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Randy Shannon to UCLA as Defensive Coordinator Close but Not Done

A little over a week after Mike Johnson was hired as the new offensive coordinator at UCLA, the Bruins have progressed in their efforts to fill in the rest of the coaching vacancies. Former Miami Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon interviewed for the defensive coordinator job over the weekend and is close to being hired. Bruin Report Online’s Tracy Pierson says he’s heard from recruits who have been told that the deal is done for Shannon and it just needs to be signed. I’ve heard similar information, but that the deal for Shannon is not done yet.

I’m told that Coach Rick Neuheisel likes Shannon but that one of the issues regarding a potential hiring could be money. As a head coach, Shannon was making approximately $1.2 million before receiving a four-year extension prior to last season. We’re told he may have been making around $1.75 million in 2010. Comparatively, Chuck Bullough who was fired in December, was only making $325,000 as UCLA’s defensive coordinator. It’s possible the school will be able to pay around what Norm Chow made, which is $500,000.

Additionally, I’ve heard that Neuheisel has plans to interview Mark Carrier for the position. Carrier, the former NFL safety, played high school ball at Long Beach Poly and graduated from USC. He’s currently the defensive line coach for the Jets, and just became available for an interview after his team lost Sunday. If you’re wondering the connection to Neuheisel, Carrier, like Mike Johnson, was a coach on the Baltimore Ravens’ staff in 2006 and 2007, serving as their secondary coach.

Lastly, if he is to be hired, Randy Shannon is expected to have a major impact on recruiting. For starters, Shannon reportedly has a good relationship with Tony Steward who is ranked as one of the top high school linebackers in the country. Neuheisel is planning to visit Steward soon and it would be a major help to have Shannon on board for the meeting. As recently as Friday, Steward said “Right now it’s dead even with FSU and Clemson. To be honest, UCLA is right there too. The Bruins are in it. I had a great trip there and I love that coaching staff.” After a disappointing 4-8 season, Neuheisel is eager to do anything possible to turn things around otherwise he could be out of a job.

Airplane Banner Called Randy Shannon’s Firing at Miami (Picture)

Randy Shannon was fired as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes football program Saturday evening following the team’s loss to South Florida. While Shannon is a fine man and a good recruiter, the move was necessary for the program to get back to powerhouse levels. Many Canes fans shared the same feelings about the program, but one particular fan decided to share his thoughts by flying an airplane banner around the stadium Saturday, as I learned from SbB Live via The Palm Beach Post. Here’s a picture of the banner:

“4 Years 0 ACC Titles Lots of Excuses Fire Shannon” is what the banner said. It was put pretty bluntly but tells some of the story of the program recently. I wouldn’t have gone out there and had an airplane banner fly around calling for Shannon’s head (I only would have written that here on the site).

Pic via Paul Station

Randy Shannon Puts Kibosh on Canes Twittering, Result of Middle Finger Tweet?

Something died within the Miami Hurricanes football program on Wednesday afternoon. As of 2:30pm, all the players’ twitter accounts were closed down. Even though many players use their twitter pages as a form of expression and interaction, it has been known to get people in trouble. Earlier we told you about Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen making a Tim Tebow-like promise on his account and later deleting it. Ty Lawson got in trouble for an inappropriate tweet about the Kardashians. For all the benefits of using an accounts, there can be a lot of negative issues that arise.

With that in mind, Coach Randy Shannon decided to put an end to all twittering by his players saying, “The goal is to limit distractions and help them focus. There are bigger goals than tweeting.” I agree completely, especially after players tweets’ becomes the central focus of the program.

Last week, the whole internet world was buzzing over Jacory Harris’ Raiders overalls picture. Things probably went overboard when Harris tweeted “Middle fingers everywhere. This is why you play college football” prior to Miami’s game against Ohio State (pictured above). Shannon is a no nonsense coach who was probably willing to put up with things until they became a problem. A big loss to the Buckeyes, four interceptions, a 1-1 record, and making fun of Jim Tressel is not what he wanted out of the program. Until things are turned around, all the screwing around is over for the Canes. It’s all about business now.

Sources:
Miami Hurricanes players ordered to shut down Twitter accounts [The Miami Herald]

Urban Meyer Covers the Spread, Angers Randy Shannon in the Process

Many people could have been wondering what Urban Meyer was doing when he elected to kick a field goal with 25 seconds left and his Gators already up 23-3 against Miami Saturday night. Those people probably missed the bottom line: Urban Meyer was ensuring Florida would cover the spread (generally somewhere between 21-23 points in any given online sportsbook). With the only plausible argument being that he was “trying to get his kicker some work,” it was pretty obvious that Meyer was trying to please his boosters and alums who entrust thousands of dollars in the Gator program when they bet on football games. While I understood what Meyer was doing, Miami coach Randy Shannon wasn’t too pleased with the perceived act of poor sportsmanship:

Shannon didn’t mention Florida coach Urban Meyer’s name, but implied that Meyer’s decision to kick a field goal in the final seconds fired up some UM recruits who called him after the game.

“Sometimes when you do things and people see what kind of person you really are, you turn a lot of people off,” Shannon said Sunday. “Take from that what you want. It helped us more than you will ever know.”

As a Hurricanes fan (yes, prior to attending UCLA, I had a favorite college football team), I was quite pleased with Miami’s performance in the game. Sure, the final score doesn’t look pretty, but it doesn’t tell the whole story; it was a six-point game through three quarters, 9-3, and Miami’s defense looked stingy. If the offense were able to move the ball in the least bit, the Canes would have had a stronger chance. I’ll tell you, there was a lot more to be encouraged about with Miami’s performance in the game, as opposed to Florida’s. Just another example of Florida’s new legacy under Meyer, I suppose.

UPDATE: Tim Tebow chimes in to defend Urban Meyer