College Football News

Ex-Michigan, CFL linebacker Craig Roh dies at 33

Ex-Michigan, CFL linebacker Craig Roh dies at 33

Craig Roh, a four-year starter on the defensive line at Michigan from 2009-12, has died at age 33 from colon cancer.

His wife, Chelsea Roh, announced his death on Wednesday on social media. The Rohs have a 2-year-old son, Max.

"Craig was the most driven/disciplined person I have ever met," Chelsea Roh wrote on Instagram. "He gave 10000% into everything he did, including being a wonderful husband/father. Driving away from our first date, I knew in that moment that my life was changed forever. ... Even though he left the world at only 33, Craig lived an amazingly full life. I'm not sure how I'm going to live the rest of my days without him, but I will put one foot in front of the other for our beautiful little boy."

According to a GoFundMe page set up to pay for medical expenses and Max's education, Roh was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in August 2022.

"Craig did not want to go public with his diagnosis and battle because, in true Craig fashion, he did not want the attention to be on him," the fundraiser page reads. "From chemo, to targeted therapy, to clinical trials at MD Anderson (in Houston) and in Honduras, Craig was resilient till the very end."

Roh started a program-record 51 straight games at Michigan after twice being named Gatorade Player of the Year in his native Arizona. He later spent one season with the Carolina Panthers and five in the Canadian Football League, where he won the Grey Cup with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2019.

The Rohs moved to Austin, Texas, where Craig Roh worked at tech startups and also started an online business teaching the techniques of coaching defensive lines.

"I am saddened to hear about the passing of former defensive end Craig Roh, our program's all-time leader in career starts," new Michigan football coach Sherrone Moore posted to social media. "My heart goes out to his family during this difficult time. The entire Roh family is in my thoughts and prayers and we hope for peace and comfort for all who knew this great Wolverine."

Report: Kansas coach Lance Leipold gets big raise

Report: Kansas coach Lance Leipold gets big raise

Kansas football coach Lance Leipold agreed to a new deal with a significant pay raise, ESPN reported Wednesday.

His new average salary of more than $7 million would put him in the top three in the Big 12 Conference, per the report.

Leipold, 59, has resurrected the program, leading the Jayhawks to back-to-back bowl games in 2022 and 2023.

Kansas finished a 9-4 season (5-4 Big 12) in 2023 with a 49-36 victory over UNLV in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

It was the most wins for the Jayhawks since the 2007 season and their first bowl win since the 2008 campaign.

Leipold was a two-time MAC Coach of the Year (2018, 2020) and compiled a 37-33 record at Buffalo from 2015-20 before arriving in Lawrence.

The Jayhawks improved to 6-7 in 2022 after going 2-10 in his first season with the program. His overall record sits at 54-54 entering the 2024 season.

Reports: Boise State to hire Dirk Koetter as OC

Reports: Boise State to hire Dirk Koetter as OC

Dirk Koetter is again joining the coaching staff at Boise State, this time as offensive coordinator under first-year coach Spencer Danielson, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

Koetter coached the Broncos from 1998-2000 and returned to serve as an offensive analyst and interim OC in 2022.

In his first stint with the Broncos, he finished with a 26-10 record and led the team to two Humanitarian Bowl wins (1999, 2000).

In his second stint, after stepping in to call plays for then-head coach Andy Avalos in 2022, the Broncos won eight of the last 10 games to reach the Mountain West Conference title game and earned a 35-32 win over North Texas in the Frisco Bowl.

In between his times in Boise, Koetter coached Arizona State for six seasons (2001-06) and spent time as OC for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2007-11), Atlanta Falcons (2012-14, 2019-20) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015). He served as head coach of the Bucs from 2016-18, posting a 19-29 record.

Koetter replaces Bush Hamdan, who left to be the offensive coordinator at Kentucky.

Spring practice at Boise State begins March 11.

Clemson reinstates DT DeMonte Capehart after gun charge dropped

Clemson reinstates DT DeMonte Capehart after gun charge dropped

Clemson defensive tackle DeMonte Capehart has returned to the team following the expungement of weapon and traffic charges, according to multiple reports Monday.

Capehart, 22, was arrested in Pickens County Feb. 6 and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm on university property and failure to exercise due care in a motor vehicle. He was released on bond.

Capehart completed a pre-trial intervention for non-violent offenders which removes all charges from the record and allows for reinstatement to the team, according to a school spokesman Monday.

Capehart, a fifth-year senior out of Hartsville, S.C., played 12 games in a reserve role in 2023, finishing with 15 tackles, five of those for loss, and a sack.

He has 30 career tackles in 34 games, all as a backup.

Report: UMass joining MAC for all sports

Report: UMass joining MAC for all sports

The University of Massachusetts is set to join the Mid-American Conference for all sports starting in 2025-26, ESPN reported Monday.

UMass currently competes as an independent in football and in the Atlantic 10 for most other men's and women's athletic programs.

MAC presidents voted on Monday to invite UMass as a new member and the school is expected to accept, according to the report.

The Minutemen would join the 12 current full MAC members: Akron, Bowling Green State, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Ball State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.

UMass previously competed in the MAC for four seasons in football from 2012-15, compiling an overall record of 8-40 with a 7-25 mark in league play. The Minutemen finished 3-9 in 2023.

The Amherst, Mass., school has been a member of the A-10 for men's and women's basketball since the 1982-83 season.

Eric Bieniemy confirms he will join new coaching staff at UCLA

Eric Bieniemy confirms he will join new coaching staff at UCLA

Former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is heading back to college and will join the staff of new head coach DeShaun Foster at UCLA, he confirmed to ESPN.

ESPN reported that Bienemy, who also was the offensive coordinator on Andy Reid's staff with the Kansas City Chiefs, is finalizing a two-year deal to both serve the same post and become the associate head coach at UCLA.

The move represents a homecoming for Bieniemy, who grew up in the area and was a Bruins assistant from 2003-05.

"Southern California," Bieniemy wrote in an email to ESPN on Saturday. "I attended high school there. I started my career in the league here (with the Chargers). It's obviously great to be back with the Bruins, where I was previously employed."

Bieniemy, 54, also addressed Foster, who became the 19th football coach in UCLA history on Feb. 12. Foster, 44, replaced Chip Kelly, who departed to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State.

"This is a great opportunity for me to help support DeShaun as a head coach, to work with him and to work for him as well," Bieniemy wrote. "My goal is to help him to be a successful head coach in our profession."

Foster, a first-time head coach, takes over a program that finished 8-5 last season under Kelly, including 4-5 in the Pac-12. The Bruins move into the Big Ten Conference this fall.

Bieniemy served as the offensive coordinator with the Commanders for one season and he told ESPN he "chose not to stay" in Washington. New head coach Dan Quinn hired former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury for the job.

Previously, Bieniemy spent 2013-17 as the Chiefs' running backs coach before being elevated to the team's offensive coordinator in 2018. Reid remained the Chiefs' offensive play-caller.

Bieniemy had several interviews for head-coaching positions but was never offered a job. After the Chiefs' Super Bowl win over the Philadelphia Eagles last year, he accepted the Washington position as an opportunity to build his own staff and call plays.

The Commanders went 4-13 in 2023, ending on an eight-game losing streak. Head coach Ron Rivera was fired at season's end.

Bieniemy also served as offensive coordinator at Colorado, his alma mater, from 2011-12.

The Bruins are set to begin the 2024 season Aug. 31 at Hawaii, then host Big Ten opponent Indiana on Sept. 14.

NCAA's NIL rules frozen as judge grants injunction

NCAA's NIL rules frozen as judge grants injunction

The NCAA cannot punish students or athletics program boosters for name, image and likeness recruiting inducements -- at least for now -- as a result of a federal judge's preliminary injunction on Friday afternoon.

The injunction is not a final ruling in the case of Tennessee and Virginia v. NCAA, but the NCAA is in danger of fully losing its ability to enforce its NIL rules, which have been called into question by the attorneys general of both states.

"The NCAA's prohibition likely violates federal antitrust law and harms student-athletes," U.S. District Judge Clifton Corker wrote Friday.

Although the related court case is still active, Corker's injunction means that athletes are free to negotiate NIL-related compensation before they enroll at a school. Though the judge is from the Eastern Tennessee District, his decision applies to the entire country.

The case stems from the NCAA's decision in January to launch an investigation into the Tennessee football program over alleged recruiting violations. It centered on Nico Iamaleava, a five-star quarterback recruit coming out of high school, signing a deal with Tennessee's primary NIL collective, Spyre Sports Group, reportedly worth $8 million.

Tennessee chancellor Donde Plowman addressed a biting letter to NCAA president Charlie Baker last month, claiming the NCAA is not doing its part to establish clear rules for student-athletes, their families or universities.

"Instead, two and a half years of vague and contradictory NCAA memos, emails and 'guidance' about name, image and likeness (NIL) has created extraordinary chaos that student-athletes and institutions are struggling to navigate. In short, the NCAA is failing," Plowman wrote in part.

The AGs of Tennessee and Virginia filed their antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA the next day.

"Without the give and take of a free market, student-athletes simply have no knowledge of their true NIL value," Corker wrote Friday. "It is this suppression of negotiating leverage and the consequential lack of knowledge that harms student-athletes."

Tennessee attorney general Jonathan Skrmetti said in a statement to news outlets Friday that his state would continue pursuing its litigation "to ensure the NCAA's monopoly cannot continue to harm Tennessee student-athletes.

"The NCAA is not above the law, and the law is on our side."

NCAA student-athletes have been allowed to profit off their names, images and likenesses since the Supreme Court ruled in their favor in NCAA v. Alston in the summer of 2021.

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