Oklahoma president David Boren believes two Sooners returning to the team in 2015 have learned from their punishments.
Linebacker Frank Shannon and running back Joe Mixon are set to be on the Oklahoma roster after suspensions in 2014. Mixon was suspended after punching a female student while Shannon was suspended for violating the school's Title IX sexual misconduct policy.
“I think part of being an educational institution is that you have to have discipline when it’s required,” Boren told the Tulsa World. “With good parenting, punishment is required sometimes. Most of us have been on the receiving end of that from our parents and we’re better people for it. I think they’ll be better people because they’re on the receiving end of punishment.”
Mixon rejoined the team in February. A heralded recruit, he missed the entire 2014 season after the incident, which occurred in July and was captured on surveillance footage. According to police affadavits, the woman had multiple facial fractures.
Mixon reached a plea deal in October that entailed a one-year deferred sentence and community service. While he practiced with the team in the spring he didn't play in the spring game.
He was a five-star recruit in the class of 2014 and the No. 8 prospect overall according to Rivals.
While he was suspended by the university after an investigation, Shannon was never prosecuted. He was suspended for the school year in August 2014 and reinstated in June. Shannon had 92 tackles, two sacks and an interception in 2013.
“Both of the two individuals have shown great attitudes. They’ve gone through what they were supposed to go through,” Boren said. “I’ve watched Mixon because he’s been here and I’ve been able to see him more. Discipline, academic wise, he’s done really well. He and Shannon with their colleagues have been great out there. I think they’ve gone the extra mile.
“To me, it’s over. It’s just like being a parent. Sometimes you have to punish but then you still care about people. Then you give them every advantage to work their way back into the fold. They’ve done that.”
The return of both players is obviously a big boost to Oklahoma's Big 12 title chances. Mixon could be the primary backup to Samaje Perine at running back and Shannon could get his starting spot back at linebacker. But, more importantly, the two need to back up Boren's belief. If either player slips up off the field, the university will look like it wasn't hard enough on either player in letting them return for 2015.
For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.
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Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield was arrested Wednesday for suspicion of aggravated robbery after he allegedly stole money from someone he met for a video game transaction.
According to a Unified Police release and a probable cause statement, the victim intended to purchase a video game console advertised online when he met Hatfield early Tuesday evening at a 655 W. 3900 South car wash. Hatfield pulled a knife on the man, police said, and demanded his money before taking $180 in cash and fleeing on foot into nearby apartments.
According to police, the victim's wife then noticed that the same seller, identified as "David Wilkins," was selling an iPhone. She arranged another meeting with Hatfield at the same car wash.
Aggravated robbery is considered a first-degree felony in the state of Utah. The possible prison term listed for the offense is five years to life in prison with up to a $10,000 fine. According to KSL.com, the console was an XBox.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham hasn't commented publicly on the arrest as he's currently on vacation. A spokesperson for the school told the Tribune that Willingham would comment at the earliest opportunity.
A projected starter heading into 2015, Hatfield had 38 tackles, nine pass breakups and an interception in 2014 as a sophomore. He returned the interception for a touchdown against Colorado. He started the season at wide receiver and switched to cornerback after the first game. Hatfield had four catches in 2013 as a freshman.
He was a three-star recruit out of Los Angeles in the class of 2013 according to Rivals.
For more Utah news, visit UteZone.com.
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Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t ready to name a starting quarterback, but he is encouraged that he’ll have three from which to choose come fall camp.
Meyer, who was in Northeast Ohio on Wednesday as part of his youth instructional camp, told fans that both quarterbacks Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett were close to being completely healthy with the Buckeyes about a month away from opening up fall camp.
"Braxton is pretty close to full speed," Meyer said.
"Close to 95 percent," Meyer said.
This news is both encouraging and probably a little discouraging. It’s encouraging because Ohio State has the best stable of quarterbacks in all of college football. It’s discouraging because Meyer and his staff now have to pick just one of those guys to start.
In fact, during the camp a fan yelled out: "Who is going to be Ohio State's starting quarterback? That's what everyone wants to know."
And Meyer quickly changed the subject.
"So," Meyer said, "how's the weather?"
But it’s a question Meyer won’t be able to dodge for long. If all three quarterbacks — Miller, Barrett and Cardale Jones — are healthy, then Meyer might have both the easiest and most difficult decision to make in college football.
And it’s a problem any of his peers would love to take off his hands.
For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.
And don’t forget to keep up with all of Graham’s thoughts, witty comments and college football discussions on Facebook
July 01, 2015
To commemorate its switch from Adidas to Nike this week, Tennessee officially unveiled its new uniforms across all sports on Wednesday.
This is a football blog, of course, so we’ll stick with the three new looks Butch Jones’ Vols will debut in the 2015 season.
On top of the team's standard home and away jerseys, the Vols also unveiled a new dark "Smokey gray" alternate look.
"We wanted to make sure we are innovative. We wanted to respect the great tradition we have Tennessee and incorporate them with Nike," Vols head coach Butch Jones said.
Tennessee had been affiliated with Adidas since 1997. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, UT's deal with Nike is worth "$750,000 per year less" than its Adidas agreement.
Nike gave UT a $2 million signing bonus, which the Vols received last summer. But even with that factored in, the $1.2 million per year Nike pays throughout the life of the contract is $750,000 per year less than UT’s deal with adidas.
You can take a closer look at all of Tennessee's new football uniforms on their Facebook page.
For more Tennessee news, visit VolQuest.com.
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Jim Harbaugh clearly didn't want to talk to ESPN's Colin Cowherd Wednesday morning.
The Michigan coach appeared on Cowherd's program and gave a lot of non-answer answers to Cowherd's questions. The interview was rough – it was so rough that it was entertaining in a macabre way – and Cowherd cut the interview off approximately five minutes into it.
If you listen to the entire video, you can sense Cowherd's frustration with Harbaugh building. Right before cutting Harbaugh off he says "This seems terribly difficult."
Even if you've never had to interview someone, you've undoubtedly been in a similar position of carrying on a conversation with someone who clearly doesn't want to talk. And while you can cut a conversation off in a social setting realtively easy, it's a bit harder to do when it's for a story or segment. Especially when it's a segment being broadcast live.
Cowherd, who can be an acquired taste for sports radio listeners, clearly had gotten to his breaking point. Though while the struggle might have been real for five minutes, it's certainly a much more noteworthy interview than if Harbaugh had been jovial and somewhat revealing.
Harbaugh took half-responsibility for the interview on Twitter.
In my experience of participating in interviews, I've found it takes 2 to produce a clunker! I'll take 50% responsibility 4 this clunker.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) July 1, 2015
Perhaps Harbaugh stayed out too late at the Tigers game Tuesday night before his appearance. We see how there would be a significant hangover from getting to throw out the first pitch at an MLB game.
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July 01, 2015
Jim Harbaugh disputed Michigan defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins' assertion that Michigan's staff pressured Pipkins to quit playing football.
Pipkins told ESPN that he had been approached by Michigan's staff to sign retirement paperwork approximately 10 times over a three month period. Pipkins suffered a knee injury in the 2013 season and returned to play in 2014. Michigan has said it doesn't feel its in Pipkins' best interest to continue to play football.
"We don't run off players," Harbaugh said at Comerica Park shortly after throwing out the first pitch before Tuesday's Tigers-Pirates game.
"I'll speak for myself personally," Harbaugh continued. "When it comes to the health and safety of the players, that argument trumps all other arguments."
Pipkins said he has arthritis in the knee but that doctors originally said it shouldn't disqualify him from playing football. Since he hasn't signed any medical scholarship paperwork, Pipkins is still on Michigan's roster and counting towards the team's 85-person scholarship limit. If he signs the forms, he can't play football again and is no longer against the limit.
He also claimed that Harbaugh and staff have set a July 1 deadline for other players to get healthy to stay on the team. Harbaugh denied that assertion as well.
"(We haven't done that), it varies with different circumstances, there's no set date for the team, no," Harbaugh said. "There never has been."
Pipkins said Friday that he's looking to transfer from Michigan. If Pipkins leaves the program he will have to sit out the 2015 season to play in 2016.
For more Michigan news, visit TheWolverine.com.
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The college football coach first pitch tour continued Tuesday night. With Jim Harbaugh, of course.
The Michigan coach threw out the first pitch at the Detroit Tigers game. You can tell he used to play a position that required a lot of throwing. And no, we're not surprised at all he was wearing khakis.
The pitch isn't the best part of it though. Harbaugh was wearing the jersey of former Detroit pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych and his windup was pretty close to Fidrych's. It's not exact, but you can see the similarities.
Check out Harbaugh jersey. One of his favorite players pic.twitter.com/NOf7dYRVyt— angelique (@chengelis) June 30, 2015
He also got some pretty sweet seats after the game.
Doesn't get much better than at the Ball Park with my Beautiful wife Sarah! Also great to see Verlander on the mound! pic.twitter.com/9cFcAzDFl3— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) June 30, 2015
Tuesday wasn't Harbaugh's first VIP experience from an MLB team in 2015. He was in uniform with the Oakland A's at spring training in March.
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June 30, 2015
Now that football is back at UAB after a brief hiatus, coach Bill Clark wants to stay with the school.
Clark told Al.com that he's working with the school on a new long-term contract. He said his current deal runs through the end of 2016 and needs a new deal to help recruit. UAB's athletic director said negotiations were ongoing.
"It's going to be a commitment to myself and my family, and my staff that we want to be here, we're going to be here," Clark told the site. "But it's our school saying, 'Football is here to stay, this is our coach, this is his staff. We're going to commit to him and the things it takes to do it the right way.' "
UAB announced the decision to drop football following the 2014 season. After much protestation from various groups and a private fundraising effort that garnered over $17 million, the school restored football along with rifle and bowling in June. The school said it would like to make the football program profitable within five years.
Clark won't be coaching any games in the near future, however. The team may not see the field again until possibly the 2017 season, meaning Clark's current contract is set to expire before UAB will likely play a game. So it makes immense sense for the school to lock him up to a deal that includes actual football games. No one wants to recruit players he may never coach. And having to find a new coach would be another step back for UAB.
"Having Bill because of all his relationships, for all the reasons UAB hired him, is an advantage," said Ingram, who in May was hired as athletic director, one month before school president Ray Watts announced football's return. "Trying to do this without coach would be really, really hard. Really, really hard."
The school is currently in the midst of a transition plan to present to the NCAA.
The Blazers are expected to be a full member of Conference-USA when football begins again. If football hadn't returned, UAB was set to be looking for a new conference.
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Apparent discontent with Justin Combs' absence at team workouts was reportedly nothing new at UCLA.
According to TMZ, UCLA strength coach Sal Alosi previously used the son of P. Diddy missing workouts as an example to the team.
Sources connected to UCLA's football program tell TMZ Sports ... the humiliating incident went down in February. Coach Sal Alosi had several players in the the gym for a training sesh, which Justin missed because he was at the NBA All-Star game.
We're told Alosi openly mocked Justin by putting a pic of him at the game -- next to Diddy and Ben Stiller ... in all the gym monitors. We're told Alosi told players ... "While you guys are training, this guy is sitting courtside with his dad." The pic remained up for 24 hours.
The incident between P. Diddy and Alosi and the rest of the UCLA coaching staff last week came after Combs was kicked out of a workout session being led by Alosi. According to former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, Combs had missed earlier workouts and told Alosi that he was working with Diddy's trainer.
Following Combs' removal from practice, Diddy and Combs went to Alosi's office. In the ensuing kerfuffle, Diddy allegedly picked up a kettlebell and threatened a member of UCLA's staff. He's been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of making terrorist threats and one count of battery.
A spokesperson for Diddy has said the rapper was acting in self-defense. UCLA coach Jim Mora has commended his staff for the way they handled the situation.
UCLA coaches reportedly don't want the charges to go ahead. Diddy is currently set to appear in court in two weeks.
TMZ also says "Diddy sources" say that Alosi carried on a campaign of "psychological warfare" throughout Combs' time with the team. That may be a bit of an overstatement in a case like this. While team offseason workouts may not be officially mandatory, team strength training sessions are strongly encouraged by coaching staffs. If you've ever played team sports at a high level, this is made clear.
And we're thinking it was made clear to members of UCLA's team. We understand why Combs would want to enjoy the perks of being the son of a high-profile celebrity. However, it's entirely unsurprising that his absence would be used as motivation to the rest of the team, especially if he was missing workouts. And it shouldn't have been surprising to Combs either.
Given what continues to be reported in all of this drama and his role within the team, it's hard to see Combs playing for UCLA in 2015.
For more UCLA news, visit BruinSportsReport.com.
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Ball State apparently takes its max-out leg day very seriously.
A video uploaded by the team on Tuesday shows off its players squatting massive amounts of weight – all while dressed up as various superheroes, including the Hulk.
Also featured in the video were strobe lights, a tunnel of smoke, shirt ripping, face paint and yelling. Lots of yelling.
Oh, and don’t miss the guy dressed up like a wizard. He seems like fun.
Strength coach David Feeley said getting the guys to dress up raises the excitement level for the day.
“Every guy in America squats. Every guy in America benches and power cleans, but it’s how they do it and how excited they are when they perform those lifts. That’s what really matters,” Feeley said. “Results were really good. Our guys got really excited about it. Heavy weight got lifted. There was a lot of team bonding going on as well.
“There is nothing goofy about putting 500 to 600 pounds across your back and squatting it up and down. Why would you not want to have fun while you’re in here lifting as hard as you can every day?”
This one is going to be tough to top next year.
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