GAINESVILLE — On the day Florida was set to host some of the best high school football players in the nation at its annual Friday Night Lights camp, coach Will Muschamp was handed a vote of confidence from his bosses that also served as a message to recruits that he will be in Gainesville for a while.
That vote came in the form of a hefty raise. Muschamp received a $250,000 annual increase over the remaining five years of his contract, which runs through the 2017-18 season. With the increase, Muschamp who turns 43 next week, will earn approximately $2.93 million per year.
"Dr. (UF president Bernie) Machen and I believe very strongly in Coach Muschamp and his leadership, and we felt it was appropriate to adjust his salary to be more in line with his market value," athletic director Jeremy Foley said.
Muschamp led the Gators to an 11-2 record last year and is 18-8 entering his third season.
Gators open practices: For fans who have lamented Muschamp's closed-practice policy, there's good news. Florida will hold four open preseason practices: Aug. 15, 17, 19 and 20. The Aug. 17 practice will be held in conjunction with Fan Day; practice will be 9-11 a.m. at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Aug. 15 practice will be at the lacrosse stadium, the Aug. 19 and 20 practices at the football practice facility (times to be announced).
USF recruit backs out: Wharton quarterback Chase Litton announced, reportedly while he was in Gainesville, that he was no longer a Bull commitment and was going to explore his options. "I want to apologize to USF but I will be decommitting and opening up my recruitment up for my senior year," Litton said on Twitter on Friday.
Oregon top PAC-12 choice: Even with Mark Helfrich taking over for Chip Kelly as coach, the expectations around the Ducks haven't changed. Oregon was picked to win the Pac-12 football title, edging Stanford and UCLA in the media poll at the conference's media day. Oregon received 14 of the 25 first-place votes, earning 139 points. "We're going to talk the same, work the same, practice the same. We're going to tweak the margins," Helfrich said. The Cardinal received 11 first-place votes and 134 points, and the Bruins 130 points.
Title game bidding: Tampa is among the cities bidding to host the 2016 and 2107 college football playoff title game, ESPN reported. Tampa failed in its bid to host the inaugural title game in 2015, losing to Arlington, Texas.
Pitt: Running back Rushel Shell told ESPN he will transfer to West Virginia.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.