After Hurricanes sweep, Zack Collins earns ACC Player of Week honors

COLLINS EARNS ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Sophomore finished sweep with three HRs, nine RBI

SENT VIA UM TODAY:

GREENSBORO, N.C. – After powering No. 12 Miami to a weekend sweep over Pittsburgh, sophomore slugger Zack Collins was recognized with ACC Player of the Week honors Monday.

Collins led Miami to its fifth sweep of the season, totaling nine RBIs over three games with three home runs. He hit .385 in the Hurricane’s first ever trip to Charles L. Cost Field.

His only hit in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader was an eighth-inning leadoff triple that proved to be the tying run, while he connected on a grand slam and had five RBI in Game 2 – his best output of the season.

A sophomore from Pembroke Pines, Florida, Collins ended the weekend in prolific fashion, recording the third multi-home run performance of his career with two homers and four RBI in a 9-3 win.

Collins has hit four home runs over the past four games, and now ranks second on the team in both homers (nine) and RBI (36). His slugging percentage (.515) is second-highest among all regular starters, while his 22 extra-base hits also rank second-most

The honor was the second-career recognition for Collins, who was named ACC Freshman of the Year and Baseball America National Freshman of the Year in 2014.

Collins is the third Hurricane to be recognized with weekly honors from the conference this season, joining third baseman David Thompson (twice) and lefthander Andrew Suarez (once).

 

 

August 13, 2014

Canes home run derby a tuneup for scrimmage? We think not. (Where's David Thompson when you need him?)

   The football Canes switched to baseball and a home-run derby on their day off Tuesday.

   All I can say is that Malik Rosier, who will be an outfielder for the Hurricanes come baseball season, puts most of the other Canes to shame (Anthony Chickillo, don't quit your day job). 

   Speaking of baseball, former UM quarterback  David Thompson tore it up in the prestigious Cape Cod League this summer. 

  The regular season concluded with David, representing the Orleans Firebirds, hitting .331 (7th in league). He had 54 hits (4th), 29 RBI (4th) and 14 extra-base hits (5th). He led all batters in the East Division, was a starter on the All-Star team and was his team's MVP.
 
  Between the unexpected return of ace lefty Andy Suarez, Thompson's continued excellence and the eventual arrival of Rosier (one of four UM quarterbacks battling it out for playing time), UM baseball coach Jim Morris must be feeling optimistic this offseason.

  We'll be back as soon as we hear some news about today's football scrimmage, which is closed to the media and public.  

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

  

 

 

July 08, 2014

Hurricane linebackers JaWand Blue, Alex Figueroa kicked off team after admitting to police they intoxicated, raped 17-year old on campus

Two University of Miami football players were arrested and charged with sexual battery Tuesday morning after admitting to Coral Gables police they got a 17-year-old intoxicated and then raped her on campus over the holiday weekend.

JaWand Blue, 20, and Alexander Figueroa, who turned 20 on Tuesday, have since been dismissed by the school, according to a statement made by athletic director Blake James.

"Earlier today, I permanently dismissed JaWand Blue and Alexander Figueroa from the UM football team," James said in a statement. "The University has also suspended the students from school and barred them from all campus facilities while the University conducts an internal investigation and continues to cooperate with local law enforcement.

"Any allegation of a sexual assault is extremely serious, and the University will not tolerate conduct that threatens the sanctity and safety of our students and our campus. We hold all of our students -- especially student athletes -- to the highest standards of moral conduct. The University is committed to maintaining a safe campus environment for all."

According to Coral Gables police, the victim, also a UM student, reported the crime to campus police. Coral Gables police investigated and made the arrests.

According to the arrest report, the incident occurred in the early morning hours last Saturday inside Figueroa's dorm room at Pearson Hall on campus.

According to the report, Blue and Figueroa administered or had knowledge of someone else administering to the victim a narcotic, anesthetic or other intoxicating substance that mentally or physically incapacitated the victim without her prior knowledge or consent. Police said the victim was physically helpless to resist.

On Tuesday morning, Blue and Figueroa admitted to police they bought and provided several alcoholic beverages for the victim before bringing her back to Figueroa’s dorm room. They admitted to performing sexual acts on her without her consent, the report said. Both were immediately arrested and transported to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Figueroa was also charged with having a fake driver's license.

A spokeswoman for Miami-Dade Corrections said Blue and Figueroa were in the process of bonding out of jail Tuesday for $10,000 and $15,000 respectively. Miami-Dade state attorney's office spokesman Ed Griffith said Figueroa and Blue were scheduled to be arraigned in front of Judge Maria Elena Verde on July 29.

UM president Donna Shalala released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying she had spoken to the victim and offered full support.

"The safety and welfare of our students is fundamental to our mission as a university. We have zero tolerance for sexual assault and gender-based violence," Shalala said in her statement. "There is no confusion about our responsibility as a university: We will fully and compassionately support the victim of sexual assault. I have spoken to her myself and reassured her of our full support.

"We have suspended the men involved, and they have been barred from campus. Our athletic director has taken firm action ending their involvement in the football program. We have notified the individuals involved that the university is beginning an investigation immediately, which we expect to conclude quickly and fairly. We will also continue to cooperate with the police in their ongoing criminal investigation."

Blue, a former three-star recruit from West Boca Raton High, played in two games last season and registered one tackle. He finished the spring as the backup middle linebacker behind Denzel Perryman.

Figueroa, the son of military parents from Stafford, Va., played in nine games last season and made two starts, registering 17 tackles. He ended the spring listed as a co-starter at outside linebacker along with Thurston Armbrister.

Getting a quick boot from the team following an arrest is nothing new under coach Al Golden.

In May 2011, Hurricanes freshman defensive lineman Jeffrey Brown was booted from the team after being accused of sexual battery on a helpless victim and admitting to Coral Gables police he had sex with a severely-intoxicated female student in a campus dorm. Those charges were eventually downgraded to false imprisonment and Brown was asked to serve three year's probation, complete a sex therapy program and perform 100 hours of community service.

Two months prior to that linebacker Ramon Buchanan was arrested and charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors following an incident at a Coconut Grove nightclub. Buchanan was suspended from the team following his arrest but reinstated two weeks later after he was permitted to enter a pre-trial diversion program.

In December 2012, cornerback Thomas Finnie was suspended indefinitely from the football team after surrendering to police and admitting he was involved in a laptop theft on campus.

In April 2013, linebacker Gabe Terry was kicked off the team following his arrest on charges of felony marijuana possession.

Neither player has posted any updates on their social media accounts since the arrests. But Figueroa did post the following message on Twitter last night.

This story was updated throughout the day as information became available

August 12, 2011

Matt Bosher misses the "family'' (with Warren Sapp sighting and uniform news)

Happy Friday, I hope.

I spoke with new Atlanta Falcon and recently departed UM kicker Matt Bosher by phone this week.

After a long day at training camp, he told me he was relaxing watching some television -- after playing video games.

No way getting around the fact that Matt, who was drafted in the sixth round, will be severely missed.

Matt did it all for the Hurricanes -- place-kicking, kicking off and punting. He told me he is competing to punt for the Falcons and possibly will do kickoffs. The Falcons are the ideal team for a kicker, because they play indoors. Also, Matt said his family can easily hop on a plane or even drive from Jupiter in Palm Beach County to Atlanta.

The Falcons' practice facility is outdoors in Flowery Branch, Ga., about an hour north of Atlanta.

Dalton Botts, who is expected to replace Matt as the punter, was wearing the coveted black jersey at Hurricanes practice Friday. Botts, a 6-3, 198-pound sophomore, is from Taft Union High School in Taft, Calif., about 45 minutes west of Bakersfield, he said.

"I haven't seen him kick, but I've heard good things about him,'' said Bosher, who worked out at UM during the summer at times when Botts was there.

"I met him in the weight room [in July],'' Botts said of Bosher. "He seemed real cool."

Bosher said he enjoys being a Falcon, and that there are "a great group of guys -- great special teams coach and a lot of solid veterans helping me. I have a veteran longsnapper (Joe Zelenki) and kicker (Matt Bryant). They've all been big helps.''

He said camp is going well, but that there was a learning curve for him regarding the new system and its terminology. Bosher is smart, so I doubt there will be any problems in that area.

Bosher said playing at UM "was a dream come true'' and that "everybody there was my family.

"Of course I miss it. Miami became my home. Leaving was tough, but it's a new chapter in my life. That's where I'll always have roots and come back to.''

Bosher said his message to the competing kickers would be: "Just keep working hard, stay confident in what you do and do it to the best of your ability. Always know you have an important job. Don't let the typical  kicker comments detract from what you're trying to do. It's an important role and if you treat it that way you can make an impact in just about every game.''

I asked Bosh about Jake Wieclaw, who has only kicked off once in one game. He's a fourth-year junior and fighting for the starting kicking spot. "That's just how it goes,'' Bosher said. "I had the opportunity to play, but Jake was a great guy, a great kicker. He's still a really good kicker and I'm sure he'll be able to prove that. He's a hard worker and he's confident, and that's good. When it's time to prove himself, he will. Jake is one of the more athletic specialists.''

WARREN SAPP SIGHTING

Former Hurricanes great Warren Sapp showed up at practice this morning a few minutes after the Canes got out there. He said he had never met coach Al Golden. Sapp previously dissed Golden publicly because he said the coach snubbed him when Sapp waited to meet him months ago, and also sent out mean-spirited tweets about UM's hiring of Golden in December.

  A few moments after Sapp walked onto the field, Golden saw Sapp and the two bear-hugged with gusto.  Lots of energy in that Canes lovefest moment. I guess Sapp is now a fan.

Sapp sparked the Hurricanes with a pep talk before the heart of the practice session got underway.

UNI NEWS

UM recently noted that the Canes would only have two uniforms this season: orange jerseys and white pants for home games, and all-white for road games.

Turns out that the road uniforms now will be white jerseys and orange pants.

When Golden was asked about the back-to-basic uniforms with no other options, as originally relayed, he was surprised (especially about the all-white uni, it seems).

"I don't think we're a [Nike Pro] combat team this year, so that's out. But in terms of the other colors, I haven't even talked to [equipment manager] Bobby [Revilla] or the AD about it. I do have something to do with it. But I didn't know we were going to be all white and what's the other?  We'll get that tied down for you.''

  UM later made the update, and did note, when I called and asked, that other color combinations could be used periodically.

 So for those who love those weird combos or the out-there looks, there's still hope. However, if the Canes keep winning, I'm betting they'll keep it simple.

TIDBITS

LT Seantrel Henderson is out-and-about already after back surgery on Aug. 8. Guard Brandon Linder said Henderson spent Thursday with the players and attended position meetings. Henderson is not back at practice and will be out indefinitely.

WR LaRon Byrd and CB Brandon McGee wore yellow non-contact jerseys Friday. McGee was limping but Byrd seemed OK.

Golden said there's no update on the statuses of RB Kevin Grooms, LB Antonio Kinard and DT Corey King. They are still waiting for clearance from the NCAA Eligibility Center (formerly called the NCAA Clearinghouse).

  --SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN