AFM RSS Feed Follow Us on Twitter       

   User Name    Password 
      Password Help

Article Categories

AFM Magazine

AFM Magazine

News & Notes

© More from this issue

Click for Printer Friendly Version          

Dolphins name Paton director of pro personnel

The Miami Dolphins have named George Paton their director of pro personnel. Paton, who spent the last four years working in the Chicago Bears' player personnel department, performing scouting duties, will be responsible for monitoring the rosters of all 31 NFL teams and clubs in other leagues. He will also scout Dolphins opponents. He was a defensive back at UCLA, graduating in 1991.

Duke to appeal ruling in favor of former female kicker

Not content to accept the jury's finding in the lawsuit brought by former walk-on Heather Sue Mercer, attorneys for Duke University filed an appeal asking that a $2 million award given to the former female placekicker be reduced.

Mercer alleged that former Duke football coach Fred Goldsmith let her join the team in 1995, then treated her differently than the male players before informing her she would not be allowed to remain on the team.

Mercer's lawsuit claimed the school discriminated against her by denying her proper equipment, prohibiting her from dressing and standing on the sidelines for games and cutting her from the team in the spring of 1996. Mercer also said Goldsmith made sexist comments to her, such as asking why she was interested in football instead of beauty pageants.

The jury awarded her $1 in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages last year.

Duke's attorneys filed an appeal with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., contesting the amount of punitive damages awarded, but not the verdict.

John Simpson, Duke's attorney, argued that the court should reverse the award because Congress never intended for punitive damages in Title IX cases.

"Title IX is designed to ensure that federal funding is not used for purposes of discrimination and to protect victims of discrimination; it is not designed in any sense to punish violators of Title IX," the brief says.

Under Title IX, schools are not required to allow women to try out for contact sports. However, once Duke put Mercer on the team, the school was responsible for treating her equally, according to a previous federal appeals court decision in this case.

Vegas Bowl to have Pac-10 versus Mountain West

The Las Vegas Bowl reached an agreement to have the sixth selection from the Pac-10 Conference play in their game. The 2001 game will match a Pac-10 representative against the second selection from the Mountain West Conference. Entering its 10th season, the Las Vegas Bowl will be played this year on December 20 at Sam Boyd Stadium and will be televised by ESPN2.

At long last, the Eagles will get out of Veteran's Stadium

The Philadelphia Eagles broke ground on a new stadium, scheduled to be completed in August 2003. The new venue will be the first time in the 68-year history of the franchise that the NFL team will have its own stadium.

"After nearly 70 years playing in the Baker Bowl, Shibe Park, Franklin Field, and Veterans Stadium, we will no longer have to be a secondary tenant," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said.

"It's about time Philadelphia gets a first-class facility," said Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association.

Work on the site for the 66,000-seat, $395 million stadium actually started in the spring. Joining Lurie for the ceremonial groundbreaking was Gov. Tom Ridge, Mayor John F. Street, and many other politicians and football dignitaries.

Gov. Ridge said, "If you take the best attributes of Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., and put them together into one city, you could call it Philadelphia. There is no better sports town in America right now, or a fan base more deserving."

Chiefs promote Stiles

The Kansas City Chiefs promoted Lynn Stiles to vice president of football operations-player personnel. Stiles previously served as Kansas City's vice president of player personnel from 1992-96 before rejoining Kansas City in February 2000 as vice president of football operations. Prior to rejoining the Chiefs a year ago, Stiles spent the previous three seasons in St. Louis as vice president of football operations.

"On behalf of the entire Chiefs organization, I am pleased to once again have the opportunity to utilize the vast talents of Lynn Stiles as both a personnel evaluator and an administrator," said Chiefs president Carl Peterson. "The obvious is that Lynn has enjoyed a long and productive working relationship with both myself and our head coach, Dick Vermeil."

In his new role with the Chiefs, Stiles will take over the club's personnel duties from former vice president Terry Bradway, who was named general manager of the New York Jets in January.

Let there be peace. NFL and NFLPA extend their pact until 2007

The NFL and its players will have labor peace through 2007 as soon the league officials and the players ratify an accord to extend the collective bargaining agreement for three years.

This is the fourth extension of the original CBA reached in 1993, and it would give the NFL labor peace for 20 years since its last job action, the 1987 strike. The extension would carry two years beyond the NFL's current $17.6 billion television contract, giving the league further bargaining leverage in its next TV negotiations.

The NFL Management Council and Players Association agreed to extend the salary cap through 2006, with the final year of the extension an uncapped season. The players and league owners must vote on the agreement, but that is considered a formality, particularly for the players, who could receive an increase in salary to as high as 65.5 percent of designated gross revenues in 2005.

Veteran players also will have a portion of their salaries paid out of a league-wide fund instead of counting totally against the salary cap.

"The subsidy for older veterans was one of the keys to the deal," said NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw. "Under the agreement all players with more than four years in the league will cost the clubs the same in both cap room and dollars, even though the older players will be making more."

For instance, if a 10-year veteran is due to make the new league minimum salary of $750,000, only $450,000 would count against the cap. The rest would come from a leaguewide pool established expressly for that purpose.

"This will make the wage scale salary cap friendly," Upshaw said. "That system takes effect in 2002, not 2001," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "and it's not creating an exception to the cap, it's devising a different accounting system to make it more cap friendly for teams to sign older veterans. All player costs would still be subject to the cap system."

One of the prime criticisms of the current agreement was it created too little security for higher-paid veterans to hold onto their jobs.

Minimum salaries will increase to $225,000 for rookies, and will go up to $300,000, $375,000 and $450,000 in subsequent seasons. A $525,000 minimum will apply through six seasons, with players in their seventh through ninth years guaranteed $650,000. For 10 years or more of service, the minimum will be $750,000.

Kennedy leaves the Buckeyes and Johnson arrives from WVU

Long time head strength coach for Ohio State, Dave Kennedy, the man credited for helping develop many of Ohio State's stars during 12 years as strength and conditioning coach, abruptly resigned in May, with nine years remaining on a 10-year contract. There were no reports or comments about the reasons or rationale for the departure. New OSU coach Jim Tressel responded by hiring away 13-year veteran and highly respected Al Johnson from West Virginia.

OU takes steps to keep Stoops in place... another raise

Oklahoma officials are continuing to make all of the right moves to insure future prosperity for their football program by increasing head coach Bob Stoops pay again. The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents approved a new contract for Stoops.

The deal, worth $2 million annually, was approved during a meeting at Cameron University and extended Stoops' contract by two years, through Dec. 31, 2007.

Stoops' base state salary of $200,000 remained the same, but he is guaranteed $1.8 million in outside revenue - an increase of $600,000.

The contract also includes performance incentives worth $500,000.

In October, the regents doubled Stoops' pay to $1.4 million. Stoops earned $1.957 million because he met every incentive, including winning the national championship and being named Associated Press coach of the year.

His base package would be worth $1.97 million; if he met all incentives, it would be worth $2.4 million, according to the new deal. Florida's Steve Spurrier is believed to be the highest-paid college coach, at $2.1 million per year.

The Daily Oklahoman reported in late January that university officials had been working on restructuring Stoops' contract since Oklahoma's national championship victory over Florida State in the Orange Bowl.

Hayden Fry is recovering

After a bout with cancer, former Iowa football coach Hayden Fry has good news about his health. Fry said in June that he's free of the prostate cancer that was discovered in 1998.

"I've had two operations this spring pertaining to the cancer and the doctors tell me now that I'm OK. They say there's no more cancer," Fry said "I can't tell you the last time I've felt this good. I've done radiation. I've been poked in every place imaginable, I've had hormone treatment, I've had stones removed - you name it, I've had it."

Fry kept his illness a secret from nearly everyone.

"The staff at the hospital used to slip me in real, real early in the morning for treatments. No one except my wife and secretary knew about it," Fry said. "I didn't even tell my coaches." Fry said he noticed something wasn't right with his health during the 1998 season. He retired shortly after the season. "I started losing energy and feeling bad during the season," Fry said. "I knew something was wrong."

Fry had a 143-89-6 record in 20 seasons as Iowa coach and reached 14 bowl games, including three Rose Bowls.

FAMU wants out of future games with Miami

Seeing no reason for his team to be a patsy, Florida A&M football coach Billy Joe said he wants out of a scheduled 2002 game with Miami, which has soundly beaten the Division I-AA Rattlers in recent years.

Although the game comes with a financial guarantee for Florida A&M that was worth $300,000 in 1999, Joe sees it as a no-win situation.

"I'm going to do all I can to get our president and [Athletic Director Ken Riley] to consider this because a game like that doesn't help a Division I-AA program one bit," Joe said. "When we play them, we really take a beating from a physical and emotional standpoint."

FAMU has lost the previous two games against Miami in the Orange Bowl by a combined score of 106-6, including a 57-3 loss in the last game in 1999.

But UM sees no need upgrade in 2002. Besides Florida A&M, the other teams on Miami's non-conference 2002 schedule are powerhouses Florida State, Florida and Tennessee.

"Our 2002 schedule is pretty tough, so we don't anticipate the need to drop FAMU," Miami athletic officials told the Tallahassee Democrat .

NFL is going prime time for the playoffs

In a historic announcement, league officials said the NFL is going prime time with some of its non-Super Bowl playoff games. The move, designed to attract larger viewing audiences in the evening, will affect the second half of the double-headers scheduled for Saturdays in the wild-card round and the divisional round. It will not impact on the Sunday games in those weeks or on the two conference championship contests.

The league also has moved back the starting time for the early games on those Saturdays.

With the change, the wild-card round games for Saturday, Jan. 5 and divisional round games on Saturday, Jan. 12 will now start at 4:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET. In the past, those games started at 12:30 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET.

"This will give our fans two playoff games starting early in prime time and it will mean much larger potential audiences for these games," commissioner Paul Tagliabue said. "The number of households using television increases dramatically as the day proceeds."

Bears hire Angelo

For the first time in a generation (14 years), the Chicago Bears will have a general manager. Former Tampa Bay personnel director Jerry Angelo was named to the position. Angelo will be named the club's first general manager since Jerry Vainisi was fired after the 1986 season.

Angelo joins the Bears with plenty of knowledge about the NFC Central Division having spent 14 years overseeing Tampa Bay's scouting department as the director of player personnel. During Angelos' tenure in Tampa Bay, the Bucs went from one of the worst teams in the NFL to among the best.

"We are excited to bring Jerry to the Bears as our new general manager," Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips said. "He brings a proven football philosophy to our organization with 20 years of NFL experience. He knows our division as well as anyone in the league and has been part of building a football franchise into a perennial playoff contender."

Instead of a general manager calling the shots, the Bears have been operating with a three-pronged leadership model created by former team president Michael McCaskey that featured player personnel vice president Mike Hatley, coach Dick Jauron and finance chief Jim Miller.

Angelo worked as a defensive coach at Colorado State, University of Tampa and Syracuse, then became a scout for the Dallas Cowboys in 1980. He worked for the Calgary Stampeders and the New York Giants before joining Tampa Bay in 1987.

"I have no cliches, no quick fixes," said Angelo, during his introduction to the press. "I figure myself as an appraiser. My expertise is to know a player and put a value on each player."

"He knows how to turn and right the ship," Bears president Ted Phillips said. "He's done it in Tampa Bay." Angelo will have the authority to hire and fire the head coach. With the start of training camp less than six weeks away, however, Phillips has said coach Dick Jauron's job is safe for this season. Jauron's contract runs through 2002.

"I'll keep my mouth shut this year. This is Dick's year," Angelo said. "I want this to work for Dick."

The Bears' last general manager was Jerry Vainisi, who was fired after the 1986 season. Before Vainisi, the post was held by Jim Finks, who was hired in September 1974 and served through the 1983 draft.

NACDA officially opposes Friday night football

The opposition to Friday night college football games continues to grow. The latest example is group of college athletic directors has come out against the idea.

The National Association of College Directors of Athletics issued a statement expressing "strong philosophical concerns" with a recent NCAA action that allowed television broadcasts of Friday night games.

Opponents say Fridays should be reserved for high school players, and colleges relying on those athletes to fill their rosters shouldn't encroach on a tradition that is widely held in many American communities.

Outgoing NACDA president Deborah Yow, the athletic director at Maryland, said she realizes some schools must consider Friday night broadcasts to help cash-strapped departments. But as a whole, the group opposes the idea.

The American Football Coaches Association also opposes Friday night games. Some conferences, including the ACC, SEC and Big 12, have agreed not to play on Fridays.

All the talk makes Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson defensive. The league has been criticized because one member, UNLV, took advantage of the NCAA change and scheduled two Friday night games this fall.

"I think they can coexist, a few Friday night games, with prep football," Thompson said. "Are you telling me that if you live in Delaware and your kid's playing high school football, you're staying home to watch UNLV instead?"

Orangemen and Buckeyes agree to play

Bucking the trend or strategy of playing very winnable non-conference games, Syracuse and Ohio State have reached a tentative agreement to play a two-game football series.

The Orangemen would travel to Columbus in 2007. The Buckeyes would visit the Carrier Dome in 2010.

"It's got to be finalized yet, but it's something we're pretty excited about," said Syracuse associate athletic director Rob Edson.

Syracuse and Ohio State played a two-game series in 1988 and 1992. The Buckeyes won both games. The Orangemen defeated Ohio State in the 1991 Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa.

Texas Tech and UTEP agree to move their game for ESPN and Thursday night

Several weeks of negotiations and decision-making between ESPN, Texas Tech and the Western Athletic Conference have finally reached a lucrative payoff.

After revealing a new three-year deal with the WAC, ESPN announced that sister station ESPN2 will nationally broadcast Tech's football game at Texas-El Paso on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. CDT. The announcement officially changes the date of Tech's originally scheduled game from Sept. 15. Tech opens the season at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at home against New Mexico. Tech's appearance fee for playing on ESPN2 is likely to be $320,000 in addition to a $175,000 guarantee from UTEP to play at the Sun Bowl.

"There's a lot of good to it,'' Tech head coach Mike Leach said. "National exposure is an obvious factor. Then you get a long week before the next game (Sept. 21 against North Texas). The negative is that you get a short week for the UTEP game. The other negative is that with the fans who attend the game, it's kind of a hardship on them.''

In the end, though, Leach said the positives outweighed the negatives and led him to approve the date change to accommodate ESPN2, which reaches 76.6 million homes.

Wazzu assistant leaves for the 49ers

Jim Zeches, a longtime assistant coach at Washington State, resigned to take a regional scouting job with the San Francisco 49ers. Zeches, who was the Cougars' recruiting coordinator since 1994 and tight ends coach the past two seasons, spent 12 seasons working under Washington State coach Mike Price. The 50-year-old Zeches was hired by 49ers general manager Terry Donahue.

Zeches was an assistant under Price in 1989-90 at Weber State. He followed Price to Washington State, where he also coached defensive tackles and outside linebackers during his stay.

Charlie Mac has cancer

Former LSU coach Charlie McClendon has returned to his home to continue his battle with cancer. The 77-year-old McClendon, who coached at LSU from 1962-1979 and won more games than any other LSU coach, is undergoing chemotherapy and physical therapy at home. After back surgery earlier this year, doctors found liposarcoma, a tumor in fatty tissue.

"It's a funny thing having a tumor in my rump," McClendon said. "After getting kicked in the rear end all those years, it finally formed a tumor."

McClendon, who earlier beat skin cancer, has not lost his sense of humor despite being tethered to an IV for three hours a day.

"I'm feeling good," McClendon said. "It's very obvious (the chemo) is taking a toll on my hair. I'm going to be a real cool cat. I'm going to be bald, like all those millionaires I see on TV."

Big 10 and SEC agree to meet in Music City Bowl

Bowl officials and the Big Ten Conference announced a four-year agreement to send one of its 11 schools to the Music City Bowl to face a member of the Southeastern Conference.

The deal begins with the 2002 campaign and runs through the 2005 bowl season. The 3-year-old Music City Bowl, played in Nashville, Tenn., has yet to feature a Big Ten member. This past season, West Virginia defeated Mississippi 49-38.

"The Big Ten Conference looks forward to our partnership with the Music City Bowl and to expanding our relationship with the Southeastern Conference to three bowl games," said Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.

The Big Ten now has contracts with six bowls. The league, which will be replacing the Big East in the Music City Bowl, also sends teams to the Rose, Alamo and Sun Bowls.

Strength coaches start their own association

The Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association (CSCC) held its first National Conference & Certification Examination in Salt Lake City, May 10-13, 2001. This organization represents collefiate strength & conditioning coaches from major collefes and universitites across the country.

The culminating activity was a Master Strength & Conditioning Coaches Dinner and Award Ceremony, at which ten collegiate strength & conditioning coaches received the prestigious title of Master Strength & Conditioning Coach: Rob Oviatt- Washington State University; Allan Johnson - West Virginia University; Boyd Epley - University of Nebraska; Dave Van Halanger - University of Georgia; Mike Clark - Texas A&M University; E.J. Kreis - University of Colorado; Mike Arthur - University of Nebraska; John Stucky - University of Tennessee; Jeff Madden - University of Texas; and Chuck Stiggins - Brigham Young University.

In order to receive this title of distinction, these individuals had to first meet the following criteria:

1. Minimum of a bachelors degree;

2. Currently practicing, full-time strength & conditioning coach on the collegiate level;

3. Member of the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association (CSCC);

4.Strength & Conditioning Coach Certified (SCCC) by the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches association; and

5. Full-time, collegiate, and/or professional strength & conditioning coach for a minimum of 12 years.

The title of Master Strength & Conditioning Coach (MSCC) is the highest honor that can be achieved as a strength and conditioning coach. It represents professionalism, knowledge, experience, expertiese, as well as longevity in the field.

In addition, Mike Clark, Assistant Athletic Director of Speed Strength & Conditioning at Texas A&M University, replaced Chuck Stiggins as President of this organization, and Rob Oviatt, Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Washington State University was made Vice Presedent at the Conference.

NAIA title tilt to stay in Tennessee

The NAIA national title game will stay in Savannah, Tenn., for the next three years. The game has been played at Savannah's Jim Carroll Stadium since 1996. The three-year contract extension was announced Friday by the National Association on Intercollegiate Athletics, based in Tulsa.

In last year's title game, Georgetown (Ky.) defeated Northwestern Oklahoma State 20-0.


AFM Videos Streaming Memberships Now Available Digital Download - 304 Pages of Football Forms for the Winning Coach


Copyright 2024,
All Rights Reserved