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Saturday, May 27, 2017

College Football

Lane Kiffin to host camps with Jim Harbaugh, top programs

Lane Kiffin FAU

The rules are tightening on the ability of Jim Harbaugh and other ambitious coaches to take part in satellite camps, but Lane Kiffin is clearing the way for Michigan and other top programs to be part of his in Florida.

Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic program will hold their Owls Elite Camp on June 5. Coaches from Michigan, Oregon, Vandy, Illinois and Arkansas will be part of the camp, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The Owls will also have a camp on June 8. This one is an adidas camp, which outfits FAU. Other adidas schools will be part of the camp. The long list includes Miami, Mississippi State, NC State, Louisville, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Miami (Ohio), Mercer and Eastern Illinois.

The NCAA has cracked down on satellite camps after Harbaugh began exploiting the rules to travel around the country and gain exposure to recruits in various regions, and even to different continents. Thanks to Kiffin, he’ll be able to have his staff in South Florida.

Jim Harbaugh accepts blame for infamous handshake fight of 2011

Jim Harbaugh has long been known as a rather fiery guy with a big personality. Some love it, others hate it. And after a October 16, 2011 game between the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions — a 25-19 49ers victory — Jim Schwartz hated it.

As time expired, Harbaugh sprinted onto the field celebrating like they had just won the Super Bowl. With a mild acknowledgement, he shook Schwartz’s hand and then seemed to brush him off.

Taking exception to the display and later claiming Harbaugh pushed him out of the way, Schwartz shot back in Harbaugh’s direction. The two continued jawing as they ran toward the tunnel and that’s when all heck broke loose.

The benches and locker-rooms cleared as 49ers and Lions players rushed to the aid of their coaches.

“I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way,” Schwartz told MLive at the time. “And then, didn’t expect an obscenity at that point, so it was a surprise to me at the end of the game.

“Obviously, you win a game like that, you’re excited and things like that, but I think there’s a protocol that goes with this league.”

Faced with criticism over his actions following the game, Harbaugh defended himself.

“To see your guys go out and perform that way, yeah, you do get emotional. It fires me up. It fires me up a lot,” Harbaugh told SFGate. “I’m not going to apologize for that. If that offends you or anyone else, so be it.”

Six years removed from that incident, Harbaugh is singing a different tune. In fact, he accepts full responsibility for the exchange and say he’s since apologized to Schwartz and that the two remain friends.

“I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake,” Harbaugh told ESPN. “We’ve talked, and we’re good. We’re back to friends. … There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I’ve been there as the winner. I’ve been there as loser. You just, ‘Nice game,’ then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong.”

It takes a big man to admit they’re wrong and Harbaugh deserves credit for that. Even if it took six long years.

Lamar Jackson receives key to his hometown city in Florida

Lamar Jackson

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson recently received an awesome honor.

Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy last season, received the keys to his city of Pompano Beach, Fla.

Thank you to the city of pompano beach key to the city

A post shared by Lamar Jackson (@new_era8) on

Jackson attended high school in Boynton Beach and scored 53 touchdowns in two seasons on varsity. He went on to Louisville where he blossomed into a star in just his second season. As a sophomore last year, Jackson threw for 3,543 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,571 yards and 21 TDs.

In addition to the Heisman, Jackson won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award last season.

10 best quarterbacks in college football

Lamar Jackson

College football is loaded with quality quarterbacks. Many will contend for the Heisman Trophy in 2017, including last year’s winner. A good team generally starts with a good quarterback, after all, so the position is of great importance.

Who are the nation’s best quarterbacks? Here is a list of ten who will dominate in the upcoming season.

10) Jalen Hurts, Alabama

Hurts ranks on this list despite not being the most polished passer in the world. He’s very much a work in progress, but to quarterback the Crimson Tide to a College Football Playoff final in one’s freshman season is no small thing. Alabama reached the title game because of him, too, not in spite of him; Hurts put together some strong performances.

Hurts threw 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 15 games, but he didn’t throw a pick in the SEC Championship or the CFP. He ended up throwing for 2,780 yards and rushing for another 954, making him a valuable dual-threat quarterback. He threw for a score and rushed for another in Alabama’s title game loss to Clemson — the only loss Hurts played in last season.

Hurts is on this list as much for what he will do as what he has done. Only a sophomore, he has a bright future ahead of him, and should be even better in 2017.

9) Josh Rosen, UCLA

(more…)

United Airlines buys naming rights to LA Coliseum in record deal

LA Coliseum

The football home of the USC Trojans will have a new name for the next 15 years.

According to Sports Business Daily, United Airlines has purchased the naming rights for the LA Memorial Coliseum for the next 15 years. They say the deal is worth more than $70 million, making it the richest naming rights deal for a college football stadium.

The Coliseum had been seeking a naming rights partner in order to help offset the cost of the scheduled $270 million renovation for the stadium.

In addition to hosting the Trojans since 1923, the stadium is the interim home for the Los Angeles Rams until the completion of the team’s new stadium in Inglewood, which has been delayed a year. The Coliseum has also served as the home to UCLA football, the Dodgers (yes, really), the Chargers for a season when they were in the AFL, the Raiders, and many other Los Angeles sports teams.

New lawsuit alleges Baylor football team used gang rapes as ‘bonding’ experience

Art Briles

A new Title IX lawsuit filed by a former Baylor volleyball player contains explosive allegations against the football program.

The suit, filed under the name Jane Doe, alleges that the victim was gang-raped by as many as eight Baylor football players after attending a party in February 2012, via Tom Steele of the Dallas Morning News. The student became intoxicated and did not recall everything about the encounter, but she remembered hearing someone yell “Grab her phone! Delete any numbers and texts.”

She also recalled being taunted, told that she “wanted it,” and that someone had taken pictures during the assault.

The lawsuit further alleges that these gang-rapes were premeditated, involved drugging victims, and were considered “bonding” experiences by football players, who also engaged in dog-fighting at the parties.

To make matters worse, Baylor was reportedly aware of these allegations even at the time.

This is the seventh Title IX lawsuit filed against Baylor stemming from the scandals of Art Briles tenure. Previous ones have contained similarly damning allegations against the school.

Lane Kiffin offers scholarship to Tee Martin’s 13-year-old son

Lane Kiffin FAU

When it comes to handing out scholarships, Lane Kiffin’s motto clearly is that you can never be too early on a prospect.

The Florida Atlantic head coach has offered a scholarship to Kaden Martin, the 13-year-old son of former Tennessee quarterback, Tee Martin, according to a report.

FOX college football reporter Bruce Feldman reports the news and says Martin is a 7th-grader who is nearly 6-feet tall and 175 pounds. Kaden appears to have a big arm already, as Feldman says he’s also been clocked in the 80s as a baseball pitcher.

This sort of move is nothing new for Kiffin, who seven years ago secured a commitment from then 13-year-old David Sills. Of course, Kiffin ended up fired from USC, leading to Sills’ decommitment. Sills never developed as a QB, bounced around to several colleges, and ended up playing wide receiver at West Virginia.

One difference with this case though is that Kiffin has a relationship with Martin, who was on his staff at USC. Martin remains a coach for the Trojans.

It would be a major surprise if Kiffin were still at Florida Atlantic by the time Martin were ready to begin college. It would probably be a bigger surprise to see Kiffin still there than to see Martin develop into a top prospect five years from now.

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