Written by RALPH D. RUSSO,AP College Football Writer Friday, 25 January 2013 11:26
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NEW YORK (AP) — Manti Te'o told Katie Couric the feelings he had for what turned out to be a fake, online girlfriend were real and reiterated he had nothing to do with the hoax.
The All-American linebacker said he was truly sorrowful and pained after finding out the woman he knew as Lennay Kekua died in September.
Te'o's once-heartwarming tale of inspired play after the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend on the same day in September was exposed as a bizarre hoax on Jan. 16. Deadspin.com broke the news that the woman Te'o had claimed to be in love with did not exist.
Te'o, who led Notre Dame to a spot in the national championship, has admitted that when his girlfriend's "death" became a story, he misled reporters into thinking he had met her in the flesh.
The star player recounted the whole, strange episode in an interview with Couric that was broadcast Thursday.
Written by Roscoe Nance, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com Sunday, 07 October 2012 19:29
Alcorn State’s aspirations for the SWAC championship all but evaporated a long time ago. But the Braves can declare themselves Louisiana State champions after their wild 20-17 come-from-behind home victory against Southern Saturday.
After losing 14-0 third quarter-lead, the Braves scored the winning touchdown on backup Jordan Payne’s one-yard quarterback sneak with 38 seconds left in the game.
The win, coupled with their season-opening 16-15 victory against Grambling State, marked the first time in recent memory that Alcorn (2-4, 2-2 SWAC) has beaten the two Louisiana schools in the same season. It also allowed the Braves to match their win total for last season.
“We talked about that before the game,’’ first-year Alcorn coach Jay Hopson said. “We’ve had a tough schedule. To get these two wins is something we’re really excited about and proud to have.’’
To say that the victory didn’t come easy for Alcorn, which used four quarterbacks in the game, is a gross understatement even though the Braves dominated most of the contest. They held Southern to just 10 first downs and 220 total yards. They built a 14-0 lead on the strength of Payne’s two-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a 38-yard scoring strike from John Gibbs, the starting signal-caller, to Joe Price with 4:16 left in the third period.
Southern, which entered the contest with a two-game winning streak, climbed back into the game on its next possession. On the first play from scrimmage following Price’s score, Jaguars quarterback Dray Joseph and Mike Berry connected on a75-yard touchdown. That made the score 14-6 after Alcorn blocked the extra point attempt.
Things turned wild on the final play of the third quarter, an Alcorn punt that Tollette George boomed 40 yards to midfield from his 10-yard line. Virgil Williams returned the kick 49 yards to Alcorn’s one, where he fumbled. D’Andre Woodland recovered the ball for a touchdown, and the Jaguars tied the score with a pass from Joseph to tight end Raushaun Allen for a two-point conversion.
However, television replays showed the Williams’ elbow appeared to touch the ground, which would have ended the play, and that the ball was out of bounds when Woodland recovered it, which would have resulted in a touchback, not a touchdown.
Terrance Lewis returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown that would have given Alcorn the lead, but the play was nullified by a penalty and the Braves got the ball at their 22.
Southern took a 17-14 lead on Greg Pittman’s 33-yard field goal – the first make of his college career – with 10:52 left in the game and appeared to be on its way to its second consecutive comeback victory. But it was not to be. Alcorn got the ball with 6:42 to play and mounted what proved to be the winning drive, which covered 66 yards and took 14 plays. Along the way, the Braves had two third down conversions and fullback Alondrea Young ran for 14 yards on a faked punt on fourth-and-12 from Alcorn’s 32.
“I was going to do it the series before, but we got sacked for 15-yard loss,’’ Hopson said. “The opportunity presented itself, and I decided to go for it.’’
Payne made the decision payoff when he scored his second touchdown of the game.
“I couldn’t be prouder,’’ Hopson said. “We had some adversity in the third and fourth quarters. We kept fighting. We kept plugging and fighting. That’s what I’m proud of.’’
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 34, Jackson State 24: The Golden Lions (4-2, 3-1 SWAC) withstood an overpowering ground attack and held on for a home victory that kept them atop the SWAC West Division. Jackson State (2-4, 2-2 SWAC) had three players rush for 100 or more yards – Tommy Gooden (104), Rakeem Sims (101) and Clayton Moore (100) – while gaining 319 yards on the ground. The Tigers had 420 yards total offense to 293 for Arkansas-Pine Bluff. However, Jackson State committed four costly turnovers. Dennis Jenkins rushed for 154 yards for the Golden Lions in a game in which neither team’s passing game was effective because of heavy rain. The contest was delayed for 40 minutes because of lightning. Jackson State had 101 yards passing; Arkansas-Pine Bluff had 30. The loss puts Jackson State in a deep hole in the SWAC East. Undefeated Alabama A&M leads the division. Alabama State is second with a 3-1 conference record. Jackson State has games remaining against both.
Delaware State 20, Norfolk State 17: The Hornets (2-3, 1-1 MEAC) forced four turnovers, including a last-second interception deep in their territory, to hand the Spartans (2-4, 0-3 MEAC) their fourth consecutive loss and keep the defending MEAC champions winless in the conference.
Howard 17, Florida A&M 10: The established themselves as a legitimate contender for the MEAC championship with a home victory in battle of conference unbeatens. The Bison (4-1, 3-0 MEAC) held Florida A&M (2-4, 2-1 MEAC) to 37 yards rushing. Senior linebacker Keith Pough was the defensive star for the Bison. He had 17 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Pough set the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) career record for tackles for losses with 66.
N. C. Central 40, S. C. State 10: The Eagles forced five fumbles as they humbled the Bulldogs in the Circle City Classic at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. South Carolina State (2-4, 1-2 MEAC) dominated the game statistically, grinding out 209 yards on the ground and outgaining the Eagles in total yards 333-235. However, the Bulldogs were unable to overcome three interception and two fumbles. North Carolina Central (3-2, 2-0 MEAC) is one of four teams that haven’t lost an MEAC game. The others are Bethune-Cookman (3-0), Howard (3-0) and Morgan State (2-0).
Prairie View A&M 31, Grambling State 14: The Panthers won their first game of the season and kept the G-Men winless with a victory in the State Fair Classic in at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The win for the Panthers (1-5, 1-3 SWAC) gave them back-to-back victories against Grambling (0-5, 0-4 SWAC) for the first time since 1963-64.
Tuskegee 21, Morehouse 14: The Golden Tigers road a strong effort from their defensive unit to a victory in the 77th Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic in Columbus, Ga., that extended their winning streak to four consecutive games. The Golden Tigers (4-1, 3-0 SIAC) forced five turnovers and twice stopped the Maroon Tigers inside the five-yard line. Tuskegee’s offense controlled the clock with its ground game, led by University of Missouri transfer running back Derrick Washington, who gained 84 yards on 20 carries. The Golden Tigers had possession of the ball for 13:17 of the fourth quarter.
Bowie State 35, Chowan 31
Saint Augustine's 32, Livingstone 27
Shaw 45, Fayetteville State 28
Virginia State 28, Elizabeth City State 17
Virginia Union 61, Lincoln (PA) 13
Winston-Salem State 63, Johnson C. Smith 7
Bethune-Cookman 28, North Carolina A&T 12
Morgan State 45, Savannah State 6
Albany State 36, Lane 14
Fort Valley State 36, Kentucky State 6
Miles 28, Clark Atlanta 7
Stillman 24, Benedict 19
Alabama A&M 35, Miss Valley State 0
Alabama State 45, Texas Southern 0
Concordia-Selma 20, Virginia University of Lynchburg 7
Kutztown 56, Cheyney 7
Langston 40, Wayland Baptist 0
Missouri S&T 27, Central State 21
Panhandle State 30, Texas College 9
Tennessee State 23, Eastern Kentucky 20
Washburn 51, Lincoln (MO) 18 - Final
West Liberty 52, West Virginia State 19
Written by Roscoe Nance, Special to BlackAmericaWeb.com Friday, 21 September 2012 12:12
The big question facing Jackson State coming into this season was could the Tigers find an adequate replacement for Casey Therriault, their record-setting All-American quarterback of the past seasons.
The jury is still out after three games. However, University of Akron transfer Clayton Moore made a strong case that there is life after Therriault with a scintillating performance in his first start for the Tigers as Jackson State Texas Southern 45-35 last weekend, and he will under center Saturday against Southern University in the W.C. Gorden Classic at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Miss.
Moore replaced Dedric McDonald who started the Tigers’ first two games – both losses – and Therriault-like stat line against Texas Southern. He completed 18 of 36 passes for 363 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Moore also rushed for 101 yards and scored three touchdowns on the ground en route to being named SWAC Newcomer of the Week. His stats compared favorably to those that Therriault (328.5 yards passing a game) put up during his two-year career as Jackson State’s starter.
Jackson State had by far its most productive offensive game of the season with Moore at the helm The Tigers amassed 542 total yards after averaging 318.5 and only scoring two touchdowns in their first two games.
“We wanted to do a little bit more in terms of running the quarterback more,’’ Jackson State coach Rick Comegy says, who indicated he didn’t necessarily change quarterbacks because McDonald was playing poorly. “We felt Clayton could do that, check down and run the ball. He’s not a bad runner and will take a hit. Sometimes you need a change for the team. He gave us the spark that we needed to fight hard. It worked out well for us.’’
Comegy hasn’t ruled out the possibility of McDonald getting back on the field. But he says unequivocally that the starting job at this point is Moore’s to loose.
“I’m a 60-minute guy, old fashioned guy,’’ Comegy says, ruling out the possibility of Moore and McDonald splitting time. “If a guy is the quarterback, he’s our quarterback. I’m not looking to change. I had to make a change. McDonald may not be happy about the change. But as head coaches we have to make decision while thinking of what’s best for the body. If he’s not hot, we’ll go with McDonald if he’s hot. He has done that. What he does is he will keep us competitive.’’
Moore, a native of Louisville, Miss., where he was a one of the state’s top prospects, took a circuitous route to Jackson State. He was kicked off his school team late in his senior season following an altercation with his coach. That led Ole Miss to pull the scholarship it had offered him. Moore still went to Ole Miss as a walk-on, but he didn’t play. The following year, he started for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and threw for 2,395 yards and 23 touchdowns.
That paved the way for him to enroll at the University of Akron. There Moore started all 12 games in 2011 and threw for 1,655 yards as the Zips posted a 1-11 record. However, he was the odd man out when a new coaching staff was hired at the end of the season and told him he would be No. 3 on the depth chart when spring drills began.
Moore packed his bags and transferred to Jackson State as the heir apparent to
Therriault’s job. But at the end of preseason practice, McDonald, not Moore, was named the starter. Moore was regulated to mop up duty in the Tigers first two games, a 56-9 thumping by Mississippi State and 38-12 loss to Tennessee State. His stats: 23-for-38 and 201 yards passing and 45 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Moore was one of the Tigers’ few bright spots in their loss to Tennessee State as he completed 18 of 28 passes for 184 yards in relief of McDonald.
Moore’s debut as Jackson State’s starter will be a difficult act to follow considering his lack of familiarity with the offense since he didn’t go through spring practice the team. However, Comegy is encouraged by how quickly Moore has picked up the Tigers’ offensive scheme, and he is optimistic that he will have an even better grasp of it in the coming weeks.
“He’s in sync and learning the offense,’’ Comegy says. “He hasn’t gotten it all down yet. He will catch up.’’
Moore’s second start comes against a Southern University team that’s in flux after Stump Mitchell was fired following a 6-0 loss to Mississippi Valley State last week and replaced by defensive coordinator Dawson Odums on an interim basis. The Jaguars are 0-2. Mitchell, who was in his third season at the Jaguars’ helm, was 6-18 after replacing Pete Richardson.
Odums is lavish in his praise of Moore for how well he played against Texas Southern.
“He makes great decisions and he has good grasp of the offense,’’ Odums says. “If he’s in a bad play, he gets them in good situation. Everything about him you would like to have in your quarterback. He has lot sof poise. He stays in the pocket and makes plays.’’
Southern’s coaching change presents a conundrum for Comegy and his staff in their efforts to draw up a game plan for the Jaguars. They aren’t familiar with Odums’ philosophy on offense or defense since this is his first opportunity as a head coach.
“Southern is definitely a team we don’t know much about,’’ Comegy says. “We have to prepare for everything from a defensive standpoint. On offense we have to continue to put points on board.’’
Saturday’s game is critical both teams in their respective division races. Southern is 0-1 in the West Division. Arkansas-Pine Bluff was atop the division with 1-1 record going into the Golden Lions’ game at Alabama State Thursday night Defending conference champion Grambling State, the preseason favorite, and Prairie View A&M are both 0-2. Texas Southern is ineligible for the title. A Southern victory against Jackson State would keep the Jaguars within striking distance of the division lead.
“We have an opportunity to play for the SWAC title,’’ Odums says. “We only lost one (conference) game. Our goals are still in front of us.’’
Jackson State needs a victory to keep pace with East Division leaders Alabama State, the favorite, and Alabama A&M, who are both 2-0 in the conference.
“We haven’t reached the level I’d like to reach,’’ Comegy says. “I can see it coming. We definitely need to taste victory this week to get everything rolling.’’
Tennessee State (3-0) at Bethune-Cookman (2-1): This is matchup of two of the top teams in black college football. Bethune-Cookman is No. 1 in all three black college polls while Tennessee State is No. 2 in Heritage Sports Radio Network FCS Poll and the Boxtorow media poll. The Tigers are third in the Boxtorow coaches poll. Tennessee State is off to its best start since 2008 when the Tigers finished 8-3. Defense has been the catalyst for Tennessee State this season. The Tigers haven’t allowed an opposing ball-carrier to rush for 100 yards in their last five games. Opponents average 93.3 rushing yards a game against the Tigers this season. They held Jackson State to just 46 yards on the ground two weeks ago. The Tigers will face a supreme challenge against Bethune-Cookman, which excels at running the ball. The Wildcats had three ball-carriers – running backs Isidore Jackson and Rodney Scott and quarterback Brodrick Waters – with 100 more yards on the ground against Alabama State in their season-opener. They are coming off a 38-10 loss to Miami, but they gained 233 yards on the ground against their Football Bowl Subdivision opponent. The Wildcats average 254.3 rushing yards a game. Tennessee State relies on a balanced offense. The Tigers average 161.7 yards a game rushing and 240.7 passing. Trabis Ward (95.7 yards a game) and Telvin Hooks (66.3) are a formidable tandem at running back. Quarterback Michael German has been efficient, completing 63% of his passes with just two interceptions.
Miles (2-1, 0-0 SIAC) at Albany State (1-2, 0-0 SIAC): This is rematch of the last season’s inaugural SIAC Championship Game and a potential preview of this year’s title game. Both teams are picked to win their divisions. Miles has gotten off to an impressive start – especially on offense – and could easily be undefeated. The Golden Bears’ lone loss, 31-30 was against North Alabama in the season-opener. Coach Reginald Ruffin chose attempt a two-point conversion instead of kicking the extra point and playing for overtime after Miles scored in the waning seconds. The Golden Bears average 34.0 points a game, tops in the SIAC. They are No. 1 in passing offense with 294.3 yards a game, and No. 2 in total offense at 392.3 yards a game. Quarterback David Thomas averages 269.3 passing yards a game, best in the conference, and Antonio Pitts has a conference-best 17 receptions. The Golden Bears’ defense has been inconsistent, allowing 379.7 yards and ranking in the bottom third of the conference. Albany State has yet to hit its stride. The Golden Rams opened the season with an emotional victory against North Greenville in rematch of their 63-6 first round Division II playoff loss. They are coming off a gut-wrenching 13-12 loss to Elizabeth City State. Albany State has been strong against the run, only allowing 65.3 yards a game. The Golden Rams have been vulnerable against the pass, however, allowing opponents to complete 61.9% of their pass attempts. That could spell trouble against Miles.
Florida A&M (1-2, 0-0 MEAC) at Delaware State (1-2, 0-0 MEAC)
Norfolk State (2-1) at Ohio (3-0)
North Carolina Central (1-2, 0-0 MEAC) at Savannah State (0-2, 0-0 MEAC)
South Carolina State (1-2) at Texas A&M (1-1)
Alabama A&M (3-0, 1-0 SWAC) at Texas Southern (1-2, 1-1 SWAC)
Alcorn State (1-2) at Arkansas State (1-2)
Miss. Valley State (1-2) at Northwestern State (La.) (1-2)
Prairie View A&M (0-3) at North Dakota State (2-0)
Bowie State (3-0, 0-0 CIAA) at Saint Augustine’s (2-1, 0-0 CIAA)
Chowan (1-2, 0-0 CIAA) at Shaw (1-2, 0-0 CIAA)
Elizabeth City State (1-2, 0-0 CIAA) at Fayetteville State (1-2, 0-0 CIAA)
Virginia State (1-2, 0-0 CIAA) at Johnson C. Smith (1-2, 0-0 CIAA)
Winston-Salem State (3-0, 0-0 CIAA) at Virginia Union (2-1, 0-0 CIAA)
Benedict (0-3, 0-0 SIAC) at Fort Valley State (2-1, 1-0 SIAC)
Concordia (1-2) at Clark Atlanta (1-2)
Kentucky State (1-1,0-0 SIAC) at Stillman (1-2, 0-0 SIAC)
Lane (1-2, 0-0 SIAC) at Morehouse (1-2, 0-0 SIAC)
Miles (2-1 0-0 SIAC) at Albany State (1-2, 0-0 SIAC)
Central State (1-2) at Saint Joseph’s (1-2)
Cheyney (1-2) at East Stroudsburg (1-1)
Concord (1-2) at West Va. State (1-2)
Edward Waters (2-2) at University of New Orleans (Club Team)
Langston (1-1) at Lamar (1-2)
Lincoln (Mo.) (0-3) at Pittsburg State (Kan.) (3-0)
UNC-Pembroke (2-1) at Virginia University of Lynchburg (0-2)
Written by The Associated Press Monday, 10 September 2012 04:56
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Loved ones and teammates of a Tulane University football player who fractured his spine while making a tackle will face an agonizing wait to learn how serious the injury is and whether it will leave him paralyzed.
Senior safety Devon Walker was in stable condition and recovering in an intensive-care unit after a three-hour surgery to stabilize his spine at St. Francis Hospital, said Dr. Greg Stewart, Tulane's director of sports medicine.
"These kind of injuries take 24, 48, sometimes 72 hours to fully declare themselves," Stewart said before the surgery. "We don't know what the long-term implications and outcomes are going to be."
Stewart said he was with Walker on the field, in the ambulance and at the hospital after the injury Saturday. He said Walker was put into a cervical collar and couldn't see much of what was happening, so Stewart explained what was going on. Walker was talking with doctors as he was being treated, Stewart said.
Walker's parents had traveled to Oklahoma to be with their son, and they were "doing as well as can be expected," Stewart said.
"They're like the rest of us — hopeful and prayerful."
Stewart was back in New Orleans on Sunday, as were Walker's teammates. He said Tulane's athletic director and the football team's trainer remained in Oklahoma with Walker.
Walker's injury occurred on the final play of the first half, hours after Tulane opened the Conference USA portion of its schedule against Tulsa. Tulsa was leading 35-3 and facing a fourth-and-2 with the ball at the 33-yard line on Saturday when the Golden Hurricane called timeout. Tulane then called timeout.
When play resumed, Tulsa quarterback Cody Green tossed a short pass to Willie Carter, who caught it at about the 28, and turned upfield. He was tackled around the 17-yard line, with defensive tackle Julius Warmsley and Walker sandwiching him and apparently smashing their helmets together.
Medical personnel from both teams tended to Walker as he lay on the field. FOX Sports reported a hush went over the crowd at H.A. Chapman Stadium as Walker was attended to, and that several coaches were in tears as he was taken away in an ambulance. Spectators bowed their heads as someone on the field led the stadium in prayer.
Dr. Buddy Savoie said during a postgame news conference that Walker never completely lost consciousness and was breathing on his own.
"He was stable when we transported him," Savoie said. "I do not think, based on the information we have, his life was ever in danger."
Walker is a senior majoring in cell and molecular biology. His brother, Raynard, told The Associated Press on Saturday that their mother was watching the game on television when her son was injured.
Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said after the 45-10 loss that while Walker was on the field, Johnson told Walker that he was praying for him and that help was on the way.
He said the mood among players was somber and called the day his most difficult ever.
"It was tremendous that they finished the game, as I thought about just saying 'Hey look, let's not do anything else. Let's just get on the road and go.'"
Written by Danny Robbins, Associated Press Friday, 07 September 2012 15:26
A starter on Duke's 2010 national championship team purchased nearly $100,000 in custom jewelry that season from a New York firm that caters to professional athletes and is now suing him for failing to pay the balance of what he owes.
Lance Thomas purchased five pieces of diamond jewelry at a cost of $97,800 on Dec. 21, 2009, in the middle of his senior season, according the lawsuit. Documents included with the suit indicate he made a $30,000 down payment and received $67,800 in credit from the firm, the balance that remains unpaid.
Thomas started 39 games at forward during the 2009-2010 season, including the Blue Devils' 61-59 victory over Butler in the championship game. He wasn't drafted by an NBA team but played last season for the New Orleans Hornets.
The Associated Press recently obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was filed in January but hasn't been publicly disclosed. It was filed in Austin, Texas, because Thomas was playing for the Austin Toros of the NBA Developmental League at the time.
A Duke spokesman said the university knows about the lawsuit and is looking into it.
"We have been made aware of a lawsuit filed by a jeweler against former men's basketball player Lance Thomas and we are currently looking into the matter," said Jon Jackson, the school's associate athletic director for media relations.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the organization also is aware of the matter and is in communication with Duke.
NCAA rules regarding amateurism prohibit athletes from receiving benefits that aren't available to all students. Speaking generally, Osburn said "the test" for such a violation is whether "the general student body, or someone similarly situated, would be able to get the same benefit or treatment."
Thomas, 24, is from Scotch Plains, N.J., and played at prep power St. Benedict's, according to his biography on the Duke website. The site said his mother is a manager at a Ford plant in New Jersey.
John Spencer, an agent who has represented Thomas, said he wasn't aware of the jewelry purchase. He referred all comment on the lawsuit to an Austin attorney who is representing Thomas in the matter. The attorney didn't return phone messages from the AP.
Rafaello & Co., which also does business as A+A Diamonds Ltd., promotes itself as a "deluxe" jeweler whose customers include New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and actors Jamie Foxx and Don Cheadle.
Mike Bowers, the firm's attorney, said Thomas purchased a black diamond necklace, a diamond-encrusted watch, a pair of diamond studs, a diamond cross and a black diamond pendant in the shape of Jesus' head. According to the purchase order, signed by Thomas, the player agreed to pay a deposit of at least 25 percent of the purchase price and the remainder in 15 days.
Bowers said he was unaware of how Thomas made the required down payment.
Bowers said he's seen no evidence that anyone other than Thomas was involved in the transaction and he doesn't know why the Duke player was extended credit for most of the purchase.
"It was a clean, clear-cut transaction between Mr. Thomas and my client, and I don't see anything that warrants me asking anything beyond that," Bowers said. "Speaking hypothetically, if he came in on a bicycle with tattered jeans, I doubt seriously he would have been sold jewelry, but I'm not drawing conclusions. The terms here are clear."
Rafaello & Co. filed a similar lawsuit against Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant last year, claiming he hadn't paid $240,000 for jewelry he purchased between January and May 2010. The purchases detailed in that suit, which has since been settled, occurred after Bryant announced he was leaving Oklahoma State and was entering the 2010 NFL draft.
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