Will Collier, former academic coordinator at UCLA, tells The Chronicle of Higher Education that a Bruins assistant basketball coach asked a professor to change a grade so that a player wouldn’t have to sit out the rest of the season.
Collier alleges that after being told of the player’s plight, assistant Duane Broussard “proposed a plan: Approach the professor about changing the player’s grade.”
Broussard denies the charge, telling The Chronicle, “To insinuate that I would pressure anyone to do something unethical or not follow policy is, quite frankly, insulting and just flat wrong.”
Collier left UCLA in January. The school says Collier was “careless with records, inflexible with students, and unable to build trust with coaches.” Meanwhile, SMU basketball was just placed on probation for academic fraud allegations. The NCAA is still investigating academic improprieties at North Carolina.
CINCINNATI — In addition to my column, here are three quick things from the Cincinnati Bengals’ comeback 27-24 overtime win over Seattle on Sunday:
1. Andy Dalton did it when it counted. Cincinnati trailed 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter when the much-maligned quarterback directed the home team’s improbable rally. Dalton was 10-of-11 for 105 yards and a touchdown in the final period for a passer rating of 136.7. And this was accomplished against a Seattle defense that entered Sunday No. 2 in the NFL in yards allowed per game.
On the Bengals’ second possession of three fourth quarter possessions, Dalton hit Mohammed Sanu with a 25-yard pass on a second-and-14. He connected with Sanu on a seven-yard pass to convert a third-and-four. Then on second-and-goal from the five, he saw a hole in the middle of the Seahawk defense and called his own number. The result was a quick, five-yard touchdown run that pulled the Bengals within 24-21 with 3:38 remaining.
Mark Pope was a good basketball player. Pope was a member of Kentucky basketball’s 1996 national team. Pope is an up-and-coming basketball coach, in his first year as the head coach at Utah Valley. Who knew that Pope can also dance?
Georgia blew a 24-3 lead at Tennessee on the way to losing 38-31 to the Vols. The Bulldogs lost star running back Nick Chubb to a gruesome knee injury on the first play of the game. Yet, Mark Richt’s team recovered and appeared to be on the way to blowing out the host Vols before everything fell apart.
Georgia’s Sony Michel fumbled a kickoff shortly before halftime leading to a Tennessee score that gave the Vols momentum for the second half. “I made the biggest mistake that turned this game around,” Michel told Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. “I want to take this game on myself. I lost this game because of me.”
With Georgia’s loss, Kentucky is now all alone in second place in the SEC East. Florida is 4-0. UK is 2-1. Georgia is now 2-2. Of course, Florida has the tiebreaker advantage over the Cats thanks to that 14-9 win in Lexington on Sept. 19.
Florida keeps on keeping on, winning 21-3 at Missouri. The Gators defense got after Missouri’s freshman quarterback Drew Lock the entire game. Kentucky fans shouldn’t feel so bad about the way their offensive line was abused by the Gators. Florida did the same thing to Mizzou. And great defense travels well. Florida is already 4-0 in the league.
With UK football off this week, we’re using Saturday’s Big Blue Links to review our Kentucky basketball “Meet the Cats” (so far) series:
Kentucky a picture-perfect situation for Mychal Mulder, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “After leading Windsor’s Catholic Central High to a Provincial championship, Mulder decided to attend Vincennes University. He turned down Detroit Mercy’s scholarship offer. He wanted to improve his basketball profile.”
Charles Matthews is a potential defensive stopper, reports Tipton. “If you’re wondering who will be Kentucky’s defensive stopper this coming season, it would be wise to consider freshman Charles Matthews. He has the size and mobility (6-foot-6, 189 pounds) to harass the opposition’s perimeter scorers as well as hold his own closer to the basket. And, maybe more importantly, he seemed to warm to the idea of being assigned the role.”
Tennessee is due for a comeback, writes John Adams of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “Tennessee has so many issues of its own, it probably hasn’t noticed what’s going on with Georgia. What’s going on? Not much, other than running back Nick Chubb. Never mind that the Bulldogs were ranked in the top 10 prior to last Saturday’s 38-10 loss to Alabama. They had done little on the field to warrant the ranking.”
Georgia and Tennessee in need of a win, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. Georgia is coming off a four-touchdown loss to Alabama. “Our big thing is to grow from it. It’s not a total loss if you learn from it,” Georgia head coach Mark Richt said. “And that’s true in all losses. So we do feel like we put it behind us. We feel like we’ve made the corrections we need to make, and we’re moving forward and hopefully be better because of the changes or the feeling that you just don’t want to feel again.”
Florida looking for payback against Missouri, reports Jesse Simonton of the Miami Herald. “The Swamp was emptying, but a vociferous chant still spread like wildfire. ‘FIRE MUSCHAMP! FIRE MUSCHAMP! FIRE MUSCHAMP!’ The Florida Gators lost 42-13 to Missouri last season, as former coach Will Muschamp’s hot seat officially caught fire in a humiliating homecoming defeat. The Tigers’ Marcus Murphy returned the opening kickoff for a score — and the game snowballed from there.”