Texas Tech denies Ole Miss claim of racial slur during bowl

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HOUSTON – Texas Tech on Thursday denied claims by Mississippi coach Lane Kiffin that a Red Raiders player spit on one of his players and possibly used a racial slur in the Texas Bowl.

A scrum between the teams came after Ole Miss’ Dayton Wade fumbled in the fourth quarter Wednesday night and Texas Tech recovered. There was pushing and shoving between players and Ole Miss player Jordan Watkins was given a personal foul penalty.

After the game, which Ole Miss lost 42-25, Kiffin said the penalty should have been on Texas Tech senior linebacker Dimitri Moore instead of Watkins. Both players wear No. 11.

Kiffin said after the game at Watkins wasn’t in the fight, and that Moore was fighting Ole Miss lineman Jayden Williams and that “everybody knew” because Texas Tech coaches were yelling at their own player.

“There was a racial slur involved, that’s not the point of what we’re talking about, (it’s) about the spitting part,” Kiffin said. “I brought our own 71 (Williams) up to the officials, right or wrong, you see him crying? He’s not crying not because he got spit on, it’s because something was said.”

When asked to clarify if a Texas Tech player used a racial slur toward one of his players, Kiffin said he wasn’t sure.

“I’m not going to, because I did not hear it, (I’m not going to) say that that happened for sure that he gave a racial slur to our player,” Kiffin said. “I was told that that was said in that (incident) but I did not hear that. So that would obviously be a giant issue.”

Moore and Williams are both Black.

“We are disappointed an opposing head coach decided to insinuate serious allegations that are false and irresponsible,” Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire said in a statement released by the school Thursday. “I have discussed these allegations with Dimitri Moore, and he disputed the two claims that were brought forth against him.”

Moore, in an accompanying statement, said the allegations were untrue.

“I can’t state strongly enough that these accusations are false. It is disappointing to have my final game as a collegiate student-athlete overshadowed by the false accusations that were stated last night,” Moore said. “Since I have arrived at Texas Tech, I have strived to represent my teammates, this coaching staff and most importantly, my family, in the highest manner.”

Kiffin said he got so upset during the game because he didn’t believe it was fair that his player got a penalty that he thinks clearly should have been on someone else.

“I’m going to defend our players when a kid spits on them and is accused to a national audience that it’s him,” Kiffin said. “So, Jordan has to deal with this.”

McGuire was not asked about the incident after the game, but Kiffin said he spoke with him about the spitting after the game.

“If you actually watch over there one of them’s kind of laughing because he got off,” Kiffin said. “He’s screaming at the player, they’re losing their mind on him… I talked to their head coach afterwards, he was like: `Crazy officiating out there.’ I go: `Yeah that was really bad on that one that your guy spit and our guy got the penalty.’ He was like: `Yeah, I know.”‘

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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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.