News from the Tennessee Valley Sports


Jacksonville State

JACKSONVILLE — Jacksonville State University is considering a move to the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A.

The university’s board of trustees approved formation of a committee Monday to explore a possible move to the top class in college football.

The committee is to report to the board’s athletics committee on Oct. 15 with information on the cost and feasibility of the move up. The Gamecocks are in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-AA.

The board also approved a recommendation to get preliminary architectural drawings by Sept.1 for a renovation of the south stands that would add 5,000 seats to the 15,000-seat Paul Snow Stadium, including a new press box and executive suites.

JSU President William A. Meehan called the review of a move up “very, very preliminary,” but football coach Jack Crowe said it would be a natural progression and key board member Jim Coxwell said he expect the Gamecocks to eventually play in the same division as former archrival Troy.

“We’ve had contact with the Sun Belt Conference,” Coxwell told The Birmingham News, “and I’ve talked to Troy’s leaders down there and I’ve talked to The University of Alabama. It just seems like something that would fit our system here within the next few years.

“I think one year we will be Division I-A. We’re headed that way. It’s just a matter of time when we get there,” he said.

Coxwell will serve as chairman of the subcommittee, whose other members are Crowe, Athletics Director Jim Fuller and trustees Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. and Jamie “Red” Etheredge.

Jacksonville State began the two-year transition to Division I-AA in 1993. It would serve a one-year transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.


LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas running backs coach Danny Nutt is resigning because of a recurrence of bleeding from his brain stem. Nutt, 46, is the younger brother of head coach Houston Nutt. Danny Nutt, who had brain surgery in 1998, is currently receiving treatment for what the university called “a serious condition that includes bleeding from his brain stem.”

Nutt is in Fayetteville and not in the hospital, university spokesman Kevin Trainor said, but his condition “could be life-threatening.”

The school said Nutt would not coach this season and was unlikely to coach in the future. A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, when Houston Nutt is expected to meet with reporters.

Danny Nutt is being treated by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, his brother said.

Danny Nutt has been on his brother’s staff since Houston Nutt took over at Arkansas before the 1998 season. The Razorbacks open the 2007 season Sept. 1 against Troy. Danny Nutt was also an assistant for his brother at Boise State and Murray State.

“I know that no one is more disappointed than Danny that he won’t be on the field coaching,” Houston Nutt said. “His coaching and recruiting contributions have often been overshadowed because he shares the same last name as the head coach. There is no doubt that his group of running backs aren’t only the most talented position group in the country, but also some of the best young men playing college football.”

Arkansas’ running game is often among the best in the Southeastern Conference, especially lately. Darren McFadden and Felix Jones both rushed for over 1,000 yards as sophomores last season, with McFadden finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Razorbacks went 10-4.

Danny Nutt and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn were credited with an innovation last year — the “Wildcat” set in which McFadden lined up at quarterback and could run, hand off or pass. Neither Nutt or Malzahn remains on the staff. Malzahn left in January for Tulsa and was replaced as offensive coordinator by David Lee.

Other assistants from last year have also changed roles this offseason. Alex Wood went from quarterbacks to receivers coach, defensive backs coach Louis Campbell is becoming an assistant athletic director, and Chris Vaughn is moving from on-campus recruiting director to safeties coach.

Houston Nutt said he would begin searching immediately to replace his brother on the staff. Arkansas reports to camp Aug. 2 and begins practice Aug. 4.


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Bail was set at $25,000 Tuesday for a Minnesota cornerback accused of raping a woman who investigators say had consumed so much alcohol that she was physically helpless and unresponsive.

Dominic Jones, 20, made his first court appearance on a charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from the April 3 incident which investigators say was captured on video by a cell phone.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said that while Jones is out on bail, he can have no contact with the victim, or with two witnesses in the case. The judge also said Jones, of Columbus, Ohio, must abide by the law, make court appearances and check in with a probation officer.

Jones, who wore an orange prison outfit and appeared at the window of an enclosed area of the courtroom, entered no plea and answered “Yes, sir” and “No, sir” when addressed by the judge. Jones’ attorney, Earl Gray, said he would defend the charge.


LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Rutgers top assistant football coach Chris Demarest was charged with assault after an altercation in a bar at the Jersey shore.

Demarest was arrested early Saturday, Sgt. Mike McGlennon said Tuesday.

The name of the alleged victim has not been released, but McGlennon confirmed published reports that it was a woman who was in a relationship with Demarest.

The 42-year-old Demarest is free on bail of $2,500. He’ll be required to appear in municipal court, but a date had not been set, McGlennon said.

Demarest has been the defensive secondary coach at Rutgers for three years. In March, he was promoted to assistant head coach. Before coming to Rutgers, he was defensive backs coach at North Carolina State from 2000-2003 and a graduate assistant at Florida State from 1998-99.

- The Associated Press

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

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