Sports Outside the Beltway

Texas Tech hire Tommy Tuberville to be next football coach

He will replace the fired Mike Leach. From

Former Mississippi and Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has been hired as the next head football coach at Texas Tech, the university announced Saturday.Tommy Tuberville

A news conference to introduce Tuberville will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the United Spirit Arena. It is closed to the public, Tech officials said. Tuberville was getting ready to fly to Lubbock Saturday afternoon and said university officials had instructed him not to discuss his hiring until Sunday.

Tuberville will have a five-year contract, a source told the A-J.


Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum said he thinks Tuberville is an ideal choice for a program that has won 29 games in the last three years.

“I think that’s a good fit,” said Slocum, who once had Tuberville on his staff. “He’s not one of those guys that feels like he has to come in and tear everything down and put his stamp on it. I don’t see him being that kind of ego guy.

“He’s smart enough to know … They’ve been pretty dang impressive to me, and I think he’d have the same opinion. He can probably lend a little help to the defensive side and shore that up and then kind of keep the scheme offensively, so I think it’s a really good fit.”


Slocum hired Tuberville to be Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator in 1994 after Bob Davie left to become defensive coordinator at Notre Dame. At the time, Slocum said he wanted someone to just keep the defense then known as the “Wrecking Crew” pointed in the same direction.

Tuberville lost his Auburn job(Here’s some dispute over whether he resigned voluntarily or was forced to resign) after one bad season. Based on Tuberville’s track, I think he has a good chance of building on Texas Tech’s recent success.


Texas Tech fires Coach Mike Leach

He was threatening to sue the school before the firing. From ESPN-

Texas Tech fired coach Mike Leach on Wednesday, two days after he was suspended by the school as it investigated his treatment of a player with a concussion.

The school handed a termination letter to Leach’s attorney, Ted Liggett, minutes before the two sides were to appear in a Lubbock courtroom for a hearing on the coach’s suspension.

Liggett said Texas Tech general counsel Pat Campbell approached him outside the courtroom and told him that win, lose or draw in the hearing, Leach was out effective immediately.

Liggett told the judge there was no need for the hearing on Leach’s request that he be reinstated to coach the Valero Alamo Bowl. Texas Tech plays Michigan State on Saturday in San Antonio.

As for Leach’s reaction, Liggett said, “Well, he’s not thrilled.” Liggett said he planned to file a lawsuit on Leach’s behalf against the school “soon.”

“We can guarantee that the fight has just begun,” he said.

Leach was suspended by the university on Monday as the school investigated his treatment of receiver Adam James. The sophomore alleged the coach twice confined him to small, dark spaces while the team practiced.

I hold to my original opinion, Leach didn’t just deserve to be fired but prosecuted criminally. He involuntarily confined a injured football player. There is no excusing it. I’d find myself behind bars or so would any employer and deservingly. Leach shouldn’t be any different.

This kind of abuse of athletes is probably more widespread than the public knows and the Leach and recent incidents at Army and Kansas should be a siren call. These people can’t just do anything to the young men and women put in their charge and if a coach steps over the line, they should face stiffest of punishment.


Texas Tech suspends Coach Mike Leach

I’ve heard many a tale of coach abuse of college athletes, but never imprisonment or kidnapping. From ESPN-

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has been suspended while the school investigates complaints from a player and his family about treatment after an injury.Mike Leach

The school said in a release Monday defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill will be the interim coach and lead the team in the Valero Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2 against Michigan State. McNeill will remain in charge of the team until the investigation is complete.

The player, Adam James, is a redshirt sophomore wide receiver for the Red Raiders and the son of ESPN college football analyst Craig James.

A source close to the family told ESPN’s Joe Schad that James sustained a concussion on Dec. 16, was examined on Dec. 17 and told not to practice due to a concussion and an elevated heart rate. The source said Leach called a trainer and directed him to move James “to the darkest place, to clean out the equipment and to make sure that he could not sit or lean. He was confined for three hours.”

According to the source, Leach told the trainer, two days later, to “put [James] in the darkest, tightest spot. It was in an electrical closet, again, with a guard posted outside.”

An attorney for Leach said that while James was secluded twice, the circumstances were not as portrayed in that account.

If Leach had James involuntarily confined under any circumstances, he just shouldn’t be fired but criminally prosecuted. He had no right to imprison anyone for any length of time.

The Lubbock Avalanche Journal has more-

Leach had until Monday to write an apology and when he did not, the university felt it had to take action.

“This was not taken lightly,” the source said, adding that Leach did not show any signs of remorse or did not say he wouldn’t do it again. The player suffered a concussion at practice on Dec. 16 and Leach thought the player was faking.

The article went on to say Leach didn’t have James confined just once but twice. Texas Tech should fire this idiot and Texas prosecutors bring him up on criminal charges. Leach should spend some time behind bars and be shown how it feels to be imprisoned and have your rights taken away.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 4 #120 – Dallas Cowboys – DE Brandon Williams

The Cowboys traded down three spots to pick up Tampa’s 7th rounder (’cause we don’t have enough picks already…) and then take another lineman and in-state player, Texas Tech’s Brandon Williams.   This might be a rare case where the Cowboys got good value in the draft! says:


Big 12 opponents fully appreciated the impact Williams had on the Red Raiders’ in 2008, even if others paid more attention to the high-flying offense. After all, Williams led the conference with 13 sacks, earning first-team All-Big 12 accolades as a junior, and leaves Tech ranked fourth in school history with 22.5 career sacks. Williams is strictly a speed rusher, as he lacks the bulk and strength to provide much in the running game. Teams are always looking for pass rushers and this fact could make Williams a top-100 selection come April, but another year at Texas Tech to get stronger would have been beneficial.

High School

South Hills High School in Fort Worth, Texas … No. 69 overall prospect in Dallas area (Dallas Morning News) … District 8-4A first team after posting 102 tackles and 11 sacks during senior season … Rated as one of the state’s top 20 defensive linemen … Timed at 4.8 second in the 40-yard dash … Also offered by Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa State, Central Florida and SMU … High school coach was Jerry Watson.


Positives: Lanky, athletic frame with room for at least an additional 15-20 pounds of added mass. … Good initial quickness off the snap. … Can pressure the edge immediately with his burst and has the balance and flexibility to get under the tackle and close. … Has a late short burst to close. … Good straight-line speed.

Negatives: Essentially a one-trick pony at this time because he lacks the bulk and strength required to be dependable against the run in the NFL from the traditional defensive end position. … Lacks the balance and flexible hips to change direction fluidly and project as a linebacker. … Relies on his long arms and speed to trip up ballcarriers too often. … Is not a strong tackler and opponents break his arm tackles.

Scouts, Inc says:

Overall Football Traits
Production 2 2006: Williams appears in 11 games as a true freshman and records 16 tackles including 3.5 sacks. He breaks up one pass. 2007: Williams starts 11 of the 12 games he appears in recording 41 tackles including 11.5 tackles-for-loss. He forces three fumbles and recovers one fumble. 2008: Williams starts all 12 games and records 21 tackles including 12.5 tackles-for-loss and 11 sacks. He forces three fumbles and breaks up three passes.
Height-Weight-Speed 4 Adequate-to-good height but needs to bulk up to play defensive end or move to rush linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Combine 40 time was poor but he plays faster than that result indicates.
Durability 2 Durability is not an issue to our knowledge but lack of size puts him somewhat at risk.
Character 3 No off-the-field issues to our knowledge.
Defensive End specific Traits
Agility/Quickness 2 Better agility than Combine numbers reflect. Reads movement and explodes off the ball. Shows above-average closing speed in pursuit. But he does show some tightness in the hips, he struggles to change directions in space and he will likely have a difficult time matching up in coverage if moved to outside linebacker.
Strength/Toughness 4 Plays from the snap until the whistle and fights to get off blocks. Lacks ideal lower body strength and gets driven back at times. Undersized and can get engulfed by bigger offensive linemen.
Instincts 2 Finds the ball quickly and rarely caught out of position. Shows above-average awareness and does a nice job of sniffing out draws as well as screens.
Pass Rusher 2 Quick enough to turn the corner and shows above-average closing speed when gets a clear run at the quarterback. Can set offensive tackles up to the outside and then swim or spin back inside. Ball-hawk that looks to knock the ball loose when gets to the quarterback.
Run Stopper 4 At his best when on the move. Shows quick hands and long arms, which if used properly can help him keep blockers off his body. Possesses the lateral mobility necessary to get down the line and fill cutback lanes. However, he possesses marginal strength and really struggles to hold his ground when teams run at him. He typically takes far too long to shed the block.


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #10- San Francisco 49ers- WR Michael Crabtree

Mel Kiper says 49ers have several needs. Mike Singletary is a Defensive minded coach, I expect him not to pick offense here.

And I’m wrong!

ESPN writes- Despite leaving school after his redshirt sophomore year, Crabtree is an outstanding route-runner. He does an excellent job setting up his breaks and exploding out of his cuts. His ability to catch the ball in stride and determination as an open-field runner make him dangerous after the catch. Of course, it also helps that he can catch anything thrown in his area. A lot has been made about his lack of ideal timed speed, but we believe this is an overrated criticism. Although Crabtree isn’t a burner, he plays faster on film than he runs on the track.


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


Texas Tech QB’s fingers broken in 9 places


Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell played with two shattered fingers on his non-throwing hand Saturday in the Red Raiders’ victory over Baylor.

Harrell underwent four hours of surgery Sunday on the pinkie and ring fingers on his left hand, with 17 pins and two plates inserted in his hand to heal nine separate breaks, a source said. Despite the extent of the injury, suffered in the second quarter, Harrell finished the game against the Bears and is expected to be fine for Tech’s bowl game.

Texas Tech football spokesman Chris Cook said that coach Mike Leach’s policy is not to comment on the specifics of players’ injuries. But he confirmed that Harrell did have surgery Sunday morning.

It is plain incredible Harrell was able to keep playing. I sincerely hope no permanent damage was done.


Coach Bobby Knight resigns from Texas Tech

He won his 900th game as a head coach last month. From AP-

LUBBOCK, Texas – Bob Knight resigned Monday at Texas Tech, a stunning midseason move by the winningest men’s coach in major college basketball.

Known as much for his fiery temper as his basketball brilliance, Knight gave no hint a change was coming. He will be replaced by his son, Pat, a Red Raiders assistant.

Chris Cook, a spokesman for athletic director Gerald Myers, confirmed the resignation, which was first reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Related links
Bob Knight’s milestone wins
In September, Knight signed a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2011-12 season. In 2005, Pat Knight was appointed his father’s successor.

“Coach Knight has had a great career. His coaching record speaks for itself. His love for basketball is clear, but most importantly his love for teaching and the students has been a hallmark of his tenure here at Texas Tech,” said Sally Logue Post, a spokeswoman for Texas Tech.

Bob Knight has 902 career wins, more than any coach in the history of Division I men’s basketball. Win No. 900 came last month against Texas A&M. The Red Raiders are 12-8 this season.

Knight arrived at Texas Tech in March 2001, six months after being fired by Indiana for what school officials there called a “pattern of unacceptable behavior.”

I expect Knight is done with coaching. He certainly was a successful if controversial coach. Good luck in retirement Bobby.


Texas Tech Bans Vick Dog Hanging T-Shirt

A Texas Tech student designed a t-shirt using the Michael Vick controversy to make fun of the visiting Texas A&M Aggies. His school’s administration was not amused.

Texas Tech has banned the sale of a T-shirt bearing the likeness of Michael Vick hanging the dog mascot of rival Texas A&M. The red and black shirts, with text that says “VICK ‘EM” on the front in an apparent reference to the Aggies’ slogan “Gig ‘em,” was created by a Tech student who was trying to sell them before Saturday’s game in Lubbock. The back of the shirt shows a football player wearing the No. 7 Vick jersey holding a rope with an image of the mascot Reveille at the end of a noose. Vick, who faces up to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal dogfighting charge, is suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Tech officials late Tuesday announced the fraternity that sold the shirts was suspended temporarily and will face judicial review for allegedly violating the solicitation section of the students’ code of conduct. The school said it wouldn’t allow the sale on campus of items that are “derogatory, inflammatory, insensitive, or in such bad taste.” No more shirts are being produced, the school said in a release.

A&M officials, in a statement, thanked Tech administrators for “their response and action regarding this matter.”

Good for Texas Tech, which showed class and sensitivity here. Hopefully, they won’t overreact in their punishment of the student and/or fraternity; kids do dumb things. It’s the job of the adults running the place to help them grow up.


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