Coastal Carolina QB McCall signs NIL with Darlington Raceway

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DARLINGTON, S.C. – Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall has signed an NIL deal with Darlington Raceway.

Officials at the track “Too Tough To Tame” announced the deal Wednesday, saying it’s the first NASCAR facility to partner with a college athlete since students were allowed to profit off their name, image and likeness.

McCall is a junior who set the NCAA mark in pass efficiency rating (207.6) last season, surpassing the mark previously held by former Alabama passer Mac Jones.

McCall has helped the Chants to a 20-2 mark as a starter the past two seasons. He’s the reigning Sun Belt Conference player of the year after throwing for 2,873 yards, 27 touchdowns and three interceptions.

McCall will promote Darlington’s Labor Day race weekend, including the Southern 500 on Sept. 4 that opens the NASCAR playoffs.

McCall will also promote next year’s events at Darlington. He’ll be part of the Darlington’s digital platforms and some marketing campaigns. He’ll also promote NASCAR and Darlington on his own social network channels.

Coastal Carolina, in Conway, is about 70 miles east of the raceway.

“I love the people here in the region,” said McCall, from Indian Trail, North Carolina, “and with Darlington being right down the road and a huge part of the sports culture, partnering with them just makes sense.”

South Carolina gives AD Tanner raise, two-year extension

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.

Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.

The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.

Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.

Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.

Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.

Michigan RB Blake Corum says he’ll be back by fall camp

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.

Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina

Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.

“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.

“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”

Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.