Making the morning rounds.
• I sense a pattern developing. In the wake of LeGarrette Blount's latest round of fisticuffs with his new NFL teammates, a pair of Blount's former Oregon mates and an assistant coach confided to Oregonian columnist John Canzano Thursday that the infamous Boise State haymaker that cost Blount almost all of his senior season last fall wasn't his first on-field punch. During a closed practice in 2008, Blount's first season with the Ducks out of junior college, he allegedly smacked then-coach Mike Bellotti "square" in the face in the process of exchanging blows with teammates Jairus Byrd and Jerome Boyd after a play. All three players were booted from practice, but weren't disciplined further. [The Oregonian]
[UPDATE, 2:58 p.m. ET] Bellotti, now an analyst at ESPN, took to the air this afternoon to refute Canzano's report, claiming there was "a scuffle ... that resulted in some pushing and shoving," but no punches were thrown. [ESPN]
[UPDATE, 4:22 p.m. ET] Canzano stands by his story, telling the site Sports by Brooks that he has two additional sources that Bellotti was struck; Brooks cites a source who recalls a welt on Bellotti's face: "Everyone was talking about it afterwards." [Sports by Brooks]
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• Kyle's last night in town. If there was still any doubt, quarterback Kyle Parker said Thursday he's "99 percent sure" this will be his final season at Clemson after coming to terms with the Colorado Rockies earlier this week. As a first-round pick, his burgeoning baseball career (besides paying him a truckload of money) is likely to submarine any attempts at remaining academically eligible, though Parker refused to rule out entering the 2011 draft. (Though the NFL may have already ruled out picking him.) [The State]
• Check-out time. At least three South Carolina players have moved out of the downtown Columbia hotel where they'd apparently been living for months before the NCAA started poking around in its broader probe of USC earlier this month. Coach Steve Spurrier said the abrupt evacuation came as an order: "...all of our guys are going to pay their bill and hopefully go live somewhere else. That's what we hope happens – that they pay their bills up and go live somewhere else. That's about all I can say about it. ... They're going to pay their bills and move out is what we have suggested for them to do." [The State]
Elsewhere, Spurrier was in classic fighting form when asked about Tennessee dropping North Carolina from its 2011-12 schedules: "Golly, times have changed when Tennessee doesn't want to play North Carolina in football because they're too good for them. That's kind of amazing right there. We're not going to bail out from playing North Carolina the way Tennessee did." [Chattanooga Times Free Press]
• I wish that I knew what I know now. Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes posted an open letter to Aggie fans Thursday admitting that USU a) Was the first WAC member contacted Wednesday by the Mountain West about defecting to the MWC when it became apparent that BYU was preparing to jump ship, and b) Turned the MWC down to remain in what then appeared to be a stable league that was adding an attractive in-state rival as its 10th member: "At the point in time when Utah State was contacted by the MWC we had a binding agreement with the WAC and were well positioned with nine members, which included BYU. ... We respectfully declined MWC interest and believed all WAC members would remain committed to our agreement." Unfortunately for the Aggies, the Cougars and the WAC, they were the only ones who felt that way. [UtahStateAggies.com]
• We'll fight them on the beaches. Elsewhere in Utah, BCS-hating Sen. Orrin Hatch reiterated his plans to pursue the Series to its death regardless of which conference any of his constituent schools happen to be affiliated with (or, in BYU's case, un-affiliated with) at any given moment: "I have no doubt that BYU and Utah officials made their decisions with the best interests of their schools, students and athletes in mind. I am equally certain that regardless of their conference status, both schools—along with most Utahns— would welcome fixes to the BCS to ensure fairer access and revenue distribution for all universities." [Associated Press]
• Lemons out of lemonde. Alabama may not be able to spell "Mississippi," as demonstrated by the much-mocked typo that dropped the second 'P' on game tickets for its Nov. 13 home date with Mississippi State. But if you thought that would stop Tide fans from talking smack about it in T-shirt form, anyway, well, you don't know Tide fans. [Friends of the Program]
Quickly... BYU and Texas close in on a three-game series beginning next year. ... As expected, Kansas tabs the unfortunately named Kale Pick as its starting quarterback. ... A foot injury to starter Datone Jones opens the door for hyped freshman Owa Odighizuwa in UCLA's defensive-line rotation. ... Jake Locker as thinly veiled vehicle for a generic fitness article. ... Texas Tech's quarterback situation could be settled by Monday. ... Former Raider madman Brandon Carter has toned down the juggalo look with the Saints. ... North Carolina defensive tackle Brandon Willis is transferring to UCLA. ... As the NCAA's interest in agents intensifies, Missouri might want to consider adopting a new team slogan. ... Boy, those Nebraska fans sure are a carin' lot. ... And of course the FBI was keeping tabs on Bear Bryant.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.