at some traffic concerns with the branches."

      A third, spare tree, will be planted in a different location in case problems arise with one of the new trees.

      For years, Auburn fans have celebrated victories by showering the trees at Toomer's Corner with toilet paper.

      However, this year the university has asked fans to hold off on the toilet paper until the 2016 season. The trees need time to get used to their new environment.

  • Friday, February 13, 2015
    College football notebook: Weis doubts he'll coach again
    By The Sports Xchange

    Charlie Weis believes his coaching days may be over after not getting hired since losing his job at Kansas.

    • There was talk Weis might become an NFL offensive coordinator again, but he said his coaching career probably has come to an end at age 58.

      "I think it's highly doubtful that I will ever coach again," the former Notre Dame coach told the South Bend Tribune.

      Weis has been unemployed since Sept. 28, when Kansas fired him early in his third season after a 6-22 record.

      Weis was coach at Notre Dame from 2005 to 2009 after arriving from the New England Patriots, where he was offensive coordinator. He was offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs (2010) and Florida Gators (2011) before getting hired by Kansas in 2012.

      "Would you like the last thing people remember you by in coaching as being great and walking out on top? Of course you'd like that," Weis said. "But, realistically, if you're not a hypocrite about the things that are really important to you, why just go take a job in the NFL just so people will say, 'Well, you went out with a better taste?'"

      ---Four-star linebacker recruit Roquan Smith will play at Georgia after backing out of a commitment to UCLA.

      Smith announced his decision via Instagram with a signed grant-in-aid letter endorsed by his mother.

      Smith made his plans to re-open his recruitment public Tuesday, the same day the Atlanta Falcons officially named UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich to Dan Quinn's coaching staff.

      --- Illinois hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive line coach Mike Phair as co-defensive coordinator.

      Phair replaces Greg Colby, who was fired, as line coach and also will help coordinator Tim Banks try to fix the Big Ten's worst defense.

      Phair was defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears from 2011 to 2013 before going to Tampa Bay for a year. He was a defensive assistant in 2010 with the Seattle Seahawks.