Kansas selects Emmett Jones as interim coach

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Emmett Jones was picked as the interim coach at Kansas as the beleaguered school searches for a new athletic director and head football coach following a scandal-plagued week.

Jones is entering his third season with the Jayhawks, serving first as the wide receivers coach and most recently as the passing game coordinator. He also has coached at Texas Tech along with several high schools in Texas.

“Emmett’s relationship with our football student-athletes is vital as we venture through this time of transition within our football program and athletics department,” interim athletic director Kurt Watson said in a statement. “I am confident in his abilities to ensure this program functions at a high level in preparation for the 2021 season.”

Watson also interviewed current defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot, recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Joshua Eargle and offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who had been handling day-to-day duties the past week.

The mess at Kansas began last week with the release of two reviews by LSU conducted by separate law firms into football coach Les Miles, who had been accused by two women of making sexual advances during his tenure leading the Tigers.

Miles was placed on administrative leave before agreeing to a buyout of his contract.

The following day, then-athletic director Jeff Long defended his hiring of Miles – his friend of 30 years dating to their days together at Michigan – and vowed to conduct the search for his replacement. But after significant backlash from fans and prominent donors, Long met with Kansas chancellor Douglas Girod and submitted his resignation.

Watson was placed in charge of the athletic department while Girod, with the help of a panel of advisors, searches for the next athletic director. Whomever is hired will then handle the search for the next football coach.

Jones is among a few coaches on the staff that Will Likely be interviewed for the permanent job.

He was the head coach at Texas prep powerhouse South Oak Cliff, and he’s used his connections in the football hotbed to help lure a series of strong recruiting classes to Kansas. Jones has done it without the benefit of a winning tradition, either, let alone much fan support or facilities that would be deemed average by Division I standards.

He also spent time on current Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s staff at Texas Tech.

“I am incredibly grateful to Chancellor Girod and Mr. Watson for the opportunity to lead this program during a critical time of change,” Jones said. “Since arriving here, I have developed a deep love of this program and university, and it is an honor to be named interim head coach. I will rely on our talented assistant coaches, as well as Ben Iannacchione and the strength and conditioning staff to guide our student-athletes and be there for them on and off the field.”

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.

Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey suspended after arrest

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey was suspended from the team after he was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the team said.

The 23-year-old, who was a team captain last season, was booked at about 2:45 a.m. and released after posting $500 bond, according to online records from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

“We are aware of the situation involving Chad Bailey,” Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s been suspended according to Department of Athletics policy. We have high expectations for all of our student-athletes, on and off the field, and we will follow all departmental and campus policies.”

Bailey was Mizzou’s third-leading tackler with 57 stops last season. He started all 11 games he played, missing two with an injury. He’ll be a sixth-year senior this fall after opting to return for his final year of eligibility, the Post-Dispatch reported.

The Missouri student-athlete handbook says any athlete who is arrested must serve a minimum one-week suspension.

Bailey was pulled over at about 1 a.m. not far from the Columbia campus for an expired license plate and lane violation, a police statement said. Bailey told the officer he had consumed alcohol and then performed poorly on a field sobriety test, the Post-Dispatch reported.