Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Penn State coach decries coaches recruiting his players

Because of NCAA sanctions levied against the school for the sexual abuse scandal, football players can transfer from Penn State and be eligible to play this season. That has prompted coaches to recruit, in essence, free agents.

But Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien said he would not recruit players if the roles were reversed.

"Hell no!" he said Thursday. "That's not the right thing to do.

"I'm not fighting for my career. I'm fighting for Penn State; for what's right about this football program. At the end of the day, these coaches are playing by the rules. That's what they're doing."

The comments came on the day Penn State lost its seventh player and second starter since the sanctions were levied, punter/kicker Anthony Fera to Texas.

As a sophomore last season, Fera made 14 of 17 field goals and averaged 42 yards on punts. Fera, from Houston, said his mother's recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis factored into his decision.

Silas Redd, Penn State's leading rusher last season, left for USC.

Georgia: Projected starting offensive tackle Kolton Houston is ineligible for a second straight season because he continues to test positive for a steroid he took to aid his recovery from shoulder surgery in 2009. Doctors don't know why it's still in his system. The NCAA denied a waiver request. Also, Chase Vasser, competing to start at linebacker, was suspended two games (Buffalo and at Missouri). He was arrested in May on charges of driving under the influence. Starting corner Sanders Commings, is suspended two games for a domestic violence arrest. And three starters, corner Branden Smith, safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree, face suspensions for undisclosed violations.

Wisconsin: Running back Montee Ball denied a TMZ.com report that he and some teammates were in a fight a week before he was attacked. Ball was attacked by still-unidentified people early Wednesday morning in Madison, resulting in a concussion. Coach Bret Bielema said Thursday that Ball won't be ready when practice starts Monday.

Ex-Gator out: UConn line­backer Graham Stewart, who left Florida after last season to be closer to home, will miss the season after tearing a pectoral muscle.

Arkansas trooper fired: The Arkansas State Police fired trooper J.R. Howard after he illegally confiscated a gun and dumped marijuana found during a traffic stop involving an Arkansas State running back. Michael Dyer, the MVP of Auburn's victory in the January 2011 BCS title game who transferred in January, was stopped March 10 in Little Rock, Ark., for going 96 mph. Coach Gus Malzahn dismissed him from the team last week. Video recorded by a camera in the police cruiser revealed Denney told Dyer, "What if I talk to Gus Malzahn, or however you say his name?"

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