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  • Kentucky powers-that-be supporting coach of losing program

    Oct. 26, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky president Lee Todd and athletic director Mitch Barnhart expressed their support Tuesday for football coach Rich Brooks, whose team is guaranteed its second straight losing season.

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    "We've got the coach we want," Barnhart said Tuesday, following a meeting of the university's board of trustees. "We're not in the market for a coach."

    The Wildcats are 1-6 heading into Saturday's Southeastern Conference game against Mississippi State.

    Reports last week on two national sports websites said Brooks, who is 5-14 in two seasons at Kentucky, planned to resign at the end of the season.

    "I'm not quitting," Brooks said Saturday and again Monday.

    "People have self-serving interests and make things up," Barnhart said Tuesday. He added that college athletics "has become a business of rumor and innuendo. It's so important that our athletes and our coaches and our staffs stay focused on what their task is. That's harder than ever to do."

    Barnhart said in the college ranks, coaches used to be allowed four to seven years to turn around a program, then noted that Florida fired Ron Zook on Monday after less than three years on the job.

    "I'm not a part of that decision-making and I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm just saying the time frames have changed," Barnhart said. "I'm not sure if that's good for college athletics, but that's reality."

    Todd said that Brooks was hired under difficult circumstances and has been forced to deal with the aftermath of NCAA sanctions that took away 19 scholarships from Kentucky during a three-year period. Todd said he was encouraged by the performance of the young players Brooks and his staff have recruited.

    "I'm as big a football fan as anybody, and I want to see this program get back in a winning tradition, and I know that both Mitch and Coach Brooks want to as well," Todd said.

    Asked if he was categorically behind Brooks, Todd said, "I am."

    Todd said rumors typically swirl around a losing program.

    "Any time you lose football games, I think you're going to have that kind of discussion," Todd said.

    Brooks has three years remaining on a five-year contract that pays him $750,000 a year.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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  • DJRamFan
    Holtz isn't worried about future just yet
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 15, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- What's Lou Holtz going to do next? Depends if the White House calls.

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    "I see Secretary of State's open," the 67-year-old South Carolina coach said Monday.

    Don't expect Holtz to succeed Colin Powell. But the question that's consumed South Carolina fans the past few weeks remains: Will Holtz return for a seventh season?

    "This is not a good time to talk about it, it really isn't," Holtz said. "It's just not a good time."

    Holtz said all his focus and energy is on helping the Game****s (6-4) beat Clemson (5-5) and not on what's ahead.

    Speculation of Holtz's future has come up about this time in each of his six years at South Carolina. He has generally waited until after the season to give a thumbs up to supporters.

    The past few weeks, though, have vexed even the staunchest backer trying to figure out what's next.

    Holtz has said he was tired and worn out from the season. He continually makes references to "whoever is the coach next year" when questioned about his future. Complicating matters are reports this month that a school representative talked to former Florida coach Steve Spurrier about returning to college football.

    And just when Holtz sounds as good as gone, he'll throw out a line like, "Don't bury me yet," or "There's no opening at South Carolina."

    Holtz is signed through 2008. However, a clause in his deal lets him or the university get out of the agreement with five days notice.

    Game****s defensive end George Gause said Holtz hasn't told the players anything about next season. "It's his decision and whatever happens, happens. We just have to go along with it," Gause said.

    South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee has steadily refused to talk about Holtz's return.

    It's understandable that Holtz wants the focus on the game ahead this week. Last year, the Game****s, needing a victory at home against Clemson to reach a bowl, instead were blasted 63-17. Holtz vowed after the game such a debacle would not happen again.

    Holtz said it wouldn't have been fair for him to leave last season -- and leave the program in such a funk. This year, he says, the Game****s are on more solid footing and should be strong for the next few seasons.

    For now, Holtz is trying to cut off the talk about him and make sure his team is pointed at Clemson.

    "I don't want to go down that road because there's only one thing on my mind right now and only one thing important in this world right now and that's Clemson, for our seniors and our football team," Holtz said. "And I don't want to get into anything else."
    ...
    -11-16-2004, 07:46 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Northwestern coach hospitalized with heart inflammation
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 26, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Wildcats coach Randy Walker has an inflammation of the heart muscle and was hospitalized for a second day Tuesday. He could be released as early as Wednesday.

    "I'm doing much better than I was 24 hours ago," Walker said Tuesday. "I was in a lot of pain initially, but for the most part, that has completely subsided. Yesterday afternoon was definitely a little shaky."

    Walker checked himself into Evanston Northwestern Hospital on Monday after experiencing chest pains before his weekly news conference. Tests showed the 50-year-old's heart is fine, but they also revealed the inflammation, known as myocarditis.

    Doctors are still trying to determine what caused the disease, school spokesman Mike Wolf said. Myocarditis is not a common ailment, and it's usually caused by a virus. According to the American Heart Association, treatment can include anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.

    Northwestern (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) hosts No. 17 Purdue on Saturday, and Walker said he doesn't know yet if he'll be on the sidelines. He knows he will have to limit his activity somewhat, but doctors haven't said how much.

    Walker said the team's game plan for Purdue was already in place when he was hospitalized. Jerry Brown, Northwestern's assistant head coach, has taken over most of the administrative duties in Walker's absence, while coordinators Mike Dunbar (offense) and Greg Colby (defense) are handling things on-field.

    "Needless to say, I'm anxious to get back to coaching football," Walker said. "I understand the importance of preparing a football team for a game each week, but I also value my health and well-being. I have a strong feeling that my wife, Tammy, will make sure I'm following the doctors' orders."

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -10-27-2004, 11:20 AM
  • DJRamFan
    South Carolina draws ire of BCA
    by DJRamFan
    Dec 8, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Black Coaches Association wants prospective football recruits and assistant coaches to stay away from South Carolina because the school ignored the group's recommendation for a more open coaching search.

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    The group's director, Floyd Keith, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that South Carolina never contacted the BCA. The group sent the school search guidelines before Steve Spurrier was hired to replace Lou Holtz last month.

    "There was an announcement and a hire," Keith said. "That was so fast that a jackrabbit couldn't have had a family between all that."

    Three of the five black college coaches -- Notre Dame's Tyrone Willingham, New Mexico State's Tony Samuel and San Jose State's Fitz Hill -- won't be back with their schools next season.

    The BCA first announced its plans regarding South Carolina in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

    South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee said the mission of the BCA is important to college football. However, he said administrators faced a brief time frame to land someone as prominent as Spurrier.

    Keith said South Carolina administrators should have shown the same consideration he's seeing from other schools with openings.

    One athletic director, Keith said, visited his Indianapolis office to discuss its search. University of Mississippi chancellor Robert Khayat has said administrators are working closely with Keith's group as it looks to replace David Cutcliffe.

    Keith said his group hasn't gotten a response from the Game**** athletic department since Spurrier was brought on board.

    "In my opinion and in the opinion of my association, what this says to us is they don't care," Keith said. "We want athletes and parents of color to start taking stock in the process that institutions take in choosing coaches."

    Keith had nothing but praise for Spurrier.

    "It's not about him," Keith said. "This is about the process."

    McGee said in a statement there were "unusual and extraordinary circumstances that we faced" when Holtz decided with several weeks left in the season to step down.

    "We had the opportunity to replace an accomplished and national championship coach with another," McGee said. "The window for that to occur was clearly uncertain. It certainly was not the normal type of coaching transition that an institution faces."

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -12-08-2004, 05:35 PM
  • DJRamFan
    McBride takes over coaching position at Weber St.
    by DJRamFan
    Dec 8, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    OGDEN, Utah -- Former Utah coach Ron McBride is taking over as the coach Weber State.

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    The 65-year-old McBride was introduced as coach of the Wildcats on Wednesday after two seasons as an assistant at Kentucky.

    "This is a dream come true for me," McBride said. "I love the state of Utah and have missed being here. This is the job I want and Weber State is an ideal situation for me."

    WSU athletic director William J. Weidner said McBride is a proven winner who brings 40 years of coaching experience to the job.

    "Coach McBride possesses all of the qualities that one would look for in a successful head football coach," Weidner said.

    McBride was hired at Utah in 1990 and spent 13 seasons with the Utes before being fired after the 2002 season and replaced by Urban Meyer.

    McBride went 88-63 with Utah and led the Utes to six bowl games.

    McBride replaces Jerry Graybeal, who resigned last month after a 1-10 season, the worst in school history.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -12-10-2004, 08:46 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Oregon placed on two-year probation
    by DJRamFan
    June 23, 2004
    AP

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) An Oregon assistant football coach violated NCAA recruiting rules when he tried to lure a junior college transfer to the school in January 2003, resulting in a two-year probation for the school.

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    The Pacific-10 school remains eligible for postseason play and does not lose any scholarships, NCAA spokeswoman Kay Hawes said Wednesday.

    The case centers on a "series of impermissible" contacts by the assistant and a national letter of intent that had a forged signature, the NCAA said. The athlete involved was not identified and does not attend Oregon.

    The assistant, Gary Campbell, was suspended without pay for one week during the last school year, and he was not allowed to recruit until January. The university also restricted the number of coaches allowed off campus to recruit last season.

    "We're trying to win the right way and we're not going to cheat," Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti said. "I feel very bad about this because it happened under my watch."

    The case was resolved without a formal hearing. The NCAA's governing body agreed with the university's proposed penalties and did not impose additional sanctions.

    "The violation was self-discovered here in the program, it was self-reported. We cooperated fully with both the Pac-10 and NCAA," said Bill Moos, Oregon's athletic director. "We're very proud of the fact we have not had a major NCAA violation in, I believe, 20 years. So we take this very seriously."

    In details disclosed by the NCAA, the university and the assistant coach, Campbell visited the prospect in his hometown on Jan. 15, 2003. The recruit was undecided about going to Oregon or Cal-Berkeley.

    After a visit with the recruit at his home that night, the assistant went back to his hotel and called the player back twice to ask if he had signed a letter of intent, the NCAA said.

    During the second call, the player said he decided on Cal, but the assistant tried to persuade the prospect to attend Oregon, "assuring him that if he changed his mind later, the assistant coach would destroy the (national letter of intent)," the NCAA said.

    Campbell also reminded the player to write that the letter was signed before midnight, the deadline for junior college transfers, according to the NCAA.

    The assistant agreed to meet the player, who was by then at a hotel to catch an early flight back to his junior college. Meeting a second time violated NCAA rules limiting contact between prospects and recruiters to once a week

    When the assistant arrived at the hotel, the player signed the letter of intent, forged his father's signature and added falsely that the letter was signed at 9:36 p.m., Jan. 15, the NCAA...
    -06-28-2004, 12:42 PM
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