College Football Notebook
The college football notebook …
LUBBOCK, Texas ó Texas Tech suspended Mike Leach on Monday while the school investigated complaints from receiver Adam James and his family about how the coach treated the player after a concussion.
James is the son of former NFL player and current television analyst Craig James.
The school said in a release that defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill will be the interim coach and lead the team in the Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2 against Michigan State.
Texas Tech officials declined to identify the player, but James’ family released a statement to The Associated Press identifying Adam as the player involved.
A person familiar with James’ case said James suffered a concussion during a Dec. 16 practice.
McNeill said Leach arrived with the team in San Antonio and that Adam James also was with the team but not practicing.
Craig James was scheduled to announce the Alamo Bowl from San Antonio, Texas. ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said James no longer will work the game.
There’s been internal strife this season with the Red Raiders (8-4), and Leach has resorted to some tongue-lashing. He chastised players after a loss to Texas A&M in October for listening to “their fat little girlfriends,” and thinking the Aggies were a pushover.
FLORIDA’S INTERIM COACH
NEW ORLEANS ó As Steve Addazio listened to Florida coach Urban Meyer talk about his health and his future, it never crossed his mind what kind of reaction players would have when he was picked to be the Gators’ interim coach.
Addazio was unprepared for their response.
They gave the longtime assistant an overwhelming reception, an ovation so long and loud that it even caught superstar quarterback Tim Tebow off guard.
“It was one of the loudest rounds of ovation and applause that I have been a part of in my entire life,” Tebow said Monday. “The team, the players clapped probably for three or four minutes and didn’t stop. You could see coach Addazio getting emotional while we were doing that because it meant so much to him. I think that was one of the coolest parts of the last two days.”
Addazio will take over next week, filling in during Meyer’s indefinite leave of absence brought on by recurring chest pains and an alarming hospital visit three weeks ago. Addazio has one goal in mind: Keep the humming along until Meyer returns.
SPURRIER ON MEYER
COLUMBIA ó Steve Spurrier hates giving advice. Still, he had a few ideas for Florida coach Urban Meyer on how to handle the stress of leading one of the country’s top football programs.
“He needs to have some outside interests,” Spurrier said Monday. “Anybody that feels burn out at their job, that’s the facts of life.”
Meyer sent shock waves through college football Saturday, announcing his resignation because of health concerns. Meyer backed off that a day later, saying he would take an indefinite leave of absence with an eye toward returning to Florida’s sidelines in time for the 2010 season.
Few know the pressure cooker of Florida football as well as Spurrier, who was the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner 1966 and led the Gators to their first national championship in 1996.
But Spurrier always maintained a separation. He didn’t go for late-night game-planning and escaped to the golf course ó his passion ó during the offseason.
These days, the 64-year-old Spurrier looks trim and fit with a daily workout regimen.
LONG WAIT FOR TEMPLE
WASHINGTON ó Temple doesn’t want to look like one of those teams that’s just happy to be there when the Owls play their first bowl game in 30 years.
Temple faces UCLA today in the second EagleBank Bowl at RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital. It’ll be the Owls’ first bowl game since a 28-17 win over California in the 1979 Garden State Bowl.
Temple is 9-3 under Al Golden.