College Football Notebook
The college football notebook …
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers is heading to Ohio State to become Urban Meyerís co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.
Withers had acknowledged he was a candidate to join the Meyerís new staff last week and confirmed it was a done deal Wednesday.
ěWeíve known each other for a couple years,î Withers said of Meyer. ěA few years ago we talked when the Florida defensive coordinator job came open. So weíve got a little bit of a past and Iím looking forward to the future with coach Meyer.î
Withers will coach the Tar Heels through their Independence Bowl against Missouri on Dec. 26, and soon after head to Columbus to start his new job.
North Carolina hired Larry Fedora away from Southern Mississippi to be the Heels coach after the Golden Eagles play in the Hawaii Bowl against Nevada on Dec. 24.
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones has been reinstated and will play in the Independence Bowl.
Interim coach Everett Withers said before practice Wednesday that the NCAA cleared Jones to play Dec. 26 against Missouri in Shreveport, La.
The move came one day after the school declared Jones ineligible and applied to the NCAA for reinstatement following a secondary violation in which the senior allowed his name and photo to be used on a flyer promoting a New Year’s Eve party at a club in his hometown of Burlington.
Jones has apologized for creating a distraction and said he has canceled the party being given by a family member. The school’s compliance office sent a cease-and-desist letter to the party promoters.
Jones had 79 catches for 1,119 yards and 11 touchdowns.
LEGRAND ON SI COVER
PARSIPPANY, N.J. ó Paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s year-end issue. His return to the field in October was picked as the 2011 Moment of the Year.
For the first time in the magazine’s 57-year history, fans made the choice.
LeGrand garnered the most votes from fans in 178 countries and led more than 6,000 users to post comments on Facebook. The defensive lineman beat out soccer star Lionel Messi, surfer Kelly Slater and Yankees captain Derek Jeter.
LeGrand has been undergoing rehabilitation since he was paralyzed from the neck down making a tackle against Army in 2010.
The cover photograph shows LeGrand in his motorized wheelchair leading his team onto the field against West Virginia.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Florida State senior running back Jermaine Thomas has been declared academically ineligible for the Champs Sports Bowl and will not play in his final college game.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said Wednesday Thomas did not pass one of his classes during the fall semester. Fisher says Thomas was the only player on the roster who is academically ineligible for the Dec. 29 game against Notre Dame.
Thomas was Florida State’s second-leading rusher in 2011, gaining 279 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry.
Without Thomas, Florida State will likely lean more on freshman Devonta Freeman, who has 531 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Either freshman James Wilder Jr. (150 rushing yards) or senior Ty Jones (71 rushing yards) should see increased playing time.
HARTFORD, Conn. ó Tom Williams resigned as Yale’s football coach Wednesday amid a university investigation into whether he lied on his resume about being a candidate for a Rhodes Scholarship while a student at Stanford.
The Ivy League school said the resignation will take effect on Dec. 31.
Williams took over at Yale in 2009 and listed himself as a Rhodes candidate on his resume. He was referred to as a finalist when Bulldogs quarterback Patrick Witt had to decide if he would go for his Rhodes interview as a finalist or play against Harvard this fall.
The university began an investigation in November after The New York Times reported officials of the Rhodes Trust said they had no records of Williams applying for the fellowship when he graduated from Stanford in 1992.
Williams said in a statement Wednesday he was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by Stanford’s fellowship office but acknowledged he never did.
“I considered the opportunity, sought advice and was encouraged to apply by faculty members and my coach Bill Walsh, but I did not apply,” he said.
Williams’ biography on the Yale football website also mentions that he played for the San Francisco 49ers practice squad in 1993. In his statement, Williams also said he never signed a contract with that team.
CHOW TO HEAD COACH
SALT LAKE CITY ó Utah offensive coordinator and former N.C. State assistant Norm Chow has accepted the job as Hawaii’s new head coach.
“I don’t know what the reports are saying but there’s nothing been finalized,” Chow said after practice. “I haven’t signed a piece of paper. … I’m not trying to be coy. I’m here coaching football for the University of Utah.”
When asked whether he plans to coach in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech on Dec. 31, Chow replied, “If Kyle (Whittingham) would have me, I would be honored to stay.”