A&M board gives OK to explore conference affiliation

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It was reported just a short time ago that the Texas House of Representatives had canceled a meeting of the Higher Education Committee scheduled for tomorrow to discuss Texas A&M’s conference affiliation.

A meeting of the school’s Board of Regents schedule for today, however, went ahead as planned.  And the outcome of the meeting signaled the A&M-to-the-SEC talk will not die anytime in the near future.

According to multiple media outlets, the regents unanimously voted this afternoon to give President R. Loftin Bowen permission to “take action on conference alignment.”  Translated into English, that means Loftin has been given official permission to pursue a move from the Big 12 to the SEC.  The next step in the process — provided there are no legal obstacles that still need to be navigated — Will Likely be for Loftin to officially approach the SEC regarding A&M’s interest in becoming a member of the conference.

“It’s not so much what’s wrong with the Big 12,” Loftin said following the meeting, “it’s what’s right for Texas A&M. …

“What we do will be in the best interest of Texas A&M and the state of Texas. We don’t want the Big 12 to go away.”

The SEC announced Sunday that the “Presidents and Chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment” after discussing “criteria and process associated with expansion. The statement ended by noting that “[n]o action was taken with respect to any institution including Texas A&M.”

That statement was viewed by most as simply a tactical maneuver by the SEC, in effect shielding itself from the perception that they were raiding another conference and thus opening itself up to potential litigation.

With what was expected to be the regents’ rubber-stamping Loftin’s desire to pursue a new conference for A&M now official, it’s a clear signal that A&M will push ahead in its attempt to gain membership in the SEC.  What the legal ramifications for the school from the Big 12, however, remains to be determined.

Miami fires offensive coordinator Josh Gattis after 1 season

josh gattis fired
Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports
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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami fired offensive coordinator Josh Gattis on Friday, ending the former Broyles Award winner’s time with the Hurricanes after only one season.

The school announced the move in a one-sentence press release, with no other detail: “Josh Gattis has been relieved of his duties as offensive coordinator, Miami head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday,” read the release, sent from a university spokesman.

The Hurricanes went 5-7 in Gattis’ lone season. He was brought in by Miami only a few weeks after winning the 2021 Broyles Award – given to the nation’s top assistant coach – while serving as Michigan’s offensive coordinator and helping the Wolverines reach the College Football Playoff.

But Miami’s offense, for a number of reasons, failed to meet expectations in 2022. Part of that was injuries; starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke battled a shoulder injury, and the Hurricanes turned to Jake Garcia – who has since transferred – and Jacurri Brown for much of the season.

Miami scored 100 points in its first two games last fall, overpowering Bethune-Cookman and Southern Miss. The Hurricanes averaged only 18.3 points the rest of the way, and finished the year 5-0 in games where the defense allowed no more than 14 points – but 0-7 when opponents scored more than 14.

Miami was 86th nationally in total offense last season, averaging 367.1 yards per game, and 97th in scoring offense.

Gattis played at Wake Forest and worked at North Carolina, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Alabama and Michigan before coming to Miami.

Audit: LSU discovered $1M overpayment to Kelly in 2022

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU accidentally overpaid Tigers football coach Brian Kelly by $1 million during the first year of a 10-year, $100 million contract, but discovered the error and has moved to correct it, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office said Wednesday.

Kelly was overpaid $1,001,368 in supplemental payments in 2022 because duplicate payments made both to Kelly’s LLC and to the coach directly.

The double payments began in May and continued until LSU officials detected the errors in November.

“LSU management and the head football coach have enacted an adjusted payment schedule so the amount of overpayment will be recouped by the conclusion of fiscal year 2023,” the Legislative Auditor’s report stated.

Kelly, who previously coached at Notre Dame for 12 seasons, was hired by LSU after the 2021 season, when the Tigers went 6-7 for its first losing season since 1999.

LSU exceeded expectations in Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, winning the SEC West Division and finishing 10-4 after a 63-7 victory over Purdue in the Citrus Bowl.