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  • Big 12 commissioner has doubts about full season
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 9, 2020

    One day after Alabama head coach Nick Saban called for contingency plans for a late-starting college football season, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby shared deep concerns about the likelihood of a full season being played during the coronavirus pandemic.

    • "We don't know when somebody is going to tell us it's going to be OK to go back to close contact," Bowlsby told ESPN. "I suspect that medical experts and scientists are going to be slow to give the green light on that. The magic start date is probably a mirage. It may be different in some high-density populations and areas than it is in more remote areas. It could be certain parts of the country and not other parts of the country. I don't think there's just going to be a day when we turn it all on again. There has to be a reacclimation period because athletes aren't training at the same level they had been accustomed to."

      The Big 12 has closed facilities, and meetings are limited to teleconference and video conference between coaches and players.

      Bowlsby said he is participating in active, daily discussions with Power 5 conference commissioners, and they will be synchronized in their goal for the season based on advice from health experts and the realities of social distancing.

      Some experts have estimated the pandemic will impact large gatherings into the early stages of fall. The college football season is scheduled to begin the last week of August.

      Revenue shortfalls already have become a reality.

      Iowa State coaches agreed to reduced salaries and are passing on bonuses. The conference lost $6.6 million, Bowlsby said, in expected revenue when the men's conference basketball tournament was called off on March 12. Total projected losses are in the range of $18 million to $20 million.

      "Virtually every program is highly reliant on football revenue," Bowlsby told ESPN. "We're making lots of contingency plans, but if you don't get the anticipated number of games in, you lose the donations, you lose the sponsorships, you lose the gate receipts and you lose the TV. It's potentially very impactful.

      "If it was just something that was unique to athletics, it would be different, but universities are giving back board and room charges, and they're refunding tuition and they're doing things, canceling summer school and doing things that have previously generated cash flow. They're not able to do anything really to help the athletics programs very much."

      Saban said he hopes dollars don't overtake common sense and expert advice when it comes to returning to action.

      "These are very challenging times," Saban said. "We've never had to deal with anything like this before at least in my lifetime, and there is a global effort to slow the spread of this virus and all of us have to be responsible in the decisions that we make based on what our responsibility is to do just that."

      --Field Level Media

  • Saban's new skill: using email
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    With the Alabama football program reduced to online interaction amid the coronavirus pandemic, Nick Saban is becoming more tech literate.

    • The Crimson Tide head coach just set up his first email account, he told ESPN's Maria Taylor in an Instagram Live interview on Wednesday.

      "I've come a long way," Saban said. "It was hard to communicate when you have to be by yourself and you always depend on somebody else to get your emails and messages and all that. They were sending them all to Miss Terry (Saban's wife), and she fired me. She said, 'I'm not dealing with your stuff anymore,' and so I had to do it on my own."

      Saban still isn't totally caught up when it comes to electronic communication, however. He said he still doesn't use text messages.

      "Calling me is about as far as it goes on the text part of it," the 68-year-old coach said. "But I can actually get an email now and read what somebody -- I mean, I've really come a long way."

      Saban, a six-time national champion as a head coach, said his players and assistant coaches have maintained contact during the pandemic thanks to Zoom meetings.

      "They've been great," he said. "Maybe the whole idea that there's not a whole lot else you can do because of social distancing, people trying to stay at home as much as possible, all the other sort of health parameters that we've been given. ... Maybe this is something they look forward to, because there's not a whole lot to do.

      "I think being able to stay focused on what you can control right now rather than getting bored or sort of losing focus because of this circumstance -- you either control the circumstance, or the circumstance controls you. So we're trying to control the circumstance the best we can."

      Alabama finished 11-2 and ranked No. 8 in the nation last season after beating Michigan 35-16 in the Citrus Bowl. The Crimson Tide failed to reach the national championship game for the first time in five years.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mississippi State DT Lovett draws a crowd in transfer portal
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    Defensive tackle Fabien Lovett has become Mr. Popular since entering the transfer portal to exit Mississippi State's program.

    • Lovett is leaving after head coach Mike Leach posted an image of a noose. Several players posted critical responses to the tweet.

      But things have been largely positive for Lovett of late. He's heard from Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Oregon and ... Ole Miss, he told 24/7Sports.

      "Man, my phone has been on fire," Lovett said.

      Lovett is from Olive Branch, Miss., and played in 11 games last season as a freshman. He told 24/7 the way his next coach interacts with players is near the top of his list of what he needs at his future football home.

      On April 1, Leach tweeted a meme containing an image of a noose, and the school's athletic director criticized Leach on Tuesday.

      In his first public comments since Leach put out the tweet, AD John Cohen laid out a plan that would allow the coach to "expand his cultural awareness of Mississippi."

      Multiple members of the Bulldogs team posted negative responses to Leach's tweet, which showed a woman knitting a noose, accompanied by the caption, "After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf"

      On April 2, Leach deleted the tweet and wrote, "I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive. I had no intention of offending anyone."

      Cohen said in a statement on Tuesday, "No matter the context, for many Americans the image of a noose is never appropriate and that's particularly true in the South and in Mississippi. Mississippi State University was disappointed in the use of such an image in a tweet by Coach Mike Leach.

      "The university is confident that Coach Leach is moving quickly and sincerely past this unintended misstep and will provide the leadership for our student-athletes and excitement for our football program that our fans deserve and that our students and alumni will be proud to support."

      Cohen instructed Leach to tour the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, both in Jackson, after restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic are lifted. The coach also was ordered to have "listening sessions" with students, alumni and community groups.

      --Field Level Media

  • Oklahoma State dispels Gundy's May 1 return target date
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy shared his desire to get back to business by May 1. University officials quickly shook him off.

    • Gundy said Tuesday on a conference call that he wants football staff and his team back to work by the start of next month.

      "May 1 seems a little ambitious," Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder said in a statement.

      Oklahoma State University released a more direct statement in response to Gundy's plan.

      "We will adhere to the advice of public health experts who are making informed decisions in the best interest of the citizens of our nation and state based on sound scientific data," the university statement said. "We will also abide by the federal and state mandates as well as Big 12 guidelines. We will not compromise the health and well-being of our campus community. This virus is deadly and we will do our part at Oklahoma State to help blunt the spread."

      Gundy said during the teleconference, which included an opening monologue stretching to almost 20 minutes, that his date "might get pushed back." He said players who contract the coronavirus would be quarantined just like Oklahoma State does with players who have the flu.

      "We get people that get the flu during the season, we quarantine them, we treat them, we make sure they're healthy, we bring 'em back," Gundy said. "It would be the same thing here, but at some point, we've got to go back to work. We've got to get these guys back in here. ...

      "From what I read, the healthy people can fight this, the antibodies make it better. They're doing some blood transplants now with the people that have already gotten the disease, that have gotten over it that have the antibodies that can fight it. There's a lot of people who can figure this out. May 1's our goal. Don't know if it will happen. Players will come in after that."

      The Big 12 announced on March 29 that it was closing down all organized sports team activities, including workouts and practices, through the end of May.

      --Field Level Media

  • Virginia Tech AD: 'Open to shifting football season'
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 8, 2020

    Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock said college football could move back its full schedule to focus on getting in the entire 2020 season.

    • Babcock, in agreement with Ross Bjork, his counterpart at Texas A&M, said the focus for college football should not be on rushing to return for Week 1, but on delaying the start for safety and in consideration to playing an entire season.

      "Everyone wants to try to play a football season if it's safe," Babcock told the Richmond Times-Dispatch's Mike Barber. "We would be open to shifting the season, even if it overlapped with other sports."

      The comments are in contrast to the voices of popular coaches at Clemson and Oklahoma State and their statements made amid the coronavirus pandemic.

      Dabo Swinney said he has no doubt the season will start on time. Clemson is scheduled to play at Georgia Tech on Sept. 3.

      Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said on Tuesday he wants his office and team back together by May 1.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mississippi State AD 'disappointed' in Leach over tweet
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    Six days after new Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach tweeted a meme containing an image of a noose, the school's athletic director criticized Leach on Tuesday.

    • In his first public comments since Leach put out the tweet, AD John Cohen laid out a plan that would allow the coach to "expand his cultural awareness of Mississippi."

      Multiple members of the Bulldogs team posted negative responses to Leach's tweet, which showed a woman knitting a noose, accompanied by the caption, "After 2 weeks of quarantine with her husband, Gertrude decided to knit him a scarf"

      On Thursday, Leach deleted the tweet and wrote, "I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive. I had no intention of offending anyone."

      Cohen said in a statement on Tuesday, "No matter the context, for many Americans the image of a noose is never appropriate and that's particularly true in the South and in Mississippi. Mississippi State University was disappointed in the use of such an image in a tweet by Coach Mike Leach.

      "The university is confident that Coach Leach is moving quickly and sincerely past this unintended misstep and will provide the leadership for our student-athletes and excitement for our football program that our fans deserve and that our students and alumni will be proud to support."

      Cohen instructed Leach to tour the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, both in Jackson, after restrictions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic are lifted. The coach also was ordered to have "listening sessions" with students, alumni and community groups.

      Mississippi State defensive lineman Fabien Lovett entered the transfer portal on Saturday, with his father telling the (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger that the reason was Leach's tweet. Offensive lineman Brevyn Jones announced Monday that he is transferring from the school, though his reasons were unknown.

      According to the NAACP's History of Lynchings website, between 1882 and 1968, Mississippi had 581 lynchings, the highest total of any state. Of the total of 4,743 lynchings in the United States, 72.7 percent of the victims were black people, and 79 percent of the incidents occurred in the South.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Cal TE Moore enters transfer portal
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    California tight end Collin Moore will enter the NCAA transfer portal, reported.

    • Moore would be a graduate transfer with one year of eligibility remaining.

      The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Moore played in 14 games for the Bears, 13 of them last season. In his career, he has two catches for 11 yards and scored his only touchdown in Cal's 35-20 win over Illinois in the Redbox Bowl last Dec. 30.

      He played at Marin High School, located 30 miles north of San Francisco in Novato, Calif.

      --Field Level Media

  • Notre Dame AD Swarbrick wants football fans in stands
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, April 7, 2020

    Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Tuesday that whenever college football begins play, he wants to see fans in the stands.

    • "I don't see a model where we play, at least any extended number of games, in facilities where we don't have fans," Swarbrick said on ESPN. "College football is about the cheerleaders and the band and the campus environment on game day. We're interested in solutions that allow us to have a traditional game-day experience."

      The NCAA put a halt to all spring sports in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, and college football programs later stopped spring practices.

      ESPN said some conferences and college administrators are discussing a variety of scenarios in case the season can't start as scheduled in late August, which includes doing away wtih some nonconference games or playing into next year.

      And while some pro sports leagues are pondering resuming, or starting the seasons, in empty venues, Swarbrick said that isn't sustainable for college football.

      "There might be a middle ground where you say, the first two games of the season, you might have to make some accommodations," he told ESPN. "Maybe you only have students in attendance and you don't invite other fans. I couldn't see us going past a very limited example of that."

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Two ex-Huskers expelled for alleged sexual misconduct
    By Field Level Media / Monday, April 6, 2020

    Two former Nebraska football players were expelled from the school effective Friday after they were ruled to have violated the university's policy against sexual misconduct, reported Monday.

    • A university board of conduct barred the students, according to a March 25 letter that reportedly saw. The website added that a school spokeswoman confirmed that the students involved were Katerian LeGrone and Andre Hunt, both redshirt freshmen.

      LeGrone, a tight end, and Hunt, a wide receiver, were suspended by the Cornhuskers football team in late August and were no longer listed as being members of the team in December. Both players were facing a recommended 2 1/2-year suspension from the university after a school investigation, and both had entered the NCAA's transfer portal.

      Per ESPN, the university report concluded that there was "evidence to suggest" both players sexually assaulted a female student on Aug. 25. LeGrone and Hunt were charged by the Lincoln Police Department with first-degree sexual assault.

      Carlos Monzon, an attorney for Hunt, told ESPN on Monday that Hunt was "already at a different university and he's playing," although the lawyer wouldn't name the school.

      LeGrone is living with family and "exploring his options," his attorneys told ESPN.

      Both men will plead not guilty to the charges, according to their lawyers. Per ESPN, a hearing in Hunt's case is slated for April and a hearing in LeGrone's case is due to be held in June, but it's possible the coronavirus pandemic will affect the court's schedule.

      LeGrone saw a bit of action with the Cornhuskers in 2018, making one catch for 8 yards. Hunt did not record any statistics with Nebraska.

      --Field Level Media

  • Clemson favored to win CFP national title
    By Field Level Media / Monday, April 6, 2020

    Clemson is the favorite to win the 2021 College Football Playoff in January.

    • DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook installed the Tigers as favorites over Alabama and Ohio State, while FanDuel's latest odds for the championship also put the Tigers on top at 2-1 odds. Ohio State (4-1), Alabama (5-1), Georgia (10-1) and Florida and LSU each at 16-1 are the next closest to Clemson in FanDuel's breakdown.

      The five-time defending Atlantic Coast Conference champions lost the 2020 national title game to the LSU Tigers, who lost Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow, top receiver Justin Jefferson and many defensive standouts -- including pass rusher K'Lavon Chaisson and cornerback Kristian Fulton -- to the NFL draft.

      Caesars has Clemson's win total pegged at 11.5 for 2020. The Tigers are 43-2 overall the past five seasons. Ohio State is at 11, Alabama 10.5 and Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma at 10.

      Alabama is the universal favorite over LSU in the Southeastern Conference despite the loss of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who also entered the draft.

      According to Caesars, Ohio State would be favored over Clemson in a head-to-head game played at a neutral site this season. However, Clemson's perceived cakewalk ACC schedule has the Tigers as the prevailing favorite for the title.

      William Hill Sportsbook made Clemson an 11-5 favorite. Ohio State is 4-1 and Alabama is 9-2.

      William Hill lists LSU at 25-1 odds, even with Auburn and Oregon.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Colorado QB Noyer withdraws from transfer portal
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 4, 2020

    Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer withdrew from the transfer portal, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.

    • Noyer, who was moved to safety for his junior season in 2019, had announced his intention to leave the Buffaloes earlier this offseason.

      Instead, he will join the competition to replace departed three-year starter Stephen Montez.

      Noyer played in nine games at quarterback during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, completing 21 of 41 passes for 179 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

      After moving to the other side of the ball, he appeared in 10 games last season, mostly on special teams.

      The 6-foot-4 Noyer was a three-star member of Colorado's 2016 recruiting class, ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in Oregon and the No. 22 dual-threat quarterback in the country.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mississippi State DT enters transfer portal after Leach tweet
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, April 4, 2020

    A Mississippi State defensive tackle entered the transfer portal Friday, one day after a controversial tweet by new Bulldogs coach Mike Leach.

    • Fabien Lovett, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound redshirt sophomore, had 19 tackles and one sack in 2019 and has three years of eligibility remaining.

      Lovett declared his intentions to transfer on Twitter, but did not specify whether it was related to Leach's since-deleted tweet of a meme that featured a woman knitting a noose for her husband during a coronavirus quarantine.

      Lovett responded to Leach's tweet with "wtf" on his Twitter account.

      Leach, who was hired in January, removed the tweet Thursday night and later issued an apology.

      "I sincerely regret if my choice of images in my tweets were found offensive," he wrote. "I had no intention of offending anyone."

      Rated as a three-star recruit in the 2018 recruiting class by the 247Sports composite, Lovett chose the Bulldogs over offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida, Memphis and Southern Miss.

      --Field Level Media

  • Clemson coach Swinney: 'Zero doubt' season starts on time
    By Field Level Media / Friday, April 3, 2020

    Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney voiced supreme confidence the 2020 college football season would start on time amid rolling uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

    • So confident is Swinney that his team's current T-I-G-E-R-S acronym is the uber-positive spin of "This Is Going To End Real Soon."

      Swinney said he anticipates football players reporting to fall camp in August as scheduled. The Tigers are scheduled to begin the season Sept. 3 in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.

      "My preference is let's get to work and go play," Swinney told ESPN. "That's the best-case scenario, and I think that's what's going to happen. I don't have any doubt. I have zero doubt that we're going to be playing and the stands are going to be packed."

      The Tigers went 14-1 last season, losing to LSU in the College Football Playoff national title game on Jan. 13.

      Sports stopped almost collectively on March 12. That's the day after the NBA suspended its season and the day the NHL followed suit. The NCAA Tournament was canceled that day, too, and all college spring sports seasons since have been called off.

      "That's just my mindset. I've got one plan, and that's to get the Tigers ready to play in late August, early September," Swinney said. "I'll leave it to the smart people to figure out the doomsday scenarios. We've got one scenario, and that's to run down that hill and kick it off in the valley."

      Swinney previously posted a video to Clemson players and staff on the athletic department website advising all to focus on safety.

      "Safety is first and foremost. All you can do is let the powers that be make the decisions, and you go with it," he said in the video last month.

      The latest message is also a shift in tenor from the March video in which Swinney, who is devoutly religious, admitted uncertainty.

      "I'm very hopeful that we will be back at it, rolling, but who knows," he said. "There's certainly concern, but instead of being concerned, I'm just being faithful."

      --Field Level Media

  • North Dakota State LB Cox transferring to LSU
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 2, 2020

    North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox will play for LSU next season as a graduate transfer.

    • "Here we Geaux!!" he tweeted on Thursday, along with an image of himself in a Tigers uniform.

      The 6-foot-3, 229-pound Cox, who won three straight Football Championship Subdivision national championships with the Bisons, joins the defending Football Bowl Subdivision national champs.

      He tallied 92 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks with one interception in 15 games last season.

      Cox made the Associated Press All-America second team in 2018 and third team in 2019, adding Missouri Valley Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018.

      --Field Level Media

  • Iowa State AD: Coaches agree to coronavirus-driven pay cuts
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, April 2, 2020

    Iowa State coaches and athletic department staff agreed to a one-year pay cut that will save the school more than $4 million, athletic director Jamie Pollard said.

    • "It is critical that we take action today so we are as prepared as possible for a new normal when our society can re-engage," Pollard said in a news release.

      The loss of income from the NCAA amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic caused Pollard to pursue salary adjustments. Coaches also will pass on any achieved bonuses.

      Spring sports were called off not long after the NCAA ended the men's and women's college basketball seasons and other spring sports before the respective championships could be played. The Big 12 men's basketball tournament was entering play on Thursday, March 12, when college basketball came to a screeching halt.

      College football is the largest revenue-driving sport at Iowa State and many other Power 5 programs.

      There is no indication the season could be canceled but there is speculation games could be delayed if the virus outbreak isn't stemmed by midsummer.

      Iowa State already expects a shortfall of more than $5 million, Pollard said.

      "We can now turn our attention to solving many other issues in the coming months," he said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Former BC QB Brown transferring to Oregon
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, April 1, 2020

    Former Boston College quarterback Anthony Brown is heading to Oregon as a graduate transfer, Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday.

    • Brown, who is eligible to play for the Ducks in 2020, has one season of eligibility remaining.

      He announced his decision to transfer in December after Boston College fired coach Steve Addazio.

      Brown started 28 games for the Eagles over the last three seasons, completing 54.9 percent of his passes for 4,738 yards with 40 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He also rushed for four touchdowns and caught three touchdown passes.

      His streak of 18 straight starts ended when he suffered a season-ending knee injury during a 41-39 loss at Louisville on Oct. 5. His 2017 campaign also ended with a knee injury.

      Oregon is replacing quarterback Justin Herbert, who is expected to be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft later this month.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ex-Syracuse coach Maloney dies at 79
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    Frank Maloney, who coached the Syracuse football team during the construction of the Carrier Dome, died Monday at age 79.

    • The Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard reported that Maloney died at his Chicago home from complications related to metastatic brain melanoma.

      Maloney led the then-Orangemen from 1974-80, producing a 32-46 record. Syracuse reached just one bowl game in his tenure, beating McNeese State 31-7 in the Independence at the end of the 1979 season behind quarterback Bill Hurley, running back Joe Morris, wide receiver Art Monk and linebacker Jim Collins.

      Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Coach Maloney. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and former players. Coach Maloney led our football team during a time of transition, taking over the program after Coach (Ben) Schwartzwalder's 25-year tenure. He developed many young men, several of whom went on to very successful business careers and a number of talented players who went on to the NFL."

      Under Maloney, Syracuse won its last game at Archbold Stadium in 1978, then produced a 7-5 record in 1979 despite having no true home games. The Orangemen contested two of their designated home games in East Rutherford, N.J.; two in Orchard Park, N.Y.; and one in Ithaca, N.Y.

      Syracuse won the first game at the Carrier Dome, beating Miami (Ohio) 36-24 on Sept. 20, 1980.

      Maloney's assistant coaches included future coaching notables Tom Coughlin and Nick Saban as well as future Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo.

      Maloney was an offensive lineman for Michigan from 1959-61, and he served as an assistant coach for the Wolverines from 1968-73. He later spent 29 years in the Chicago Cubs' ticket department, 27 years as the ticket director.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Washington coach Lambright dies at 77
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 29, 2020

    Former Washington football coach Jim Lambright has died at the age of 77, the school announced Sunday.

    • The cause of death was not immediately known for Lambright, who played for the Huskies before later becoming an assistant and head coach.

      "Coach Lambright was a legend at the UW, particularly when it came to playing the kind of physical, aggressive defense that his teams were known for," Washington coach Jimmy Lake said. "He was always supportive of the program that he loved so much. His impact on Husky football will not be forgotten."

      Born in Everett, Wash., in 1942, Lambright lettered three seasons as a defensive end with Washington from 1962-64 and earned All-Coast honors in 1964.

      He returned to the school in 1969 as part of Jim Owens' coaching staff and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1978 under Don James.

      Lambright took over as head coach in 1993 and posted a 44-25-1 record in his six seasons at the helm. He guided the Huskies to a Pac-10 championship in 1995 and a win in the Aloha Bowl in 1997, beating Nick Saban's Michigan State team in that game.

      "I'm deeply saddened by the news of Coach Lambright's passing. Coach Lambright is synonymous with Husky football and he gave so much to this program both as a player and coach," Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a statement.

      "My love for the University of Washington was sparked during Coach's tenure on our football staff and I'm grateful for the impact he had on so many. I'd like to extend heartfelt condolences to his family, former players, teammates and coaches."

      --Field Level Media

  • FCS All-American kicker transfers to Georgia State
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 29, 2020

    All-American kicker Noel Ruiz is transferring to Georgia State for his final year of eligibility.

    • The North Carolina A&T standout announced the move this week on Twitter. As a graduate transfer, he is eligible to play for the Panthers in 2020.

      Ruiz said he was leaving North Carolina A&T after three "unforgettable years" because the school does not offer the masters program he wants to pursue.

      Ruiz earned American Football Coaches Association All-American honors at the Football Championship Subdivision school in 2019. He made 23 of 27 field goals and 47 of 52 extra points. He led the FCS with 1.92 made field goals per game and smashed the previous school season record of 15.

      For his career, Ruiz made 37 of 51 field goals and 139 of 155 PATs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former LSU standout McDaniel dies of coronavirus
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, March 28, 2020

    Former LSU football player and track standout Orlando McDaniel died Friday night due to the coronavirus. He was 59.

    • LSU track coach Dennis Shaver told media outlets on Saturday that McDaniel fell ill after returning from a trip to the Washington D.C. area. McDaniel lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and coached track and field athletes.

      "He was such a tremendous athlete in both sports, but the love he had for track and field was really special," Shaver said. "We're fortunate that people like him get involved with our youth.

      "He was one of the most important people in our sport. He had to persuade youth to spend their summers doing something productive. Orlando had essentially dedicated his life to it. They'd come to summer meets and have two busloads full of people. It was a real impressive group of people. He's sorely going to be missed."

      McDaniel caught 41 passes for 719 yards and two touchdowns as an LSU senior in 1981 and was a second-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos. He played in three games in 1982 but didn't catch a pass.

      In track and field, McDaniel won the SEC title in the 110-meter hurdles in 1980 and finished second at the NCAA championships. He was a two-time All-American in the 110 hurdles (1980-81) and also earned All-American status in the 60-yard hurdles in 1980.

      --Field Level Media

  • Nation's top 2021 RB Henderson chooses Ohio State
    By Field Level Media / Friday, March 27, 2020

    TreVeyon Henderson, ranked the nation's top-ranked prep junior running back in the country, committed to Ohio State on Friday.

    • The 5-foot-10 Henderson, out of Hopewell, Va., chose the Buckeyes over his home-state ACC programs as well as Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, Penn State and Texas, among others.

      Henderson is ranked the 13th overall prospect for 2021, according to ESPN. He is rated the 11th-best overall prospect by 247 Sports. Both sites have him listed as the top junior running back.

      "Where I'm from, a lot of people don't get to leave," Henderson said in a video posted on social media Friday. "Walking away is hard to do. So I ran. I ran from trouble. Every challenge I saw, I ran through. The next challenge is the one I'm not running from. It's a challenge I'm running to.

      "To my mother, my family, my friends, my coaches and teammates, I wouldn't have been here without you. You're the reason I'm running now. Running for a chance to give back for all you've given to me."

      Henderson joins a massive haul of blue-chip recruits for the Buckeyes, including defensive end Jack Sawyer, quarterback Kyle McCord, running back Evan Pryor, cornerback Jakailin Johnson and safety Andre Turrentine.

      Henderson scored 53 touchdowns in his junior season while amassing 3,000 all-purpose yards.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former Texas star, Vikings OL Tausch dead at 61
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, March 26, 2020

    Terry Tausch, a two-time All-America offensive lineman for the University of Texas and second-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings, died Wednesday night, the school announced. He was 61 years old.

    • According to a news release issued by the university, Tausch died at his home in Plano, Texas. His brother, Gary, told KENS-TV in San Antonio that Terry Tausch died suddenly.

      A New Braunsfel, Texas, native, Tausch played for the Longhorns from 1978-81, lettering all four years. He was inducted into the Texas Athletic Hall of Honor in 2001.

      As a senior in 1981, Tausch was a consensus All-American as he helped the Longhorns to a 10-1-1 record and No. 2 ranking in the AP Poll to end the season -- a season capped off with a 14-12 win over No. 3 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Texas was 35-12-1 in Tausch's four seasons at the school.

      The Vikings selected Tausch with the 39th overall pick in 1982, and he played in Minnesota from 1982-88, starting 68 of his 81 games. He played with San Francisco in 1989, his final professional season. He did not start a game but did play in all three playoff games as the 49ers won Super Bowl XXIV that season.

      Tausch is survived by his wife, Ela, and sons Nicholas and Eric, both of whom played college football.

      --Field Level Media

  • Washington State DB Beekman dies at 22
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    Washington State redshirt senior safety Bryce Beekman died Tuesday night in Pullman, Wash. He was 22.

    • The cause of death and other details were not immediately available.

      According to reports, police responded to a call about "breathing problems" at Beekman's apartment and found him dead. There were no signs of foul play, Pullman Police Commander Jake Opgenorth told The Spokesman Review.

      "We are in shock with the news of Bryce's passing," Washington State athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement Wednesday. "Bryce was a tremendous young man, great teammate, and will be missed by all. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the Beekman family and his many friends."

      Beekman started 13 games for the Cougars in 2019 after transferring from Arizona Western College in Yuma, Ariz. He had one year of eligibility remaining.

      He finished fifth on the team with 60 tackles and added two pass breakups, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception. He had eight tackles and one tackle for loss against Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 27.

      New Washington State coach Nick Rolovich, who replaced Mike Leach in January, informed the team of Beekman's passing on Tuesday night.

      "My relationship with Bryce was still in its early stages, but I knew him to be a wonderful young man," Rolovich said. "He was always positive and well respected amongst his teammates. My heart goes out to his family and friends."

      --Field Level Media

  • FSU RB Corbin granted immediate eligibility
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    Florida State running back Jashaun Corbin will be allowed to play immediately after transferring from Texas A&M.

    • The school announced the NCAA's approval of the transfer waiver on Tuesday. Corbin will be a redshirt sophomore in the 2020 season.

      "We are grateful to the NCAA for this decision and to Texas A&M for supporting this process," head coach Mike Norvell said in a news release. "We're excited for Jashaun and the opportunity he's going to have to impact this program on and off the field."

      Corbin, a Florida native, played in 12 games as a freshman in 2018 and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after leading the Aggies with 422 kickoff return yards and averaging 30.1 yards per return. He also ran for 346 yards on 61 carries and added 85 yards on 10 receptions.

      In the 2019 season, he played in two games before sustaining a season-ending hamstring injury but scored two touchdowns.

      "I'm looking forward to being a big contributor to the team this upcoming season," Corbin said.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rutgers adds transfer OL Morris
    By Field Level Media / Sunday, March 22, 2020

    Rutgers brought in another transfer as offensive lineman Marquis Morris will suit up for the Scarlet Knights in the fall after leaving William & Mary.

    • The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder will have immediate eligibility after coming from the FCS level but will start out as a walk-on with the opportunity to earn a football scholarship.

      Morris will have four years of eligibility left as he took a redshirt as a true freshman at William & Mary.

      Morris will reunite with a familiar face as his high school football coach for a few years at Bergen Catholic in New Jersey was Nunzio Campanile, the tight ends coach for the Scarlet Knights.

      "I trusted him in high school and won a state championship under coach Nunzio in high school," Morris told "Trusting him was big in the process and I feel like we could win it all with him and (head coach Greg) Schiano."

      Earlier this year, Rutgers added four Power Five transfers to its roster -- defensive lineman Ireland Burke (Boston College), wide receiver Aron Cruickshank (Wisconsin), defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour (Michigan) and defensive back Brendoon White (Ohio State).

      --Field Level Media