Chizik, Warren return to Tar Heels in defensive-staff revamp

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina’s revamp of its defensive coaching staff now includes the return of Gene Chizik, who led Auburn to a national championship as a head coach.

The school announced Saturday the hiring of Chizik as assistant head coach for defense as well as the return of Charlton Warren to serve as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. They worked together on the UNC staff under Larry Fedora for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

The additions come after the school announced defensive coordinator Jay Bateman and assistant Jovan Dewitt won’t return to the staff next season, and the team would make “structural adjustments” to its coaching staff after last year’s defensive struggles.

Chizik worked under UNC coach Mack Brown as Texas’ defensive coordinator when the Longhorns won the national championship. He then led a one-year turnaround for Fedora on a UNC defense that ranked among the nation’s worst by surrendering 39 points and 497.8 yards per game in 2014, making the unit good enough for the Tar Heels to win an Atlantic Coast Conference division title and reach the league championship game.

Chizik stepped down after two seasons to spend time with his family in Alabama. In a statement Saturday, Chizik said he had numerous opportunities to return to coaching “but this one is the total package.”

Assistant coach and former UNC program great Dre’ Bly remains the cornerbacks coach for the Tar Heels.

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.