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  • Dennis Allen is out as the Raiders’ head coach

    Dennis Allen

    After an Associated Press reporter tweeted that Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen had been fired, deleted the tweet, apologized and stated he was never covering the Allen story, the Allen news finally became official around midnight on the East Coast.

    The Raiders fell to the Miami Dolphins 38-14 Sunday in London, dropping the club to 0-4 on the season. Allen was just 8-28 in two-plus seasons as Oakland’s head coach, but his ouster says more about the organization than the coach it has dismissed. The Raiders’ new head coach will be the franchise’s eighth since unloading Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season; Oakland is 64-132 since the move.

    Allen, 42, had just one year of coordinator experience and four years as a primary position coach in the NFL before Oakland tapped him to replace Hue Jackson on Jan. 27, 2012. CBS’s Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that offensive coordinator Greg Lewis would be “a strong candidate” to take over as head coach.

    Needless to say, Oakland is the first NFL franchise to make a coaching change during the 2014 season.

  • Former UCF defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro accuses George O’Leary of racist remarks in lawsuit

    Fox Sports

    In some relationships there comes a moment where one party says something that takes things to the point of no return. Former Central Florida defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro and current head coach George O’Leary have reached that point, and then flown 10 miles past it.

    In a suit filed Friday, Ferraro accuses O’Leary of incredibly racist remarks and creating a work environment “permeated by bullying, threatening behavior, and repeated discriminatory epithets by O’Leary.”

    Ferraro accuses O’Leary of telling his staff, according a copy of the suit obtained by USA Today:

    Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 7.23.38 PM

    Ferraro also accuses O’Leary of calling a “Guinea.” (Confession: I had no idea “Guinea” was a derogatory term, or even a term at all.)

    “No longer will I put up with your constant verbal abuse of both our coaching and support staff,” Ferraro wrote to O’Leary in an email CC’ed to the rest of the staff. “Threatening coaches on a regular basis with their jobs and racial slurs mixed in to make a point is wrong.”

    At the basis of all of this, as with all lawsuits, is money.

    Ferraro was named the Knights’ defensive coordinator in December, shortly before their 52-42 defeat of Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl (he did not coach the game), but then left the staff in February. (Tyson Summers, hired in January, was then promoted to defensive coordinator.) Ferrero believes he was fired without cause and is owed $15,000 in salary. UCF believes he resigned, and thus is owed nothing.

    “UCF immediately investigated the allegations Mr. Ferraro made when he abruptly abandoned his job,” UCF vice president for communications and marketing Grant Heston emailed USA Today. “The university’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office found the allegations to be untrue.

    “None of the individuals alleged to have been the subject of, or to have overheard, these supposed statements corroborated Mr. Ferraro’s claims. In fact, until seeking compensation after abandoning his job, it does not appear he ever discussed this with anyone at UCF.”

    Translation: “Dude made the entire thing up.”

    Ferraro was hired away from Maine in late December, left the staff under apparently cloudy circumstances on March 5, and was back in his old job on the Maine staff by March 29.

    This is the type of suit that had better be true, otherwise Ferraro has damned his former boss to a lifetime of search returns pairing “O’Leary” with “racist”, all in the name of a money grab. In the always-online culture we live in, that’s (allegedly) one of the sorriest stunts a person can pull.

    Read the full story here.

  • Dave Doeren accuses FSU of faking injuries. Jimbo: “I accuse him of not know what he’s talking about.”

    Jimbo Fisher, Dave Doeren

    Associated Press

    Facing an opponent with thin depth along the offensive line, N.C. State coaches did what many would do: they went up tempo.

    The Wolfpack ran 87 plays (50 passes/37 rushes), up from an average of 70.5 plays from their four previous games (FSU ran 71 plays). The strategy worked, as N.C. State accumulated 359 passing yards and 161 rushing yards, building a 24-7 first-quarter lead and a 38-28 third-quarter lead before eventually succumbing to a 56-41 defeat at the hands of the defending national champions.

    Following the game, N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren accused Florida State of the n0t-uncommon tactic of faking injuries to slow the game down. “The tempo we had (in the first quarter) was working until all the crazy fall down things were going on and the clock kept stopping,” Doeren said Saturday. “You know the refs can’t do anything about that, but it’s horrible the way the tempo gets slow downed by these injuries. We went fast in the first quarter, I guess there were no fake injuries.”

    As CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson notes, two Seminoles defenders went down during the fourth quarter, Derrick Mitchell and Eddie Goldman. The latter re-aggravated an ankle injury, and the former did not return to the game. That kind of goes above and beyond the point of faking injuries.

    When asked about the claim during his Monday press conference, Jimbo Fisher did not take kindly to Doeren’s suggestion.

    “I accuse him of not knowing what he’s talking about,” Fisher told the Orlando Sentinel. “We did not fake injuries, no one fakes injuries. We’ll coach Florida State, he can coach North Carolina State.”

    I’d say that settles that.

  • Herb Hand enters the (highly unofficial) Penn State Hall of Fame

    If you’ve been around the Penn State University campus, you’ve seen this:

    Penn State mural

    This mural, on Hiester Street in State College, is manned by Michael Pilato. In his most recent addition, Pilato added Nittany Lions offensive line coach Herb Hand. However, Hand’s addition has nothing to do with what Penn State football has accomplished during his short tenure monitoring the Lions’ line. Instead, the honor comes from what Hand does away from the field.

    Hand is active in the State College charity scene, primarily as a board member for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Centre County, a group that supports victims of child abuse.

    “The students at Penn State love Coach Hand, he has made quite an impact already,” Pilato told OnwardState.com. “Every game, Coach will give me a cheer for the chalkboard he is holding.”

    Here is Hand in mural form, courtesy of OnwardState.com:

    Herb Hand

  • Why Southern Illinois has the best charity promotion in college football

    Southern Illinois2

    There are a number of philanthropic uniform-related promotions in the game of football, most notably the NFL’s pink initiative that will re-start this week and run through the entire month of October. Each promotion, from the NFL down to the Pop Warner games down the street, does some measure of good. But with all due respect, no promotion was better than the one Southern Illinois did this past Saturday.

    The Salukis traded their traditional maroon jerseys for black as part of their Black Out Cancer game. SIU put 80 jerseys up for auction, with bidders putting their name, or a name of a friend or loved one affected by cancer on the back. The highest bid got their pick of which number they preferred, and then the rest followed in descending order. The winning bidder, going by the name “greydawg”, put in $1,750, and No. 80, “Foster Fam”, contributed $210. SIU players then replaced their own nameplates for the donors they represented for one night.

    This is Southern Illinois cornerback Keith Suggs wearing a jersey with “Tempe” on the back.

    SIU3

    You simply won’t find a better way to connect a fan to his or her favorite team than this.

    All told, Southern Illinois raised nearly $34,000 to the SIH Foundation, which announced it would forward the money to its Hope is Home Campaign, which aims to build a comprehensive cancer treatment center in southern Illinois. This is the fourth year Southern Illinois has held a Black Out Cancer game, and the third year SIU partnered with the SIH Foundation.

    Southern Illinois 1

    Here’s the video Southern Illinois made to promote the Black Out Cancer game.

    To top everything off, Southern Illinois beat cross-state rival Western Illinois wearing their black jerseys, 34-17.

    Check out Southern Illinois’ Black Out Cancer site here. Your school could definitely do something like this.

    (Photo credit: Southern Illinois athletics)