COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is going with senior James Franklin to start at quarterback for the Tigers.
Pinkel said Franklin, who was dogged by injuries last season, beat out redshirt freshman Maty Mauk for the job. He felt it was important to make an announcement well ahead of the Aug. 31 opener against Murray State.
Pinkel added the coaching staff is considering giving Mauk planned series in games to give him experience. Sophomore Corbin Berkstresser started four games last year when Franklin was sidelined and also had been in the competition.
Injuries slam Virginia Tech
Hokies trainer Mike Goforth announced that outside linebacker Ronny Vandyke and running back Tony Gregory both require surgery and will be lost for the season, and starting offensive lineman Mark Shuman will miss 4-6 weeks after surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee.
Shuman has had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee before, Goforth said.
Vandyke was being counted on to be an impact player in Blacksburg, Va., in what shapes up as a solid defense. Instead, he will have right shoulder surgery that sidelines him for 6-8 months, Goforth said. The trainer said he hopes Vandyke will be ready for spring practice.
The oft-injured Gregory, counted on to be the Hokies’ third tailback, re-tore the ACL in his right knee this week.
“His career at Virginia Tech is effectively over,” Goforth said.
That news is hard on the Hokies because possible starting tailback J.C. Coleman suffered a high left ankle sprain and a right ankle sprain during a drill this week and is likely to miss about two weeks, making his availability for the season-opener with two-time national champion Alabama questionable.
Tennessee ushers in new era with new look
Volunteers coach Butch Jones unveiled subtle changes to Tennessee’s usual uniforms and introduced an alternate uniform to be used in one home game this season. The new gear, designed by Adidas, signifies a new era as Tennessee tries ending a string of three consecutive losing seasons.
The alternate uniform features jerseys and pants in a color school officials described as “Smokey gray,” a nod to the team’s mascot. Jones said the 1914 Tennessee team wore gray jerseys and went undefeated.
The usual orange home jerseys have an outline of the state of Tennessee above the players’ names on the back. The white road jerseys have a checkerboard pattern on the numbers. The white jerseys have a “Power T” on the back and the word Tennessee written above the numbers on the front.
Law could be trouble for brokers in Manziel case
If Johnny Manziel did violate NCAA rules by receiving money for signing autographs, a Texas law could put the people who allegedly paid him at risk of being sued by Texas A&M.
Christian Dennie, an attorney with Barlow Garsek & Simon, LLP in Fort Worth, Texas, writes on the firm’s website that the state of Texas passed legislation in 1987 to make “a person who violates a rule of a national collegiate athletic association … liable for damages in an action brought by an institution.”
To be liable, the person must have known or reasonably should have known a rule was violated and the violation must lead to disciplinary action against the student or institution.”
Manziel, who became the first freshman to win the Heisman last year, is being investigated by the NCAA.
Ricky Williams begins career as coach
Ricky Williams is the new running backs coach at the University of the Incarnate Word, bringing years of knowledge of the game to the small Catholic school looking to build its program.
Incarnate Word coach Larry Kennan called Williams “one of the biggest names in Texas football” and says he’ll be a boost to his team.
The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner and NFL All-Pro who led the league in rushing in 2002 is looking forward to getting back on the football field a year after his retirement from the NFL.