TCU-SMU postponed by COVID-19 outbreak among Horned Frogs

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU and SMU postponed their Sept. 11 game as TCU announced Friday a cluster of Horned Frogs players and team support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.

TCU did not identify who was infected with COVID-19 or how many players or staff are involved. Athletic director Jeremiah Donati said none currently faces serious health issues.

No makeup date for the game at TCU was immediately set.

The postponement came at nearly the same time the Big 12 formally announced 53-player minimum roster to play a game, game, including all scholarship and walk-on players. The league also set minimums for the number of available offensive linemen (seven), defensive linemen (four) and quarterbacks (one).

TCU schools officials this week reported more than 400 active COVID-19 cases for the campus two weeks into the fall semester. Among those, nearly 250 were students were living on campus.

Donati aid the TCU football program was aggressive in its testing and contact tracing protocols, and would “continue our enforcement of strict standards to protect the program and our community. Everyone’s health and safety remains our top priority.”

Donati said the schools will try to reschedule at a later date, although they may be few options. TCU is scheduled to play its Big 12 opener Sept. 26 against Iowa State. SMU plays Saturday at Texas State.

SMU athletic director Rick Hart tweeted the Mustangs were disappointed the game won’t be played as originally scheduled.

“Our student-athletes, coaches and fans were looking forward to the 100th edition of the Iron Skillet Rivalry. We are excited to start the season tomorrow at Texas State,” Hart said.

The TCU-SMU game is just the latest one affected by the pandemic. The North Carolina State at Virginia Tech game in the ACC was moved from Sept. 12 to Sept. 26 and Marshall and East Carolina postponed their Sept. 12 but no makeup game has been set.

The Big 12, the ACC and the Southeastern Conference are the only three Power Five conferences that opted to try to play in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Big Ten and Pac-12, as well as virtually every other lower-level conference, have put off fall sports and are instead hoping to play in the spring.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.