College Football Notebook: Students protest in favor of Tuberville

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
AUBURN, Ala. ó Dozens of Auburn University students and alumni marched across campus to the president’s mansion Tuesday to protest the school’s treatment of former football coach Tommy Tuberville.
University officials say Tuberville resigned on his own last week after a decade that included an undefeated season and a SEC title. But many demonstrators claimed that administrators and powerful boosters forced him out after a 5-7 record that included a 36-0 loss to Alabama.
“You don’t throw a man’s career away for one lousy season,” said alumnus Linda Ashurst, one of about 70 people who chanted and waved signs.
NEW YORK ó Billy Cannon has lived through the highest highs and lowest lows.
As an electrifying running back at LSU, he became an All-American, a Heisman Trophy winner and a national champion. He was smart enough to become a dentist and misguided enough to become a bankrupt convicted felon.
His newest title: member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Twenty-two years after being released from prison and 11 since he was unemployed and broke, Cannon’s life is in order and his greatest accomplishments are being celebrated.
“I don’t look back, they might be gaining on me,” Cannon said after a news conference with 12 other players and two coaches who were to be inducted in the Hall of Fame at the National Football Foundation awards banquet Tuesday night.
Joining Cannon in this year’s Hall of Fame class were, Troy Aikman and Thurman Thomas, two Super Bowl heroes and recent inductees into the Pro Football Hall.
WINSTON-SALEM ó Wake Forest senior Aaron Curry has won the Butkus Award honoring the nation’s top college linebacker.
Curry received 63 points in voting, finishing seven ahead of USC’s Rey Maualuga. James Laurinaitis from Ohio State, USC’s Brian Cushing and Boston College’s Mark Herzlich rounded out the top five.
Curry finished the regular season with 101 tackles, three fumble recoveries and an interception to help the Demon Deacons reach their third straight bowl game.
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó If New Year’s Day wasn’t already a holiday, football fans would make it one next year in the Palmetto State.
Clemson and South Carolina ó the state’s two signature programs ó are heading to January 1 bowl games in the same postseason for only the second time in their long football histories. The Tigers will face Nebraska at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., while the Gamecocks will take on Iowa at the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
NEW YORK ó Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell isn’t so sure now that coach Mike Leach will be leaving Lubbock.
Harrell, who last week said there was a “great chance” Leach would leave the Red Raiders, reversed his opinion Tuesday because his coach didn’t fill the vacancy at Washington.
“I really thought a few weeks ago he might go,” Harrell said in a brief interview with the AP. “I thought the Washington job would be a great job for him. He loves the West Coast. He likes the Pac-10 conference.
“When he didn’t take that one, I figured, I think he’ll be back.”
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ó Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson was given the Broyles Award on Tuesday as the nation’s top assistant coach.
JACKSON, Miss. ó South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has expressed an interest in the head coaching vacancy at Mississippi State.