Dayton Flyers’ Sam Miller suspended for semester, won’t play this fall

Published: Friday, August 11, 2017 @ 4:40 PM

JAIL CELL VIDEO: UD player in jail incident

Dayton Flyers men’s basketball player Sam Miller says he has been suspended from the University of Dayton following an incident two weeks ago in the Greene County Jail.

In a statement his attorney sent to the Dayton Daily News and WHIO, Miller, 20, said he is “incredibly sorry for the incidents” and “accepts full responsibility for the negative way my actions reflect on the University of Dayton, the Men’s Basketball program, and myself.”

Miller is accused of assaulting a fellow inmate on Sunday, July 30, in the Greene County Jail after an initial arrest for disorderly conduct by intoxication and underage consumption at Caddy’s Taphouse in Beavercreek.

MORE: Dayton Flyers forward Sam Miller faces assault charge after jail fight

“The University has suspended me for one semester, a decision I have accepted without appeal. In addition, my scholarship has been revoked by the athletic department and, therefore, I will not be a part of the Men’s Basketball program at the University of Dayton this fall,” Miller said.

“It will definitely be a challenge being away from my teammates and the university that I love, but I understand this is a necessary consequence of my actions. I have sought counseling to better understand myself and what led to my mistakes, and I will emerge from this a better person. Lastly, I would like to thank my family, teammates, and close friends who have been so supportive of me during this difficult time in my life,” Miller said.

UD confirmed Miller's scholarship has been revoked for the year. That means Dayton has one scholarship open for the 2017-18 season. Division I teams can have 13 scholarship players.

MORE: Dayton basketball’s recent history of incidents

In a statement, Dayton head coach Anthony Grant said he is “proud of Sam for accepting responsibility for his actions and the consequences for them in such a public manner.”

“Our program has high expectations regarding the behavior, character, and moral integrity of the individuals that comprise our team,” Grant said. “Sam's actions fell very short of those expectations. It is my hope that he has taken the first steps in learning and maturing from this incident.”

“Right now, we think it’s best for Sam to focus on his personal well-being and address his future. He has to meet certain conditions set by the University to return to school as a student, and if he pursues that, we will discuss his future with the basketball program at the appropriate time,” Grant said.

MORE: Dayton Flyer Sam Miller’s attorney: Jail video ‘not the whole story’

Miller appeared in 53 of 65 games the last two seasons, averaging 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds. Miller averaged 3.2 points and 1.4 rebounds as a freshman. 

Last season, he averaged 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds as a sophomore. Miller was one of five returning players who averaged double-figure minutes. A sixth, junior forward Ryan Mikesell, will miss the season after undergoing two hip surgeries.

With Miller out for at least the first semester and Mikesell out for the season, Dayton will have 11 scholarship players available when the season begins.

Six of those, including five true freshmen, have never played for Dayton. The other newcomer is redshirt freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo, who sat out last season as a NCAA partial qualifier but did practice with the team starting in January.

Report: Dwight Freeney to visit Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 @ 1:36 AM

With both of their starting defensive ends battling injuries, the Seattle Seahawks are scheduled to host veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney for a visit and physical on Tuesday.

Seattle desperately needs to bolster their pass rush with Cliff Avril on Injured Reserve for at least seven more games as he recovers from a severe neck injury he suffered in Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts, and Michael Bennett battling a plantar fascia injury in his foot.

Freeney, who entered the league a first-round pick from Syracuse, spent the first 11 years of his NFL career (2002-2012) with the Indianapolis Colts, where he earned Pro Bowl honors seven times, All-Pro honors four times, and played a key role in the team’s run to the Super Bowl XLI title.

After leaving Indianapolis, Freeney played two seasons for the San Diego Chargers (2013-2014), one season for the Arizona Cardinals (2015), and in 15 games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2016.

With 122.5 career sacks Freeney is likely a shoe-in for eventual induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Oklahoma football: Baker Mayfield proves pain is no issue in season-best performance

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 6:05 PM

NORMAN, Okla. — If Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield wasn’t healthy for the Kansas State game, the quarterback has a future in theater.

The nugget Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley threw out on Monday was Mayfield threw for 410 yards and accounted for 4 touchdowns in the 42-35 victory last Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., despite missing most of practice the previous week due to a shoulder injury.

“I had the shoulder injury from the Texas game. I said it postgame then. A big guy landing on my shoulder cranked it back the wrong way. I went through some pain last week,” Mayfield added on Monday. “Those are the type of injuries that you just fight through. You’re not necessarily sidelined by it, it’s just something you have to go into the game and suck it up especially if you want to win.”

Mayfield threw the ball 41 times against the Wildcats, completing 32 passes. He also ran the ball 9 times for 69 yards. Both his passing and rushing yardage marks were season highs.

The Sooners expected Mayfield to play well, but there was the thought he would be more cautious considering the injury sustained the previous week. Yet, the quarterback didn’t do much sliding or running out of bounds.

“It was different, man. It was different,” offensive tackle Orlando Brown said. “Obviously, we all know Bake is an athlete, and normally, when he’s scrambling, he’s scrambling to throw, not so much to run for touchdowns. It’s just kind of been a minute since he’s approached it with that mentality, but man. As an offensive line, we were going to keep him clean this week, understanding what he was going through and whatever. Man. We didn’t expect that from him.”

The running decisions were a spur-of-the-moment deal. Mayfield scored a touchdown on a zone-read keeper. The rest seemed like scrambles or the quarterback spotting daylight and taking off.

“I think one thing that makes my game and leadership so special is I can feel the energy of our team. I felt it was what we needed at the time,” Mayfield said. “For me, our team has to play with an edge. I think them seeing me having a competitive side and an edge — all the time — is important. I think they feed off that, so yeah, there are some plays where I can slide.”

Did Baker Mayfield’s health influence the play calls?

According to Riley, backup Kyler Murray took the starter’s snaps during the practice week. Murray did play against the Wildcats, rushing for 4 yards on 2 attempts.

“We were able to work some things with Kyler more because Baker wasn’t practicing,” Riley said. “Did that have a big factor in the play calls? No.”

Using Murray in spot situations isn’t new. Oklahoma did it several times in the Ohio State game. But the Oklahoma coach defended the use of the direct snaps to fullback Dimitri Flowers with Mayfield lined up at wide receiver.

The Sooners used those three times in short-yardage situations and none of them worked against Kansas State.

“I looked at it; we ran that Wildcat I think 14 times [on third down] the past three years and we got [the first down or a touchdown on] 13 of the 14. So it’s hard to beat those percentages. And the line wasn’t the problem on it. The line had no problems. The line was fine,” Riley said.

A major difference between this season and the 2015 and ’16 seasons is who is getting those direct snaps. Before this season, they went to Samaje Perine or Joe Mixon.

Flowers is a fullback with a diverse set of skills, but he’s not a ball carrier in the same vein of Mixon and Perine.

“The one play, our fullback didn’t do a great job and then Dimitri has got to do a better job with a few technical things as the ball carrier when they were there,” Riley said. “So we’ve got to coach it better and execute it better, but schematically, there’s no problems.”

No restrictions for Baker Mayfield this week

Mayfield won’t have to spend his afternoons going through therapy sessions this week. Riley said he’s been cleared to practice as the Sooners prepare to face Texas Tech at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

The health of his shoulder seemed to be fine during the Kansas State game. Mayfield came off the field a few times, but no members of Oklahoma’s medical staff examined his shoulder.

Still, nothing surprises the Sooners when it comes to Mayfield’s play.

“Baker’s a superhero,” defensive lineman Ogbonnia Okoronkwo said. “Baker’s a guy who even if he had one leg, I know he’d go out there and throw for 100 passing yards. He’s an incredible player. We’re not surprised by him not practicing all week and being able to throw for 400.”

A ‘humbled’ USC harping ball security ahead of Arizona State

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 @ 12:20 AM

The headlines, as they can often do, say it all:

Notre Dame capitalizes on turnovers to crush USC – Chicago Sun-Times.

USC doesn’t put up much of a fight in 49-14 loss to Notre Dame – LA Times.

Whether the Trojans read those stories or not doesn’t much matter. They lived the nightmare that was Saturday night in South Bend, a 49-14 drubbing. They watched their ranking plummet, all the way to No. 21, 10 spots from its previous post of 11. There was only one manner in which the Trojans could approach this week’s practice: Humbled.

And that’s exactly what coach Clay Helton said his team is.

“I think humble was the word,” Helton told the media at his press conference in Monday, when asked to describe the mood of his team. For good reason.

Saturday marked the first time Notre Dame had beat a ranked USC team since 1995. Even the typically optimistic Helton was left searching for words.

“We helped them by mistakes,” he said afterwards.

Lots and lots of mistakes. It’s been a season-long theme for the Trojans, who after eight weeks now rank nearly dead last in all of college football in turnovers lost. Only San Jose State has turned the ball over more than USC, which has coughed up the ball, either via interception or fumble, 19 times this year.

They came in a variety pack on Saturday night, with a fumbled snap, an interception, a muffed punt.

“The turnovers were key for us in the first half and being opportunistic, which really we’ve been all year offensively,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said afterwards. The Irish took advantage, jumping out to a 21-0 lead, thanks in large part to USC’s inability to take care of the ball.

“When they take away the ball, you just get so excited, and [offensive coordinator Chip] Long wants to be aggressive and call a play, usually,” Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush said.

That’s something the Trojans hope to remove from the equation this weekend against Arizona State, with the Pac-12 South lead on the line.

“We’ve done so many ball control drills, I can’t even tell you,” Helton said at practice on Monday, adding that the coaches have preaches ball security to the point that USC is “blue in the face.”

Blue in the face and humbled. A new look for USC football indeed.

Dolphins DE Cameron Wake quietly building Hall of Fame caliber resume

Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 @ 12:16 AM

Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake rarely gets mentioned when people discuss the best defensive players to play in the National Football League over the last decade. That is not only puzzling, it’s also downright foolish.

Since 2009, his first year in the league, Wake has accumulated 87.5 sacks, which is more than every other player in the league over that stretch of time.

For the overwhelming majority of his football career Wake flown under the radar and has never really gotten the respect he deserves.

He originally entered the league in 2005 as an undrafted free agent linebacker (despite running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash at his pro day) from Penn State. He had a very brief stint with the New York Giants during the 2005 offseason, but he was cut before even getting a chance to compete in training camp.

From there, Wake took his talents north of the border, signing a deal to play with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League. He made the switch from linebacker to defensive end in the CFL, and a star was officially born.

In his two CFL seasons, Wake totaled 40 sacks and won the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award twice.

After his second CFL season, over half of the 32 teams in the NFL expressed an interest in signing Wake to a lucrative contract. He ended up signing on with the Dolphins, and he has been with the franchise ever since.

Wake is in the midst of his ninth NFL season, and the 2012 first-team All-Pro is showing no signs of slowing down. He has notched 6 sacks in six games, and he is one of the main reasons why the Dolphins are riding high with a 4-2 overall record. If he continues on his current pace, Wake, who has the second-most sacks by an undrafted player in NFL history (trailing only John Randle, who had 137.5 during his Hall of Fame career), could be in for a career year in 2017.

When it comes to his Hall of Fame credentials, Wake will likely accomplish enough during the NFL portion of his career to eventually get his gold jacket. With that being said, though, it’s worth pointing out that the prestigious shrine in Canton, Ohio is named the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the  NFL Hall of Fame, so technically Wake’s CFL accomplishments should factor into his candidacy.

Based on what he has shown this season, Wake still has plenty of gas left in his tank to play well beyond 2017. If he does, the Hall of Fame selection committee will not be able to ignore him.