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News Nuggets, 11.19.03

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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Bowden still under the gun at Clemson


11.18.03: Holtz catching flack over 'bonehead' play... .. Southern Cal, TCU slip in BCS standings... .. Players of the week... .. Associated Press basketball poll... .. More...
11.17.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad, the ugly... .. Conference USA standings, scores and schedule... .. AP and Coaches poll... .. More...
11.16.03: Game briefs from around Conference USA... .. Main cog in Cardinals' ground game out of action... .. North Texas locks in bowl bid versus C-USA foes... .. More...
11.15.03: Saturday TV capsule: N.C. State at Florida State... .. Snapshot of the Heisman chase... .. Signing Day nets three for Lady Pirates... .. More...
11.14.03: Tackling books gains recognition for Rimpf, Hourigan... .. Parker shines in midseason scrimmage... .. Pirates ring up another exhibition hoops rout... .. Boy Scouts join USM in Battle for the Bell... .. Surgery no problem for Deacs' Downey in win over Memphis... .. More...
11.13.03: Pirates welcome Holcomb-Faye and Stars... .. Deacs limp into Garden to face Memphis... .. Heisman chase still motivates Rivers... .. More...
11.12.03: Billikens bolt on heels of 49ers... .. Revived Clemson takes lesson to heart... .. Seven C-USA, Carolinas teams land in preseason basketball rankings... .. More...
11.11.03: C-USA wins academic realignment war... .. 49ers headed to A-10, Billikens set to follow... .. Coach of beleaguered UCF football program dismissed... .. More...
11.10.03: College football weekend: The good, the bad, the ugly... .. Conference USA standings, scores and schedule... .. Associated Press writers and USA Today/ESPN coaches polls... .. More...
11.09.03: Game briefs from around C-USA... .. Charlotte hoops teams invite fans 'Uptown'... .. Lengthy absence expected for Tar Heel forward... .. More...

CLEMSON — Two big wins and a fifth-straight bowl trip haven't eased the pressure on Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. Despite the program's first win over Florida State in 14 years and a 40-7 win over Duke that put the Tigers in line for the Gator or Peach Bowl, Bowden showed signs Tuesday that his shaky job status had taken its toll.

Bowden, who closes his fifth regular season Saturday night against South Carolina, was asked whether he thought he would return to Clemson. Several seconds elapsed and Bowden's chin began to quiver. "Those questions you would have to direct elsewhere," Bowden said.

Questions continued. Had athletic director Terry Don Phillips told him that he would not be retained? "You're asking the wrong guy," Bowden said.

Was he planning to leave for another job? "I'm headed full speed to beat South Carolina," said Bowden, voice cracking and eyes moist.

Phillips, who typically meets with reporters Tuesday, went home sick with the flu, sports information director Tim Bourret said.

Bowden is 36-24 and the only Tigers coach to qualify for a bowl game in each of his first five seasons. However, it wouldn't be the first time Clemson (7-4) sent a winning coach packing — or let one go before the annual season-ending rivalry.

Rice coach Ken Hatfield finished an 8-3 regular season with a 16-13 win over the Gamecocks in 1993. But he and the school agreed to separate the next week, ending a four-year stint in which Hatfield went 33-13-1 and brought Clemson its last Atlantic Coast Conference title.

Five years ago, Memphis coach Tommy West, then at Clemson, asked AD Bobby Robinson to clarify his status a few days before facing South Carolina at Death Valley. West got the news that his fifth season, in which the Tigers went 3-8, would be his last and it became public. The Tigers responded with a rousing 28-19 victory over South Carolina and West, his wife and young son were carried off the field.

Phillips has said no one win, such as the 26-10 victory over then No. 3 Florida State, or one loss will determine Bowden's fate. Phillips, hired nearly 18 months ago, has repeatedly said he and Bowden will meet after the regular season.

Holtz detractors overruled by Gamecocks AD

COLUMBIA — Lou Holtz and South Carolina (5-6) have lost three straight, and the Gamecocks are in danger of missing the postseason for the second-straight year. A Web site,, has popped up.

That hasn't fazed Gamecocks athletic director Mike McGee, who extended Holtz's contract Tuesday by one year through 2008. The move gives Holtz five years on his deal, worth about $800,000 a season.

McGee, head football coach at East Carolina in 1970, said South Carolina's future "could not be more promising." The Gamecocks have lost by three points or fewer this season to three top-15 teams — Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.

"After back-to-back top-10 recruiting classes, there is still work to be done towards achieving the goal of becoming a championship-caliber program," McGee said. "We have full confidence that under Coach Holtz's leadership, this goal can be accomplished."

The Gamecocks (5-6) play Clemson at Williams-Brice Stadium in their season-ending rivalry Saturday night. South Carolina needs a victory to qualify for the postseason for the third time in Holtz's five years.

Holtz is 27-31 since taking the job in 1999, and suffering through an 0-11 start.

Tonight's Marshall at Central Florida TV capsule

ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Marshall (6-4) at Central Florida (3-7)

Opening Line: OFF.
Series Record: Marshall leads 1-0.
Last Meeting: 2002, Marshall, 26-21.

WHAT TO WATCH: What was supposed to be a showcase game between two Mid-American Conference contenders is now a meeting of also-rans. Marshall's once-promising season fell apart after the Thundering Herd upset Kansas State, while UCF never really got started, and wound up firing coach Mike Kruczek last week. UCF has suspended eight players for disciplinary reasons in the last two weeks, including former starting QB Ryan Schneider. Running backs coach Alan Gooch will take over as interim coach. Marshall has been up and down under QB Graham Gochneaur, who took over for good when Stan Hill had surgery for a torn knee ligament. Gochneaur has six TD passes and 910 yards passing this season. Marshall WR Darius Watts is the MAC's career leader with 46 TD catches, and could have another big game against UCF. The Golden Knights will start freshman Steven Moffett at QB. He made his first start last week, throwing for just 46 yards in the Knights' 19-13 loss at Eastern Michigan.

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Marshall has won five of the past six MAC titles. ... Herd coach Bob Pruett has the nation's best winning percentage (86-17, .835) among coaches with at least five years in Division I-A. ... A win would give Marshall its 20th consecutive winning season. ... Both teams are leaving the league altogether in 2005 to join Conference USA.

More suspensions rock UCF football program

ORLANDO — Central Florida suspended cornerback Marcus Glover and defensive lineman Dwight Perkins for the remainder of the season Tuesday for violating team rules.

UCF has suspended eight players in the last two weeks. Glover had seven tackles and a pass break-up while Perkins did not see any playing time this season.

The off-field problems were one reason for the firing last week of head coach Mike Kruczek. He was replaced by running backs coach Alan Gooch.

Gooch makes his debut Wednesday night when the Golden Knights (3-7) host Marshall in a nationally televised game.

Starting quarterback Ryan Schneider was among six players previously suspended for disciplinary reasons. Schneider and three others were suspended for the season. Another player, cornerback Omar Laurence, has been suspended indefinitely pending criminal charges that he brought a gun on campus.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically from staff, ECU, Conference USA and its member schools, and from Associated Press and other reports. Copyright 2003 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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