COLUMBIA, S.C. — Jadeveon Clowney and Marcus Lattimore have talked since football season ended; just not about injuries. Yet that seems to be all everyone is talking about when it comes to the South Carolina duo.
Lattimore, a star running back rehabbing from a dislocated right knee and three torn ligaments, said recently he and the defensive end talked about what's ahead.
Because of Lattimore's injury, some have asked if Clowney should skip this season and protect a potential $22 million payday as the No. 1 pick in 2014. The All-American has played just two years in college, so he's ineligible for April's draft.
Lattimore, who has entered the draft, said he hasn't given advice to Clowney but wouldn't trade his time in Columbia for anything, even with the current injury and past torn left ACL.
"I know that everything happens for a reason," he said.
Clowney, who can protect himself via $5 million worth of insurance through the NCAA, responded via Twitter this week: "I'm playing lol."
ESPN analyst Todd McShay said Clowney would be better off playing because sitting out would raise questions about his commitment. He said Clowney can use the year to improve his strength and overall game plus show maturity by excelling despite "outside noise."
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier said those talking don't understand Clowney. "They don't know how important it is for Jadeveon to be with his college team," he said. "You know there's more to life than how can you make a whole bunch of money."
Report: Big East TV saga nears conclusion
ESPN has until Thursday to match NBC Sports Network's seven-year offer for football and men's basketball games, espn.com reported.
The offer is worth between $20 million and $23 million per year (varying based on membership changes), or about $2 million per school, which includes USF. ESPN, as the current holder, has the right to match any outside offer. It declined to comment.
In 2011, the Big East rejected ESPN's nine-year deal worth about $130 million annually.
Cristobal interview: Mario Cristobal, hired last month as Miami's associate head coach/tight ends coach after being fired as Florida International's coach, interviewed Friday to be Alabama's offensive line coach, the Miami Herald reported. Cristobal declined to comment.
Alabama: Safety Eddie Williams and linebackers Tyler Hayes and D.J. Pettway, charged in separate robberies of two students on campus, were banned from campus pending a judicial review by a school board. The board includes faculty and students and is expected to rule next week. Tight end Brent Calloway, charged with using a stolen debit card, wasn't barred. All four are suspended from the team.
Miami: To create a better atmosphere at games, the school will move student and band seating from the end zone to behind the opponents' bench. The shift also will provide a better look on TV. Cameras usually are aimed toward the visiting side of the field at Sun Life Stadium.