College Football
NCAAF News Wire
  • Saturday, April 18, 2015
    Ohio State sets CFB record for spring game attendance
    By The Sports Xchange

    Three months after winning the national championship, Ohio State is still creating a buzz in Columbus, Ohio.

    • On Saturday, the Buckeyes set a college football record for spring-game attendance when 99,391 turned out on a sunny spring afternoon to watch the Scarlet beat the Gray 17-14 in Ohio Stadium.

      The highlight was a 58-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cardale Jones, the hero of the Buckeyes' postseason run to the first College Football Playoff championship, to wide receiver Corey Smith in the second quarter. Jones and Smith also hooked up for a 37-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

      Jones is preparing for a highly anticipated battle with J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller for the starting quarterback job in the fall. Barrett (broken ankle) and Miller (shoulder) were on hand Saturday but did not play in the scrimmage while continuing to recover from injuries. Jones finished 19 of 42 for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

      "99,000 people? I think I heard that over the PA system," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "I'm not surprised, but extremely grateful to have that many come watch a scrimmage. At times, it wasn't a very pleasant scrimmage.

      "We grab hands after each time we come into the stadium and we're very grateful for the blessings to be able to play this great game, first of all, and, secondly, where we play it. I imagine it has to be some kind of record."

      Indeed it was. Ohio State also held the previous record when 95,722 attended the spring game in 2009.

      Alabama, which previously had the second highest spring attendance of 92,310, saw 65,157 fans turn out Saturday for its spring game.

      Big Ten programs Nebraska and Michigan each have new coaches this year and drew 76,881 and 66,000, respectively, to their spring games.

  • Thursday, April 16, 2015
    Notre Dame-Texas set for prime time
    By The Sports Xchange

    Notre Dame will play Texas in prime time on Sept. 5 in South Bend, Ind., to kick off its 2015 football season.

    • The game between the storied programs is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. It will follow a NASCAR Xfinity Series race from Darlington, S.C., that airs on the network beginning at 3:30 p.m.

      Notre Dame won eight of its previous 10 meetings with Texas. The last encounter came in 1996, when Notre Dame won 27-24 in Austin, Texas.

      Several other key nonconference matchups are scheduled for Sept. 5, including Wisconsin-Alabama in Dallas, Arizona State-Texas A&M in Houston and Louisville-Auburn in Atlanta.

      Notre Dame is expected to play at least one more night games at home in 2015, which is likely to be Southern California's visit on Oct. 17.

      The Fighting Irish's Shamrock Series game on Nov. 21 against Boston College at Fenway Park in Boston is also a strong candidate for a prime-time start. Another possibility is the Oct. 3 game at Clemson.

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    CFP pays off for schools, conferences
    By The Sports Xchange

    The new bowl structure appears to be good for the finances of college football teams and conferences.

    • Payouts from 2014-15 postseason games rose nearly $200 million to $505.9 million in the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff, according to an Associated Press report Tuesday.

      The money from the 39 bowl games represents a 63.2 percent increase from the previous year and is distributed to member conferences and schools. Expenses from participants in the bowls also increased to $100.2 million.

      Larger payouts were largely the result of media contracts with the six bowls in the CFP playoff rotation and the national championship game. ESPN paid $470 million for the CFP semifinals and title game. Ohio State was crowned the first champion of the CFP after its win over Oregon.

      The CFP system replaced the Bowl Championship Series, which in his last year in 2013-14 saw payouts of $309.9 million and expenses of $97.8 million for the participants in 35 games.

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    Florida OT Johnson retires with spinal cord condition
    By The Sports Xchange

    Florida redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Roderick Johnson will give up football due to a spinal cord condition.

    • Johnson, a projected starter and one of just six scholarship offensive linemen available during spring practice, suffered a stinger in the spring game and then learned of the more serious condition, congenital cervical stenosis.

      Johnson said that when he went down on the field he saw white light and will commemorate his final appearance in The Swamp with a tattoo.

      "4/3/15 will tat it on me my last play in the swamp saw that white light when I went down and I stood and walk off the field with pride," Johnson wrote via Twitter (@Almighty_rod55).

      The same issue caused former New York Giants running back David Wilson to retire from football last season. A narrowing of the spinal canal does not permit enough fluid to surround the spinal cord to protect it.

  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015
    Texas, Texas A&M want to resume series
    By The Sports Xchange

    Texas and Texas A&M have not met since 2011 as one of college football's storied rivalries has gone dormant, but the coaches of the two teams would like for that to change.

    • Texas' Charlie Strong and Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin support a renewal of the season, according to an ESPN report on Tuesday.

      The annual showdown was a casualty of Texas A&M's move to the Southeastern Conference from the Big 12 in 2012.

      "That game is so much a part of this state," Strong said. "Over 100 years, we've played that game. Why stop it now because we're in different conferences? At some point, when it's right for everybody with the different schedules, I would love to play Texas A&M again."

      Sumlin is also supportive, as are the fans and alumni of both schools.

      "Now, moving into Year 4 and listening to our former students and our alumni base and knowing a lot of Texas alums, it's important that we play again," Sumlin said. "I think it will happen somewhere down the road. The tough part for both parties, when we moved, was scheduling. The first two years we scrambled just to get anybody to play, and the SEC hadn't solidified their schedule until last year. We were at the mercy of whoever would play us.

      "Now that we've solidified what the SEC's scheduling theory is going to be, you've seen us become more aggressive with our nonconference schedule, and that was the knock on us early on. People sometimes take scheduling for granted and say, 'Play this team.' They don't know the process. But I think the Texas series will happen. I just don't know when."

      The first game between the teams was played in 1894 and the last of 118 games was a 27-25 Texas victory in 2011. The rivalry is older than Ohio State-Michigan. Texas leads the series 76-37-5.

      "Can you imagine Florida not playing Florida State or South Carolina not playing Clemson?" Strong said. "We all love to see those games. Within the state, it would have such a buildup. It's a game that needs to be played."

      One of the issues is fitting a nonconference game into each's team schedule.

      "It's not about, 'Is it important to me?'" Sumlin said. "It becomes, 'What's important to fans and former students and alums of Texas A&M and the University of Texas?' That's what matters."

      Before pushing his bosses for a game against the Aggies, though, Strong said in his second season with the Longhorns that he needs to compile a few more victories.

      "Let me win some games first," he said. "Then I can push it. I don't know if I want to go walking into College Station right now."

  • Monday, April 13, 2015
    Ohio State extends Meyer's contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    Fresh off a national title, Ohio State has extended coach Urban Meyer's contract through the 2020 season.

    • Meyer's salary will increase from $4.9 million to $5.8 million in 2015 and will average $6.5 million, which matches Alabama's Nick Saban for highest in college football.

      In three seasons at Ohio State, Meyer is 38-3, including 24-0 against Big Ten teams -- not counting a loss to Michigan State in the 2013 conference championship game.

      "I am honored to serve as football coach at The Ohio State University and to represent this great university," Meyer said in a release. "It is a privilege to coach and mentor the young men in this program, and I want to thank President Drake and (athletic director Gene Smith) for their support and their trust in me."

      Smith said, "Urban Meyer has done an excellent job strengthening our culture of commitment to academics, career development and winning championships."

  • Monday, April 13, 2015
    Ohio State QB Barrett will not play in spring game
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ohio State coach Urban Meyer confirmed Monday that quarterback J.T. Barrett will not play in Saturday's spring game.

    • Barrett suffered a fractured ankle in the Buckeyes' regular-season finale against Michigan last year. Barrett had screws removed in February, but he has been a non-contact participant in practices this spring.

      Quarterback Braxton Miller is continuing his recovery from shoulder surgery that cost him the entire 2014 season. Miller finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting two years ago and was one of the top candidates last year before his injury.

      Cardale Jones, the Buckeyes' third-string quarterback at the start of last season, led Ohio State to the national title.

      With Miller and Barrett sidelined, Jones will go against redshirt freshman Stephen Collier in the spring game this weekend.

      "I don't know who our quarterback is going to be (this fall)," Meyer said. The quarterback rotation would be an "Aug. 15-type question," the coach added.

      Ohio State opens its season against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7.

  • Monday, April 13, 2015
    Holtz out as ESPN college football analyst
    By The Sports Xchange

    Lou Holtz is out at ESPN after 11 seasons as a college football studio analyst.

    • ESPN issued a statement that read, "Lou brought a champion's perspective and a legacy of accomplishment to our coverage along with his distinctive style and humor. We appreciate his contributions and wish him all the best in the future."

      Holtz's agent, Sandy Montag, told Sports Illustrated, "Lou enjoyed his time and friendships made at ESPN and looks forward to other opportunities in college football."

      Sports Illustrated reported that the decision for Holtz, 78, to exit was "closer to a mutual agreement between the parties than Holtz getting forced out."

      ESPN previously announced changes to its Saturday college football studio coverage, with Rece Davis set to replace Chris Fowler as the primary anchor alongside analyst Mark May.

      A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Holtz was the head coach at William & Mary (1969-71), North Carolina State (1972-75), Arkansas (1977-83), Minnesota (1984-85), Notre Dame (1986-96) and South Carolina (1999-2004). He compiled a 249-132-7 mark, including a 100-30-2 record with the Irish.

      Holtz guided Notre Dame to a 12-0 season and a national championship in 1988-89.

  • Friday, April 10, 2015
    Ex-Florida coach, AD Graves dies at age 96
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former Florida Gators football coach and athletic director Ray Graves died Friday in Tampa, Fla., at the age of 96.

    • In 10 seasons as the Gators' head coach from 1960-69, Graves won nearly 70 percent of his games, led Florida to its first appearances in the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl, and signed a quarterback named Steve Spurrier, who would become the school's first Heisman Trophy winner in 1966.

      "A tremendous influence on my life,'' Spurrier said Friday of Graves. "After my mother and dad, Coach Graves had the biggest influence on my life. I am so thankful for him. I had a chance yesterday to tell him I love him and I sincerely thank him for the influence he had on me."

      Graves compiled a 70-31-4 (.686) record, coached the Gators to five bowl games and into the final top 20 rankings four times. He stepped down after the 1969 season to make room for former Florida quarterback Doug Dickey to become head coach while Graves served as athletic director. Graves held the AD position for 19 years before retiring in 1979.

      "You can't put into words what he has meant to the Gator Nation and the countless lives he has touched from his players, coaches, friends and family," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said in a statement. "Like many others I was fortunate to have a personal relationship with him and will be forever grateful for our time together."

      Graves was a native of Knoxville, Tenn., and attended Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, Tenn. After one season, Graves transferred to Tennessee and played two years as a center for coaching legend Robert Neyland. He was team captain in 1941.

      Graves is a member of the UF Athletics Hall of Fame and in 1990 was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

  • Thursday, April 9, 2015
    Ohio State QB Miller reinstated by NCAA
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has been reinstated by the NCAA after an investigation determined he committed a minor violation.

    • "The NCAA has determined Braxton Miller's Instagram post on March 24, 2015, was deemed to be a promotion of a commercial product," the school said in a statement Thursday. "The Ohio State University Dept. of Athletics reported the incident to the NCAA, and the NCAA has reinstated Braxton's eligibility without any conditions. This was considered a minor violation and the matter is now closed."

      Last month, the senior quarterback was pictured on Instagram appearing to endorse a line of nutritional products.

      The information page, with Miller sitting next to a local trainer behind a table with AdvoCare products, included links to order items through Miller. AdvoCare is a weight-loss and nutritional products company that sponsors the Texas Bowl.

      College athletes are allowed to sell products such as AdvoCare, but they can't use their image or their ties to a school for promotional purposes.

      Miller is working out with the Buckeyes this spring after undergoing shoulder surgery and sitting out the 2014 season. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year is rehabbing the shoulder and expected back in the fall to compete with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones for the starting job.

  • Thursday, April 9, 2015
    Alabama RB Scarbrough out after knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama five-star freshman running back Bo Scarbrough was injured Saturday and had knee surgery.

    • Scarbrough enrolled in school in January and was expected to serve as a backup this season. His status for the fall is unclear.

      Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake are competing for the starting job with T.J. Yeldon gone. Running back Tyren Jones was dismissed from the team following his arrest on a charge of marijuana possession.

      Wide receiver Cam Sims is out because of a torn ACL.

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2015
    Illinois WR Dudek tears ACL in practice
    By The Sports Xchange

    Illinois wide receiver Mike Dudek susffered a torn ACL during a non-contact drill during spring practice on Wednesday morning in Champaign, Ill.

    • Dudek, who is expected to miss the start of the 2015 season, emerged as one of the top young receivers in the country last year, leading all FBS freshmen in yards per game with a 79.8-yard average. He was named second-team All-Big Ten and led all receivers in conference games with 50 catches for 716 yards and three touchdowns.

      With 76 catches for 1,038 yards in all games, Dudek broke school freshman records.

      "This is very disappointing for Mikey, his family and our football program. He'll have the knee surgically repaired as soon as possible and the doctors feel like he could return to the field in October," Illinois coach Tim Beckman said. "Knowing how hard Mikey works, our biggest challenge will be to keep him on pace and not let him push it too hard and too fast."

  • Wednesday, April 8, 2015
    West Virginia DL Rose facing charges
    By The Sports Xchange

    West Virginia senior defensive lineman Kyle Rose was arrested over the weekend at a Morgantown, W.Va., bar and charged with a series of misdemeanors.

    • According to both the West Virginia Metro News and the Dominion Post, Rose was arrested early Sunday morning. The misdemeanor charges included obstructing an officer, battery on an officer, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

      The criminal complaint said Rose attempted to enter the bar at 2:30 a.m. and caused a disturbance. After being forced to the floor, the 6-foot-4, 294-pound Rose allegedly ignored further warnings to cease resisting, at which point officers deployed a taser.

      Rose was released on a $600 bond.

      "We are aware of the situation, and the matter will be handled internally," head coach Dana Holgorsen told the Dominion-Post in an email.

      Rose could face student disciplinary action.

      Rose redshirted in 2011 but has appeared in all 38 Mountaineers games since then. He started all 13 games during the 2014 season, finishing with 35 tackles.

  • Tuesday, April 7, 2015
    Big 12, ACC back deregulation of conference title games
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Big 12 might have missed a chance to have one of its schools participate in the College Football Playoff last season because it did not have a conference championship game. But that would not be a problem if legislation that deregulates conference championship games passes as expected, CBSSports.com reported Tuesday.

    • The Big 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference developed the legislation, which could be implemented as soon as the 2016 season.

      At the moment, conferences are required to have at least 12 members divided into two divisions to have a conference title game. The Big 12 has only 10 members in one large conference, so it cannot have a conference championship game.

      Baylor and TCU were ranked No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, in the final regular-season Associated Press polls this past season and finished tied for first in the Big 12. Because the conference did not have a championship game to establish an undisputed champion, it might have affected the ability of Baylor and TCU to get picked for the four-team playoff.

      Deregulating the championship game would allow the Big 12 to hold a title game with just 10 teams, presumably divided into two five-team divisions.

      It's unclear what the ACC's motives were for helping to develop this legislation because it already has a conference title game. It was hinted by Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner and chairman of the new NCAA Football Oversight Committee, that the ACC might want to add a 15th team and have three five-team divisions, with the two division winners with the highest rankings meeting in the conference championship game.

  • Tuesday, April 7, 2015
    Army dropping 'Black Knights' for Cadets
    By The Sports Xchange

    Since 1999, Army's athletic teams have been known as the Black Knights. Next week, the school reportedly will revert back to being known as the Cadets.

    • The change has been in the works for the past 18 months, according to the school. On Monday, the "new" Cadets' logo and branding is expected to be revealed. In addition to a new logo, uniforms will have new lettering and new numbers.

      "I'm all for it if it reverses the streak against Navy. We had more success with that when we were the Cadets," Alex Moore, a captain with the 2002 Army football team told SI.com.

      Army has lost 13 straight games to Navy.

  • Sunday, April 5, 2015
    Utah loses RB McCormick to knee injury
    By The Sports Xchange

    Utah Utes running back Troy McCormick suffered a "pretty severe" knee injury during practice Friday and will miss the 2015 season, according to coach Kyle Whittingham.

    • "That's the most unfortunate part of the game," Whittingham said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "He's just a great kid, and it tears your heart out to see that happen."

      McCormick rushed for 178 yards on 30 carries as a redshirt freshman in 2014, and was expected to serve as a primary backup to Devontae Booker, who rushed for 1,512 yards last season.

  • Friday, April 3, 2015
    TCU QB Boykin on mend after wrist surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin had minor surgery on his left wrist Thursday to repair an injured bone.

    • TCU coach Gary Patterson first announced in February that Boykin would undergo a procedure to fix a bone in his non-throwing wrist that he injured last season but continued to play using a soft cast on the hand.

      "Everything is great," Patterson said, according to Fox Sports Southwest.

      Boykin went through two weeks of spring practice but will sit out the final week and also miss the Horned Frogs' spring game on April 10. But he is expected to be back working out by May 1.

      Last season, Boykin finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting after passing for a school-record 3,901 yards and 33 touchdowns while adding 707 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

      The Horned Frogs just missed a spot in the first College Football Playoff in 2014, finishing with a Big 12 co-championship and a win over Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.

  • Thursday, April 2, 2015
    DL Taylor not in school at Alabama
    By The Sports Xchange

    Defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor is not enrolled as a student at Alabama and will not be re-admitted to the university after his dismissal from the football program this week.

    • An Alabama spokeswoman said Thursday that Taylor is not eligible for re-admission after a 24-year-old woman accused him of assault over the weekend but later recanted her statement to Tuscaloosa, Ala., police.

      The female accuser was subsequently arrested for giving a false report. She was charged with false reporting to law enforcement and placed in county jail. She posted bond and was released.

      Alabama coach Nick Saban dismissed the 6-foot-4, 335-pound Taylor from the team Sunday after he was arrested on domestic violence charges. He was charged with domestic violence third-degree assault and domestic violence third-degree criminal mischief. The charges are being reviewed, according to Tuscaloosa police.

      Saban told reporters Monday that Taylor had completed psychological counseling and profiling as part of his enrollment at Alabama in January.

      Taylor, a transfer from Georgia, was charged last July with felony aggravated assault and family violence after he allegedly hit his girlfriend with a fist and choked her while arguing. He was subsequently dismissed from the Bulldogs' football program. That case is still pending.

      In a separate incident while at Georgia last March, Taylor was arrested for theft by deception after four football players attempted to cash meal reimbursement checks twice.

      Taylor left Georgia for Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College last fall and then enrolled at Alabama.

  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015
    Iowa QB Rudock will transfer to Michigan
    By The Sports Xchange

    Iowa fifth-year senior quarterback Jake Rudock plans to transfer to Michigan after receiving a Big Ten waiver and will be eligible to play this season for the Wolverines, according to reports Wednesday.

    • Rudock started the past two seasons at Iowa. He needed a waiver from the Big Ten to play in his first year at his new school. Rudock has to actually graduate at Iowa before the move can be official. Iowa's current semester ends May 15.

      Rudock was once recruited to Miami by Jedd Fisch, Michigan's new quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator.

      Michigan has added quarterbacks to its roster since head coach Jim Harbaugh arrived in January. Freshman Alex Malzone enrolled early to take part in spring drills. Freshman Zach Gentry will join the team this summer. Former Houston starter John O'Korn plans to transfer this summer, but won't be eligible to play until the 2016 season.

      According to ESPN.com, Rudock visited Michigan's campus in March, but still needed clearance from the Big Ten when Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz released him with "no strings attached" to play at any school. The Big Ten's intra-conference transfer policy requires that players sit out a season even if they are eligible to play right away under NCAA graduate student transfer rules.

      Rudock started 25 of the past 26 games as a Hawkeye, but he dropped behind junior C.J. Beathard on a depth chart the team released in January. Rudock completed 61.7 percent of his passes last season, throwing for 2,436 yards and 16 touchdowns.

  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015
    Woman recants accusation against Taylor
    By The Sports Xchange

    The woman who accused former Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor of assault over the weekend has recanted her statement, according to the Tuscaloosa, Ala., police department.

    • The female accuser was subsequently arrested for giving a false report. She was charged with false reporting to law enforcement and placed in county jail. She posted bond and was released.

      Alabama dismissed the 6-foot-4, 335-pound Taylor from the team Sunday after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night. He was charged with domestic violence third-degree assault and domestic violence third-degree criminal mischief.

      Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit assistant commander Kip Hart said the 24-year-old woman, whose identity is being withheld, approached investigators on Monday and provided a written statement saying she fabricated the story. Hart said the investigation is ongoing.

      The accuser told police on Saturday she had been in a verbal confrontation that turned physical with the Taylor. She told investigators on Monday that Taylor had not harmed her during the incident.

      According to police, there was sufficient evidence for the initial charges against Taylor based on the "visible marks to her" and the "damage that was observed" at the residence.

      With the woman's statement now in doubt, the charges against Taylor are being reviewed.

      Taylor, 21, was dismissed by Alabama coach Nick Saban, who told reporters Monday that Taylor had completed psychological counseling and profiling as part of his enrollment at Alabama in January.

      An Alabama football spokesman was unsure as of Wednesday morning whether Taylor could be reinstated to the team, according to AL.com.

      Taylor, a transfer from Georgia, was charged last July with felony aggravated assault and family violence after he allegedly hit his girlfriend with a fist and choked her while arguing. He was subsequently dismissed from the Bulldogs' football program. That case is still pending.

      In a separate incident while at Georgia last March, Taylor was arrested for theft by deception after four football players attempted to cash meal reimbursement checks twice.

      Taylor left Georgia for Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College last fall and then enrolled at Alabama.

      Saban and athletic director Bill Battle defended signing Taylor despite a public backlash, saying he deserved another chance.

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    Another Alabama player arrested, dismissed
    By The Sports Xchange

    For the third time in four days, an Alabama football player was arrested.

    • Running back Tyren Jones was charged Tuesday with second-degree possession of marijuana and released on $1,000 bond, according to Tuscaloosa, Ala., police. Later in the day he was dismissed from the team by coach Nick Saban.

      Jones and 25-year-old Brandon Lee Hansberry were arrested Monday morning after police stopped a car for speeding. The officer smelled marijuana in Hansberry's vehicle and found pot and a scale inside.

      In February, Jones was suspended indefinitely from the team by Crimson Tide coach Saban "for conduct not to the standard of the Alabama football program." He has yet to practice this spring.

      Last weekend, safety Geno Smith and defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor also were arrested in two separate incidents. Taylor was dismissed from the program on Monday.

      Jones rushed for 224 yards on 36 carries last year for Alabama after redshirting during the 2013 season.

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    USC AD Haden skipping Indy meeting over law
    By The Sports Xchange

    Southern Cal athletic director Pat Haden will not attend the College Football Playoff Selection Committee meeting Saturday in Indianapolis.

    • Haden said Tuesday via Twitter that he will skip the meeting.

      "I am the proud father of a gay son. In his honor, I will not be attending the CFP committee meeting in Indy this week. #EmbraceDiversity," Haden wrote.

      The NCAA men's Final Four will be played Saturday and Monday at Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis.

      The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law last week and takes effect July 1, would prohibit laws that "burden" freedom of religion of all individuals. Gov. Mike Pence denied Tuesday that discrimination of any kind, including on the basis of sexual orientation, would be protected by the law and vowed to fix the Act before it takes effect.

      "If we must make adjustments to this law to make it clear that this law as never intended to give businesses the right to turn away customers on the basis of sexual orientation, we will fix that," Pence said.

      The Big Ten championship game is played in Indianapolis and a petition to move it has gained momentum. CEOs of several corporations contacted Pence to urge him to clarify or change the bill.

  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
    Alabama dismisses DL Taylor after arrest
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama dismissed defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor from the team Sunday after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    • The 6-foot-4, 335-pound Taylor, who has a history of domestic violence issues, was arrested Saturday night and charged with third-degree assault and domestic violence third-degree criminal mischief, according to the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

      "This will still need to go through the legal process, but when he was given an opportunity here, it was under strict guidelines and we made it clear there was a zero-tolerance policy," coach Nick Saban said in a statement.

      Police were called to a residence near campus by a 24-year-old woman who said she was assaulted. After speaking with her and with Taylor, officers determined that there was probable cause to arrest him. The alleged victim had minor injuries to her neck and a hole was punched in a bedroom closet door at the scene.

      Taylor was held on a $1,000 bond. He was subject to a mandatory 12-hour domestic violence hold.

      Taylor, a transfer from Georgia, was charged last July with felony aggravated assault and family violence after he allegedly hit his girlfriend with a fist and choked her while arguing. He was subsequently dismissed from the Bulldogs' football program. The case is still pending.

      In a separate incident while at Georgia last March,Taylor was arrested for theft by deception after four football players attempted to cash meal reimbursement checks twice.

      Taylor left Georgia for Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College last fall and then enrolled at Alabama in January.

      Saban and athletic director Bill Battle defended signing Taylor despite a public backlash, saying he deserved another chance.

      "We recruited this young man out of high school," Saban said in February. "We felt that what we knew about him, what his high school coaches said about him, from what people at the school he was at said about him and where he came from in junior college that he was the kind of guy that deserved a second chance.

      "But with that chance we also have stipulations and things that he needs to do from a personal-development standpoint so that he won't make any kind of mistake like this again. That's an on-going process with him. That's something that we continue to monitor, and it's something he's done a very good job with."

  • Sunday, March 29, 2015
    Alabama DL Taylor charged with domestic violence
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested Saturday night on a domestic violence charge for the second time in a year.

    • The 6-foot-4, 335-pound Taylor was charged with third-degree assault and domestic violence third-degree criminal mischief, according to the Tuscaloosa Police Department.

      Police were called to a residence near campus by a 24-year-old woman who said she was assaulted. After speaking with her and with Taylor, officers determined that there was probable cause to arrest him. The alleged victim had minor injuries to her neck and a hole was punched in a bedroom closet door at the scene.

      Taylor was being held on a $1,000 bond. He was subject to a mandatory 12-hour domestic violence hold.

      A transfer from Georgia, Taylor was charged last July with felony aggravated assault and family violence after he allegedly hit his girlfriend with a fist and choked her while arguing. He was subsequently dismissed from the Bulldogs' football program. The case is still pending.

      In a separate incident while at Georgia last March,Taylor was arrested for theft by deception after four football players attempted to cash meal reimbursement checks twice.

      Taylor left Georgia for Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) Community College last fall and then enrolled at Alabama in January. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and athletic director Bill Battle defended signing Taylor despite a public backlash, saying he deserved another chance.

  • Saturday, March 28, 2015
    Alabama DB Smith arrested on DUI charge
    By The Sports Xchange

    Alabama defensive back Geno Smith was charged with driving under the influence after his second arrest in two years in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    • Smith was released on $1,000 bond Saturday morning from the Tuscaloosa County jail, according to sheriff's records.

      In August 2013, Smith also was arrested on a DUI charge and suspended by Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban for the start of the season.

      Smith's status with the team was unknown after his latest arrest. Saban was not available for comment after Saturday's practice.

      The senior is expected to compete for a full-time starting job this fall. Last season, Smith started six of 14 games as a junior and finished wtih 56 tackles. He has played in 39 career games in three seasons.