Making the morning rounds.
• Define "quit." Only a week after suggesting coach Doug Marrone's "new culture" at Syracuse has chased away too many players – 28 premature departures in a little less than a year and a half, leaving the Orange with an astonishingly low 49 scholarship players on the spring roster – 'Cuse's student paper continued its player-first look at the program Tuesday with a profile of recently drafted receiver Mike Williams, who claims he never quit the team last fall, as Marrone told reporters a few days after a Halloween car crash involving Williams and three teammates. Williams told the paper Marrone came to his own conclusion when he couldn't get in touch with Williams after the accident, and wouldn't budge despite the overwhelming vote of the team (reportedly 80 percent of his teammates voted to keep Williams on) and the support of athletic director Daryl Gross. Says Williams: "People kept saying I quit. I never quit. That wasn’t how it was. I never quit on my teammates and my teammates know that." It might have helped Williams' case if he hadn't left the team once before for sketchy grades, or written "I HATE COLLEGE I CANT SEE ME DOING THIS FOR LONG……..HINT HINT.-0 LMAO" on his Facebook page the day before his final exit. [Daily Orange]
• Our programming guide already says "'93 Sugar Bowl Rematch," so... Another reminder that ESPN increasingly rules the world: On top of taking on the BCS, floating otherwise untenable bowl games and brokering title sponsorships for the big-money bowls, the Worldwide Leader is also the driving force behind setting up the most attractive non-conference games. On the latter front, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Tuesday night that ESPN is taking the lead (along with Chick-Fil-A) to get the Tide into a 2012 neutral-site game in either Atlanta or Dallas: "We're interested in a lot of scenarios there. ... They've presented us with five teams that we could play [in the Georgia Dome] or five teams that we could play in Jerry Jones' stadium in Dallas. So we're viewing all the options." On the Eastern front, Miami has expressed interest in playing 'Bama in the ATL; in Dallas, they could be looking at a matchup with Texas Tech. [Mobile Press-Register]
• Don't follow me all the way home, call for backup and then tase me, bro. Virginia signee K.P. Parks, the career rushing leader in North Carolina high school history after delivering an astonishing 3,794 yards and 59 touchdowns as a senior, was briefly hospitalized after being tased twice by an off-duty state trooper on Saturday night. The trooper, driving on a motorcycle with his wife, noticed Parks "weaving ... and following too closely" in his car, proceeded to follow him to a private driveway and eventually tased him twice during a scuffle. Parks was charged with obstructing, delaying and resisting arrest and cited for two traffic violations. [Salisbury (N.C.) Post]
• The buck doesn't stop here. Texas Tech is seeking to have four high-ranking defendants – chancellor Kent Hance, president Guy Bailey, athletic director Gerald Myers and a university lawyer – removed from former coach Mike Leach's lawsuit against the school for libel and slander and breach of contract. Craig James and a pair of regents named in the suit can fend for themselves. Tech also submitted several affidavits Tuesday, including a sworn statement from a prominent Boston neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert Cantu, who said Leach should not have confined Adam James to a darkened space if James had a concussion. [Associated Press]
• Happy trails. N.C. State athletic director Lee Fowler is being shown the door after ten years in Raleigh, having improved infrastructure to the tune of $120 million in facility upgrades but orchestrated little success with his major coaching hires, Tom O'Brien (football) and Sidney Lowe (basketball). Fowler was given six weeks in late March to find a new job without public statement by the university, a window that closed on Tuesday. Just for fun, he'll still get $280,000 annually through September 2013. [Raleigh News & Observer]
• Unbreakable. USC quarterback Matt Barkley didn't suffer any broken bones when he hit his hand on a teammate's helmet in Saturday's spring game and should be throwing again by next week. Dude, the picture of the hit was still pretty gnarly, though. [Associated Press]
Quickly ... USC unveils a new statue of Traveler. ... The Oregonian publishes the particulars of Oregon's apparel deal with Nike, not including massive gifts by alum/Nike founder Phil Knight. ... After 40 years, former Syracuse player Joe Ehrmann gets his helmet back. ... And for fans of rarely televised schools, would you ever watch a live game on YouTube?