Friday, January 19, 2018
Colleges

Miami's James revisits tragedy

CORAL GABLES — Miami running back Mike James is almost always smiling. When talking about facing Notre Dame this week, he was not.

"Notre Dame is a big game," James quietly said, "for a lot of reasons."

The Hurricanes and No. 9 Fighting Irish meet Saturday at Soldier Field in Chicago to resume an overheated rivalry that helped decide at least five national titles in an eight-year span, 1983-90.

For James, it's also personal. Very personal.

The last time these teams met was the 2010 Sun Bowl, a day he'll never forget for reasons that have nothing to do with football.

That game started at the same moment as the funeral for James' mother Elgusta James, who died in a car crash 11 days earlier. Mike James wasn't at the funeral; he played in the bowl game after family members convinced him that's what his mother would have wanted.

And when it comes to the importance of this game, his thoughts are clear.

"The biggest game I've ever played," James said last week after Miami beat North Carolina State. "I would say so. I'm serious about this one. … Last time we played Notre Dame, they were burying my mom at the same time as the game. So anybody can do the math."

This season the senior has 278 yards rushing in five games — 3 more yards than he had in the whole 2011 season. He has four touchdowns, all in an overtime win Sept. 22 at Georgia Tech. He says he's healthier and happier than he can remember in some time.

The pain of that phone call on Dec. 20, 2010, however, lingers, he said. Every day.

"It was a devastating moment, a tragic moment for Mike," Miami defensive back Brandon McGee said. "When he first heard the news, I was right there with him."

Elgusta James was the passenger in a vehicle driven by her daughter that day, when another car hit the driver's side. Elgusta was ejected from the vehicle and police said she died at the scene. For months, Mike James said he cried every day, and not long after got two tattoos — one image of his mother holding him as a small child, the other an angel.

He said that he wished it was him who died in that crash, not his mother.

"Coming back off of that, Mike James is probably the strongest man I've ever met, physically and mentally," quarterback Stephen Morris said.

JURISPRUDENCE: An Alabama man pleaded guilty and faces a two-year prison sentence for rubbing his genitals on an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS title game in January. Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Brian H. Downing of Smith Station, Ala., on the day he was to be tried on charges including sexual battery. Downing won't have to register as a sex offender. A video of the incident went viral on the Internet.

MICHIGAN STATE: Freshman receiver Aaron Burbridge will start at Indiana after not playing in Saturday's 17-16 loss to Ohio State.

Comments
Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

Gary Trent, Duke rally past Miami with 18-0 run

CORAL GABLES — Gary Trent scored a season-high 30 and No. 5 Duke needed less than three minutes to erase a 13-point second-half deficit, scoring 18 consecutive points to overtake No. 25 Miami 83-75 on Monday night. The Blue Devils scored 15 in six po...
Published: 01/15/18

Shrine Game journal: Homecoming for Utah OL Salesi Uhatafe; Quinton Flowers works on snaps

ST. PETERSBURG — Salesi Uhatafe is back in his hometown, and though he moved to Texas when he was still a baby, it’s very much a homecoming as the former Utah offensive lineman plays in Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field."I’ll probab...
Published: 01/15/18
Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

Iowa State’s two-way star Joel Lanning practicing at linebacker for East-West Shrine Game

ST. PETERSBURG — Joel Lanning has the unique distinction of being listed as an "LB/QB" on the West roster for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.And while the former Iowa State star spent the entire practice at middle linebacker Mond...
Published: 01/15/18
Keith Jackson, leading college football broadcaster, dies at 89

Keith Jackson, leading college football broadcaster, dies at 89

Keith Jackson, the folksy voice of college football who for decades weaved backwoods wit through Saturday afternoon ABC broadcasts, died Friday night. He was 89.In a 52-year broadcasting career, Mr. Jackson covered a wide variety of sports for radio ...
Published: 01/13/18
No. 24 FSU outlasts Syracuse in double overtime

No. 24 FSU outlasts Syracuse in double overtime

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State squandered a double-digit halftime lead for the second straight game. This time, it was able to overcome that.The 23rd-ranked Seminoles scored the first six in the second overtime to propel them to a 101-90 victory over Sy...
Published: 01/13/18

Florida manhandled in paint by Ole Miss for first SEC loss

OXFORD, Miss. — Florida came into its matchup focused on stopping a talented group of Ole Miss guards.But it was the play of the frontcourt that did in the Gators on Saturday afternoon.Bruce Stevens scored 22, Deandre Burnett added 20 and Mississippi...
Published: 01/13/18
South Carolina gives Will Muschamp new $28 million deal

South Carolina gives Will Muschamp new $28 million deal

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp received a new six-year, $28.2 million contract after a nine-win season that culminated with a victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Muschamp’s contract was approved Friday by the school’s boar...
Published: 01/12/18
Jones: March Madness is weeks away. What’s up with college basketball?

Jones: March Madness is weeks away. What’s up with college basketball?

We’ve been a little busy lately.What with Dirk Koetter staying and Evan Longoria going. We’ve been distracted by UCF and amazed by Alabama. There has been Jon Gruden news and what is shaping up to be a very special season for the Lightning.With all t...
Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18
Bobby Bowden: Dadgum it, UCF has a gripe

Bobby Bowden: Dadgum it, UCF has a gripe

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden is 88 and still keeps a busy schedule of speaking engagements. On Wednesday he was in Omaha, Neb. — his fourth city in a week — to receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award for his contributions to college football ...
Published: 01/11/18
Jones: The secret to Alabama’s success

Jones: The secret to Alabama’s success

Nick Saban is the greatest college football coach of all-time.The current Alabama run — five titles in nine seasons — belongs at the top of any dynasty in the history of the sport. To do what Bama has done in this day and age of parity is remarkableS...
Published: 01/09/18