University of North Florida looking to add football

The University of North Florida is starting to gather information, and reach out to students and faculty, on the possibility of bringing football to campus.

However, the ball's just started rolling, as president John Delaney explained in an article on Jacksonville.com.

“I do want to stress that we’re thinking about thinking about it. We’ve made no commitment. We haven’t begun discussions with the faculty or looking at the budgets.” 

Back in 2004, Delaney made a recommendation to make the move to Division I with "three no's" in mind - no change in admission standards, no academic funds to be used on athletics and last but not least, no football. All other sports now compete in Division I.

But with the college football landscape changing constantly the past few years, along with the fact that enrollment has risen despite dip in the economy, Delaney's mind has opened up a bit.

“I’ve long said 25,000 students ... to be able to make it work, and so I thought it was many, many years away, especially with this recession. Then the major shakeup in the conferences, where the big boys raided the little boys and the little boys raiding the mid-majors, and the mid-majors raiding the entry-level conferences.”

Delaney added that many other schools in their conference (Atlantic Sun) are also in the beginning stages of exploring the possibility of bringing football to campus.

The results on enrollment and bringing a sense of school pride are raved about by programs who have added football recently, and if North Florida does add football, they'll be able to walk right out their front door and have one of the richest recruiting bases at their fingertips.

We'll keep you updated as to how this one plays out.


The Scoop on Jamey Chadwell to Charleston Southern

We have learned that Delta State (D-II - MS) head coach Jamey Chadwell has been hired to the same position at Charleston Southern, a South Carolina-based FCS school that competes in the Big South Conference.

Chadwell, 35, spent one season at Delta State and before that spent three seasons as the head coach at North Greenville (D-II) in Tigerville, S.C. At North Greenville, Chadwell inherited a program that had beaten just five Division II opponents in school history and went 22-14 in his three seasons, including a 20-6 mark over his final two campaigns and an appearance in the Division II Quarterfinals. 

Chadwell, who played at East Tennessee State and coached there from 2000-03, returns to Charleston Southern, where he was an offensive assistant and recruiting coordinator from 2004-08, helping the Bucs win the 2005 Big South title. 

In our opinion, this is a great move for both parties. Chadwell moves back to a place he experienced great success previously, and Charleston Southern gets a head coach that is a proven winner and is well-liked throughout the coaching community. 

Oregon AD Rob Mullens explains the situation in Eugene

Shortly after interviewing with NFL teams after their Fiesta Bowl win, Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens was sure that Chip Kelly was in Oregon to stay...at least for another season.

But during his presser moments ago, Mullens explained that he got a phone call at 7am PST this morning from Kelly notifying him that he was taking Eagles head coaching job.

Kelly had his mind made up, Mullens said, and was sure that it was the best decision for him moving forward, and added that it was the "right opportunity at the right time".

At 8am PST Kelly met with players during a workout to personally deliver the news.

Moving forward, Mullens said that he understands the importance of naming a new head coach with signing day only  three weeks away, but also noted that he has no specific timeline for the process and that he will be in no particular rush because of the many "twists and turns" that often come up during the process.

The Oregon AD also noted that a handful of current assistants expressed their interest in the position, and that they would be considered along with a few outside candidates that he has already begun to reach out to. He also noted that because of the structure and continuity already in place within the program among the assistants, that he does not plan to name an interim head coach at this point.

When talking about what he was looking for their next head coach, Mullens explained that they'll be looking for someone who understands the culture, and has a proven track record of excellence in running a program from A to Z. 

Towards the end of the presser, Mullens reminded reporters that "everyone focuses on one person, but this is about so much more". 

Stay tuned to The Scoop for up to date information as this one plays out.

Inside the NCAA Convention with Mark Emmert....and Shaq

What does Shaq have to do with football? Other than the fact that attending a game at Death Valley led him to commit to LSU, nothing. 

But that doesn't mean the Big Aristotle didn't drop some seven-foot sized pearls of wisdom for coaches and players alike to learn from during his fireside chat (the NCAA's words, not mine) with NCAA president Mark Emmert at the organization's annual convention on Wednesday. 

Shaq was introduced as the holder of a bacehlor's degree from LSU, a master's degree from the University of Phoenix and a PhD from Barry University. He briefly considered buying a law firm, but wanted to go to law school first because, "As a leader, you get the most respect from your employees if you've been through what they've been through."

Before managing a law firm was even the faintest possibility, O'Neal first had to be a student. "My three years at LSU were the best years ever," he said. "After I left LSU, that's when it became work. I always tell kids, 'Don't go after money.' If you didn't have much from 0-to-18 and you're 20, wait a year. You'll be surprised how much you can learn in a year."

What exactly is so advantageous about staying for that extra year, he says? "It's not about how much money you can make, it's the education you get that will help you keep it."

Two decades and four championships later, he is now the owner of 40 24 Hour Fitness operations and 155 Five Guys franchises. "General Eisenhower said the smartest people hire people smarter than them. That's what I've tried to do," O'Neal said. "You can't be a leader unless you're a great listener."

As a public figure for more than a quarter-century, O'Neal has successfully managed the tightrope walk of fame that so many others have failed to do. "I think we have a social responsibility to behave correctly and do the right thing," he explained. "My role model has always been my mother and father. I always wanted to be like Dr. J and Magic, but as a kid when I'd see a commercial saying not to do drugs, I couldn't call Dr. J and Magic and ask why. I'd call my father and asked why and he said 'Because I'll whoop your ass if you do.' That was a good answer."

To this day, O'Neal employs what he calls a "five-person panel", including his parents and former LSU coach Dale Brown. "I was a guy that, at 6'9" couldn't dunk a basketball. Coach Brown was the one guy that believed in me. Whenever I make a mistake, I'll get a call from someone on the panel."

The session closed with Shaq speaking about how he maintains a 'what you see is what you get' image, but, if you listen close enough, almost sounds like advice on how coaches should present themselves on the recruiting trail and in the locker room. 

"I like to use the word 'real model'. There are certain types of people that play roles, and we figure out they're not who we thought they were. With me, what you see is what you get. There's a lot of guys selling fake products, and it will catch up with them. If you do create an image, you can't live up to it." 

Virtual video tour of Wisconsin's new facilities

Gary Andersen and his staff got on campus at just the right time, as construction on an impresssive new $86 million student athlete performance center is in the beginning stages.

Along with everything outlined in the virtual tour, the new state of the art center, which will be located on the north end of Camp Randall Stadium, will include an expanded suite for both coaches and players, an updated team lounge and equipment room, as well as new therapy pools and treatment areas. A 17,000 square foot weight room and nutrition bar and 30,000 square feet for an academic center will also be added.

Take a look at the virtual tour below. This facility is going to be top of the line, and is scheduled to open just before the 2014 season.


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