Graham Watson

  • UAB reinstates its football program (Updated)

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 14 hrs ago

    The University of Alabama-Birmingham announced Monday evening that it was reinstating a football program it disbanded just six months ago.

    University president Dr. Ray Watts said he has been working with the NCAA and Conference USA to keep the program's conference and FBS standing. Women's rifle and bowling also will be reinstated.

    "Given the broad base of support never before seen, as of today, we are taking steps to reinstate the football, rifle and bowling programs," Watts said. "I am forwarding documents to Conference USA and the NCAA notifying them that UAB plans to remain an FBS program and a full member of C-USA."

    Watts said through private fundraising and city contributions, $17.2 million in outside funds has been raised that will be used in addition to the $20 million the university has set aside for athletics. The goal is to ultimately make UAB a profitable model within the next five years. Watts said the university would not pledge any more money toward the program than what has already been allotted.

    "To do otherwise would require us to take additional funds from our academic and health care missions, which we will not do," Watts said.

  • ESPN changes college football studio lineup, Mark May to new show

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 15 hrs ago

    ESPN’s college football studio show will look drastically different this fall.

    According to the Sports Business Journal, ESPN has removed Mark May from the program and revamped the show’s cast totally. May was the only holdover from the program, which featured Lou Holtz and Rece Davis. Holtz retired and Davis was promoted to hosting College Gameday.

    The new trio will feature host Adnan Virk, and Joey Galloway and Danny Kanell providing analysis. Virk has hosted ESPN programs “Baseball Tonight” and “Olbermann.” Galloway has been a college football analyst since 2012 and Kanell did analysis during Friday night games last season.

    The new trio will appear during halftime and after games and will be featured on both ESPN and ABC.

    May, who has been with show since 2001, still will be involved in a college-focused show with host John Saunders and co-analyst and former Texas coach Mack Brown.

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  • Dismissed Clemson DE Ebenezer Ogundeko transfers to Tenn. St.

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 16 hrs ago

    Sophomore defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko, who was dismissed from Clemson on May 19, tweeted this past weekend that he’s found a new place to play.

    Ogundeko announced he would continue his career at Tennessee State, a member of the Football Championship Subdivision. He will be eligible immediately.

    Time to start my new journey at TSU. God is good and I thank you for another opportunity. #blessed #TSU

    Ogundeko was dismissed from Clemson after he was arrested and charged with one count of financial transaction fraud. According to police, Ogundeko had manipulated the magnetic strip on the back of his own credit card so that it was actually charging a different card number than his own.

    Ogundeko’s case is still ongoing.

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  • OU teammate tweets suspended LB Frank Shannon is back with team

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 17 hrs ago

    Linebacker Frank Shannon is apparently back with Oklahoma, according to a tweet by teammate Zack Sanchez.

    FRANK SHANNON IS BACK !!!

    Shannon had been suspended from the Sooner program since last summer for violating the school’s Title IX sexual misconduct policy.

    A female student alleged Shannon assaulted her in an off-campus apartment in January 2014. The university conducted an independent investigation and decided to suspend Shannon for the school year.

    Shannon was never prosecuted in a criminal court.

    Shannon fought the suspension in court and was able to remain with the Sooners during that process. While he did practice, he never played in a game. In September, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled Oklahoma could uphold the suspension and Shannon was removed from the university.

    Shannon led the Sooners in tackles in 2013 with 92. He also had two sacks and an interception.

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  • Former Marshall RB charged with felony civil rights violations

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    Former Marshall running back Steward Butler has been accused of two felony civil rights violations stemming from an alleged April assault on a gay couple in Huntington, W.Va.

    Butler, 23, also was indicted on two counts of misdemeanor battery.

    On April 5, Butler was riding in a vehicle when he witnessed two men kissing on a street corner. 

    Butler got out of the car, proceeded to yell homosexual slurs at the men and then struck both men in the face with a closed fist.

    According to Huntington detective Chris Sperry, one of the victims caught the encounter on video.

    Butler turned himself into police on May 6 and was released on a $10,000 bond. Marshall dismissed him from the program later in the day and he is no longer enrolled in school.

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  • 1980s Penn State recruit alleges sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 days ago

    A former Penn State recruit is alleging that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually molested him.

    The man, who was not named, said he attended a football camp on the Penn State campus as a recruit and a “guest of the university” in 1988. It was during that camp the man says Sandusky molested him.

    Attorney Daniel Kiss announced a press conference for Wednesday where he will read a statement from the alleged victim.

    According to the Centre Daily Times, the man reported the abuse to the police in 2011 where the case was referred to the state Attorney General’s Office. However, Kiss said no action was taken.

    In September 2014, Kiss’s firm, the Law Offices of Steven P. Passarello, filed a private complaint that was submitted to the Attorney General’s Office in October 2014. Kiss said there was an April meeting with the Attorney General’s Office and in May, the office sent a letter “denying approval ... over concerns relating to the statute of limitations.”

    For more Penn State news, visit BlueandWhiteIllustrated.com.

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  • SEC bans transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    The SEC’s transfer rules just got a little stricter.

    A proposal by Georgia to ban transfers with “serious misconduct” issues was officially passed by the league’s presidents on Friday.

    The new rule specifies “serious misconduct” as sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence while enrolled at another school. The proposal sis not specify between misdemeanors and felonies.

    This is the SEC's writeup of that new transfer ban. pic.twitter.com/oPHD2GNmiO

    Georgia had a vested interest in this rule after John Taylor, a defensive lineman who was dismissed by the Bulldogs after a domestic violence charge, transferred to Alabama while the charges were still pending. Taylor ultimately was dismissed after another domestic violence charge.

    There is a waiver process for players who have special circumstances, such as the charges being dropped after the player is dismissed by their former school. In that instance, the commissioner’s office would review the case and make a ruling.

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  • Report: C-USA likely to drop UAB if football isn't reinstated

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    Commissioner Britton Banowsky said UAB would be dropped from Conference USA if its football program was not reinstated.

    Conference bylaws state that all programs must have an FBS-level football program or be in the process of transitioning into one to maintain good conference standing.

    "It's been clear that our folks aren't interested in changing our bylaws to permit members who don't have football," Banowsky told AL.com. "Relative to UAB and the possibility of them not starting it back, we appreciate how volatile conference membership change would be and have the interest of the coaches and student-athletes in mind when we consider a reasonable length of time for transition which would probably be one year."

    UAB would be allowed to stay in the conference for the 2015-16 season, but then would need to find a new home for its remaining sports. C-USA won’t make a final decision on UAB until its conference presidents meet in Dallas on June 8.

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  • Ole Miss receives rings commemorating a tumultuous 2014 season (Photo)

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on Friday posted to Twitter a picture of a ring members of the Rebels football program received to commemorate the 2014 season.

    Very thankful for @RossBjorkAD and administration for honoring our players & staff for successful season! Hotty Toddy pic.twitter.com/ft1wrvigBa

    And while there were a lot of memorable moments, the way the last year ended — with the Rebels getting manhandled in the Peach Bowl — is surely something everyone associated with the program would quickly like to forget.

    After Ole Miss started the season 7-0 and ascended to No. 3 in the country, the school’s highest national ranking in more than 50 years, it fell on some pretty disastrous times. It lost to LSU and then had a heartbreaking loss to Auburn, which included its star receiver, Laquon Treadwell, suffering a season-ending broken leg. Ole Miss lost to Arkansas 30-0 and while it still managed to make the Peach Bowl, one of the most prestigious bowls outside of the College Football Playoff, the Rebels suffered a humiliating 42-3 defeat at the hands of TCU.

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  • Baylor says a tougher nonconference schedule is in the works

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 3 days ago

    Baylor football is looking to beef up its nonconference schedules after rampant criticism last year that their nonconference slate wasn’t on par with some of the other highly ranked teams in the country.

    “We’re in a different spot than we were when we scheduled the teams last year and this year,” Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Obviously, as we’ve won back-to-back Big 12 championships and our program’s on the national stage and we’re recruiting at an extremely high level, we’re able to take on a higher level of competition.”

    As the College Football Playoff started to work itself out last season, Baylor was often criticized for its weak nonconference schedule, which included SMU, Northwestern (La.) State and Buffalo. Those three teams went 12-23 last season. Many pundits believed Baylor’s nonconference slate was the reason it was left out of the playoff.

    Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he welcomed Baylor’s willingness to revamp its schedule.

    For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

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