Coach departs angry Pitt

Todd Graham leaves for Arizona State after one year at Pitt. WR Devin Street says players “lied to and used.’’

Associated Press

Todd Graham leaves for Arizona State after one year at Pitt. WR Devin Street says players “lied to and used.’’

PITTSBURGH — For the second straight year, Pittsburgh heads into a bowl game looking for a new coach after Todd Graham stunned the program when he resigned Wednesday after one season to take the same job at Arizona State.

The school said Graham, hired in January, asked for permission to speak to another school about an opening Tuesday. The school turned down the request and Graham resigned.

Pitt executive vice chancellor and general counsel Jerry Cochran said Graham acted unprofessionally and failed to comply with his contract, and players vented frustration on their Twitter accounts.

Receiver Devin Street tweeted that players had been "lied to and used.'' Freshman quarterback Trey Anderson: "I take a nap for 2 hours, wake up to find out my head coach is gone."

Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson will be interim coach for the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 7. Pitt played in the same bowl a year ago, with Phil Bennett the interim coach after Dave Wannstedt was forced out and replacement Mike Haywood was fired after less than three weeks on the job.

Graham, 47, called taking the Arizona State job a family decision, the same words he used during his introductory news conference with the Panthers, who are 6-6 this season.

"It was very quick and very rapid, and I had no intention of (taking) any other job," he said. "It was very, very heart-wrenching … but this is a dream situation for us."

Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love was looking for energy and an up-tempo offense from the replacement for Dennis Erickson, who was fired.

OT commits to usf: The Bulls picked up a commitment from Lawrence Martin, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior college offensive tackle who played for Merced College in California in 2010. He signed with Arkansas State in February but did not qualify. Mobile and athletic, he played point guard at Daytona Beach Seabreeze High.

All-America team: Florida kicker Caleb Sturgis made the Associated Press All-American second team, FSU punter Shawn Powell made third team and LSU's Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne became the first cornerback teammates to make first team. The SEC had seven of the 11 defensive first-team spots. Baylor's Robert Griffin was the first-team quarterback. Full list of first two teams, 2C

Navy likes Big East: Athletic director Chet Gladchuk said Navy, a football independent, is preparing to join the Big East for football only, but when it will happen is unclear.

Arkansas State: Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn will take over as coach after Auburn's Chick-fil-A Bowl game on Dec. 31.

Fresno state: Texas A&M interim coach Tim DeRuyter will replace fired Pat Hill as head coach after the Aggies' Car Care Bowl game Dec. 31.

Illinois: Defensive coordinator/interim coach Vic Koenning turned down new coach Tim Beckman's offer to stay.

Kansas: New coach Charlie Weis is guaranteed $2.5 million annually in his five-year deal, plus incentives. Last season he earned $765,000 as Florida's offensive coordinator.

North carolina: Interim coach Everett Withers, disappointed about Larry Fedora getting the head coaching job, has talked with Urban Meyer about joining him at Ohio State.

Oregon: Junior running back LaMichael James, the school's all-time leading rusher, will reportedly enter the NFL draft.

South Carolina: The university will not dispute three major NCAA violations involving its football program and will eliminate six scholarships over the next three years. An NCAA hearing is scheduled for February.

FSU in volleyball semifinals tonight

Florida State will make its first volleyball Final Four appearance — and the ACC's first appearance in the national semifinals — tonight in San Antonio, Texas. No. 12 seed FSU (28-6) plays No. 9 UCLA (28-6) at 7 and No. 3 Illinois (31-4) faces No. 7 Southern Cal (29-4) at 9, both on ESPN2. The championship game is at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2). FSU would be the lowest seed to win a national title (No. 11 Stanford, 2004).

SSC hall of fame: Former Tampa standouts Allison Macsas (cross country) and Ronnie Merrill Jr. (baseball) will be among nine inducted into the Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame, March 2 in Lakeland.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

Coach departs angry Pitt 12/14/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 10:32pm]

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