Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times: USC's lack of leadership during hard times is revealing. University president Steven B. Sample and athletic director Mike Garrett are doing little to quell the chaos surrounding the athletic program, which intensified with Tim Floyd's resignation.
Brent Zwerneman, San Antonio Express-News: Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne explains the controversial $16 million interest-free loan from the university to its athletic department. Byrne said Robert Gates, then A&M president and now the nation's Secretary of Defense, came to him in 2005 with the idea of a loan to be spread evenly over four years and paid back over 10. Byrne said everything is "on track" to begin repaying the loan.
Jeffrey Martin, Kansas City Star: Kansas State senior athletic administrators Jim Epps and Bob Cavello were put on administrative leave, two sources told the newspaper. It leaves K-State without two of its top athletic department officials four days after new athletic director John Currie began his work in Manhattan. The move is the latest in a series of unexpected changes in the department.
Larry Stone, Seattle Times: Washington quarterback Jake Locker said that he is open to signing a contract with the Angels, who drafted him in the 10th round of the amateur draft. But he has no plans to abandon his football career. "I'm staying put to play football at Washington," he said.
Joseph Goodman, Miami Herald: He's not writing his blog to condone the alarming number of arrests of Florida's players, but he can write without reservation that his opinion on the matter leans toward that of an apologist. You've got to have thugs to win football games.
Neill Woelk, Boulder Daily Camera: It's high time the NCAA started exercising a little of that frontier justice by dealing out punishment that matters. Then maybe — just maybe — schools that benefit from blatant cheating and then claim ignorance when the NCAA comes calling would begin to keep a clean house.
Iliana Limón, Orlando Sentinel: Attorneys representing the University of Central Florida want to limit information released in the pending wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of Ereck Plancher until a judge rules on their motion to effectively end the case.
Donnie Webb and Dave Rahme, Syracuse Post-Standard: Syracuse coach Doug Marrone refuses to comment about the 14 players on scholarship and several walk-ons who have left the program since January. But here is one writer's impressions on why some of the players departed.
Ry Rivard, Charleston Daily Mail: West Virginia's private fundraising arm announced that it will cut the salaries of 65 employees by 4.6%. The foundation has seen a 22.3% decline in the value of its investments, which were worth about $417 million this time last year.
Idaho Statesman: Quarterback-turned-receiver Drew Hawkins has quit the Boise State team after a serious of concussions. Hawkins is the son of Colorado coach Dan Hawkins.
Ferd Lewis, Honolulu Advertiser: The Pacific 10 doesn't appear to have any interest in renewing ties with the Hawaii Bowl.
Tom Luicci, Newark Star-Ledger: The expansion of Rutgers Stadium will bring capacity to 52,454. It was listed at 42,500 in last year's Big East media guide.
Austin Meek, Topeka Capital-Journal: Grant Gregory, who was South Florida's backup quarterback the past three seasons, has transferred to Kansas State.
Jimmy Hawkins, Shreveport Times: Ahmad Paige, a four-star recruit and the ninth best receiver in the country out of Sterlington (La.) High in 2007, has transferred from Tennessee to Louisiana Tech. He didn't catch a pass last season for the Volunteers, but had this to say: "The SEC is a great conference with most of the best players, but once you've been there and done that, it doesn't seem like as big a deal."
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