Flyers say goodbye to a legend

Published: Saturday, September 15, 2012 @ 5:26 PM
Updated: Saturday, September 15, 2012 @ 5:26 PM

Coaches often say, “It’s not about the X’s and O’s but more about the Jims and the Joes.”

For the past 19 years it’s been all about one Joe at Robert Morris University. Former NFL player and coach Joe Walton is the only coach in the history of the football program. He literally built it from scratch, buying equipment, hiring assistants, lining the field and recruiting players.

This is his final season, as he leaves behind a stadium on the suburban Pittsburgh campus that bears his name, a league-high six NEC regular-season titles, NCAA mid-major national titles in 1999 and 2000, and in 2010 the school’s first spot in the FCS playoffs.

But in all that time, he has actually put more players into the NFL (3; Tim Hall, Hank Fraley, Robb Butler) than he has victories over the University of Dayton (2). The Flyers won the first meeting in 1996, 31-21, and Saturday’s 20-14 victory at Welcome Stadium tipped UD’s edge in the series to 13-2.

Robert Morris has played Dayton more than any nonconference foe, and against teams they have faced 15 times or more, UD is the only one against which Walton has a losing record.

Joe Walton’s frustration may have boiled to the surface in 2008. Robert Morris, as a member of the NEC, gives 32 athletic scholarships, while Dayton plays in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. After another loss, Walton speculated that UD must be giving scholarships to have players that good. That prompted the mother of Corey and Scott Vossler to send him a copy of her tuition bill.

I think the reason Dayton has fared so well in the series is Walton. His hard-nosed style and pro pedigree have caused Flyer teams, even undermanned ones, to rise to the occasion. As he heads into retirement I will miss Joe Walton, not because the Flyers had his number, but rather because he made the Flyers better.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops announces retirement

Published: Wednesday, June 07, 2017 @ 10:19 PM

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops answers a question during an NCAA college football news conference in Norman, Okla. Stoops has decided to retire as Oklahoma’s football coach after 18 seasons that included the 2000 national championship and 10 Big 12 Conference titles.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Sue Ogrocki/AP

Bob Stoops will retire as head football coach of the University of Oklahoma Sooners after 18 years, according a release from the university on Wednesday.

The university said Stoops is "the winningest coach in Oklahoma history" and has an overall record of 190-48.

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He led the Sooners to the national championship in 2000.

Stoops will remain as special assistant to the athletics director.

University officials said Stoops is the only coach to win the Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and national championship. They said he accumulated more wins in his first 18 seasons than any coach in the game's history.

According to a statement from the University President David L. Boren, he will be succeeded by current offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.

The statement said Stoops, 56, believed it was the appropriate time to conclude his time coaching in Norman, Oklahoma.

Below is an excerpt of a statement from Stoops, obtained by the Associated Press and provided by OU:

“After 18 years at the University of Oklahoma, I've decided to step down as the head football coach. I understand there has been some speculation about my health. My health was not the deciding factor in this decision and I've had no incidents that would prevent me from coaching. I feel the timing is perfect to hand over the reins. The program is in tremendous shape. We have outstanding players and coaches and are poised to make another run at a Big 12 and national championship. We have new state-of-the-art facilities and a great start on next year's recruiting class. The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players. Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition. ...

“I'm especially thankful for being able to coach so many talented young men over my 18 years here. It has been so rewarding to see these players come to OU and mature over a four- or five-year career, and not just on the field. To play a small part in their growth is what I will always cherish the most. None of my success would have happened without the best fans in the country. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the 110 consecutive home sellouts. The passion of our fan base is unmatched, and their support has played a huge role in not only home games, but road games and all 18 of our bowl games, as well. ...

“The coaching life is like a relay race and I'm thankful for my turn and am confident as I pass the baton. Carol and I intend on staying in Norman - it is our home. I will be available to Coach Riley and the athletic department in any manner. Thank you all for a lifetime of memories we shared together of 10 conference championships, the 2000 national championship, strong relationships with players and coaches, and the great Oklahoma football fans. Boomer!”

University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield arrested

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 12:52 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 12:52 PM

            Washington County Detention Facility

University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was taken into police custody early Saturday morning after an alleged incident in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Officers say someone reported that Mayfield was intoxicated, yelling profanities and causing a scene.

An arrest report states that Mayfield told officers he was trying to break up an altercation there.

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When officers talked to Mayfield, they reportedly found his speech was slurred and his clothing was covered in food.

They said the OU football player even sprinted away from police at one point, prompting the officer to tackle him to the ground and handcuff him.

Mayfield was booked into the Washington County Detention Facility in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

He faces charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest.

"We are aware of the matter and are learning the details. We don't have any other information at this time," said Mike Houck, Oklahoma team spokesman. 

Mayfield is a sophomore at the university. He was short-listed for the Heisman Trophy last year.

Florida Gators’ win in Outback Bowl means free Bloomin’ Onions for all

Published: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 @ 11:59 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

            The Florida Gators beat the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Outback Bowl 30-3. That means free Bloomin' Onions for all at Outback restaurants on Tuesday, Jan. 3. 
            Florida Gators Athletics

The Florida Gators routed the Iowa Hawkeyes 30-3 Monday in the Outback Bowl.

That means free Bloomin’ Onions for all from Outback Steakhouse on Tuesday. All you have to do is say “Outback Bowl” to your server at any Outback restaurant and you’ll get the dish for free.

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The Outback restaurant chain wagered Bloomin’ Onions and coconut shrimp on the game.

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If Iowa had won, the restaurant would have handed out its coconut shrimp appetizer for free.

Billy Price will return to Ohio State Buckeyes

Published: Saturday, December 31, 2016 @ 11:42 PM

Ohio State offensive lineman Billy Price, left, helps up J.T. Barrett in the first half Saturday in the Fiesta Bowl. David Jablonski/Staff

Ohio State Buckeyes right guard Billy Price will return to school for his fifth and final season of eligibility, he announced Saturday after a 31-0 loss to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“I’m coming back,” Price said. “I’m going to love playing center. I’m going to lead the team. Myself and Jamarco (Jones), we’re going to do some work next year.”

The Buckeyes lose center Pat Elflein, who returned for his fifth year this season, but return Price, Jones, Michael Jordan and Isaiah Prince. Elflein and Price sat next to each other in the locker room after the most lopsided defeat in the Urban Meyer era, answering questions about what went wrong.

Ohio State allowed three sacks Saturday. They gained 88 yards on the ground and 127 yards passing. Price said he didn’t play well but his decision to return was made a while ago.

“I just kept things low key and private,” Price said. “I wanted to focus on the team and not be a distraction. I’m going to try to follow Pat’s lead. Following behind Pat, it’s going to be a tough losing him. Taylor Decker was a huge part of this, Jacoby Boren and those guys kind of set that culture. It’s my job to lead that next year when I come back and play.”