Ducks could lose their Xbox
The Oregon Ducks, 8-1 and in the running for a Bowl Championship Series bid, won a game last weekend but may have lost a perk.
Dampening the joy over a 27-20 overtime dispatching of California was word from Pac-10 Conference compliance official Mike Matthews that the Xbox gaming systems installed in a 2003 locker room renovation likely would need to be removed.
Matthews cited the “too extravagant” clause and said it was believed, after consultation with the NCAA, that the game systems fell into that category.
“It isn’t an attempt to single out any single institution at all,” Matthews said.
Oregon coach Mike Bellotti wasn’t so sure.
“About half the (NCAA) legislation over the past three years has been aimed at things we’ve done that have been innovative and now considered an unfair advantage,” Bellotti told the Eugene Register-Guard. “It’s a little bit over-reactive, as many of those things are.”
A timetable for removal of the gaming equipment has yet to be determined.
Among the niceties of the Oregon locker room are Internet access, a ventilation system in each locker and state-of-the-art televisions.
“If kids want to bring their own Xboxes and plug them in, that’s fine,” Matthews said. “But institutions shouldn’t be paying for pool tables and foosball tables and gaming systems unless there’s some institutional policy where that sort of thing is available on campus to general students.”
After Texas beat Kansas, 27-23, last season, Kansas coach and former Ellwood City coach Mark Mangino believed pressure to have Texas represent the Big 12 in the BCS had affected the officiating to the detriment of his team.
Texas rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, aided by a controversial pass-interference penalty against Kansas.
“Normally, I give credit to our opponents,” Mangino had said. “But I’m not going to do that today because our kids outplayed them. They should’ve won the game. They deserved to win, and it just didn’t work out.”
According to the Kansas City Star, Texas coaches dutifully passed out copies of those quotes and others from the game to their players this week, as a reminder in advance of Saturday’s rematch in Austin between the No. 2 Longhorns and the Jayhawks.
Mangino apologized hours after the press conference but still was fined by the Big 12 and received a public reprimand.
“The (issue) to me is how they disrespected us last year, saying that they outcoached us and outplayed us,” Texas quarterback Vince Young said. “It’s fresh in my mind now. I’m going to make sure I tell the guys this whole week what they said. That kind of upset me. I know it upset the other guys, and I know it upset our coaches.”
Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway got tagged with a personal foul penalty for a late hit on Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez, setting up a 9-yard TD pass that allowed the Wildcats to win, 28-27.
After the game, Basanez accused Greenway of dirty play, including a helmet-to-helmet hit when Basanez was on the ground.
“I’m glad they got that one at the end, because that helmet-to-helmet hurts,” Basanez said in the Chicago Sun-Times. “It hurt something fierce. But that’s how they were playing all game. They were trying to get us out of our game by grabbing facemasks, hitting guys late, getting you in the head. I guess that’s how they teach football down there.”
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz was not interested in discussing the charges during the weekly Big Ten coaches teleconference.
More hard feelings
North Texas offensive coordinator Ramon Flanigan issued a public apology after being involved in a confrontation with a school alumnus during halftime of a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I used very poor judgment and acted out of character,” ran part of the apology by Flanigan, who had confronted Bill Covert at halftime as the staff made its way from the press box to the field.
Covert had shouted that the North Texas staff was being outcoached. Flanigan went into the stands, but there was no physical contact.
Monday was tough around the home of Tyrone Moss.
An MRI of the Miami running back’s injured left knee revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, requiring surgery next week and finishing his season.
Meanwhile, his mother, Synitha Moss, told the Miami Herald that as of Monday, the family home in Pompano Beach, Fla., remained without power because of Hurricane Wilma.
“Day 15 and still no lights,” she told the Herald. “My patience is thinning.”
Come on, Cal
Teams short of the top two spots in the BCS standings are hoping that California can upset Southern Cal on Saturday.
The Golden Bears are the last team to beat USC, accomplishing that task two seasons back. They also lost by six points last season when a fourth-down pass to the end zone fell incomplete.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford didn’t sound optimistic.
“We’re so young now. We’re a much different team,” he said.
Filmmaker George Butler, whose 1977 documentary on bodybuilding, “Pumping Iron,” helped launch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Hollywood career, began filming Monday of a Bobby Bowden documentary tentatively titled, “Bound for Glory.”
The crew is getting a headstart on the film, which will focus on next season.
Butler has an IMAX movie, “Roving Mars” scheduled for release in January.