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21 posts from July 2013

July 31, 2013

In other sports...

The FIU volleyball and men's soccer schedules are up at http://www.fiusports.com.

The women's soccer schedule we have it for you here:

August: 12 -- at Cal Poly 7 p.m. (preseason); 16 -- at Long Beach State, 11 a.m (preseason); 23 -- Arizona, 7 p.m., Parent's Weekend; 30 -- at Stetson, 7 p.m.

September: 1 -- Florida, 7 p.m.; 6 -- Florida Gulf Coast, 5 p.m.; 8 -- Cleveland State, 1 p.m.; 13 -- at Dayton, 7:30 p.m.; 15 -- at Illinois, 1 p.m.; 20 -- at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.; 27 -- Charlotte, 7 p.m.; 20 -- Old Dominion, 1 p.m.

October: 4 -- at Colorado College, 3 p.m.; 6 -- at Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m.; 13 -- at Alabama-Birmingham, 2 p.m.; 18 -- East Carolina, 7 p.m.; 20 -- Rice, 1 p.m.; 25 -- at FAU, 7 p.m. 27 -- at Middle Tennessee State, 2 p.m.; 31 -- Marshall, 7 p.m.

November: 6-10 -- Conference USA tournament at Rice.

VOLLEYBALL

FIU got picked ninth in the Conference USA preseason poll with no preseason all-conference players. Rice topped the preseason poll, although Tulsa actually got more first place votes, 4-3. Texas-San Antonio 6-3 senior McKenzie Adams is the Preseason Player of the Year.

 

 

July 29, 2013

Who'll be there Aug. 5? Who'll be there Aug. 31?

Wide receiver Glenn Coleman's been practicing with the team. So have several others I heard could be out for the first four games or the whole season because of academic deficiencies.

I asked some folks who know FIU and know about college football eligibility about this. One who has rarely steered me wrong came back with this answer: "You can bring everyone to camp. And with players being dismissed/transferring, they need to bring everybody they have. With appeals and grade changes (shady business), you might not know true eligiblity until as late as the day before the first game. Especially for kids like the Bowling Green RB."

Training camp begins Monday.

 

 

July 28, 2013

RB brings it all back home to FIU

The Toledo Blade's John Wagner scribed a story confirming Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel, a two-star 2011 recruit who Instagrammed two weeks ago that he was transferring to FIU, will be coming back to Miami. The Miami Pace High graduate ran for 998 yards on 202 carries for Bowling Green last year, and has a wife and child in Opa-Locka. He hopes to get a hardship waiver from the NCAA so he can play this year.

While FIU would love that, especially after jettisoning Kedrick Rhodes, I doubt Samuel gets said waiver. It's the same situation under which FIU tried to get a hardship waiver for wide receiver James Louis two years ago when he transferred from Ohio State to FIU with a child in Delray Beach. The NCAA said "Nah."  The only difference is Louis wasn't established on the roster the way Samuel was at Bowling Green, so the NCAA could interpret the transfer as Louis just wanting to go someplace where he could play (if they ignored that he had, you know, a child he might want to be able to see with a one-hour drive).

It's not about whether or not the waiver makes sense. NCAA enforcement maintains a sometime relationship with common sense. It's about juice. FIU doesn't have any more friends in the Four Letter Organization than it did then, although Bowling Green doesn't have as many friends there as Ohio State does.

That said, if the West Washington Not-So-Wise Men grant the waiver, Jakhari Gore and freshman Silas Spearman both are eligible, that gives FIU a strong group of running backs for this season.

 

July 27, 2013

What Conference USAs football coaches and ADs make

Most of this comes from public records. Some of the numbers on private schools come from media reports, if any are out there at all. I used USA Today's database as little as possible. We're talking base salary, unless otherwise indicated.

FOOTBALL COACHES

Bill Blankenship, Tulsa: Believed to be $800,000.

Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee:  $700,000 (approximately).

Todd Monken, Southern Miss -- $700,000. $425,000 for
coaching, $275,000 for media

David Bailiff, Rice: Believed to be $608,000.

Doc Holliday, Marshall: $600,000

Skip Holtz, La Tech: $500,000. But Holtz still gets money
from South Florida as well, so this is about half of what he’ll report to the
IRS.

Ron Turner, FIU, $500,000. Some outlets report $700,000, but
his contract says a base of $500,000 and the likely bonuses don’t add up to
$700,000.

Garrick McGee, Alabama-Birmingham: $500,000

Curtis Johnson, Tulane: N/A. One site says $500,000.

Dan McCarney, North Texas: $475,000

Carl Pelini, FAU: $472,500

Ruffin McNeil, East Carolina: $400,000

Sean Kugler, UTEP: $280,000

Brad Lambert, Charlotte: $253,000

Larry Coker, Texas-San Antonio: $232,000

Bobby Wilder, Old Dominion: $200,000 (but his contract runs
through 2021 and other income streams raise his money water level easily to
$250,000)

 

ATHLETIC DIRECTORS

Jeff Compher, East Carolina: $415,000

Pete Garcia, FIU: $362,527.

Brian Mackin, UAB: $302,000

Rick Villareal, North Texas: $300,000

Mike Hamrick, Marshall: $258,000

Judy Rose, Charlotte: $250,000

Dr. Camden Wood Selig, Old Dominion: $250,000

Bob Stull, UTEP: $241,060

Patrick Chun, FAU: $235,000

Lynn Hickey, Texas-San Antonio: $215,000

Chris Massaro, Middle Tennessee State: $210,715

Bill McGillis, Southern Mississippi: Just hired.

Tommy McClelland, Louisiana Tech: Just hired.

Rick Mello, Rice: The former FIU athletic director is Rice’s
interim AD after Rick Greenspan left at the end of June.

Rick Dickson, Tulane: Couldn't be reliably estimated

Derrick Gragg, Tulsa: Couldn't be reliably estimated

  

 

 

July 26, 2013

TY in SI

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/video/nfl/20130723/rising-stars-nfl-ty-hilton-2013.sportsillustrated/

Here's a link to the video that's a companion to Jim Trotter's story in the July 29 Sports Illustrated on former FIU star T.Y. Hilton.

It's hard not to think of Hilton when hearing the Dolphins defensive backs talk about how much speed has been added to the receiving corps this year...a year after the Dolphins left Hilton on the board.  

July 24, 2013

VIDEO: FIU QB Jake Medlock speaks at Conference USA Media Day

Here's an interview with FIU quarterback Jake Medlock at the Conference USA Media Day Wednesday afternoon in Irving, Texas.

 

CUSA Football Kickoff Media Day off and rolling

Hey everyone,

Andre Fernandez here covering the Conference USA Media Day here in Irving, Tx. for David Neal.

FIU and FAU just did their TV interviews at nearby Fox Sports Studios and will be made available to us later on at 1:30 pm. Follow me if you wish on Twitter @andremhsports where I'll post some updates later when we speak to them.

I've already been posting some stuff including comments and pics from the morning session where the media interviewed the C-USA West Division coaches.

Among them were 3 coaches with local ties - Texas San Antonio's Larry Coker (former UM coach), Tulane's Curtis Johnson (former UM receivers coach) and Louisiana Tech's Skip Holtz (former USF coach).

Larry Coker

Coker

I asked Johnson about the difficulties FIU coach Ron Turner have faced in an upcoming transition season especially in terms of recruiting in the highly-competitive South Florida area.

Johnson said:

“Coach Turner has a background with [former UM assistant] Greg Schiano. He has some natural ties to South Florida. I think he’s getting back to the roots of South Florida recruiting. Coach Turner is a great offensive mind. He’s going to play some good football down there.”

“One thing, you know when schools are everywhere. You see FIU shirts everywhere down there. They’re getting info from [former UM coach Butch] Davis and Schiano and I think they’re going to do a great job.”

Curtisjohnson

July 23, 2013

Conference USA Media Day Wednesday

Coach Ron Turner and Jake Medlock are headed for Dallas to take part in Conference USA's football media day. Streaming on the Conference USA Digital Network begins at 10 a.m. FIU's scheduled to be on at 10:10.

Among the other events that have occurred on July 24:

1998 -- My fiancee and I moved into the condo I have now lived in for almost a third of my life.

1999 -- I married she who remains my wife.

So, I'll still be on vacation and celebrating my anniversary instead of breathlessly blogging the way I was from Sun Belt media day a year ago. Andre Fernandez is already in the Metroplex for The Herald.

July 22, 2013

Football training camp begins Aug. 5

The team's already on campus, as we know from recent events. Three weeks of Camp Turner at Camp Mitch begins Aug. 5. at 9:15. Tuesday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 11, the party starts at 8:15 a.m.

The second week opens with a two-practice Monday, 8:15 a.m. and 7:05 p.m. That two-a-day will be repeated Wednesday, Aug. 14. The rest of that week will be 8:15 a.m. only except for Sunday, which is a scheduled off day. That also ends the portion of camp that's open to the public.

The fnal week has the same two-a-days on Monday and Wednesday, 8:15 a.m. only practices Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24.

 

July 19, 2013

The Naked Bun

No, the FIU football team didn't get its Keys confused, West instead of Biscayne. Nor did they have a Ray Stevens flashback...

 

...probably because they were too young to remember Ray Stevens.

They apparently just went full monty at the wrong time after a team beach workout. I'll let this statement from FIU head football coach Ron Turner (who could be forgiven if he thinks "head" is short for "headache") tell the story that, contrary to rumor, resulted in no arrests:

"Early this morning, our football team had a workout and barbecue on Crandon Park Beach to conclude our summer conditioning program under the supervision of our strength and conditioning staff. Following the workout, some of our athletes went to rinse off at a designated public shower area and a few of them made a poor decision and changed their clothes in public.

"I want to apologize to the community and anyone who was at the beac this morning for this unfortunate incident. We are committed to helping our student-athletes grow as gentlemen while preparing them for their careers. We are looking into this incident, and if appropriate, will take disciplinary action."

July 18, 2013

Summer reading

Somebody gave me one more thing to read on my vacation by loading to Amazon the e-book subtitled "A Story of the 2012 FIU Panthers, Sun Belt Preseason Champions."

I know it's popular reading out at Camp Mitch. I read various chunks on Tuesday and began a page-by-page reading Wednesday.

How much of it is true? From what I've been told both before and since this book's electronic publication, some things were overstated (the supposed near mutiny of TY Hilton and Wayne Times before the 2011 Beef O'Brady's Bowl) and others were understated (the details on the disastrous flight to Louisiana-Lafayette last year...whoa). Some facts are flat out wrong.

Who wrote it? Look up and down among those in the football program not currently employed for your most likely candidates. It takes time to bang out something like this, even if the writing doesn't exactly remind you of North Dallas Forty.

Repercussions? Few, if any. The staff involved has been fired. Many of the players have graduated. Athletic director Pete Garcia remains, but nothing I've read so far involving Garcia is news to the FIU administration or counts as a dismissable offense. He doesn't come off well. Nobody comes off well when discussing a plane crash of a season because it's like a plane crash -- many things have to go wrong for that jetliner to face plant.

  

 

Summer reading

Somebody gave me one more thing to read on my vacation by loading to Amazon the e-book subtitled "A Story of the 2012 FIU Panthers, Sun Belt Preseason Champions."

I know it's popular reading out at Camp Mitch. I read various chunks on Tuesday and began a page-by-page reading Wednesday.

How much of it is true? From what I've been told both before and since this book's electronic publication, some things were overstated (the supposed near mutiny of TY Hilton and Wayne Times before the 2011 Beef O'Brady's Bowl) and others were understated (the details on the disastrous flight to Louisiana-Lafayette last year...whoa). Some facts are flat out wrong.

Who wrote it? Look up and down among those in the football program not currently employed for your most likely candidates. It takes time to bang out something like this, even if the writing doesn't exactly remind you of North Dallas Forty.

Repercussions? Few, if any. The staff involved has been fired. Many of the players have graduated. Athletic director Pete Garcia remains, but nothing I've read so far involving Garcia is news to the FIU administration or counts as a dismissable offense. He doesn't come off well. Nobody comes off well when discussing a plane crash of a season because it's like a plane crash -- many things have to go wrong for that jetliner to face plant.

 

July 17, 2013

Hickman preseason all-conference

Senior defensive lineman Greg Hickman was FIU's lone representative on the preseason All-Conference USA team.

As a team, FIU was picked last in the East Division.

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

EAST DIVISION

1. East Carolina (11 first place votes)

2. Marshall (2)

3. Middle Tennessee (1)

4. UAB

5. Southern Mississippi

6. FAU

7. FIU

WEST DIVISION

1. Tulsa (14)

2. Rice

3. Louisiana Tech

4. UTEP

5. North Texas

6. Tulane

7. Texas-San Antonio

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA OFFENSE

QB: Rakeem Cato, Marshall

RB Vintavious Cooper, East Carolina

RB Darrin Reaves, UAB

OL Jake Alexander Tulsa

OL Stetson Burnett, Tulsa

OL Nate Richards, Rice

OL Matt Shepperd, Louisiana Tech

OL Will Simmons, East Carolina

WR Justin Hardy East Carolina

WR Ryan Grant, Tulane

TE Gator Hoskins, Marshall

Offensive Player fo the Year

Cato

PRESEASON CONFERENCE USA DEFENSE

DL Christian Covington, Rice

DL Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech

DL Greg Hickman, FIU

DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Southern Mississippi

LB Shawn Jackson, Tulsa

LB Derrell Johnson, East Carolina

LB Andre Kirk, FAU

DB Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee

DB Lorenzo Doss, Tulane

DB Phillip Gaines, Rice

DB Marco Nelson, Tulsa

Defensive Player of the Year

Gaines

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA SPECIAL TEAMS

K Cairo Santos, Tulane

P Tyler Williams, Marshall

KR Reggie Whatley, Middle Tennessee

PR Trey Watts, Tulsa

Special Teams Player of the Year

Santos

 

 

July 16, 2013

Details, details...and a new director

The FIU police investigation continues into the Saturday night incident that ended with FIU starting running back Kedrick Rhodes being arrested, then dismissed from the team. I'm hearing more players could be involved. The arrest was marked as a "gang activity related arrest" as well as a "fraud-related arrest."

CORRECTION: I was just informed that the marking of the box on FIU police arrest reports under "gang activity related arrest" and "fraud-related arrest" means the arrest NOT related to gangs or fraud.

And, there's still an academic acid rainstorm out there that could corrode the roster further.

From the Rhodes arrest affidavit:

"On the listed date and time, the defendant was exiting his resident hall (Everglades Hall) located on the South Campus of Florida International University. The listed witnesses observed the defendant running toward his vehicle angered over an unknown incident. The witnesses then observed the defendant enter his vehicle and sit inside the driver's side seat.

"The witnesses then observed the defendant produce a firearm from insice the vehicle, step outside the vehicle, yelling "Get the (DJN: sounds like "cluck") back!" bringing the firearm up with his hand and discharging the firearm three to four times in the parking lot (#6). The listed witnesses fled the scene, fearing for their safety. Further investigation revealed that the witnesses positively identified the defendant. The defendant was then taken into custoday and transported to the Dade County Jail.

"The defendant provided a written confession, stating he was under the influence of alcohol while discharging the firearm." 

The above greets new football operations director Sean Todd, who had the same job at FAU from that program's inception through last season, FAU's first under Carl Pelini.

FIU also announced the hiring of Joe Maggio as video coordinator for the football program.

 

July 15, 2013

No Rhodes Scholar: starting RB dismissed from the team; LeVay, Miller commit

Kedrick Rhodes, slated to be FIU's starting running back for the third consecutive season, has been dismissed from the team "due to a violation of team policy," according to an athletic department release.

Rhodes violation of team policy occurred late Saturday night/Sunday morning, when he was arrested and booked on charges of discharging a weapon on school property, a second-degree felony, and three misdemeanors including discharging a firearm while under the influence

This means quarterback Jake Medlock will be the team's leading returning rusher (236 yards) with sparingly-used running back Shane Coleman second.

Rhodes ran for 714 yards last year and had 237 receiving yards in nine games despite spending most of the season with two injured ankles. Only wide receiver Wiillis Wright caught more passes or had more receiving yards last season among returning players than Rhodes did.

THAT GUY'S GOING AND THESE GUYS ARE COMING...

Tight end/wide receiver Chett LeVay from Tampa Sickles High, 6-3, 195, has committed to FIU, he announced via Twitter.

 

 Also committing Monday was offensive tackle Chris Miller out of Orlando First Academy. The Orlando Sentinel, which first reported Miller's commitment, ranks him as the No. 51 player in their area.

 

July 08, 2013

Single game football tickets on sale

Tickets for each of the six home games went on sale today at http://www.fiusports.com. Here's a breakdown of them.

Sept. 6, 8 p.m. -- Central Florida. UCF travels well...in-state.

Sept. 14, 6 p.m. -- Bethune-Cookman. This might be the only game FIU will enter as a favorite.

Oct. 12 -- Alabama-Birmingham. Homecoming.

Oct. 26 -- Louisiana Tech.

Nov. 2 -- East Carolina.

Nov. 23 -- Marshall. Beef O'Brady's Bowl rematch and an underrated game for recruiting.

SOFTBALL

Sharon Palma, who spent the 2013 season as an assistant at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), has been hired as an assistant at FIU. Palma pitched at Wright State from 2008-10.

July 05, 2013

Brown to Ole Miss

We reported here in late May that defensive lineman Fadol Brown would be transferring. Friday, after a tour of schools that included the University of Miami and Alabama, Brown announced he'd be heading for Ole Miss and changed his Twitter icon to the shot of him in an Ole Miss jersey.

Brown could've been a defensive line anchor for FIU for the next three seasons. His starred in the spring scrimmage, although we all know some players are like clocks -- move forward in the spring, revert back in the fall. Still, this completes another hit to FIU going into a rebuilding season.  

July 03, 2013

Columbus LB commits to FIU

Columbus linebacker Nick McBeath, class of 2014, announced his committment to FIU via Twitter Wednesday afternoon. The 6-2, 210 McBeath isn't rated by any of the major recruiting sites yet. He was an honorable mention All-Dade pick by The Herald in 2012.

Winston Smoke 'Em. Winston Sale 'Em?

While Johnathan Cyprien and Tourek Williams prepare for NFL training camps, another defensive team leader from FIU's just departed senior football class has not fared so well.

Witness Winston Fraser, who started at linebacker for from 2009-2012 (minus games lost to injury as a redshirt freshman).

As of noon Wednesday, Fraser sat in the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center after being booked at 6:19 Wednesday morning on charges of drug paraphernalia with intent to use (no big deal); three counts of controlled substance possession (uh-oh); cannabis possession, more than 20 grams (UH-OH); cannabis possession with intent to sell or deliver within 1,000 feet of a college or university (Winston, you've got a problem).

That last one is a second degree felony. Going over 20 grams is a third degree felony. The full count is five felonies and one misdemeanor. 

CASE RESOLUTOIN: Fraser got a deferred prosecution/go-into-a-drug program deal on his one misdemeanor and four of his five felony counts of marijuana possession. No action was taken on the fifth count.

Now, to paraphrase Ordell Robbie in Jackie Brown, who's to say that if Fraser had all that on him, that wasn't his own personal stuff to get high with? He clearly enjoys his herb and there's nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned. But until it gets legalized, you might want to keep it on the down low a little more than Fraser's Twitter account (https://twitter.com/WizzyGreen89) does.

June 13: "All I need right now is my Kush & OJ."

June 27: "Smokin' weed I'm in the stars."

June 28: "Every morning I wake up, I put some smoke in my chest."

 

 

 

July 01, 2013

Softball Signee Gets All-America Honor; Louisville at noon

Good thing for FIU they got down on Gulliver's Stephanie Texeira early. The November signee hit .588 with 17 home runs and 54 RBI. That's why the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named to its High School All-America First Team. 

SUBHEAD

The Sept. 21 FIU-Louisville game at Papa John's Stadium will be at noon. Unfortunately, it appears the stadium will still serve Papa John's pizza.

The game isn't on TV in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale market as of right now. Radio broadcast will be via http://www.fiusports.com.


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