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#pounditWednesday, February 8, 2023

College Football

Stetson Bennett responds to criticism of his parade behavior

Stetson Bennett ready to throw

Oct 10, 2020; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) passes the ball against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Stetson Bennett on Tuesday responded via Twitter to some criticism he received over his behavior at the team’s championship parade on Saturday.

Bennett led his Georgia Bulldogs to a 65-7 win over TCU on January 9 for their second straight college football national championship. Georgia held a parade in Athens on Saturday to celebrate the title. Some apparently took issue with the 25-year-old’s behavior.

Bennett ignored a reporter from WSB during the parade:

The Georgia quarterback also said after the national championship that he was “done” with the media. He did not participate in a press conference for the winning team the day after the game. He ignored the WSB reporter while being on his phone. And Bennett said Saturday that what he was most proud of was proving the doubters wrong.

Bennett seems to really have it out for the media. He was called out by Atlanta radio host Steak Shapiro via Twitter Tuesday morning.

Shapiro, a host for 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, tweeted a message for Bennett.

“Stetson Bennett needed someone to tell him to get off his damn phone during a parade and to show some graciousness and appreciation to the fans that were sitting in that stadium.

“You want to crush the media you think were mean to you do it a press conference. #Badmoments,” Shapiro wrote.

Bennett saw the message and responded via Twitter. The Georgia quarterback defended himself and his behavior, saying he was focused on his phone because he was choosing music.

“Mr Med Rare: One phone was mine. One phone was connected to the Bluetooth. Mine had the playlists. The other had the aux. I appreciate your concern with my image/ intentions/loyalties/ obligations (as well as your willingness to reach out to me to confirm them), you obviously thought quite deeply about some motives I might’ve had. To help fill in some holes though can I give you the ‘inside’ scoop?

“Parades are a symbol of celebration, and while last year’s was a celebration of that championship, this year’s parade was a celebration of a very special period of time (for me! Of course there is the possibility that I’m wrong).

“And while we as a team very much so appreciate the fans, we as individuals appreciate our teammates. Ya know, the one’s we’ve broken bones and torn ligaments and bled for, and cried and changed and grown and laughed with for years now. So to help you fill in those damned holes: team (group) celebrate with fans (group) in big parade. Teammate (individual) celebrate with teammate (individual) in small personal car.

“Guess which one I am. Teammate, yep! Knew you’d color quick. So to finish it off nice and neat: I was controlling the aux and playing bangers so sed and Chris and I could have a blast on our last ride into Sanford. That’s pretty much the gist of it.

“P.s.: I don’t like you very much mr Steak “and shake” Shapiro. But to be fair, I’m not a fan of your work either,” Bennett wrote.

A former walk-on, Bennett eventually became Georgia’s starting quarterback. He threw for four touchdowns and rushed for two more during the national championship game.

Michigan coach Matt Weiss on leave over alleged computer access crime

Matt Weiss with a headset on

Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss was placed on leave by the school as university police investigate an alleged crime he committed.

The University of Michigan’s police said in a statement Tuesday that they are investigating a report of computer access crimes “that occurred at Schembechler Hall during December 21-23, 2022.”

The school’s police department said there is an active investigation.

Weiss was taken off the road by the school and has not been in the team facility.

“I am aware of the ongoing investigation by the University of Michigan Police Department and fully cooperating with investigators. I look forward to the matter being resolved. Out of respect for the integrity of the investigation, I will not have any further comment,” Weiss said in a statement to ESPN.

No details surrounding the nature of the crime have been reported.

Multiple outlets reported that Weiss’ home was searched on January 10. Neighbors said that several unmarked cars showed up at Weiss’ home in Ann Arbor in what appeared to be a police presence.

Weiss’ alleged crimes come at a time when Michigan has had some issues following their second straight College Football Playoff appearance.

The school received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA over violations the football program committed. Jim Harbaugh is accused of misleading NCAA investigators.

Weiss, 39, just completed his second season with Michigan. He came to the school in 2021 as their quarterbacks coach and was promoted to co-offensive coordinator.

Colorado coach Tim Brewster had players so fired up during first team meeting

Tim Brewster in front of his players

Colorado Buffaloes coach Tim Brewster had his players so fired up during his first team meeting.

Well Off Media on Monday shared a video on YouTube of Deion Sanders’ first meeting with Colorado. Sanders had all of his staff members introduce themselves to the team.

Some of the staff members gave quiet or quick speeches. Others got into it and showed their personality. And Brewster topped them all.

Brewster went in there like a drill sargeant and started yelling at the guys to get up when he said “stand tall.”

Take a look at this:

That was great. He’s 62 and has some serious energy.

Brewster is Colorado’s tight ends coach. He was the tight ends coach at Jackson State under Sanders. Brewster was the head coach at Minnesota from 2007-2010 and went 15-30. He has served as a tight ends coach for most of his coaching career, and as you can tell, he’s quite a motivator.

Ex-USC WR Kyle Ford announces surprising transfer decision

Kyle Ford in USC gear

Kyle Ford announced last week that he was transferring from USC. He could not have picked a more surprising destination.

Ford announced on Tuesday that he will continue his playing career at USC’s rival, UCLA.

In November, Ford had 3 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in USC’s win over UCLA. Two months later, he is transferring to the Bruins.

Ford had been at USC since 2019, but the former 5-star recruit’s career had not gone as hoped. Ford only had 40 catches for 637 yards and 5 touchdowns during his Trojans career. He has two years of eligibility left to live up to his top recruit status, and his health will be key in achieving that goal.

The Bruins have been active in the transfer portal. In addition to Ford, they have added receiver J.Michael Sturdivant from Cal, safety Jordan Anderson from Bowling Green, running back Anthony Adkins from Army, quarterback Collin Schlee from Kent State, and running back Carson Steele from Ball State, among others.

Ed Reed apologizes for his criticism of Bethune-Cookman

Ed Reed in a hat

Nov 24, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is shown on the sideline before the Atlanta Falcons game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Ed Reed issued an apology late Sunday night after drawing for his criticism of Bethune Cookman.

In late December, Reed landed the head coach job for Bethune Cookman’s football team. On Saturday, Reed shared live videos on Instagram where he criticized the campus for being filthy.

In a video where he cursed up a storm, he talked about how his office wasn’t clean and how many areas on campus he cleaned up.

In a separate clip, Reed said that Deion Sanders was right about how bad some of the problems at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are.

“[Deion Sanders] was not wrong,” Reed said. “All these HBCUs, they need help. And they need help because of the people who’s running it. Broken mentalities out here.”

“I’ve been here for a week and a half and have done more than people who have been here in freaking years. And I’m not even hired yet,” Reed said.

Reed said that regardless of the conditions, he is not walking away. He said that he is going to turn it around and asked for help from others to clean things up.

Reed received backlash over his videos and addressed them a day later.

Here is what Reed said in his apology:

“I (sic) regards to my social media and comments about the University, staff and other institutions, I would like to sincerely apologize to all BCU staff, students and alumni for my lack of professionalism. My language and tone were unacceptable as a father, coach and leader. My passion for our culture, betterment and bringing our foundation up got the best of me and I fell victim while engaging with antagonists on social media as well. I am fully aware of the hard working folks at our school who are also fighting to make things better and more financially sound. I am encouraged from my communication with my AD and our administration and understand it’s a work in progress. My passion is about getting and doing better and that goes for me too,” Reed wrote.

Reed, 44, is a member of the Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame. He spent one season in 2016 as an assistant defensive backs coach with the Bills. He spent the last three years at his alma mater Miami. Last season, he was a senior football advisor for the Hurricanes.

Jim Harbaugh makes major announcement about his future

Jim Harbaugh in Michigan gear

Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The rumors of Jim Harbaugh returning to the NFL can once again be put to rest.

University of Michigan president Santa Ono announced on Monday that Harbaugh has committed to coaching the Wolverines next season.

“I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines,” Ono said in a statement. “That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel.”

Harbaugh then confirmed the news with a statement of his own:

Harbaugh essentially followed the exact same path as a year ago. He had a formal interview with the Denver Broncos, and a report over the weekend claimed there was strong mutual interest between the two sides. It is unclear if Harbaugh had a change of heart of if the Broncos informed him they were planning to go in another direction. The latter is what happened last offseason, when Harbaugh admitted he would have taken a different NFL job if it were offered.

There is also a possibility that Harbaugh was seeking another raise from Michigan. However, both Harbaugh and Michigan’s football program are under NCAA investigation for violations that could result in the coach being suspended.

Harbaugh assured Michigan last year that he was done flirting with NFL teams, but that obviously was not true. Either way, the Wolverines get to keep their coach for at least another year.

Report: Top college OC receiving interest from NFL teams

Todd Monken coaching for the Buccaneers

Dec 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Todd Monken prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A notable collegiate offensive coordinator may be returning to the NFL, according to a new report.

Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken is receiving interest from NFL teams seeking to fill the same role, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

Monken has found the most success at the college level, particularly in his current stint with Georgia. However, he does have NFL experience in Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland. That last stint in particular did not go very well for him, which led to his return to the college ranks.

Monken has overseen the Georgia offense on the way to back-to-back national championships, which has clearly helped his stock in the coaching world. Georgia is paying him well, so he would likely be a high-dollar addition if any NFL team does decide to hire him.

CJ Stroud announces NFL Draft decision

CJ Stroud ready to throw

Apr 17, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud (7) drops to throw during the first quarter of the annual spring game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

CJ Stroud has left fans wondering whether he will return to Ohio State for his senior season, but the star quarterback finally made an official announcement on Monday.

As many expected, Stroud has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft. He thanked Ohio State in a statement and called the decision “one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make.”

The 2023 NFL Draft class is considered fairly deep at the quarterback position, and Stroud is a big reason for that. The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist is viewed as one of the top three QBs available.

Stroud will likely go somewhere in the first five picks along with fellow quarterbacks Bryce Young and Will Levis. Some analysts have even predicted that Stroud will go No. 1 overall.

The Chicago Bears currently hold the first overall pick and have Justin Fields, but they could trade with a team that needs a quarterback.

There were some rumblings that Stroud could return to Ohio State to make another run at a Heisman Trophy and collect NIL money. He had until Monday to make his decision.

Stroud threw for 3,688 yards, 41 touchdowns and 6 interceptions this past season. He finishes with 85 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in two seasons as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.

Georgia football player, staffer killed in car crash

Devin Willock at the national championship game

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Devin Willock (77) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A Georgia football player and recruiting staff member died in a car accident early Sunday morning.

The University of Georgia confirmed in a statement on Sunday that offensive lineman Devin Willock and staffer Chandler LeCroy were killed in the crash. Two other members of the Bulldogs program, offensive lineman Warren McClendon and recruiting staffer Tory Bowles, were also in the car at the time. They were treated for injuries and are in stable condition.

“The entire Georgia family is devastated by the tragic loss of football student-athlete Devin Willock and football staff member Chandler LeCroy,” the statement read. “Two other members of the football program were injured in the accident. They are both in stable condition, and we will continue to monitor their status with medical personnel.

“Devin and Chandler were two special people who meant so much to the University of Georgia, our football program and our athletic department. We ask that everyone keep their families in your prayers during this very difficult time.”

Athens-Clarke County Police said in a statement that there was a single-vehicle accident at 2:45 a.m. Sunday morning. An initial investigation showed that a 2021 Ford Expedition drove off the road and struck two power poles and several trees.

Willock, a redshirt sophomore, started two games this past season. He appeared in all 15 of Georgia’s games.

Did SEC commissioner take sly jab at Kevin Warren?

Greg Sankey at a press conference

July 15, 2019; Birmingham, AL, USA; SEC commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency-Birmingham. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Did SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey take a sly jab at Kevin Warren on Saturday? That’s what some believe.

Sankey spoke Saturday at an event in Athens to celebrate the Georgia Bulldogs on winning back-to-back national championships in college football.

“We need leaders today in college football and college sports. Not leaders who make a stop to build a resume and go on to something else, but those who understand the problems ahead are real and demand our attention,” Sankey said.

That doesn’t sound like much on the surface, but you have to look deeper than that.

Sankey became the SEC commissioner in 2015 after Mike Slive retired. He has continued to position the SEC as the strongest sports conference in the NCAA. Their big competition in college football has come from the Big Ten. Warren was the Big Ten’s commissioner for just three years before leaving to take a president and CEO job with the Chicago Bears.

Sankey seems dedicated to the success of the SEC and college sports. Warren is back working in the NFL after a pit stop with the Big Ten.