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  • College coach challenges the ethics of his university and resigns

    mcgill

    Second chances are a tricky thing. Some people believe in them, while it depends on the offense for others. Domestic violence is one of those hot topic issues that divides people from all walks of life, and it’s an issue that has reared its ugly head in our profession over the past 12 months with NFL names like Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Jonathan Dwyer in the media spotlight. It’s a real world issue that has given many franchises an unwanted black eye.

    Many, if not most, college coaches have set rules that place a premium on treating women with respect with steep consequences for those that break that rule. No questions asked.

    Up in Canada at McGill University, located in Montreal, Quebec, head coach Clinton Uttley holds the belief that players deserve second chances in life. He’s so firm in that belief that since the University didn’t share that same vision during a recent player’s run in with the law, he has given up his coaching position.

    On September 24th, junior running back Luis-Andres Guimont-Mota was charged with assault and uttering threats in connection to an incident with his wife, but according to his lawyer Guimont-Mota is actually the victim in the assault.

    The prior assault conviction dates back to 2010 where Guimont-Mota, but because of coach Uttley’s deep-rooted belief in second chances, he was recruited anyway and the opportunity helped the young star blossom into a standout running back, winning last year’s offensive MVP award.

    However, the University was apparently unaware of the 2010 conviction until the most recent incident on the 24th, and released a statement saying that Guimont-Mota should have never been allowed to attend the university in the first place and has thus been suspended.

    “In line with the university’s varsity athletics guidelines, effective immediately, this player is suspended from the football team pending resolution of his case by the court,” deputy provost Ollivier Dyens added in McGill’s official statement.

    That release conflicted so starkly with coach Uttley’s coaching philosophy, and overall approach to life that he decided to resign. He released a full statement after informing the team of his decision yesterday. The full statement can be read below, courtesy of CBC News:

    I have resigned as the Head Coach of the McGill Redmen Football team. The University released a statement on Friday, September 26, 2014 regarding allegations against an individual from our team.
     
    “A member of the McGill Redmen football team was in Court on Thursday to face criminal charges. T his individual had previously pleaded guilty to an assault charge arising from a 2010 incident in Quebec City. This individual should not have been invited to join our team. That was not in accordance with the values of our community.”
     
     
    The above statement does not represent my personal morals or values with regards to sport, recruiting, and life in general. I believe in rehabilitation. The student athlete accepted his conviction and did his punishment, a fact that was not hidden from the University. At the time of his arrival, the University tolerated and accepted his presence and then proceeded to celebrate his accomplishments thereafter.
     
    For McGill University to say now that this individual should not have been allowed on our team in the first place because of his past, deeply troubles me and in good conscience I cannot work for an organization that does not embrace equity and inclusiveness. Postsecondary education should be accessible for all, not just the ones’ who have no known incidences. How can someone aspire to rehabilitation when the leading institutions of Quebec and Canada shun those who have made an error in judgment?
     
     
    I believe that University is exactly the place to shape and mold young adults to reach their full potential. If this were not the case, I would not be here before you today. If the football coaches in my life had not provided me with an equal opportunity, I would not have completed a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education, and a Masters of Education in Inclusive Education. I wanted to give back to those who mentored and influenced me in a positive way through the use of sport as those who offered their support to me.
     
    If providing young men with a second opportunity has effectively cost me my position as head football coach at McGill, then I accept that consequence in order to maintain a higher moral standard then what’s been dictated.
     
    -Clinton J. Uttley
     

    Take a second and put yourself in coach Uttley’s shoes. Would you stand up to your employer? Or are there particular offenses that simply can’t be forgiven? Where do you draw the line?

  • Photos: Oregon will wear black and pink uniforms on Thursday

    It’s October, which means pink is the new alternate color for every team in football. Oregon is participating in the breast cancer awareness drive by donning black and pink themed uniforms for the second year in a row.

    The Ducks wore pink helmets and pink cleats/ankle tape in a 62-38 defeat of Washington State on Oct. 19 of 2013.

    Oregon will wear the pink-themed uniforms Thursday night against Arizona.

    What do you think?

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  • Taking stock of the 17 undefeated teams remaining in college football

    Alabama Ole Miss

    A week ago there were 25 undefeated teams left in college football. Week 5 saw that number cut by a third. With five games pitting undefeated vs. undefeated this week, the maximum number of unbeaten teams left alive by Sunday morning is 12, but considering this week’s slate we could easily be in the single digits.

    The maximum number of undefeated teams the schedule allows by season’s end is nine, but history tells us the final number will be much closer to one or zero.

    American

    Cincinnati’s 50-28 loss at Ohio State means there are no undefeated teams left in the American.

    ACC

    Florida State: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Wake Forest
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Notre Dame (Oct. 18)
    Prognosis: For the second week in a row, the defending champs looked vulnerable, and for the second week in a row the defending champs escaped alive. This next two weeks should – should - be cakewalks, but this is a team that plays to its competition until it can’t anymore.

    Georgia Tech: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Miami (Oct. 4)
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Miami (Oct. 4)
    Prognosis: Georgia Tech was off last week, allowing the Yellow Jackets an extra week to prepare for Miami. Considering they’ve lost five in a row to Miami, this was fortuitous timing.

    Big 12

    Baylor: 4-0
    Next game: at Texas
    Best chance for a loss: at Oklahoma (Nov. 8)
    Prognosis: Baylor is ranked in the top 10, Texas is unranked. Baylor is a 16-point favorite over the Longhorns for the second year in a row. And no one blinks an eye. My how times have changed.

    Oklahoma: 4-0
    Next game: at TCU
    Best chance for a loss: at TCU
    Prognosis: Oklahoma had a week off before Saturday’s trip to Fort Worth. Problem is, TCU played SMU, so the Horned Frogs essentially did, too.

    TCU: 3-0
    Next game: vs. Oklahoma
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Oklahoma
    Prognosis: TCU gave Oklahoma a stiff challenge each of the teams’ two meetings since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12, 24-17 in Fort Worth on the final day of the 2012 season, and 20-17 in Norman last year. Those TCU teams struggled to move the ball. This one hasn’t – so far. We’ll see how much of a difference Doug Meacham has really made with TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin on Saturday.

    Big Ten

    Nebraska: 5-0
    Next game: at Michigan State
    Best chance for a loss: at Michigan State
    Prognosis: No one has paid much attention to Nebraska this season – at least not when they’re escaping overtime against McNeese State – with good reason. They’ve beaten Florida Atlantic, McNeese State, Fresno State, Miami and Illinois. That changes with a win over Michigan State on Saturday night.

    Conference USA

    Marshall: 4-0
    Next game: at Old Dominion (Oct. 4)
    Best chance for a loss: at Old Dominion (Oct. 4)
    Prognosis: If the Thundering Herd survive their next two – at Old Dominion, vs. Middle Tennessee – I think they cruise to the season finale against Western Kentucky.

    Independents

    BYU: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Utah State (Friday)
    Best chance for a loss: at Central Florida (Oct. 9)
    Prognosis: I don’t know what to think about this team. Taysom Hill is really good, and the Cougars have the ability to physically overwhelm every opponent left on their slate. But I don’t think the defense is 12-0 material, and they commit too many penalties.

    Notre Dame: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Stanford
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Stanford
    Prognosis: No one has come within 16 points of the Fighting Irish this year, but then again their best opponent thus far has been Syracuse. That changes Saturday.

    MAC

    There are zero undefeated teams remaining in the Mid-American Conference. #SadMACtion.

    Mountain West

    There are zero undefeated teams remaining in the Mountain West Conference. #SadMWaction.

    Pac-12

    Arizona: 4-0
    Next game: at Oregon (Thursday)
    Best chance for a loss: at Oregon (Thursday)
    Prognosis: This goes one of two ways. Either the Wildcats are gone from this list and receiving zero votes in both polls, or they’re still here and ranked among the Top 15 nationally.

    Oregon: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Arizona (Thursday)
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Arizona (Thursday)
    Prognosis: A trip to the Rose Bowl with No. 8 UCLA and a certain visit from College GameDay waits on the other side of this game, but Oregon must first contend with the team that beat them 42-16 last November.

    UCLA: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Utah
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Utah
    Prognosis: This was going to be a fun undefeated undercard to what’s happening elsewhere on Saturday, until Utah blew a 21-0 lead and lost to Washington State at home. Still, this Utes bunch is capable of taking down UCLA if they provide the type of effort they did in their last home game, a 42-35 squeaker over Memphis.

    SEC

    Alabama: 4-0
    Next game: at Ole Miss
    Best chance for a loss: at Ole Miss
    Prognosis: Here’s what Alabama has waiting after Saturday: a trip to the same Arkansas team that nearly beat Texas A&M on a neutral field, a Texas A&M whose offense has bedeviled Nick Saban the past two years, a constantly improving Tennessee team, a visit to LSU, a home game with Mississippi State, Western Carolina, and then Auburn.

    Auburn: 4-0
    Next game: vs. LSU
    Best chance for a loss: vs. LSU
    Prognosis: Here’s what Auburn has waiting after Saturday: a trip to Mississippi State, a home game with South Carolina, a visit to Ole Miss, a home game with Texas A&M, a visit to Georgia, Samford, and then a visit to Alabama.

    Missississippi State: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Texas A&M
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Texas A&M
    Prognosis: What Mississippi State has waiting after Saturday: Auburn, a visit to Kentucky, home games with Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin, a visit to Alabama, a home date with Vanderbilt, and then the Egg Bowl in Oxford. Much lighter load than the two schedules above, but the degree of difficulty for reaching Atlanta unbeaten feels about the same.

    Ole Miss: 4-0
    Next game: vs. Alabama
    Best chance for a loss: vs. Alabama
    Prognosis: The Rebels remaining slate after Saturday’s visit by Alabama: at Texas A&M, vs. Tennessee, at LSU, vs. Auburn, vs. Presbyterian, at Arkansas, vs. Mississippi State. The Rebels play four Top 15 teams in the next five weeks, plus a Tennessee team that nearly knocked off Georgia.

    Texas A&M: 5-0
    Next game: at Mississippi State
    Best chance for a loss: at Mississippi State
    Prognosis: Finally, Texas A&M’s remaining schedule after Saturday’s trip to Starkvegas: Ole Miss, at Alabama, vs. Louisiana-Monroe, at Auburn, vs. Missouri, vs. LSU. Only two road games, but those road games happen to be against two of top five teams in the country.

    The point of this exercise? If any team survives the SEC West and whatever the SEC East throws at them in Atlanta unscathed,  and then beats the No. 4 team (let’s not kid ourselves, this would be the Playoff’s No. 1 team) and then the winner of the No. 2 vs. No. 3 semifinal, we’re talking about possibly the greatest season in college football’s modern era.

    Sun Belt

    There are zero undefeated teams remaining in the Sun Belt Conference. #SadFunBelt

  • Video: Punt return of the week – “Can a brother get one block?”

    Not one meaningful block is thrown, yet Austin Fay of Greenwood (Ill.) still returned this punt 43 yards to the opponent’s five.

    Football isn’t an individual sport, but on this play it pretty much was.

    (HT Max Preps)

  • Auburn AD Jay Jacobs pens classy thank you letter to K-State fans

    kstatefans

    Auburn traveled to Manhattan two weekends ago to take on Bill Snyder and his Kansas State squad, and escaped with a hard fought 20-14 win.

    Not only was Kansas State’s on the field product impressive to Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, but their student section and fans left a lasting impression on both him, and a number of fans that made the trip

    So much in fact, that Jacobs felt compelled to write a letter to The Collegian (K-State’s campus newspaper), commending them on their hospitality and game day demeanor, noting that their atmosphere rivaled what he sees on a weekly basis in the SEC.

    Dear Editor,

    I wanted to thank K-State Athletic Director John Currie, K-State’s spirited student body and its first-class fans for making our recent trip to Manhattan a memorable one.

    We like to boast that we have the best game day experience in the nation in the Southeastern Conference, but the environment at K-State is as good as I have ever seen. In the days since our trip to Manhattan, many of our fans have told me it was the best they have ever been treated on a road trip. Considering how many road games some of our fans attend, that is saying a lot.

    The hospitality was outstanding. I can understand the courteousness prior to the game, but the way we were treated after the game was such a pleasant surprise. You are all first class.

    You should also be proud of your beautiful campus and its outstanding athletic facilities. The football facilities are especially impressive, and our fans enjoyed seeing them.

    Thank you again for the hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed a hard-fought game and a wonderful environment. In years to come, we will have forgotten the score, but we will always remember how well we were treated.

    We wish you the very best of luck for the remainder of the season.

    Best regards,

    Jay Jacobs
    Director of Athletics
    Auburn University

    Really classy move by Jacobs there.