Video: Pflugrad - "I'm stunned, I'm shocked"
This afternoon Robin Pflugrad sat down for one interview to discuss what transpired today.
Pflugrad says that neither he nor the AD had any idea this might be coming. Tough to watch; but he does a very good job explaining what transpired.
Pflugrad and AD released at Montana
As we told you on The Scoop, Montana has decided to part ways with athletic director Jim O'Day and head coach Robin Pflugrad. Associate athletic director Greg Sundberg sent an email out this morning notifying faculty and staff of the decision.
The University didn't state the exact reasons for the action; but according to reports, this morning the University also released the results of a months long investigation into sexual assault issues on campus (at least one of which reportedly involved a player on the football team).
The University has released a statement saying:
"The University of Montana has determined not to renew the contracts of Athletics Director Jim O'Day and head football coach Robin Pflugrad. The University will announce an interim athletics director and interim head coach by the end of the week. Further details about the search for permanent replacements will be released as the process develops. We thank Jim and Robin for their dedicated service to the University, and we wish them the best."
In a classy move, The Missoulian reported that O'Day sent an email out this morning to many supporters of Montana athletics stating:
"Thanks so much for all the hard work and support I've received from each of you the past 8 years as athletic director and 6 years prior to that with the GSA and UM Foundation. It has been quite a ride. While this comes as a shock to both Robin and myself, it is part of today's global picture of intercollegiate athletics across the country. I realized that when I took the job.’ Good bad or indifferent I will miss him. He is my friend and always will be.”
The football program has been dominant over the past decade, earning the title of winningest program in all of college football in the first decade of the 2000's (119 total wins), including back to back national champions national title game appearances under former head coach Bobby Hauck in '08 and '09.
In 2010, his first season as head coach, Pflugrad went 7-4 including a 71 point victory in his debut against Western State and a critical win over Northern Arizona. Each of his four losses that season were by single digits. Pflugrad went 9-2 this past regular season (11-3 including the playoffs), winning a share of the Big Sky conference title and rattling off 9 straight wins before losing in the national semi-finals to eventual runner-up Sam Houston State.
MAC schedule released
The Mid American Conference released their schedule today, and it includes nine games scheduled for ESPN prime time.
New Akron head coach Terry Bowden will get welcomed back the FBS when they take on Central Florida at home and will follow up with games with at FIU, at home against Morgan State and at Tennessee before starting the MAC schedule with Miami (OH).
Matt Campbell and Toledo will start out with road games at Arizona (that one could be a high scoring affair), and Wyoming before their first conference game with Bowling Green. Week 4 the Rockets will head to Conway, South Carolina to take on Joe Moglia in his first season at Coastal Carolina.
Conference newcomer UMass and Charley Molnar will kick off their new FBS membership with games against Big Ten schools in two of their first three games (Indiana in week 2 and at Michigan in week 3) after kicking things off at Connecticut in week 1.
If last season was any indication...expect there to be plenty of great weekday MACtion again this season.
Full schedules, split by divisions, can be found below
2012 MAC Football Schedule (composite by school)
All times listed ET
#ESPN Multiple-Game Selection Date (an ESPN weekday multiple-game selection date will be announced 12 days prior to the listed date. One (1) game will be selected by each ESPN service listed).
30 Central Florida
8 at Florida International
15 Morgan State
22 at Tennessee
6 *Bowling Green
13 *at Ohio
20 *Northern Illinois
27 *at Central Michigan
3 *at Kent State
20 *at Toledo, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
1 at Florida
15 *at Toledo
22 at Virginia Tech
29 Rhode Island
6 *at Akron
20 *at UMass
27 *Eastern Michigan
7 *at Ohio, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
17 *Kent State
23 #*Buffalo, at Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio (ESPNU/ESPN3)
1 at Georgia
8 Morgan State
19/20 *Kent State, TBD (ESPNU)
29 at Connecticut
6 *at Ohio
13 *at Northern Illinois
10 *Western Michigan
17 *at UMass
23 #*at Bowling Green, at Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio (ESPNU/ESPN3)
8 at Kentucky
19/20 *at Buffalo, TBD (ESPNU)
29 *Ball State
6 *at Eastern Michigan
13 at Army
20 *Western Michigan
27 at Rutgers
10 *at Miami
17 *at Bowling Green
23 #*Ohio, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
30 at Connecticut
15 at Michigan
22 *at Miami
6 *at Western Michigan
20 *Bowling Green
27 at Vanderbilt
3 *at Northern Illinois
10 *at Akron
23 #*Central Michigan, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
1 at Ohio State
8 Southern Illinois
15 at Boise State
29 *at Akron
6 at Cincinnati
13 *at Bowling Green
3 *at Buffalo
10 *Kent State
17 *at Central Michigan
23 #*Ball State, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
1 at Penn State
8 New Mexico State
15 at Marshall
22 Norfolk State
29 *at UMass
27 *at Miami
1 *Eastern Michigan, 6:00 pm ET (ESPNU)
7 *Bowling Green, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
14 #*at Ball State, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
23 #*at Kent State, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
30 *Eastern Michigan
8 at Clemson
15 at Indiana
22 South Florida
29 *at Kent State
6 *Northern Illinois
13 *Western Michigan
20 *at Central Michigan
27 at Army
6 *at Toledo, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
14 #*Ohio, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
23 #*at Miami, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
30 Southeast Missouri
8 Michigan State
22 at Iowa
29 *at Northern Illinois
6 *at Toledo
20 *Ball State
3 *Western Michigan
10 *at Eastern Michigan
23 #*at UMass, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
30 *at Ball State
8 Illinois State
15 at Purdue
22 at Michigan State
6 *Kent State
27 *at Bowling Green
1 *at Ohio, 6:00 pm ET (ESPNU)
10 *Central Michigan
17 *at Western Michigan
23 #*Northern Illinois, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
1 Iowa (at Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.)
15 at Army
29 *Central Michigan
6 *at Ball State
20 *at Akron
27 *at Western Michigan
14 #*Toledo, 9:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
23 #*at Eastern Michigan, (ESPNU/ESPN3)
1 at Arizona
8 at Wyoming
15 *Bowling Green
22 Coastal Carolina
29 *at Western Michigan
6 *Central Michigan
13 *at Eastern Michigan
27 *at Buffalo
6 *Ball State, 8:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
14 #*at Northern Illinois, 9:00 pm ET (ESPN2/ESPNU)
20 *Akron, 7:00 pm ET (ESPN2)
1 at Illinois
8 Eastern Illinois
15 at Minnesota
13 *at Ball State
20 *at Kent State
27 *Northern Illinois
3 *at Central Michigan
10 *at Buffalo
17 *Eastern Michigan
Saban and Belichick grab take out
Alabama had their second pro day today (yes, they held a second one), and among the coaches in attendance was Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
After Saban gave some insight on how him and his staff prepare players for the next level, one reporter asked if him and Belichick have had the opportunity to go out to catch up and grab a bite to eat together while he was in town.
Saban's responded in a classic Nick Saban manner explaining to the reporter, "You don't know Belichick very well. What you do when he comes to town, you go in the meeting room and you order the stuff in and you eat while the film's going...that's what we did."
Gary Andersen ready to play with 6 linebackers
Utah State's Gary Andersen's coaching background is deep in defensive line experience, and the head coach has always been a firm believer that the key to a strong defense is being stout up front.
So far this spring, Andersen has not been impressed with the effort of the Aggies defensive front.
Andersen told reporters yesterday, "We already play an odd front. If these guys can't play, we'll just go with six linebackers". A 1-6 defense does have a unique ring to it, but it's not quite the same as a 4-3 or 3-4.
"If the line continues to play like this, we're going to have to score 60 points every week if we want to win games." he added.
Spoiler alert: Since his first fall in 2009, the Aggies have put up 49 points or more five times (twice in '09 and, and impressive three times last season), but have yet to hit the 60 point mark......translation> those defensive linemen are in for a long spring.
Urban's impression after first spring practice
Urban Meyer hit the field for the first time yesterday, and said that it felt good to be out there again blowing the whistle and seeing guys running around.
The tempo was one thing that really stood out to Meyer. "The amount of plays was incredible, Coach Herman brought that with him. We weren't that way at Florida. We weren't rapid fire. We're rapid fire now."
However, he was not impressed with the production at receiver for day one, saying that at Ohio State, you should have a few guys that make you say "Wow" when you walk off the field.
"At Ohio State, you should walk off the field and go, 'Wow, who are those three guys?' I haven't done that yet. You've got to have one. Here you should probably have more than two. There was a time when they had two first-rounders, Gonzalez and Ginn. This is the highest level of football. Maybe we do. Maybe we've just got to keep pushing them and developing and we've certainly got to keep recruiting."
The nice part about having 29 seniors
Bronco Mendenhall and BYU have shifted their immediate focus away from spring ball and aimed it towards preparing the team for the player run practices over the summer.
Bronco says that shifting their focus on the next four months will prove to be more beneficial than risking injury in the few practices that they have remaining.
A big reason that Mendenhall feels that confidence is having 29 seniors along with the great leadership structure that they already have in place.
Last season, the players and staff voted on captains after spring ball. Mendenhall explains that looking back, he wishes that they would have voted in the fall like they had in previous years because injuries force a lot of contributors out of spring practices and he overestimated how that would effect the voting. This season, with 29 seniors, he doesn't feel the need to appoint captains until after fall camp.
Minnesota closing in on beer sales during games
Minnesota is the latest school to propose beer sales at college football games, and if passed would make them the first school in the Big Ten to offer beer to fans in general admission seating.
A few years ago, the University proposed selling alcohol at games in the suites. State lawmakers weren't crazy about the idea so they passed legislation that tied liquor sales in the premier seating to a requirement that one third of the general seating population of age also has alcohol available to them.
The two sides recently reached a compromise that would restrict beer sales within a designated beer garden inside the stadium to fans in general seating, and the suites would also sell alcohol.
The compromise passed the in Senate by an impressive 58-4 vote and will now make it's way to the House and then Governor Mark Dayton's desk, and finally the Board of Regents for approval.
Regents chairwoman Linda Cohen is excited about the new compromise and thinks it will bring some much needed revenue to the football program. "Having the availability of liquor sold in those suites makes them more attractive to corporations and allows us to sell more of the suites at a higher rate, and [that] helps the athletic budget. It came down to that this would help the athletic program a great deal, and it seemed to be a reasonable solution."