News Nuggets, 01.23.04
NOTES FROM ECU AND BEYOND...
Previous Day Nuggets...
Next Day Nuggets...
Compiled from staff reports
and electronic dispatches
Rimpf, C-USA Senior Bowl mates on
display for NFL scouts
was good year at ticket office for C-USA football... .. UNC-CH
brings in former Nebraska assistant... .. Diener on rebound
after neck injury... .. Cards make Cincy's first loss a
named league's best, ECU picked for upper division... ..
Diener goes down in Marquette loss to 49ers... .. Pitino
assistant pleads guilty to DUI... .. Foes feasting on
depleted South Florida... ..
2004 football slate includes journey to Greenville... ..
Even Hawaii's mascot draws fire for loutish antics... ..
Five C-USA, Carolinas juggernauts gang up in AP Top 10... ..
dies during Wesleyan-Shenandoah game... .. Louisville
assistant nabbed for DUI... .. Memphis adds three years to
Calipari pact... .. C-USA basketball standings & scoreboard... ..
CEO resigns over secretive plot to change coaches... .. Nutt
demands on-air apology from 'goofball' Alberts... .. Drunken
fan cuffed after beheading mascot... ..
absent as Louisville makes quick turnaround... .. Southern
Miss staggers No. 21 Marquette in Green Bay... .. Kentucky
fan gets 27-year exile for web recruiting operation... ..
Hawaii kiss and make up... .. Southern Miss in danger at
'home' in Green Bay... .. Basketball rules changes delayed... ..
in the works for Hawaii Bowl brawlers... .. ECU-U of L
tickets: Get 'em while you can... .. Bearcats dispel doubts,
rip non-cream puff... ..
the Baseball Pirates' feast on deck... .. Coach with ECU
ties takes over at Citadel... .. USF AD Selmon sidelined by
health issue... .. NCAA reverses field on Argentine transfer... ..
guard honored for 'Demonizing' ECU, DePaul... .. Brindise,
McFarland hirings become official... .. Minter hooks up with
old boss Holtz... .. AP basketball poll... ..
One of the most outstanding
offensive linemen to come through the East Carolina program will be part of
a contingent of seven Conference USA players in a prestigious all-star game
on Saturday involving invited National Football League prospects.
Brian Rimpf, who followed up All-Freshman honors in 2000 with three
consecutive appearances on the All-Conference team, will be joined in the
Senior Bowl by linebacker Rod Davis, corner back Greg Brooks and defensive
back Etric Pruitt of Southern Mississippi, quarterback J.P. Losman and
running back Mewelde Moore of Tulane, and tight end Ronnie Ghent of
traveled to New Orleans more than a month ago
to work out with a trainer in preparation for the Senior Bowl and the
subsequent NFL draft combine in Indianapolis in late February.
The game, scheduled for a 5 p.m. ET kickoff in Mobile, AL, will be televised
More than 700 representatives of NFL teams have been on hand during
practices leading up to the game or will attend the Senior Bowl itself to
evaluate draft prospects.
Rimpf, a 6-6, 324-pound Raleigh native, will play for the North team, which
will be coached by Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and his staff. San
Diego Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer and his assistants will direct the
ECU seniors Vonta Leach (FB), Damane Duckett (DT) and Terrance Copper (WR)
played in an earlier 2003 postseason all-star game, the Blue-Gray All-Star
Classic on Christmas Day.
Suit claims Petrino reneged on
LOUISVILLE — A former non-scholarship
player on the Louisville football team has filed a lawsuit against coach
Bobby Petrino and the school's athletics department, alleging Petrino
reneged on a scholarship offer.
The lawsuit was filed this week in
Jefferson County Circuit Court on behalf of Ryan Holifield, an offensive
lineman. It accuses Petrino of "breach of contract and broken promises."
Athletics director Tom Jurich said Louisville would "vehemently" fight the
lawsuit. "We'll deal with that," Jurich said. "The more high-profile we get,
the more we'll face these things."
Holifield lives in Jackson, Tenn., but
graduated from Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. The lawsuit said he
was a non-scholarship member of the Louisville football team from August
2003 to Dec. 16, 2003.
Holifield first met Petrino at Auburn, the
lawsuit said. Petrino was the offensive coordinator there in 2002. Holifield
attended football camps at Auburn, Georgia, Maryland and Louisville, the
Louisville began recruiting Holifield in
2001, when John L. Smith was the coach, the suit said. In the fall of 2002,
the Holifields told Louisville that Ryan wanted to play football elsewhere
because "neither Ryan nor his family felt comfortable with Coach Smith."
Smith left for Michigan State in December
2002 and was replaced by Petrino. Holifield had stayed in touch with
Petrino, and his hiring renewed Holifield's interest in playing for the
Cardinals, the lawsuit said.
Holifield made an official visit to
Louisville in late January 2003, the lawsuit said. On the 26th, Petrino
called Ryan on his father's cell phone to offer him a full scholarship that
would begin in January 2004, the lawsuit said, noting that Petrino said Ryan
could join the team as a walk-on until his scholarship took effect.
Holifield accepted the offer and joined the
team. But on Dec. 15 — four days before the Cardinals played in the GMAC
Bowl in Mobile, AL — offensive line coach Mike Summers met with Holifield
and told him Louisville "would not be able to honor its scholarship
commitment," the lawsuit said.
According to Holifield, Summers said the
school was going in a new recruiting direction, as a result of its entry
into the Big East Conference. Summers also called Holifield's father, Dr.
Mark Holifield, a Louisville alumnus, to inform him of the school's
The lawsuit alleges that Petrino refused to
meet with the Holifields. Holifield decided to transfer, but the lawsuit
also says Petrino has refused to provide practice tape of Holifield for
other schools to view.
The lawsuit asks for compensatory damages
Majerus gets a pass on discrimination
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah basketball coach Rick
Majerus was cleared in an investigation into a complaint by a former player
who claimed the coach berated him about his partial hearing loss, university
Athletic director Chris Hill confirmed
there was a university investigation, launched after a complaint from former
Utes center Lance Allred after the 2001-2002 season. "They determined after
a full examination that he did not discriminate against Lance," Hill said
Hill said he was prevented by school policy
from discussing details of the investigation, but Allred told The Salt Lake
Tribune that Majerus used offensive, vulgar language two years ago when
berating him and mentioned Allred's partial deafness. The 6-foot-11 center
transferred to Weber State, citing constant abuse.
"He told me, 'Lance, you've weaseled
yourself through life using your hearing as an excuse. You're a disgrace to
cripples. If I was a cripple in a wheelchair and saw (the way) you play
basketball, I'd shoot myself," Allred told The Tribune.
Majerus denied he made the statements,
which he called "extremely insensitive."
"I like Lance very much and only wish the
best for him," Majerus said. "However ... when he left this program, he was
not very happy. My experience with disgruntled players has been that there
is sometimes a revision of history."
Two former players interviewed by the
Tribune confirmed some of Allred's reports. However, two coaches said they
never heard Majerus say those things.
Interim university president Lorris Betz
told the Tribune he was "confident in the process" also, noting that he
couldn't elaborate because of confidentiality concerns.
"There are some things we as an institution
need to ask ourselves," he said. "If the allegations were accurate, we would
not tolerate that in the classroom. Should it be tolerated in athletics?"
Betz declined, through a spokesman, to
elaborate on that comment to The Associated Press.
News Nuggets are
compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member
schools, and from Associated Press and
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