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Tag:Tom Fornelli
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:22 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 12:33 am
 

Tee Martin joining USC staff as WR coach

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Maybe if this whole football thing doesn't work out for Matt Barkley he can give journalism a try. The USC quarterback broke some news on Wednesday night by tweeting that Tee Martin was joining USC's staff as wide receivers coach.

News that CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman was able to confirm on Wednesday night.

Tee Martin had spent the last two seasons in the same position at Kentucky, though he was also promoted to passing game coordinator before last season. Martin had been a popular target among coaching staffs across the SEC for his ability as a coach and his recruiting ability as well.

Though most college football fans likely remember Martin as the quarterback of the 1998 Tennessee team that won its first national championship in 47 years.

Now, ironically enough, Martin leaves Kentucky, a rival of Tennessee's, to take a job at USC. The same USC that lured Lane Kiffin away from Tennessee. A move that didn't exactly make Kiffin a popular name in Knoxville.

So next time Martin is in Knoxville, he might want to have that championship ring on display for self-defense.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 1:25 pm
 

Gary Patterson's statement on TCU arrests

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While the news of a major drug bust at TCU on Wednesday came as a surprise to all, perhaps nobody was more surprised than TCU head coach Gary Patterson, who released a statement to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday.

"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days," Patterson said. "As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.

"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.

"This situation isn’t unique to TCU -- it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.

"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.

"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved." 

Patterson said he was mad at the beginning of the statement, and you could tell he meant it while reading the rest of it.

Four TCU players were arrested as part of the sting. Those four players were linebacker Tanner Brock, defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey, safety Devin Johnson and offensive tackle Ty Horn.

All but Horn were starters for the Horned Frogs

Obviously, this isn't good news for anybody involved, including the rest of Patterson's football team. Losing three of your starters on defense this way heading into the Big 12 won't do the Horned Frogs any favors on the field, and to make matters worse, this may just be the beginning.

There's no telling where this story is going to end just yet.

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Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:19 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 11:33 am
 

Four TCU players arrested in campus drug sweep



Posted by Chip Patterson and Tom Fornelli

Seventeen TCU students have been arrested as a result of a six-month investigation into drug related activity on campus on Wednesday. According to police and school officials, four of those students are Horned Frog football players.

The four TCU players to be arrested as part of the sting were senior linebacker Tanner Brock, senior defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey, offensive tackle Ty Horn, and senior safety Devin Johnson.

Sources confirmed to CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman that all four players had been dismissed from the team. All but Horn were expected to start for TCU in 2012.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson released a statement through the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Wednesday.

"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days," said Patterson. "As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.

"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.

"This situation isn’t unique to TCU -- it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.

"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.

"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved."

According to TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr., there has never been "a magnitude of student arrests such as this" and all of those found guilty will face immediate expulsion. The chancellor issued an official statement on TCU's website.

"While this news is certainly shocking and disappointing, it is important to remember that TCU has clear expectations for its students: that they behave in an ethical manner, abide by campus policies and adhere to state and federal law," Boschini wrote.

"These students are charged with acting in a manner that is incompatible with TCU values and against the law. That is simply unacceptable and such reported behavior is not tolerated at this University."

According to TCU police, the drugs being sold included marijuana, cocaine, acid, ecstasy, and prescription drugs. Fort Worth police said the investigation is ongoing and that more students could be arrested in the campus wide crackdown.

Arrest warrant affadavits released by police included statements from Brock and Johnson made to undercover officers that indicated widespread drug use on the Horned Frogs team. Regarding a surprise February 1 drug test (reportedly demanded by Patterson after a recruit had told him he would not come to TCU over drug use concerns), Brock estimated "about 60 people" would be "screwed" while Johnson told officers "82 people failed it."

Both TCU officials and (via Twitter) other Horned Frog players vigorously denied Brock's and Johnson's statements.

Check out a video of TCU police chief Steve McGee addressing the arrests in the video below, courtesy of The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram.



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Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:14 pm
 

Roundtable: College football valentines

Posted by Eye on College Football



Occasionally the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron-style to answer a pressing question in the world of college football. Today's query:

It's Valentine's Day, so pick someone or something from college football--person, team, conference, whatever. Who should they be sending a valentine to today, and what does that valentine say?

Bryan FischerI think the athletic directors at Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State should be sending a Valentine to Larry Scott this year. The Pac-12 commissioner unveiled his Pac-12 Network studios just yesterday, and that's appropriate considering the media deals he negotiated were the biggest reason those schools were able to off the sweetheart deals that landed their new coaches. Do you think the Bruins or Huskies could have afforded the assistant salaries before that money started flowing? Or that Wazzu was able to land a coach like Mike Leach? I don't think they do.

I'm guessing their valentine says something to the affect of, "Thank$ Larry for everything, hope you'll be our Valentine for several more years."

Tom Fornelli:  I'm going to say TCU and West Virginia owe Missouri and Texas A&M a valentine this year, one with some expensively-licensed cartoon character saying "Thanks for the sloppy seconds!" If not for those two leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, then both TCU and WVU are stuck in the Big East for 2012 at least--a Big East that's without a clear future at the moment, and seems en route to becoming Conference USA version 2.0.

Instead the Frogs and Mountaineers have joined the Big 12, which is in much better shape than the Big East and will provide far more money for both schools in the long run.

Jerry Hinnen: If I'm Mike Slive, I'm sending out a valentine to Dana Holgorsen -- or maybe Gus Malzahn, or Mike Leach, or Todd Monken -- saying "WILL YOU BE MINE?" festooned with as many hearts (and dollar signs) as it takes to convince them to try their hand (again, in Malzahn's case) in the SEC. There's no doubting the SEC's dominance on the defensive side of the ball or its overall array of talent, but the 2011 season also showed a league in dire need of an infusion of offensive ingenuity, preferably (for variety's sake) out of the spread school. Alabama's yawn-inducing strangulation of LSU in the BCS title game is Exhibit A for the conference's current cloud-of-dust tendencies, but the overall statistical picture is even more damning: six different SEC teams finished in the bottom 25 in the FBS in total offense, with zero finishing in the FBS top 25. (Arkansas ranked highest at 29th.) 

Some of that is good defense; an awful lot of it is terrible offense, too. And it may get worse before it gets better--look at the likes of former offensive juggernauts Florida and Auburn, currently undergoing dramatic offensive regime changes after regressing badly in 2011.

Defense may win championships, but offense often wins TV ratings, as the BCS championship Nielsens will tell you. The SEC's current regular season ratings are fine, of course, but Slive is about to go back to the negotiating table to try and keep his TV contract up with the Joneses of the Big Ten and Pac-12, a table to which he'll want to bring every single positive for his league he can gets his hands on. The SEC will be a-OK with or without the Big 12's reputation for high-flying offensive theatrics, but that doesn't mean Slive -- and a league full of fans likely tiring of watching Tennessee and South Carolina combine for 17 points and barely more than 500 yards in nationally televised prime-time -- wouldn't welcome someone who could shake up the conference's burgeoning reputation for Slugfest-with-a-capital-S football. Kevin Sumlin gets first crack, but we're guessing Slive would prefer he had some high-profile help sooner rather than later.

Chip Patterson: If I'm Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, I'm sending roses, candy, banners, and thankful notes to new head coach Urban Meyer.  Even with an ill-timed bowl ban from the NCAA Committee on Infractions, Meyer has cooled much of the heat on Smith after the fallout surrounding Jim Tressel's departure.  Winning cures all, but hiring a two-time national champion to supposedly guide your program out of the darkness will certainly hold the Buckeye fans over until the bowl ban is lifted.  Meyer hit the recruiting trail hard after his hire, pulling in a top-5 recruiting class despite the sanctions from the NCAA.  

If Smith had whiffed on his hire to replace Tressel, he would find himself under further scrutiny with the additional sanctions.  Meyer is exactly the home run hire Ohio State -- and Gene Smith -- needed.  In fact, a valentine might not be enough.  Maybe Smith should get a tattoo. 

What? Too soon? 

Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:18 am
 

Big 12 schedule finally released

Posted by Tom Fornelli

America, your long wait is over! On Tuesday morning, barely two hours after West Virginia officially joined the conference, the Big 12 finally released its schedule for the 2012 season.

It's everything you could have hoped for. It has games on it, scheduled to be played on certain dates between specific opponents!

There are just too many great games on the docket to go over all of them, but here are the major dates.

- TCU will play its first Big 12 conference game in Lawrence against Kansas on September 15th. Can the Horned Frogs overcome Charlie Weis' decided schematic advantage? We'll find out! TCU's first conference home game will be on October 6th against Iowa State.

- Baylor will be the first Big 12 team to play a conference game in Morgantown, facing West Virginia on September 29th. West Virginia's first road test comes a week later, and will not be easy, as the Mountaineers head to Austin to face Texas on October 6th.

- Oklahoma and Texas will get together for their annual Football Hate And Fried Foods Festival in Dallas on October 13th.

- Oklahoma State will begin it's Big 12 title defense against Texas in Stillwater on September 29th. Five of Oklahoma State's first seven conference games will be at home, but the Cowboys finish the regular season on the road against Oklahoma and Baylor.

- Texas Tech and Iowa State are the only two teams in the conference who won't have a bye week between conference games, playing every weekend from September 29th through November 24th.

- Texas won't be playing anybody on Thanksgiving night, but will play TCU in Austin the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

You can see the entire Big 12 schedule here

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 5:39 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:47 pm
 

Report: Wazzu long snapper Zack Koepp arrested

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The offseason, that wonderful time of year when college football players find themselves with a whole lot of free time, and decide to spend that free time by acting like college kids. Also known as doing dumb stuff and sometimes getting in trouble for it.

The latest player to find himself in this situation would be Washington State long snapper Zach Koepp. According to The Spokesman-Review, Koepp was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with obstructing a public servant.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, it means police were called to the Pi Kappa Alpha frat house at 12:31 am Sunday morning after a complaint that somebody was throwing rocks at the house. When police showed up on the scene, Koepp was there and fled. Unfortunately for Koepp, he's a long snapper and not a more agile wide receiver. Which could explain why he slipped in the mud and hit his head on a metal grate covering a gas meter.

Though police did say that any injuries he suffered weren't believed to be serious. However, it should be pointed out that Koepp suffered a concussion in Washington State's game against Arizona State last season and missed the last two games of the season because of it.

So whether the injury happened in a comical fashion while evading police or not, it is somewhat concerning when a person with a concussion history hits their head on anything.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 3:46 pm
 

MWC and C-USA forming new conference

Posted by Tom Fornelli



CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported on Monday that both the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA would be dissolving to form a new conference starting in the 2013 school season.
The new league – which is yet to be named – is expected to consist of Southern Miss, Marshall, East Carolina, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and Tulane from C-USA and Wyoming, Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawaii from the MWC. Hawaii would be a football-only member, making a 15-team all-sports conference and a 16-team football conference.

Temple also is a possibility as the school was contacted by Conference USA, sources told CBSSports.com, when the Big East last week opted to invited Memphis instead of Temple.
It's a move that has been discussed and speculated for a while now, ever since the conference landscape began shifting so abrubtly last year. Now, however, it's official.

And you can't have an official conference without an official conference name, and as McMurphy pointed out in his story, the conference doesn't have one yet. Which means that its time to make your voice heard in two ways:

1. By heading over to the Eye On College Football page on Facebook and voting for your choice in our poll

2. By leaving the name you've come up with that we should have had in that poll in the comment section of this post. We'll use the best suggestions in another post tomorrow.

Though we can't guarantee that they'll listen to us, by working together, we can do our best to make sure this new conference has the name it deserves ... or at least, a nickname it deserves.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:11 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 3:15 pm
 

Rodney Coe tweets he's not headed to Iowa

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Iowa hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to running backs the last few years. Whether it has been because of injuries or transfers, the turnover rate on Iowa's running back depth chart has been remarkable. So much so that now it seems that the Hawkeyes may be losing running backs before they're even officially members of the program.

Rodney Coe had signed with Iowa as part of its 2011 recruiting class as a 258-pound running back. Coe failed to qualify academically, though, and instead spent the 2011 season at Iowa Western Community College. He also picked up a few pounds, moving from 258 pounds to 270, which means coaches at Iowa and his junior college are thinking a position change is in order for Coe.

Though if you judge by Coe's Twitter timeline on Monday, it's not a position change he seems willing to make.





The Cedar Rapids Gazette's Marc Morehouse believes that running back was never in the cards for Coe at Iowa, which makes you wonder why he chose the Hawkeyes in the first place if that's the case. Was he told he'd be playing running back there? Did Iowa plan on having him play at running back, but after seeing him gain the weight, Iowa changed its mind?

Whatever the case, it seems Coe is set on playing elsewhere now, though it is hard to imagine there are a lot of schools looking to add a 270-pound running back. While he may not want to change positions, he may have to at some point if he wants to continue playing football. 

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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