Graham Watson

  • Illinois fires coach Tim Beckman after it confirms allegations of player abuse

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 38 mins ago

    I 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.

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

    From the Illinois release:


  • Ezekiel Elliott applies for trademark of 'Zeke's Crop Top Bar and Grill'

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 hr ago

    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


  • Florida OT Martez Ivey to have arthroscopic surgery

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 21 hrs ago

    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."

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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

  • Tennessee is monitoring the sleep of its players

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 22 hrs ago

    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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    For more Tennessee news, visit


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  • Former Alabama, UNLV RB Altee Tenpenny heads to FCS Nicholls State

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 23 hrs ago

    Running back Altee Tenpenny is working on his third college football program in eight months.

    Nicholls State confirmed to 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


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  • North Dakota State to offer cost of attendance scholarships

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    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.

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


  • Steve Sarkisian address alcohol treatment with Pac-12 Network (Video)

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

    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.”

    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.


  • Boise State statement says it never knew about Sam Ukwuachu's domestic violence

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    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.

    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.

    For more Baylor news, visit


  • Report: Florida knew about Sam Ukwuachu's history of violence

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    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.

    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.


  • Popular Mechanics calls Michigan's game against Utah a 'cupcake game'

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    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."

    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.

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

    For more Utah news, visit