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Playmate uses UCF locker room for photo shoot

ORLANDO — UCF employees will get a reminder about the university's standards after video of a locker room photo shoot featuring a Playboy playmate appeared on the Internet, a school official said Saturday.

The shoot with Miss July 2010, Shanna Marie McLaughlin, is featured on the website of Axis magazine, an Orlando entertainment publication. McLaughlin, a UCF alumna, is Axis' August cover model.

The request to allow the photo shoot in the locker room went to someone who didn't have the authority to give approval, said Grant Heston, a university spokesman, who declined to name the person. He said staffers would be "re-educated" about what is appropriate on university grounds.

But coach George O'Leary told the Orlando Sentinel that he was the one who granted access.

O'Leary said he was shown a copy of the magazine cover. "Eh, it's not what I expected," the Sentinel quoted O'Leary as saying, "but I don't think there's anything outlandish on the thing."

The video shows McLaughlin wearing a shirt and underwear bearing UCF and Knights logos.

Usually, requests for photo shoots in athletic facilities go through the athletics department and others go to the school administration.

USF: Scholarship rides for former walk-ons

TAMPA — USF football has a tradition of rewarding walk-ons with scholarships, and new coach Skip Holtz continued that by rewarding two seniors: S Mistral Raymond and LB Donte Spires.

Raymond, who ranks third among returning players with 40 tackles last season, is expected to start, and Spires, playing for the Bulls for the first time since 2007, is battling for the starting job at strongside linebacker.

"I'm very appreciative of him coming in and doing that for me," Raymond said.

""I attribute that to my teammates for all the time they stuck with me. Now it's business as usual."

Spires had to leave the team after the 2007 season to attend to family issues, returned in spring 2009 but was unable to play in the fall, then rejoined the team for good this spring.

Holtz said he announced their promotions in front of the entire team to remind other walk-ons of what can happen if they establish themselves as regular contributors.

Holtz has two scholarships available and said he might use them on additional walk-ons in the next month.

"They paid their way, worked extremely hard, earned valuable spots on this team," Holtz said.

THIS AND THAT: Senior WR Colby Erskin, who earned a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and was attempting to return from a third knee surgery for a torn ACL in the fall, injured his knee in practice Saturday. Holtz said he didn't know the severity. … Reserve G Josh Garvin has missed practice the past two days, and Holtz said he excused him to attend to personal matters. Holtz did not know when he would return. ... TE Andreas Shields, who had surgery on both ankles in the spring, was held out of practice Friday after working the first two days.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

FSU: Spots to watch

TALLAHASSEE — Most of the battles for starting jobs are on defense, where new coordinator Mark Stoops is attempting to sort things out and rebuild.

At cornerback, senior Ochuko Jenije is the only returning starter in the secondary, but he will be pushed by sophomore Xavier Rhodes. On the other side, playmaking sophomore Greg Reid figures to have an edge over Dionte Allen, a junior, but Reid hasn't yet separated himself.

At linebacker, the suspension of Nigel Carr, who was arrested and charged with felonies related to burglaries, means Mister Alexander will try to fend off sophomore Vince Williams and freshman Jeff Luc.

But the offense has a battle of note: running back. Expect incumbent starter Jermaine Thomas, a junior, to compete throughout the preseason with Chris Thompson, a sophomore. Ty Jones and Lonnie Pryor are also in the mix.

coach questioned: Coach Jimbo Fisher said NCAA investigators have interviewed running backs coach Eddie Gran, a former Tennessee assistant, about his time last year on the Vols staff. The NCAA is looking into whether Tennessee assistants under former coach Lane Kiffin had improper contact with recruits.

Orlando Sentinel

UM: Offensive support

CORAL GABLES — The Hurricanes held an invitation-only practice in front of about 3,000 fans at Cobb Stadium.

The practice, the third of fall camp, was open to season ticket holders and UM employees, and lasted more than two hours. It focused on goal-line and red-zone situations, as well as 11-on-11, 7-on-7 and special teams work.

Coach Randy Shannon described the big crowd as "beautiful."

When QB Jacory Harris was sacked, the defender was booed by the crowd.

Clearing the way: Freshman WR Allen Hurns made a couple of catches, but his blocking drew even more attention. He provided key blocks on two long touchdowns, one by freshman TE Asante' Cleveland and another by freshman RB Storm Johnson.

Times wires

fast facts

Openers

Miami: vs. Florida A&M, Sept. 2, TBA

USF: vs. Stony Brook, Sept. 4, TBA

Florida: vs. Miami (Ohio), Sept. 4, noon, ESPN

Florida State: vs. Samford, Sept. 4, noon, ESPNU

UCF: vs. South Dakota, Sept. 4, 6 p.m.

Playmate uses UCF locker room for photo shoot 08/07/10 [Last modified: Saturday, August 7, 2010 10:35pm]
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