UCLA’s Deon Hollins reprimanded for ‘derogatory’ comments on Pac-12 refs

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By now the Pac-12 is used to the general public criticizing its officiating crews.  What the conference won’t stand for, though, is one of its players publicly chastising its zebras.

Following a Week 11 loss to Washington State in which there were several questionable calls that he believed went against his team, UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins, who felt he was held on a last-second touchdown pass that lifted Wazzu to a win, had some very pointed words directed at the officiating in the aftermath of the 31-27 decision.

Beating the referees and beating the other team is rough sometimes,” Hollins said. “I’m never one to start blaming it on penalties, but there are so many times when they call ticky-tack things on us and not them. It is really hard to overcome that when you need a big play at the end of the game. …

“It’s really tough sometimes. We’re just looking on the film and there’s so many missed things. It was just appalling; I was appalled.”

Suffice to say, the blunt critique didn’t sit well with the league office, which issued an official public reprimand of Hollins for comments the conference labeled as “derogatory” in its release.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Mr. Hollins remarks were a clear violation of the Pac-12 comprehensive restrictions on public comments on officiating and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

In his statement in the same release, Hollins acknowledged that his “comments were inappropriate,” but he stopped short of specifically apologizing for them.

“There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with being a football student-athlete in the Pac-12 and at UCLA,” said Hollins. “Unfortunately, yesterday I spoke out of frustration and knew almost immediately afterwards that my comments were inappropriate. I expect more of myself and will not let this happen again.”

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.