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Barnett's Colorado Contract Finalized

After more than one year, Gary Barnett and the University of Colorado finalized a five-year contract. The multi-year contract, retroactive to Jan. 22, 1999, when he accepted the position, is one of three positions the State Legislature allows CU to exempt from standard contract rules. All other deals are limited to one year.

"We're delighted to have finalized the agreement with coach Barnett. This gives us the opportunity to accomplish the goals and objectives of the football program and the entire athletic department," said CU athletic director Dick Tharp.

Barnett, who resigned after a successful rebuilding job at Northwestern to return to CU, will get a base salary of $710,000 annually.

UT Panel Recommends Tighter Control

In a saga that has played out in the pages of newspapers and on TV with an in-depth investigative report by ESPN (which has resulted in a $4 million lawsuit against the network by a former academic advisor and football player), the University of Tennessee's has received recommendations for change. A panel put in place by UT said a tutoring program for athletes needs more academic oversight and better systems in place to prevent plagiarism, according to a faculty panel that reviewed the system after allegations that tutors wrote papers for athletes.

"We felt that there is a potential for problems to occur in the program, so we are recommending more supervision of tutors," said Burt English, chairman of the subcommittee.

The university's internal investigation found that no NCAA rules had been violated, and the NCAA closed the case in April, satisfied that "there appears to be no need to conduct any further inquiry" into the matter, which came to public light in an report last September, the report cited a series of internal memos by officials who suspected or said they witnessed plagiarism. While there was no findings of wrong doing, the faculty subcommittee nevertheless, found several areas needing change. The recommendations included:

Barring tutors from typing papers for athletes.

Stating more clearly to tutors that they may not write any portion of any assignment for athletes.

More monitoring, more faculty oversight and an audit of services, such as note-taking for athletes.

Separating tutoring programs for athletes who qualify for learning-disabled services and those who are simply considered academically "at risk," to prevent improper accommodations from being given to athletes who don't deserve them.

Prohibiting tutors from contacting faculty members about the progress of an athlete in a class.

English said the recommendations will be shared with athletic director Doug Dickey, the school's compliance officers and the athletic department's faculty representatives. Together, he said, "we'll work on a better system for tomorrow."

If Stadium's Not Ready, Where Could the Buckeyes Play?

What happens if Ohio State's stadium renovation isn't finished in time for Buckeyes' Sept. 2 opener? OSU athletic director Andy Geiger, the leader of the stadium project, already has begun to consider the possibilities, even though all construction deadlines have been met so far.

"There's a contingency that we're starting to work on, if we would have to go out of town to play,'' Geiger said. "Clearly, you can't just shrug and say, 'No game.'''

Where would the Buckeyes go if the $187-million stadium project weren't done by the time Fresno State comes to town?

In Ohio, there are really only three venues similar to Ohio Stadium: Cleveland Browns Stadium, the Cincinnati Bengals' new Paul Brown Stadium, and Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Reds host Montreal at Cinergy for a weekend series that includes Sept. 2. However, the Browns will be playing at Philadelphia in a preseason game that weekend, and the Bengals will be enjoying a bye week; therefore, both of their stadiums would be available.

Understanding that the options would be limited to two stadiums if the Buckeyes were to play in Ohio, Geiger indicated there are "other options... Indianapolis or Pontiac, Michigan.''

"You've got to put emotion aside and have a hard-nosed plan to do something else,'' Geiger said. "It would cost us a fortune, but there has to be an alternative that you can go to."

Geiger said Ohio State had not contacted other stadiums, in or out of the state. He said the subject had not gone beyond the discussion stage.

"I continue to say there's no option, even though we're talking about a Plan B,'' he said. "That's just prudent. We can't call up two weeks before the game and say, 'Hey, can we play at your place?'''

14 Years After his Last Head Coaching Job, the Jets Give Al Groh the Top Spot

New York Jets' LB coach Al Groh was promoted to the club's top spot after Bill Belichick resigned just hours after being named as the successor to Bill Parcells. Groh is a two-time Super Bowl coach (one championship) and a 13-year NFL veteran, with stops in Atlanta, New York Giants, Cleveland, New England, and the Jets. Prior to entering the NFL, Groh spent 19 years in the college ranks, the last six as the head coach at Wake Forest. His college resume includes positions at Army, Virginia, North Carolina, Air Force, Texas Tech, South Carolina, and Wake Forest.

Williams Gets a Five-year Deal from the Spartans

Michigan State football coach Bobby Williams signed a five-year contract that will pay him $485,000 a year. According MSU athletic director Clarence Underwood, the contract calls for an annual base salary of $160,000; $250,000 a year for weekly TV/radio appearances; $50,000 for summer camps and $25,000 for a shoe-apparel agreement. Additionally, the contract includes incentives for bowl appearances and academic achievement of players.

Williams made his head coaching debut Jan. 1 in the Florida Citrus Bowl, leading the Spartans to a 37-34 victory over Florida. He was given the job after Nick Saban departed for LSU. Williams was a running backs coach for 10 years until he was promoted to assistant head coach last season by Saban.

"I'm happy with the terms of the contract," Williams said. "I'm excited about being the head coach at Michigan State and looking forward to the 2000 season.

"This is a great time to be on the Michigan State campus. The excitement here is unbelievable and it all started with the football team's bowl win in Orlando and carried right on through the basketball team's national championship."

Williams became the first black coach of a revenue sport at Michigan State and the first black football coach at a public Big Ten university.

Hawaii Bowl Games Moved to Different Days

In an effort to increase attendance, the Oahu Bowl and Aloha Bowl football games, played on Christmas Day the last two seasons, will be played on separate days in December 2000.

According to Lenny Klompus, chairman of the board of Bowl Games of Hawaii, the two-year-old college football doubleheader will be split over two days. The Oahu Bowl will be played on Christmas Eve, and the Aloha Bowl on Christmas Day. Both games will be played at Aloha Stadium.

Klompus said the games would be split to take advantage of better time slots for TV. The Oahu Bowl is scheduled in the 8:30 p.m. ET prime-time slot on ESPN, and the Aloha Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET, will be paired with "Monday Night Football" on ABC. Bowl Games of Hawaii also has renewed agreements with the Pac-10, Big East and Atlantic Coast Conferences.

Osborne Wins

In what came as absolutely no surprise, former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne won his first election on May 9, handily defeating two Republican challengers in Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District primary. Osborne, 63, surprisingly entered the House race Jan. 27.

Osborne received 68 percent of the vote.

In the same fashion his Cornhusker teams rolled over opponents for years, Osborne advanced to the general election where he will face Grand Island Democrat Rollie Reynolds.

"There's no question I had a name recognition advantage, but as time went on people started to focus on the issues and not who was a football coach and who wasn't," Osborne said.

In three months as a candidate, the soft-spoken Osborne brought tremendous attention to the race to represent the state's largest, most sparsely populated district. The 66-county area covers 65,000 square miles nearly 85 percent of the state's total land mass. The other candidates, all long-time district residents, were quick to point out that Osborne had lived in Lincoln, in the 1st District, for decades. Osborne changed his residency to LeMoyne, close to his cabin on Lake McConaughy north of Ogallala. Osborne was born and raised in Hastings, which is in the 3rd District. That was good enough for most voters.

Osborne's campaign focused on reviving the farm economy, stopping the migration of young people from rural Nebraska, improving technology in rural areas and promoting youth mentoring programs.

Donnan Adds His Son to His UGA Staff

Every coach wants "his own guys" on his staff. A few coaches are lucky enough to hire relatives, and Georgia's Jim Donnan has become among the most fortunate by being able to add his son, Todd, to his staff. The school found a way around the state's policy barring the hiring of relatives and announced Donnan's son will become one of his father's nine on-field assistant football coaches.

Todd Donnan, who also will become a development field representative with the Georgia Athletic Association Development office, has been serving as a graduate assistant coach for two years, working primarily with quarterbacks.

"After carefully considering the idea, I concluded it was a very workable solution with Todd's primary reporting responsibility being to administration," UGA athletic director Vince Dooley said.

NCAA Approves New Bowl Games

Two new bowls were added to the college football lineup for next season - the Bowl in Houston and the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif. An NCAA panel approved the additions and recertified the 23 existing bowls.

Another new game, the New Orleans Bowl, received initial approval for the 2001 season. The game's representatives must appear before a panel again in a year before getting final approval. Two other bowls are trying to get on board for 2001: the Hoosier Bowl in Indianapolis and the Freedom Bowl in San Francisco.

The game in Houston will feature teams from the Big 12 and Conference USA. The game is scheduled for the night of Dec. 27 at the Astrodome, which has been rendered practically vacant by the move of the Houston Oilers to Tennessee and the Houston Astros to a new downtown stadium.

Former Paterno Assistant Dies

Bob Phillips, the first man Joe Paterno hired after becoming Penn State's head coach in 1966, died in late April. He was 75.

Phillips retired as an assistant after the Nittany Lions' national championship season in 1986, yet, he continued as a volunteer coach.

"We have lost an exceptional friend and a mainstay of Penn State football," Paterno said.

Phillips coached the backfield when John Cappelletti won the 1973 Heisman Trophy. He also coached tight ends, receivers, punters and quarterbacks - among them Todd Blackledge, who led Penn State to its first national title in 1982. He was named to the Pennsylvania Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993.

Phillips was a graduate of Slippery Rock and an Army veteran.

Clemson Extends Bowden's Contract

Getting the Tigers back on track in just one year has helped Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden earn a contract extension through 2004.

Bowden, the architect of Tulane's resurgence before leaving for Clemson after the 1998 season, was 6-6 overall and 5-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in his first season with the Tigers, quickly turning around a once-proud program that had fallen on hard times. He was the conference Coach of the Year after lifting the Tigers six places to second in the ACC, the best single-season jump in the league's 47-year history.

Clemson played tight games with national champion Florida State, coached by Bowden's father Bobby, and with runner-up Virginia Tech and Marshall. All three schools were unbeaten in the regular season.

The Tigers' head man now has a five-year contract that averages a total of $825,000 per season. He can gain additional income depending on regular-season wins or postseason performance.

"I appreciate the university is pleased with the direction we are heading," Bowden said. "My family and I have been here just a year and a half but we have quickly realized that Clemson is a special place."

Clemson is expected to have a banner season in 2000 as the Tigers return 16 of 22 starters next season and 52 lettermen from a team that finished the 1999 season with a loss to Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl.

If Clemson wins the ACC regular-season title something his father and Florida State have owned Bowden would receive a $25,000 bonus. He would get a boost of one-twelfth of his base salary, $19,380, if the Tigers reach a postseason game and another $25,000 if it is a Bowl Championship Series contest. If Clemson wins the national title, Bowden would take home an additional $100,000.

Sam Goodwin, the Southland Conference's Winningest Coach Resigns at Northwestern State (La.)

In a surprising move, Northwestern State's Sam Goodwin, the winningest football coach in Southland Conference history, announced his retirement on May 9 to become athletic director at Henderson State, his alma mater.

Goodwin, 56, compiled a 102-88-3 mark in 17 seasons with the Demons, including a 49-33-2 record since Northwestern State joined the Southland Conference in 1987. His teams won four league championships, including back-to-back crowns in 1997-98, and appeared in the Division I-AA playoffs three times, reaching the semifinals in 1998.

In 1998, NSU set a school record that season with 11 wins and Goodwin was one of five finalists for Division I-AA Coach of the Year.

Goodwin was 14th among Division I coaches in longevity and 38 men coached at Louisiana's nine other colleges during his tenure. A total of 38 of his former players made it to the pros and 10 currently are playing in the NFL.

Pitt Settles Lawsuit for a Reported $31 Million

The end of a tragedy came for a former player and the University of Pittsburgh as the university settled a lawsuit by a paralyzed football player, Demale Stanley, but the amount the player will be paid was in dispute. Lawyers for Stanley said he will get $31 million, but the university put the sum at about $5 million.

The basis of the lawsuit was a debilitating injury Stanley suffered while running pass routes in an indoor facility on the Pitt campus. Stanley, of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., was injured during a spring 1996 practice. His lawyers said coaches routinely had Stanley run routes near a concrete wall. They said he ran into the wall the previous day, but no corrections were made to prevent an accident. Stanley was trying to catch a high pass March 22, 1996, when his legs became tangled and he ran into a wall.

Stanley contended the university and football coaches, including Johnny Majors, were negligent during an indoor practice four years ago when the player hit a padded concrete wall headfirst.

"Nothing can replace what I lost, but it does bring some closure," Stanley said. "I can focus on getting better and recovering."

University spokesman Ken Service said that in addition to the settlement, the university paid all of Stanley's medical bills under insurance required by the NCAA and provided to all football players.

He said the university admitted no negligence but was happy the case was over with a "reasonable settlement."

"This happened. I can't walk," Stanley said. "But having a great family and friends has helped me through. There's been so much progress in research. Who knows?"

Pitt athletics department spokesman E.J. Borghetti said the football team will no longer practice at the Cost Center, where Stanley was injured. The Panthers will move July 1 to a new training facility that it will share with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Susan Hired as Davidson's Head Coach

Joe Susan, who spent the past nine years as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Princeton, was named coach at Davidson College. Susan becomes the 24th coach in school history, replacing Tim Landis.

Susan, 44, who inherits a Wildcats team that has won a school-record eight games in each of the past two seasons, was hired by Memphis coach Rip Scherrer as an offensive line coach in February, but the Davidson job was too good to pass up.

"I kept (Davidson athletic director Jim Murphy) at arm's length due to the timing after being hired by Memphis," Susan said. "But he convinced me to come to the campus, and my visit was unique. Just walking around the campus gave me a sense of being at home." Susan is a 1977 graduate of Delaware, and he also spent eight seasons as an assistant at Bucknell.

UCONN to Get New Stadium

Connecticut's entry into big-time college football was guaranteed in early May when Gov. John G. Rowland signed legislation to build the Huskies a 40,000-seat football stadium. The move, which has been much anticipated, secures the football program's entry into the Big East Conference by 2003.

The $90 million stadium will be built on donated land in East Hartford with a combination of private and state funds. The legislation's passage caps nearly a decade of effort from UConn to upgrade from Division I-AA.

"Now there's no uncertainty," second-year coach Randy Edsall said. "We're going to hit the road tomorrow and go recruiting on juniors. It's going to help us tremendously."

UConn Athletic Director Lew Perkins said the upgrade would help move UConn, already a basketball powerhouse, from the stature of a regional university to one of national prominence. The Huskies have a national title in men's basketball and two in women's, the most recent this year.

"I'm convinced it is the right thing for the football program. I'm convinced it's the right thing for the university," Perkins said. "Division I-A football is going to affect everything."

The NCAA has already granted an attendance waiver for UConn until the stadium is built. A Division I-A stadium must have at least 35,000 seats. UConn currently plays in the 16,000-plus seat Memorial Stadium on campus.

The Huskies begin their first season of Division I-A in the fall as an independent. On tap this season are eight Division I-A opponents, including Boston College and Louisville. The Huskies are scheduled to open their Big East schedule in 2003 and have Rutgers as the home opener in the new stadium.

"That's the reason I came here," said Edsall, who was formerly the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.

Ditka to Announce Bears Preseason Games

Mike Ditka, da' coach, is returning to the Bears as an announcer. Nearly 10 years after he was dismissed as head coach of the Chicago Bears, the team has rehired Ditka. He'll serve as a color analyst on the team's preseason telecasts. Ditka, who was released by the New Orleans Saints in January, has also signed as a studio analyst with CBS


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