Wed Aug 03 07:56am EDT
Making the morning rounds.
• We told you so. Never an operation to pass up a free shot at its favorite target, the Detroit Free Press reports today that giving to the Michigan athletic department was up more than 22 percent in 2010-11 over the previous year — a boon the Freep attributes entirely to spikes in January and February, after alumni darling Brady Hoke was hired to replace the heathen Rich Rodriguez as head coach.
Michigan downplays the effect of Rodriguez's exit, pointing instead to its efforts to sell out the luxury suites in Michigan Stadium that went unsold in 2009-10. Yes, but why did they go unsold? A good journalistic victory lap waits not for semantics. [Detroit Free Press]
• That goes in the 'Drunk and Disorderly' jar. In other money matters: South Carolina quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus' reinstatement to the team will cost him a full month's salary, $14,600, as punishment for his arrest for public urination last week. Mangus rejoins the Gamecocks this week along with the starting quarterback, Stephen Garcia, whose fifth alcohol-related suspension in four years came to an end Monday just in time for the start of preseason practices. [Charleston Post & Courier]
• Knights still on the hook. An Orlando judge on Tuesday denied the University of Central Florida's request to overturn a jury verdict that awarded $10 million to the family of Ereck Plancher, the former UCF running back who collapsed and died during conditioning drills in 2008. The jury concluded that UCF coaches were aware Plancher had tested positive for sickle cell trait, a genetic disorder that has resulted in the death of multiple Division I players over the last decade, but didn't inform him he had the trait and pushed him too hard despite that knowledge. "I don't second-guess juries unless there simply is no evidence on which they could have based their verdict," said judge Robert Evans, who also determined that attorneys for the Plancher family are eligible to receive court costs and legal fees from the UCF Athletics Association because they offered a viable, $4.75 million settlement that UCFAA rejected prior to the trial.
Evans did not rule, however, on UCFAA's request to interview jurors who it argued violated court rules by passing notes during the three-week trial in June. If he rejects that request, UCFAA may still take its case to the Fifth District Court of Appeals. [Orlando Sentinel, Associated Press]
• Healin' Hokies. Virginia Tech offensive lineman Blake DeChristopher, a preseason All-ACC pick with 37 career starts, will miss up to six weeks with a strained pectoral muscle, putting his availability for the season opener against Appalachian State in doubt. Starting guard Greg Nosal is also expected to miss several weeks of practice, at least, as he continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. [Virginian-Pilot]
Quickly… Ohio State files a formal response to ESPN's lawsuit seeking e-mails sent from Jim Tressel to Terrelle Pryor's hometown "mentor," Ted Sarniak. … The bus to Georgia's preseason camp has a few empty seats. … Ben Martin makes it through his first Tennessee practice since injuring his Achilles last year. … Oklahoma adjusts practice times in the midst of a record heat wave. … Gene Stallings and Pat Dye get buried in sand to promote Alabama tourism. … Ohio State fans are trying to revive the Hineygate. … And Boise State's president explains why he caved to the Mountain West's request to prohibit all-blue uniforms on the Broncos' blue turf.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.