Legendary college football coach Bobby Bowden says he has been diagnosed with a terminal medical conditionBy STEVE REED AP Sports WriterJuly 21, 2021, 8:25 PM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this article“I’ve always tried to serve God’s purpose for my life, on and off the field, and I am prepared for what is to come,” Bowden said in a statement released to news outlets, including The Associated Press. “My wife Ann and our family have been life’s greatest blessing. I am at peace.”The 91-year-old Bowden was hospitalized last October after he tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test came a few days after returning to his Tallahassee home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg. He did not disclose his condition in his statement.During his 34 years coaching Florida State, Bowden amassed a 315-98-4 record and built the Seminoles into a national power, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999. He won 357 games during his 40 years in college coaching and was selected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.Bowden retired following the 2009 season with a Gator Bowl win over West Virginia in Florida State’s 28th straight postseason appearance.Bowden had wanted to coach another season to continue this pursuit of 400 wins, but Florida State officials did not renew his contract. He was replaced by then-offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher.“Bobby Bowden has meant everything to Florida State athletics and so much to college football in general,” Florid State athletic director David Coburn said in a statement. “He is a part of the heart and soul of FSU, but it goes beyond even that – he is a big part of the history of the game.”Anyone who has had the opportunity to be around Coach Bowden knows what it is like to know a person who has his priorities in the right order, who loves life and values integrity and honor.”Mississippi State football coach Mike Leach, the architect of some of the most prolific offenses in the history of the game, said Bowden has been an example to every coach.“He’s one of those guys that made us all want to coach when we were younger, made it exciting,” Leach said. “Coach Bowden threw the ball before most people were inclined to. When I was young, in high school, junior high, I used to watch his teams because they’re a team that was liable to upset teams ahead of them, and that’s as they started throwing the ball around, became more and more explosive.”———AP Sports Writer John Zenor in Alabama contributed to this report.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Brad Keselowski is ready to begin the “next evolution” of his racing career.Jack Roush put a long-term vision for Roush Fenway Racing in motion Tuesday when the 79-year-old team owner introduced Keselowski as a new partner in the NASCAR team.Keselowski is leaving Team Penske, where he won the 2012 championship, because he wanted an ownership role in an organization as part of his legacy in NASCAR. With Roush Fenway, Keselowski will not only drive the No. 6 Ford next season but have a considerable role off the track.Keselowski will replace Ryan Newman, who drove the Roush flagship car the past three seasons.Keselowski said he had four reasons for joining Roush Fenway: a long-term driving contract, being in a leadership role with the team, taking on a ownership role and having a place in the sport when he retires from driving. He likes the competitive future of the team particularly, with the advent of NASCAR’s next generation car.“I think I am buying into a stock that is about to go up,” Keselowski said during a news conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.Said Roush: “He’s ready for the next challenge and I welcome him as a partner.”Although terms were not disclosed, team President Steve Newmark said Keselowski paid for his “minority” stake in the team but neither Roush nor the Fenway Sports Group relinquished any shares. That stake could increase over the years, Newmark said.The company will continue to be called Roush Fenway Racing for now, though changes could come later.“It’s a win when you can get a Hall of Fame driver behind the wheel, but what was more important is the leadership skills that Brad brings,” Newmark said.Roush fielded his first car in 1988 for a full Cup Series schedule with Mark Martin in the No. 6, the original number of Roush Racing. The team has fielded cars in all three NASCAR national series and has 137 Cup victories. Kurt Busch gave Roush his only Cup title in 2004. Greg Biffle won Xfinity and Truck series championships for Roush, while Carl Edwards and current driver Chris Buescher also won Xfinity titles.Keselowski said he never seriously considered trying to keep the No. 2 car that he has driven or get into the No. 29 car that has ties to his family legacy.Keselowski and Buescher will be the only two drivers for the 2022 season, though the organization could explore adding a third driver in the years to come. Newmark said the team tried to find a way to keep Newman, even in a part-time ride.The team has been on a slide for several seasons with a pair of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. victories in 2017 the only Roush Cup wins the past seven seasons.Keselowski admitted over the weekend it was “hard to walk away” from working with Roger Penske but said he wants to have a legacy in racing that goes beyond being a driver.“This is a big dream of mine to be an owner and partner at the NASCAR level with the right ownership group,” Keselowski said.He will have a significant role on the competition team but it will remain a collaborative effort with Roush Fenway.The seeds of the partnership were planted last fall when Newmark and Keselowski were having a conversation about NASCAR’s next gen cars and the state of the sport.As Newmark discussed the organization’s eventual succession plans with Roush Fenway Racing, Keselowski told him he wanted to establish a legacy of being a leader in NASCAR beyond just being a driver. Talks continued after that and both sides decided it was a mutually beneficial partnership.Roush anticipates the decision will spur other older owners to think about their legacy plans — and other drivers to follow the path of Keselowski and Tony Stewart before him.“I don’t think Brad is the last of the drivers who will say I want a piece of the action when they get out of the driver’s seat,” Roush said.As for Roush, he said he has no immediate plans to retire as owner, joking that he will still plans to be at the track on race days to be a “nuisance” to his drivers.Keselowski wouldn’t put a timetable on when he might step away from driving, saying that as long as he’s still winning races and competing for championships he will remain behind the wheel.But it’s clear he was ready to establish a legacy in the sport beyond being just a driver.“It’s a huge moment,” Keselowski said. “I never dreamed this big.”The 37-year-old Keselowski has won 35 Cup races during his his career. He has one won Cup race this year along with seven top-five finishes, and he currently ranks ninth in the standings heading into the summer break.He will continue to race for Penske Racing for the remainder of the season.———AP Auto Racing Writer Jenna Fryer in Charlotte and AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston in Louden, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.———More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chris Clunie chuckles thinking about what Stephen Curry’s marketing potential might’ve been at Davidson College during the Wildcats’ remarkable 2008 NCAA Tournament run had Curry played in an era when college students could profit from fame and celebrity.Curry jerseys. Curry shoes. Curry chicken sliders. Who knows what else?“It would have been absolutely bananas around here,” laughed Clunie, a former Wildcats basketball player who now serves as the college’s director of athletics.The groundbreaking ruling that went into effect Thursday enabling college athletes to profit from use of their name, image or likeness for the first time has sent athletic directors and compliance officers scrambling. Even though the NCAA essentially cleared the decks for the money to flow — with some restrictions — it is up to schools to help ensure all those endorsement deals and social media shoutout arrangements follow state laws and still-fresh school policies.In short, their job responsibilities have increased and become infinitely more complicated.Clunie said the work is focused on educating athletes about making sure their newly granted marketing decisions are compliant.“We want to support them,” Clunie said. “We want to make sure kids don’t make bad decisions and get trapped into opportunities that don’t make sense.”Charlotte 49ers athletic director Mike Hill called this “one of the most exciting times in the history of college athletics.”Charlotte is one of many schools that has tried to get ahead of the curve, starting a “Greenlight” initiative that uses customized tools to allow college athletes to pursue opportunities associated with their NIL. The school has partnered with COMPASS and INFLCR to provide solutions for education, monitoring, disclosure, and brand-building. And there are other companies, too,, that have all struck deals with schools to help connect athlete to deal.Hill said that while the university is “not in the business of negotiating or facilitating these opportunities,” he added that ”we have system in place where the student-athletes will provide information to us not to review and approve, so much as it is to ensure that it’s clearly not a pay-for-play or a recruiting inducement of any kind and meets the minimum standards the NCAA has put forth regarding eligibility.”Crossing that fine line is what concerns longtime Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma. The Hall of Fame coach said he’s made one simple request to his players: run any potential endorsement opportunities by him or the compliance department before signing.“The last thing we want is to go, ’Hey coach, I got this great deal. Yeah, great, now you’re ineligible,'” Auriemma said.Despite his excitement over the NIL rules, Hill anticipates there will be some issues to deal with in the coming months and years.One of those involves agents.While college athletes can hire agents to represent them to handle their NIL deals, those same agents are not allowed to advise them on professional athletic opportunities. Hill said delineating between the two could prove difficult.“I think it’s almost impossible to police that,” Hill said.On Thursday, the NFL Players Association sent out notifications to agents on just such a topic, saying in part, “Any NIL contracts entered into with college players by a contract advisor should be wholly separate from any future contract advisor services involving the negotiation of player contracts with NFL teams.”With the doors flung wide open on athletes receiving compensation for self-promotion, this is a new world for those who work mostly behind the scenes in college compliance offices.Some of what is happening is contrary to the policies and procedures they’ve grown accustomed to for years.“I think there will probably be a lot of nervous twitches from compliance staff as they see these (sponsorship) deals,” joked Cameron Walker, the deputy athletic director at Tennessee.Chad Jackson, a senior associate AD for compliance at Baylor, summed it by saying, “prior to (Thursday), we simply said ‘no,’ We might not have liked saying ‘no,’ but that was the answer. It was pretty easy to just say ‘no.’“Today, we’re saying, ‘yes, but …,’ Jackson added. ”And that ‘but’ part is verified through the law and institutional policy.”What complicates the NIL ruling is that not all school compliance officials will be working under the same guidelines.For instance, Clemson doesn’t allow use of the Tigers logo in NIL efforts “at this time.” However, Tennessee athletes can use the Volunteers logo and name — providing they get approval from the school first.“We have encouraged our student-athletes and given them a contact person where, if you want to use the logo, this is person you contact and this is the process you go through to seek approval for that,” Walker said. “So it not only depends on using the logo, but how you use the logo.”And what about shoe deals?An athlete at Baylor couldn’t sign an endorsement deal with a competitor of school sponsor Nike under a brand-new Texas NIL law. However, Tennessee athletes can, providing they don’t wear the competitor’s brand — say Under Armour or Adidas — while participating in school activities.College sports is entering the great unknown.And there are many more questions to be resolved, including whether schools with significantly more marketing resources could impact an athlete’s decision in recruiting, thus putting more distance between the haves and have-nots.“The bottom line here is student-athletes have to take it upon themselves to step into this phase and educate themselves and think through this and do the right thing, while understanding the implications and all of the things that come with this new opportunity,” Clunie said. “For (schools), the work is less about helping them get opportunities but more about making sure if they’re going about the opportunities in the right way.”
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson couldn’t help but notice a difference in Sam Darnold’s persona when he walked into Bank of America Stadium for the team’s mandatory three-day minicampBy STEVE REED AP Sports WriterJune 15, 2021, 9:27 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson couldn’t help but notice a difference in Sam Darnold’s persona when he walked into Bank of America Stadium on Tuesday for the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp.Anderson said Darnold has a certain “aura” about him that was missing when they played together for two seasons with the Jets.“I saw like a new energy out of him, a glowing charisma that I didn’t really see in New York,” said Anderson, who caught passes from Darnold with the Jets in 2018 and 2019. “… You know when a person, you can see a glow in them, their energy, an aura — I can see that when I walked into the building and just being around him.”Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, is hoping to resurrect his career in Carolina after going 13-25 as a starter in three seasons with the Jets. He was acquired by the Panthers earlier this offseason for three draft picks. The Jets have since turned to this year’s No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson from BYU to be their quarterback of the future.Anderson, who missed all of the OTAs while working out with a trainer, was excited to catch up with Darnold and his other teammates and is hoping the new starting quarterback finds success in Carolina’s offense.“The New York system was a little more complex and had a lot of nuances and things like that that was more difficult for everybody, not just him or me,” Anderson said. “I think this system is a little more graspable.”The Panthers had their entire roster at minicamp Tuesday, although about a dozen players were held out of practice and wore red jerseys to signify they’re recovering from injuries.Panthers first-round draft pick Jaycee Horn, a cornerback from South Carolina, was among those players on the field after signing a four-year contract on Tuesday. The deal includes a fifth-year team option.Horn missed some of last week’s OTA practices at the advice of his agent.“It felt good to get it done and now I can just focus on football,” said Horn, the No. 8 pick in this year’s draft.While several teams around the league decided against mandatory minicamps this offseason, Panthers coach Matt Rhule insisted on attendance at OTAs. Minicamp was invaluable for the growth of the team, especially after missing all of last year’s offseason workouts due to the coronavirus pandemic in his first year at the helm.“The players are getting a chance to spend time around each other and a chance to spend time in our scheme,” Rhule said. “And as coaches, this is practice for us, too — all of the two-minute situations and reacting to them. Do we clock it here? Do we do this or that? We go back and have a serious debrief on it after practice. … I don’t know how we did it without (OTAs and minicamps) last year, to be honest with you.”Defensive end Hassan Reddick, who was acquired by the Panthers this offseason via free agency, went as far as to say the extra work could give Carolina a leg up on the competition.“As you have seen in free agency, a lot of different people went to a lot of different places,” Reddick said. “So, the fact that we have minicamps, that gives people like me … a chance to come in and get a head start on the playbook. For the teams that didn’t do that, I think we have a head start on them.”———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL