February 24, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• Take the functioning brain cells and run. Arizona State quarterback Steven Threet, a full-time starter last year and owner of the most improbable 58-yard run in Michigan history as the Wolverines' top signal-caller in 2008, is giving up football for good after suffering four concussions in five years – including two in a little more than a month last fall, against Cal (Oct. 23) and UCLA (Nov. 26), that he says continue to cause headaches and insomnia. Threet has a year of eligibility remaining and a decent shot of keeping his job from junior Brock Osweiler, but the disturbing suicide of former Notre Dame and Chicago Bears star Dave Duerson last week is the latest in a long, long list of reasons for concussion victims to get their brains out of harm's way while they can. [Arizona Republic]
• Fight the power. The owner of the domain "pac12.com" has filed a lawsuit against the Pac-10 in an effort to keep the domain, which he apparently registered a good five years before the conference finalized expansion plans – and the transition from the Pac-10 to the Pac-12 – last summer. The Pac-10 sent the owner, Allen Linford, a cease-and-desist letter in January, and filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization earlier this month when Linford responded to the letter by adorning the empty site with an Amazon widget for downloading Tupac Shakur albums. According to his suit, filed in Utah, Linford also registered Pacific12.com and PACtwelve.com. [Domain Name Wire, via Cap'n Ken]
• We're all equals here. Former Colorado teammates Jon Embree and Eric Bieniemy were both rumored as finalists for the vacant head-coaching job at their alma mater last December, and they're getting paid like it: Embree, CU's new head coach, and Bieniemy, his offensive coordinator, will earn the same base salary this year, $250,000, making Bieniemy the only assistant in the country whose paycheck can stand toe-to-toe with his boss'. Well, almost – Embree comes out ahead when you consider supplements (he'll make nearly twice his base salary for media appearances, sponsorships and conducting summer camps), but Bieniemy's own add-ons for sponsorships and "community outreach" will keep him very much in the ballpark unless the Buffs trigger big incentives for Embree by making a BCS bowl ($200,000) and/or winning a national championship ($750,000). [Boulder Daily Camera]
• In other words, get hired by Oklahoma. Whatever they amount to in the end, Embree and Bieniemy's salaries put together are still chump change to Bob Stoops, whose seventh Big 12 championships was rewarded with a $1 million raise from Oklahoma regents, bringing Stoops' 2011 salary to a whopping $4.875 million. Only two coaches, Nick Saban ($5.16 million) and Mack Brown ($5.1 million), will make more, and only one member of Oklahoma's staff will make less than the $250,000 base salary Colorado's paying to its top dogs: First-year tight end/tackles coach Bruce Kittle, who stands to make $240,000. [Tulsa World]
• Hello again, old
sanctioning body friend. USC isn't a party in the NCAA's case against Tennessee for multiple violations that occurred under current Trojan coach Lane Kiffin's watch in 2009 and early 2010, but any action taken against Kiffin could still put SC on thin ice given its own probation in the Reggie Bush Affair, according to an attorney with direct experience defending schools against the NCAA. "Specifically, if the COI (Committee on Infractions) places limitations on Kiffin, then USC will have to monitor his compliance with the committee penalties," Michael L. Buckner told the Orange County Register, drawing a direct comparison to basketball coach Kelvin Sampson's serial infractions at Oklahoma and Indiana. "If Kiffin fails to comply with the penalties, then USC could be held partially responsible, per the IU case." [Orange County Register]
Quickly… Jack Cristil, 85, retires after 58 years as Mississippi State's radio play-by-play man, due to a "deteriorating health situation." … Former Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo leaves his alma mater to join his old coach in UCLA. … Former San Diego State coach Chuck Long, runner-up for the 1985 Heisman Trophy as an All-American quarterback at Iowa, is facing foreclosure on his home in San Diego. … Georgia's rare losing season hasn't affected the coffers. … Steve Kragthorpe says obvious things about his offensive philosophy. … And a double dose of Randy Edsall: The official Edsall recruiting pitch to local players, and the Edsall Pyramid of Success. (The latter obviously swiped from noted motivator Ron Swanson.)
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.