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Former NFL Europe head coach Dick Curl joins the Chiefs

Dick Curl, who joined NFLE in 1991 as Barcelona Dragons offensive coordinator and spent the last three seasons with the Frankfurt Galaxy as their head coach, has been named pro personnel assistant with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.

In each of his first two seasons in Frankfurt, Curl was named NFLE Coach of the Year after leading the Galaxy to a berth in World Bowl. The Galaxy lost to the Rhein Fire in 1998, but beat Barcelona in the 1999 championship game. Curl posted a 17-13 record - including 4-6 in the recently-concluded 2000 season.

NFLE president Bill Peterson explained: "We have been aware for some time that Dick was looking at other opportunities at the end of our season and we have already started the process of finding his successor. We will be considering several fine candidates and hope to announce the new Galaxy head coach in the near future."

Bama's DuBose gives gift to sick young fan

Alabama football coach Mike DuBose gave 19-year-old fan Gifton Eugene Dennis his 1999 Southeastern Conference Championship ring after visiting the seriously ill young man.

"I still can't believe it," Dennis's mother, Sherry, said. "I had no idea he'd do anything like that."

DuBose flew to visit the boy, who suffers from a debilitating disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and can't feed himself or even turn over.

Sherry Dennis said a hospice worker had sent a letter to DuBose telling the coach of the young man's longtime desire to meet him.

DuBose sat beside the teen-ager's bed for about 45 minutes, giving him a preview of the upcoming season.

"The thing that impressed me was that he asked him what changes he could make to be a better coach this year," Mrs. Dennis said.

Apparently DuBose was leaving when he decided to circle the block and as he they passed the home again, DuBose asked the car's driver to stop. He rolled down the window, slipped the championship ring off his finger and handed it to the young man's father, Gene Dennis.

"I was moved to do this. You don't know how grateful I am to be here in this situation," said DuBose.

Gifton Dennis, called "Little Gene" by his family, is a longtime Alabama fan who has decorated his room with photos of the Crimson Tide. He watches Alabama football games, even the ones on pay- per-view, his mother said.

>New NCAA legislation could force some schools to drop to I-AA

New legislation may seriously alter the landscape of Division I-A. The plan calls for I-A schools to average 17,000 per home game over a four-year period or be dropped to Division I-AA, and it further requires that the count be actual filled seats, not tickets sold.

The proposal is expected to be voted on in October by the NCAA Management Council, then passed on to the school presidents and chancellors on the NCAA board of directors, who have the final say on any changes.

That board of directors could implement the change for the 2001 season, starting the clock on a seven-year timetable to fully implement the new standard. Schools would have four years to establish their attendance average, then an additional three years to make the standard.

"I think we have to reinforce what I-A football is predicated on, make people stand up to these standards if they want to play I-A football," said Syracuse Athletics Director Jake Crouthamel. He is chairman of the NCAA's Football Issues Committee, which proposed the change.

The issue also has reprecussions in the I-AA ranks. That's where a number of league commissioners have expressed alarm over the loss of members to I-A, each change causing a unsettling reshuffling of the alignment of certain conferences.

Missouri wants UCLA off the schedule

Looking to lighten the load for upcoming seasons, Missouri is canceling a football series with UCLA that was scheduled for 2001 and 2002. The school began negotiations with UCLA in December in an attempt to get out of the contract, which was agreed to in 1987. The two schools have been talking over the last seven months to resolve the matter. UCLA might take legal action, citing losses of $500,000 in television revenue the games could generate.

Apparently, Missouri decided that the 2001 season - which includes games against Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado and Kansas State - was tough enough.

UCLA officials say they are concerned that any other schools that are available will not bring the television presence of a bigger school, like Missouri. They also said they expected Missouri to play the games if no acceptable substitute was found.

When the contract was made 13 years ago, Missouri was playing in the Big Eight Conference. It is now in the Big 12, with an added level of competition.

MAC gets new
Bowl agreement

Beginning in December 2001, the Mid-American Conference could possibly send two teams to the postseason. The newly formed Hoosier Bowl, to be located in Indianapolis, announced the agreement for sending the runner-up of the MAC Championship to its bowl. Despite the fact the Hoosier Bowl is not yet a certified bowl, the NCAA gave them the go-ahead to recruit conferences for the new bowl. It seems to be a good fit since the MAC has been looking to place a second team in a bowl for the past few seasons.

"We wanted the Mid-American Conference for many reasons," said Hoosier Bowl executive chairman J.R. Ryder. "The MAC geographically fits in the Indianapolis area. The MAC has a lot to bring to the table. We felt like there was a good mix between us." FSU announces Gladden as new Assistant Head Coach

Long-time staff stalwart, DE coach Jim Gladden was named assistant head coach at Florida State by coach Bobby Bowden.

Gladden came to Florida State in 1975 - a year before Bowden - and has helped develop some of the country's best defenders in Peter Boulware, Reinard Wilson, Andre Wadsworth, Derrick Alexander and Willie Jones.

Gladden, 60, will take over the administrative role that had been performed by Chuck Amato, who left in January to become head coach at North Carolina State.

"He will pick up right where Chuck left off," Bowden said about Gladden in a release. "His quality is proven and he has been an exceptional coach."

D-II All-star tilt, Snow Bowl, is moved and name to change

The NCAA Division II all-star football game is moving from Fargo, North Dakota to the warmer climate of Kingsville, Texas, where it will have to replace its "Snow Bowl" nickname. The format for the all-star event will not change.

The Snow Bowl originated in Fargo and has been held there for seven years. President Ross Fortier, former head football coach and athletic director at Moorhead State in Minnesota, said he is no longer able to devote enough time to organizing the event.

Ron Harms, former coach and athletics director at Texas A&M-Kingsville, will take over as director of the event.

About 600 players from colleges around the nation have participated in the Snow Bowl. About 100 players have been drafted by an NFL team or signed a free-agent contract, Fortier said. About half those players made NFL rosters.

McMahon diagnosed with lung cancer

Tom McMahon, the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Colorado, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

McMahon is undergoing chemotherapy sessions and plans to continue coaching while undergoing treatment. The 51-year-old is in his second season at Colorado and joined the staff when Gary Barnett was hired prior to the 1999 season.

He also has coached at Colorado State, Wyoming, New Mexico, South Carolina, East Carolina, Arizona State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

XFL coaching hires... Butkus, DiNardo, Hall and Criner

Although Dick Butkus has never been a coach one day in his life, he was named head coach of the yet to be named Chicago franchise of the fledgling XFL, which debuts in February.

In late July, league owner WWF Chairman Vince McMahon introduced Butkus as the head coach of Chicago's XFL team. "Dick Butkus is the personification of the XFL," said McMahon.

Butkus seemed unconcerned about the fact that he hasn't coached. "How difficult is it?" Butkus said. "You just get the guys there and demand (they) work hard and let the chips fall where they may."

Former LSU and Vanderbilt football coach Gerry DiNardo has been chosen as the first coach of the Birmingham franchise. DiNardo, a New York native, was one of the first coaches sought by the new league, and was given the choice of coaching a franchise in New York, Memphis or Birmingham.

DiNardo has a contract from the XFL with a base salary of between $150,000 and $200,000 a season.

Galen Hall, the football coach at the University of Florida for six years in the 1980s, will coach the league's Orlando franchise. Hall most recently coached the Rhein Fire to two NFL Europe titles in the past three years.

At Florida, he had a record of 41-18-1 from 1984-89. Hall also coached in the World League and Arena League.

The league also annonced the hiring of NFL Europe head coach Jim Criner of the Scottish Claymores as the new head man of the Las Vegas team. Criner was the HC of the Claymores for six years, with a record of 26 and 34, including the 1996 World Bowl championship. He joins former Dolphins' Director of Football Operations, Bob Ackles with the Vegas team.

Conference USA hooks up with Motor City Bowl

Conference USA and The Motor City Bowl have signed a contract, giving the league an automatic entry to compete against the Mid-American Conference champion in December.

For the past three years, the bowl has had an open selection to play against the MAC team.

"We are very pleased to partner with Conference USA," said George Perles, president and CEO of the bowl. "C-USA has made great strides in just four years of conference football. And it offers a strong regional proximity with several schools within driving distance of the Silverdome and metro Detroit. This is the next step in the overall development of the bowl."

The Dec. 27 game will be at 4 p.m. at the Pontiac Silverdome and will be broadcast on ESPN.

SMU and TCU to continue rivalry despite conference changes

Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian announced they will continue their annual football rivalry, known as the Iron Skillet game. The two schools have agreed to extend the game to 2004 with plans beyond that date.

TCU is leaving the Western Athletic Conference for Conference USA, and the series, which started in 1915 and spans 80 games, was not scheduled to continue beyond this season. To make room for TCU on its schedule, SMU reached an agreement with Houston to cancel games against the Cougars from 2001-2003.

SMU leads the series 38-35-7, including a 21-0 victory in Fort Worth last season.

SMU plays host to TCU on Nov. 25 this season, marking the first game at the Mustangs' campus since 1994.

Army changes image

The U.S. Military Academy announced that Black Knights are the preferred nickname for Army's athletic teams instead of Cadets. The return to the Black Knights moniker has its roots in both the academy's past and present. During the early 1900s, Army's football team was called the Black Knights of the Hudson, and Black Knights had slowly been replacing Cadets in practice over the past decade anyway. "With all the exciting changes taking place within the intercollegiate athletic program at West Point, we felt this was an appropriate time to develop a new family of dynamic marks to better represent our product,'' said director of athletics Rick Greenspan, who has initiated many athletic overhauls in his year on the job.

Brown hit with sanctions

In a first for the Ivy League, Brown's football team was ruled ineligible for this year's Ivy League championship because some coaches, alumni and staff violated financial-aid rules.

The Council of Ivy Group Presidents increased the penalties against the university for the recruiting violations. It is the first time the council ruled an Ivy League school ineligible for the championship.

Brown finished last season with the same record as Yale to become the Ivy League co-champion. It cannot appeal the decision, which was made July 27.

"The council is determined to make clear that the remedies for violations of this rule will be severe," said Columbia president George Rupp, chairman of the Council of Ivy Group Presidents.

The Ivy League and Brown announced in April that they found several coaches, alumni and staff violated rules on financial aid and recruiting athletes.

The NCAA in June accepted the school's recommendation for punishment, and reviewed and cleared the eligibility of the athletes and prospects.

Larry Smith expected to recover after surgery

Missouri football coach Larry Smith was treated in a Tucson hospital for a blood clot in his lung. Smith, 60, was hospitalized, while visiting Arizona, when he felt symptoms of the blood clot. He returned to Columbia, Mo., and resumed a modified schedule and is currently working to prepare for the 2000 season.

He has been treated for this condition before, at the end of the 1998 season and was kept off his feet before the Bowl last December in Tucson.

Smith coached at the University of Arizona from 1980-86, compiling a 48-28-3 record. He led the 1986 team to the school's first bowl victory, a 30-21 win over North Carolina in the Aloha Bowl. After leaving UA, Smith coached Southern Cal to three straight Rose Bowls. He went to Missouri in 1994.

SC State gives Jeffries an extension

South Carolina State has given a contract extension to football coach Willie Jeffries, who was to start his final season this fall. He was given a one-year extension that will close his career after the 2001 season.

He is starting his 18th season at South Carolina State and 27th overall. He is the school's winningest football coach with a 119-64-4 record, which includes six MEAC titles.

Jeffries will be paid $100,000 for the final year of current deal this season, and will make $104,000 next year under the new agreement.

Legendary Gillman has emergency surgery

Sid Gillman, one of the most innovative coaches in football history, underwent surgery for an aortic aneurysm.

"We were real fortunate that they discovered it immediately," said his wife Esther. "Everything is stable and looks very encouraging. They're going to keep him sedated for about two days. He's a fighter."

Gillman, who turns 89 in October, was working with a personal trainer doing weight training and stretching when he passed out. Gillman was taken to the hospital, where the aneurysm was discovered, and he underwent surgery shortly thereafter.

"The hospital is only 10 minutes from home (in Carlsbad). Aren't we lucky? I think we must be blessed," Mrs. Gillman said. "It's a miracle, almost, that he's going to be OK."

Gillman is the only coach to be inducted into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. He coached the Los Angeles Rams from 1955-59, and the Chargers in Los Angeles and San Diego from 1960-71, the teams first 12 years of existence.

In an interview last January, former San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh called Gillman "one of the great offensive minds in football history."

"He was so far ahead of his time, people couldn't totally understand what he was doing," said Walsh, whose West Coast offense of the 1980s remains a staple for many NFL teams. "He had a lot to do with any success I had. I'm sure there's a lineage between Sid Gillman and what you see on the field today."

Kush hired back at Arizona State

In Tempe, a bronze statue of Frank Kush is outside Sun Devil Stadium, where Arizona State's football team plays on a field that also bears the name of the Hall of Fame coach.

21 years after he was fired from the university, Kush is coming back.

Interim athletic director Christine Wilkinson announced that the 71-year-old Kush has been hired as a full-time special assistant to the athletic director.

Kush's main job will be as an ambassador toward rebuilding corporate, fan and alumni support of a football program struggling in the face of apathy and increased competition from pro teams in the Phoenix area.

"He will help the football program, and football is the engine that pulls the train," said Don Bocchi, president of the Sun Angel Foundation, the athletic department's primary fund-raising group. "But Frank will go across the board for all sports.

"Hopefully, we can bring the former players, the alums and people back to recognize how great an institution Arizona State is," Kush said. "I'll try to bring back that old spirit. I'm sure it's still there. I just want to rekindle it and create a bigger fire."

The fiery, tough-talking Kush was considered this state's version of Vince Lombardi and Woody Hayes combined when he coached Arizona State from 1958-79 - compiling a 176-54-1 record, undefeated seasons in 1970 and 1975, nine conference championships and six bowl victories in seven appearances.

He sent 129 players to the pros, including Hall of Famers Charley Taylor and Mike Haynes.


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