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News Nuggets, 01.12.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Reconfigured C-USA TV arrangement a mixed bag


01.11.05: 12th football game gets preliminary nod ... Pirate Radio plans T-shirt promotion for Cincy game ... Associated Press basketball poll ... More...
01.10.05: More TV exposure announced for 49ers ... Cincy declares Laurinburg freshman ineligible ... Memphis loosens grip on seating areas ... More...
01.09.05: Tigers' Means heads west to Shrine Bowl ... Baseball America anoints Tulane No. 1 ... More...
01.08.05: CEO's of BCS schools block consideration of playoff ... List of NCAA Division I-A coaching changes ... More...
01.07.05: Downtrodden member of historic Chaminade team slain ... Bowl Season Wrap-up: Results and Payouts ... More...
01.06.05: Louisville losing battering ram Shelton to NFL draft ... TV ratings nosedive for BCS title matchup ... Injured Hodge set to return to Wolfpack's lineup ... More...
01.05.05: BCS ponders establishment of selection committee ... Trojans trample Sooners en route to title ... Final Associated Press and Coaches polls ... More...
01.04.05: Petrino sets out to mend fences at Louisville ... Auburn holds off Tech, turns attention to voters ... More...
01.03.05: Tech sack artist looks to Baghdad for inspiration ... Meyer bids adieu as Utah relishes perfection ... More...
01.02.05: Utah domination of Pitt exposes BCS ... Petrino backpedals as LSU zeroes in on Miles ... More...
01.01.05: Cards hang on in Liberty Bowl shootout with Broncos ... Utes poised to cap off perfect season in style ... More...
12.31.04: Offensive juggernauts collide in Liberty Bowl ... Tire Bowl goes flat for North Carolina ... More...

Conference USA announced a modified six-year pact with ESPN and a new contract with College Sports Television on Tuesday to have the league's football and men's and women's basketball games televised by the networks.

The conference is expected to earn almost $68,000,000 from the two networks over the duration of the contracts, essentially maintaining its TV revenue stream at a level comparable to what it was contracted to receive under its previous agreement with ESPN.

In anticipation of the impending departures of several of the league's marquee basketball teams to other conferences, the ESPN deal is structured to significantly reduce the number of games carried by the network in that sport while adding a provision to televise the C-USA football championship game beginning with the inaugural matchup game next season.

The conference is adding a number of schools next fall to expand to a 12-team all-sports conference that expects to see its football teams become more of a focal point of interest while its basketball programs — led by perennial national power Memphis — strive to reestablish the league's traditional prominence in that sport.

The agreement with ESPN, which supplants the existing eight-year agreement that began in 2001-02, begins with the 2005-06 season and runs through 2010-11.

In addition to the C-USA football title game, ESPN will have first pick of 10 regular-season games a season to televise on ESPN or ESPN2. It will have first selection of six men's basketball and three women's basketball games each season to show on ESPN and ESPN2, plus the conference championships.

The Irving, Texas-based league's new contract with College Sports Television contemplates having dozens of games involving the three sports carried on that network each season.

CSTV can be seen in more than 60 million households and the network, established last year, has indicated that it expects to soon have distribution agreements in all C-USA markets.

USA Today reported today that the combined revenue C-USA will receive from the two networks will be $11,300,000 per year, the same amount the league received under its prior contract with ESPN.

Former ECU assistant lands top job at TSU

NASHVILLE, TN — Tennessee State is hoping James Webster's 30 years of experience will help revive a struggling program.

``I am very excited about the opportunity to be the head coach at a university that has a great winning tradition,'' the former assistant head coach at both North Carolina and East Carolina said Tuesday at his introduction.

Webster spent the past four seasons at North Carolina, where he first coached defensive ends, including Julius Peppers, who became the second overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft.

He had been assistant head coach of the Tar Heels the past three seasons and special teams coordinator in 2004. Prior to his stint at North Carolina, he was assistant head coach and defensive line coach at ECU.

Tennessee State won consecutive Ohio Valley Conference championships in 1998 and 1999 and was ranked first in Division I-AA at the end of the 1999 regular season. But the Tigers went 24-33 the past five years under James Reese, including 4-7 in 2004. Reese was fired Nov. 20.

Webster was a three-year starter at linebacker at North Carolina from 1968-72, and was the defensive MVP of the 1971 Gator Bowl. He began his coaching career at Florida in 1974. In addition to his periods of service with the Tar Heels and Pirates, Webster also worked at Kansas, Colorado, Dartmouth, Wake Forest and Northwestern.

He participated in the NFL's minority coaching program, and spent 1995 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and 1999 with St. Louis. Both teams went to the Super Bowl.

Cards deal record-shattering rout to USM

HATTIESBURG — Rick Pitino hasn't seen Louisville play better in three-plus seasons as its coach. For Southern Mississippi, things rarely have been worse.

Francisco Garcia had 25 points to lead five Cardinals in double figures in No. 19 Louisville's 107-62 rout of the Golden Eagles on Tuesday night, the worst home loss in school history.

Pitino called the opening 20 minutes — in which the Cardinals shot 69 percent and took a 60-27 lead — ``the best half since I've been at Louisville.''

``You don't have many no-hitters or perfect games in basketball, but that's as good as we could play,'' Pitino said.

Ellis Myles had 20 points for the Cardinals (13-3, 2-1 Conference USA), who patiently ran their offense to generate easy baskets, then tormented the outmanned Golden Eagles on defense.

``We got the third, fourth, fifth and sixth options (and) if you keep looking to pass, you feed off of that,'' Pitino said. ``And we played great defense, which got us on the break.''

Louisville led by as many as 48 points, shot 57 percent from the field and was 31-of-33 from the free throw line.

Larry O'Bannon had 16 points, Taquan Dean scored 13 and Brandon Jenkins added 12 for Louisville, which showed no signs of recent injury struggles in its second straight league victory since being upset at Houston.

Garcia is averaging 23.3 points over his last six games, and the Cardinals won five of those by an average of nearly 37 points. He finished four shy of his season high set against Morehead State and tied against Eastern Kentucky.

``We stayed focused. We've got to stay focused, whether we've got a big lead at home or on the road,'' Garcia said. ``When you get a big lead, you can't get laid back or forget about playing defense. We weren't going to let that happen today.''

Rashaad Carruth had a career-high 25 points for Southern Miss (9-6, 0-3), which has lost four straight.

But never before have the Golden Eagles had a loss this lopsided at home. The 45-point margin surpassed a 41-point home defeat to Louisiana Tech in January 1973.

It was the third-worst defeat in school history, the worst a 52-point loss at Cincinnati in February 2002.

``Our program was extremely exposed tonight, and we will have to get to the bottom of it,'' Coach Larry Eustachy said. ``There is a cloud over this program ... an attitude that what happened tonight was OK.''

It was the first meeting between the coaches who have a combined 698 college victories.

``We could have hung in there a little better,'' Carruth said.

Michael Ford had 13 points and LSU transfer Mildon Ambres added 10 for Southern Miss, which lost for the first time at home under Eustachy. The Golden Eagles finished with more turnovers (23) than field goals (19).

Southern Miss led 5-0 before the Cardinals used a 22-3 run to take a 14-point lead just over 6 minutes into the game.

Louisville was 9-of-12 from the field during that stretch, held Southern Miss without a basket for nearly 5 1/2 minutes and gradually built a 35-point lead late in the half. The Cardinals shot 69 percent from the field in the half and cruised from there.

``We took maybe two challenged shots the whole game,'' Pitino said.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:20 PM


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