College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Friday, April 18, 2014
    Pelini speaks out against AD in FAU firing
    By The Sports Xchange

    Carl Pelini said he believes his firing as football coach at Florida Atlantic University last October was not exclusively because of drug use allegations, but because of problems with new athletic director Pat Chun.

    • Pelini, who has moved back to Nebraska, where he worked as defensive coordinator from 2008-11, made the comments in a radio interview on KFAB, the Omaha station that broadcasts Nebraska football.

      "Ultimately, I think it boiled down to an athletic director who didn't hire me," said Pelini, who is taking a year off from coaching. "We were making improvements.

      "He came down there from Ohio State. He was their No. 1 fundraiser and made a lot of promises about money he was going to raise and changes we were going to make facilities-wise. He was not having a lot of success and we were growing as a football program. I think he wanted to hitch his reins to a new horse and get some credit for it and wanted to make a change."

      Chun announced on Oct. 30 that Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis had resigned because of allegations involving illegal drug use. A member of the Florida Atlantic staff claimed to have personally witnessed marijuana and cocaine use, but Pelini denies using illegal drugs.

      Pelini said he regrets resigning and charged Chun with misleading him.

      "I trusted him," Pelini said. "He looked at me over the desk and said, 'If you sign this paper, I will take care of you. I'll explain what went down. We want to be clear about why you resigned.'

      "And then he wasn't. He went back on his word and it really disappointed me."

      When Pelini asked to withdraw his resignation, Florida Atlantic fired him for failing "to report certain conduct of a staff member." Reportedly, drug use was not mentioned explicitly in the letter notifying Pelini of his firing.

      A Florida Atlantic spokeswoman said Chun "has generally not commented on Pelini."

      Pelini had a 5-15 coaching record at Florida Atlantic.

  • Friday, April 18, 2014
    QB Joeckel transfers to TCU
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel confirmed via Twitter on Thursday night he is transferring to TCU.

    • "I am now TCU Horned Frog. Go Frogs!" Joeckel wrote.

      Joeckel graduated in December but still has one year of eligibility remaining. He will compete for the Horned Frogs' starting quarterback job after Tyler Matthews announced he is transferring out of the program.

      Joeckel announced he was leaving Texas A&M Wednesday. He spent Thursday on TCU's campus, according to ESPN.com.

      Joeckel will compete with Trevone Boykin for TCU's starting job.

      The Arlington, Texas, native and former three-star recruit played in four games for the Aggies last season, connecting on 22 of 37 passes for 293 yards with two touchdowns.

      The competition at quarterback at Texas A&M now falls to Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen.

      Hill, a sophomore, played in four games as a freshman, completing 16 of 22 passes, including a touchdown. He also ran the ball seven times for 37 yards.

      Last month, Hill was arrested for public intoxication and soon thereafter suspended indefinitely.

      Allen enrolled at Texas A&M in January and was able to compete throughout spring practice, which ended on April 5.

  • Thursday, April 17, 2014
    Dierdorf to broadcast Michigan games
    By The Sports Xchange

    Dan Dierdorf is returning to the broadcast booth just months after retiring to work as a radio analyst for Michigan football.

    • Dierdorf's alma mater and IMG College, which holds Michigan's multimedia rights, made the announcement Thursday.

      The former Michigan and Pro Football Hall of Fame player left CBS Sports after the 2013 season as an NFL network broadcaster, saying the travel was too hard on his knees, hips and back. Dierdorf also spent 12 years on ABC's "Monday Night Football" as an analyst.

      The 64-year-old Dierdorf will join former Michigan teammate Jim Brandstatter this fall on the Wolverines' broadcasts. Brandstatter replaced longtime announcer Frank Beckmann, who retired after the 2013 season.

      Dierdorf, a former offensive lineman, played 13 seasons in the NFL with the then-St. Louis Cardinals. A six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro, Dierdorf was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996 in Canton, Ohio, his hometown.

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014
    New NCAA rule to protect QBs from low hits
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NCAA approved a new rule Wednesday that would make it illegal to hit the quarterback below the knees during a passing situation.

    • A 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty will be assessed for such a tackle beginning this fall, according to the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel.

      "The rule specifically covers a scenario in which a quarterback is in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground," the NCAA said in its statement. "When in this situation, no defensive player rushing unabated can hit the quarterback at the knees or below the knees. In addition, a defensive player may not roll or lunge and forcibly hit the quarterback in the knee or below. So a defender already on the ground may not roll into the quarterback."

      Exceptions to the rule include the quarterback starting to run inside or outside the tackle box, the defender grabs or wraps the passer in an attempt to make a conventional tackle, and a defensive player being blocked into a quarterback.

      The proposal was discussed during the Football Rules Committee's meeting in February. The NCAA said the commissioners from the 10 FBS conferences and a majority of coaches expressed support for the rule.

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014
    Texas A&M 's Joeckel to transfer
    By The Sports Xchange

    Texas A&M quarterback Matt Joeckel, who was competing to replace Johnny Manziel as the starter for the Aggies, announced Wednesday he will transfer from the program.

    • Joeckel will take advantage of an NCAA transfer rule to pursue his final year of athletic eligibility at another institution.

      "Matt is a great Aggie and he has decided to transfer," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said in a statemwent. "We wish him all the best."

      Joeckel earned his undergraduate degree from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M in December.

      "I have loved my 4 1/2 years at Texas A&M," Joeckel said. "I am glad I had the opportunity to play for Coach Sumlin, Coach (Jake) Spavital and the rest of the coaches. I am proud to have my degree from the Mays Business School and I'll always consider myself a member of the Aggie family."

      The Arlington, Texas, native and former three-star recruit played in four games last season, connecting on 22 of 37 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns.

      The competition at quarterback now falls to Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen.

      Hill, a sophomore, played in four games as a freshman, completing 16 of 22 passes, including a touchdown. He also ran the ball seven times for 37 yards.

      Last month, Hill was arrested for public intoxication and soon thereafter suspended indefinitely.

      Allen enrolled at Texas A&M in January and was able to compete throughout spring practice, which ended on April 5.

  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014
    NCAA adds meals for student-athletes
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NCAA must have been listening to Connecticut senior guard Shabazz Napier a week ago when he complained after winning the NCAA championship that he went to bed hungry some nights.

    • On Tuesday, the Legislative Council approved "well-being" policy changes that would permit unlimited meals and snacks to Division I student-athletes, pending final approval of the Board of Directors at an April 24 meeting.

      "Today, we took action to provide meals to student-athletes incidental to participation,” council chairwoman Mary Mulvenna said in a statement. "I think the end result is right where it needs to be."

      Council members concluded that the charge from the current rules of three meals per day or a stipend for food would ensure the student-athletes receive the proper nutrition without jeopardizing additional federal aid that those who have financial needs currently receive.

      Other rule changes approved by the council and pending the final go-ahead from the Board of Directors include:

      -- Requiring strength and conditioning coaches to be certified from a nationally accredited body;

      -- Ensuring that a school staff member certified in CPR, first aid and arterial external defibrillation to be present at all athletic activities;

      -- Reducing the penalty for a first positive test for street drugs, including marijuana, from a full season to a half-season;

      -- Stipulating that football players rest for at least three hours between preseason practices.

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
    Clemson QB Kelly dismissed from team
    By The Sports Xchange

    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney dismissed quarterback Chad Kelly, nephew of NFL great Jim Kelly, from the team on Monday.

    • "I have dismissed Chad Kelly for conduct detrimental to our program," Swinney said in a statement. "He has had a pattern of behavior that is not consistent with the values of our program. I hope he will mature and grow from this and become the man and player I know he can be. I wish him nothing but the best in the future academically and athletically."

      Earlier Monday, WYFF in Greeneville, S.C., reported that Kelly was escorted from the practice field by Clemson police.

      The native of Niagara Falls, N.Y. was in a three-way competition at quarterback this spring along with senior Cole Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson. Kelly completed 10 of 18 passes for 113 yards, but threw a pair of interceptions in the spring game on Saturday.

      Kelly reportedly became frustrated and snapped at coaches during the spring game. The Tigers' staff benched Kelly for the entire second half.

      Kelly redshirted the 2012 season, then suffered a torn ACL in the 2013 spring game.

      Kelly played in five games overall in 2013 and was 10 of 17 passing for 58 yards. He added 16 rushes for 117 yards and a touchdown, including 56 yards on seven rushes at Virginia.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Iowa State kicks DL Irving off team
    By The Sports Xchange

    After two strikes, Iowa State defensive lineman David Irving won't get another to keep playing for the Cyclones. Head coach Paul Rhoades announced after Saturday's Spring game that Irving had been kicked off the team.

    • "It's a privilege and an honor to be a part of this football program and represent Iowa State football, Iowa State athletics and Iowa State University," Rhoads said. "David Irving has exhausted that privilege to represent this football program by not meeting the expectations that we've laid out for him."

      A photo of Irving, who started eight games in 2013, shows him carrying a stop sign during an April 8 disturbance on campus. He also was videotaped helping take down a light pole. Irving was charged with fifth-degree theft, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief, and was suspended by Rhoades on Friday.

      The suspension was Irving's second. In November, Irving was arrested on a domestic assault charge, and he was forced to sit out the game against Oklahoma. Charges in that case were dropped in January.

  • Sunday, April 13, 2014
    Tressel applies for Youngstown State president job
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has his sights set on becoming president at Youngstown State University.

    • Youngstown State confirmed that the 61-year-old Tressel and current executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron had applied late last week.

      Tressel also has applied for the presidency at the University of Akron.

      Tressel released a statement saying he was "respectful of the presidential search process under way" at both schools.

      Tressel coached at Youngstown State for 15 seasons, winning four Division 1-AA football titles. He coached at Ohio State from 2001-2010 and led the Buckeyes to the national championship in 2002.

      Tressel resigned as Ohio State's head coach in 2011 amid an NCAA probe.

  • Saturday, April 12, 2014
    Former LSU LB Jones in serious condition
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former LSU linebacker Tahj Jones is in serious condition after being shot in the stomach Friday night.

    • Jones participated in the school's Pro Day on Wednesday, though he is not likely to get drafted.

      Jones, who was visiting a female friend at a Sulphur, La., apartment complex, was at the apartment when 36-year-old Brandon Winey arrived and a fight ensued. Winey shot Jones and fled the scene, according to the Sulphur, La. police department.

      Jones was taken to a hospital and transferred to Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, La., for surgery on Saturday.

      Winey was arrested without incident at his home in Lake Charles, La., and charged with attempted murder. He was jailed in Sulphur and his bail was set at $1 million.

      Winey, a former LSU offensive lineman, was taken in the sixth round of the NFL draft in 2001 and played briefly with the Washington Redskins, New York Giants and Denver Broncos.

      An LSU spokesperson said the school was aware of the incident but had no further comment.

      Jones had 10 tackles in eight games last season. He made 47 tackles in his LSU career and started two games.

  • Friday, April 11, 2014
    CFB roundup: Missouri removes Green-Beckham from program
    By The Sports Xchange

    Missouri coach Gary Pinkel announced Friday that wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was suspended on Monday, has been dismissed from the Tigers' football program.

    • Green-Beckham, who turns 21 this weekend, was involved in an incident last weekend at a Columbia apartment in which he allegedly forced his way into an apartment and pushed a woman down a short flight of stairs. Police responded, but Green-Beckham was not arrested and is not facing charges because the victims decided not to press charges.

      "This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind," Pinkel said in a statement issued by the Missouri athletic department.

      The No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2012, Green-Beckham led the Tigers last year with 59 catches for 883 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, helping Missouri capture the SEC East title.

      ---The NCAA ruled riday that unlike most transfers, quarterback Luke Del Rio of Oregon State will not have to sit out a season before he is eligible to play after transferring from Alabama.

      Del Rio, son of defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio of the Denver Broncos, transferred early this year. A former walk-on at Alabama, Del Rio is a redshirt freshman and will have four years of eligibility remaining. He is expected to compete for the backup job against Brett VanderVeen and Kyle Kempt. Sean Mannion is the starter at quarterback.

      ---Oregon wide junior receiver Bralon Addison tore an ACL during spring practice Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

      Addison reportedly injured his left knee during a non-contract drill. It is not clear how long Addison will be out, but he could miss the season. He is the Ducks' top returning receiver. Oregon already lost two of its top three receivers from last year, Josh Huff and Daryle Hawkins, who are graduating.

      Addison had 61 receptions for 890 yards with seven touchdowns last season. He also returned two punts for scores.

  • Friday, April 11, 2014
    NCAA rules Del Rio eligible at Oregon State
    By The Sports Xchange

    The NCAA ruled on Friday that unlike most transfers, quarterback Luke Del Rio of Oregon State will not have to sit out a season before he is eligible to play after transferring from Alabama.

    • Del Rio, son of defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio of the Denver Broncos, transferred early this year, and the Beavers were surprised by the ruling.

      "We were thinking he would not be eligible for the year and were preparing for him for the following season," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "This is good news. It gives us one more guy in the mix immediately.”

      Said Del Rio: "I knew it was going to be yes or no, so I was kind of on pins and needles. It's more relief than anything. I've been waiting for two months. I'm really excited."

      Del Rio, a walk-on at Alabama, is a redshirt freshman and will have four years of eligibility remaining. He is expected to compete for the backup job against Brett VanderVeen and Kyle Kempt, as Sean Mannion is the starter at quarterback.

  • Friday, April 11, 2014
    Green-Beckham kicked off team at Missouri
    By The Sports Xchange

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Coach Gary Pinkel of Missouri announced on Friday that wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, who was suspended on Monday, has been dismissed from the Tigers' football program.

    • Green-Beckham, who turns 21 this weekend, was involved in an incident last weekend at a Columbia apartment in which he allegedly forced his way into an apartment and pushed a woman down a short flight of stairs.

      Police responded, but Green-Beckham was not arrested and is not facing charges because the victims decided not to press charges.

      "This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind," Pinkel said in a statement issued by the Missouri athletic department. "Dorial's priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs. As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family.

      "We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start."

      The No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2012, Green-Beckham led the Tigers last season with 59 receptions for 883 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, helping Missouri capture the SEC East title.

      Green-Beckham released this statement earlier Friday:

      "First and most importantly, I take responsibly for my conduct and my mistakes. Don't blame my girlfriend or her friends for anything. I am not looking for sympathy. I thank those who have given me concern. I have been young and dumb. I want to be better.

      "During my suspension I'm entering counseling. With help, I know I can be stronger emotionally and spiritually. My relationship with God, my family, friends, teammates and coaches are most important in my life, not football. It may not be possible to fix everything, but it won’t be for not trying."

      Green-Beckham was arrested in January on a charge of marijuana possession during a police traffic stop, but the charges were dismissed after another passenger in the vehicle in question took ownership of the marijuana.

      As a freshman, Green-Beckham was suspended by Pinkel for one game after being one of five players arrested and charged with marijuana possession.

  • Friday, April 11, 2014
    Reports: Oregon WR Addison has torn ACL
    By The Sports Xchange

    Oregon wide junior receiver Bralon Addison tore an ACL during spring practice Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

    • Addison reportedly injured his left knee during a non-contract drill.

      It is not clear how long Addison will be out, but he could miss the season. He is the Ducks' top returning receiver. Oregon already lost two of its top three receivers from last year, Josh Huff and Daryle Hawkins, who are graduating.

      Addison had 61 receptions for 890 yards with seven touchdowns last season. He also returned two punts for scores.

  • Thursday, April 10, 2014
    UNLV lose appeal of bowl ban
    By The Sports Xchange

    UNLV's appeal of its 2014 postseason ban because of a low Academic Progress Report score was rejected by the NCAA, the school announced Thursday.

    • The Rebels' score of 925 was five points below the minimum 930 required to be eligible for Mountain West Conference championship or bowl games during the next school year. The most recent APR included the program's academic progress from 2010 to 2013.

      In addition to being ineligible for the postseason, UNLV's practice time will be cut by four hours weekly and replaced with four additional academic hours. The Rebels also are limited to four days of football-related activities rather than six. But the program did not lose any scholarships.

      "I am disappointed for the vast majority of our football players who understand the importance of academics and who embrace and meet their responsibilities," UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said. "In fact, 96 percent of the football players on our current roster have never cost UNLV an APR point -- so clearly, the overwhelming majority of our student-athletes understand that their first priority must be academics.

      "I am also extremely encouraged and optimistic due to the response I have seen since I started here from our student-athletes, our coaches, our athletic department personnel and our university leadership.

      "Everyone associated with UNLV football recognizes what the expectations are in terms of academic performance and everyone involved has shown a genuine commitment to getting these numbers where they need to be. We are taking a number of significant steps to improve the level of academic support."

      The APR formula is based on eligibility and progress toward graduation and retention of scholarship athletes.

      UNLV played in a bowl game last season for the first time since 2000.

  • Tuesday, April 8, 2014
    Report: Notre Dame exploring series with Georgia
    By The Sports Xchange

    Notre Dame and Georgia are in talks to play a home-and-home football series between the schools for 2018 and 2019, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.

    • Notre Dame's last SEC regular-season game was a 41-21 win over Tennessee in 2005.

      Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity acknowledged the schools have had discussions.

      "It'd be great for the University of Georgia if we were able to make it happen," McGarity told CBSSports.com.

      The dates remain to be determined, senior associate athletic director John Heisler told ESPN.com.

      As a football independent but member of the ACC in other sports, the Irish have an agreement to play five ACC teams per season, which can complicate their scheduling with members of other conferences.

      Notre Dame senior associate athletic director John Heisler told the Chicago Tribune that the series could perhaps be played in years other than 2018 and 2019.

      Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly sparked interest in August when he called Georgia a natural matchup for the Irish, according to CBSSports.com.

      Notre Dame's last SEC matchup was a 42-14 loss to Alabama in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. Before that, the Irish lost 41-14 to LSU in the 2006 Sugar Bowl. Notre Dame is 26-17 all time against the SEC.

      Notre Dame previously announced its full schedules for the 2014-16 seasons, so any future series could not be scheduled before 2017.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014
    Missouri WR Green-Beckham suspended
    By The Sports Xchange

    Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on Monday suspended indefinitely wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham from the program for a violation of team policies.

    • The decision is effective immediately and includes all practices and team activities.

      "It's unfortunate, but it's the right thing to do for our football program, for the athletic department, and also for Dorial," Pinkel said in a statement released by the school. "Representing Mizzou and our fans is a privilege, and we'll work with him during the process."

      The suspension is the latest off-field incident that Green-Beckham has been involved in since he enrolled at Missouri. Green-Beckham received a one-game suspension in 2012 following a marijuana possession charge, then was arrested in a car which contained marijuana in January. Court documents would later show that the marijuana in the car did not belong to the Tigers' wide receiver.

      Columbia Police said there has not been an arrest and would not comment on whether Green-Beckham is part of an investigation.

      "It's been disappointing to have this and other issues which have taken place lately," Pinkel said. "It's frustrating because we work very hard to instill responsibility and discipline in our young men so that our program represents Mizzou the right way. These actions aren't representative of those expectations, and we are addressing these issues head on."

      Green-Beckham led Missouri as a sophomore last year with 59 catches for 883 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had six catches for 144 yards and two scores in the SEC championship game against Auburn.

  • Monday, April 7, 2014
    Alabama CB Jackson tore ACL
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama cornerback Eddie Jackson tore an ACL during a spring scrimmage on Saturday.

    • Alabama coach Nick Saban said Jackson injured the knee during a "noncontact" situation in which he leaped for the football and "came down funny," according to ESPN.

      "Eddie was having a great spring and (was) probably our best corner, most consistent," Saban said.

      Jackson played seven games, starting four, during his freshman season in 2013. He had 19 tackles, one interception and two fumble recoveries.

      Jackson was working with the first-team defense for most of spring practice. He is expected to need five months to recover, which would prevent him from taking part in preseason camp.

      Another option for Jackson is to take a medical redshirt. Alabama already lacks depth at cornerback, so losing Jackson for the season would be a big blow.

      "We've just got to keep working and developing depth," Saban said. "(I) feel like have a few more guys that have a good understanding of what we're doing. We just seem to not be making as many mental errors as we have in the past at this time."

  • Sunday, April 6, 2014
    Boise State gets commitment from Rypien
    By The Sports Xchange

    Boise State landed one of the top high school quarterback prospects in the 2015 class Saturday when the nephew of Super Bowl MVP quarterback Mark Rypien said he would play for the Broncos.

    • Brett Rypien spurned his uncle's alma mater, Washington State, to become the highest rated quarterback prospect to pick Boise State, according to the Spokesman-Review.

      "For me, it came down to three things I was looking for," Rypien told the newspaper. "I wanted a good coaching staff, good facilities and an atmosphere I could see myself being successful in for four years. Boise State definitely has all of that for me. I was really blown away by their facilities."

      Through his junior season, Rypien has thrown for more than 7,000 yards and 46 touchdowns.

  • Sunday, April 6, 2014
    Missouri starting DT to have surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Missouri starting defensive tackle Matt Hoch will have surgery to repair a broken ankle and will miss the remainder of spring practice for the Tigers.

    • Hoch, who started 13 games for the SEC East champion Tigers last year, should be healthy enough to play when Missouri opens its season against South Dakota State on Aug. 30.

      Hoch compiled 41 tackles last season, including four tackles for loss and three sacks.

  • Sunday, April 6, 2014
    Miami QB Williams tears ACL
    By The Sports Xchange

    University of Miami quarterback Ryan Williams tore his right ACL.

    • Williams, projected as the Hurricanes' starter this season, injured his knee during a non-contact drill in the second scrimmage of the spring on Friday night.

      The school announced Saturday that Williams will have surgery next week, but did not disclose the severity of the injury or indicate a timetable for his return. He was evaluated at the University of Miami Hospital.

      Miami will go to redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen and sophomore Gray Crow. Olsen was working with the second team and Crow the third team. Freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier will join the Hurricanes this summer.

      Williams, who will be a senior this season, played four games for the Hurricanes last year. He completed 22 of 32 passes (68.8 percent) for 369 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

      After starting 10 games for Memphis in 2010, he transferred to Miami. He played in five games in 2012 after sitting out the 2011 season.

  • Saturday, April 5, 2014
    Fitzgerald urges Northwestern players to reject union
    By The Sports Xchange

    Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is encouraging his players to vote no later this month on forming a union.

    • After the National Labor Relations Board's Chicago office ruled in March that players have a right to unionize, Fitzgerald had been silent on the subject until this week when he addressed his team and sent a letter to their parents.

      "I believe it's in their best interests to vote no," Fitzgerald said Saturday, according to ESPN.com. "With the research that I've done, I'm going to stick to the facts and I'm going to do everything in my power to educate our guys. Our university is going to do that. We'll give them all the resources they need to get the facts."

      Northwestern plans to appeal the decision to the NLRB's national office. Former Wildcats quarterback Kain Kolter organized the unionization movement.

      Northwestern players will case their votes April 25 on whether or not to unionize.

      In the meantime, Fitzgerald must follow rules in speaking with players on unions that include questioning them on how they will vote or making threats. He is permitted to answer questions and express his opinion until 24 hours before the vote.

      "Right now, we have great protocols in place, and we haven't been forced to do that by any third party," Fitzgerald said. "I know our guys trust me. I've been pretty clear with my support."

      ESPN reported that some veteran Northwestern players are siding with Fitzgerald, saying there are many unknowns about a college players' union.

      "Things do need to change, and I hope the NCAA sees that," senior running back Venric Mark said, according to ESPN. "But at the end of the day, Northwestern treats us very well, and we do not need a third party to come in between us and the coaches."

  • Thursday, April 3, 2014
    Feds investigate Winston case at Florida State
    By The Sports Xchange

    The federal government is looking into Florida State's handling of the sexual assault allegation that was made last year by a female student against Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston.

    • FOX Sports reported Thursday that the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is attempting to determine whether the case was dealt with "promptly and 'equitably" based on Title IX, the federal gender-equity law mandates that schools investigate sexual assault cases and act in accordance with the findings.

      A Florida State student alleged that she was raped by Winston at an off-campus apartment on Dec. 7, 2012. Winston's attorneys said the encounter was consensual.

      In a case that drew national attention last fall while the Seminoles were on the way to a BCS national championship and Winston to winning the Heisman, he was not charged after an investigation by the office of the state's attorney.

      Winston and other unidentified incidents are part of the federal probe, according to a letter acquired by FOX Sports.

      A Florida State spokeswoman told FOX that the university could not comment because of federal student privacy laws but was apprised of the investigation.

      According to guidelines, the federal probe should take about 60 days to complete. If investigators conclude that Florida State acted in an improper manner, it will assist the school in conducting another investigation.

      If the university fails to cooperate, it could face a lawsuit that would attempt to keep the school from receiving federal funds.

      "We're gratified by these developments," said Baine Kerr, an attorney for the woman who alleges that Winston raped her.

  • Saturday, March 29, 2014
    Texas A&M QB Hill suspended after arrest
    By The Sports Xchange

    Texas A&M indefinitely suspended sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill after he was arrested for public intoxication Friday morning.

    • Hill is barred from all athletic activities, according to Texas A&M policy, the Bryan-College Station Eagle reported.

      Hill, 19, is competing for the starting job with the departure of Johnny Manziel. However, the suspension hurts his chances as he will miss out on practice time for at least part of this spring. Matt Joeckel and Kyle Allen are also being considered.

      Hill was found by police passed out in a planter full of rocks and plants in front of a Southlake, Texas, restaurant and bar. When asked by officers to name the president of the U.S., Hill responded "Bush" and then told them his name was "Kennedy." He was released after posting bail.

  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    Ruling paves way for college players' union
    By The Sports Xchange

    The National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday in favor of the College Athletes Players Association, determining that Northwestern football players meet the federal guidelines to form a union.

    • The players, led by former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, contended in their petition to the NLRB's Chicago regional office in February that they should be viewed as employees of the university rather than students. The NLRB agreed.

      "Players receiving scholarships to perform football-related services for the Employer under a contract for hire in return for compensation are subject to the Employer's control and are therefore employees," the NLRB ruling stated.

      The decision could ultimately have a major impact on college football and allow players across the country to unionize.

      "So proud of my teammates, Ramogi, lawyers, and supporters around the nation! This is a HUGE win for ALL college athletes!" Colter tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

      Northwestern plans to appeal the decision.

      "Northwestern University is disappointed by today's ruling by the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board finding that Northwestern University's football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees and directing that a secret ballot election be held to determine whether the football players should be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining with Northwestern University," said Alan Cubbage, the school's vice president for university relations.

      "While we respect the NLRB process and the regional director's opinion, we disagree with it. Northwestern believes strongly that our student-athletes are not employees, but students. Unionization and collective bargaining are not the appropriate methods to address the concerns raised by student-athletes. Northwestern plans to appeal today's decision to the full National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. The University will continue to explore all of its legal options in regard to this issue."