TAMPA — Kansas State coach Ron Prince won't be back next season, leaving an opening that will draw a lot of speculation about USF coach Jim Leavitt.
Leavitt was co-defensive coordinator for the Wildcats before coming to USF in 1995 and was courted for their coaching job three years ago before getting a lucrative seven-year extension from USF.
Leavitt's name is sure to come up again, and he was asked about the job after Thursday's practice.
"You guys know this is my heart and soul," said Leavitt, whose contract calls for a $1-million buyout if he leaves this year. "I'm very fortunate to be here. I think it's the best job in the country."
Prince is 16-18 in 21/2 seasons, including 0-3 against Kansas. The Wildcats went 7-6 in his first season but fell to 5-7 last season and 4-5 in 2008 (1-4 in the Big 12). He took over for Bill Snyder, who transformed a program that won one game from 1987-89 into one that won at least 10 seven times and reached 12 bowl games.
WON'T PLAY AGAIN: Quincy Okolie, a former walk-on tight end put on scholarship this fall, will not play football again because of a neck injury. Okolie, who caught one pass in last year's Sun Bowl, was to take a medical redshirt this season after suffering the injury in August. But it was originally believed he could return to the Bulls in 2009.
Florida: Backup QB involved in car crash
GAINESVILLE — Florida backup QB Cameron Newton was in a car accident Tuesday, coach Urban Meyer said.
Meyer said Newton should be okay but did not practice Wednesday and is in a neck brace. The sophomore was rear-ended by a truck, according to Meyer. Newton had headaches Wednesday but is expected to be available Saturday against Vanderbilt.
Lamentable: Defensive coordinator Charlie Strong called CB Jacques Rickerson's situation — arrested Tuesday for alleged domestic battery and kicked off the team — unfortunate.
"You just don't ever like to see a player get caught up in that situation," he said. "You feel for him, but you just don't place yourself in that position."
FSU: Position coach defends Sims' fumble
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State running backs coach Dexter Carter defended FB Marcus Sims, who fumbled at the goal line late in Saturday's loss to Georgia Tech.
Upon hearing reporters ask Sims about the fumble after Wednesday's practice — Sims had not stopped for interviews earlier this week — Carter admonished them for not letting him "move forward."
"We have put that in the past," Carter said. "It is gone and over with. He wasn't the first one (to fumble), and he won't be the last one. I have done it before. Life does go on."
Carter said he understood the media have a job to do but asked that they focus on the next game, Saturday against Clemson.
"The bottom line is it exists," he said. "It happened at a bad time. Everybody didn't die."
Sims answered questions before Carter interjected.
"I am just trying to get through it," Sims said. "I'm trying to get through the week and get ready for the next game, trying to put it behind me. I think I have some of the greatest teammates in the world. They have just been giving me motivation and telling me to keep my head up and to keep doing the right things and don't get down on myself."
Miami: Tackle Fox okay for Virginia Tech
CORAL GABLES — Miami LT Jason Fox injured his right ankle Saturday against Virginia, not his knee as originally feared, and should be ready to face Virginia Tech on Nov. 13.
"He's doing fine," said coach Randy Shannon, who did not disclose injury details. "He should be walking around (today). We're pretty much healthy (as a team). We've got to make sure we keep dealing with the little nicks and bumps and bruises."
Times correspondents Phil Kegler and Ira Schoffel contributed to this report, which used information from the Associated Press.