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Dad lets recruit go to Arkansas

Alex Collins’ mother, wanting her son to go to Miami, refused to sign his letter of intent.

Alex Collins’ mother, wanting her son to go to Miami, refused to sign his letter of intent.

PLANTATION — A day later than intended and after another twist to his recruitment, South Plantation running back Alex Collins signed with Arkansas.

Wednesday, the mother of the consensus five-star recruit refused to sign his letter of intent to go to the SEC school. She wanted him to play closer to home at Miami.

But Thursday, father Johnny Collins, no longer with Andrea McDonald, provided the written consent required by the NCAA.

Collins, who wore camouflage overalls and a matching tie, said his mother supported his decision. But she did not attend a news conference held at a restaurant. And a firm founded by former O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran said McDonald retained it to represent "the family's interests."

That announcement came about 45 minutes before Alex Collins sealed his college choice.

"I'm happy it's over," said Alex Collins, who added his mother missed the signing because of work. "I didn't think about going anywhere else because I had my mind set. I just talked to my mom. I explained myself, and we have a better understanding. She wants to make sure this is the right decision for me."

Johnny Collins said he got a call from Alex on Wednesday and agreed to sign the papers because, "that's where he wants to go."

Alex Collins said he was unaware his mother hired Jack Paris of the Cochran Law Firm. But in a statement Thursday, Paris said the Collins family wanted "to make a clean choice that is free of any outside influences."

Later, Paris released a second statement, saying it remains "a difficult time" for McDonald.

"She is a loving and caring mother who only wants her son to choose a university without any outside and inappropriate influences," the statement read. "Ms. McDonald hopes all NCAA rules and regulations were followed during today's signing. She is not seeking any personal financial gain because her only concern is for Alex's happiness and well-being."

Gator corner cited

GAINESVILLE — Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy was cited for possession of marijuana of not more than 20 grams, a first-degree misdemeanor, early Sunday morning.

Police said Purifoy, who will be a junior in the fall, was in the back seat of a car that was stopped for a right-of-way violation and they found 2.5 grams of marijuana between the front driver's and passenger's seat. Purifoy and two others denied possession, police said.

An arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 21.

Purifoy played in all 13 games last season and was fourth on the team with 51 tackles.

More Florida: Orlando Boone punter Johnny Townsend signed. Townsend averaged 44.6 yards in being named a U.S. Army All-American. He orally committed to Ohio State in August.

Miami drug tests: Miami said more than 10,000 drug tests performed by it since 2005 have resulted in no positive results for anabolic steroids by its athletes. The statement came amid reports the school and its baseball program has been linked to an ongoing Major League Baseball investigation into if players — many of whom train at or played collegiately at Miami — received performance-enhancing drugs from anti-aging clinics in South Florida. Miami, a private institution, typically does not disclose information such as its drug-testing policy.

FSU-Pitt: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said the 2013 game at Pittsburgh could be played on Labor Day. That likely would get it on national TV. Currently, both teams are set to play Aug. 31, FSU against Wofford and Pitt against Villanova. There is no timetable for a decision.

Attendance: Four teams drew more than 100,000 fans per home game in 2012, the NCAA said. Michigan led for the 15th consecutive season at 112,252 followed by Ohio State (105,330), Alabama (101,722) and Texas (100,884). Among conferences, the SEC led for the 15th consecutive season at 75,538 followed by the Big Ten (70,040), Big 12 (59,004), Pac-12 (53,679), ACC (49,910) and Big East (39,185).

New Mexico: Athletic director Paul Krebs said a university investigation found anonymous allegations that coach Bob Davie discriminated against players based on race are "unfounded and untrue." The letter, sent to several media outlets, alleged Davie, who coached Notre Dame from 1997-2001, tolerated white players smoking marijuana but not black players and handed out harsher penalties against black players than white players. Davie denied the allegations on Wednesday.

Dad lets recruit go to Arkansas 02/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 10:25pm]

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