Graham Watson

  • Tim Beckman: 'I will vigorously defend both my reputation and my legal rights'

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 hr ago

    Tim Beckman went on the offensive Friday evening to defend his reputation just hours after being fired at the University of Illinois.

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Oregon names Vernon Adams its Week 1 starting QB

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 2 hrs ago

    Vernon Adams has been named the starting quarterback for Oregon’s season opener against Eastern Washington on Sept. 5.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    For more Oregon news, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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  • Dr. Saturday Preseason All-American Team

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 5 hrs ago

    College football is full of amazing players.

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

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

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

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

    OFFENSE

    DEFENSE

    SPECIALISTS

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

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 6 hrs ago

    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:

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

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 7 hrs 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 BuckeyeGrove.com.

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  • Florida OT Martez Ivey to have arthroscopic surgery

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day 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 1 day 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 VolQuest.com.

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

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday 1 day ago

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

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

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

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

    For more Alabama news, visit TideSports.com.

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

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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