TCU could play 3 QBs, Dykes not saying who takes 1st snap

Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK
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FORT WORTH, Texas – Max Duggan has started 29 games as TCU’s quarterback and Chandler Morris had 531 yards of total offense in his only full game last fall. New Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes still hasn’t said which of them will take the first snap in the season opener Friday night at Colorado.

TCU’s initial depth chart lists Duggan or Morris as the No. 1 quarterback.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” Dykes said Monday. “Obviously, Max Duggan has a significant resume. He has played a lot of snaps in the last three years here at TCU, has played very well. … Chandler is the same way. You look at some of the games he played in last year, he played exceptional. So they both have experience and they both have done it.”

Dykes expects both Duggan and Morris to play in the opener, as well as Sam Jackson, the redshirt freshman who had a 77-yard completion to Taye Barber on his only pass attempt last season. The coach said he doesn’t think it matters who starts.

“It’s a fun group. I like the guys a lot,” Dykes said. “Sam certainly brings a different element to the room. … I would anticipate all three of them playing, and my expectation is all three of them will play well.”

Duggan, the Iowa Gatorade player of the year and a four-star recruit before getting to TCU, has passed for 5,920 yards with 41 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 32 games overall for the Horned Frogs. The senior has also rushed for 1,433 yards and 19 more scores.

After Duggan played with a fractured foot bone for several games last season, Morris got his first start in a 30-28 win over Big 12 champion Baylor in TCU’s first game after Gary Patterson and the school mutually agreed to part ways. Morris threw for 461 yards, ran for 70 and even caught a pass. His 531 total yards were the second-most in school history, but he got hurt in the next game.

Morris, the former Oklahoma transfer, is still listed as a redshirt freshman after completing 50 of 76 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns in his four games last year. He had a TD run for the Sooners in their Big 12 championship game victory over Iowa State in 2020.

Senior offensive lineman Steve Avila, a team captain, said the Frogs are confident in whichever quarterback is playing.

“The only thing that we really know is there is a change in voice,” Avila said.

“They all run the offense in their own ways,” Barber said. “They all bring different things to the table, and I feel they’re all positive.”

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.