ATLANTA — Art Monk, Dave Casper, LSU’s Charles Alexander, Art Shell and Jimmy Johnson are among 24 former players and coaches enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday night.
For Alexander, getting enshrined in the college hall carried deep meaning.
Alexander left LSU in 1978 as the Southeastern Conference’s career leader in rushing yards and touchdowns. He was a first-round draft pick by Cincinnati, helped the Bengals reach a Super Bowl, but was never a serious candidate for induction to the pro hall.
The 56-year-old Alexander always longed for the college hall of fame to call, but he wondered if that day would come.
“I wasn’t a highly recruited kid coming out of high school,” Alexander said. “I didn’t start in high school until my senior year. I didn’t start at LSU until my junior year, so I just continued to work hard, but I didn’t get here alone. Great coaches at LSU and great teammates and a great offensive line that blocked for me.”
The hall has moved from South Bend, Ind., but the new building in downtown Atlanta is still under construction.
Other hall inductees included Steve Bartkowski, Jonathan Ogden, Phillip Fulmer and R.C. Slocum.
RUSTON — The NCAA ruled on two more Louisiana Tech appeals Wednesday, granting offensive lineman Larry Banks and wide receiver Scott Cathcart a fifth year of eligibility.
The two Bulldogs join three others — Richie Casey, Jeremy Graffree and Andrew Guillot — that were given a sixth year of eligibility on Aug. 15.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis’ newest alums are receiving season football tickets as a graduation present in the school’s latest attempt to build its fan base.
In a congratulatory letter he sent to each of the 2012-13 Memphis graduates, athletic director Tom Bowen wrote that he’s offering two 2013 season football tickets to each person who received a degree in one of three graduation ceremonies during the 2012-13 school year.
To claim their tickets, graduates should print their letter from Bowen and present it along with a photo ID at Memphis’ athletic ticket office. Any 2012-13 graduate who didn’t receive a congratulatory letter can still receive the tickets by presenting a valid ID alone. Memphis awarded about 4,000 degrees during the 2012-13 school year.
Memphis opens its season Sept. 7 at home against Duke.
KENT, Ohio — Kent State is retiring NFL star linebacker James Harrison’s jersey.
Harrison, a longtime star with Pittsburgh and now with Cincinnati, will be honored during the Golden Flashes’ season opener Thursday night against Liberty. Harrison, who wore No. 16 in college, is the fifth Kent State player to have his jersey retired, joining Jim Corrigall, Hall of Famer Jack Lambert, Eric Wilkerson and Josh Cribbs.
Harrison will not be able to attend the game because the Bengals are hosting their final exhibition game. Harrison’s parents will be presented with a framed No. 16 jersey on his behalf.
In addition to starring at the school from 1998-2001, Harrison donated $100,000 to his alma mater last year. The school renamed the weight room at its field house The James Harrison Strength & Conditioning Center.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison apologized for “getting in trouble,” but declined to discuss details about his two arrests or his punishment.
Morrison is suspended for Saturday’s season opener against Toledo. Coach Will Muschamp initially suspended the starting middle linebacker for at least two games, but reduced the discipline to one game Monday.
Morrison said, “It’s sincere for me. I apologize to my coaches, my teammates and everybody for everything that went wrong. It’s behind me. I’m moving forward from it. I learned from it.”
Morrison, arrested twice this summer, hardly came across as sincere or remorseful, though.
He refused to answer several questions, seemed defiant while answering others and even had a huge tattoo on his right arm that read “Don’t Trust Me.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The first football game for the Charlotte 49ers is the city’s hottest ticket, so hot that some students can’t even get one.
The Charlotte Observer reported the game against Campbell scheduled for Saturday at Richardson Stadium is a sellout, and that an online ticket seller is asking as much as $200.
However, hundreds of students who were hoping to see their school’s first game will be on the outside with no way to look in. Nearly 7,500 game tickets are allotted to students, but 8,300 had requested them. A lottery determined who would receive tickets, and the result means 800 students are left to watch the game on television, or at the viewing party at the student union.
Students are paying increased fees to help pay for the stadium.
CONWAY, Ark. — Central Arkansas coach and Baton Rouge native Clint Conque has suspended five players, including two starters, for the Bears’ season opener Thursday against Incarnate Word.
Conque announced Tuesday that he suspended starting running back Willie Matthews for one game and offensive lineman C.J. Simon for two games. The Log Cabin Democrat reported Conque also suspended wide receivers Jacoby Walker and Wyatt Hikins and offensive lineman Jordan Kersh for two games each.
Conque did not say what led to the suspensions.
The Bears open their season at home against Incarnate Word. Central Arkansas is ranked sixth in the preseason Football Championship Subdivision poll.
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