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Brian Kelly ‘In Shock’ over Investigation

Brian Kelly ‘In Shock’ over Investigation

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(SOUTH BEND, Ind. ) -- Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly addressed the academic fraud investigation under way that involves four of his players on Saturday.

Notre Dame suspended DaVaris Daniels, KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, and Kendall Moore following the news on Friday.

According to ABC's Ron Claiborne, suspensions would not just affect the four players but the entire football program, which just two years ago went undefeated in the regular season and to the national championship game.

"I knew coming to Notre Dame, and one of the reasons why I wanted to come here, was there are some core values as one of the preeminent Catholic institutions that you just can't compromise on, and that's integrity," Kelly said. "And if you see that something is going on that's not right -- and obviously through this investigation they found this out -- it's important that it's addressed. And so I applaud the university for doing that."

Notre Dame now says it will voluntarily forfeit all of the games it won with the four players on the field if ultimately they are found to have cheated.

"Now, along the way, I've lost a starting quarterback and some key players. But I came here because I wanted to be associated with a university that had those standards," Kelly continued.  "And I'm disappointed, I'm saddened in a way for these young men, because they're good kids. They made some bad decisions along the way -- and I'm not throwing these four in that category yet, obviously. But we can talk about Everett [Golson], certainly, in that situation."

"As it relates to the recruitment of the young men here, I think we've brought in the right young men. I think we continue to have to do a better job educating them. We have to do a better job of providing them the resources. Look, this is never a one-sided issue. We have to internally look at providing our student-athletes all of the resources necessary that if, in fact, they took shortcuts, that they don't. And we have to look hard at that. And that's something that will ensue over this issue."

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ASU Offensive Lineman Chip Sarafin Announces He’s Gay

ASU Offensive Lineman Chip Sarafin Announces He’s Gay

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- Arizona State offensive lineman Chip Sarafin told Compete Magazine that he is gay.

Sarafin becomes the first openly gay player in Division I football and told the magazine that former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, who is currently fighting for a roster spot on the St. Louis Rams, inspired him to no longer hide his sexuality.

"It was really personal to me and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," Sarafin told the mag -- a Tempe, Arizona-based LGBT sports publication -- of revealing his sexual orientation to teammates this past spring.

Sam, who continues to impress his teammates and head coach Jeff Fisher, sent his own message to Sarafin.

"Congratulations Chip Sarafin for having the courage to be yourself. Wishing you and your teammates much success this season. #courage2014," Sam tweeted on Wednesday.

ASU head coach Todd Graham also had positive words for his player. "We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way," he said in a statement. "Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master's student. His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete. Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff."

Sarafin has spent most of his time as a reserve offensive lineman and has yet to play in a game.

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Everett Golson Takes Back Notre Dame’s Starting QB Job

Everett Golson Takes Back Notre Dame’s Starting QB Job

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images(SOUTH BEND, Ind.) -- After missing all off last season due to suspension, Everett Golson is Notre Dame's starting quarterback once again.Golson, who in 2012 led the Fighting Irish to the BCS national title game, beat out redshirt freshman Malik Zaire to reclaim the job. The decision was announced Wednesday by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly."Generally when you look at making that decision, I'm using from January through right now as the basis of that decision, so winter workouts, how he handled himself with the team, our workouts, his spring practice and then his leadership in the summer and in camp here," Kelly said. "I think he's put himself in a position to get that opportunity to be our starter against Rice."Golson, 21, was suspended for the 2013 season for what he called "poor academic judgement."In 2012, the 6-foot, 200-pound Golson completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,405 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran for 298 yards and six touchdowns. Golson and Notre Dame start their season August 30 at home versus Rice.

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BREAKING: Judge Rules Against NCAA

BREAKING: Judge Rules Against NCAA

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a landmark decision on Friday, a federal judge has ruled in favor of former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon, and 19 others, saying the NCAA can not stop college football or men's basketball players from selling the rights to their names and likenesses.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled against the NCAA in a lawsuit that claimed college athletics' governing body was in violation of the nation's antitrust laws. 

"The Court finds that the challenged NCAA rules unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by NCAA Division I schools," Wilken wrote in her 99-page decision. 

Wilken went on to say that the NCAA's defense "do not justify this restraint and could be achieved through less restrictive means".

There was one minor victory for the NCAA. Wilken did say that a cap could be put on just hoe much money is paid to athletes, putting the limit at $5,000 a year for big school football and basketball players.

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Longhorns Dismiss Four More Football Players

Longhorns Dismiss Four More Football Players

Brian Bahr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- There's a new sheriff in Austin and Charlie Strong is making his presence known. The first year head coach has already kicked at least six players off his team since taking over the Longhorns, adding four more to the list on Friday.

Safety Josh Turner, running back Jalen Overstreet, defensive back Chevoski Collins and senior running back Joe Bergeron have all been dismissed from the team according to multiple sources. Turner, Overstreet, and Collins were all dismissed for violating team rules while the reason for Bergeron's dismissal is not yet known. The University has not made mention of any suspensions or dismissals.

A projected starter, Turner has played 37 games with five starts in his Longhorns career. Overstreet ran for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 2013 as a freshman after switching to running back from the quarterback position. Collins was a redshirt player last season and listed as a backup safety while Bergeron had faced academic issues in the spring. 

Fullback Chet Moss and defensive back Leroy Scott were also kicked off the team back in the spring for a violation of team rules. A source close to the Longhorns said has many as five more players could face disciplinary action for similar infractions. Strong has also suspended receivers Kendall Sanders and Montreal Meander after the two were arrested on sexual assault charges Thursday night.

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Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

Top WR Nate Craig Commits to Auburn

BananaStock/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  Nate Craig, the No. 1 wide receiver and No. 6 player overall in the ESPN Junior 300, verbally committed to play football for the University of Auburn on Monday night.

Craig chose the Tigers over USC, Ohio State, and Alabama.

"I just thought Auburn was the best fit for me," Craig said. "I got to go up there this weekend and spend some time with coach [Dameyune] Craig and coach [Gus] Malzahn and that just sealed the deal for me."

"I was at Alabama for the whole week, but just building a relationship with the Auburn coaches and coach Craig was a big impact on my recruitment and did a great job. With coach Malzahn I got to spend some time with him and then I sat down with my mom and decided to make a decision," he continued.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Craig caught 37 passes for 502 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore for Tampa Catholic High School this past season. 

Auburn now has three commits for the class of 2016.

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First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

First Female Referee Assigned to Big 12 Football

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- Big 12 Football will make another bit of history when the college football season kicks off this fall. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced on Monday that the first female referee in league history has been assigned to work one of its games.

Bowlsby said Catherine "Cat" Conti will be on the field during Kansas' home opener on Sept. 6 against Southeast Missouri State. Conti had previously worked as an official with the Southland Conference.

The league commissioner noted that Conti has paid her dues and earned a chance to be on the field. Bowlsby also explained that Walt Anderson, Big 12 officiating supervisor, assigned Conti to the game because, "she is just a darned good official."

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Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Big 12 Commissioner: “Cheating Pays”

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(DALLAS) -- During his annual state of the league address at the Big 12 media day, commissioner Bob Bowlsby proclaimed Monday that "cheating pays" in intercollegiate athletics.

"Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn't had a hearing in almost a year," said Bowlsby. "It's not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions."

Bowlsby continued by saying he does not believe cheating is a widespread epidemic, but that he fears for the future of the NCAA and its student-athletes.

"We certainly are operating in a strange environment in that we have lawsuits," explained the commissioner. "I think all of that in the end will cause programs to be eliminated."

While slamming college sports' governing body, Bowlsby did come to the defense of the collegiate model, saying that he was against the unionization of student-athletes.

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Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Alabama Picked to Win SEC

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(HOOVER, Ala.) -- Despite not even reaching the national championship game last year, SEC media members selected Alabama as the preseason favorite to win the conference this college football season.

The poll was revealed on Thursday, the final of four SEC media days. It showed what was a surprise to no one: Alabama vs. Auburn for the conference title.

The Crimson Tide (154) earned more votes than every other Southeastern Conference school combined. Auburn (75), South Carolina (32), Georgia (19), and LSU (9) rounded out the top 5.

"Arguably, they've got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team," said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. "If the recruiting services are correct, and they're pretty much correct."

Alabama also led the conference with nine players named to the preseason first-team. Wide receiver Amari Cooper and running back T.J. Yeldon were the top two vote-getters among all players.

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Will Muschamp Not a Fan of Current SEC Schedule

Will Muschamp Not a Fan of Current SEC Schedule

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(DESTIN, Fla.) -- Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp lit a spark on the first day of the Southeastern Conference's annual spring meetings on Tuesday.

Muschamp isn't a fan of the way the current schedule is with his team having to play teams in the Football Championship Subdivision.

He would rather have a 12-game schedule that features eight league teams, in-state rival Florida State and three more teams from the Football Bowl Subdivision.

"We're probably going to move forward without playing FCS opponents," Muschamp said.  

The college football playoffs begin next season and Muschamp would rather see the Gators play the best possible teams.

"I think our fan base wants to see better opponents," he added.

Even with Muschamp unhappy, Florida's athletic director, Jeremy Foley, isn't ready to give up on playing the lower-division teams.

"I understand what Will's saying," Foley said. "In a perfect world, you play all D-I schools. But also you have to have 12 opponents."

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Northwestern Players Win First Step Towards Unionization

Northwestern Players Win First Step Towards UnionizationiStockPhoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled on Wednesday that Northwestern football players qualify as employees of the school and can unionize. The university says they will appeal the decision to the full NL...

NCAA Committee Puts an End to Proposed “Slow Play” Rule

NCAA Committee Puts an End to Proposed “Slow Play” RuleStreeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NCAA Football Rules Committee withdrew a rule proposal that would have put a stop to hurry-up offenses. The 12-member committee unanimously voted Wednesday to not allow the proposed rule to be sent to the ...

MSU Gives Coach Dantonio a Raise

MSU Gives Coach Dantonio a RaiseHarry How/Getty Images(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio signed an amended contract agreement Tuesday that raises his pay from $1.9 million per year to $3.6 million annually. The contract also extends Dantonio ...

Missouri Defensive End Michael Sam Announces He’s Gay

Missouri Defensive End Michael Sam Announces He’s GayStacy Revere Getty Images Sport(NEW YORK) --  Missouri defensive end Michael Sam announced in interviews with ESPN's Outside the Lines and the New York Times on Sunday that he is gay. The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Sam told his teammates and coaches at M...

Jameis Winston Wants to Play Two More Years at Florida State

Jameis Winston Wants to Play Two More Years at Florida StateGrant Halverson/Getty Images(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) --  NFL teams eying Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston for the 2015 draft may have to wait another year. Head coach Jimbo Fisher claimed earlier this year that the Heisman Trophy winner might p...

Alabama Inks Top-Ranked Recruiting Class

Alabama Inks Top-Ranked Recruiting ClassStreeter Lecka/Getty Images(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) --  The University of Alabama had yet another successful signing day.  Head coach Nick Saban and his staff received letter of intent from 19 players on Wednesday.  If you include the eight ea...

QB Max Wittek to Transfer from USC

QB Max Wittek to Transfer from USCiStockPhoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) --  USC quarterback Max Wittek has informed the team's coaching staff that he will transfer after the end of the spring semester. Wittek told the Los Angeles Times that he intends to skip spring practice, gradua...

Malzahn Receives Bear Bryant Award

Malzahn Receives Bear Bryant AwardKevin C. Cox/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- When people in Alabama talk about Paul "Bear" Bryant they are almost certainly referring to the University on Alabama. Well, fans of the Crimson Tide will have to live with the head coach of their biggest rival bei...

Georgia Hires Jeremy Pruitt as Defensive Coordinator

Georgia Hires Jeremy Pruitt as Defensive CoordinatorStreeter Lecka/Getty Images(ATHENS, Ga.) -- Florida State's Jeremy Pruitt was hired by Georgia to be its new defensive coordinator, the school announced Tuesday. Pruitt served as FSU's defensive coordinator last season, helping the Seminoles win a BCS ...

LSU Running Back Jeremy Hill to Enter the NFL Draft

LSU Running Back Jeremy Hill to Enter the NFL DraftRonald Martinez/Getty Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) --  LSU running back Jeremy Hill announced Monday that will enter the 2014 NFL draft and not return for his junior season. "I am a Tiger for life. I will forever be grateful to my LSU fans, friends, c...

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