Tag:Chip Patterson
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:41 am
Edited on: February 22, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Danny O'Brien free to transfer to Vanderbilt



Posted by Chip Patterson


Former Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien will no longer be restricted from transferring to Vanderbilt, the school announced on Wednesday.

The Baltimore Sun first reported Wednesday that Danny O'Brien, offensive lineman Max Garcia, and linebacker Mario Rowson are all no longer restricted from accepting aid from Vanderbilt to play football. When the trio was released from their scholarship, they were reportedly restricted from transferring to any future ACC opponents, West Virginia, Temple, and Vanderbilt.

More On O'Brien

The school released an official statement from head coach Randy Edsall.

“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision” Edsall said in a statement. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures.

“As a program we are looking forward to putting this distraction behind us and to moving forward. Spring practice opens on March 10 and we can’t wait to get back out on the field.”

All of those schools, except the Commodores, are slated to appear on Maryland's schedule in the near future. Vanderbilt was reportedly added because of concerns with head coach James Franklin, the former offensive coordinator at Maryland under Ralph Friedgen.

“I am pleased to be able to move on and pursue a graduate degree and continue my athletic career at the school of my choosing.” O’Brien said in a statement. “I would like to thank Coach Edsall for his support throughout this process.”

According to the Baltimore Sun, Maryland believes that O'Brien had been in contact with Franklin, possibly violating NCAA tampering rules. The school has opted to allow the three players to transfer, but has filed an official complaint against Vanderbilt through the ACC.

“We have been informed by the Southeastern Conference that the Atlantic Coast Conference has filed a formal complaint involving Vanderbilt University football on behalf of one of its members," Vanderbilt vice chancellor of athletics David Williams said in an official statement. "We are complying with SEC and Vanderbilt procedures and are conducting an investigation on the matter.”

James Franklin denied tampering allegations in an apperance on Nashville radio last week.

“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin told 104.5 The Zone. “You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.

“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”

In addition to Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Stanford have all been listed as possible landing spots for O'Brien. Last week, The Washington Post reported that Mississippi, Arizona, South Florida, and East Carolina have all shown interest in O'Brien immediately following the transfer announcement.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Boston College



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Boston College.

Spring Practice Started: Saturday, February 18

Spring Game: Saturday, March 31

Three Things To Look For:

1. Replacing Luke Kuechly. Arguably one of the most dominant and decorated defensive players in recent Boston College history, Kuechly's early departure to the NFL has left a huge hole in the unit. Not only did Kuechly put up nation-leading tackle numbers for the last three seasons, but he was a swarming ball-hawk, exhibiting sideline-to-sideline speed and awareness that helped prevent the home run offensive play. That responsibility will fall now on sophomore Sean Duggan and junior Steele Vivitto - who likely will play outside linebacker. Kuechly was a leader by example for Boston College, and setting that same tone - both on the field and in the film room - is a responsibility to be claimed this spring.

2. With Montel Harris shut down, what is the identity of the offense? First-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin, formerly with New Mexico State and Kent State, has seen on film how the Eagles offense sputtered without Harris in 2011. It only took one practice for Harris to re-aggravate that left knee injury that kept him out of 10 contests last season, and questioning his availability for an entire 2012 season is a legitimate concern. Martin will have both Chase Rettig and Josh Bordner in competition for snaps at quarterback this spring, and he will have the (unfortunate) opportunity of creating his Montel Harris-less backup plan this spring.

3. Can Spaziani get back on track? Boston College may not leap off the page as an ACC power house to many, but until 2011 the Eagles had shown a constancy that that only a few of their fellow league members have displayed. The Eagles went to 12 straight bowl games from 1999-2010 before going 4-8 and missing the postseason. In recent years, bowl trips have helped cool "Frank Spaziani hot seat" talk, but now he needs results. The responsibility will eventually fall on Spaziani to get this new coaching staff on the same page this spring. The offensive staff for 2012 includes new faces at four of the five positions, including offensive coordinator Doug Martin. Improving the offense, which ranked dead last in scoring and total offense in the ACC in 2011, will be essential to getting the Eagles back to their bowling ways in 2012.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:52 pm
 

Montel Harris (knee) out for spring practice

Posted by Chip Patterson

Boston College is just one workout into spring practice, and their most valuable offensive asset has already been shut down. Head coach Frank Spaziani announced on Tuesday that senior running back Montel Harris will not participate in the rest of spring practice due to a re-aggravation of the left knee injury that held him out of all but two games in 2011.

Harris participated in Saturday's first practice, but complained of soreness afterwards. The school's all-time leader in career rushing yards (3,735) and carries (786) underwent surgery on his left knee last August, and was granted a medical hardship waiver to participate in 2012.

Harris was cleared by doctors to participate in spring practice last week, but Spaziani admitted to ESPN.com's Heather Dinich there was concern about the possibility of re-injury.  The head coach indicated the focus of Harris' spring would be getting healthy for the season opener in September.

After Harris underwent the initial procedure on his left knee, the 2011 Preseason ACC Player of the Year was thought to be sidelined for only four to six weeks. The re-aggravation after just one practice should cause major concern for Spaziani and the rest of the Eagles' coaching staff.

Harris is the ACC's active leader in rushing yards and carries.  He is just 868 yards from overtaking NC State running back Ted Brown as the league's all-time rushing leader.  At ACC Media Day last July, the popular thought was that the record would be broken in 2011.  Even with an extra year of eligibility, the focus has moved away from 100-yard games to staying 100 percent healthy.  

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 12:12 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Report: FSU to lose $2.5M from WVU cancellation

Posted by Chip Patterson

In a move directly tied to West Virginia's arrival in the Big 12, the Mountaineers were forced to back out of a scheduled Sept. 8 contest with Florida State. The school paid Florida State a $500,000 cancellation fee but the total loss could end up being much more expensive, according to one school official.

"We'll probably lose $2.5 million in ticket sales," assistant athletic director Elliot Finebloom told ESPN.com. The school has been scrambling to replace West Virginia on the home schedule, a task that could end up costing Florida State an additional $1 million. Finebloom also explained the economic importance of keeping that date a home game on the schedule.

“Seven home games is something every business in town counts on, from hotels to restaurants,” Finebloom said. “People think it’s about the athletic department wanting to make more money, but we have a responsibility to area businesses who count on seven home games.”

The ACC regular season schedule had been released at this point in 2011, but Florida State's efforts to replace West Virginia are one of the "unusual circumstances" pushing back the release of the 2012 schedule.

The ACC issued a release late last week to explain the delay:

"As has been documented, there are a number of unusual circumstances beyond the control of the ACC and its member schools that have directly impacted a number of our school's nonconference schedules, which in turn effects the development and completion of the overall schedule."

According to Coley Harvey, of the Orlando Sentinel, the Seminoles have reached out to more than 50 schools to try and fill the date. As many as 31 of those have been FBS programs, reportedly including Boise State, Texas A&M, Syracuse, Rutgers, Wyoming, Arkansas, and Pittsburgh.

For more on Florida State, be sure to follow Seminole RapidReports.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 1:45 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 1:59 pm
 

Pitt HC Paul Chryst realigns offensive staff

Posted by Chip Patterson

Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst announced a realignment of his offensive staff on Saturday, naming former Wisconsin tight end's coach Joe Rudolph offensive coordinator.

Chryst announced that former offensive coordinator Bob Bostad has accepted a job with Greg Schiano and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bostad also was set to coach the offensive line for the Panthers in 2012, a job that will be filled by tight ends coach Jim Hueber.

“Joe Rudolph and Jim Hueber will be tremendous assets in their new assignments,” Chryst said in a prepared statement. “Joe and I worked closely on the offensive side of the ball at Wisconsin. He has a thorough knowledge of our systems and what we want to achieve offensively.

“Jim has coached some of the finest linemen in the game, pro and college. He is tremendously accomplished as a teacher of offensive line play, and his overall experience as a coach benefits our entire staff and program.”

In addition to serving as offensive coordinator, Rudolph will once again coach the tight ends for Chryst - sliding in after Hueber's move to the offensive line. Chryst still has two positions left to fill on his staff: quarterbacks coach and running backs coach. Former Wisconsin linebackers coach Dave Huxtable will coach the Panthers' defense in the upcoming season.

Pittsburgh is set to open Spring Practice on March 15. Catch up on your favorite team by checking out all the Spring Practice Dates.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:17 am
Edited on: February 18, 2012 11:23 am
 

Multiyear scholarship legislation withstands vote

Posted by Chip Patterson

The NCAA's proposal for multiyear scholarships for student-athletes, adopted following the August 2011 presidential retreat, narrowly passed a membership override vote on Friday.

A total of 330 Division I institutions voted, with 62.12% voting to override the legislation. According to NCAA bylaws, a 62.5% percent majority of those voting is required for an override. According to NCAA.org blogger John Infante, only two override votes could have changed the outcome.

“I am pleased that student-athletes will continue to benefit from the ability of institutions to offer athletics aid for more than one year, but it’s clear that there are significant portions of the membership with legitimate concerns,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns.”

The legislation does not require an institution to offer guaranteed scholarships for more than one year, but several notable football programs - including Auburn - have announced their plans to participate in the practice. While the multiyear scholarship legislation survived the override vote, a proposal to adjust the miscellaneous expense allowance is still being reviewed by the NCAA Board of Directors.

The Board will consider new options for the stipend legislation in April.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:05 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 10:09 am
 

James Franklin denies tampering allegations

Posted by Chip Patterson

One of the many twists and turns in the transfer of Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien has been the reported stipulation that prevents O'Brien from accepting financial aid from Vanderbilt. It is common for hopeful transfers to be blocked from future opponents - O'Brien also cannot accept aid from future ACC opponents, West Virginia, and Temple - but the Commodores are not currently on any future Terrapins schedule.

No Maryland officials, including head coach Randy Edsall, have elaborated on why Vanderbilt is not an acceptable landing place for O'Brien, but it is likely because of former Terps offensive coordinator James Franklin. Franklin was O'Brien's offensive coordinator, and thought to be a candidate to replace Ralph Friedgen, before accepting the head coaching job at Vanderbilt. Speaking to a local radio station, Franklin addressed the allegations regarding his involvement in O'Brien's departure.

“I don’t like innuendos and comments being made about tampering and things like that,” Franklin told 104.5 The Zone in Nashville.  “You guys know me. I’m the type of guy, I’m going to have relationships with my players. I hope to have relationships with the guys that play for me for the rest of my life.

“But the fact that people would make accusations that we tampered or did this or did that, again, I’m just going to defend our program and defend our character and how we do things. But I think it’s ridiculous to think that I’m not going to have relationships with these kids after I leave places.”

Todd Willert, O'Brien's high school coach, told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman he expects the quarterback's family to appeal Edsall's reported restriction in order to have the option to transfer to Vanderbilt.

"I believe they will," said Willert. "This weekend, Danny and his family will sort through everything. They think (Vandy) should be an option but I don't know exactly what they'll decide. It should be an option for him.  Just be fair to everybody. Danny has no ill will towards anybody."

O'Brien is set to earn his undergraduate degree from Maryland this spring, and will be eligible to compete immediately as long as he enrolls in a graduate program not offered in College Park. It is the same transfer rule that allowed Russell Wilson to compete right away at Wisconsin. Unlike Wilson, O'Brien will still have two full years of eligibility once he joins a program.

Willert told CBSSports.com there has been a lot of interest, but would not reveal what schools have attempted to contact O'Brien. In addition to Vanderbilt; Stanford, Michigan State, Wisconsin, East Carolina, and Ole Miss are all believed to be in the mix.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:50 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 9:50 am
 

BC RB Montel Harris cleared for spring practice

Posted by Chip Patterson

Boston College running back Montel Harris has been cleared to participate in spring practice, after missing all but two games in 2011 due to a lingering knee injury.

Head coach Frank Spaziani told ESPN.com's Heather Dinich the 2011 ACC Preseason Player of the Year has been cleared by doctors, but the coaching staff is still concerned about Harris' health.

“I’d be less than honest with you if I said there wasn’t a concern,” Spaziani told ESPN.com. “When this procedure was done on him, we were looking at four to six weeks being back playing and ready to go and it’s now been a year and something. That in itself is a little bit of a red flag and a concern, but there are no indications now that that will be the case, but once again, we had hoped we weren’t at this point, so there is that lingering concern until he does it.”

Harris broke the school's all-time rushing record (currently at 3,735 yards) in one of his two appearances in 2011, is the school's all-time leader in carries (786), and is the ACC's active leader in rushing yards and carries.

Spaziani told ESPN.com the main focus of the spring will be to get Harris ready for the season opener. The lingering knee injury kept him out of the Eagles' first three contests in 2011 - losses to Northwestern, UCF, and Duke. The Eagles have not gotten off to a great start in each of the last two seasons, and having Harris 100 percent healthy in the backfield will help Spaziani attempt to reverse that trend.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com