Kansas State parts with assistant coaches Messingham, Ray

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Kansas State dumped offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and tights ends coach Jason Ray on Friday.

Wildcats coach Chris Klieman said the two assistant coaches, whose contracts were due to expire in February, would not be retained for the bowl season. Kansas State finished 7-5 and should learn its bowl destination on Sunday.

Former Heisman Trophy finalist Collin Klein, who had been working with Kansas State quarterbacks, will serve as the interim offensive coordinator for the bowl game. It’s unclear whether he will be considered for the full-time job.

“These were very difficult decisions to make as both are great coaches and friends – Jason since our time at North Dakota State, and Courtney, who I have known since we were young,” Klieman said in a statement. “However, I feel like this is in the best interest of our program moving forward.”

The Wildcats started 3-0 and briefly reached the Top 25 before an injury to quarterback Skylar Thompson began a four-game skid. But fueled by a defense that emerged as one of the best in the Big 12, the Wildcats proceeded to rip off four more wins to qualify for a bowl game, only for their offense to go haywire in two more losses.

The offense has been a problem point for Kansas State since Klieman arrived from North Dakota State two years ago. He brought along Messingham, who was his offensive coordinator there and had once been the coordinator at Iowa State, but his run-heavy scheme that dominated the lower-level Missouri Valley Conference didn’t translate well to the Big 12.

The Wildcats also have struggled to develop players on the offensive side of the ball. Thompson will be lost to graduation after playing his sixth season, and understudies Will Howard and Jaren Lewis have been underwhelming.

“We appreciate the efforts of Courtney and Jason during their time in Manhattan and wish them well,” Klieman said.

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.