Buffalo tabs Michigan’s Maurice Linguist to take over team

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Maurice Linguist was hired as the University at Buffalo’s head coach months after he became Michigan’s co-defensive coordinator.

Linguist joined Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan staff in January as part of an offseason overhaul following a losing season, and was to share the defensive duties with Mike McDonald.

Instead, the 37-year-old Linguist landed his first career head-coaching job in a return to Buffalo, where he spent 2012 and ’13 as an assistant under Jeff Quinn.

Linguist replaces Lance Leipold, who spent six seasons transforming the Bulls into a Mid-American Conference power before being hired by Kansas on April 30.

Linguist will be formally introduced during a news conference Monday.

Linguist is from Texas, and spent last season as a cornerbacks coach with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent the previous two years as an assistant at Texas A&M. and has 13 years of coaching experience with all but one at the college level.

Buffalo is coming off a 6-1 season, which ended with a 17-10 win over Marshall in the Camellia Bowl, and finished with the team ranked 25th. The Bulls made their first poll appearance in school history in early December when they were ranked 24th.

Leipold’s departure came shortly after Buffalo completed its spring practices, and provides Linguist little time to recruit and fill potential player losses. As many as six players, including quarterback Matt Myers, have since entered the NCAA’s transfer portal.

Myers lost the starting job last year to Kyle Vantrease, who is returning for his senior season.

The Bulls previously lost star running back Jaret Patterson, who left after his junior season to turn pro. Patterson went undrafted before signing with the Washington Football Team earlier this month.

Linguist inherits a Buffalo program that is in much better shape — competitively and structurally — than when Leipold arrived in 2015.

Under Leipold, the Bulls went a combined 29-25, including a 10-4 finish in 2018 in which the team set a single-season program record for victories.

Buffalo is coming off three consecutive seasons with winning records, after doing so just twice in its first 16 seasons since joining the MAC in 1999. The Bulls have also made three consecutive bowl appearances, including two straight wins. In 2019, the Bulls earned their first bowl victory by defeating Charlotte, 31-9, in the Bahamas Bowl.

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.

Nebraska’s leading rusher Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska opened spring practice with running back Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely to work on academics and other issues, first-year coach Matt Rhule announced.

Grant led the team in rushing with 915 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 18 passes for 104 yards.

“Working on academics and general things. Nothing bad other than just our standards as a program,” Rhule said. “That will be day by day. Good kid. Just have to get him going in the right direction.”

Rhule said kick returner and reserve receiver Tommi Hill also is suspended. He did not specify a reason.

Backup tight ends Chris Hickman and James Carnie and reserve cornerback Tyreke Johnson left the team.