The University of Texas is working to make the campus "more diverse and welcoming," and one of its first moves will be to honor a pair of legendary Longhorns running backs.Administrators intend to rename the field at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium after Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams, the only Heisman Trophy winners in the football program's storied history. The move was announced Monday in a letter from interim campus president Jay Hartzell.The university Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, and approval is expected.The idea to rename the stadium came from the family of longtime benefactor Joe Jamail, a billionaire attorney who donated millions of dollars to the school before his death in 2015. The field was named for him in 1997."For countless days as young football players and upon being inducted to the [college football] Hall of Fame, Ricky and I have stood on this iconic field for many important points of our lives," Campbell said in joint statement with Williams. "We never would have envisioned this historic site would one day bear our names. The symbolism of this honor transcends the recognition of the Heisman Trophies we received. It extends to all students, but specifically Black athletes, who continue to work to define our collective motto ‘Winning with Integrity.' Ricky and I are humbled by this honor."We must acknowledge the Joe Jamail family for personally requesting and making this name change to the President of the University of Texas in the spirit of their father. Joe was always known for being a passionate, aggressive advocate of truth. We know he would have been proud to see this day arrive, both as a lawyer and a Longhorn."Campbell, now 65, is a Texas native who won the Heisman in 1977. Williams, 43, received the trophy in 1998.The university also announced it will erect a statue of Julius Whittier, the first Black letterman in football in school history.Last month, dozens of Texas student-athletes published a lengthy memo requesting that the school make changes to promote racial equality.The students asked the university to drop "The Eyes of Texas" as the school song, rename buildings that currently are named in honor of people associated with the Confederacy or racism, and set up a permanent exhibit dedicated to Black athletes as part of the athletic Hall of Honor, among other requests -- many of which Hartzell announced the campus would do, plus more.
Deion Sanders' QB son commits to FAU
July 13, 2020 6:00 pm
Highly rated high school quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the son of former star player Deion Sanders, committed to Florida Atlantic on Monday.The younger Sanders is heading into his senior year at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas.247Sports Composite lists Sanders as the nation's No. 14 pro-style passer and No. 219 prospect overall while ESPN has him as the eighth-ranked pocket-passing QB and the 41st-rated prospect overall.In Sanders' announcement video Monday on Instagram, celebrities including Tom Brady, Snoop Dogg and Brett Favre are seen asking "Where you going 2?" (the latter a reference to Sanders' uniform number).Sanders finally said, "I'm ready. I want to compete to play as a freshman. With everything going on in our country, there is so much important to me, and one of those things is to play for a Black head coach, one that's real to me."Sanders and Trinity Christian safety Cam'Ron Silmon are then seen committing to first-year Florida Atlantic head coach Willie Taggart.
SEC puts off decision on fall schedules
July 13, 2020 6:00 pm
The Southeastern Conference, the nation's football leader in recent years, isn't cutting back the fall schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic -- at least not yet.The league's athletic directors met Monday in Birmingham, Ala., and they decided to delay a decision on potential alterations to the fall sports calendar.Last week, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 both announced that they would play conference-only football slates this year.SEC commissioner Greg Sankey announced in a statement, "We had a productive meeting on Monday and engaged in discussions on a number of important issues that will contribute to critical decisions to be made in the weeks ahead. The ability to personally interact over the course of an entire day contributed to the productivity of the meeting. ..."It is clear that current circumstances related to COVID-19 must improve and we will continue to closely monitor developments around the virus on a daily basis. In the coming weeks we will continue to meet regularly with campus leaders via videoconferences and gather relevant information while guided by medical advisors. We believe that late July will provide the best clarity for making the important decisions ahead of us."
QB Daniels granted waiver to play at Georgia in 2020
July 13, 2020 12:30 pm
Quarterback JT Daniels received an NCAA waiver to play for Georgia in 2020.Daniels announced in May he was transferring to Georgia from Southern California. On Monday, he posted his good news on Twitter but added he'd have nothing else to say about the matter."Thank you to the NCAA for granting me immediate eligibility and allowing me to play football this fall," he wrote. "I will not comment on the waiver or transfer, but look forward to a great 2020 season with my teammates."A five-star recruit in the 2019 class, Daniels reclassified, graduated from high school a year early and started 11 games as a true freshman for the Trojans in 2018, throwing for 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In USC's 2019 opener, he tore multiple ligaments in his right knee just before halftime.With Kedon Slovis expected to start after impressing as a true freshman in Daniels' absence, Daniels entered the transfer portal in April, though he did not rule out a return to USC at the time.
SEC commissioner: Level of concern 'high to very high'
July 11, 2020 11:00 am
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey said Saturday morning that his concern for the upcoming football season is "high to very high."Sankey's comments came one day after the Pac-12 followed the Big Ten's lead in deciding to play only conference games this fall in football and other sports."The direct reality is not good," Sankey wrote on Twitter after appearing on the ESPN Radio's Marty & McGee on Saturday. "I want to provide the opportunity for college athletics to be part of the fall, but we need to all consider our behavior to make possible what right now appears very difficult."With coronavirus cases rising across the South, Sankey reiterated his stance that the SEC will determine later this month its approach to the football season."We put a medical advisory group together in early April with the question, 'What do we have to do to get back to activity?' and they've been a big part of the conversation," Sankey said. "But the direct reality is not good and the notion that we've politicized medical guidance of distancing, and breathing masks, and hand sanitization, ventilation of being outside, being careful where you are in buildings. There's some very clear advice about -- you can't mitigate and eliminate every risk, but how do you minimize the risk? ... We are running out of time to correct and get things right, and as a society we owe it to each other to be as healthy as we can be."Sankey said the decisions of the Big Ten and Pac-12 are not forcing his hand to make a decision before he's ready.
Maryland suspends voluntary football workouts
July 11, 2020 11:00 am
The Maryland Terrapins suspended voluntary football workouts Saturday after the latest round of COVID-19 testing.The school said there were nine positive tests among the 185 athletes and staff members screened on campus this week.There were no positive tests when Maryland examined 105 athletes in June.
Pac-12 opts to hold conference-only season
July 10, 2020 6:30 pm
The Pac-12 announced Friday that it will hold a conference-only football season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.The decision was reached Friday afternoon when the conference's CEO Group discussed the options during a conference call.The move comes one day after the Big Ten announced it will hold a conference-only football season due to the pandemic.Also, the Pac-12 said men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball will have conference-only games in the fall."The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority," Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a news release. "Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities."The Athletic reported that Pac-12 presidents were pushing for the conference to be a leader in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.The Athletic also reported that there was heavy frustration after the Big Ten's announcement on Thursday. Apparently, there was a belief that the five power conferences leagues would announce such decisions together.
Florida State's Norvell, Hamilton accept pay reductions
July 10, 2020 6:30 pm
Florida State football coach Mike Norvell, men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton and women's basketball coach Sue Semrau have accepted 10 percent base salary pay cuts, the university confirmed Friday.The cuts are part of Florida State's 20 percent trimming of the athletic department budget due to the coronavirus pandemic. Athletic director David Coburn explained the cuts and rationale in a letter to athletic department employees that was obtained by multiple media entities."I am personally heartbroken over the impact this pandemic has had on our employees, and I am disappointed that I must give you this discouraging news today," Coburn wrote in Friday's letter. "However, I am sure you have seen that other athletic departments around the country are also making reductions."Coburn said he is accepting a "substantial pay reduction" but he didn't indicate the percentage in the letter.Coburn broke down the pay cuts as 10 percent for employees making $150,000 or more; 7.5 percent for employees making between $72,000 and $149,999, and 5 percent for those between $43,000 and $71,999.Norvell is entering his first season after being lured away from Memphis with a six-year, $26.5 million package. Hamilton made $2.25 million in base salary last season, according to USA Today's basketball coaches salary database.
Pac-12 commissioner Scott has coronavirus
July 10, 2020 6:30 pm
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott tested positive for COVID-19, the conference announced on Friday.The 55-year-old Scott was feeling ill, prompting his desire to be tested, according to a statement from the Pac-12."After experiencing mild flu-like symptoms late this week and out of an abundance of caution, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott was tested for COVID-19," the statement read. "The the test for Commissioner Scott came back positive, and as a result he is self-quarantining at the direction of his physician.
Report: SEC ADs meeting Monday to discuss fall sports
July 10, 2020 1:00 pm
Southeastern Conference athletic directors will meet Monday at the league offices in Birmingham, Ala., to discuss the fall sports schedule, Sports Illustrated reported Friday.It is believed to the first in-person meeting for SEC leaders since the coronavirus pandemic halted the league's men's basketball tournament in March.The report said the meeting has been planned for weeks and is not a reaction to Wednesday's announcement by the Ivy League to postpone fall sports, or to Thursday's decision by the Big Ten to limit the fall schedule to league-only competition.
Big Ten commissioner: Fall sports no guarantee
July 10, 2020 1:00 pm
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said his conference's plan to limit fall sports to league-only competition could be optimistic as the nation struggles to stop the spread of the coronavirus."One thing we have to realize that this is not a fait accompli that we're gonna have sports in the fall," Warren told the Big Ten Network. "We may not have sports in the fall. We may not have a college football season in the Big Ten."On Thursday, the Big Ten became the first Power Five conference to move to a conference-only schedule this fall, but reports emerged later in the afternoon that the Atlantic Coast and Pac-12 conferences likely would follow suit.The Big Ten weighed input from campus chancellors and presidents, athletic directors, conference staff and medical experts in making the decision. Medical officials consulted include the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee."This is a complicated time, complicated world that we're living in with the COVID-19 pandemic, and so what we're doing is relying on the expert advice of our medical advisers," Warren said. "We have our Big Ten emerging infectious disease committee, and also all of our other Big Ten doctors and trainers.
ACC to decide about fall sports by end of July
July 10, 2020 1:00 pm
The Atlantic Coast Conference will decide by the end of July how -- and if -- fall sports will proceed, commissioner John Swofford said in a league statement issued Friday afternoon."The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and administrators remains the ACC's top priority," Swofford said. "As we continue to work on the best possible path forward for the return of competition, we will do so in a way that appropriately coincides with our universities' academic missions. Over the last few months, our conference has prepared numerous scenarios related to the fall athletic season."In a conference statement on Thursday, the ACC said it was delaying the start of the fall sports season until at least Sept. 1. The move applies to all exhibition and nonconference games in men's and women's cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball.
Junior colleges consider moving fall sports to spring
July 10, 2020 7:30 am
A junior college advisory council has recommended moving most fall sports to the spring of 2021.The National Junior College Athletic Association's Presidential Advisory Council made the recommendation on Friday, and the NJCAA said an official plan of action will be determined Monday."We must adjust accordingly to support and sustain NJCAA programs. The association as a whole is collectively working to provide the best opportunities to be successful on and off the field for our student-athletes," said NJCAA president and CEO Dr. Christopher J. Parker in a statement.
Big Ten to play only conference games in fall
July 9, 2020 3:00 pm
Teams in the fall sports in the Big Ten, including football, will play a conference-only schedule in 2020, the league announced Thursday afternoon.The decision was made to allow "flexibility" as the coronavirus pandemic continues in the United States."We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority," the Big Ten said in a statement."If the Conference is able to participate in fall sports (men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball) based on medical advice, it will move to Conference-only schedules in those sports," the statement continued. "Details for these sports will be released at a later date, while decisions on sports not listed above will continue to be evaluated. By limiting competition to other Big Ten institutions, the Conference will have the greatest flexibility to adjust its own operations throughout the season and make quick decisions in real-time based on the most current evolving medical advice and the fluid nature of the pandemic."The Big Ten is the first FBS conference to announce only intraconference games. The Ivy League, whose football programs compete at the FCS level, announced Wednesday that no sports would be played before Jan. 1.Stadium's Brett McMurphy reported that the Atlantic Coast Conference is expected to follow suit and play conference-only games. He said that last month, commissioner John Swofford told Stadium the ACC would help independent program Notre Dame find opponents. The Fighting Irish compete in the ACC in men's and women's basketball.The Athletic reported that the Pac-12 Conference also would announce a league-only schedule in "the coming days."The Big Ten weighed input from campus chancellors and presidents, athletic directors, conference staff and medical experts in making the decision. Medical officials consulted include the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee.In its statement, the conference said officials will continue to monitor the pandemic and halt play if necessary.
Report: 73 percent of ADs doubt college football starts on time
July 9, 2020 9:30 am
Almost three-fourths -- 73 percent -- of athletic directors at FBS schools said they think the coronavirus pandemic will force a delay in the college football season, according to a survey by Stadium released Thursday.Among the 115 athletic directors who responded to the anonymous survey, 36 percent of them told Stadium's Brett McMurphy that they believe the season will be limited to conference-only play. When they were asked the same question in a Stadium survey in April, only 23 percent envisioned a conference-only schedule.In all, just 27 percent predicted the season would go off as planned. When only athletic directors of Power Five programs are included, the number falls to 22 percent -- a drop of 6 percent from the April survey.And when asked if they believe the college football season will start in spring -- whether the full slate of games or just those in conference are played - 31 percent this week anticipated a spring start, compared to 14 percent three months ago."No one -- and I mean no one -- has a clue right now what the college football season will look like," a Power Five AD commented on the survey.One Power Five colleague, however, was among the 7 percent of athletic directors who don't see the season happening.
Ohio State pauses voluntary campus workouts
July 8, 2020 5:00 pm
Ohio State paused all voluntary campus workouts Wednesday following its most recent COVID-19 test results.In addition to the Buckeyes' football team, the sports affected include men's and women's basketball, field hockey, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball.The school did not provide the number of positive tests or any other details, citing privacy concerns."It could lead to the identification of specific individuals and compromise their medical privacy," read a statement from the university's athletic department.
Pac-12 commish: Power 5 not impacted by Ivy League shift to spring
July 8, 2020 11:30 am
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott denies there will be any impact on major conferences from the Ivy League decision to move its college football season to the spring.Scott last week said the Pac-12 is preparing to pivot quickly to respond to schedule and structural changes required if a team opts out of the 2020 college football season."Everyone is looking around the country and taking an interest in what they do, but I don't think it's going to have any bearing on what we do," Scott said.Scott said the next two weeks represent decision days for the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and ACC on whether to make a dramatic shift to push the season to the spring due to rising numbers of positive coronavirus cases."These next few weeks are going to be a defining moment," Scott said.
Northwestern and Wisconsin won’t play at Wrigley Field in '20
July 8, 2020 11:30 am
Northwestern and Wisconsin won't play at iconic Wrigley Field in Chicago on Nov. 7 as scheduled.Jim Phillips, the Wildcats athletic director, said the decision to call off the game was made after consulting with the Chicago Cubs, government officials and the Big Ten and "in consideration of the myriad challenges presented" by the coronavirus pandemic."This is a disappointing conclusion to reach, but absolutely the right one in our current environment," Phillips said in a news release. "The uncertainty of football and baseball schedules, and the possibility of limited attendance, made this an easy choice to make for our student-athletes and fans."If the game is played, the Wildcats will host the Badgers at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.
Michigan's Harbaugh: Sports won't worsen pandemic
July 8, 2020 11:30 am
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh isn't ready to cancel or reschedule the 2020 football yet, even as cases of the coronavirus are surging in a majority of states.In a Zoom call with reporters on Wednesday, Harbaugh said there is no evidence yet that sports will further the spread of the virus."COVID is part of our society. Wasn't caused by football or caused by sports. And there's no expert view right now that I'm aware of that sports is going to make that worse. It's part of our society; we're going to have to deal with it," Harbaugh said."These kids are going to have to do the same thing. They've got to go to school. They've trained their whole lives for the opportunity to play their sport. That is my view with the knowledge that we have and time to learn more about it. It would be my responsibility, our responsibility and the players' responsibility also, to keep themselves safe and get the schooling and training that they need."On Wednesday, the United States passed the 3 million mark of confirmed cases -- with 1 million of them coming in the past 28 days. Nearly 132,000 people have died from the virus nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that 322 Michigan athletes had been tested through June 29, with two positive results. Both athletes were asymptomatic.
Toledo DL Douglas killed in shooting
July 8, 2020 11:30 am
Toledo defensive lineman Jahneil Douglas was killed in a shooting late Tuesday night, the university confirmed in a statement on Wednesday morning. He was 22.According to a report from WTOL, Douglas was outside Gino's Pizza around 11:30 p.m. after police said a fight erupted between two men. Shots were fired, resulting in the victim being taken to a local hospital where he later died.Douglas, who was a junior, registered two tackles in 12 games over two seasons with the Rockets."The University and all of Rocket Nation mourn the death of junior football player Jahneil Douglas, who was shot in an incident in Toledo last night," the school wrote on its Twitter account."We were all shocked to learn of the tragic death of Jahneil Douglas," Toledo athletic director Mike O'Brien said. "This is a devastating loss for our football team and our University, and a very sad day for all of us in Rocket Nation."