Ed Orgeron will serve as interim head coach for USC after Lane Kiffin was fired Sunday following the Trojans' 62-41 loss to Arizona State Saturday night.
Orgeron, the former Ole Miss head coach, was serving as the recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach for USC. In three years at Ole Miss, Orgeron was 10-25.
After being fired from Ole Miss, Orgeron joined Kiffin's staff at Tennessee and went with him to USC.
Athletic director Pat Haden talked about the decision to remove Kiffin from his duties and said that he hadn't gotten any complaints from players or coaches about the fourth-year head coach at USC. He wouldn't talk about possible candidates for the position, except to say that everyone in the room was a candidate. Presumably, everyone in the world is also a candidate. We have a chance, you guys.
Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon issued an apology for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he received during the Tide’s 49-42 win against Texas A&M.
After scoring a touchdown, Yeldon got up and mocked A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel by doing a “show me the money” finger rub and then a double throat slash.
“I want to apologize to everyone for my selfish actions on Saturday. That is not the way I want to represent myself, my family and our team. That is not the way we do things at Alabama. This is something that I will learn from, and I will use better judgment in the future.”
Manziel made a similar "show me the money" gesture during the Aggies season-opening win against Rice a couple weeks ago.
Coach Nick Saban was not amused after officials threw the flag and let Yeldon know it on the sidelines and told the media as much after the game.
"That's not us," Saban said Saturday. "That's not our program. That's not what we do."
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FOX Sports: Petros Papadakis weighs in on Lane Kiffin's decision to play two quarterbacks, Bo Pelini's prank at Nebraska, and a new look at Notre Dame.
Several teams wrapped up their training camps on Thursday, which also happens to be the first of five straight nights of preseason football. Four games are on the docket tonight, including the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers, where Chip Kelly will get an up-close look at Cam Newton for the first time since the 2010 national championship game.
• One day after writhing on the ground and grabbing at his left knee, a scene that caused widespread panic in the Boston area, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was back at practice on Thursday. As noted by ESPN Boston, Brady wore a brace on his left knee during the workout, which was a half-speed practice in advance of Friday night's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I certainly understand that line of questioning, but you have to also realize that we’re installing," Ryan said. "We’re still in the install phase and putting in a brand new offensive system. So we’re still in that install phase right now and obviously with any quarterback, especially a young quarterback, we thought that he would definitely benefit from getting those reps and obviously the trainers were comfortable with him being out there and so that’s why we did it. But I think those reps are valuable, especially when you’re in the install phase."
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PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — Oak Hill was there for the taking. Tiger Woods gave away too many chances.
Woods had everything he needed to start the final major championship of the year on a good note. The conditions were soft, still and ideal for scoring. He was one shot out of the lead Thursday morning in the PGA Championship when he made the turn, and there was nothing to suggest he would stray too far away.
Instead, he staggered off the course with double bogey on his last hole for a 1-over 71. That’s not bad on a course where there typically is a premium on par. It just looked ordinary compared with the 28 rounds at par or better from other early starters in the opening round.
A wasted opportunity?
“A little bit,” Woods said.
That was a phrase he mentioned three times when going over a round that featured four tough putts for par, but a round that should have been in red numbers.
Oddly enough, it was his best stretch of golf that stalled his round.
After making the turn at 2 under with a simple bunker save on the 18th hole — Woods had 11 putts on the back nine — he hit his approach 12 feet below the cup on No. 1. His shot into the par-4 second hole caught the side of a hill and settled 4 feet away as the largest crowd at Oak Hill roared. Woods drilled his tee shot on the 214-yard third hole to 10 feet left of the hole.
He missed every putt, and he missed them badly. The worst of them was at No. 2, when Woods said he should have taken more time except that his group was on the clock. It was a side hill putt, difficult even from 4 feet on the greens at Oak Hill. Woods was so tentative that the ball fell sharply to the right and never even touched the cup.
A momentum killer?
“A little bit,” Woods said.
The real killer was the par-5 fourth hole, the only time Woods removed that Tiger head cover off his driver. After several rehearsals with his swing, the ball sailed well to the right, Woods simply picked up his tee. There was no emotion. It was almost as if he expected to miss the fairway. What he didn’t count on was his next shot out of deep rough clipping a tree and spitting sideways into the fairway, costing him some 30 yards of roll.
From there, a poor 9-iron came up short and into the bunker, and he finally missed a par putt from 5 feet.
“Just one of those holes where I laid up and caught the tree,” Woods said. “It was supposed to be way down there if it just happened to get through there, but it didn’t. And I stuck a 9-iron into the ground.”
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Cam Newton can relate to what Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel is going through.
And the Panthers quarterback said Tuesday he's spoken to Manziel a few times this offseason about coping with the pressures of being a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback living college life in the limelight.
Newton wouldn't discuss the specifics of the conversations, saying they are personal, just between him and Manziel.
But he said Manziel "has to go through these types of situations to know how to handle them in the future. When somebody comes up to you and asks for your autograph, you don't know if they're going to do it for good or bad" purposes.
Like Manziel, Newton was under media scrutiny at Auburn during an NCAA investigation into pay-for-play allegations. Newton was not found to have committed any wrongdoing and wasn't suspended from any games.
"For any college athlete you are vulnerable to so many things," Newton said. "You think everybody loves you for who you are."
Newton said that was a tough lesson to learn while he was at Auburn.
"When I was there at college so many people wanted from me and I wanted to give so much," Newton said. "Like I would sign this and give my time and this, this and that. And nobody was looking at it through my (eyes). If you say no to this particular person you are going to be a (jerk). You are going to be the person that people look at as, 'What's up? We came out here and supported you and cheered for you and you can't sign an autograph?' Never mind that you signed 300 other autographs
before. But that's the nature of the beast."
Manziel has struggled to stay out of the news since leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 record and an upset win over No. 1 Alabama en route to becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman. The latest potential problem involves an ESPN report that the NCAA is investigating whether he was paid for signing hundreds of autographs last January.
If it is found that Manziel was paid for his autograph on memorabilia it could potentially violate NCAA amateurism rules and put his eligibility in risk.
Newton said he hopes "that everything works out in the best for him so he can get back to what he likes to do and that's playing football."
Tim Cates goes 3 for 4 as his team won 18-8 in Dodgers Media Game on July 28th, 2013 at Dodger Stadium.
Rooting for Tiger Woods in majors these days is like rooting against the sunset. You can hope and wish all you like that the sun will stay up for an extra hour or two, but every time — every single freaking time — it goes down exactly as it always has.
Tiger Woods is no longer a force in majors, and only those blinded by Nike's Sunday red possibly think differently. Yes, he plays well enough to post multiple top-10 finishes. But he's beyond "good job, good effort" accolades. When you're chasing history, it's win or nothing.
Woods remains, deservedly, the best player in the world. He's won four times on Tour this year, effectively and decisively. But in majors? He's a puppy, relatively speaking. You know the drill: he hasn't won since the U.S. Open in 2008. He's got injuries to his knee and leg and elbow and heart and soul and who knows what else and after awhile, it's all just excuses. The guy's good enough to win tournaments on Tour. The guy's good enough to put himself within strokes of the lead at majors. But closing the deal? That, apparently, is beyond him now.
Here's the really bad news: Woods' propensity for spiraling in the weekend is getting worse. ESPN's stats report that from 2005 to 2011, Woods was a combined 60 under in rounds three and four of majors. In the seven majors of 2012 and 2013, he's +23. That's an 83-shot swing. Consider, also, his last seven closing rounds in majors: 74, 73, 73, 72, 70, 74, 74. There's absolutely no way to defend that, especially in light of the fact that Woods was, for a time, the greatest closer in golf history.
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Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and the amount of smoke emanating from the rumors of Dwight Howard’s displeasure with Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni would leave Smokey the Bear with a furrowed brow and crossed arms. Howard joined many in observance of the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers in not liking D’Antoni’s offensive schemes, and though the Lakers coach has his caveats in hand (injuries, no training camp, the 28-12 run to end the season), it’s fair to say that the Lakers’ 2012-13 turn was about as disappointing as NBA seasons come.
This, and the team’s uncertain future, are the biggest reasons why Howard bolted to Houston earlier in July. The Rockets introduced Howard this week alongside the team’s lineage of great big men – featuring Elvin Hayes, Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming amongst the lot – while talking up the All-Star center’s ability to groove under coach Kevin McHale’s supposedly pivot-centric plan.
There’s one problem. McHale was known for his brilliance in the low post as a player, but in Houston last season he let the guards run the show, and the Rox finished with the highest Pace Factor in the NBA last year. No team ran more than Houston, which kind of flies in the face of Howard’s hope for a slow and low game plan for 2013-14.
Don’t think D’Antoni hasn’t noticed. From the Los Angeles Daily News:
In fact, D'Antoni noticed a bit of irony in Howard choosing Houston, considering the Rockets run an offense every bit as wide open as the one D'Antoni prefers and the one Howard resisted conforming to last year.
"The thing that cracks me up is Houston, they do the exact same thing," D'Antoni said, laughing. "And so (Howard) is gonna go to Houston? OK, so did they talk about change there? Don't tell me that it's that different."
D'Antoni wishes Howard well, but does think he needs to accept what makes him a special player rather than envision himself as something he isn't yet and may never be.
"He's a force and he can be really, really good and dominate the league," D'Antoni said. "But it's in an area that he's not loving right now. He wants to dominate a different way, in the low post and all that. But he needs to get better there, and he will. But his greatness is in defense and being a physical force. I think he'd be better served if he embraces that.
"But he's good."
He is good. And he was darn good last year, despite playing through back and shoulder injuries. And working without Steve Nash for most of the year. And watching Kobe Bryant – even in the midst of a career resurgence – lead the league in shot attempts for the third straight season, despite coming in third in the NBA in points per game. Dwight Howard completely mishandled his entire 2011 to April of 2013 run, but the least we can do is acknowledge these other factors.
Howard is still being judged by what he can’t do. He can’t make his low post work look effortless like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or dominant like Shaquille O’Neal. The dude still can’t hit a free throw, and his turn in Los Angeles (right down to his final game) was embarrassing to say the least. The guy also ranks amongst the most effective post scorers in the league, though, and he remains one of the more efficient pick and roll players in the NBA. It may not look all that great, and he’s still short of a signature move, but Howard still got and gets the job done.
D’Antoni, a fine coach, never did much with that. He also wasted Pau Gasol’s potential as a possible offensive pivotman (feeding a cutting Howard) last year. Not every offensive lineup, even in the perimeter-happy modern era, has to feature a low post stud and stretch shooter. There can be movement, and cutting, and improvisation. Say, perhaps, in the same way Phil Jackson’s triangle offense worked with low post guys like Gasol and Andrew Bynum feeding off of each other.
Just tossing that out there.
The Los Angeles Lakers coach is correct. Kevin McHale has quite a bit of work to do in order to turn his possession-heavy fast break offense into an amalgam that recognizes both Howard’s gifts and the growing potential that his perimeter players boast. There has to be a happy marriage, and it won’t be easy to put the two types together.
D’Antoni, for all his snark, wasn’t able to do that in 2012-13. He had his reasons – the whole Lakersteam had its reasons – but it’s still a curious thing to bring up, after a whopper of a disappointment of a season.