Leaving the Beavers: WR Richard Mullaney transferring from OSU


Back in October of last year, an injury ended Richard Mullaney‘s 2014 season. As it turns out, the wide receiver’s career at Oregon State has ended as well.

OSU announced Friday night that Mullaney has decided to transfer from the Beavers. Mullaney’s decision to leave the Beavers comes a few months after Mike Riley left OSU for Nebraska and Gary Andersen left Wisconsin to replace him.

“I want to thank Richard for his contributions during this coaching transition,” Andersen said in a statement. “It is his choice to transfer and we will support him as he moves into the next phase of his life.”

As a graduate transfer, Mullaney will be eligible to play immediately in 2015. Nebraska, as well as Alabama, has been mentioned as a potential landing spot.

Regardless of where Mullaney ends up, some FBS program will get immediate experienced help in the receiving corps.

During his time at OSU, Mullaney caught 83 passes for 1,160 yards and five touchdowns. Prior to an elbow injury that cost him the last half of the 2014 season, Mullaney was third on the Beavers in receptions (18) and receiving yards (216).

“OSU and Reser Stadium will always be a special place for me and I’m very thankful of ‘Beaver Nation’ for all the support,” Mullaney said in his school-released statement. “I also want to thank Coach Andersen for his support in my decision. I wish him and all of my former teammates the best of luck this season.”

Minnesota gives Fleck 1-year extension, plus raise

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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

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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.