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Sunday, January 22, 2017

College Football

Oregon firing David Reaves after DUI arrest

David Reaves mug shot

David Reaves was just officially hired by Oregon as co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach last week, but he is losing his job after a DUI arrest.

Reaves was arrested for DUI early Sunday morning and also charged with reckless driving and reckless endangerment. He was pulled over by police after multiple traffic violations and booked into jail. Reaves was said to have an adult passenger in the car.

The school wasted no time handling the matter and announced that they were in the process of firing Reaves.

“Reaves has been placed on administrative leave and the process to terminate his employment with cause has commenced,” the school said in a statement. “The University has high standards for the conduct of employees and is addressing this matter with the utmost of seriousness.”

He has a mandatory court date on Jan. 25.

Reaves came over to Oregon from South Florida, where he had served on new Ducks head coach Willie Taggart’s staff.

Taggart’s tenure at Oregon is off to a bad start. On top of the DUI from Reaves, Oregon suspended their new strength coach for a month after workouts landed three players in the hospital.

Willie Taggart: Portrayal of Irele Oderinde is ‘wrong’

Willie Taggart

Oregon’s new coaching staff has been on the job for less than two months and already come under scrutiny for their handling of the program.

Three Ducks players ended up in the hospital as a result of the tough workouts the program had last week. They have since been released from the hospital. The man behind the workouts is new Oregon strength and conditioning coach, Irele Oderinde, who was suspended a month without pay as part of the fallout. The thinking is that the new Ducks coaches pushed the players too hard, but that’s not what head coach Willie Taggart thinks.

Taggart says the public portrayal of Oderinde is wrong.

“I trust him,” Taggart said of Oderinde, in comments to CSN Northwest. “I love what he did with our football team at South Florida and I know what he could do with our guys here. But now a good guy, a good strength coach is being portrayed as somebody just whipping our kids’ butts and that’s wrong.”

Oderinde has been supported by Ducks players as well as his former players at South Florida despite his suspension.

Taggart also says he believes some of the players pushed themselves to try and impress the new coaches.

“These guys were tough guys and wanted to show the coaches,” Taggart told CSN Northwest. “That’s probably what was part of the problem. They didn’t want to be the guy that quit. There were other guys that quit and they didn’t want to so they probably pushed themselves to a limit that they shouldn’t have.”

Oregon is now focusing on making sure players don’t push themselves past their limits, which could endanger them.

Ricky Williams discusses incident with Tyler police

Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams was involved in an incident with police in Tyler, Texas last week while he was in town for the Earl Campbell Award ceremony.

The former Longhorns running back came to support Campbell and this year’s award winner, D’Onta Foreman. Williams says he arrived in Tyler about four hours before the ceremony at a local country club and decided to go for a walk outside his hotel. His presence near the backyard of a local resident led to a phone call to the police.

As Williams returned to his hotel, policemen came to speak with him. They put his hands behind his back and checked Williams’ pockets. The former Heisman Trophy winner got a little upset about the situation, but tempers never really flared during the incident on either side. Williams, who is known for his love and support of marijuana, says he was not smoking nor carrying any drugs.

Williams discussed the incident during an interview on KLBJ with “The Dudley and Bob with Matt Show.”

“I usually don’t consider where I am because I’m ‘Ricky Williams,” and I think that’s good enough,” Williams told the radio hosts. “And I started to get a little bit upset and they said, ‘Calm down,’ and I said, ‘Listen, you don’t know what it’s like to be a black man, this is not the first time this has happened to me when cops have harassed me and I haven’t done anything.'”

Williams was eventually let go, but he was clearly upset about what happened.

Williams did make it to the Cambell Award ceremony.

Williams is a College Football Hall of Famer and one of the greatest college players ever. He rushed for 66 touchdowns and over 10,000 yards during his NFL career.

Leonard Fournette signs endorsement deal with Under Armour

Leonard Fournette

Under Armour has signed yet another star athlete to its roster, as the sports apparel company is set to announce that it has inked a multi-year deal with former LSU running back Leonard Fournette.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that Fournette’s deal with Under Armour is one of the most valuable endorsement contracts ever for a rookie.

“We have a roster of athletes that we choose and we’re never going to be that company that just collects athletes just to have the most,” Ryan Kuehl, Under Armour’s vice president of sports marketing, told Rovell. “We look for special people, who have the talent, the character, the story and the sense of purpose. Leonard Fournette fits that model.”

Under Armour does not currently have a popular NFL running back on its client list, and Fournette is expected to be just that. Many draft experts have predicted that he will go in the top 10 picks.

Fournette wore Under Armour in high school and played in the Under Armour All-America game in 2014.

“I’ve always had a great relationship with Under Armour and it means a lot that a company wants me to wear their product and that I’m good enough to represent them,” he said.

Fournette has also signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports for representation.

While Under Armour is still a long way from competing with Nike, the brand now has plenty of star power with superstars like Stephen Curry, Tom Brady and Jordan Spieth. And based on what we heard about Curry, Nike is at least taking note of the moves Under Armour has made. Fournette should help the brand if he lives up to the hype.

Oregon WR Darren Carrington defends coaches, blames ‘out of shape’ teammates

Darren Carrington

The new coaching regime at Oregon may have already come under fire for holding workouts that left three players hospitalized, but they appear to have some support within the program.

Ducks wide receiver Darren Carrington, who just completed his junior season, defended strength coach Irele Oderinde for the grueling conditioning workouts that resulted in the hospitalizations. In fact, Carrington, who led the Ducks with 606 receiving yards last season, blamed his “out of shape” teammates.

Carrington called Oderinde the best strength coach he has had.

Oderinde was suspended a month without pay for the workouts.

Much like Carrington, safety Mattrell McGraw defended the coaches for trying to turn around the program.

So many from the outside — like this NFL Pro Bowler — are coming down hard on the coaches for the workouts that endangered some of the players that it’s interesting to hear another perspective from inside the team.

Oregon suspends strength coach Irele Oderinde after hospitalizations

Oregon suspended new strength coach Irele Oderinde one month without pay after recent workouts led to the hospitalization of three players.

The Ducks recently hired new head coach Willie Taggart, who assembled a coaching staff that was looking to make an impression on the program. That led to some harsh workouts for the program’s players beginning last week, resulting in the hospitalization of three players.

As a result, Oderinde, who led the conditioning workouts, has been suspended for a month without pay, the school said Tuesday. Jim Radcliffe will take over in the meantime.

Taggart issued the following apology:

The good news is one of the players has been released from the hospital, while two others are in good condition.

Ben Boulware gets perfect tattoo, sticks it to Desmond Howard

Ben Boulware

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware got a tattoo to commemorate the Tigers’ national championship earned last week, and he chose a very special placement for it.

Boulware, who was a stud in the national championship game and star for the Tigers all season long, got the tattoo on his heel. Why? To stick it to ESPN analyst Desmond Howard, who had said Clemson’s Achilles’ heel was their linebackers.

Boulware was a key reason why Clemson beat Alabama in the title game. He clearly did his film study as he was constantly recognizing formations to snuff out plays early. His instincts should serve him well at the next level.

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