Rutgers fires coordinator Sean Gleeson as offense struggles


PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers fired offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson two days after the team’s third straight Big Ten loss.

Head coach Greg Schiano announced the move, which comes following the sixth game of Gleeson’s third season with the Scarlet Knights (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten).

Letting go of the 36-year-old Gleeson marks the first time that Schiano has let go of a coach mid-season.

“It’s my job to make sure we’re playing complimentary football and I feel our football team can win plenty of games when we play complementary football and as the head coach, that’s your job,” Schiano said. “And when it’s not happening, you try to fix it.”

The Rutgers offense has struggled this season. The team ranks No. 108 in total offense (334 yards per game), No. 104 in scoring offense (22.8 PPG) and No. 118 in team passing efficiency. Rutgers lost to Nebraska (3-3, 2-1) 14-13, mustering 85 total yards and no points in the second half.

Meanwhile, Rutgers ranks No. 14 in total defense and No. 16 in third-down conversion percentage defense.

“In college football, at the end of the day, you need to score points. And we just aren’t scoring enough points, and I want our offense to be as much of a weapon as our defense right now. That’s not to drive any kind of wedge. I think we’re capable of doing that.”

Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will serve as the interim offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Campanile served as the interim head coach at Rutgers between Schiano’s hiring and his predecessor Chris Ash‘s firing.

While he has a short list of candidates in his back pocket, Schiano said he will focus on Gleeson’s permanent replacement after the season. As the interim, Campanile will essentially have a seven-week tryout, Schiano said.

Gleeson was hired by Schiano as his first offensive coordinator in his second stint at the school.

Rutgers has the week off before hosting Indiana (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Gleeson, from Glenn Ridge, New Jersey, was the first Rutgers assistant to be paid over a million dollars. He’ll be paid the remainder of his salary on his deal, which is set to expire after 2023. He will be paid $1,025,000 this year and $1,050,000 in 2023.

Seen as a wunderkind for his work coordinating Princeton and Oklahoma State’s offense, he began his tenure at Rutgers with some innovative play-calling. However, the offense has struggled to produce yards or points this season.

The Scarlet Knights have had a quarterback carousel, with senior captain Noah Vedral injured to start the season. Prized recruit Gavin Wimsatt was injured in the third game of the season, and Evan Simon was also splitting time.

“I believe we can win games this year, otherwise, I wouldn’t have made this change,” Schiano said. “You can do it the traditional way and wait until the end of the season, but I believe we can win games this year if we play complimentary football. That’s why it happened now.”

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.