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Saturday, July 4, 2020

College Football

Ed Orgeron takes up boxing during college football offseason

Ed Orgeron has a new hobby.

The LSU coach has had extra free time this offseason due to many college football activities being suspended. With that free time, Orgeron has taken up a new sport: boxing.

Orgeron began training with Baton Rouge-based trainer L.J. Morvant roughly two months ago, spending two hours a night three nights a week working on his form and technique. Morvant is impressed with Orgeron’s skills, and the LSU coach has even managed to bruise his trainer through body pads.

“He’s an incredibly strong and explosive man,” Morvant told Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated. “He loves boxing. It was love at first punch.”

Orgeron has been a lifelong boxing fan and always wanted to learn the sport, and took advantage of the free time to do it. He even added that being the pupil and not the teacher has made him a better coach.

“I have extra time now,” Orgeron said. “I get in there in the ring and I am the pupil. We go at it. He teaches me. It’s really good for me to see how it is to be the pupil again. It makes me a better coach.”

As for Morvant, a lifelong LSU fan, training the school’s football coach has been a dream — and even made him cool to his kids.

“This man has motivated me in ways he doesn’t understand. He has redeemed me completely in my kids’ eyes,” Morvant said. “When daddy is coaching Coach Orgeron, daddy is a hero.”

Well, Coach O is definitely a guy who knows how to motivate people. It sounds like he’s becoming quite the amateur boxer at the age of 59, and is in pretty good shape. Plus, it’s certain to impress his players once they’re together again in person.

Mike Gundy reportedly takes pay cut, has contract shortened by Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy

Oklahoma State announced on Thursday that an internal review of its football program found no signs of racist behavior from head coach Mike Gundy, but that did not stop the school from changing Gundy’s contract.

Brett McMurphy of Stadium reports that Gundy’s current contract with Oklahoma State has been shortened from a five-year rollover to four years. Gundy will also have to take a pay cut after making more than $5 million last season.

Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holger said Thursday that a review found no signs of racism from Gundy, but Holger said there were issues with Gundy needing to build stronger relationships with players. It’s unclear if that is why Oklahoma State removed some money from Gundy’s deal.

Gundy was scrutinized after Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard seemingly threatened to sit out the season in protest of his coach wearing a T-shirt that said OAN on it. Gundy spoke with Hubbard the day of the running back’s tweet, and the two later united for a video. Gundy also issued an apology for wearing the shirt.

Gundy, 52, played his college ball at Oklahoma State from 1986-1989. He began his coaching career there from 1990-1995 and returned in 2001. He is entering his 16th season as their head coach and is 129-64 with a .668 winning percentage during his coaching career with the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State says investigation found no signs of racism from Mike Gundy

Mike Gundy

Oklahoma State is standing by head football coach Mike Gundy after completing a review of the program.

Cowboys running back Chuba Hubbard seemingly threatened to sit out the season in protest of his coach wearing a T-shirt that said OAN on it. Gundy spoke with Hubbard the day of the running back’s tweet, and the two later united for a video. Gundy also issued an apology over the shirt.

The school’s athletic director, Mike Holder, said a review found no signs of racism. Instead, they say the issues stemmed from Gundy needing to build stronger relationships with his players.

“We have spent the past couple of weeks reviewing our program and talking with current and former players. Our internal review found that Coach Gundy needs to invest more time in building stronger relationships with his student-athletes. However, our review has uncovered no signs or indication of racism,” Holder said in a statement.

“After meeting with Coach Gundy, I am confident that he listened to his student-athletes. I believe he is genuine in his commitment to strengthening relationships with his players. I believe this to be a win for everyone. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact this will have on our team.”

School president Burns Hargis issued a similar statement.

Gundy, 52, played his college ball at Oklahoma State from 1986-1989. He began his coaching career there from 1990-1995 and returned in 2001. He is entering his 16th season as their head coach and is 129-64 with a .668 winning percentage during his coaching career with the Cowboys.

5 college football transfers who will have a big impact in 2020

DEriq King

The transfer portal has become an increasingly vital part of college sports in recent years. College football teams use transfers to become quick contenders, and in the case of some schools, remain contenders despite high-profile departures. Oklahoma has essentially made it standard practice to find a high-quality quarterback every year via the portal.

So who’s going to star in 2020 after landing at a new school? Here are five names to keep in mind.

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CB Devonta Smith commits to Alabama days after dropping Ohio State

Alabama logo

Devonta Smith backed out of his commitment to Ohio State and is going with another top program instead.

On Thursday, Smith, rated a four-star recruit by 247 Sports, announced he was no longer committed to the Buckeyes.

Days later, he announced he was committed to Alabama instead.

The cornerback received numerous scholarship offers, including ones from Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon. Smith is a member of the class of 2021 and attends La Salle High School in Cincinnati.

Antonio Gates’ son has interest in Michigan

Antonio Gates Jr

Antonio Gates Jr. is going through the recruiting process and has interest in Michigan.

The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich quoted Gates Jr. as speaking highly of the Wolverines and saying “you can’t go wrong” with Michigan.

Gates Jr. is rated a 4-star wide receiver for the class of 2022 by 247 Sports. He attends Fordson High School in Dearborn, Michigan.

He hasn’t been offered a scholarship by them yet but has been interested in them for a while. Last year, Gates attended a spring practice.

Gates Jr. has received scholarship offers from many programs around his area, like Michigan State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati. He also has offers from some SEC schools like Kentucky and Ole Miss.

Gates Jr.’s father, Antonio, played college basketball at Eastern Michigan and then Kent State. He later became an NFL star tight end with the Chargers and will likely be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day.

5 most intriguing college football position battles

Mac Jones

Position battles are a regular feature of college football’s preseason. With the inevitable roster turnover, star players will eventually move on, and new faces will have to come in to take their place. That decision is usually made after preseason work.

Those decisions haven’t been made yet due to spring workouts being largely canceled, but they’ll have to be made eventually. Here are five big position battles worth watching before the season starts.

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