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Aztecs latest to abandon Big East

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — San Diego State is staying in the Mountain West and backing out on the Big East, just as Boise State did last month.

San Diego State, a founding member of the Mountain West, had committed to join the Big East for football only, along with Boise State, starting next season. The Aztecs' other teams were going to compete in the Big West.

Recent defections from the Big East caused Boise State to reconsider and strike a deal to stay put. Without a western partner, San Diego State retreated, too.

Unlike Boise State, San Diego State is not on the hook for an exit fee because Boise State left first. San Diego State becomes the third school in the past 16 months to leave the Big East before ever actually joining. TCU did the same, reneging on a commitment to join the league in 2012 and instead accepting an invite from the Big 12.

The move leaves the Big East with 10 football members instead of the planned 12.

UF freshman arrested

GAINESVILLE — Florida offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker was arrested Wednesday and is facing charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, a third-degree felony. Dunker was also cited for driving with a suspended license, a second-degree misdemeanor.

According to a University Police Department report, Dunker was pulled over near Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for riding on a scooter without a motor vehicle tag. The scooter had previously been reported stolen. Dunker originally drew an officer's attention because he was traveling too close to another vehicle.

He was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 12:01 p.m. but denied he had stolen the scooter when he was arrested.

A freshman from Boynton Beach who enrolled in January 2012, Dunker redshirted this past season and was expected to compete for a starting job this year.

"Coach (Will Muschamp) is aware of the incident," UF spokesman Steve McClain said. "He is on the road recruiting and will address it when he returns."

BULLS HIRING: USF coach Willie Taggart is expected to announce the hiring of former Tennessee and South Carolina assistant David Reaves as his receivers coach. Reaves, 32, worked this past year at IMG Academy in Bradenton after two seasons on New Mexico's coaching staff.

GEORGIA: Sophomore tailback Ken Malcome, who began the season as a starter before being passed on the depth chart, plans to transfer.

VIRGINIA: Sophomore defensive tackle Chris Brathwaite, a backup who had 41 tackles and a team-high 10 tackles for loss, was declared ineligible and is no longer enrolled at the university.

WEST VIRGINIA: Tony Gibson was named safeties coach. He spent the past season as safeties coach at Arizona under ex-Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez.

Times staff writers Antonya English and Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Aztecs latest to abandon Big East 01/16/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 10:19pm]

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