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Everett Withers calm, sincere, and impressive during first presser

Everett Withers held his first press conference as the interim head coach at North Carolina on Friday afternoon.

From the sound of his opening speech, you would have thought he landed the job in the traditional way.  Withers, who was honored as the 2009 FootballScoop Defensive Backs Coach of the Year, was relaxed, confident, spoke with humility, and did an outstanding overall job with his speech.

He spoke with a high level of sincerity and his impressive calmness to the situation will certainly benefit the UNC players and even the fans. (You can watch a replay of the presser, right here.)

Here are some of the interesting quotes from Withers:

“I just want to reach of to the alum, letterman, and our fans to say that this is just the beginning and we hope to take this thing a long way.”

“Once we get started, I think the process will be smooth.”

“I know there is no finer assistant coaching staff in the country.  I’m going to need those guys and I know they have my back.”

“I do have a sense of sadness because when I walked in this building this morning, I looked down the hall and didn’t see Butch Davis.  And you can ask anyone that works in this building…a much better person and a great football coach, so I am sad for that.  But I am excited to be the head football coach at North Carolina.”

“We’re going to be a good football team because we’ve got great football coaches on our staff, we’ve got kids committed to playing hard and being an exciting football team on the field. We won’t flinch as a football staff or a football team.  We’ve been through an awful lot already.  Nothing can come at us now that will bother us.  We will play hard.  We will play with class.  We will make the letterman proud.  We will make Carolina family proud.”

“We are committed as a staff to doing things right, here at Carolina.  We are committed to doing it right.”

“We just got to keep plugging as a staff and a football family.”

“I don’t think there needs to be a style change (to this team).”

“I don’t know if it’s gotten away.  We have to hope and pray that they take our leadership.”

“I know Coach Davis is going to be fine, which helps me move forward with this job.”

“One of my priorities will be helping these kids be total student-athletes, not just football players.”

(on shuffling the staff and promoting Art Kaufman to defensive coordinator) “I’m not going to get in the way.  I think Art (Kaufman) is a great football coach.  I’m going to stick my head in occasionally.  I’m going to try to stay out of the way.  I’m going to try to motivate.”

“I think it’s time.  I think I’m ready for this.  I don’t necessary like it on these terms, but it's like that quote said, ‘making the best out of these terms.’”

“Every player I have talked to has been excited.  No negative at all.  I bet I’ve talked to 35 or 40.”

“Our kids deserve an experience that is fun for them.”

Players report on August 4th.  Practice begins on August 5th at UNC.

 




Steve Sarkisian asked if the PAC-12 has "arrived"

It’s quite evident that PAC-12 commissioner Larry Scott is doing one heck of a job.  Virtually every PAC-12 coach mentions how pleased they are with Scott during any national interview.

Not only did Scott secure a $3 billion deal with ESPN and Fox, but the new PAC-12 Networks will be available in 45 million homes nationally.  The four cable partners for the PAC-12 Networks will be Time Warner, Cox, Comcast, and Bright House.

Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian was asked during PAC-12 media day if the conference had, “arrived.”

Sark told Petros Papadakis (great name / great voice), “We were there.  I think now though that the exposure is there. People are hearing about the PAC-12 more, understanding who the coaches are in the PAC-12.”

“I don’t know if people knew if I was the coach at Washington for a while, they just thought it was the Huskies.”

“Now that the exposure is there, the talents can be shown.  Whether it’s LaMichael James or Andrew Luck or Chris Polk or Matt Barkley, they can now get the notoriety that they truly deserve.”

The PAC-12 Networks will launch in the summer of 2012 and will carry 850 games a year including 350 nationally broadcasted games.




Joe Paterno: I think I can go another 4 or 5 years

Joe Paterno (84) is heading into his 62nd year of coaching. 

As typical, during the Big Ten media day, Joe Pa was asked how much longer he’ll continue on. 

Paterno took it from there: 

“I feel good. I had a couple tough years there, physically...” 

“I didn't think I did a very good job coaching last year. I didn't have a lot of enthusiasm. We had a young team and I didn't take into consideration some things and maybe didn't try to get them to do some things. But I feel good.” 

“I don't know how long. The good Lord's been good to me. I have good health now, back to where I was. I enjoyed this spring. … I got around a little bit more, trying to get to know the kids a little bit better. I've kind of gotten away from them the last couple of years.” 

“So, I don't know. I'd like to go four or five more years but you know, I think somebody else is gonna have to make that decision. I might think I'm doing a pretty good job three years from now and somebody might say, 'Hey, Joe, it's time.' But right now, I think I can go another four or five more years.” 

Since 2005, under Paterno, Penn State has finished 11-1, 9-4, 9-4, 11-2, 11-2, and 7-6.

 




Bret Bielema, so you're telling me there's a chance?

So you're telling me there's a chance.  Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said it today.  Russell Wilson may not end up as the Badgers starting quarterback when the season starts.

During his Big Ten media day press conference, Bielema was asked, “You called Russell a potential starting quarterback. Is there seriously a chance he wouldn't be your starting quarterback?”

Bielema responded, “Yeah, absolutely. I was very open with Russell during the recruiting process, You will have an opportunity to come in and show us what you can do.”

“I think that's one of the things that attracted him to our program. We were honest, truthful. My parents said if you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said. That's what we said, come in, have this opportunity, take full advantage of it, you'll be the guy that reaps the rewards.”

“I haven't seen Russell Wilson compete one snap competitively in practice. I think I might know what will happen, but until it happens, that's where we're at.” 




Brady Hoke: This might sound arrogant...

Brady Hoke just wrapped up his first ever media session at Big 10 media day.

Most interestingly, Hoke made the statement that, “I don’t think we are rebuilding, period.  We are Michigan.” (Cutcliffe says, "We are Duke.")

Hoke also stated, “Denard ran the same offense in high school.” (Apparently, Hoke felt a little just more comfortable hiring Al Borges than the OC at Deerfield Beach HS.)

Asked why recruiting is going so well, Hoke said, “This might sound arrogant.  If it is, it is.  But we are Michigan.  We are the winningest program in the history of college football.”

Hoke explained that the change in offensive style will have an overall benefit to the Michigan program.

“When you’re defense plays against a pro-style offense all spring and all fall, you build a toughness and an edge. We think we can play better defense by how we operate on the offensive side of the ball because how they feed off each other.”

Michigan opens with five consecutive home games against Western Michigan, Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State, and Minnesota.

In other words, a lot of Beth Mowins and Mike Bellotti.




Photos of Oklahoma State's new uniforms have leaked

The photos of the Oklahoma State’s new uniforms have leaked.

It’s been speculated for months that Gottlieb’s alma mater could be going “Oregon style” on us.

It’s true. To say the least, Gundy wont' be short on possible uniform combinations.  It appears that gray has joined the traditional colors of orange and black for Oklahoma State.

The Cowboys will have an “all black” look including black helmets.  They could opt for a number of combinations featuring gray, white, orange, and black.  A new gray helmet looks legit, but we’re not sure about that mean looking cartoon cowboy on the hip of the pants.

Here’s a look at the new threads.

But don’t get confused, running backs coach Jemal Singleton still wants a sea of orange inside Boone Pickens Stadium.

 

 




Erin Andrews fires back at TV show host for questioning Nick Saban

On Thursday morning, Erin Andrews and Kirk Herbstreit appeared in studio on The Morning Joe with host Joe Scarborough.

There was an awkward moment during the segment.  It's must see TV.

Scarborough, at one point, says “Can you believe how good this team (Alabama) was last year and how many loses they had? To be blunt, I think there’s some really bad coaching.  They had one of the best squads top to bottom.”

That’s when Eric Andrews lost it and Herb Herbstreit undoubtedly wondered in his mind, “Did I really just come on this show?” (Watch his facial expression.)

Erin Andrews responded in disgust, “Are you kidding?  You have one of the best coaches in America.”

Awkward.  Andrews wasn't joking.

Scarborough went on to ask Eric Andrews, “So how do our Florida Gators do this year?”

Andrews, still hot (about Scarborough’s statement regarding Saban), shot back, “You went to law school at UF, but you cheer for the Houndstooth, so don’t claim them right now.  And then you’re on national TV and you just said the horrible coaching of Nick Saban so…”

Just watch.  It was awkward.

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UNC chancellor explains why

During a Thursday morning press conference, UNC chancellor Holden Thorpe said, “We anticipate we won’t be dismissing Coach Davis for cause.  We will not.”

“I don’t believe he knew about the things that went on.”

Those were just two of the interesting things that were stated during the presser.

Athletic director Dick Babbour, who is under contract through next summer, acknowledged that he has offered to step down.  The chancellor will immediately begin a search for a new athletic director.  Baddour will stay on until the new AD has been named.

Baddour will not be involved in the selection of the new head coach.

Baddour explained, “As someone who has hired coaches for the past 14 years, I know it is even more imperative for my successor be able to name the next permanent head coach.  Therefore, I have asked Chancellor Thorpe to begin the search for an athletic director as soon as possible, so that that person may be available to hire the permanent head coach in time to recruit next season’s freshman class. Your head coach needs to know who your athletic director is going to be.”

Asked if dismissing Butch Davis was a reaction to potentially lightening the severity of the forthcoming NCAA penalties, Thorpe responded, “Absolutely, not.  We reached the point where that’s not the primary concern anymore.”

Thorpe said, “We can’t get better without making a change.”

“I considered making changes in the fall and throughout this whole process.”

“I know that the timing is terrible.”

UNC is on the hook for a maximum of $2.75 million to Butch Jones.  The chancellor will be meeting with the staff later today to determine who will serve as the interim head coach.