Cougars’ Dickey resigns; Sampson in line?

James Dickey has resigned as coach of the Houston Cougars attributable to "private family matters," the college introduced in a press release Monday, and ESPN.com sources say Houston Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson is being targeted as Dickey's alternative.

James Dickey

James Dickey had a 64-sixty two record as coach at Houston over 4 seasons. He cited "private family matters" in resigning.

Sampson was fired from Indiana in 2008 and hit with a 5-12 months show trigger by the NCAA after being caught making impermissible telephone calls. He has since labored as an assistant within the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and Rockets. Sampson has also been concerned with NBA head coaching jobs.

Nevertheless, sources near Sampson advised ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman that he misses the school sport and is fascinated within the opening. One holdup, though, might be compensation.

Sampson, fifty eight, has been a Division I school head coach at three stops – Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana. He took Washington State to the NCAA match in 1994, then went to 11 NCAA tourneys in 12 seasons at Oklahoma – including a Closing Four in 2002 – and was at Indiana for 2 seasons earlier than being fired.

Dickey had a sixty four-sixty two document in four seasons at Houston, together with a 20-13 mark in 2012-thirteen. The Cougars had been 17-sixteen this season, together with a 3-four file in opposition to Prime 25 teams.

"This has been a troublesome decision to make," Dickey mentioned in a press release launched by the varsity. "I continually preach to my players about being an on a regular basis man, and the balance of your private and skilled life is a significant part of it.

"With that being stated, I've a family matter that requires my time and vitality, and I'll regretfully step down from my current position on the College of Houston… I would like to thank the Houston fans for his or her help by way of the years and enormously encourage them to proceed their help of this system sooner or later."

Earlier Monday, athletic director Mack Rhoades said a search for a coach would begin immediately.

"Coach Dickey just isn't only a great individual and coach however an incredible mentor for all of our pupil-athletes and whole employees," Rhoades stated in a press release. "He made so many of us in our department better. No one has worked tougher than Coach Dickey… He can be missed greatly."

 

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NCAA Prediction Bowl Game Preview & Pick Cougars vs. Rams

Washington State v USC

NCAA Free Pick and Prediction Bowl Game

 

Washington State Cougars (6-6) vs. Colorado State Rams (7-6) 12/21- 2:00PM EST

 

Line: WASH ST: -4.5

Over/Under: 65

 

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL- Albuquerque, NM

 

The Washington State Cougars and Colorado State Rams will kickoff the bowl season on Saturday with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and both teams are excited about getting into a bowl game and turning their football programs around.

 

Colorado State coach Jim McElwain and Washington State coach Mike Leach, both in their second-year agree that the bowl matchup is a sign of things changing for both struggling programs, where the Rams (7-6) haven’t been to a bowl game since 2008 and for the Cougars (6-6), it’s been a decade since they tasted the postseason.

 

One of the accomplishments you want early is to get in a bowl game and be part of that club,” McElwain told reporters. “There’s a certain aura that comes with being a bowl team.”

 

McElwain was the offensive coordinator with Alabama during the Crimson Tide’s BCS national championships in 2009 and 2011, and knows the importance of a bowl appearance for a program when it comes to recruiting.

 

Coach Leach says his players are made up of largely of freshman and sophomores, but knows his seniors have been through “rough dry times” and haven’t had the opportunity to play in a bowl game. “They’ve never been in a bowl and (had) hoped they would,” Leach said. “Talking about it and actually doing it are two different things.”

 

Players to watch for the Rams will be running back Kapri Bibbs, who leads all of college football with 28 rushing touchdowns with 1,572 yards on the ground and quarterback Garrett Grayson, who ranks among the nation’s top 20 in passing yards (3,3270). The Rams set a school record with four games scoring 50 or more points and is the only school to have a 3,000 yard passer and 1,500 yard runner in a single season this year.

 

For the Cougars, they are led by junior quarterback Conner Halliday who operates the spread offense and is ranked fourth nationally in passing yards (4,187) and with 28 touchdowns, is tied for 13th.

 

Let’s not forget, this is this same Washington State Cougars that played the Auburn Tigers in their first game of the season in which they lost in a heartbreaker 31-24.

 

We should have won that game,” Leach said.

 

The Cougars like their chances going in on Saturday and feel they were battle tested all year having played four opponents that appear in the top 16 of the BCS standings and so do the oddsmakers who have made them the early (minus -4.5) point favorite. Get the latest spread on the game up until kickoff right here at Wonder Punter.

 

Expect both teams to showcase their high-powered offense come Saturday and McElwain says his defense will have to be ready.

 

I know they throw the heck out of it,” McElwain said. “I know (Leach) isn’t afraid to throw it and he’ll probably throw it coming off the bus.”

 

I too, like the battle tested Cougars and predict a high scoring affair with the Cougars taking home the trophy.

 

Prediction/Pick: Washington State

By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter

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Tigers trade Fielder to Rangers for Kinsler

Prince Fielder To Rangers

 

The Texas Rangers acquired first baseman Prince Fielder and money considerations from the Detroit Tigers for second baseman Ian Kinsler, the Rangers confirmed Wednesday night time.

The commerce settlement was first reported by CBSSports.com.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski called his counterpart in Texas, Jon Daniels, Tuesday morning and floated the concept of buying and selling Fielder for Kinsler.

“Dave known as yesterday and threw out the idea,” Daniels said. “We had slightly dialogue before on it. From there, David and I had a collection of cellphone calls and both sides were interested and we obtained the cash where either side may stay with it.”

It was made official Wednesday night. As a part of the deal, the Tigers are sending $30 million to Texas to offset Fielder’s cost, senior baseball analyst Keith Law confirmed. Fielder needed to approve the deal and did.

Fielder still has $168 million on account of him over the next seven seasons, so Texas can pay him $138 million over that period.

Kinsler is guaranteed $sixty two million over the next four seasons, which includes a $5 million buyout on his 2018 membership choice. In whole, Detroit can pay $92 million in the deal – $sixty two million to Kinsler and $30 million to Texas for Fielder.

The Tigers were not among the groups on Kinsler’s no-trade list.

Fielder, 29, hit279 with 25 homers and 106 RBIs in 2013, his second season in Detroit. He offers the Rangers a power-hitting, left-handed hitter for the center of their lineup, one thing Daniels listed as the top priority heading into the offseason.

“He suits what we’re on the lookout for – a middle-of-the-order power risk that is durable and performs to win,” Daniels said. “He is a great complement with Adrian Beltre in the course of our order.”

Daniels added that Fielder will be the main first baseman and that the membership is still determining Mitch Moreland’s role.

The Tigers get a 3-time All-Star second baseman and somebody who has hit in various components of the lineup. Kinsler, 31, batted277 with thirteen homers and 72 RBIs final season.

Kinsler nonetheless has 4 years and $62 million assured remaining on his contract. That features a $5 million buyout on his club choice for 2018.

The move gives the Tigers some contract aid and it opens the door to put prospect Nick Castellanos at third base and shifting Miguel Cabrera, the 2-time defending AL MVP, to first base.

The Rangers can put highly-touted prospect Jurickson Profar at second base in Kinsler’s place, relieving the logjam at center infield.

It is the first headline-grabbing transfer of baseball’s offseason, and it includes two of the American League’s top teams. Detroit has gained three consecutive AL Central titles and reached the World Series in 2012, while Texas gained the AL pennant in 2010 and 2011.

But neither staff was about to stand pat. With stars like Fielder, Justin Verlander, Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez within the fold, Detroit’s payroll had turn into one of many sport’s largest, and although Fielder hit 55 house runs over the last two years for the Tigers, his numbers dipped this season and he struggled in the playoffs when Detroit misplaced to Boston in the AL Championship Collection.

The trade may give Detroit extra financial flexibility, with Cy Younger Award winner Max Scherzer a season away from free agency.

Daniels acknowledged that Fielder is coming off a season in which many of his offensive numbers have been the worst of his profession. But the normal manager added that the Rangers likely could not make the deal if Fielder had played in addition to he had in the past.

Fielder’s batting common (.279), dwelling runs (25), OPS (.819) and slugging proportion (.457) were all down from 2012. The slugging, OPS and homers were the lowest of his career.

Nonetheless, Fielder has been durable – at the least 157 video games in each of his eight full seasons – and regardless of the drop in his numbers last season, is still very productive and brings a giant bat to the Rangers’ lineup.

“If anyone looks like that is an indication of things to come that he is slipping, you may not like the deal,” Daniels mentioned. “We don’t really feel that means. We’re excited by what we see of him sooner or later.”

As for the place Fielder will bat, manager Ron Washington hasn’t decided that but. He did say he desires to go away Beltre on the cleanup spot.

Washington said he’s excited to put in writing Fielder’s identify on the lineup card next season.

“He has presence,” Washington stated. “He is been a very productive player. He is a successful player. I do consider he’ll match properly on this clubhouse.”

 

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NCAA College Football Prediction Thursday Preview & Pick- ASU vs. Washington St.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Arizona State

NFL Pick & Prediction, ASU vs Washington State

Arizona St. Sun Devils (5-2) @ Washington St. Cougars (4-4) 10/31- 10:30PM EST

 

Line: ASU -11.0

Over/Under: 71.0

 

The No. 25 (AP) ranked Arizona St. Sun Devils have worked their way back into the national rankings after routing then #20 Washington last week and will now try to avoid being upset themselves as they travel into Pullman to battle the Washington St. Cougars on Halloween night.

 

As good as the Sun Devils have been at home, they have been as bad on the road under ASU coach Todd Graham the last two seasons and he has had enough of the excuses.

 

That’s all excuses,” Graham said. “You don’t win on the road because you’re not prepared, you’re not focused and you don’t play well. That’s it.”

 

ASU (5-2, 3-1) is perfect at home this year under Graham (5-0) but have lost their only two road games… 42-28 to Stanford and 37-34 to Notre Dame on a neutral-site.

 

Thursdays Pac 12 match-up figures to be high scoring from the get go and ASU understands the importance of getting it going on the road, as they will begin a stretch of remaining road games at Utah and UCLA as they are looking to stay in the hunt for a Pac 12 championship.

 

If you want to be a champion and that’s what we say we want to be, that’s what we talk about that we want to win a championship, no excuses,” Graham said. “You go, rain, sleet, snow, Alaska, Maine, it doesn’t matter—you’ve got to go win. That’s the mindset.”

 

The great Pacific Northwest and the cold that comes with it has not been kind to the Sun Devils in recent years since their last win over Washington in 2008.

 

If one of my coaches says something about the weather, I’ll tell him to go get a meteorologist’s job,” Graham said. “It’s part of it.”

 

For Washington State, they are coming off a bye week and will be facing their second straight ranked team since No. 2 Oregon took them apart 62-38 back on October 19.

 

Coach Mike Leach will be looking to get his Cougars turned around after dropping three-of-their last four games while allowing an average of 56.3 points a game in those defeats.

 

Last year at Arizona State, the sun Devils blew out the Cougars 46-7. Look for the Cougars to take it to ASU who will continue to struggle in the state of Washington.

 

Prediction is ….  PICK: Washington State Cougars

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NCAA Prediction College Football Preview & Pick- #12 UCLA vs. #3 Oregon

ncaa

NCAA Prediction College Football Preview & Pick- #12 UCLA vs. #3 Oregon

 

#12 UCLA Bruins (5-1) @ #3 Oregon Ducks (7-0) 10/26- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: ORE -23.0

Over/Under: 71.0

 

The No. 12 UCLA Bruins will get the undaunting task of traveling in to Eugene to try and upset an Oregon team that has destroyed opponents in its wake as Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota continues to impress everyone, including Bruins coach Jim Mora who believes he will be a star on the next level.

 

I had a couple guys ask me, NFL guys, if I thought he could play at the next level,” Mora said. “I said, ‘Have you not watched him? I mean, he’ll rip it up at the next level.’ I mean this guy is ripping it up at this level. He’s really special.”

 

Mariota’s numbers are impressive considering most games he doesn’t even play the fourth quarter because they are so far ahead of the competition and the game is out of reach… 19 touchdowns, no interceptions and has also ran for nine TDs.

 

The Oregon quarterback believes however, he has much more room for improvement after he lost two fumbles in their blowout win over Washington State 62-38.

 

Obviously I’ve got to take care of the ball a lot better,” Mariota said. “I was pretty non-chalant with it in the pocket and we can’t have that.”

 

To make matters worse this Saturday, UCLA (5-1, 2-1 Pac12) will have to contend with the return of Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas (ankle) after a three game absence.

 

Even without Thomas’ the last three games, Oregon (7-0, 4-0 Pac12) hasn’t missed a beat with their running game with Byron Marshall carrying the load and totaling 550 yards with seven rushing touchdowns.

 

On his practice sessions this week… “It’s great just to go out there, see guys having fun,” Thomas said. “I hope we can continue that, and put more points up on teams and I feel as long as we keep winning games, we should be successful.”

 

The Ducks will have a chip on their shoulder come Saturday as they have fallen to No.3 behind Alabama and Florida St. in the BCS polls.

 

That’s their opinions, we have no control over that,” Mariota said. “We’ll just continue to take it one game at a time.”

 

The Bruins will be looking to bounce back after their high-powered offense was stymied against #6 Stanford as they suffered their first-loss of the season 24-10. Coach Mora believes there are some positives he can take from the loss.

 

I believe that last week, we started seven true freshman if you include the punter against one of the best teams in America and we took it down to the end,” the coach said. “It was 17-10 there with 2:29 or whatever left on the clock. I think that’s a testament to the way our guys compete, I think it’s a testament to our coaching.”

 

Bruins junior quarterback Brett Hundley (also on the NFL radar) will also be looking to bounce back after last week’s sub-par performance. He was held to a season-low 192 yards passing and sacked four times.

 

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich is also impressed with what Hundley can bring to the table.

 

Hundley is the type of guy that can work with that, being an athletic guy, being a versatile guy, who can run, who can throw, who can make plays, (the) quick game down the field, all the things that they do,” Helfrich said.

 

The Bruins running game has been hampered of late without their top running back Jordan James who averages 115.8 yards a game.

 

One of the better games on Saturday, UCLA has a great offense, however the Ducks are an absolute offensive machine that scores points in bunches. Both teams possess good defenses with lots of speed… question is, can All-American linebacker Anthony Barr and the Bruin defense do enough to contain the high-flying Oregon offense? To put it simply.. NO! For that reason my NCAA Prediction and Pick for this Saturday´s Game is?

 

Pick: Oregon Ducks

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Oregon D-boss rips Wazzu, ‘low class’ Leach

With a lopsided defeat nicely in hand, the Washington State Cougars had other enterprise to take care of Saturday night towards the No. 2 Oregon Geese.

For his or her late effort, Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday set a Soccer Bowl Subdivision record for pass attempts with 89 – and drew the ire of Duck defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.

Aliotti known as it a “low class” move by Washington State coach Mike Leach.

“I am form of shocked he would hold his quarterback and crew in there,” Aliotti informed reporters after the Ducks’ 62-38 win, based on The Oregonian. “And still he threw the ball with 20 seconds left. But he did.

“They need stats, they acquired stats. But we bought an important stat, and that’s the ‘W,’ and we’re blissful about that.”

Aliotti apologized for these comments Sunday night time.

“The bottom line is, I am sorry,” Aliotti mentioned in a press release released by the varsity. “I am embarrassed that I bought caught up in the second after the game. There isn’t any excuse, but typically proper after the sport the adrenaline continues to be flowing and I made a huge, human error in judgment. I want I may take it again, and I promise it will not happen again.

“I’d prefer to apologize to Mike Leach and Invoice Moos (Washington State athletics director), Washington State and its followers, and Oregon and our fans.”

Trailing fifty five-24 to begin the Cougars’ first drive of the fourth quarter, Halliday made 28 more passes to break a 15-year-outdated FBS document set by Drew Brees with Purdue – by six attempts.

“That is total (B.S.) that he threw the ball on the finish of the sport like he did,” Aliotti said, referring to Leach after the game. “And you can print that and you’ll send it to him, and he can remark, too. I believe it’s low class and it’s (B.S.) to throw the ball when the game is totally over against our kids which can be basically our scout crew.”

Halliday completed fifty eight of 89 passes complete for 557 yards and 4 touchdowns for Washington State (4-four, 2-3 Pac-12). He didn’t hand the ball off once through the fourth quarter.

But the Ducks (7-0, 4-0) picked off Halliday four instances, together with one interception that was returned fifty one yards for a touchdown by Terrance Mitchell early in the fourth quarter. Halliday leads the nation with 17 interceptions.

“I’m repeating myself,” Aliotti reiterated, unprompted, a number of questions later in the media session. “But again, in the long run he is nonetheless throwing at a time when most guys would try to finish the sport and go home.”

Data from The Associated Press was used on this report.

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Oregon to wear pink helmets vs. Wash. St.

Get able to see some pink Ducks this weekend.

[+] EnlargeOregon Uniforms

NikeOregon will wear pink cleats, socks, gloves and helmets Saturday against Washington State to help the battle towards breast cancer.

Nike revealed Thursday morning that the College of Oregon soccer workforce, which it sponsors and of which Nike chairman Phil Knight is an alumnus and its biggest booster, will put on pink cleats, socks, gloves and helmets for its dwelling game against Washington State on Saturday.

The world’s largest shoe and apparel company and the college have partnered previously to put on pink to support October’s Breast Most cancers Consciousness Month, however that is the primary time the college, known for its number of uniform combinations, will wear pink helmets.

The helmets additionally will assist to raise cash for the Kay Yow Most cancers Fund, a charity that has raised $2.6 million for scientific research and packages associated with women’s cancers. Its namesake, former North Carolina State ladies’s basketball Kay Yow, succumbed to breast most cancers in 2009.

Nike says 25 helmets will be auctioned over the course of the week starting Saturday. To add to the value of the helmets, some will probably be autographed by Oregon legends, together with former quarterbacks Dan Fouts and Joey Harrington, former broad receiver Ahmad Rashad and Nike’s Knight.

“Most cancers has touched so many lives and hopefully, together with Nike and the Kay Yow Most cancers Fund, we may also help create consciousness and assist elevate cash for the fight against women’s cancers,” Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said in a statement. “It is an honor to affix coach Yow’s team in a combat that unites us all.”

Despite the seemingly good intentions, it hasn’t been an all constructive month for pink gear. The NFL has come beneath fire for the amount it donates to the American Most cancers Society from sales of items with pink logos this month. The league says it donates what quantities to 11 % of the retail price of a pink merchandise to the American Most cancers Society.

Although some assume that is not enough, a league spokesman points out that that is equal to ninety % of the royalty that the league receives on such objects. Those who manufacture and promote these items at retail do not take part in giving to cancer-associated causes.

Oregon is currently 6-zero and is ranked No. 2 in the country behind Alabama in each the Related Press and USA Right now coaches’ polls.

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NCAA College Football Picks – Top 25 Preview

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl - TCU v Boise State

NCAA College Football Picks – Top 25 Preview

 

Here is a look at all Top 25 teams this week with my picks.

 

#10 Miami (5-0)@ UNC (1-4)- Thursday 10/17- 7:30PM EST

 

Line: MIA -9.0

Over/Under- 63.0

Pick: Miami

 

UCF (4-1) @ #8 Louisville (6-0)- Friday 10/18- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: LOU -12.5

Over/Under: 53.0

Pick: Louisville

 

Arkansas (3-4) @ #1 Alabama (6-0)- Sat. 10/19- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: ALA -28.0

Over/Under: 48.0

Pick: Alabama

 

Washington State (4-3) @ #2 Oregon (6-0)- Sat. 10/19- 10:00PM EST

 

Line: ORE -38.5

Over/Under: 73.0

Pick: Oregon

 

#5 Florida St. (5-0) @ #3 Clemson (6-0)- Sat. 10/19- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: FSU -3.0

Over/Under- 64.0

Pick: Clemson

 

Iowa (4-2) @ #4 Ohio St. (6-0)- Sat. 10/19- 3:30PM EST

 

Line: OSU -17.0

Over/Under: 55.0

Pick: Ohio St.

 

#6 LSU (6-1) @ Ole Miss (3-3)- Sat. 10/19- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: LSU -8.0

Over/Under: 60.0

Pick: LSU

 

#24 Auburn (5-1) @ #7 Texas A&M (5-1)- Sat. 10/19- 3:30PM EST

 

Line: TA&M -12.5

Over/Under: 72.5

Pick: Texas A&M

 

#9 UCLA (5-0) @ #13 Stanford (5-1)- Sat. 10/19- 3:30PM EST

 

Line: STAN -5.5

Over/Under: 54.5

Pick: UCLA

 

#11 South Carolina (5-1) @ Tennessee (3-3)- Sat. 10/19- 12:00PM EST

 

Line: SC -7.0

Over/Under: 54.5

Pick: South Carolina

 

Iowa St. (1-4) @ #12 Baylor (5-0)- Sat. 10/19- 7:00PM EST

 

Line: BAY -33.5

Over/Under: 75.5

Pick: Baylor

 

#22 Florida (4-2) @ #14 Missouri (6-0)- Sat. 10/19- 12:21PM EST

 

Line: FLA -3.0

Over/Under: 44.0

Pick: Missouri

 

#15 Georgia (4-2) @ Vanderbilt (3-3)- Sat 10/19- 12:00PM

 

Line: UGA -7.0

Over/Under: 61.5

Pick: Georgia

 

#16 Texas Tech (6-0) @ West Virginia (3-3)- Sat. 10/19- 12:00PM EST

 

Line: TTU -5.5

Over/Under: 57.0

Pick: Texas Tech

 

UNLV (4-2) @ #17 Fresno St. (5-0)- Sat. 10/19- 10:00PM EST

 

Line: FRES -24.5

Over/Under: 73.0

Pick: Fresno St.

 

#18 Oklahoma (5-1) @ Kansas (2-3)- Sat. 10/19- 3:30PM EST

 

Line: OKLA -23.0

Over/Under: 48.5

Pick: Oklahoma

 

#19 Virginia Tech- Idle

 

#20 Washington (4-2) @ ASU (4-2)- Sat. 10/19- 6:00PM EST

 

Line: ASU -3.0

Over/Under: 65.5

Pick: Washington

 

Texas Christian (3-3) @ #21 Oklahoma St. (4-1)- Sat. 10/19- 12:00PM EST

 

Line: OKST -7.5

Over/Under: 50.5

Pick: Oklahoma St.

 

#23 Northern Illinois (6-0) @ Central Michigan (3-4)- Sat. 10/19- 3:00PM EST

 

Line: NIU -16.0

Over/Under: 59.0

Pick: Northern Illinois

 

#25 Wisconsin (4-2) @ Illinois (3-2)- Sat. 10/19- 8:00PM EST

 

Line: WIS -13.0

Over/Under: 56.0

Pick: Wisconsin

 

There are the Top 25 teams in action this week. Good luck with your teams and your NCAA College Football Picks.

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Leach comments of crazy fan caught pouring popcorn on his face during Washingtons game

pop

Final week’s fifty five-17 Stanford rout of Washington State was boring television (when you weren’t a Stanford fan) until one fan inadvertently livened it up.

ESPN cameras caught a lone fan lounging across a pair seats and dumping an entire bag of popcorn in his mouth.

It was by far probably the most entertaining part of the game.

Even Washington State coach Mike Leach thought the “Popcorn Man” was impressed after watching the video on his phone.

“That man’s superior,” Leach said throughout his weekly press conference. “I kinda felt the identical manner at the end of that sport.”

Leach went on to speak concerning the fan’s pouring method and talked about his household’s love of throwing food into their mouths.

“It was pretty good,” he said. “My wife can try this factor the place you throw it up and catch it in your mouth. I’m not superb at it. Her and my daughter occasionally have the contest the place you throw M&Ms and area it with your mouth. They’re each pretty good at it, fairly expert at it, but I believe he might give either one of them a run for his or her money.”

Oh, Mike Leach, thanks for turning what might have been a unfavorable press convention into one of many extra entertaining of the week.

- – –
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USC players can’t decide whether they had a players-only meeting or not

(Getty Photos)

If you thought there was a disconnect with USC on the sector this season, it’s nothing in comparison with the obvious disconnect off the sector.

Star receiver Marquise Lee informed the L.A. Daily Information that USC players had a players-solely meeting on Sunday, the day after the Trojans’ stunning loss to Washington State.

“[Lane] Kiffin don’t know,” Lee advised the L.A. Every day News. “Gamers [only]. Gamers. Kiffin don’t know nothing about it. No coaches [had been allowed]. We did have that assembly. … Now [Kiffin] is aware of.”

However, coach Lane Kiffin denied knowing about a players-only assembly and a number of the gamers supposedly concerned within the meeting, including defensive end Devon Kennard, denied figuring out something about Lee’s so-referred to as players-solely assembly as nicely.

Um, OK.

In the hours for the reason that L.A. Every day News story made the rounds, Lee has modified his story a couple of “gamers-only” assembly, calling it a get-along with a few guys as an alternative.

And about forty minutes after not figuring out concerning the gamers-only meeting, Kennard went to Twitter to confirm that he did truly attend the “get together” together with his teammates to discuss the remainder of the season.

The story here isn’t really about whether USC had a participant’s-only meeting, it’s that USC can’t even get on the same web page with one thing as simple as whether or not they all attended a gathering or not.

This was one thing very simple – players had the meeting or they didn’t have the assembly – they usually couldn’t even get that reply proper. Or, for you conspiracy theorists out there, they had been scurrying to cover-up the assembly as to not start one other conversation about Kiffin’s job standing.

In any case, this complete ordeal was yet one more distraction for a USC group that actually must spend time worrying about its upcoming sport towards Boston College and never trying to get its tales straight.

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Tight end Julius Thomas has blossomed in Denver after leaving basketball behind

The first time the coaches at Portland State realized they might have stumbled upon the following Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas was enjoying in simply his fifth soccer game since center school.

Montana State was in the ideally suited protection to cover the put up route Thomas ran in the course of the first half of a 2010 Big Sky Conference recreation, but Portland State quarterback Connor Kavanaugh gave the 6-foot-5 former energy forward a chance to make a play anyway. Thomas rewarded his quarterback’s religion in him, out-leaping a number of defenders, squeezing the ball towards his head and falling into the top zone for an acrobatic fifty five-yard touchdown.

“It was a holy cow moment,” Portland State receivers coach Steve Cooper mentioned Friday. “I used to be within the field for that play and I looked at one other coach and just stated, ‘Wow.’ I remember talking to Connor a pair years later, and we each agreed that when we saw that one play, we knew Julius was going to be particular.”

 

Julius Thomas tries a reverse dunk after his second touchdown Thursday night (Getty Pictures)

 

Stories like that illustrate why those at Portland State weren’t nearly as stunned as everybody else was to see Thomas emerge from anonymity Thursday evening with five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns against the defending Super Bowl champs. The little-identified Denver Broncos tight finish has made a habit of leaving teammates and coaches awestruck since transitioning from basketball to soccer about 3 1/2 years ago.

He caught 29 passes and earned all-convention honors in his lone year of football at Portland State regardless of having played only at the Pop-Warner stage previously. He was drafted within the fourth round by the Broncos the following April after catching the attention of scouts with a landing and a 2-point conversion in the East-West Shrine game. And once lastly healthy Thursday night after battling ankle problems throughout his first two NFL seasons, Thomas emerged as one in all Peyton Manning’s favorite targets and became the first Denver tight finish since 2009 to amass more than one hundred yards receiving in a sport.

“We are all very proud of how far Julius has come,” Portland State head football coach Nigel Burton mentioned. “Considering how irritating his first two years have been, it was great to see him start the 2013 season off so effectively. It is a tribute to his laborious work, perseverance and dedication to his craft.”

When Thomas first walked into the Portland State soccer office in spring 2010 and requested a tryout, Burton and his workers were understandably skeptical. They knew the undersized energy forward had averaged 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds as a senior and had helped lead Portland State to NCAA tournament bids in 2008 and 2009, but they weren’t certain a basketball player would have the toughness to play football.

The only cause Burton gave Thomas a chance was Portland State had a shortage of tight ends or receivers with size that season. The earlier teaching employees favored short, speedy receivers who match effectively in a ramification offense, however Burton needed tight ends and receivers massive and powerful enough to dam for his run-oriented attack.

“You get basketball players who make the NFL and a whole lot of guys suppose, ‘Possibly I can attempt it,'” Cooper said. “There are a lot more who don’t make it than make it. You do not want to discount anybody but you kind of roll your eyes at it.”

 

Julius Thomas (AP)

Had the Portland State football workers scouted Thomas on the basketball floor, they could have been more eager to work with the tight end hopeful. Both Thomas’ high school coach Dustin Lanz and his faculty coach Ken Bone said they noticed signs he had extra upside as a receiver than an undersized power ahead on account of his strength, leaping potential and knack for snatching rebounds out of the air in visitors.

 

The son of a former vast receiver on the University of Pacific, Thomas enrolled at Tokay Excessive College in Lodi, Calif. intent on playing soccer and basketball his freshman year. He tried out for the soccer team however didn’t even make it by way of the primary scrimmage of preseason follow because of severe back ache attributable to a development spurt that rocketed him from 5-foot-8 to 6-2 by the start of his sophomore 12 months.

By the time Thomas’ sophomore yr started, he was already entrenched in basketball. He made varsity for the primary time that season and emerged as a dominant interior participant, ultimately leading Tokay to its first section title and to the semifinals of the state tournament as a senior.

What impressed Lanz most about Thomas as a high school player was his work ethic both within the health club and in the weight room. Thomas wasn’t a silky shooter or a deft passer, but he relied on a combination of power, toughness and sheer will to score or rebound in the paint, fouling out two opposing huge men in the section title sport as a senior and almost ousting a 3rd.

“He shot 19 free throws in that game,” Lanz mentioned. “They couldn’t cease him. They needed to foul him. He was just dominant. He had the mentality he was coming after you and he wasn’t going to cease.”

Few Division I basketball programs showed a lot curiosity in a 6-foot-5 energy ahead regardless of Thomas’ highschool success, however Bone wasn’t deterred. The Portland State coach took a chance on Thomas because of his relentless hustle, his chiseled frame and his willingness to do the dirty work.

Even though Thomas grew to become the scrappy, high-vitality rebounder Bone envisioned at Portland State, the veteran coach admits he typically puzzled whether his power forward was enjoying the flawed sport.

“We all the time thought if he would have played soccer, he might need a brighter future,” stated Bone, now the basketball coach at Washington State.

“He was actually an excellent participant for us but he wasn’t essentially the most expert. We simply thought on the soccer area, with the attributes he has, he had a chance to be actually good. He was robust, he aggressively pursued rebounds and free balls and he was by no means going to be outworked. He is a guy who’s going to get essentially the most out of his God-given talent.”

It wasn’t clear whether Thomas could overcome the mixture of accidents and inexperience that slowed his growth throughout his first two seasons in Denver, but current indicators counsel he’ll be an influence participant for the Broncos in his third 12 months within the NFL. He led the workforce in receiving during the preseason and validated that along with his brilliance on Thursday evening against Baltimore.

As Thomas was scorching the Ravens’ secondary in entrance of a nationwide TELEVISION audience, his former highschool and school coaches were reveling in his success.

Cooper watched the sport on TELEVISION with an ear-to-ear grin. Lanz acquired a flurry of text messages after every of Thomas’ catches. And Bone stared at “SportsCenter” in his Idaho lodge room in amazement as the most effective quarterbacks in NFL history raved about his former energy ahead.

“Peyton was on there complimenting Julius, and I believed, ‘Wow, he will need to have had an excellent sport,'” Bone said. “Then they showed the highlights, and I used to be like, ‘That is awesome.’ It could not occur to a greater child.”

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According to survey, 42 trainers have been pressured by coaches to return a concussed player to the field

After a concussion in opposition to Stanford, Everett Golson did not return to the sport and sat out at observe. (AP)

Football teams have come a good distance on the subject of concussion training, although a current research suggests that this education journey is more of an ultramarathon than a 5K.

According to a survey by the Chronicle of Greater Schooling, forty two of one zero one head athletic trainers have mentioned they’ve been pressured by a coach to allow a player who has suffered a concussion to return to the game.

In a 2010 survey, almost half of the faculties that responded said a player had re-entered a sport after a concussion prognosis. And in accordance with the Chronicle, “greater than a dozen” FBS trainers have been demoted or fired due to those disagreements.

From the Chronicle:

A concussion diagnosis made throughout competition is commonly hardest for coaches to simply accept. A number of years in the past, a former football trainer within the Big East Conference says he took away a player’s helmet during a game after he was recognized with a concussion.

The trainer says the top coach confronted him on the sidelines, asking what would occur if he gave the athlete another person’s helmet.

“If something dangerous happens,” the trainer says he advised the coach, “you’re by yourself.” (The participant didn’t go back into the sport, however the coach later misplaced his job.)

Yikes. (In an try to crack down on the number of concussions, the NCAA has implemented a concentrating on penalty and automated ejections this season for tacklers who are deemed to have hit a defenseless participant above the shoulders.)

On Wednesday, three former faculty football gamers filed a category-motion lawsuit against the NCAA in Tennessee saying that the governing physique did not do sufficient about concussions and failed to teach players. The gamers are Chris Walker and Ben Martin, who performed at Tennessee by 2011 and Dan Ahern, whose ultimate season was at NC State in 1976. 9 different law firms are a part of the suit, including Michael Hausfield, who is the lead attorney in Ed O’Bannon’s lawsuit towards the NCAA over gamers’ likenesses.

The story details the rise of concussion diagnoses at Washington State last season. After averaging 12 per season before head coach Mike Leach arrived, there were 21 identified concussions final season. That uptick might be related to increased awareness of head injuries, though in response to sources mentioned, it created stress throughout the program. Bill Drake, the pinnacle athletic trainer, resigned in midseason final 12 months.

Before coming to Washington State, Leach was embroiled in controversy involving Adam James, the son of Craig James, and Leach’s alleged treatment of James after he suffered a concussion. Leach was finally fired, for causes he said had to do together with his contract.

While the Chronicle article is written from the trainers’ perspectives — there are two sides to each story, you recognize — it is nonetheless an eye fixed opening look at how trainers view the disconnect between themselves and coaches. Whereas coaches will all the time really feel pressure to win — that is not changing — this is one other instance that winning should be far behind the well being of gamers’ brains.

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Washington rolls Boise State with up-tempo offense in new Husky Stadium

(AP)

Washington coach Steve Sarkisian looks like a genius for retooling his offense in the offseason to a extra up-tempo type that may match properly in the Pac-12 after dominating No. 19 Boise State within the season opener.

The 38-6 cakewalk was a pleasant method for the Huskies to christen the brand new $280 million Husky Stadium, and it is a stable begin for Sarkisian who just hasn’t been capable of make a leap up in the Pac-12 north and deal with Oregon and Stanford.

Maybe the Huskies are finally ready to make that move.

Boise State is often the crew making opponents from BCS conferences look unhealthy early within the season but the Broncos appeared hopelessly outmatched this time. Perhaps most spectacular about the Huskies win was the fact they trounced a good crew with All-American tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins being suspended from the game.

The new-look Washington offense rolled up 592 complete yards and challenged the Broncos to maintain fresh defenders on the sector, significantly in the second half. Senior quarterback Keith Price tied Washington’s profession chief in touchdown passes, throwing two within the sport to reach fifty five in his profession.

It was a night Boise State wish to forget. It marked the first time the Broncos offense was held with out a touchdown since being shut out at Washington State in 1997. It was worst loss since losing at Georgia within the first game of the 2005 season, the last underneath former coach Dan Hawkins.