Sunday, January 01, 2006

Reporters' Notebooks

Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times: USC compliance officials are investigating whether NCAA recruiting violations occurred at a restaurant that is owned by a former player.

Chip Scoggins, Star Tribune: Negotiations went well into Saturday night, but Minnesota and Glen Mason finally agreed on five-year contract (registration).

Kevin Robbins, Austin American-Statesman: Vince Young Sr. has seen his son reach the biggest game of his life, but he watches from a Texas prison (registration).

Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News: Texas Christian wanted everybody who would listen to know the Horned Frogs should be ranked among the best in the country (registration).

Zack McMillin, Commercial Appeal: Fresno State lost its fourth in a row, falling to Tulsa in the Liberty Bowl. Now it must find a replacement for quarterback Paul Pinegar (registration).

Steve Kirk, Birmingham News: The first time you see Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, you might mistake him for the team's equipment manager.

Don Williams, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Former UCLA coach Terry Donahue, part of the broadcasting team for the Cotton Bowl, is a big fan of Mike Leach's unconventional ideas.

Ken Gordon, Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State's Justin Zwick, who lost the quarterbacking job to Troy Smith, says he has no plans to transfer for his senior season (subscription, so story is in comments).

Steve Hummer, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Any story that mentions West Virginia and couch burning is automatically included among the Wizard's favorites (registration).

Susan Miller Degnan, Miami Herald: Miami coach Larry Coker said the 40-3 loss to Louisiana State was an "aberration."

Peter Y. Hong, Los Angeles Times: The paper tracks down the players from USC's 1990 Rose Bowl team and finds that for many, life is harder to tackle than football.

Moisekapenda Bower, Houston Chronicle: Rice will introduce Tulsa defensive coordinator Todd Graham as its new coach on Sunday.

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

Zwick to stick it out, forgo transfer

Ken Gordon
The Columbus Dispatch

TEMPE, Ariz. — The transfer ship has sailed without Justin Zwick on board.

The former Ohio State starting quarterback said yesterday that he has weighed his options and decided to stay at OSU for his final season next year.

A fourth-year junior, Zwick has just one season of eligibility left, meaning he could not play at another Division IA because he would have to sit out a year. He could play next season at the Division I-AA level or lower.

"It’s probably too late to do anything now," he said, sitting in the Sun Devil Stadium bleachers on Fiesta Bowl Media Day. "I’ve got a year to go, and after you’re somewhere for so long, it’s kind of like, ‘What would be the point?’

"I’ve got great friends here, I enjoy Ohio State school-wise, my family is close, so why go somewhere and chance it there? It’s just as big a crapshoot there as it would be anywhere else, so just fight it out."

His post-football future played a large role in his decision. Zwick is on track to graduate next fall.

He realizes that by leaving OSU, he would lose some of the benefits that come from being an ex-Buckeye in Columbus.

"I’ll have that degree, and that looks good with the alumni base here," he said. "Do you want to (transfer) and chance maybe not having a good team, or going somewhere (and) it’s not a perfect fit?

"What if I go somewhere and get hurt, and then I don’t have the Ohio State backing behind me that (I would have had if) I was here and I played."

Someone remarked that he must have thought a lot about the subject. Zwick took out the purple lollipop he was eating and smiled.

"Oh, I’ve definitely thought it through," he said. "I don’t have to watch as much film anymore, so you start thinking about other things."

There was a hint of bitterness, although not a full dose. He admitted to wondering what he had done to lose the starting job after winning the Alamo Bowl and the 2005 season opener in the absence of suspended starter Troy Smith.

Zwick and Smith split time in the Texas game, a 25-22 loss, and coach Jim Tressel named Smith the starter during a call to a radio show two days later.

Zwick said he heard about the decision from quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels in a Tuesday meeting, then watched Tressel talk about it on television that night.

"What are you going to do about it?" he said. "I don’t want to go argue with anybody about it. I’m going to be the backup they can rely on and keep a good attitude and just keep working hard."

The Fiesta Bowl required teams to place four players and its head coach at podiums on the field. Smith was one of the players. Another 10 players were seated with name cards in the stands. Everyone else, including Zwick, sat together off to the side.

"Would I rather be starting? Yeah, ask anyone over here and they’d rather be down on that field getting interviewed by everybody," he said. "But that’s not how your cards fall all the time, and that’s what you’ve got to live with."

kgordon@dispatch.com