Sep 12, 2020; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas Jayhawks head coach Les Miles is interviewed before a game against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Les Miles hosted female students at LSU-area condo

LSU was so concerned by the behavior of former football coach Les Miles when it came to female students that it reprimanded him, ordered him to stop being alone with them and told him to no longer hire the young women to babysit his children, USA Today reported Thursday.

The newspaper said the findings are included in a 2013 internal investigative report released by LSU on Thursday — a report it sued the university to get.

The document includes allegations of Miles sending text messages to the young women, taking them to his condominium and making them feel uncomfortable in general. In one case, he is reported to have kissed a student and offered to take her to a hotel, all while telling her that he could assist her in her career.

Miles denies the allegations, his attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said.

The investigation didn’t uncover a sexual relationship with any of the women. For his part, Miles said he was serving as a mentor to the students.

Last week, The Advocate reported Miles had settled with at least one woman who accused him of sexual harassment. Reached then by the local newspaper, Miles said, “That’s not true.”

USA Today’s reporting on sexual misconduct within the athletic department at LSU caused the university to contract with outside law firm Husch Blackwell to audit roughly 60 sexual misconduct cases from 2016 to 2018.

Findings of the investigation are expected to be released on Friday.

Miles, 67, is now the head coach at Kansas, where he has a 3-18 record in two seasons with the Jayhawks.

Kansas officials didn’t immediately comment on Thursday’s report but issued this statement on Feb. 24.

“The University of Kansas is aware of a media report today involving KU head football coach Les Miles. We have spoken with Coach Miles about the allegations in the story and will continue to gather information that is made available to us. KU was not aware of these allegations when Coach Miles was hired in 2018. Because this involves Coach Miles’ former employer and pre-dates his time at KU, and because we do not have factual knowledge about details of these allegations, it is not appropriate for us to comment further.”

He was 114-34 in 11-plus seasons at LSU. His team won the BCS national championship in 2007 and was the national runner-up in 2011. He won 10 or more games on seven occasions with the Tigers.

His last 10-win season occurred in 2013.

Miles was 19-10 over his final two-plus seasons and was fired after a 2-2 start in 2016. He coached at Oklahoma State prior to LSU.

He is one of only six active coaches to have won an NCAA championship, joining Nick Saban, Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher, Mack Brown and Ed Orgeron.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys helmets lie on the field as players stretch before a game against the Texas Longhorns at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Holder to leave Oklahoma State AD job

Jan 17, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) drops back to pass during the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State will promote Chad Weiberg to athletic director and move Mike Holder, who held the job for 16 years, to athletic director emeritus.

The change is pending approval of the board of regents, which is scheduled to meet Friday, and would become effective July 1.

President Burns Hargis said Holder will continue as a special adviser to the athletic department, tasked with raising money and facility development. Holder was named athletic director in September 2005 after 32 years as golf coach.

“We are in awe of the massive upgrade in athletic facilities under Mike’s leadership. I am personally appreciative of his adherence to honest principles in the performance of his duties leading our athletic department,” Hargis said in a school news release. “Serving with Mike to elevate and advance our alma mater has been a great privilege for me. Mike loves OSU.”

Among the upgrades at Oklahoma State is the $70 million O’Brate Stadium, which hosted it first baseball game on Feb. 24.

“Today is about the future of Oklahoma State University athletics,” Holder said in the statement. “Chad Weiberg is the new sheriff in town and he needs all of us to saddle up and ride for the brand. Get ready Cowboys and Cowgirls. If you do your part, then the best is yet to come.”

Weiberg earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oklahoma State and was hired as deputy athletic director in May 2017.

“I am humbled by this opportunity,” Weiberg said. “It is a special place with special people and a storied athletic tradition. We have exceptional coaches, remarkable student-athletes and an incredible staff. Coach Holder has done more at OSU than anyone imagined possible since he became athletic director. He put us in position to be competitive on a national level, transformed our facilities and helped us raise the expectations we have of ourselves. I hope to honor his accomplishments by building on them.”

The school said Weiberg’s contract will be for four years at $750,000 a year.

–Field Level Media

Sep 8, 2018; Stanford, CA, USA; General overall view of the Pac-12 Conference logo on the field during the game between the Southern California Trojans and the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC-Stanford to kick off Pac-12 conference play in 2021

The Pac-12 is planning for a return to a traditional football season in 2021, releasing its nine-game conference schedule on Tuesday.

UCLA will kick off the nonconference slate against Hawaii at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 28. The Bruins’ crosstown rival, Southern California, will play host to Stanford in the first conference game of the season on Sept. 11.

USC will play at Washington State on Sept. 18 before the full conference slate of games begins on Sept. 25 in Week 4.

The Pac-12 schedule includes traditional rivalry games over the final two weeks of the season: Washington-Washington State, USC-UCLA, Arizona-Arizona State, Cal-Stanford and Oregon-Oregon State. The conference championship game is scheduled to be played on Dec. 3 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the first time.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Auburn Tigers defensive end Big Kat Bryant (1) awaits the snap during the first quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

‘Big Kat’ Bryant to join Gus Malzahn at UCF

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (99) forces a fumble by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end Markaviest “Big Kat” Bryant said Tuesday that he plans to join former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn at UCF.

Bryant announced in January that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal and would play elsewhere for a fifth season, taking advantage of having another season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Soon after, he said he was heading to Tennessee but apparently changed his mind after the firing of coach Jeremy Pruitt amid allegations of recruiting violations.

Bryant made his decision to play at UCF known on social media, sharing a photo illustration of himself in a team uniform with the caption, “Big Kat in the Bounce House.”

Bryant finished 2020 with 17 tackles, including three sacks, and four quarterback hurries. In four years at Auburn, Bryant appeared in 49 games and amassed career totals of 56 tackles, 10 sacks, two interceptions and seven passes defended.

He becomes the third former Auburn player to commit to playing for Malzahn at UCF, joining running back Mark-Antony Richards and receiver Nate Craig-Myers in Orlando.

Auburn fired Malzahn on Dec. 13 after eight seasons (2013-20) and a 68-35 overall record, 39-27 in Southeastern Conference play. He had four years remaining on his seven-year, $49 million contract extension and guided the program to an SEC Championship and BCS National Championship appearance in his first season.

He was hired at UCF in January.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2019; East Hartford, CT, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Jake Hansen (35) sacks Connecticut Huskies quarterback Jack Zergiotis (11) in the second quarter at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

LB Jake Hansen returning to Illinois for 2021 season

Feb 29, 2020; College Park, Maryland, USA;  American sports broadcaster Rece Davis stand curtsied before the between the Maryland Terrapins and the Michigan State Spartans is at XFINITY Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker Jake Hansen said Monday he is returning to Illinois for a sixth season after initially declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Hansen, who led the nation with 14 takeaways over the past two seasons, made the announcement in a video message posted on the Illini football program’s Twitter feed.

“The 2020 football season wasn’t exactly how I imagine my time at Illinois to end,” Hansen said. “After extensive talks with Coach (Bret) Bielema and the University of Illinois staff, I have decided that I have unfinished business in the Orange & Blue. I am excited to get back up to Champaign and get to work with my teammates and my new coaches. Go Illini!”

Hansen will be one of 21 “super seniors” on the 2021 Illinois roster, players who will be using the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am excited for Jake to come back to the Fighting Illini family,” said Bielema, who was hired in December. “During my conversations with Jake it was easy to see how passionate he is about the game of football, his teammates and the University of Illinois. We’ve got an outstanding group of seniors that have chosen to come back to Illinois.”

A Butkus Award semifinalist in 2019 and a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020, Hansen has registered 243 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, seven sacks, 10 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and three interceptions in 41 games with the Illini.

Hansen earned his undergraduate degree in kinesiology and will continue pursuing a master’s degree in recreation, sport and tourism.

–Field Level Media

Feb 29, 2020; College Park, Maryland, USA;  American sports broadcaster Rece Davis stand curtsied before the between the Maryland Terrapins and the Michigan State Spartans is at XFINITY Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Rece Davis signs contract to remain with ESPN

Dec 29, 2020; San Antonio, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman is being interviewed during the first half against the Colorado Buffaloes at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rece Davis is staying with ESPN and will continue to host “College GameDay,” the network announced Monday.

Davis, 55, signed a multiyear deal. Length and financial terms were not announced.

Davis has been with the network for more than 25 years and will begin his seventh season as host of football’s “College GameDay” this fall. He also will host coverage of events such as the NFL Draft on ABC and the College Football Playoff National Championship game, with play-by-play duties mixed in.

He also will continue to host “College GameDay” during basketball season, and this summer, will host the UEFA European Football Championship.

“I’m extremely grateful to ESPN and pleased to continue working with my extraordinarily talented colleagues and friends on all of these remarkable projects,” Davis said. “I get to cover the sports I am most passionate about with people who care deeply not only about the show, but the sports themselves. That is what makes our place special, and it’s something I never take for granted.”

Davis is a two-time Sports Emmy Award nominee.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA; LSU Tigers tight end Arik Gilbert (2) runs against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

TE Arik Gilbert decommits from Florida, enters transfer portal again

Feb 7, 2020; Tampa, FL, USA;  General view of the NFL Shield logo on the field before Super Bowl LV between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end Arik Gilbert said he is heading to the transfer portal again instead of the University of Florida after telling the school on Jan. 31 he was going to be Gator.

“I have decided to decommit from the university of Florida and re-enter the portal,” Gilbert tweeted. “I will not be announcing my final decision until I am enrolled into school and on campus.”

The 6-foot-5, 249-pound Gilbert, who was one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2020 cycle, played for LSU last season. But he decided to opt out of the season on Dec. 9 after posting 368 yards and two touchdowns on 35 receptions in eight games.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he hoped Gilbert would return to the team. Instead, he never played another down for the Tigers and ultimately entered the transfer portal, reopening his recruiting.

Gilbert, a five-star recruit ranked No. 5 nationally according to 247Sports in 2020, was expected to replace Kyle Pitts in Gainesville. The Gators’ standout tight end, who led the team in receiving touchdowns (12) last season, is expected to be among the first players taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Gators signed tight ends Gage Wilcox (four star) and Nick Elksnis (three star) in their 2021 recruiting class and also return Kemore Gamble, Keon Zipperer and Jonathan Odom from last year’s squad.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Alan Bowman (10) calls signals in the second half in the game against the Baylor Bears at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Ex-Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman transfers to Michigan

Former Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman is transferring to Michigan, he announced Sunday.

“Lets get to work!! #GoBlue,” he captioned a photo he posted on Twitter that showed him wearing a Michigan uniform.

A graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play immediately, and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

The arrival of a veteran quarterback should be welcome news to coach Jim Harbaugh.

Joe Milton, who started the 2020 season as Michigan’s quarterback, entered the transfer portal 10 days ago, becoming the second QB to leave the program. Dylan McCaffrey opted out of the 2020 season and since transferred to Northern Colorado, where he’ll play for his father, former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey.

Bowman becomes the fourth scholarship quarterback on Michigan’s roster, joining Cade McNamara, redshirt freshman Dan Villari and incoming freshman J.J. McCarthy, a five-star prospect in the Class of 2021.

Bowman played in 19 games over three seasons with the Red Raiders. He was the starter for four games in 2020, then replaced by transfer Henry Colombi. A partially collapsed lung in 2018 limited him to eight games, and he played in three games in 2019 before taking a redshirt after suffering a shoulder injury.

At Texas Tech, Bowman had a 67 percent completion rate, throwing for 5,254 yards with 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2017; Madison, WI, USA; An Michigan Wolverines helmet during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Five-star CB Will Johnson commits to Michigan

Michigan landed the top-ranked player in the state in the Class of 2022 on Sunday with the commitment of five-star cornerback Will Johnson.

The 6-foot-3 Johnson, who attends Grosse Pointe South High School, is the No. 11 overall prospect in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite.

He announced his decision with a video posted to social media.

Johnson had offers from numerous Power Five programs and selected the Wolverines over rival Ohio State and Southern California.

His father, Deon Johnson, was a defensive back at Michigan in the 1991 and 1992 seasons.

Michigan is off to a good start in the 2022 recruiting cycle, holding the No. 10-ranked class so far, according to 247Sports.

–Field Level Media

Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Derion Kendrick (1) on the sidelines in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: All-ACC CB Derion Kendrick off team at Clemson

Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick, an All-ACC selection in 2020, is no longer with the team, multiple outlets reported Sunday.

Clemson247 reported that coach Dabo Swinney dismissed him from the program.

Kendrick was a five-star recruit from Rock Hill, S.C., in the Class of 2018 but has run into disciplinary issues. He announced in January that he would return to the Tigers for his senior season, which would have meant Clemson had all 11 starters on defense coming back.

He appeared in nine games (eight starts) in 2020 and was credited with 20 tackles (one for loss), six pass breakups, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery in 382 snaps. He returned the fumble 66 yards for a touchdown at Virginia Tech on Dec. 5.

In 39 career games (23 starts), he made 71 tackles (four for losses) and had 12 pass breakups and three interceptions. He also had 15 career receptions for 210 yards and returned 15 kickoffs an average of 23.3 yards.

–Field Level Media