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ARIZONA'S STOOPS APOLOGIZES FOR INSULTING ARIZONA STATE ACADEMICS

Arizona coach Mike Stoops apologized on Thursday for saying that Arizona State has "turned into a J.C."

Stoops had said that some recruits told him it was easier to earn acceptance at ASU than at Arizona.

"Each school has to recruit to that school and what type of academic requirements there are," Stoops said then. "Obviously, Arizona State has turned into a J.C. and we are a four-year college. According to all the players, they say it is easier to go to school there, easier to get in. I thought we had the same requirements. It is news to me."

Tensions between the football programs grew last month when touted tailback Ryan Bass backed out of an oral commitment to Arizona to attend ASU.

New Mexico: Coach Rocky Long said there was "absolutely no link" between an NCAA investigation into his program and the departure of his top defensive assistant. While announcing the promotion of cornerbacks coach Troy Reffett to defensive coordinator, Long denied that Osia Lewis recently left for UTEP because of the probe.

PITT: Assistant Charlie Partridge resigned to become defensive line coach at Wisconsin.

Tennessee: The NCAA granted senior defensive back Antonio Gaines a sixth year of eligibility. He sustained a knee injury early last season.

Wake Forest: Chris Givens of Wylie, Texas, signed a letter of intent. Givens, 6 feet and 205 pounds, is the second running back in the class, joining Plant High's Lovell Jackson. Givens tore the ACL in his left knee during his senior season.

WEST VIRGINIA: Coach Bill Stewart dismissed three players charged with felony possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver. Linebacker John Holmes, defensive lineman James Ingram and running back Ed Collington were not starters.

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