Jon Solomon, Birmingham News: As the Wiz reported in February, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel OK'd a rule eliminating eye black messages. Wedge blocks on kickoff returns are also a thing of the past. The controversial taunting rule will go into effect for the 2011 season. Also, the Papajohns.com Bowl is moving to — get this — Jan. 8. The Bowl Championship Series game is Jan. 10. Wiz comment: Remember when bowl games were played on Jan. 1?
Randy Riggs, Austin American-Statesman: Texas' Mack Brown is the first coach to express concern about the 2011 taunting rule. "I don’t disagree with it, but am worried about the consistency in how the rule is interpreted, especially when it can cost a team a touchdown. It can be looked at so differently by the various officiating groups around the country and a call would have such a major impact on games that in fairness, it's crucial that it is called the same way for everyone."
Anthony Gimino: Tucson Citizen: The taunting rule brings back memories of Miami's Lamar Thomas, who high-stepped into the end zone during a 1991 game against Arizona. In 2006, Thomas was fired from his analyst job on Hurricane broadcasts for comments made during Miami's brawl with Florida International.
Associated Press: West Virginia plans to honor the 29 coal miners killed in the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion by wearing helmet decals. The decal will be a white circle with a black No. 29 in the middle.
Sports Radio Interviews: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier on whether he is going to miss Lane Kiffin: "I think our commissioner is happy that he has left. He didn't bother me, but we didn't play really well when we played Tennessee. We ended up with the same record they did last year, but I think we will do OK, he will do well out in Southern California. He has got too many good players and that is a pretty good situation and so we will see how it all plays out."
Ray Brewer, Las Vegas Sun: Sales of season tickets are up at Nevada Las Vegas. Playing host to Wisconsin certainly helps. When Wisconsin played in Las Vegas in 2007, Badger fans bought 2,078 season tickets. They are responsible for 125 of the 602 new ticket sales for this fall.
San Francisco Chronicle: The Emerald Bowl is changing its name. It will now be called the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Jared Shanker, Patriot-News: Penn State's Joe Paterno is alarmed
about the rising trend of recruits enrolling early in order to
participate in spring drills. "I think kids ought
to finish up high school. You are only young once. I am not happy
we are doing it, to be honest with you."
Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Texas Tech receiver Detron Lewis said he played with an injured hamstring nearly all of last season. "Somebody didn’t want me to sit out, so I just played the whole season being hurt or being a certain percentage besides a hundred," he said. When asked if Mike Leach pushed him to play, Lewis said, "I mean, you can answer that for yourself. You know that."
Brent Schrotenboer, San Diego Union-Tribune: The NCAA is expected to get a key piece of evidence in the case against USC on April 21. Michael Michaels, the Bush family's former landlord in Spring Valley, Calif., is scheduled to give a deposition in a civil suit filed by his former partner, Lloyd Lake, against Bush and his family. Thanks to Mike!
John Taylor, College Football Talk: Florida fans are collecting donations for a billboard to remind Florida State fans how long it has been since the Seminoles beat the Gators (Nov. 2003). The billboard is to be put up on Interstate 10, just outside of Tallahassee.
Bud Withers, Seattle Times: What else can go wrong at Oregon?
Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports.com: If conference expansions come true, college athletics will never be the same.
Mike Casazza, Charleston Daily Mail: Could West Virginia face NCAA sanctions for actions by former coach Rich Rodriguez?
Tim Rohan, Michigan Daily: Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier was spotted on crutches and wearing a black boot around an ankle while heading to a class.
Phil Steele: Teams playing the toughest schedules this fall.
Mike Carmin, Lafayette Courier & Journal: Purdue extended the contract of Danny Hope by one season. He's signed through 2014.
Robert Gagliardi, Laramie Boomerang: Wyoming extended the contract of Dave Christensen through the 2014 season.
Andrea Adelson, College Gridiron 365: The NCAA passed new sickle-cell testing guidelines.
Jim O'Hara and Robert A. Baker, Syracuse Post-Standard: Syracuse running back Delone Carter was charged with misdemeanor assault after he alleged hit another student in an on-campus disturbance. William Hotaling, the student, sent the newspaper a photograph of injuries to his face.
Ron Musselman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penn State fullback Michael Zordich was cited for underage drinking last Sunday. In September, he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and underage drinking. His blood-alcohol level in September was 0.19.
Michelle Casady, Bryan-College Station Eagle: Texas A&M sophomore defensive lineman Adren Dorsey was arrested after an on-campus incident involving a former girlfriend.
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