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Report: “At least” 15 coaches have turned down one open FBS job

The vast majority of the coaching carousel has been settled and, even if it was a (very) wild ride thanks to the good folks at Tennessee and others, that is pretty much normal for a college football offseason. However, one interesting FBS job remains open and, according to one report, it certainly isn’t for a lack of trying.

Zach Barnett of Football Scoop brings word that, since Paul Haynes was fired at Kent State on Nov. 22, the program has reached out to “at least 15 coaches” and all of those potential candidates have spurned offers from the program. While not every overture is included in the report, some of the focus centers on South Dakota’s Bob Nielson, who was apparently the most prominent name linked to the job, but he passed and craziness seems to have broken loose as a result.

Various names continue to be associated, including Mount Union’s Vince Kehres and Kansas quarterback coach (and brother of Oklahoma’s head coach) Garrett Riley. Still, the notion that a program was squashed by more than a dozen different names certainly is not normal and this is a pretty rough look for Kent State at this (very) late hour in the process.

Four-star WR Chase Cota announces his commitment

Four-star wide receiver Chase Cota (6-foot-4, 195 pounds, Medford, OR) is ranked as one of the top wide receivers of the 2018 class, and he is officially off the recruiting board after announcing his commitment to UCLA on Wednesday.

It was all a dream pic.twitter.com/PY44fU3kAw — Chase Cota (@ccota_) December 13, 2017

Cota also had offers from schools like Oregon, Notre Dame, and Alabama, but in the end, the tall receiver chose UCLA and new head coach Chip Kelly.

Cota is only the 12th commitment for UCLA’s 2018 class, but it is a class that is extremely top heavy so far, and still ranks as 21st in the nation over at 247Sports. Kelly and the Bruins still have plenty of time to add some depth to the class, but they — and Jim Mora Jr. before them — did a good job at laying the groundwork for this class.

Years after being shot in the head twice, one former NFL player is attempting a heroic comeback

Stedman Bailey was shot in the head twice in the head while sitting in a car with four others in November of 2015.

Bailey, who was drafted by the then-St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, was 25-years-old at the time and was put in critical condition when “another vehicle opened fire” on the vehicle he and three others were in, according to reports at the time.

Bailey obviously made it out of the incident, miraculously suffering only a fractured skull,  but he hasn’t played football since. The damage to his skull was just too much, but that didn’t stop the former wideout from pursuing his dream of returning to the NFL, and apparently, he’s close.

This is according to a segment on NFL Network, which you can watch below:

The incredible thing about this story is the grit that Bailey has shown just in the pursuit of getting back onto the football field. Most people couldn’t survive two gunshots to the head, and many would give up even if they survived, knowing that the road to recovery — even just to walk again — would be a tough one to traverse.

Not only can Bailey walk, jog, and now run routes, though, but he even had a a titanium steel plate placed over the damaged part of his skull, which could give him a shot to play the sport he obviously loves once again.

Here’s the report:

Must Watch: Former #Rams WR Stedman Bailey is attempting to make a comeback to the NFL after being shot in the head twice back in 2015. Take a look…. (via @gmfb & @PSchrags)pic.twitter.com/tZakBoAZa6 — NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 13, 2017

Bailey has officially accounted his comeback to the NFL, but it’s worth noting that he still needs to be cleared by any NFL team interested in, but his doctor has said he’s good to go, and he’s obviously back in game shape.

In three seasons with the Rams, Bailey caught 59 passes for 843 and two touchdowns. He was known as a very fast receiver, so if he can bring some of that back to the table for an NFL team while remaining healthy, he could be a nice free agent pickup as the playoffs draw near.

Report: Lead candidate emerging for open spot on Alabama’s coaching staff

Jeremy Pruitt is now the head coach at Tennessee and, as a result, Nick Saban will be in search of some help on the defensive side of the ball in Tuscaloosa.

Given that Pruitt’s trajectory allowed him to join from a defensive coordinator position straight to becoming an SEC head coach (and there are countless other examples), it is clear that working for Saban at Alabama can work wonders for a career and, now, word is breaking that the Crimson Tide have someone in mind as a replacement.

Aaron Suttles of TideSports.com brings word that UTSA defensive coordinator Pete Golding is “the leading candidate” to fill the open spot at Alabama, even if the reporting doesn’t specifically indicate that Golding would be the defensive coordinator. Because there are other quality options, Alabama may simply shift things around but Golding was respected enough to reportedly be in the mix for the DC job at Mississippi State and that is a positive indication.

Everything that Saban touches seems to turn to gold in terms of grooming his assistants and Golding may be the next one. Now, we will see how the loss of Pruitt affects the Crimson Tide in the near future.

WWE announces new tournament exclusively on social media platforms

WWE announced a new in-ring series featuring male and female superstars competing in a tournament of mixed tag-team matches.

The Mixed Match Challenge will air weekly in the United States exclusively on Facebook beginning Jan. 16 at 10 p.m. ET and will features superstars from both Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live competing for the chance to win $100,000 to support a charity of their choosing.

Fans will have the opportunity to select matchups, match stipulations and more through Facebook, according to WWE’s press release on its official website.

“As we continue to expand our strategic partnership with Facebook, this new series, Mixed Match Challenge, jointly reflects our innovative approach to content distribution and fan engagement,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “This show will deliver the action and excitement our passionate fan base is accustomed to while offering new production elements and social experiences that only Facebook can provide.”

The Mixed Match Challenge will allow fans the opportunity to vote  for the final competitor from the RAW roster, as well as which of the three New Day members will participate in the tournament via Facebook.

Teams will officially be announced on Thursday, Jan. 4.

Here’s a look at the participants for the Mixed Match Challenge:

Monday Night Raw                                       SmackDown LIVE

Alexa Bliss      Becky Lynch Alicia Fox      Bobby Roode Asuka      Carmella Bayley      Charlotte Flair Braun Strowman      Jimmy Uso  Enzo Amore      Lana Finn Bálor      Naomi Goldust      Natalya Nia Jax      Rusev Sasha Banks      Sami Zayn The Miz      Shinsuke Nakamura Final Fan Vote      Final Fan Vote (A member of The New Day)

Each episode will air live on Facebook Watch, a new platform for shows on Facebook in which brands can build and engage with fans through the website and app.

Our thoughts are with an NFL player, who weeks after losing his son has reportedly suffered another tragedy

Exactly one month after tragically losing his son, San Francisco 49ers wideout Marquise Goodwin has now lost his father, according to an Instagram post (H/T Reddit)

Goodwin lost his son back on November 13, but opted to go out and play against the New York Jets.

“I just wanna thank those who’ve genuinely prayed for @morganakamomo & myself through out this pregnancy. Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4am. Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan. The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family.”

He went on to score on an 83-yard touchdown, and emotionally broke down in the end zone after the play.

Marquise Goodwin was emotional after this TD. After the game He revealed that he lost his son this morning to a premature birth. Prayers out to Goodwin and his familypic.twitter.com/R0Y9VgEvpJ — NOT_SCTop10 (@NOTSCTop10PIays) November 13, 2017

If he does suit up against the Tennessee Titans, don’t be surprised if he throws together another solid outing.

He was a third-round pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2013 NFL Draft. After putting together 780 yards and six scores in four seasons in Buffalo, he’s added 783 yards through the air and one touchdown in his first season with the 49ers.

Former coach, ESPN personality Lou Holtz files lawsuit after reportedly suffering “public humiliation”

ESPN personality and College Football Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz sued The Daily Beast on Wednesday in response to an article that featured a headline claiming he called immigrants “deadbeats” during the Republican National Convention last year, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The defamation lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Orlando, cites the website’s original title “Lou Holtz at RNC Said Immigrants are Deadbeats Invading the US,” which was later changed to “Holtz Goes on Immigrant-Bashing RNC Rant” caused Holtz  “mental anguish … personal humiliation and distress”

Following the incident, The Daily Beast issued a correction that claimed Holtz “did not say that immigrants are ‘deadbeats,’ and we sincerely regret this error.”

Holtz believes that the updated headline still falsely portrays him in a negative light and that a change was only made after numerous other online media websites had repeated the initial headline.

The coach claims that he missed out on numerous paid speaking opportunities and is seeking more than $75,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit.

The article included a quote from Holtz in which he described the growing number of immigrants in the United States as an “invasion” and argued that they should “become us,” rather than the other way around.

“I don’t want to become you,” it quoted Holtz saying, prompting applause. “I don’t want to speak your language, I don’t want to celebrate your holidays, I sure as hell don’t want to cheer for your soccer team!”

Holtz’s lawsuit claims that he was relating advice from his grandmother, an immigrant herself, who stressed the importance of assimilation after moving to the United States.

His attorneys added that the soccer comment was “a joke that you would expect to hear from a lifelong football fan, football coach, and football commentator.”

Roger Goodell announces retirement plans days after signing extension

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who signed a five-year contract extension last week, intends to retire at the completion of his new deal in 2024. Spokesman Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, confirmed at league winter meeting in Irving, Texas, on Wednesday. “The commissioner has been clear he views this as…

2-time Pro Bowler shares details on tragic health demise, compares himself to Aaron Hernandez

Former NFL running back Larry Johnson said in an interview he believes he suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease known as CTE. CTE, which doctors say can be caused by repeated blows to the head, only can be diagnosed after death. The 38-year-old Johnson, who last played in the NFL in 2011, told the…
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