Former Clemson WR Brian Wofford killed in accident

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The extended Clemson football family has suffered a loss as a former standout wide receiver was killed this past week.

First reported by multiple media outlets, the university confirmed via a press release that Brian Wofford died Friday morning after the motorcycle that he was driving was hit by an automobile at an intersection in the city of Moore, SC.  The accident occurred at approximately 11:15 local time and Wofford, who was wearing a helmet the release stated, died at the scene.

From OrangeAndWhite.com:

According to the S.C. Highway Patrol, Wofford was riding his 2008 Yamaha motorcycle west on Reidville Road when a 2003 Saturn driven by 20-year-old Jewell Cote of Pacolet attempted to turn right onto Reidville Road from Plateau Street, entering the road in the motorcycle’s path.

Cote was not injured in the wreck.  The accident remains under investigation.

Wofford played for the Tigers from 1996-99 and had 138 receptions for 1,857 yards and 13 touchdowns over his career.   He still ranks 10th in school history in receptions, ninth in reception yards and is tied for eighth in school history in touchdown receptions.

His 147 yards receiving in the 1999 Chick-fil-A Bowl remains a postseason record for the school.

His coach his senior year was Tommy Bowden, who released a statement through the school on his former player’s death.

“When you come to a new program you look to players who will set a standard of excellence and will bind your team together. Brian was one of those players in my first year.

“He was top notch in every area. He was a terrific student, a hard worker during practice, a leader…he was everything college athletics is all about from a positive standpoint. He represented our football program, our university and his family with great distinction.

“One thing I remember about Brian was how happy he was when he heard what our offense was all about. He knew he would get a lot of opportunities as a receiver in our offense and he made the most of it.”

At the time of his death, the 34-year-old Wofford was the head of the Spartanburg city parks system.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Wofford’s family and friends during this heartbreaking time.

(Photo credit: Clemson athletics)

Minnesota gives Fleck 1-year extension, plus raise

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Matt Krohn/USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck had his contract extended Wednesday by an additional year with a $1 million raise in annual salary, after the latest round of big spending by Big Ten rivals.

The new seven-year deal will run through the 2029 season, the university announced without releasing terms. Fleck will now make $6 million per year, a person with knowledge of the contract confirmed. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been finalized.

Last week, Nebraska hired Matt Rhule and Wisconsin hired Luke Fickell to put them in the top tier of head coach compensation in the conference. In terms of average annual value, the 42-year-old Fleck is eighth in the Big Ten behind Michigan State’s Mel Tucker, Ohio State’s Ryan Day, Rhule, Fickell, Penn State’s James Franklin, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. All seven of those coaches make $7 million or more per season.

The Gophers (8-4) play Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29. They’re 3-0 in bowl games under Fleck, who was hired away from Western Michigan in 2017.

Minnesota tied for second place in the Big Ten West Division this year, behind Purdue. Fleck is 43-27 overall with the Gophers, including 26-26 in conference play. They’re 0-6 against Iowa and 3-3 against Wisconsin, their primary rivals.

Fleck’s winning percentage is third-best in program history among coaches with 45 games or more, behind Henry Williams (1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (1932-41).

“What P.J. and his staff have done in a short amount of time is remarkable,” athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement distributed by the university. “He has recruited and developed some of the best student-athletes to ever play at Minnesota and his team continues to excel academically, athletically and socially.”

This is the fifth time in six years on the job that Fleck’s deal has been adjusted to keep up with the competition, as power conference coach contracts these days rarely have less than five years on them at any time. Minnesota extended his deal a year ago, too.

In that iteration of his contract, the termination fees Fleck would owe Minnesota if he were to hop to another program were bumped way up. Those numbers landed at $7 million in 2023, $5 million in 2024, $4 million in 2025 and $3 million in 2026. Details about those figures in the new deal were not immediately available.

Virginia players granted extra year of eligibility

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The NCAA has granted an extra year of eligibility to Virginia players whose eligibility has expired in the aftermath of the slaying of three members of the team, the school confirmed.

Lavel Davis Jr., D’Sean Perry and Devin Chandler were killed last month as they returned to campus from a field trip to see a play in Washington, D.C. A former player at the school, Christopher Darnell Jones Jr., is facing three counts of second-degree murder and other charges in the shooting. A fourth player, Mike Hollins, and student Marlee Morgan were injured in the shooting.

Virginia canceled its final two games of the season after the shooting, and the team and university community memorialized the victims in a nearly two-hour service on campus. Team members also traveled to each of the three funerals held for their teammates.