Dr. Saturday - NCAAF

Making the morning rounds.

He told them he'd be back. Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray, a 2007 signee in the Spartans' first recruiting class under then-new coach Mark Dantonio, suited up for practice Thursday for the first time in four years, completing an epic comeback from the bone cancer that had apparently ended his career before it began. Ray's treatment initially included chemotherapy and surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his left leg shortly after he was diagnosed in 2007, followed by an infection that briefly forced him out of school; he re-enrolled in 2008, but prior to a few days ago had been listed as medically disqualified so as not to count against the team's scholarship limit. "This guy has had four, five, six operations and surgeries," said Dantonio. "He was on crutches for two years. There was a lot of doubt whether or not he was going to walk again, let alone play football."

Ray will count against the Spartans' scholarship this year after receiving medical clearance by the Big Ten and, this week, the NCAA. "I was in class, and I just cried tears of joy," he said. "It felt so good because it just represents so much now. I just feel like I have to represent everybody that's still dealing with bad things, like chemo. I still remember some of my guys that are still in the hospital." [Detroit Free Press, Associated Press]

Looking for an experienced, enthusiastic addition to the Sun Belt team. The 10-team Sun Belt Conference has "entertained expansion overtures from multiple programs" since the start of the year, according to the Miami Herald, and has "expressed keen interest" in adding at least one of them to the league's current lineup. The most likely candidate: Louisiana Tech, which can a) Bring an established Division I/FBS program; b) Fits the SBC's geographic footprint; and c) Is almost certainly looking for an escape route from the ongoing disintegration of the WAC. Obviously, when your members start to view the Sun Belt as a potential move up, you're really doomed. [Miami Herald]

Dotting the I's. Notre Dame has requested a formal hearing with the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration to discuss the $77,500 fine levied against the university last month, when OSHA cited multiple violations related to the fatal fall of a student videographer filming Irish practice from the top of a hydraulic scissor lift in high winds last October. The request gives Notre Dame 45 days before a hearing is set before an administrative law judge, though a university spokesman said the settlement won't take that long: "Though the university and IOSHA are near resolution, more time is needed to finalize the agreement," he said. "Unfortunately, the timelines imposed by statute required filing the notice of contest in order to continue these discussions." [Associated Press]

I'm still here. Here's a bad omen for your future playing time: You're finally cleared to play, and the head coach forgets all about you. UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince — ostensibly a favorite to win the Bruins' open QB job with 17 starts over the last two years — was available for 7-on-7 passing drills Thursday for the first time since going down with a knee injury last October, but didn't take a single rep because, well, it just slipped Rick Neuheisel's mind. "I completely forget he was available today," Neuheisel said. "He came up, and I looked at him and said, 'You got to tell me, you got to remind me.'" [Orange County Register]

The Rap Sheet. Louisiana Tech defensive lineman IK Enemkpali, a regular starter last year as a redshirt freshman, has been suspended indefinitely after being booked for disturbing the peace and battery of a police officer last weekend. Reports of the arrest don't include details; coach Sonny Dykes said he would wait for the legal process to play out before Enemkpali rejoins the team. [Greenfield Reporter]

Elsewhere, Miami has reinstated linebacker Ramon Buchanan, a little more than two weeks after he was suspended indefinitely after picking up a pair of felony charges for resisting a police officer with violence and battery on a police officer. "He's done everything we've asked him to do, both me and the athletic department," coach Al Golden said. "Based on my knowledge of the case, and what we know as a university, we feel comfortable reinstating him at this point in time. We'll reassess as it unveils itself." [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Quickly… Mark Sanchez delivers a speech to USC players, gets stuck in an elevator. … Marc Tyler returns to practice earlier than expected, and heavier. … Nick Saban issues a challenge to his starting cornerbacks. … Mark Richt's annual summer speaking tour growing some legs. … Florida's team-wide paintball trip inspires some Charlie Weis nostalgia. … Pat Dye's Pants finally get their own comic strip. … And the world keeps on spinning.

- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

Related Articles

Dr. Saturday

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog