Georgia AD: Car crash victims not on university duties

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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In Georgia’s most extensive comments on the wreck that killed football player Devin Willock and a recruiting staff member, athletic director Josh Brooks said Tuesday the two were not on department business at the time of the incident, which occurred after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight national title.

The fatal wreck also left offensive lineman Warren McClendon with minor injuries and seriously injured another member of the recruiting staff.

The incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 15 not far from the school’s Athens campus, has raised questions about the relationship between athletes and those who work in the athletic department.

“Out of respect for the families involved, we have refrained from making any public statements up to this point regarding the circumstances of the tragic accident that claimed two lives and injured two members of our campus community,” Brooks said in a statement.

“However, we want the public to know that the athletic department is conducting a thorough review, in coordination with appropriate legal counsel, to fully understand the circumstances surrounding this tragic event. We want to emphasize that these individuals were not engaged in athletic department duties around the time of this incident.”

An SUV driven by 24-year-old Chandler LeCroy, who worked in the recruiting department, left the road on a turn, sliced through a pair of utility poles, struck two trees and finally came to rest against an apartment building.

The 20-year-old Willock was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead the scene. LeCroy died a short time later after being taken to a nearby hospital.

McClendon, who had announced hours earlier he was entering the NFL draft, received a laceration to the middle of his head. The other university employee, Victoria Bowles, survived with serious injuries.

The crash occurred after a parade through Athens and celebration at Sanford stadium to honor Georgia’s 65-7 rout of TCU in the national championship game.

The police report listed EAN Holding as the owner of the 2021 Ford Explorer, which is the official name for the rental vehicle company that does business as Enterprise.

It was not clear who had rented the vehicle, though it is similar to those used by the university for recruiting visits.

Excessive speed on a road with a 40 mph limit was listed as a cause of the crash, along with other, unspecified factors. Police said they were still investigating.

Brooks said the university was cooperating with police and would also review its policies to determine if any changes should be made in the wake of the incident. He said football coach Kirby Smart was part of those discussions.

“Our review is preliminary at this time, and the athletic department is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials to determine all the facts surrounding this tragedy,” Brooks said. “Coach Smart and I are also actively reviewing relevant football policies, and at the conclusion of that review, we will take steps to implement any improvements in our policies and procedures that may be needed.”

Reports: Miami hiring Lance Guidry from Tulane as DC

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
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Miami is hiring Lance Guidry, who was defensive coordinator at Marshall last season and recently accepted the same position at Tulane, to lead its defense, two people with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because a deal was still being finalized between Guidry and Miami.

The 51-year-old Louisiana native was hired way from Marshall by Tulane just last month. Now he’ll replace Kevin Steele on Mario Cristobal‘s staff at Miami. Steele is reportedly on his way to Alabama to become Nick Saban‘s defensive coordinator after holding that position for one season with the Hurricanes.

Alabama has yet to make the hiring of Steele and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees official. Rees had been assistant at Notre Dame.

Tulane announced the hiring of Guidry on Jan. 23 to replace Chris Hampton, who left the New Orleans-based school to join Oregon’s staff as an assistant coach.

Guidry’s defenses at Marshall ranked third in the nation in yards per play this season (4.56) and 26th nationally in 2021 (5.14 ypp).

Iowa-Northwestern set for Wrigley Field in November

Nikos Frazier/Journal & Courier/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CHICAGO — Wrigley Field will host a college football game for the third time since 2010 when Iowa plays Northwestern next season.

Northwestern and the Chicago Cubs announced that the Wildcats’ home game will be played Nov. 4.

Northwestern played Illinois at Wrigley in 2010 in the MLB ballpark’s first college football game since 1938, and the Wildcats hosted Purdue there in 2021.

Wrigley Field has a long history of hosting football games. The Chicago Bears played there from 1921 to 1970 before moving to Soldier Field. The old Chicago Cardinals also played at Wrigley, as well as DePaul until its program folded in 1939.

Northwestern had been scheduled to play Wisconsin at Wrigley in 2020, but the game was moved to Ryan Field in Evanston because of the COVID-19 pandemic.