Johnny Lujack, the star quarterback who led Notre Dame to three national championships and won the Heisman Trophy in 1947, is recovering after spinal surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Stanford receiver and All-America kick returner Ty Montgomery said he's in the final stages of his rehabilitation from right shoulder surgery and hopes to play in the opener against UC Davis on Aug. 30.
The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.
Defending national champion Florida State is ranked No. 1 in the preseason Amway coaches' poll. Florida State received 1,543 overall points and earned 56 of a possible 62 first-place votes in the poll, which was released Thursday. Alabama was second in the poll despite not receiving any first-place votes. Rounding out the top five were Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn with the first-ever playoff looming at the end season.
As Gary Nova sees it, Rutgers is the new kid at school. Rutgers jumps to the Big Ten this season and was picked to finish last in the conference in most major polls. The Scarlet Knights see this as a source of motivation. ''No question,'' defensive tackle Darius Hamilton said.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones says he occasionally feels as though he's running an expansion team because the Volunteers have altered their roster so much since the end of last season. He can only hope the Vols don't produce the usual results of an expansion team. Tennessee opens training camp Friday with a roster that features a 32-man recruiting class ranked among the top five in the nation by multiple services. Many newcomers will have prominent roles as the Vols attempt to end a string of four straight losing seasons.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said having one of college football's top playmakers in Jadeveon Clowney was never a burden for the Gamecocks last season, no matter how big a distraction he seemed to be at times. Clowney became the center of college football once he popped the helmet off Michigan tailback Vincent Smith at the 2013 Outback Bowl. He drew national coverage that put the affable defensive end - and the Gamecocks - in the spotlight nearly every day. ''We got through the year and he did an excellent job,'' Spurrier said.
The only thing that UCF's players want lingering from the best season in school history is the hunger it took to produce it. The Knights reported for preseason camp Thursday after going 12-1 with a Fiesta Bowl win last season. With a month to prepare for the Aug. 30 season opener in Ireland against Penn State, they also understand there is little time to dwell on the past. ''Coach told us last night when we got in our meeting that last season is over with,'' Knights senior linebacker Terrance Plummer said.
Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Florida State teammate Chris Casher were held at gunpoint by campus police nearly two years ago while hunting squirrels with a pellet gun, police say. Officer Anthony Gioannetti responded to a call and found the pair near a campus bike path with a long-barreled pistol. The officers then determined the pistol was a pellet gun. Contacted after the report, Winston said, ''Sorry sir, I'm not talking about that.'' When contacted by The Associated Press to comment, Casher originally hung up.
Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Division favorites Alabama and South Carolina will be banking on new starters. Ditto for Texas A&M, Georgia and defending East Division champion Missouri. So long, Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray and AJ McCarron et al. Hello, little-known new guys.
Stanford receiver and All-America kick returner Ty Montgomery said he's in the final stages of his rehabilitation from right shoulder surgery and hopes to play in the opener against UC Davis on Aug. 30. Montgomery said Wednesday he played through the shoulder injury part of last season before having surgery in February. He also hurt a knee in the Cardinal's loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, an injury he said was ''minor.'' Montgomery said he's already lifting weights, running routes and catching passes. ''Whenever they tell me I can play, I'm ready to play,'' Montgomery said.
Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the 20 million gallons that inundated the campus. Workers were reinforcing the excavated 56-by-41-foot crater and making the site safe for crews, said Mike Miller, district superintendent for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. ''We're still shooting to have this done, at least the repair to the main by Friday.'' UCLA officials said six facilities were damaged in Tuesday's flooding. Rich Mylin, associate director of events and facilities, led a tour Wednesday of affected areas for Department of Water and Power workers in hard hats, and they snapped photos and took notes.
The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports' governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn't go nearly far enough. The deal, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, calls for the NCAA to toughen return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows and create a $70 million fund to pay for thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain trauma while playing football and other contact sports. ''It's changed college sports forever.'' Others strongly disagreed. One plaintiffs' attorney not involved in the negotiations called it a ''terrible deal'' that lets the NCAA off the hook far too easily.
Wallace ''Wah Wah'' Jones, a multi-sport star who helped Kentucky win the first two of its eight national titles and is considered the school's greatest all-around athlete, has died. Jones, an All-American, was the last surviving member of the Wildcats' ''Fabulous Five'' that won the 1948 national championship and went on to claim Olympic gold that year with the U.S. team. He returned with three teammates under Hall of Fame coach Adolph Rupp to repeat as titlists in 1949. Jones is the only Wildcat to have his jerseys retired in basketball and football.
Tennessee guard Brandon Lopez has a torn right anterior cruciate ligament that will prevent him from playing in the 2014-15 season. The 6-foot-1 walk-on from Knoxville, Tennessee, had appeared in 31 games over the past three seasons. Lopez was the lone pure point guard on Tennessee's roster.
Jonathan Duncan understands that a perfect NCAA enforcement division won't catch every cheater in college sports. Two days after Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called the NCAA enforcement system overwhelmed and ''broken,'' the NCAA's top cop fired back by defending his staff's work and acknowledging the impossible mission of policing more than 1,200 schools. The people who violate the rules will be found out and we will report them back to the committee on infractions.'' Duncan took over the enforcement division on an interim basis in March 2013 when the department was embroiled in its own embarrassing scandal. An internal investigation found the NCAA improperly collected evidence against the University of Miami, which led to the ouster of Julie Roe Lach.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby had a dire warning Monday for anyone who likes intercollegiate athletics the way they are now. ''There's a lot of change coming.'' During his opening address at Big 12 football media days, Bowlsby talked about growing financial constraints athletic programs face going forward and the ''strange environment'' that exists with class-action lawsuits against the NCAA and its member schools.
Defending champion Connecticut will face St. John's in the ninth annual Maggie Dixon Classic on Jan. 4. The Huskies, who went 40-0 last season en route to a record ninth national title, will be making their fourth appearance in the game at Madison Square Garden. The event honors former Army coach Maggie Dixon, who died of heart arrhythmia in 2006 at age 28. UConn has never lost in its three appearances and beat Ohio State in 2010 to tie the vaunted UCLA men's basketball record 88-game winning streak.
The NCAA has granted a medical hardship waiver to UConn forward Morgan Tuck, who underwent two knee surgeries and missed most of last season's national championship run. The school announced Tuesday that Tuck, a junior academically, was awarded an extra year of eligibility and now has three remaining.
The NCAA has placed Henderson State on two years of probation and fined the school $2,500 for rules violations by the women's basketball program, including a coach offering a loan to a prospective athlete, exceeding phone contact limits and holding impermissible tryouts and practices. The penalties, which were released Tuesday, capped a three-year investigation and included show-cause orders for former head coaches Josh Matthews and Chris Oestreich. Neither was named in the NCAA's report, but Henderson State confirmed their involvement. Matthew's show-cause order is for one year, Oestreich's is for two.
Curt Miller spent two seasons rebuilding the Indiana women's basketball team. On Friday, Miller surprised many by resigning as the Hoosiers coach because of health and family reasons. The 55-year-old Pennsylvania native did suffer a mild stroke during a game in January 2012 when he was coaching Bowling Green. Miller and Glass both met with players on the team Friday, and Glass appointed Miller's top assistant, Curtis Lloyd, the interim head coach until the school finds a replacement.
Holly Warlick believes Tennessee's bid to return to national title contention is more a mental hurdle than a physical test. The Lady Vols were rolling going into last season's NCAA tournament. The momentum carried only so far and Tennessee lost in a regional semifinal. ''I think our team needs to have a little bit more togetherness,'' the Tennessee coach told The Associated Press.
This was a roller-coaster weekend for Gail Goestenkors. On the day she resigned as an assistant coach of the Los Angeles Sparks, it was announced she would enter the women's basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. ''I thought the timing was absolutely perfect if there is such a thing,'' said Goestenkors, who built Duke into a national power, guiding the Blue Devils to four Final Four appearances and seven straight seasons with at least 30 wins. ''It epitomizes the business of women's basketball.
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Leslie headlines the 2015 women's basketball Hall of Fame induction class announced Saturday. She is joined by former Houston Comets star Janeth Arcain, University of Georgia standout Janet Harris, former Duke coach Gail Goestenkors, longtime Oregon high school coach Brad Smith and Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke, who was killed in a plane crash in 2011.