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  • Maryland coaches could have bonuses wiped out for poor classroom performance

    Washington Post

    Washington Post

    In 2011, Randy Edsall signed a six-year contract with Maryland paying him $2 million a year, with a $100,000 for winning a conference championship (ACC then, Big Ten now), $100,000 for boosting the Terps’ season-ticket sales by 25 percent or more in a year, and another $100,000 for a 50 percent or more increase in Byrd Stadium suite rentals.

    And now, halfway into the deal, Edsall could hit those marks and see his bonuses wiped away for poor classroom performance.

    On Friday, the University of Maryland’s Board of Regents unanimously approved a new policy tying bonuses to coaches and athletics directors to hitting classroom benchmarks. It is believed to be the first policy of its kind in college athletics, according to the Baltimore Sun.

    “I think the notion is, if we’re going to give a coach a performance bonus, that coach ought to meet minimum academic standards or else the coach really does not merit a performance bonus,” David Kinkopf, one of the forces behind the new policy, said when the new clause passed the organization and compensation committee two weeks ago.

    The policy applies to all five of Maryland’s public Division I institutions (Towson, Coppin State, UM-Baltimore County, in addition to the flagship), and has the support of Maryland athletics director Kevin Anderson, as well as the athletics directors at Coppin State and UMBC, and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. From the sounds of it, the policy will apply to Edsall’s assistants, his successor, his successor’s successor, and so on. Good luck to the first coach (or, more appropriately, agent) that tries to fight this.

    Bonuses will now be tied to each team’s single-year APR score. Maryland posted a 950 last season – 930 is a passing score – which ranked 132nd among all Division I football programs in the most recent APR release.

    Maryland became one of the first schools to offer lifetime scholarships to its athletes, rather than the standard one-year contract.

    “I think this is another step for Maryland to be in the vanguard on issues of intercollegiate athletics,” board member and  former U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen said. “They were a leader on guaranteed scholarships and now they are a leader in academic accountability.”

    Though Maryland is believed to be the first state to enact this plan, it most certainly won’t be the last.

  • Oak Harbor (WA) forfeit its district title game, for a very good cause

    Oak Harbor

    Oak Harbor and Marysville-Pilchuck high schools were supposed to play for the WESCO 3A North Division championship on Friday night.

    That didn’t happen, not after a Marysville-Pilchuck freshman opened fire in the school cafeteria, killing one student and wounding a handful of others before turning the gun on himself, on Friday morning. Absolutely horrifying.

    Needless to say, the football game was postponed.

    Rather than wait around for the appropriate time to reschedule the game – as if such a time would ever come – Oak Harbor went ahead and forfeited the game and gave the title to Marysville-Pilchuck. And then the team showed up to Marysville-Pilchuck’s vigil.

    It’s the smallest of gestures, but it seemed to bring an ounce of relief to those involved, and that’s all that really matters in the wake of this tragedy.

    After reading story after disappointing story of kids learning the wrong lessons through high school football, it’s great to see one high school program use football as a force for the greater good.

    (HT SB Nation)

  • Uniform Roundup: New helmets at Pitt, La Tech, Utah and Incarnate Word

    Throwbacks, black for black’s sake and trading school colors for stars and stripes – this week’s uniform roundup has everything! First, Pittsburgh will break out script Pitt helmets that (sort 0f) harken back to the Tony Dorsett era.

    Pitt script

    Not to be outdone – okay, they’ve been outdone – Louisiana Tech will wear white helmets for the first time in 47 years for their “Rivalry in Dixie” game at Southern Miss.

    La Tech white

    Utah has unveiled new black helmets with an extremely large Block U logo. No word on when these will see the field, although a Saturday night home game against USC makes sense.

    Utah black

    And, finally, Incarnate Word has debuted what I’m going to take the liberty to declare the best stars-and-stripes helmet in college football right now.


  • SMU AD Rick Hart says they’ve had no contact with Mack Brown

    Associated Press

    Associated Press

    On Thursday the Dallas Morning News ran a report running down 11 potential candidates for the vacant SMU head coaching job and stated that the Mustangs camp had “floated” a four-year, $32 million offer toward Mack Brown.

    We wrote a follow-up piece stating that the report just didn’t smell right for a number of reasons, but chief among them was this: if SMU had truly offered Mack a $32 million contract, why isn’t he the SMU coach right now?

    Brown has said he’s waiting until December to make any final decisions, but he has nothing stopping him from accepting an offer. So, why wouldn’t he have accepted?

    Friday, SMU athletics director Rick Hart broke his silence – I believe he’s given one interview since June Jones’ resignation in early September – to address the rumor.

  • Week 9 Best Bets – The FootballScoop staff weighs in

    Dak Prescott

    We came thiiiis close to pulling off a perfect Week 8 in our Best Bets. Scott pegged Cincinnati over SMU and Doug nailed Michigan State over Indiana, while Zach pushed Texas Tech -13 over Kansas. No matter. We’re hitting all three this week.

    Scott: mississippi-state.120 over kentucky.120

    I like Mississippi State, giving the 14 points, at Kentucky. This is a mismatch and Mississippi State is coming in well rested; whereas Kentucky took some lumps last week in Tiger Stadium. I don’t see Kentucky’s front being able to slow Mississippi State between the tackles; and when Stoops loads the box, Dak can beat you with his arm. Tough matchup for Kentucky.

    Doug: alabama.120 over tennessee.120

    I learned my lesson last week picking against Alabama, so this week I’m rolling with the Tide (see what I did there?). After dismantling Texas A&M by 59 last week, a -17 spread at Tennessee feels like stealing. Roll Tide!

    Zach: Georgia Southern logo over georgia-state.120

    If you read Item 9 in my 9 for Week 9 piece, which you surely have by now, you’d know the hoopla built up around this game, and the animosity Georgia Southern feels toward Georgia State. Georgia Southern may be the best team in the Sun Belt, and Georgia State may be the worst. Georgia Southern has the nation’s best rushing offense, and Georgia State has one of the worst. 17.5 points aren’t going to be nearly enough to hold the Eagles at bay.

    This season: Scott (3-5), Doug (3-5), Zach (4-3-1)