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Tag:ACC
Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:13 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 12:16 pm
 

QB Danny O'Brien, two others leaving Maryland

Posted by Chip Patterson

Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien has been released from his scholarship and will seek a transfer, the school announced on Monday. O'Brien's exit was announced in an official release along with starting offensive tackle Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson.

“I’m disappointed by Danny’s decision,” head coach Randy Edsall said in the release. “Danny told me that he’s not committed to our program, that he’s not ‘all in.’ I want what’s best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well.”

O'Brien, the 2010 ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, is coming of a rough sophomore season that included temporarily losing the starting job to freshman C.J. Brown. After lighting up opponents under former offensive coordinator James Franklin for 22 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions, O'Brien struggled in the new system. He finished 2011 with 1,648 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Sophomore Max Garcia started all 12 games at left tackle for the Terps, and according to Edsall is transferring closer to his home (Norcross, Ga.) to be near family. Rowson started four games as a redshirt freshman in 2011, and made appearances in 11. Edsall identified Rowson's displeasure as a position issue.

O'Brien's departure hurts the Terps' offense, particularly with the addition of prized recruit Stefon Diggs. Diggs, the nation's No. 14 overall recruit according to MaxPreps, reportedly was hosted by O'Brien on a recent visit to College Park. When the top ranked wide receiver announced his plans to stay home and play for Maryland, fans hoped that would be a good sign for retaining the strong armed quarterback.

Rising sophomore C.J. Brown now will be the top returning quarterback for the Terps. After being primarily a rushing threat in 2011, it will be interesting to see how Diggs and Brown are used by new offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.

Maryland opens spring practice March 10, for all the latest check out the Terrapins RapidReports.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:19 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:53 am
 

Shapiro threatens Miami, ex-players from prison

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, currently serving a 20-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, has managed to stay in the headlines regarding the ongoing NCAA investigation into the Miami football and basketball programs. Shapiro has stayed in contact with numerous media organizations, including the Miami Herald, through email since in his incarceration. On Sunday, the Herald posted some of Shapiro's more aggressive claims from behind bars.

“The public is going to hate me worse in the next coming months,” Shapiro, serving a 20-year sentence for a Ponzi scheme, wrote in numerous e-mails over the past few months. “It’s going to be severe and catastrophic. My feelings are getting inflamed and I’m going to pop off pretty soon with regards to them and the NCAA. I’m coming for them both [UM and former players] and I’m going to be successful.

“I’m taking that program down to Chinatown and the former players and links to that program. Why? Because the U.S. government lined up 47 former players to testify against me in open court if I went to trial. That in itself is motivation to shove it up their collective [butts].”

The Hurricanes have not received a notice of allegations from the NCAA, but chose to self-impose a bowl ban after their 6-6 finish in 2011 in response to the ongoing investigation.

One Miami official told the Herald he expects "one more bowl ban, maybe two at most," with additional scholarship penalties.

Shapiro has been out for revenge against Miami and the former players, feeling betrayed when they did not come to his aid during the legal troubles associated with the Ponzi scheme. Columnist Barry Jackson describes Shapiro as "a man determined to destroy the UM football program." The former booster believes that much more will come to the surface -- beyond what was alleged in the Yahoo! Sports investigation -- and Miami will get "the death penalty or damn close to it."

As the alleged details of Shaprio's involvement with the Miami football program have surfaced, one consistent theme has been his desire for attention. One Miami official told the Miami Herald that they expect if Shapiro were under oath, the school could "punch holes in much of what he says."

Despite the ongoing investigation, head coach Al Golden was able to sign 33 players to the 2012 recruiting class. The Hurricanes finished with the No. 7 class in the CBS Sports National Signing Day Top 25. For more on the Hurricanes' recruiting class, check out Bryan Fischer's ACC Signing Day Grades at the Eye On Recruiting.

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 2:24 pm
 

Fedora responds to Franklin "men of honor" quote

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A controversial Signing Day comment from Vanderbilt coach James Franklin on the topic of decommitments made its way back to new North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who'd had one of his commitments sign instead with Franklin's Commodores. So maybe it's not surprise that Fedora had something pointed to say about Franklin saying the players who had backed out of their Vandy commitments were "not men of honor."

“What does he say about the kids that were committed elsewhere and de-committed from their places to go to his place?" Fedora told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when asked about Franklin's statement. "That’s my comment. What is his comment on those people? He’s got someone in his recruiting class that did that very thing. He’s saying those guys are not men of honor? Basically, he’s saying he has got kids in his own recruiting class that are not men of honor."

"He said that," Fedora clarified, "and I didn’t.”

Fedora wasn't the only coach to speak on the record to the AJC about Franklin's comments -- Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and USC's Lane Kiffin each expressed disagreement in milder terms -- but the cutting edge to Fedora's complaint likely stems from the defection of Maryville (Tenn.) quarterback Patton Robinette, who was already attending orientation events at UNC before ultimately joining the Commodores instead.

To his credit, Franklin didn't shy away from the apparent hypocrisy of his comments, not disagreeing when asked if they amounted to a "double standard":

“I think you get frustrated, and you get upset because kids commit to you. But you’re exactly right. It was like the year before, when we got in here at the last minute and only had a month left for recruiting, we got kids to de-commit to us. I think that’s a very, very valid point.”

Franklin declined to address Fedora's comments specifically, saying he would only discuss "what we do here [at Vandy]." But he did also backtrack from his original "not men of honor" statement:

“I think I probably would’ve worded some things differently ... I have great respect for all the young men that committed to us. I have great respect for some of the men that changed their minds and went in another direction. They thought it was in the best interest for them and their family. But it hurts when you lose a guy when you’ve been recruiting him for a year.”

As "frustrated" as Franklin may have been, and as badly as losing a recruit may "hurt," it's still poor form for a head coach to criticize the decisions of a 17- or 18-year-old. (It also won't do anything for Franklin's already growing reputation as a coach whose emotions can sometimes get the better of him.) Kudos to Franklin for admitting the critics may have a "valid point"--but equal kudos to Fedora for being willing to point out why those comments shouldn't have been said in the first place. 

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 1:44 am
Edited on: February 10, 2012 1:44 am
 

NCAA grants Pitt guard Chris Jacobson sixth year

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's a rare occurrence for a player to be granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. The association, however, seems to be in a giving mood.

Pittsburgh guard Chris Jacobson was the latest beneficiary as athletic director Steve Pederson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the senior will return next season after the NCAA awarded him a sixth year of eligibility.

Jacobson had started 17 straight games for the Panthers before suffering a season-ending injury to his left knee against Iowa last season. The lineman missed his entire freshman year in 2007 as a result of another season-ending injury.

Pitt is returning 15 starters from last season's 6-7 squad and will surely enjoy the boost from having Jacobson back with first year head coach Paul Chyrst taking over.

The Panthers open the 2012 season at home on September 1 against Youngstown State.

Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:31 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 6:47 pm
 

NCAA rules committee proposes new changes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Following a regular meeting this week, the NCAA Football Rules Committee has recommended several rules proposals aimed at enhancing player safety for the upcoming season.
Changes are normally on a two-year cycle but the emphasis on safety was strong enough that the changes are proposed for immediate implementation in 2012.

“In all of our proposals, we are continuing the annual effort to find ways to make our game safer where we can,” said committee chair Scot Dapp. “Without question, these changes will enhance student-athlete safety and we feel very comfortable based on the data we collected that the impact will be significant.”

Proposed changes include:

  • The committee voted to move the kickoff back five yards to the 35-yard line and require that kicking team must be no further than five yards back to limit running starts. Another change was to move the touchback on kicks and safety punts to the 25-yard line to encourage more touchbacks.
  • Another recommendation is if a player loses his helmet other than as the result of a facemask, it will be treated like an injury and the player must leave the game and is not allowed to participate for the next play. Also, the player must not continue to participate in play to protect him from injury.
  • To clarify blocking below the waist rules, the committee approved wording that allows offensive players in the tackle box at the snap to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions. 
  • The committee proposed a rule similar to the leaping rule on place kicks that does not allow the receiving team on punts to jump over blockers, unless the player jumps straight up or between two players.
According to the NCAA website, the recommendations must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which has a teleconference scheduled for later this month.

Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:51 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 7:57 pm
 

Texas A&M adds Louisiana Tech as 2012 opener

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Texas A&M's move to the SEC has forced a few alterations to their 2012 schedule and it appears the Aggies are going about changing it in a very un-SEC fashion: scheduling harder.

Instead of opening the upcoming season with McNeese State, A&M will now be headed to Shreveport, La. to take on Louisiana Tech, Aggies athletic director Bill Byrne wrote on his blog Wednesday.
"We’re trying to have no more than one Div. 1-AA or FCS team on our schedule, but we may end up having to schedule two. Making this switch was the only way to work it out with Louisiana Tech. It was reported earlier this week that I had conversations with Florida State about being a part of our schedule. They needed a game after West Virginiadropped from their schedule. We tried to make it work, but couldn’t.

Our options were limited due to conference realignment. We expect the scheduling process to go much smoother in the future."

The Bulldogs will likely be the favorite in the WAC as they return 16 starters from a successful 2011 season that saw the program win the conference and narrowly lose to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. The opener for both teams will also move to Thursday, August 30 and Louisiana Tech will return to Kyle Field in 2016. A $200,000 buyout will be paid to McNeese State to get out of the contract.

Because of conference realignment, the school had been looking for two non-conference games and still have an open spot for the weekend of November 17. Texas A&M's home opener will double as their SEC introduction on September 8, when they host Florida. Byrne also remarked that there was no update regarding the location of the game with Arkansas, which had previously been a non-conference tilt at Cowboys Stadium but was expected to be changed to a home-and-home between the two schools. A&M will also host South Carolina State on September 22nd.

The Aggies will officially join the SEC on July 1, 2012 after wrapping up play in the Big 12 with a 7-6 season in 2011 that was capped with a win in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

Want more Texas A&M football? Follow our CBSSports.com RapidReports for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. 

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:23 pm
 

Report: Terps QB O'Brien considering transfer

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The exodus of players out of Maryland's football program may cost the Terps their biggest loss yet: quarterback Danny O'Brien.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that O'Brien is "seriously considering" a transfer out of Randy Edsall's struggling program, and "will spend the weekend deciding with his family" whether to leave the Terps or not. A school spokesman said could not “confirm or deny” O'Brien's intention to transfer.

Reports from earlier Wednesday suggested that O'Brien had already decided on his departure, but O'Brien took to Twitter himself to call those reports premature:



O'Brien would be the most high-profile casualty of the Terps' disastrous 2-10 2011 campaign yet. Though he struggled with injuries and accuracy in 2011, eventually being benched for backup C.J. Brown, O'Brien was named the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year after having thrown for 2,438 yards and a 22-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Despite the expected spring camp battle against Brown, O'Brien would represent the Terps' most experienced and possibly highest-ceilinged option.

Then there's the numbers: per the Post, an O'Brien departure make 11 Terps who had left the team with eligibility remaining since the end of the season, and an incredible 23 since Edsall was hired in January of 2011.

For the 2011 season, Brown completed 49 percent of his passes for 5.1 yards an attempt with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Those aren't impressive numbers by any means, but if O'Brien does head for the exits, Edsall won't appear to have much choice other than to put his faith in him and hope for dramatic improvement.

And it has to be said--with or without O'Brien, the way the Maryland program seems to be going, that's also all Terp fans (and administrators) can do with Edsall after the rockiest Year 1 in recent FBS memory.

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 5:24 pm
 

State rep. wants Gamecocks-Tigers required by law

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With every signal coming out of SEC HQ indicating the league is highly unlikely to follow the ACC's lead and pursue a nine-game league schedule, the 116-year intra-state rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson isn't in any immediate danger of being interrupted by the league's recent expansions. But one Palmetto State legislator has decided he'd rather not take any chances.

South Carolina state representative Nathan Ballentine has proposed that state law require the Gamecocks and Tigers to meet each year on the gridiron, continuing the nation's second-longest continuously played college football rivalry. The proposal will be examined by House lawmakers Wednesday, the State reports.

"I had a constituent bring it up to me, asking whether it was state law that these two teams play. It's not," said Ballentine, a South Carolina graduate from Lexington, S.C. "With all the conference realignment, we just wanted to make sure this annual game continues ... You saw Texas and Texas A&M ... No one wants to see that happen here to our two universities where families enjoy the annual game, and it's great for our economy."

Remarkably, the series has apparently been saved once already by state congressional fiat--according to Ballentine, no game was scheduled between the two teams in 1952 until the legislature stepped in.

But that's not argument enough for officials at either school, who agreed that the legislature's intervention at this stage is unnecessary. 

"Clemson would prefer to not have to legislate this issue," Tiger athletic director Terry Don Phillips said, "as I cannot conceive of a realistic scenario that would prohibit Clemson and South Carolina from continuing our football series."

Which makes us wonder--was this all a grand plot on Ballentine's part to prove to the two schools that they can agree on something? After the epic war of (misattributed) words between Dabo Swinney and (not actually) Steve Spurrier following this year's Gamecock beatdown, could the two programs have needed the reminder not to travel down the road of public in-fighting and back-biting that poisoned the rivalry between the Aggies and 'Horns?

To answer those questions: no, it wasn't, and no, they didn't. But as college football fans, we can understand Rep. Ballentine wanting to play it safe all the same.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com