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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2007
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK

Auburn

AUBURN — Tez Doolittle had two shoulder surgeries before he even played a down for Auburn. Then, he tore a knee ligament as a sophomore.

So shedding a few pounds seemed a small price to pay for a shot at more playing time as a senior. The Tigers’ noseguard has dropped from 308 pounds to 290 since the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day, and feels like it has helped his performance this spring.

“I got tired of being second team, playing behind guys that I feel that I’m equal to,” Doolittle said Tuesday. “I’ve been working hard. I dropped 18 pounds to try to step up this year.”

It won’t likely earn him a starting spot for his final season, with Josh Thompson and backup Pat Sims returning. But Doolittle is at least making a case for increasing his role in the fall after combining for just 19 tackles his first three seasons, thanks in part to the injury problems.

“This is his last time around. It seems like he’s healthy for once,” defensive line coach Don Dunn said.

Dunn said Doolittle and redshirt freshman tackle Mike Blanc have had the best springs of the defensive linemen, with end Sen’Derrick Marks limited by an ankle injury.

Doolittle and junior college transfer Greg Smith are both battling obstacles for bigger roles in the playing rotation.

Huntingdon

MONTGOMERY — Huntingdon has joined the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in football, President J. Cameron West said Tuesday.

The Division III program will compete in the league starting in 2008.

The Hawks have played without a conference affiliation since the program started in 2003. Other Huntingdon teams compete in the Great South Athletic Conference, which does not offer football.

“This move will guarantee at least seven football games a year for our schedule,” athletic director Buzz Phillips said. “It will also allow our athletes to play for both conference — and possibly national — championships.”

The SLIAC announced Monday that Huntingdon and LaGrange College were joining the league in football.

South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Fans will have to dig a little deeper this fall to watch South Carolina football, or in some cases, park at games.

A university board of trustees committee Tuesday approved a tiered-pricing plan that would raise ticket prices this year by $40 to $320.

Under the athletic department’s fee structure, home games with South Carolina’s fiercest rivals, Clemson and Georgia, will carry a top ticket price of $60.

The least attractive nonconference games during the next two seasons with South Carolina State, Wofford, Alabama-Birmingham and Louisiana-Lafayette will go for $35.

The increases should bring the university about $2 million this fall, South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman said.

Also, Gamecock Club members will now be charged parking fees ranging from $75 to $875 this season. In the past, those members had received complimentary parking as part of their membership in the athletic department’s booster group.

- The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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