Michigan’s spring game attendance most in over two decades

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The offense may have been a bit of a disappointment, but it didn’t stop Michigan fans from coming through the turnstiles in numbers not seen in quite a few years in Ann Arbor.

As previously reported, upwards of 60,000 UM fans showed up for the first spring game of the Jim Harbaugh era.  According to mlive.com, that number is the highest turnout for a Wolverines spring game in at least two decades, presumably back to around the time that Gary Moeller was patrolling the sidelines.

From the website’s post:

It was the most well-attended spring game in at least the last two decades. Former coach Lloyd Carr usually ended the spring training period with “open practices” that only drew about 5,000 fans, while Rich Rodriguez held more traditional spring games, with attendance topping out at 50,000 in 2009.

During Brady Hoke‘s tenure, the April game never drew more than 25,000 fans, as his style of a spring game was a mix of practice and scrimmage, usually with Hoke on the field coaching between plays.

The UM spring game is easily the leader in the clubhouse for drawing the most fans, comfortable surpassing the 14,000 that witnessed BYU’s version of the spring finale.  With Alabama (April 18), Auburn (April 18), Nebraska (April 11), Ohio State (April 18), Penn State (April 18) and Tennessee (April 25), among others, still yet to conduct their respective spring games, UM’s time at the top of the attendance heap should be short-lived.

(Photo credit: Michigan athletics)

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.