Big 12: Bob Cavello
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Sometimes, a seemingly small item provides a huge benefit.
Texas coach Mack Brown is looking for any edge he can find as he attempts to claim his first Big 12 title since 2005.
It's why motivational guru Jon Gordon stopped in Austin this week to share some of his philosophies with the Longhorns, the Austin American-Statesman's Kevin Robbins reports.
Part of Gordon's philosophy has team members expressing their love for each other. They also talked about vampires.
And he asked the team to think about the process that leads to the championship rather than the outcome itself.
"That's how championships are won," Gordon said to the team. "I'm asking you to focus on your moments. Seize your moments and you're going to love your outcomes."
Gordon has a strong record. He's talked with NFL teams over the years, most recently the Atlanta Falcons before last season. That squad had lost its coach and quarterback coming into the season when Bobby Petrino left for Arkansas and Michael Vick was jailed. But something clicked and the Falcons and rookie quarterback Matt Ryan raced to an improbable 11-5 record and made the playoffs.
Whether Gordon's lessons can help the Longhorns realize their dreams will be interesting to watch.
And if they do claim a championship, the cost of his summer visit will be chump change compared to the overall result.
Here are some other links from across the conference for your lunchtime edification.
- The administrative leaves of Kansas State associate athletic directors Jim Epps and Bob Cavello remain "unchanged," Kansas State athletic director John Currie told Joshua Kinder of the Manhattan Mercury.
- Colorado offensive lineman Max Tuioti-Mariner tells Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera that he's strongly considering taking off on a religious mission over the next year. The sabbatical would also benefit Tuioti-Mariner's knees, which have been scarred by three surgeries over the past two years.
- Sports Illustrated's Austin Murphy has a decidedly Texas slant on his most thrilling players in college football history.
- Baylor's chances of breaking a postseason drought that has stretched since 1994 are analyzed by the Lincoln Journal Star's Steve Sipple. And Lincoln Journal-Star staffers Curt McKeever and Brian Christopherson and guest Steve Ryan of the Big Red Report analyze whether Baylor will be a "trap game" for Nebraska.
- Missouri players have noted dire preseason predictions for the two-time defending North Division title game participants, the Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter reports.
- Chase Daniel can't wait to disprove those who are doubting his ability to make an NFL roster, the Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond reports.
- The Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson explains why there's a rush to find immediate talent in Iowa State's 2010 class.
- The Denver Post's Terri Frei goes deeper with more information from an extensive recent interview with Dan Hawkins.
- The Tulsa World's John Hoover analyzes Oklahoma's 2009 schedule.
- The San Antonio Express-News' Jerry Briggs talks to former Texas quarterback James Street about teammate Freddie Steinmark's courage.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It never hurts to have a familiar person working with you in times of great challenge.
That was obviously the idea with the recent hire made by Kansas State athletic director John Currie, who has tapped veteran sports administrator Reid Sigmon to fill his No. 2 position as his senior associate athletic director for administration.
It's an interesting hire for a couple of reasons.
First, Sigmon becomes Currie's first major hire since taking over as the Wildcats' athletic director last month. Soon after his arrival, Currie placed assistant athletic directors Jim Epps and Bob Cavello on administrative leave in a move that was seen as a house-cleaning break with the previous administration.
That first step came soon after results of a secret deal between former Kansas State athletic director Bob Krause and Ron Prince surfaced, as well as the audit of the school's athletic department.
Currie and Sigmon represent a clean break with that past.
Sigmon has a long history in events management as the executive director of the Super Bowl XLIII host committee.
Another previous job for Sigmon was as director of stadium development and event operations for the Cleveland Browns. He was responsible for the management, supervision and coordination of all Browns' event logistics and stadium construction. And before that he had high administrative jobs in logistics for previous Super Bowls in Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, as well as the 1999 men's basketball Final Four in St. Petersburg, Fla.
It's very unusual to see someone with such a strong portfolio in professional athletics make the move to colleges. It happens all the time in coaching, but rarely in administration.
The daily challenges of preparing for a Super Bowl are immense -- particularly in these trying economic times. But it was probably good training for Sigmon as he attempts to help Currie rebuild confidence and trust at Kansas State.
Currie and Sigmon have known each other since they both worked at Wake Forest, where Sigmon played football for the Demon Deacons. So he's obviously familiar with the inner workings of intercollegiate athletics from that standpoint.
He's been gone for a few years, but I'm betting working and negotiating with the NFL has steeled him for anything he might face from a zealous booster or two while at Kansas State.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Today's a getaway day as me and my family get ready for a trip to grandma and granddad for my little one. I'll be back with all kinds of stuff on Monday about the Big 12.
But before we hit the open road, I wouldn't imagine leaving without sharing a few lunchtime links.
Enjoy them and enjoy the weekend.
- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops told the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter that incoming freshman defensive end Justin Chaisson has joined the team and backup running back Justin Johnson is expected to transfer to another program.
- Former Texas A&M offensive lineman Yemi Babola was found guilty of two counts of aggravated robbery, the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman reports. Babola could be facing life in prison.
- The Bryan Eagle's Robert Cessna comments on the Chaisson and Babola cases and says it's time that colleges athletic institutions started policing themselves.
- The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter reports that Missouri will start mandatory screening of athletes for sickle cell traits.
- Stoops might have won three consecutive Big 12 titles, but some Oklahoma alumni at a Dallas outing are wondering when the Sooners will snap their BCS bowl drought, Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman reports.
- ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman had a fascinating piece on the effectiveness of offensive and defensive linemen who threw the shot put or the discus in high school track. Among those he mentions are offensive tackles Russell Okung of Oklahoma State, Trent Williams of Oklahoma and Adam Ulatoski of Texas and defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and DeMarcus Granger and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma.
- The Colorado Springs Gazette's David Ramsey said it's time to renew the Colorado-Air Force series that hasn't been played since 1974.
- Another interesting story from the Lincoln Journal-Star's Brian Christopherson's "Deep Red" Series. This week's offering is about a 1953 home game against Oregon -- the first televised game in the history of the program.
- Mike Leach tells Mike Whitson of the San Angelo Standard-Times he's enjoyed bigger victories than Texas Tech's pulsating victory over Texas that was settled by Michael Crabtree's game-winning catch. Like the time his 13-year-old all-star team defeated Cheyenne when he was growing up in Cody, Wyoming.
- Former Kansas athletic director Bob Frederick was listed in critical condition in a Kansas City, Kan., hospital after suffering a head injury in a bicycle accident, the Kansas City Star reports.
- The Topeka Capital Journal's Austin Meek writes it's time for new Kansas State athletic director John Currie to come clean about the administrative leave given to Jim Epps and Bob Cavello earlier this week.
- Podcasters Kevin Romary, D.J. Whetter and Jesse Newell of the Lawrence Journal World all ranked the Kansas-Missouri football game ranked as the best Kansas sports event last season and discussed whether the Jayhawks' 2010 game against Georgia Tech is a good idea.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It's taken only three days for new Kansas State athletic director John Currie to start rearranging his administrative staff.
Veteran KSU administrators Jim Epps and Bob Cavello have been placed on administrative leave, according to an announcement made by the school.
"Earlier this afternoon, I informed Jim Epps and Bob Cavello of my decision to place them on administrative leave with pay until further notice," Currie said in a prepared statement. "This decision is not based upon any concerns about misconduct on the part of either individual."
Currie's decision comes only three weeks after KSU filed suit in Riley County District Court seeking to invalidate a secret agreement between former athletic director Bob Krause and former football coach Ron Prince.
Earlier, KSU had awarded Prince a $1.2 million contract extension three months before he was fired. And former KSU athletic director Tim Weiser received a $1.9 million settlement from the school after he departed to become deputy commissioner of the Big 12.
Epps is the senior member of the KSU athletic administrative staff after 30 years of service. He supervises the internal operations of the athletic department after starting at the school as an assistant academic counselor.
Cavello, who has worked at KSU for 13 years, oversees all financial, contractual and business operations for the athletic department. He also is in charge of the school's men's and women's golf programs.
Some kind of shake-up was expected after Currie took over. But the fact two veteran employees were targeted so quickly is noteworthy.