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Notre Dame may have more problems with the NCAA

Notre Dame has hired a law firm which specializes in assisting colleges under investigation by the NCAA to help the school in the continuing saga of a booster who gave improper gifts to Irish football players. It appears the program may be in more trouble with the NCAA than originally thought concerning the case of imprisoned booster Kim Dunbar.

"Notre Dame wanted us to accept this case as a secondary infraction investigation, but we would not. We are looking at it as a major violation case," said Chuck Smrt, director of enforcement for the NCAA.

NCAA enforcement officials earlier this year sent a recommendation to the committee on infractions that the contacts with Dunbar be considered secondary violations. But the committee decided to hear the case as if there were major infractions, prompting fears the school could be cited for lack of institutional control and lose scholarships, recruiting days or TV privileges.

Dunbar has admitted to showering her boyfriends (Jarvis Edison and Derrick Mayes) with lavish trips and expensive presents. She is currently serving time for embezzling $1.4 million from her employer, some of which she spent entertaining Notre Dame players.

Oh Brother... Oliver sues Auburn and influential booster

In a story that appears to have no end, the recent controversy surrounding the Auburn football program continued as former defensive coordinator and interim head coach, Bill "Brother" Oliver filed a lawsuit against the school, athletic director David Housel, and university board member Bobby Lowder (the subject of an unflattering article "Au-burned," in the May 21, edition of ESPN The Magazine).

The people around the university were hoping the trouble of 1998 with the Terry Bowden mid-season firing/resignation, the 3-8 record, and the cancellation of the 1999 game with FSU was a thing of the past, and with subsequent hiring of Ole Miss head coach Tommy Tubberville, the program was headed in the right direction.

The basis of the lawsuit is that Lowder and Housel misrepresented facts to Oliver and in effect promised him the head coaching job, and, therefore, have caused irreparable damage to Oliver's career.

Once considered one of the top defensive coordinators in the college game, Oliver is now without a job and feels his career is in shambles. Oliver was promoted to interim head coach after Bowden left before the season's seventh game, and was considered to be a leading candidate to replace Bowden on a full-time basis.

Oliver's attorney Kenneth Ingram said, "We want the truth about the way Auburn is really being run to come out, because the facts of this case alone are going to surprise a lot of people."

Auburn athletic director Housel said," The lawyers will handle it from here. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves because, in our opinion, we have done nothing wrong."

Diamond resigns from Vikes after 24 years

The Sporting News 1998 NFL Executive of the Year, Jeff Diamond, who spent 24 years working for the Minnesota Vikings, recently resigned.

"I'm walking out of the Vikings with my head held high, because I know I did a good job here and I feel good about what I did," said Diamond, the team's former senior vice president of football operations.

He said he and Vikings owner Red McCombs were "parting amicably," although he also said they held differing views about salary caps. He called his departure a mutual decision. He said he might seek sports or business opportunities in Minnesota, or perhaps with another NFL team.

McCombs said Diamond will remain with the club as a consultant through Jan. 31.

"Jeff built a model that has been successful for the Vikings," McCombs said in written statement. "I have different ideas how that model will be."

McCombs told the Saint Paul Pioneer Press that discussion of Diamond's future with the club came about because of Diamond's desire to be a general manager, and McCombs' unwillingness to give him that position. McCombs hired Tim Connolly, formerly with the Kansas City Chiefs, last October as the team's general manager.

Texas will retire Williams' No. 34

The University of Texas will retire football jersey No. 34 worn by Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams during his record-shattering career in which he set the NCAA Division I career rushing record.

"Retiring his number is appropriate and it was earned," men's athletics director DeLoss Dodds said.

Williams, who also wore Nos. 11 and 37 at Texas, becomes only the third UT athlete to receive such recognition. Earl Campbell, who won the Heisman in 1977, was the first. Longhorns pitcher Roger Clemens, who went on to win five Cy Young awards in the major leagues, was second.

Williams, the first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, will be honored at a ceremony in Austin later this year.

Liberty Bowl strikes deal with Mountain West, C-USA

The Liberty Bowl, for the first time in its 40-year history, will guarantee a matchup of champions. The winner of the Mountain West Conference will take on the Conference USA champion for the next three years.

The Mountain West Conference includes Air Force Academy, Brigham Young, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Utah and Wyoming.

Conference USA members are Alabama-Birmingham, Army, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and Tulane.

Arizona voters send Cardinals a loud message...NO!

Voters turned out in large numbers May 18 to reject a $1.8 billion convention center and sports complex by a 3-to-2 margin. It was a blow to Arizona Cardinal owner Bill Bidwill, who must now reassess his plans and future of the team in the Arizona city.

The Cardinals, who campaigned for a new stadium without a backup plan, will be forced to examine alternatives in the aftermath of voter rejection of their dream arena.

One option that is the subject of speculation is to leave Arizona, the state owner Bill Bidwill adopted in 1988 after giving up on getting a new stadium in St. Louis. The Cardinals have emphasized their commitment to staying put, but Houston businessman Bob McNair saw an opportunity in the vote and offered to talk to Bidwill about relocating the Cardinals in Texas.

Other possibilities include another try at getting a stadium with a broader funding base or with NFL seed money, or renovating Sun Devil Stadium, the aging college facility where the Cardinals have played since their arrival in the Phoenix area.

Motor City Bowl is Moving

Motor City Bowl organizers have decided to move game back to Dec. 27, to increase attendance and avoid conflicts with Christmas.

Attendance at last year's game, played Dec. 23, was 32,206 - down 10,000 from the previous year, when the game was played Dec. 27.

The game in Pontiac, Mich., pits the Mid-American Conference champion against an at-large team. Marshall lost in the inaugural Motor City Bowl to Mississippi in 1997 and beat Louisville last year.

This year's game, to be televised by ESPN, will be on in the afternoon on Monday, Dec. 27, avoiding a conflict with ABC's Monday Night Football.

Who is a coordinator?

In the world of politics, they say the vice-president is only a heartbeat away from being the president. In the coaching profession, a coordinator is only a pink-slip from becoming a head coach. The path to the top of the coaching mountain, at every level, has become well-defined: get a job as a coordinator, prove yourself on a playoff or championship team, and chances are you'll be at the top of the list when job openings occur. Serving as a coordinator has become a virtual prerequisite to getting hired to run a program.

For example, look at the college hirings and firings from the 1998 season. Last year Oklahoma hired Bob Stoops (DC at Florida), Ole Miss hired David Cutcliffe (OC at Tennessee), Duke hired Carl Franks(OC at Florida), Connecticut hired Randy Edsall (DC at Georgia Tech), Miami of Ohio hired Terry Hoeppner (DC at Miami, Ohio), etc.

During the off season in the NFL, nine teams hired head coaches, four teams (Cleveland, Chris Palmer, Chicago, Dick Jauron, Baltimore, Brian Billick, and Kansas City, Gunther Cunningham) chose coordinators, the other five were: three former head coaches (Ray Rhodes, George Seifert, and Mike Holmgren), one was a college head coach (Mike Riley, Oregon State), and one was a pro position coach (Andy Reid, qb coach at Green Bay) making the almost unheard of move to head coach without first serving as a coordinator.

Given the status of "heirs apparent" to the thrones, we thought we'd examine just who coordinators are. We decided to take a look at a composite picture of coordinators in the NFL.

*The information listed below was compiled as of the staffs on teams in 1998.

Offensive coordinators


Average 51.18

youngest Mike Shula, Tampa Bay, 33

oldest Tom Moore, Indianapolis, 59

Years in the NFL

Average 11.11

high 23, Jimmy Raye, Kansas City; Jerry Rhome, St. Louis

low 3, Matt Cavanaugh, Chicago; Marty Morningwig, San Francisco; Bill Callahan, Oakland

Years in coaching

Average 20.88

high 35, Ernie Zampese, New England; Tom Moore, Indianapolis

low 5, Matt Cavanaugh, Chicago; Ken Anderson, Cincinnati

1998 Salary

Average $250,000

high $525,000

low $170,000

Defensive coordinators


Average 53.33

youngest Mike Nolan, Washington, 39

oldest George Hill, Miami, 65

Years in the NFL

Average 13.7

high 27, Larry Peccatiello, Detroit

low 4, Greg McMackin, Seattle

Years in coaching

Average 22.9

high 44, Larry Peccatiello, Detroit; Fritz Shurmur, Green Bay

low 10, Jim Haslett, Pittsburgh

1998 Salary

Average $266,000

high $450,000

low $178,000

AFM asks . . .

We asked some of the top coaches in the countryto finish this statement. . .

"Every great coach I have ever known has had. . ."

Mike Dikta,
New Orleans Saints
" . . . patience."

Hal Mumme,
". . . a philosophy on football and life."

Tom Holmoe,
". . . the skills of a great teacher. 1) Prepared, 2) Motivate, 3) Knowledge and 4) Communicate."

Mike Bellotti,
". . . a great rapport with his team and the ability to motivate them to a higher level of performance."

Brian Billick,
Baltimore Ravens
" . . . a passion for what he does."

Bob Davie,
Notre Dame
". . . the ability to bring out the best in his players."

Bob Pruett,
". . . the ability to assess a situation quickly, make a decision without hesitation, and the confidence to live with the results knowing it was the correct choice at the time."

Bobby Bowden,
Florida State
" . . . integrity."

Where the players are...

The Dick Butkus Network ( did some interesting research concerning where tomorrow's players are coming from. They checked the list of spring scholarship signees and determined which high schools produced the most players. Here's a look at some of the football factories.

* - Non Division I School

Long Beach Poly (Calif.) (16th HS Poll)
Larry Croom RB5-10185Arizona
Jeremy Johnson TE 6-4 205 Fresno State
Kareem Kelly SE 6-2 180 USC
Chris Lewis QB 6-3 205 Stanford
Dennis Link LB 6-2 210 UCLA
Sammie Parker SE 5-10 160 Oregon
Darrell Rideaux DB 5-8 160 USC
Aaron Smith DB 5-10 170 Villanova*
Joe Veach C 6-3 240 Portland State*
David Word RB 5-9 185 Boise State
St. Louis, Honolulu, (Hawaii) (2nd HS Poll)
Anthony Arceneaux WR 5-9 170 Utah
Noah Campbell RB 6-0 200 Utah
Shayne Kajioka OL 6-4 340 Hawaii
Keola Loo OL 6-2 270 Hawaii
Kanoa Noguchi DL 6-2 250 Hawaii
Joe Siofele LB 6-2 235 Arizona
Sean Souza OL 6-6 285 Utah
Junior Tagoai DT 6-3 280 Nebraska
Kahuku, (Hawaii) (19th HS Poll)
Toniu Fonot G 6-4 300 Nebraska
Siuaki Livai OT 6-2 290 Utah
Pat Mailo LB 6-2 240 Hawaii
Daniel Mapu FS 6-1 185 Idaho
William Sao TE 6-2 230 Utah
James Tupola G 6-0 263 Utah
Tavo Tupola SS 6-3 193 Utah
Los Alamitos, (Calif.)
Sagan Atuatasi DT 6-4 300 USC
Brandon Cheri DB 5-10 165 Montana*
Ryan Hanson QB 6-3 210 UNLV
Keenan Howry WR 5-9 160 Oregon
AK Keyes DB 5-9 160 Oregon
Stefan MerriweatherDB 6-1 190 Nevada
Bernard Riley DT 6-3 305 USC
West Monroe, West Monroe, La. (1st HS Poll)
Willie Brittan FB 5-10 160 Harding University*
Maxie Causey QB 6-4 180 Louisiana Tech
Bradie James LB 6-3 225 LSU
Jason LeDoux LB 6-3 234 Texas A&M
Rodney Reed OL 6-4 265 LSU
Terrence Tarver DL 6-2 245 Tulane
Marcus Turner WR 5-10 160 McNeese State*
Brian West DL 6-4 245 Texas A&M
Northwestern, Miami (8th HS Poll)
Antonio Bryant WR 6-2180Pittsburgh
Vernon Carey OL 6-5 330 Miami (Fla.)
Torrie Cox RB 5-9 185 Pittsburgh
Jermell Weaver LB 6-2 195 Miami (Fla.)
Jerrell Weaver LB 6-3 205 Miami (Fla.)
DeMatha, Hyattsville, Md. (15th HS Poll)
Tony Charles OL 6-3 270 Florida
Kenny Dantzler RB 5-10 188 Richmond*
Ryan Gillis OL 6-3 315 Notre Dame
Todd Hamilton DB 5-10 180 Villanova*
Mark Hayes DL 6-1 272 Rhode Island*
Jamal Jones WR6-0 195North Carolina
Scott McBrien QB 6-2 185 West Virginia
Alex Meyers LB 6-3 227 Princeton*
Jamar Perrin DL 6-3 270 Maryland
Darius Powell DB 5-11 184 South Carolina State*
Union, Tulsa, Okla.
Josh Blankenship QB 6-2 197 Tulsa
Austin Chadwick TE 6-3 240Tulsa
Sam Cone LB 6-2 228 North Texas
Kory Klein DT 6-3 260 Oklahoma
Danny Morris RB 6-1 190 Kansas State
Carter, Dallas, Texas
Darrion Branch DL 6-2265 Iowa State
Monti Collier DB 5-10 172 Texas
Randell Hendley LB 6-2 225 Kansas
Adrian Jones TE 6-5 220 Kansas
Derick Mills RB 5-8 170 Kansas
McEachern, Powder Springs, Ga.
Bo Arnold DB 5-10 175 Memphis
Jamie Hamilton DL 6-3 245 Georgia Tech
Eric Lavette DB 5-10 185 Georgia Tech
AJ Suggs QB 6-4 205 Tennessee
Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (7th HS Poll)
Scott Lukash QB 6-1180 Villanova*
Kevin Mitchell LB 6-0 210 Oregon
Larry Vandermade OL 6-4 270 USC


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