2013 April

Monthly Archives: Apr 2013

Texas A&M's Kyle Field renovation project could make it largest in Texas, SEC

Conceptual rendering of renovated Kyle Field from TexAgs.com.

Conceptual rendering of renovated Kyle Field leaked in February on TexAgs.com.

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Texas A&M Board of Regents meets Wednesday to vote on a conceptual plan for the long-anticipated redevelopment of Kyle Field.

The most interesting issues to be revealed? Capacity and cost.

TexAgs.com’s Billy Liucci tweeted Tuesday that the capacity will exceed 102,000.

If true, Kyle Field would be the largest college stadium in the state of Texas and could be the largest in the SEC.

Seating capacity proposals ranged from 95,000 to 102,00+. According to Liucci:

“Some wanted to see Kyle capacity in the 95K range, while others wanted closer to 103K. The decision is to go with the larger stadium.”

Kyle Field’s current capacity of 82,378 is 14th among on-campus venues.

Texas’ Royal-Memorial is currently the the state’s largest college stadium at 100,119. Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium is the largest in the SEC at 102,455.

“We’ll build it to the capacity we have and if that turns out to be the biggest, that’s great,” A&M system chancellor John Sharp told the Dallas Morning News last fall. “I like that idea a lot.”

The cost of the project is expected to be between $425-$450 million, though it could go higher. Athletic director Eric Hyman has stated that it could be the most expensive on-campus stadium project in the country.

A&M considered a number of options including a new location, but ultimately decided it will rebuild the current Kyle in the same location. Conceptual renderings of the project were leaked on TexAgs in February.

The school has already selected a construction firm (Manhattan-Vaughn) and funding details are expected to be released following Wednesday’s meeting. The school has worked with the College Station-Bryan area hotels on a tax that could contribute up to $36 million to the project. Additional funding is expected to come via seat licensing and a large donor effort, as well as increased student fees.

School officials have said that the renovations could begin almost immediately after board approval. No timeline for completion has been given.

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Report: Video shows LSU RB Jeremy Hill punched man from behind, taunted victim

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ore details have emerged in the bar fight that led to the arrest of LSU running back Jeremy Hill.

Hill

Hill

Hill was arrested in the early morning hours Saturday for his alleged role in a fight that occurred outside the Baton Rouge bar Tigerland.

A witness at the scene shot video of the fight on his cell phone and showed it to police. The witness identified Hill as one of the assailants and he was arrested later near his apartment for simple battery. Police are still trying to obtain the identity of the a second man shown in the video.

East Baton Rouge district attorney Hillar Moore said yesterday that it could take four to six weeks to determine whether or not his office will pursue charges, but details in the police report published today by the New Orleans Times-Picayune certainly won’t help Hill’s cause.

According to the report, the video shows Hill punching the victim from behind then high-fiving the second man who knocked the victim out with a second punch.

From the Times-Picayune:

The victim, Connor Baldridge, told Baton Rouge Police officer Clifford Crouch he was struck in the head two or three times and remembers waking up on the ground after Crouch arrived on the scene at approximately 2:13 a.m., according to the report.

Crouch watched a video provided by witness Casey Franz, who recorded the incident on his cell phone. In the report, Crouch says the video clearly shows Baldridge get up off the ground and walk away from the two suspects. Hill then punched Baldridge behind the left ear and Baldridge was then punched again by the second suspect, Crouch said in the report.

Hill and the second man can be seen in the video giving each other high fives and flaunting in front of Baldridge, the report says. The video operator can be heard saying “Jeremy Hill punching people.”

At the time of his arrest, Hill told police that he had been at Tigerland but was not involved in the fight, and continued to deny participation even after being shown the cell phone video.

His attorney, Marci Blaize, told the Baton Rouge Advocate in an email that, “Obviously, Jeremy was there as the video indicates. However, there is most likely more to the story than what is contained in a 30-second video.”

Hill posted a $500 bond and was released Saturday morning.

The sophomore from Baton Rouge was LSU’s leading rusher last season. He finished 2012 with 755 yards and 12 touchdowns, despite playing in just four of the Tigers’ first six games.

Les Miles announced Monday that Hill was suspended from the team indefinitely, but that he would “let the incident play out through the legal system” before making additional comments.

If the district attorney decides to pursue the case, it could land Hill behind bars and jeopardize his season. He is currently serving two-years probation for a his role in an incident that occurred a month before he was originally set to sign with LSU in 2011.

Authorities claimed that Hill and another Redemptorist High student pressured a 14-year-old girl to perform oral sex.

He eventually pleaded guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile, a misdemeanor.

Hill was expelled from school and finished high school through home-school, and signed with LSU in February 2012.

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Pitt's Chryst dismisses two players; freshman QB suspended

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]itt coach Paul Chryst has dismissed two of the three players detained in a SWAT drug bust last Friday.

chrystTight end Drew Carswell and defensive back Eric Williams, both juniors, are no longer with the program, the school announced in a statement Tuesday.

Reserve defensive lineman Khaynin Mosley-Smith, a sophomore, was also involved in the indecent. He was not dismissed from the team, but remains suspended indefinitely.

Chryst also announced that freshman quarterbackn Tra’Von Chapman has been suspended indefinitely following an incident over the weekend away from campus.

Chapman was a 2013 signee and early enrollee from Roosevelt High in Kent, Ohioe. He was a four-star recruit and the nation’s No. 12 dual threat quarterback by Rivals.com.

Williams, a redshirt junior from Yardley, Pa. finished fifth on the team with 52 tackles in 2012. He also made 4.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Carswell had 13 receptions for 163 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games last season. A redshirt junior from Sto-Rox High School in Pittsburgh, he caught 13 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in 2011.

Photo credit: Keith Srakocic / AP

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Nation's No. 5 RB recruit Nate Starks dismissed from school

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ate Starks, one of the nation’s top running back prospects for 2014, has been dismissed from his high school.

starksHe was expelled from Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School for violating unspecified school rules and won’t return, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

A four-star recruit by Rivals.com, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Starks is the nation’s No. 5 running back and No. 26 prospect overall. He is considered the top prospect in the state of Nevada.

Starks gained 1,821 yards and scored 27 touchdowns as a junior. He help Gorman capture its fourth straight state title.

Before the dismissal, Starks had scholarship offers from dozens of top programs including Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC. He made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame earlier this spring, and planned to take trips to USC, Arizona and Oklahoma before making a decision.

It remains to be seen how the dismissal will affect Starks’ recruiting status. His plans for playing this fall are not yet known, but Nevada state rules will prevent him from playing anywhere in that state.

“The basic rule is you can’t leave one school and go to another to escape academic or citizenship issues,” Donnie Nelson, the assistant director for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association. said.

“Anytime you transfer schools, you are presumed ineligible for 180 school days or one year.”

Photo credit: Leila Navidi / Las Vegas Sun

 

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Stanford QB Josh Nunes will 'medically retire'

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he career of Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes is over.

nunesThe school tweeted that Nunes, who missed spring practice after tearing his right chest muscle during winter conditioning, is “medically retiring.”

Before spring practice, Stanford coach David Shaw described the injury as a “freak occurrence” and said he expected Nunes to recover.

However, the outlook was not nearly as good after the Cardinal’s spring game.

“Josh Nunes’s situation is not a short-term deal,” Shaw said. “He may not be back for training camp. I’m hoping that he comes back, period. We’ll see.”

Nunes was named Andrew Luck’s successor in August of last year. He started the first nine games of the year, but after completing just 52.8% of his passes and throwing seven interceptions, gave way to Kevin Hogan.

Hogan won all five of his starts, including the Rose Bowl, and enters 2013 as the clear No. 1.

After backup Brett Nottingham’s transfer in December, Nunes was expected to compete with sophomores Evan Crower and Dallas Lloyd for the backup job.

Shaw praised Crower’s play this spring and emerged from as the likely No. 2 entering fall camp.

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Jack Hoffman visits the White House

hoffman[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ack Hoffman, the seven-year old brain cancer patient whose 69-yard touchdown run during Nebraska’s spring game captivated the nation, got to meet the President.

Jack, along with his parents Andy and Brianna Hoffman, visited the White House and met President Barack Obama on Monday.

Hoffman, who was given the game ball by Huskers coach Bo Pelini, was even given his own trading card by Upper Deck. The card was originally intended to just be a digital card and some blow ups that he could sign for charity, but demand was so high that Upper Deck decided to create an actual card and put it into production.

Nearly 8 million people have watched the video on YouTube. In case you want to Hoffman’s run one more time, it is below:

Photo credit: Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

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CFS Daily Hot Reads: Monday, April 29

As someone who lost my mother to breast cancer, I wanted to a special thank you to Temple coach Matt Rhule for posting this touching story of his mother Gloria Rhule and her battle with the disease. Good luck to team TUFF on May 12!

Does the SEC adding Texas A&M and Missouri make comparing conference draft picks an unfair fight?

Does the SEC adding Texas A&M and Missouri make comparing conference draft picks an unfair fight?

Much has been made of the SEC dominace in this weekend’s NFL Draft. The league’s 63 players selected were a modern-day draft conference record. Nearly 1 in every 4 players picked played at an SEC school. The 14-team league is so far ahead in talent production that al.com’s Jon Solomon says comparing the SEC as a whole to other conferences is no longer a fair fight. But even when you break it down into divisions, they still fare pretty well — the SEC East’s 32 draft picks were more than any other conference, while the West’s 31 draftees tied the ACC for second.

Speaking of SEC players in the draft

John Pennington of MrSEC.com breaks down the draft production for each of the league’s teams over the past 20 years, and says the balance of talent-producing power has shifted during that time. The biggest winner (LSU) and biggest loser (Tennessee) aren’t huge surprises, but some of the other team’s trends are very interesting.

Former Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson got the biggest phone call of his life while standing in WalMart.

Would you believe that a top-ranked recruit actually stands a better chance of making it to the NFL by signing with Kentucky instead of Alabama? I don’t, but a study — as flawed as it may be — by the Sports Marketing Science Initiative at Emory University’s business school says so.

It wasn’t exactly a stellar draft for the Big Ten, who had 22 players selected. But the BTN’s Tom Dienhart says some pretty good players went undrafted.

Which players are scouts already talking about for next year’s draft? Jeff Reynolds of NFLDraftScout.com has 11 seniors and 10 underclassmen on his 21 to watch in 2014.

In the weekend’s other major news, the Big Ten announced a new East-West division alignment and a change to a nine-game league schedule

The new setup will no doubt create lots of scheduling headaches, but perhaps none bigger than at Michigan State. In addition to their four years on/two years off game against Notre Dame (which is set through 2032), the Spartans have home-and-homes with Alabama, Oregon, Boise State and Miami on the docket in coming years. MSU athletic director Mark Hollis is doing everything he can to save the 2016-17 series vs. Alabama and he thinks the series is “safe,” but there are many questions still left to be answered.

More reaction to the B1G announcement

Minnesota says the West is what’s best for the Gophers, but why was there no respect for the Little Brown Jug?

The Indiana-Purdue split was one of the biggest question marks surrounding the new alignment. In theory, Purdue got the easier road to a conference title by landing in the East, but Indiana coach Kevin Wilson is pumped about his team’s draw and their annual battle was only cross-division game league officials protected. So, maybe they both won?

The biggest sigh of relief for Michigan fans is that they’re in the same division as Ohio State. But there are some other, less obvious positives for Wolverines fans…

The thumbs ups are about equal to the thumbs downs at Wisconsin

The Big Ten scheduling changes affect Notre Dame, too

Not realignment but Big Ten related… Former Buckeyes coach Jim Tresselowned the court” in a charity basketball game over the weekend…

Photo credit: Mary Altaffer / AP

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