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  • Jim Mora downplays P. Diddy kettle bell incident: “You know, those things happen.”

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    If it wasn’t the wacky college football story of the off-season, it was at least on the medal stand. On June 22, hip hop mogul and UCLA football dad P. Diddy came at Bruins strength coach Sal Alosi and his staff with a kettle bell after Alosi kicked Justin Combs out of a workout for poor effort.

    Mora released a statement the day of the incident, and on July 3 it was revealed the Bruins were not pressing charges. And that was that. Nothing had been said in the month since, until Mora appeared on Dan Patrick’s show Monday.

    “Everything’s fine,” Mora said. “It was an unfortunate situation, but Justin’s a good kid, Sean’s a passionate dad, and my strength coach is an amazing guy. You know, those things happen.”

    Patrick, one of the great interviewers of our time, especially on the rare occasion when he gets a guest in person, can not formulate a follow-up question. “But you have…’cause,” is all he manages to say.

    “There’s going to be distractions in LA. There’s gonna be stuff that happens in LA,” Mora interjected. He then launched into a sentence he couldn’t have imagined uttering when he got into coaching at Washington more than 30 years ago. “I’ve got P. Diddy’s son, I’ve got Snoop’s son. On campus there’s always celebrities all over. There’s cameras, sometimes you walk out of our practice, TMZ’s there. It’s just the way that it is when you’re at UCLA.”

    He then turned it into a coaching point – and recruiting pitch – about the resiliency that UCLA players must have in order to focus on football.

    “I think it’s good for our kids because it teaches them to deal with distractions. We’re playing at the Rose Bowl in front of 85,000 people against a great team like USC, you better be able to assume focus,” he said. “So I think all these things teach them how to eliminate the noise and focus in on what they have to focus in on.”

    Mora declined to say definitively whether Justin Combs or Cordell Broadus would play more this fall. He did say Snoop asked great questions during Mora’s in-home visit with the Broadus clan, though he said he would not partake if Snoop passed him some of the devil’s lettuce during a game.

  • Go inside Bruce DeHaven’s decision to return to the field as he battles cancer

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    Carolina special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven, a man with three decades of coaching experience in the NFL, sat in a doctor’s office this past May and heard the words that no one ever wants to hear.

    As Peter King points out in his MMQB article, at 66 years old and seemingly healthy, DeHaven was told that he had prostate cancer and likely had three to five years left to live. With that in mind as training camp approached, and with a son getting ready to head to off to his first year of college and a daughter still in high school, DeHaven had to decide whether to go back to coaching, or go home to spend time with loved ones in case his days are even more numbered than expected.

    DeHaven’s logic for how he came to the decision to return to the sidelines is nothing short of inspirational.

    “I just figured that I am determined to beat this,” DeHaven told MMQB. “And I hope I can beat it. I hope I can outlast it.”

    “I’m so busy that I don’t even think of it unless someone brings it up. But I think I figured that, if I quit, 20 years from now I’d ask myself, ‘Why’d you walk away from a job you love doing so much?’”

    The sad realization of that quote is that DeHaven may not have the opportunity to look back on that decision in a year, must less in 20, yet his love for coaching is what fuels him.

    King has plenty more about DeHaven, and what drove his decision, in the full article, so head over to it for a longer look.

     

  • Pat Fitzgerald suggests two Twitter hashtags for critics everywhere to criticize him

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    Being a head coach at any level, especially among FBS coaches, draws more than its fair share of criticism But as a head coach, you’d rather have that criticism directed at your, rather than at your players.

    While at Big Ten Media Day last week, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald mentioned that exact sentiment, stating that he would much rather have media criticism directed at him, rather than his players. Fitz then took things a step further by suggesting two Twitter hashtags that fans and media members could use to vent their frustrations; #DoThisFitz and #WTFitz.

    Think of it as the modern-day version of Mike Gundy’s “I’m a man…I’m 40″ tirade.

    The criticisms didn’t take long to start to roll in as armchair coaches everywhere took the opportunity to come at him. The hashtags will be infinitely more colorful in the fall.

    This morning Fitz is due to appear on SportsCenter so Scott took the opportunity to remind anchor Jaymee Sire of Fitz’s rather interesting idea.


    Update: Nice work by SportsCenter host Jaymee Sire for leading with this. Good example of the power of social media my friends.

  • Video: Ohio State pulls the trash can prank

    A week after pulling the dummy prank, Ohio State is back with another.

    This time, the Buckeyes stuffed a guy in the trash can and let him loose on his teammates in the locker room.

    One final thought: thank God for that black censor bar.

  • The Cowboys had a fight at practice Sunday… and then promoted it with exclusive video

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    Dez Bryant and Tyler Patmon got into a fight at Dallas Cowboys training camp on Sunday. You’ve probably heard something about it by now.

    And, in addition to the national and local media, the Cowboys themselves covered the fight between their own players. With exclusive video!

    NFL teams started covering themselves a long time ago, but this is the first time (that I can remember, at least) that a team has covered an intrasquad fight like it was a normal practice function. In the Cowboys’ defense, it’s impossible to pull the nothing-to-see-here card when thousands of fans and hundreds of media watch the fight happen in real time. 

    “This was our second day of having this crowd out here,” Jerry Jones told ESPN afterward. “And the kind of atmosphere that everybody’s worked to put together, and that atmosphere breeds that kind of passion, that kind of excitement, and sure enough here comes some little after-the-whistle action. … That’s good stuff. That’s training camp.” Head coach Jason Garrett had complained Saturday’s practice was not physical enough.

    It’s only a matter of time before fights break out at 31 training camps across the league. And any publicity is good publicity, especially as long as Jerry’s running things.

    But, still, the Cowboys invited comments like this into their timeline:

    I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m just saying it’s… weird.