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  1. #61
    UNC reports secondary football violations
    July 18, 2018

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) North Carolina has reported secondary violations to the NCAA within the football program involving multiple players.

    In a statement Wednesday night, UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham says the NCAA has deemed the violations to be secondary in severity and that the school has ''taken appropriate disciplinary action.'' The statement didn't specify the nature of that action or the violations.

    Team spokesman Bobby Hundley said the violations involve multiple players, but wouldn't specify a number. When asked about possible suspensions, Hundley said ''specifics have not been finalized'' and didn't elaborate further.

    WRAL TV in Raleigh first reported that the school has self-reported the violations to the NCAA, citing anonymous sources.

    ''We have high expectations of all of our students, coaches and staff, and we expect everyone to abide by and embrace team and NCAA rules,'' Cunningham said in the statement. ''We are disappointed when we fall short, and we always strive to get better.''

    That statement came after coach Larry Fedora, defensive tackle Aaron Crawford and receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams appeared at the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason media days in Charlotte earlier in the afternoon. Fedora didn't reference the violations, though he caused a stir when he said he doesn't believe it's been proven that football causes the degenerative brain disease CTE and offered a passionate defense of a sport he believes is ''under attack.''

    While this case involves secondary violations regarded as less severe, it comes less than a year after UNC finally emerged from a long stretch of serious NCAA issues after spending a large chunk of Cunningham's tenure dealing with top-level NCAA charges.

    First there was an investigation into the football program in 2010 for improper benefits and academic misconduct. That case - which led to Cunningham's arrival from Tulsa in November 2011 - ended when the NCAA issued sanctions in March 2012 that included a one-year postseason ban and scholarship reductions.

    But that case led to the discovery of an even bigger concern: years of irregular courses in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department featuring significant athlete enrollments across numerous sports. That prompted questions from UNC's accreditation agency as well as a reopened NCAA investigation, which ultimately led to the NCAA charging UNC with five top-level violations that included lack of institutional control.

    But after years of starts, stops and delays, that case reached a no-penalty conclusion in October when an NCAA infractions committee panel couldn't conclude there were violations because the school had argued the courses were legitimate and available to non-athletes, too

  2. #62
    The Latest: Deacons look to young QBs while Hinton suspended
    July 19, 2018

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Latest on the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason media days (all times local):

    1:15 p.m.

    North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley says he passed up a chance to turn professional because he wanted one more season of college football.

    Finley calls the college football experience ''special'' and adds that he ''wasn't ready to let that go.''

    The former Boise State transfer says his close relationship with his teammates was a big reason for his return. He says it helps he has ''the best trio of wide receivers in the nation'' in Kelvin Harmon, Jakobi Meyers, and Stephen Louis on his side.

    Finley is the most experienced quarterback in the ACC Atlantic Division with 26 career starts.

    Now that he's back, Finley says his goal is to win a conference championship. He believes NC State has a good chance to build on its 52-31 bowl victory over Arizona State.


    11:50 a.m.

    Syracuse had one of the fastest-paced offenses in the country last season, averaging a play every 21 seconds. Quarterback Eric Dungey says the Orange want to be even faster.

    Dungey was speaking at the ACC Kickoff preseason media days. He says coach Dino Babers continues to tell the team ''it's not fast enough; we're trying to go even faster.''

    Now a senior and more comfortable than ever in the offense, Dungey thinks the offense has the potential to improve its pace and production with him under center, saying ''everything has slowed down so much for me.''

    Syracuse finished 4-8 last season, although it stunned national power Clemson and was competitive in most games.

    The Orange returns its most experienced offensive line they've had since Babers has been there. But the biggest challenge will be replacing standout wide receiver Steve Ishmael. He was second among FBS wide receivers with 105 receptions and third in yards receiving with 1,347 yards.


    11:20 a.m.

    League commissioner John Swofford says ''we have to respect the science'' when it comes to the connection between football and the degenerative brain disease CTE.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Swofford says ''football's not alone'' in concerns over concussions in sports. But he says ''football by its very nature is going to be looked at first.''

    Swofford says it's important to be willing to consider adjustments to improve player safety, whether it deals with rules, practice or equipment. He says: ''If we're not looking at it that way, I think we've got our heads in the sand.''

    Swofford was asked about CTE after North Carolina coach Larry Fedora caused a stir Wednesday by saying he doesn't believe football causes CTE and believes the sport is ''under attack.''


    10:30 a.m.

    Florida State running back Cam Akers is thrilled about playing in new coach Willie Taggart's up-tempo, no-huddle spread offense this season.

    As a freshman last season, Akers averaged 5.3 yards a carry and ran for more than 1,000 yards rushing to go with seven touchdowns. He says the new offense allows him to run in more space with more seams, which should translate into more opportunities to break big plays.

    Defensive end Brian Burns describes Akers as a ''monster'' in the weight room and on the field and expects him to have a huge season.

    Florida State announced in December that Taggart, who served as offensive coordinator at Oregon, would replace Jimbo Fisher as coach. Burns says Taggart has brought a ''no excuses'' attitude to the team and has been holding players accountable for their actions.

    The Seminoles were last in the league in offense last season and Taggart is looking forward to ''changing that narrative'' and winning multiple championships.


    9:50 a.m.

    Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson says he hasn't decided whether sophomore Jamie Newman or true freshman Sam Hartman will start the season at quarterback while redshirt junior Kendall Hinton is serving a three-game suspension for violating team rules.

    Newman has attempted four passes in college, while Hartman will be in uniform for the first time.

    The Demon Deacons are looking to replace John Wolford, who graduated following a breakout senior season in which he helped Wake Forest win eight games and capture its second straight bowl win in as many years.

    Clawson has called Hinton a ''very dynamic, elusive athlete'' and believes he can help the team once he returns to the field following his suspension.


    2:25 a.m.

    The Clemson Tigers will take center stage Thursday as the Atlantic Coast Conference turns its attention the Atlantic Division at the preseason media days.

    The Tigers are 40-4 over the past three seasons, winning three straight conference titles under coach Dabo Swinney.

    The biggest question mark for the Tigers is who'll handle the quarterback duties this year - incumbent Kelly Bryant or Trevor Lawrence, widely considered the No. 1 overall recruit in 2018.

    North Carolina State, which finished 6-2 in the conference last season, is expected to provide the biggest competition for the Tigers.

    Wake Forest, Boston College and Louisville all finished 4-4 in conference play last year, while Florida State was 3-5. Syracuse was 2-6, although the Orange did upset Clemson 27-24 at the Carrier Dome.

  3. #63
    Saban unsure Hurts will stay at Bama
    July 18, 2018

    Alabama coach Nick Saban said he isn't sure whether Jalen Hurts, the Crimson Tide's starting quarterback last season, will be on roster for the opener against Louisville on Sept. 1.

    Saban benched Hurts in favor of freshman Tua Tagovailoa at halftime of the national championship game and Tagovailoa threw three touchdown passes to rally the Tide from a 13-0 deficit to a 26-23 victory over Georgia in overtime.

    "I have no idea," Saban said when asked about Hurts' future. "I expect him to be there."

    Neither Hurts nor Tagovailoa was declared the starter for this season after spring practice, and Saban said the matter will be resolved in fall camp.

    Saban has hinted that Hurts and Tagovailoa might share playing time.

    There has been speculation that Hurts would transfer if he is not the starter.

    Hurts, who enrolled early at Alabama as a freshman, is set to graduate in December and would be able to transfer to another school without having to sit out a year to regain eligibility.

    --Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith appeared in Delaware (Ohio) Municipal Court on a trespassing charge, and the case was continued for a final pretrial hearing, Smith's attorney Bradley Koffel told The Columbus Dispatch.

    Smith was arrested on May 12 and charged with one count of criminal trespassing and pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing on June 5, according to court records.

    The arrest record obtained by media outlets states that police were dispatched to the home of Courtney Carano Smith, Zach Smith's ex-wife, in Powell, Ohio, around 8 p.m. on May 12.

    The report indicates that there was no forced entry and no suspected use of alcohol or drugs.

    Smith reportedly admitted to driving his car into the driveway of his ex-wife's apartment after being told in 2017 that returning to his wife's residence could result in a charge of criminal trespass.

    Koffel said Smith was simply dropping off his son after spending the day with him.

    The 34-year-old Smith, who also is the Buckeyes' recruiting coordinator, is the grandson of former Ohio State head coach Earle Bruce.

    --Head coach Larry Fedora of North Carolina is under fire for doubting a link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy at Wednesday's ACC Kickoff event.

    Fedora said he believes some people are using the data in hopes of destroying the game.

    "I'm not sure that anything is proven that football, itself, causes (CTE)," Fedora told reporters. "My understanding is that repeated blows to the head cause it, so I'm assuming that every sport we have, football included, could be a problem with that as long as you've got any kind of contact.

    "That doesn't diminish the fact that the game is still safer than it's ever been because we continue to tweak the game to try to make it safer for our players."

    Fedora later backtracked slightly, adding that football is not alone in dealing with head injuries, and claiming the game is currently safer than ever before.

    When pressed about whether or not he agrees that there is a correlation between football participation and CTE, Fedora said he believes some studies and not others.

    Fedora said some people, without naming them, routinely use data on CTE to suggest the risk of playing football is too high.

    Numerous organizations, including the NFL, have acknowledged there is a connection between concussions sustained while playing football and the development of CTE, which can result in brain abnormalities and depression.

    Fedora said he is not familiar with the NFL's evaluation of a link between football and CTE, but said players should understand the risks and make their own decisions.

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