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News Nuggets, 12.19.04
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Houston AD livid with Nebraska over cancellation


12.18.04: Wolfpack's Hodge not short on self-esteem ,,, James Madison rushes to I-AA championship ... More...
12.17.04: Nebraska icon Osborne irked with aloof AD's ... William & Mary QB captures Payton Award ... More...
12.16.04: Pirates hawking hoops tickets with a twist ... Majerus ditches TV gig to rescue Trojans ... More...
12.15.04: Bowl season kicks off with Southern Miss victory ... Marshall linebacker suspended for bowl game ... More...
12.14.04: Preview: USM, North Texas kick off bowl season ... Former ECU assistants McFarland, Brindise land jobs ... McLendon to bolt Wolfpack for NFL draft ... More...
12.13.04: Musical chairs at full tilt as coaches change jobs ... List of Division I-A coaching changes ... Heisman Trophy chronology 1935-2004 ... More...
12.12.04: Title game of the Heismans set ... All-time Heisman winners list ... Blue- Gray Classic scratched again ... More...
12.11.04: Job security for SMU coach comes with lofty mandate ... Panel pushing to tie bowl bids to grad rates ... More...
12.10.04: Gamecocks' ol' man "Pops" still in the limelight ... Lou Groza Award winners ... Ray Guy Award winners ... More...
12.09.04: East Carolina releases 2005 baseball schedule ... BCA urges athletes, coaches to shun Gamecocks ... More...
12.08.04: All-Conference USA and C-USA All-Freshman teams ... Petrino waves off suitors to stay at Louisville ... More...
12.07.04: Syracuse chancellor decides to stick with Pasqualoni ... Zook selected to rejuvenate struggling Illini ... More...
12.06.04: C-USA standings, scoreboard, bowl lineup & TV ... BCS rankings, bowl pairings ''' AP football poll ... More...
12.05.04: FLwed BCS produces another messy title picture ... College football weekend: stars & storylines ... More...

HOUSTON — An angry Houston athletic director Dave Maggard, calling Nebraska ``gutless,'' accused the Cornhuskers on Friday of backing out of a verbal agreement to play Houston in a football game next fall and scheduling Division I-AA Maine instead.

``This is absolutely unprofessional in every way,'' Maggard said in online editions of the Houston Chronicle. ``It's gutless. Spineless. They're going to have to live with it. I've lost a tremendous amount of respect for that program. I think that for college athletics, it's shameful.''

Maggard said he arranged a nationally televised game between the Cougars and Nebraska.

Two days later, Maggard said he learned in a phone call from Nebraska Athletic Director Steve Pederson that the game won't be played. Now Houston and ESPN are scrambling to find another opponent for Sept. 1 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.

``Essentially, Nebraska bailed on the game,'' Maggard told KRIV-TV in Houston.

Pederson did not plan to address Maggard's comments, said Nebraska athletic department spokeswoman Chris Anderson.

``Our policy has always been ... we have never made comment about any potential or future opponent until such time that a contract is signed, and there was no signed contract in this case,'' Anderson said.

But Maggard had plenty to say.

``This is the most unprofessional thing I've dealt with in my 30 years in this business,'' Maggard said. ``I'm very, very surprised by all this. This is something that doesn't belong in Division I athletics.''

Mike Soltys, vice president in charge of communications at ESPN, said the game was scheduled for the network's Thursday night opener before Nebraska decided to go in a different direction.

``We're going to figure out a solution, but they (the Huskers) are developing a reputation for hanging people out to dry. I think it's a sad commentary on the people running that athletic program,'' Maggard said.

Duke cans offensive coordinator Galbraith

DURHAM — Duke fired offensive coordinator Marty Galbraith after one season, during which the Blue Devils ranked last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in points and total offense.

``We've decided to go another direction offensively,'' Duke head coach Ted Roof said in a statement. ``Marty Galbraith is a good man and a good football coach, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.''

Duke (2-9, 1-7) averaged 16.6 points and 265.5 yards per game.

Galbraith came to the Blue Devils after spending the 2003 season as tight ends coach for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals. Before that, he spent three seasons with North Carolina State, serving as offensive coordinator in 2001 and '02.

Majerus retreats from USC back to TV booth

LOS ANGELES — Three days after being hired as the new basketball coach at Southern California, Rick Majerus backed out of the deal and will stay at ESPN as a college basketball analyst.

``Rick expressed to us that he had a change of heart and wondered if the possibility still existed for him to work for ESPN. And it does,'' ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Saturday night. ``We told him he could (return).''

Majerus, who cited health reasons when he retired in January after 15 seasons as Utah's coach, was announced as the Trojans' incoming coach Wednesday. He was to assume the post on April 1.

Majerus did not immediately return phone messages Saturday night.

``We plan to meet with Rick on Monday. Until then, there's really nothing we can say,'' USC athletic director Mike Garrett said in a statement.

USC spokesman Tim Tessalone said the meeting had already been planned.

Until taking over in April, Majerus was supposed to serve on the staff and work on recruiting, filling the assistant's job vacated when Jim Saia was promoted to interim coach after Henry Bibby's firing.

At a campus news conference following his hiring, the 56-year-old Majerus said he wasn't worried about his health.

``My health is good or I wouldn't do this,'' he said. ``Both my doctors encouraged me to do it. I wouldn't put anyone, least of all myself, in harm's way.''

Saia last saw Majerus over dinner Wednesday night, when they discussed the program's future. Majerus had soup and salad for dinner and kept apples in his hotel room, Saia said.

``He asked a lot of questions about the staff and players coming back. He just wanted to get a feel from me,'' Saia told The Associated Press on Saturday night, his voice still hoarse from USC's earlier victory over Western Michigan.

But something apparently changed overnight Wednesday.

Majerus canceled a Thursday morning meeting with assistant coach Bob Cantu, then canceled dinner that night with assistant Eric Brown, Saia said. On Friday, Majerus canceled a meeting with the players who would still be eligible next season. He talked to the team briefly Wednesday after being introduced as the new coach.

Saia said there were no reasons given for the cancellations.

``He left a message on my cell Friday night saying he wanted to go back to Milwaukee and spend the holidays with his family and mother,'' Saia said. ``He said he'd see me after Christmas.''

The Trojans leave for Hawaii on Sunday to play in the Rainbow Classic. They are 2-1 since Saia took over.

``It'll be great to get away and bond as a team,'' he said. ``I'm an interim coach that maybe has a chance to coach next season. I'd love to stay at USC.''

Saia said he's not concerned about the future.

``I can't control what is going to happen,'' he said. ``You could go crazy trying to figure it all out.''

UCLA coach Ben Howland was stunned when informed of Majerus's reversal after the Bruins beat Michigan.

``You're kidding me, right?'' Howland said. ``I hope and will pray it's not over health issues because that was always the biggest concern. That's surprising to me because I know from listening to him how excited he was to come back.''

Majerus coached Utah to the national championship game in 1998, losing to Kentucky. That game was one of the school's 10 NCAA tournament appearances during his tenure. His other coaching stints were at Ball State, Marquette and with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:07 PM


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