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Sunday, March 26, 2017

College Football

Report: Lane Kiffin sued for fraud over staff position by former Alabama receiver

Lane Kiffin FAU

Drama follows Lane Kiffin wherever he goes.

The Florida Atlantic head coach is reportedly being sued for fraud by a former Alabama wide receiver who claims that Kiffin misled him on a coaching position in order to get closer to a recruit.

Antonio “A.C.” Carter, who played for Alabama from 1999 through 2001, claimed in a court filing that Kiffin had led him to believe that an assistant strength and conditioning coaching position was his before ultimately being told that he’d failed a required background check, according to Christopher Walsh of SEC Country. Carter contends he put forward the necessary paperwork showing that the misdemeanor charges on his record had been appropriately resolved.

Carter says Kiffin told him that his hiring was “done,” leading Carter and his wife to quit their jobs to help Florida Atlantic on National Signing Day. He was tasked with recruiting a former 4-star prospect whom his family had just celebrated the new year with weeks before, a relationship Carter argues the coaching staff knew about and tried to take advantage of. The recruit ultimately signed with FAU, and after that happened, Carter was told he had failed the background check.

Kiffin has had a rocky few months, starting with this whole ordeal. He’s been coach at FAU for a short time and he’s already facing legal action, which is really something.

Nick Saban goes off on reporter who asks if Alabama offense will be conservative

Nick Saban

Alabama held its first official spring practice on Tuesday, and Nick Saban wasted no time getting fed up with the media when he was asked a question he didn’t appreciate.

With former offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin now gone and the way the Crimson Tide blew a late lead in the National Championship Game, there has been speculation that Alabama will be more conservative on offense next season. What are your thoughts on that, coach?

“I don’t know where you came up with where we go to ball control,” Saban said, according to ESPN.com. “That’s not what we do. The New England Patriots threw the ball over 60-something percent of the time, which is more than we threw it. So, where does that assumption come from or do you do what everybody else in the media does — create some s— and throw it on the wall and see what sticks, which is what I see happening everywhere?

Saban mentioned the Patriots because former Bill Belichick assistant Brian Daboll is now the offensive coordinator at Alabama. Saban started by ranting about how his team lost to Clemson because it didn’t execute, not because the approach was overly aggressive.

“We didn’t block them,” he said. “We didn’t execute very well. We didn’t throw the ball accurately when we had open people and a couple of times we dropped it. I think it was more a lack of execution than it was something schematically that we were doing. …

“If we had caught some passes in the national championship game — we had some guys open — we wouldn’t have had to control the ball. We would have scored more touchdowns.”

Although it seemed totally unrelated, Saban also took the opportunity to air his frustrations about the new NCAA rules on satellite camps.

“So we say we don’t want third-parties dealing with players,” he said. “So we’re not going to let the high school coach bring a guy to camp, but some third-party guy can bring him to camp now. Makes no sense at all. But all the people who have common sense, they don’t say anything about it. But the people who scream the loudest will get the thing changed and it’ll mess everything up. That’s the way it goes. The way it goes in the world, politics, just the way it goes.”

The high school camp issue led to a feud between Saban and Jim Harbaugh last year, which you can read more about here.

All of this in his first official press conference of the year? Good to see Saban hasn’t changed much over the offseason. You can see the video from the presser below:

Lane Kiffin says he ‘got in trouble’ for dog years joke at Alabama

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin made some questionable comments about his time working under Nick Saban just before he parted ways with Alabama, and very few people believe that was a coincidence. Kiffin isn’t exactly claiming it was, either.

In an appearance on “The Dan Le Batard Show” on ESPN Radio Monday, Kiffin was asked if he was happy at Alabama. The FAU coach admitted he faced many challenges in Tuscaloosa.

“I had a unique situation where for the first time my family didn’t come with me — my kids and my wife — so that made it, outside of the football part, not so fun because they were across the country,” Kiffin said, as transcribed by Saturday Down South. “That played into that. I think it would have been much more enjoyable had they come … Versus coming somewhere, where the only reason you are going there is to dive into football, to learn from Coach Saban and to win a bunch of games. And to have a blast on the field like we did. We went 40-3, so it was a good time (on the field).”

When Le Batard asked Kiffin how much of a toll coaching at Alabama took on him, he hinted that he created some issues for himself with a candid interview he gave to Sports Illustrated.

“I already got in trouble for that statement one time,” Kiffin said with a laugh. “When I called it the equivalent of dog years. I thought it was kinda funny at the time, but I guess not.”

Kiffin could have been referring to the media reaction, but we would not be surprised if Saban was irritated by some of the things he said. We already said prior to the National Championship Game that we believed the SI interview was one of the reasons Kiffin was fired so abruptly.

To say the relationship between Saban and Kiffin went stale would probably be an understatement.

Texas recruiting LSU transfer QB Brandon Harris

Brandon Harris

Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman confirmed on Monday that the program is recruiting LSU transfer Brandon Harris.

Harris was LSU’s starting quarterback in 2015 but was benched early in the 2016 season in favor of Danny Etling and is looking to play for another school. He is set to graduate this summer, which would allow him to play in the fall as a graduate transfer at another school.

Herman says Texas is recruiting Harris.

According to an article by the Baton Rouge Advocate last week, Harris also has visits set up with North Carolina and Arizona. He could take a visit to a fourth school as well.

Harris has passed for 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions during his college career and rushed for seven scores.

Report: Joe Mixon could still be drafted in first round

Joe Mixon

For several NFL teams, Joe Mixon is a player who is considered untouchable no matter how talented he is or how impressive his tape looks. For others, the former Oklahoma running back just might be a first-round pick.

Mixon was not invited to the Scouting Combine because of his off-field issues, but he has met with several NFL teams in recent weeks. One team official told Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman that Mixon was “contemplative and thoughtful” when asked about his decision to hit a woman back in 2014. For at least one team, the 20-year-old’s openness when discussing the incident has gone a long way toward improving his image.

It should be noted that at least four NFL teams have removed Mixon from their draft boards entirely. Others, however, have reevaluated their stances due to his “sincerity.” Here’s more from Freeman:

Not only is his draft stock improving, but some teams say no player is moving up draft boards faster than Mixon. Apparently he’s checking every box as he meets with various franchises.

Mixon might now go as high as the second round. Some even believe the late first round is in play. (Still, remember the first rule of Draft Club.)

There are still teams who are highly uncomfortable with Mixon being drafted at all, let alone in higher rounds. Some of these teams are outraged by the idea of a team selecting a player who hit a woman. No one is saying he shouldn’t be allowed to play in the NFL. They just don’t want him drafted.

Anything could happen in next month’s draft, but there was once a belief that Mixon would find himself in football exile after the video was released that showed him punching a woman. The reality is Ray Rice’s blacklisting probably had as much to do with his age as it did with the horrific crime he committed. Like it or not, winning almost always trumps morality in the NFL.

DeMarkco Butler fired by Baylor, allegedly sent inappropriate texts to teenager

baylor gold chrome helmet

Baylor football can’t seem to escape horrible publicity, and the dismissal of its associate director of football operations is the latest stain on the program.

KWTX reported on Monday that DeMarkco Butler, who was just hired by Baylor a month ago, has been fired after the school learned that he was sending inappropriate text messages to a teenager. For what it’s worth, the individual Butler was allegedly texting is considered an adult under Texas statute.

Baylor director of athletics communications David Kaye said Monday that the school has “no comment” on Butler’s dismissal, which was described as a “personnel matter.”

Butler is already the second person who was hired by new head coach Matt Rhule to be fired. Last month, former Bears strength and conditioning coach Brandon Washington was let go after he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.

Baylor is trying to get over the scandal that led to former coach Art Briles and many other school and athletic department officials being forced out. A recent lawsuit alleged that as many as 52 sexual or domestic assaults were committed by 31 players from 2011-2014. The new era under Rhule is not off to a good start.

Phillip Fulmer makes a Lane Kiffin joke at Knoxville charity appearance

Phil Fulmer

It’s pretty easy to get laughs in Knoxville, Tennessee if you know how to make a Lane Kiffin joke, and Phillip Fulmer is capable of just that.

The long-time Vols coach took aim at Kiffin, the briefly-tenured Vols coach, in his remarks at the Catholic Charities Emerald O’ccasion fundraiser on Thursday.

“I miss coaching every day,” Fulmer told the audience, via Rhiannon Potkey of the Knoxville News Sentinel. “I have done quite a few things. I did CBS for a couple of years and that was a lot of fun to get a chance to do that. But it was real time-consuming. I really did it mostly to get me out of town while Kiffin was here.”

Kiffin was Fulmer’s successor as Vols head coach. He bolted for USC in 2010 after just one year and, seven years later, Vols fans still haven’t forgiven that. Fulmer might as well go to that comedic well over and over.

H/T CollegeFootballTalk

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