USF football suffered a significant injury in Monday morning's practice as senior defensive tackle Cory Grissom — the only player at his position with extensive starting experience —fractured the fibula in his right ankle in a non-contact drill and was carted off the field.
USF did not indicate a timetable for his return, but he'll have surgery Thursday, and it's reasonable to think he'll miss at least some of the 2012 season.
The Bulls were practicing in shorts when Grissom, reaching for a loose ball in a fumble drill, went down. Trainers attended to him for several minutes before he left for X-rays and an MRI exam.
Grissom has been a key part of USF's run defense in both of Skip Holtz's seasons at USF, starting all 25 games. He set career highs last season with 38 tackles and six tackles for losses.
It's the second injury to USF's defensive line in less than a week, as backup defensive end Anthony Hill tore his ACL in practice Wednesday and will require surgery, costing him at least the start of the upcoming season. The Bulls have had junior Luke Sager working as a starter alongside Grissom, with sophomores Elkino Watson and Todd Chandler as the top backups.
Two USF starters who were held out last week, guard Danous Estenor and safety JaQuez Jenkins, participated in non-contact work at practice.
A PITINO JOINS PANTHERS: Richard Pitino left his father Rick's staff at Louisville and signed a five-year contract with Florida International, agreeing to be paid $250,000 annually in base salary. The 29-year-old will lead a program for the first time. "I may be young," Richard Pitino said, "but I'm not inexperienced."
LSU INTRODUCES COACH: The job that Johnny Jones coveted for so long is officially his. "It's a dream come true," Jones, a former LSU player and assistant, said when he was introduced as the Tigers' 21st coach. "I am home, and there is no place like home."
DEPARTING 'CATS? Five Kentucky underclassmen, including projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Anthony Davis, are expected to announce their draft intentions at a joint news conference today. A news release said freshmen Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, along with sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, will appear for the announcement in Lexington.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.