Stoops: Rodriguez out for No. 20 Kentucky, facing suspension

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. will not play in the season opener against Miami of Ohio, and coach Mark Stoops expects multiple-game suspensions for the No. 20 Wildcats’ rushing leader and other players.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty this summer to driving under the influence and other charges following his arrest in May. Neither the senior nor linebacker Jordan Wright was listed on the depth chart released Monday, but Stoops said they were “unavailable” rather than suspended. He did not offer further details during a news conference.

“These players have some rights as well and I have to be very conscientious of that,” he said. “I expect a few of them will have multiple-game suspensions, but I don’t know. I’ll address it next week.”

Discipline was expected for the first team All-Southeastern Conference selection, but Stoops has sidestepped questions about his status throughout fall camp.

Rodriguez is coming off a season in which he rushed for a career-high 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns to help Kentucky finish 10-3 last season and win the Citrus Bowl. Wright had 30 tackles, six pass breakups and four tackles for loss in nine games last fall.

Senior Kavosiey Smoke and Sam Houston State transfer Ramon Jefferson are listed 1-2 on the depth chart for the non-conference meeting. Kentucky begins SEC play at Florida on Sept. 10.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff


CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.