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College football roundup: UNC's Bernard will enter NFL Draft

The SportsXchange

North Carolina sophomore tailback Giovani Bernard will give up his final two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

The school announced Giovani's decision Friday. Giovani is a redshirt sophomore, making him eligible to declare for the draft.

After suffering torn ligaments in his knee before his freshman season in 2010, Bernard came back strong and was first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference the past two seasons.

Bernard led the nation in punt returns in 2012, averaging 16.4 yards. Despite missing two games because of a knee problem, he finished the season leading the ACC in rushing (1,228 yards on 184 carries), scoring (19 touchdowns) and all-purpose yards. He also was fourth nationally with 198.1 all-purpose yards per game, fifth in points per game (11.4) and 11th in rushing yards per game (122.8).

Some draft analysts project the 5-foot-10, 205-pound Bernard as potentially the first running back selected in the 2013 draft.

--Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial escaped punishment from the SEC for his hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the conference championship game on Dec. 1 in Atlanta.

The SEC ruled Friday that Dial, a senior with 21 tackles this season, will not be suspended by the conference for the BCS championship game against Notre Dame but said the incident would be dealt with by the two schools.

Georgia cornerback Sheldon Dawson, accused of eye-gouge Alabama's Dee Milliner while players from both teams scrambled to recover a fumbled kickoff in the fourth quarter, also was not disciplined by the SEC.

--Skip Holtz, who was fired as South Florida's coach on Dec. 2, has been hired as Louisiana Tech's new head coach, the school announced Friday in a release.

Holtz, 48, was scheduled to be formally introduced at a press conference Friday evening.

Holtz replaces Sonny Dykes, who left the Bulldogs to take the Cal head coaching job.

Holtz is the first head coach who was fired this season to land another head coaching job.

---Junior Tyler Patmon, who was a starting cornerback for Kansas this past season, is leaving the program to transfer to another school, the Lawrence World-Journal reported.

Patmon started 28 games at Kansas, including all 12 in 2012.

---Oregon State coach Mike Riley was contacted by Wisconsin officials regarding the Badgers' head coaching vacancy, but he told them he was not interested in the Wisconsin job, according to Comcast SportsNet Northwest. There had been reports earlier that Riley was scheduled to interview with Wisconsin.

--The officials for the BCS bowl games have been assigned, and the Pac-12 officials will work the BCS National Championship Game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Officials are assigned on a rotating basis, and it's the Pac-12's turn to get the title game.
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