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CFB Roundup: Oregon's Mariota committed to returning

The SportsXchange

Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota confirmed he intends to return to the team for at least one more season after it was learned he had requested his grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.

Oregon senior associate athletic director Craig Pintens said Mariota requested the grade after the Ducks' victory over Oregon State on Nov. 29. Mariota told 750 The Game radio in Portland, "To clear any confusion, I'm very blessed and thankful to come back."

The standout redshirt sophomore quarterback announced on Dec. 3 that he intended to return to the Ducks in 2013, but NFLDraftScout.com confirmed Wednesday that he had requested his evaluative grade from the Advisory Committee.

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft, and the Advisory Board is a free evaluative service regularly utilized by underclassmen to gauge where they may be drafted before making the decision to forgo eligibility.

--USC and Washington are investigating allegations that Tosh Lupoi, defensive line coach under former Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, violated NCAA rules, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times first reported Wednesday night that USC and Washington were both investigating whether or not Lupoi paid for private tutoring and online classes for a recruit.

According to the Times, the allegations surround the recruitment of Andrew Basham, a former defensive lineman at Lynnwood High in Washington, who signed a letter of intent with the Huskies last February but did not qualify academically to enroll.

The newspaper reported that Mike Davis, a throwing coach who helped Basham win a state shot put title, said Lupoi gave him $3,000 to cover private tutoring for Basham through a test preparation company. Davis said he also received $1,500 from Lupoi to reimburse Basham's father for online classes Andrew could use to raise his grade-point average.

--The Florida Gators and Michigan Wolverines will meet in the 2017 season-opening Cowboys Classic to continue the tradition of high profile matchups in AT&T Stadium on the first weekend of the season, both schools announced Thursday.

The Sept. 2, 2017, contest will be the Gators' first non-conference regular-season game played outside the state of Florida since 1991.

--North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson was named head football coach at Arkansas State, athletic director Terry Mohajir announced Thursday.

Anderson leaves the Tar Heels after two seasons, replacing Bryan Harsin, who was hired last week to replace Chris Petersen at Boise State.

Anderson will be the fifth head coach in five years for the Red Wolves. Hugh Freeze succeeded Steve Roberts in 2010 and then left after a year to become head coach of Ole Miss. Gus Malzahn was hired to replace Freeze and then left for Auburn in 2012.
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