ACC: Lee Fowler
- Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker reportedly wants to take "a month" to decide which sport he wants to pursue. He'll be in Denver this week for a meeting that could help him figure it out.
- New NC State chancellor Randy Woodson had the chance to think outside the box, instead he made the safest hire possible with Debbie Yow.
- Lee Fowler is leaving his office today.
- A little bit of self-marketing went a long way for this long-snapper from California, who just committed to NC State.
- Doug Roberson of the AJC takes a look at the Jackets' special teams next. Really, Doug? At 4:46 a.m. you're thinking about the Jackets' kickers? That's dedication, my friend.
- Not only is Miami's latest recruit talented, the linebacker is also very smart -- Nick Menocal has a 3.5 GPA.
- Miami fans should be excited about the recent commitments of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and receiver Eli Rogers.
- Clemson has landed one of the nation's top running backs in Mike Bellamy. He could be the next C.J. Spiller, says ESPN's Bill Tucker.
- Maryland checks in at No. 89 in The Sporting News' top 100 countdown. The prediction for the Terps? A three-win season. Ouch.
- UNC fans can rest assured Butch Davis isn't going anywhere anytime soon. He told J.P. Giglio of the Raleigh News & Observer that he has "every intention" of making this his final stop.
- NC State fans made their voices heard through e-mails that played a part in athletic director Lee Fowler's ouster.
- The Kyle Parker watch begins tonight with the MLB draft.
- Who is the state of Florida's John Wooden? Bobby Bowden gets my vote.
- Has Miami already found an elite recruit to succeed quarterback Jacory Harris in 2012?
- Playing linebacker is so important to Jake Johnson that he has decided to transfer from Virginia Tech to do it. Johnson had been moved to defensive end this spring.
- Florida State will edge Clemson for the ACC Atlantic Division title, writes Tony Barnhart.
- Once again, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he expects Kyle Parker to be his quarterback next season.
- Is it possible NC State athletic director Lee Fowler will have made three of the best hires in school history?
As to how this might affect coach Tom O'Brien, who will be entering his fourth season? Not much. O'Brien's contract runs through 2015, so it doesn't seem as if his seat is too hot, even though the Pack is 16-21 in the past three years. Nor should it be. O'Brien is a proven coach who has yet to work with a full roster that hasn't been plagued by injuries or other unfortunate circumstances. That being said, a decade is certainly long enough to establish and maintain success.
Here is the statement Fowler released through the sports information office:
"Naturally I am disappointed that I will not see firsthand the fruits of 10 year's work, but I have the greatest confidence that with the caliber of facilities and coaches we now have, along with a talented and dedicated administrative staff, the athletics program is poised for great success going forward.
I thank Chancellors Fox, Oblinger, Woodward and Woodson for the privilege of working under their excellent leadership. I want to thank and acknowledge Donn Ward and the great NC State faculty for their unwavering support.
Additionally, my family and I want to express our thanks for the outpouring of love and support we've received. Finally, I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His faithfulness in guiding my decisions and look forward to what His blessings will bring to NC State and me.”
- The Georgia Tech/Alabama series that was scheduled for 2013 and 2014 is on hold for now.
- The big story in Raleigh these days is the future of athletic director Lee Fowler.
- FSU coach Jimbo Fisher isn't the only one who'd like to see the Florida State/Florida game moved to the beginning of the year. Steve Spurrier used to lobby for it, too, when he was coaching at Florida.
- The Jackets are wary of the growing target they've become for opponents.
- The expectations are high for Miami defensive end Allen Bailey.
- Clemson got a commitment from a defensive lineman, the Tigers' eighth commitment.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Take a look at Michigan's team photo if you want an example of why ACC officials and football coaches are concerned.
In Michigan's team photo, there are 53 staff members wearing white polo shirts -- and 43 of them are not coaches.
In a sport where head coaches are only allowed nine assistants, ACC officials want to know exactly what all of those other people have been hired to do, and it's not just at Michigan. Alabama hired former Virginia offensive coordinator Mike Groh as a graduate assistant, and inflated staffs are popping up all over the country. And they've got every right to because there isn't any current NCAA legislation that limits the number of non-coaching personnel allowed on staff.
The ACC would like to see that change, if not at least monitored a little closer.
"They're really concerned about that," said associate commissioner/football Michael Kelly.
It's an issue the NCAA's recruiting cabinet has already decided it will look into, and Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich is the ACC's conference representative on that panel. The ACC would like to weigh in on how many coaches can actually be on the field, but officials didn't have enough information at this week's spring meetings to form a concrete proposal with their position. Radakovich will meet with the NCAA recruiting cabinet in June in San Diego.
"I'm sure this will be one of the major items that will be discussed at that meeting," he said. "It's a big issue, but it's really more sport specific. One of the things the NCAA is trying to do right now is pull it together under one umbrella -- the number of accountable coaches, the number of other personnel inside each sport. Hopefully what will come out of the meeting in June is that maybe we need to take a step back and look at sports on an individual basis rather than trying to deal with this issue on an all-encompassing basis."
Kelly said the ACC coaches have to go back and examine their own staff sizes to see how many they have, and what they think would be an appropriate limit for them in terms of being on the field.
"If people have the resources to do whatever they want with X-number of video guys and trainers and strength coaches that's fine," Kelly said. "More power to them. The biggest thing the NCAA is going to focus on and what we want to weigh in on is how many guys can be on the field. I don't think it's run rampant, but there obviously a few programs who have those types of resources to have huge staffs."
Radakovich cautioned it's a problem broader than just college football.
"There are issues in baseball, there are issues in basketball," he said. "I wouldn't look at this as a football-centric issue. These are more national issues."
It was a hot topic at this week's otherwise quiet ACC spring meetings.
"In some places it's really doubling the staff just about," said Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman. "We're labeling them one thing, but their activities certainly suggest they're doing other things. They're non-coaches who are coaching. We've got to find a way to address that issue, otherwise the playing field is not level at all. People are always looking for ways to maneuver and gain advantages and this is one of those loopholes that has been found that hopefully we'll be able to address."
NC State athletic director Lee Fowler said helping create legislation was something the ACC officials and coaches talked extensively about and "felt was very important."
"I think it's a concern because we're hearing that's the case at other schools, and they're using weight coaches to be skill trainers and that sort of stuff, which is against what the rules were made for," Fowler said. "We just want to make sure there's some legislation or whatever it takes to make sure everybody is under the same rules and regulations."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- ACC officials approved cutting travel squad sizes for conference games to 72 players at Wednesday's final spring meetings. It's the same number of players the coaches are allowed to bring to the ACC championship game, and doesn't apply to nonconference games.
"I don't think that's going to affect many coaches," NC State athletic director Lee Fowler said. "That's our championship number. Most of our coaches are around 72 or below during the regular season anyway. So I don't think that's going to be a big issue. Somebody may care more than that, but it was the minority, not the majority."
Virginia coach Al Groh said 72 is more than he usually takes and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said the coaches were willing to do what they could to help cut costs.
"Our philosophy at Virginia Tech, I only take people that have a chance to be in the ball game," Beamer said. "I don't want somebody just to be there and be a distraction to the football team. Our number varies. One week you may have an injury and you take a couple more because a guy is hurt and so forth. I think the fact is we want to do whatever we can to cut costs. None of us really wants a number, but at the same time, all of us want to do what's right for the conference."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- I'll be making my way to Raleigh soon enough, but just came across this story by Gregg Doyel about how NC State athletic director Lee Fowler goofed by not hiring Paul Johnson.
I was actually sitting next to Doyel at the ACC football kickoff last month when he asked Johnson what happened between him and NC State. Johnson downplayed it and said, "I can't even remember, that's a long time ago."
Johnson called it "water under the bridge," said it's "not important," and that "they got a good coach."
They sure did.
Doyel is right -- Tom O'Brien is not exactly "embraceable" but he's a good coach and he's going to win football games there. Probably faster than many people expect. Paul Johnson will do the same at Georgia Tech. So does it really matter which one is where?
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Not a lot of action around the league this morning, but I did find one thing worth reading for you:
North Carolina State hoops coach Sidney Lowe won't get a contract extension, but Tom O'Brien will be given ample time to try and turn the football program around, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
NC State AD Lee Fowler said his goal was to get all coaches on five-year deals, and in the football world, anything beyond three years sounds like job security.
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