NCAA releases statement on COVID-19 outbreak

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With the growing concern over COVID-19 in the United States and around the globe, the NCAA has released a formal statement stressing the need for additional research on the pandemic before making any significant decisions regarding NCAA-sanctioned events.

Here is the full statement from the NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel;

The NCAA COVID-19 Advisory Panel recognizes the fluidity of COVID-19 and its impact on hosting events in a public space.  The panel members believe that we need to better understand COVID-19 while continuing to work with local, state and federal health authorities such as the CDC.  The key is for all stakeholders and athletes to practice risk mitigation at all events.  At present the panel is not recommending cancellation or public spacing of athletic and related events scheduled to occur in public spaces across the United States.

With this being March, the NCAA realizes the need to address the concern about the Coronavirus outbreak before the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, the biggest NCAA-sanctioned events under its control. Of course, we are now getting closer and closer to the point where some college football programs are going to have to address the concern as well.

Considering sporting event sin much smaller venues are already taking drastic precautions, schools with stadium capacities of 50,000 up to 110,000 should be doing their due diligence in preparing and ensuring the safest environment for their students, players, coaches and, of course, the droves of fans who will show up for spring football scrimmages in March and April. If the Coronavirus outbreak continues, then schools like Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, and Georgia — a few schools that traditionally are massive draws for spring football games — will be forced to address how it will be handled for spring football games.

The spring football games pick up mostly in April. You can see the full schedule here.

Michigan has scratched its next spring football trip abroad amid concerns of Coronavirus.

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.