Reggie Bush to announce NFL/USC plans today

Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
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Southern Cal's Reggie Bush is set to announce whether he will enter the NFL or return for his senior season.

The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush will announce today whether he'll return to Southern California for his senior season or enter the NFL Draft.
He has kept a low profile since USC lost to Texas 41-38 for the national championship in the Rose Bowl game Jan. 4. Underclassmen have until Sunday to apply for the April 29-30 draft.
Running back LenDale White declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft Wednesday, saying he had accomplished everything he wanted to for the Trojans.
White said the decision was a difficult one.
"I wouldn't say it was a slam dunk" to leave USC, he said.
Bush is to make his announcement in the morning on campus. He has been projected for months as the No. 1 overall pick, and it will be surprising if he returns to the Trojans.
Texas quarterback Vince Young inserted himself into the mix Sunday, declaring for the draft four days after his amazing performance in the Rose Bowl.
After winning his Heisman in 2004, USC's Matt Leinart decided to return to school for his final year of eligibility although he almost surely would have been one of the top players in the draft.
But as a quarterback, Leinart was in a far different situation. Running backs are such a target, with even the best at risk every time they carry the ball. On average, standout running backs have far shorter professional careers than top quarterbacks.
If Bush does decide to return to school, he could join Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only two-time winners of the Heisman. Griffin won the award in 1974-75.
Bush rushed for 3,169 yards and White 3,159, helping the Trojans go 37-2 the past three seasons. USC has won 34 straight games before losing to Texas.
  • OLE MISS: Former longtime Miami assistant Art Kehoe, who was fired after the Hurricanes' humiliating loss in the Peach Bowl, was hired by Mississippi to be its associate head coach and offensive line coach.
    He joins former Miami colleague Dan Werner, who was hired Monday to be the Rebels' offensive coordinator. They and two other assistants were fired after Miami's 40-3 loss to LSU last month.
    Kehoe, 47, had coached at Miami for 25 years after playing for the Hurricanes. He is replacing George DeLeone, who now is offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Temple.
    "Art Kehoe is a fantastic addition to our staff," Rebels coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday. "He brings energy and great passion for football to our program. He's an outstanding recruiter and has coached some of the best lines in collegiate football."
    Kehoe and Orgeron have a history - they were on Miami's staff for five seasons.
    "(Orgeron) is one of the most intense, passionate guys there is," Kehoe said. "This game is all about passion. It's also nice to be wanted, and I look forward to getting to Oxford and getting started."
    Werner, 46, had been with the Hurricanes for eight seasons. He replaces Noel Mazzone.
    Orgeron said Werner "has developed outstanding quarterbacks and directed some of the best offenses in college football."
    The Rebels were 3-8 last season and had one of the nation's worst offenses.
  • MISSISSIPPI STATE: A hearing to determine whether former coach Jackie Sherrill's lawsuit against the NCAA will be heard in Oktibbeha County has been delayed until Jan. 27.
    Attorneys for the NCAA want the trial moved to Madison County.
    Sherrill filed the $15 million lawsuit in December 2004 and accused the NCAA of conspiring to harm his reputation.
    The lawsuit was filed after the NCAA investigated Mississippi State's football program and publicly reprimanded and censured the school, but cleared Sherrill of any wrongdoing.
  • VIRGINIA: Linebacker Kai Parham will skip his senior season to enter the NFL Draft after leading the team in tackles as a junior.
    Parham was a three-year starter at inside linebacker, and had 103 tackles and nine sacks for the Cavaliers last season. In three years, he made 272 tackles, including 33 behind the line of scrimmage.
    Parham earned his degree in African-American Studies last month.
    n PITT: The Roman Catholic diocese in Pittsburgh and a former priest have settled a lawsuit over the death of a Panthers football player who fell through a church ceiling while drunk and died.
    The terms of the settlement weren't disclosed, but the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, a diocesan spokesman, said it was "to the mutual satisfaction of all parties."
    The parents of Pitt wide receiver Billy Gaines, Kimberly and William Gaines of Ijamsville, Md., had filed a federal lawsuit seeking $75 million from the diocese and the Rev. Henry W. Krawczyk.
    Krawczyk was the only adult of legal drinking age at a cookout he hosted in the hours before the death of Gaines, 19, in June 2003. Gaines and another player were exploring a crawl space in the church when Gaines lost his balance while walking on a catwalk and fell through the ceiling below. He fell more than 20 feet to the floor below and died about 20 hours later of head and spinal injuries.
  • STANFORD: A lawsuit by a disgruntled Stanford athletic department employee revealed that football players took recruits to a strip club three years ago using athletic department money.
    Stanford officials acknowledged the strip club outings, which did not violate NCAA rules at the time. The school reported minor infractions to the Pac-10 and NCAA that hosts spent more than the $30 allowed for entertaining recruits - by $3.70, $6.01 and $6.86.
    "Although such actions did not violate NCAA regulations, we believe our students should abide by strict standards of conduct that obviously preclude such entertainment as any part of recruitment activity," the school said in a statement.
  • GEORGIA TECH: Athletic director Dave Braine said he is retiring because he has Crohn's disease, a chronic gastrointestinal ailment.
    "My mind and my body tell me it's time for somebody else to take over," he said.
    Braine, 62, has been Tech's athletic director for nine years. He said he will continue in the position until a replacement is hired.
    He recently said he would not seek another contract when his current deal was to expire in June 2007.
    Braine said he has not been given a timetable for Georgia Tech president Wayne Clough's search for a new athletic director. Braine said he would not participate in the search process.
    "He will leave big shoes to be filled, and we will miss his good service and friendship," Clough said.
    Braine said he has been advised by his doctors that the stress of his job has impeded efforts to deal with the disease.
    "It's much easier on a younger person than an older person," said Braine of Crohn's disease. "I have tried unsuccessfully to battle it and to get control over it. My doctor told me if I continue working much longer I'm going to make myself sick. So basically I am going to retire and try to get my health back in order and try to live as normal a life a person can who has this disease."
    Braine said his condition is not life-threatening but added it has become impossible for him to continue indefinitely in his job. Braine said he hoped his announcement would bring more attention to the disease.
    "I know that stress doesn't help it any," he said. "I told Dr. Clough in December that there would be no way I could continue on in the job the remainder of my contract."
    Braine said he has battled chronic fatigue, caused by the disease, for about a year. He said he was diagnosed last summer when he began losing weight and feared he had cancer.
    Clough will chair a search committee that also includes faculty representative for athletics Dan Schrage, alumni association president Joe Irwin, former Tech football player Chuck Easley and Student Government Association president David Anderson.
    "Dave Braine will leave Georgia Tech with a long list of accomplishments and his leadership will be missed," said Clough, who hired Braine in 1997. "I know Dave as a colleague and friend, and he has been a steadfast resource to Tech."
    Braine first spent time at Tech as an assistant football coach (1974-75) under Pepper Rodgers. He also coached at Virginia, Richmond and Virginia Military Institute but is better known for his administrative career.
    Before moving to Tech, Braine was athletic director at Virginia Tech for 10 years. He also headed Marshall's program from 1985-87.
    Braine's imminent retirement was first reported Tuesday by Atlanta television station WXIA.
    He said he has not decided where he will live in retirement.
    "I think everybody here knows how much I love Montana and fly fishing," he said.
    In recent months, Braine has dealt with the school's first NCAA probation, followed by Tech's appeal. He also recently announced a new five-year contract for football coach Chan Gailey and drew much criticism for saying he does not believe the football program can be a consistent big winner.
    Asked if there has been one issue that has caused him the most stress, Braine said "Sure, the NCAA investigation."
    Braine's announcement was not a surprise to his close associates.
    "He told me about a month ago that he was not going to be staying on," said Tech baseball coach Danny Hall.
    "I always felt he was my friend, over and above being the guy in charge. I felt like you could talk to him about anything. He's a guy's guy and a coach's coach. ... It's nice to have somebody as A.D. who has been in the arena."
    A clause in Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt's contract gives him 18 months after Braine's departure to leave for another job with no penalty. Hewitt said Braine first discussed his retirement plans with him two months ago.
    "Everybody knows how I feel about Dave and how important he is to me," Hewitt said. "I'm not doing anything drastic or rash. Working at Georgia Tech, you need somebody who understands the school and how things are academically. I just think a lot of my success comes from having an athletic director like him."
    Added Hewitt: "I'm not the only reason we've won that number of games. He's a former coach who had a lot to do with my success."
    The football program has had four straight seven-win seasons under Gailey, and has gone to nine straight bowl games. Meanwhile, the men's basketball program has made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, advancing to the championship game two years ago.
    "I appreciate the people here at Georgia Tech very much, especially my staff, the coaches and student-athletes and the people I work with every day because they have known about this, they have helped me through it, and I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them," Braine said.
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