Lane Kiffin explains no appearance at USC Pro Day

There was no shortage of NFL scouts in Los Angeles yesterday for USC Pro Day, but head coach Lane Kiffin wasn’t on hand to watch.

In typical Kiffin form, Lane explained, "You've seen our roster. I don't really have 2 hours to stand on a field."

We’re pretty sure Zack Herberer’s 38 reps of 225 on the bench press was a big talk around the facility yesterday, but probably wasn’t the biggest talk around the Red Bull cooler.

Yesterday, Notre Dame announced their game next season against USC in South Bend will be moved to primetime.  It will be the first night game in South Bend since the 1990 Michigan game.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said, "While we will do this only on a selective basis, we think it is important to occasionally use the platform of a prime-time game. A number of those have been hallmark events in the history of our program. We are confident this year's USC game will continue that tradition."

Ed Orgeron is likely wondering if "a hallmark event in the history of our program” can end in an ass-whooping.  Don't forget, the Irish beat USC last season in Los Angeles.

By the way, here is Herberer absolutely yoking 225 lbs:


Neuheisel hits the practice field with 5 new coaches

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel is working with five new assistant coaches as the Bruins begin Spring practice.

The new coaches include Mike Johnson (offensive coordinator / wide receivers), Jim Mastro (tight ends / f-backs  / run game coordinator), Joe Tresey (defensive coordinator), Inoke Breckterfield (defensive line), and Angus McClure (special teams).  The boss man, himself, is coaching the quarterbacks.

Neuheisel is hoping the staff chemistry comes together quickly.

Following the Bruins first practice of the Spring, Neuheisel said, “I’m giving it three days.  I expect us to be well-oiled by next week.  I think after two practices and then a practice in pads and everybody getting to know each other and that kind of stuff, we should look like we’ve been together for a long time by next Monday.  That’s my hope.”

It’s been an unusual off-season for the staff.

Neuheisel explained, “Certainly the coaches have had to do a lot of work to put together books and come together with schemes and plans.  You forget all the time they need to find a places to live, get car insurance, and all the things that go with moving, drivers licenses and so forth.”

Gone is Norm Chow.  Former San Francisco 49ers assistant Mike Johnson is the new offensive coordinator, but Neuheisel isn’t overhauling the offensive scheme.

He said, “(It’s) not as challenging a change from last year’s offense from the year before.  When we when to 'The Pistol' exclusively, that was a bigger change than what we’re doing currently.”

Some total jackleg reporter (were trying to be nice) asked Neuheisel after the first practice of the Spring about whether he is concerned about his job status.

Neuheisel explained he wasn’t concerned and calmly responded, “I look at it as a great challenge.  I think we have the makings to take a big step, hopefully a real big step.  I want to be really efficient at the process of building a football team.  I don’t think there is a dominant team in this league.”

UCLA opens at Houston before hosting San Jose State and Texas.

We are hoping things come together for the Bruins this season.

Video: Behind-the-scenes with the Gophers' defensive staff

Courtesy of Gopher Athletics, we got another behind-the-scenes look at the start of Spring practice under new head coach Jerry Kill.

Kill reminded his team, “My job again is not to be your best friend.  It is to be your parent.  I am your Dad.  And my job as a parent is to get the best out of you that I can.  And we will.  Not only myself as a head coach, but the other coaches.”

He added, “Let me tell you, the coaching staff you got, they are the head coach of their position.  They are great coaches and great people. You need to listen to them.”

A number of coaches from Kill’s staff at Northern Illinois accepted offers to join his staff at Minnesota including Matt Limegrover (offensive coordinator / offensive line), Rob Reeves (tight ends / h-backs), Jim Zebrowski (quarterbacks), Brian Anderson (running backs), Pat Poore (wide receivers), Tracy Claeys (defensive coordinator), Jeff Phelps (defensive line), Jay Sawvel (defensive backs / special teams), and  Eric Klein (head strength coach).

Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys says, “There is not one of us on this staff that doesn’t think we’re going to get this done.”

Claeys explained, “It’s tough your first week on the job and all you hear is ‘They didn’t hire someone else.’  And so for all of us on this staff, this is our proving point that we can get this done and be successful at this level.  This is our one time to prove that we were the right choice and we will get it done here.”


Gene Chizik: It is pathetic and pure garbage

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble didn’t do Auburn any favors during last night’s episode on HBO.

The show interviewed a couple of players during the Tommy Tuberville era that claim they were paid by boosters during their time as players.

Gene Chizik’s response?

"I think it is pathetic and pure garbage.”

"It's sad to me, it's very sad to me, that HBO is going to go ahead and air something that, really admittedly, they've got no proof on anything. What's disturbing to me is that they interviewed other former Auburn football players who had exactly the opposite to say but somehow or another that failed to make the air.”

The show included much discussion among four guests including Billy Packer, Jason Whitlock, some guy with the last name of Orleans, and Rich Rod.  The group discussed at length the problems with money related to NCAA sports.

Outside of the first half of the 2006 Sugar Bowl against Georgia, Rich Rod has never looked so brilliant.  

At one point, Rodriguez criticized the NCAA by explaining, “I also think it may be a little misguided. I think sometimes, instead of going after the bank robbers, we’re going after the parking violators.”

His point was that the NCAA is spends too much time on checking to see if a program has practice 20 minutes too long instead of making sure players are accepting thousands during the recruiting process.

ESPN: please air a roundtable discussion with Saban, Urban, Rich Rod, Mack Brown, Schiano, Bob Stoops, and Mark Emmert.  Allow people close to the situation to talk about the issues with money, recruiting problems, student-athletes, and the NCAA.

If it's in our budget, FootballScoop will gladly sponsor the broadcast.

Locksley renegotiates contract with New Mexico, strange details

In an interesting move, Mike Locksley has renegotiated his contract with New Mexico.

Locksley originally signed a 6-year deal worth $4.5 million.  The deal included a buyout of $365,000 per year left remaining on his contract.

Under the new contract signed by Locksley, New Mexico would only have to pay Locksley $150,000 per year if he were dismissed.  Locksley, however, would not owe a dime to New Mexico at any time if he were to leave the university for another job.

Locksley told KOB television, “Put it this way, I wouldn’t have signed a new contract if I didn’t feel like it was in the best interest of my family.”

“To be honest with you, I just want to concentrate on the football side of things.”

The third-year head coach will head in to the season with two new coordinators.  In the off-season, David Reaves was promoted to offensive coordinator, while Reggie Barlow received a promotion to defensive coordinator.

New Mexico opens with Colorado State.  The following three games are at Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Sam Houston State.

New Mexico does have to travel to TCU, San Diego State, and Boise State.

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