Ex-Tide QB Phillip Sims not feeling like himself this spring at UVA

0 Comments

When former Virginia starting quarterback Michael Rocco announced he was transferring down a level to Richmond to play for his uncle, it was another sign to what was already assumed by many: that Alabama transfer Phillip Sims was the future starter for the Cavaliers.

That could still very well be the case, but as of UVA’s pre-spring depth chart , it isn’t. Sims was listed as the third-string QB behind David Watford and redshirt freshman Greyson Lambert.

When asked if he felt like he was able to be himself on the field despite this, Sims said no.

It really looks like it’s headed in the opposite direction,” Sims said, “but…I’m here to play football, man. Nobody wants to hear the excuses about what’s going on with this, or how is this going, so – hey, if I can’t be me, I’ve got to be as close as I can be.”

Sims, who will be a redshirt junior in 2013 and started four games last year, added that he felt like he’s had a good offseason and that he doesn’t know why the depth chart is ordered the way it is. It doesn’t sound like he’s making any excuses though, and that’s good to hear.

Consider the fact that Sims, along with the rest of the QB group, is learning a new set of terminology from recently hired offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild. Per the Daily Press, Fairchild is Sims’ fifth different OC in as many years dating back to his high school days. That’s difficult for any QB, whether they’re a walk-on or a highly touted signal caller like Sims was coming out of high school in 2010 when he signed with the Tide.

It’s a long offseason though. With a little continuity, maybe Sims will have a better chance to settle in.

Minnesota gives Fleck 1-year extension, plus raise

minnesota football
Matt Krohn/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

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
2 Comments

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.