News, Notes & Quotes - July 14

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday July 14, 2016

Days until Cal and Hawaii begin the CFB season in Australia: 43

- SEC Media Days wrap up today, and Pac-12 Media Days begin.

Coaches speaking today include Will Muschamp, Hugh Freeze, Les Miles, Kyle Whittingham, Rich Rodriguez, Sonny Sykes, Clay Helton, Mark Helfrich and Mike Leach.

Keep track of key dates before the season here.

- Several FBS assistant jobs were filled or opened on Wednesday.

It may be mid-July, but UAB promoted strength assistant Xavier Robinson to defensive backs coach, New Mexico is set to hire Cal Poly offensive coordinator Saga Tuitele as offensive line coach, and Texas State linebackers / associate head coach John Wiley stepped down due to personal reasons.

Fall camps are less than a month away. For the time being, there are still two open FBS assistant jobs.

- The Louisiana police department that arrested two Alabama players denied a reported claim by Nick Saban that the arresting officers were LSU fans.

Saban and Paul Finebaum had a heated exchange on- and off-camera, and Finebaum said Saban insinuated that the cops that arrested two Alabama players in May were LSU fans. Charges were later dropped.

“I can tell you for a fact that the first officer on the scene is not an LSU fan,” Monroe Police public information officer Chris Bates told The Advertiser. “He hates LSU. He doesn’t like the color yellow or purple and gold. In fact, he’s a Florida fan. If you mention LSU around him, he throws up in his mouth. Most of our officers are LSU fans, but we have some who are Arkansas fans and Georgia fans and Alabama fans. And I'll tell you this, the first officer did not even know those guys were players.”

- Art Briles told KCEN that he will be a head coach again, in college or the NFL, by 2017.

There’s no questioning Briles’ success on the field, but the sexual assault scandal at Baylor means any team that looks at hiring him will face public scrutiny. It might not be Briles' choice to make, whether or not he is a head coach again.

- Of the top 101 NFL players ranked by Pro Football Focus, 91 percent played multiple sports in high school.

That data comes from, which notes 65 percent of them participated in track & field.

- It sure sounds like the College Football Playoff folks know playoff games on New Year’s Eve was a terrible idea.

"We're exploring if there's a better (date) for the semifinals," Bill Hancock told reporters. "We're thinking about if New Year's Eve is the way to go."

If Hancock is floating this publicly, it means it’s bound to happen. It only makes sense after the viewership this past year plummeted for obvious reasons. But Hancock also said it couldn’t happen until at least the end of the 2018 regular season.

- Bret Bielema recounted a time Mile Slive chewed him out years ago, likely referencing a dispute with Gus Malzahn over sharing game tape back in 2013. It was a learning moment for Bielema.

“I remember my first year getting ready to play a game, I had an issue arise that I wasn't happy about, wasn't very excited about and thought I was in the right and I said some things to the media that kind of drew a line between me and another SEC school,” Bielema said Wednesday. “Before I got back to my office, I had a call from the Commissioner. Commissioner Slive was on the phone, who basically got after me as hard as any man has ever gotten after me, other than my father, in my life about what I'd just done and why I did it and why we don't do that in the SEC. We're about building a brand and label that's second to none.

“And it really opened my eyes to the extent of why I came here, why I came to the SEC. The reason I came here was a lot of different things I was doing with my own university I left. But more importantly, I wanted to come to the conference that if you're able to stand at the title — if you're able to stand at a conference championship and realize that you've just won an SEC title — you really would be standing at the top of college football. I believe that.”

- Mark Stoops took exception when a reporter asked about Kentucky’s “collapses” from last season. But when asked about changing close losses, Stoops knows it needs to happen.

“Part of it is play-making ability,” Stoops said. “When the play is on the line, you have the ability to make plays. There's several games. You look at Auburn game last year where we throw a ball down to the 3-yard line and came up fractions off from catching it. We need to make that play. We need to do the things I've talked about in the offseason. Pay the price to put yourself in those positions, whether it's training. We need to finish the season better. Again, that goes to training and training our players to be able to handle more in all situations.”

- Craig Sager gave an inspiring speech in accepting the Jimmy V Award at the ESPYs for his battle with cancer. Take some time to watch this.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to