NCAA

Cardinals interview Horton, plan to meet with Reid

Cardinals interview Horton, plan to meet with Reid

PHOENIX (AP) The Arizona Cardinals officially have begun their coaching search with a formal interview of defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

The interview, conducted Tuesday by team president Michael Bidwill, was the first in the team's search for a replacement for Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired Monday after six seasons on the job.

The team has reached out to Andy Reid but had not scheduled an interview. Reid was fired Monday after 14 seasons as head coach in Philadelphia.

Bidwill plans to fly to Denver over the weekend to interview Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

Horton, Reid and McCoy are the only candidates thus far identified by the Cardinals.

Horton is a rising star in NFL coaching circles, despite Arizona's lack of success.

The Cardinals' defense was among the league leaders in several categories, with the 5-11 overall record due mostly to the worst offense in the NFL.

Horton reportedly had other interviews scheduled. Buffalo CEO Russ Brandon confirmed Tuesday that he, general manager Buddy Nix and other front office personnel were flying to Arizona with Horton and Whisenhunt presumed to be among those targeted for the Bills' coaching vacancy. Horton also is reported to be a candidate for the Cleveland Browns.

Reid is an intriguing prospect for the Cardinals. He could be reunited with quarterback Kevin Kolb, who had some big games with the Eagles before being traded to Arizona just before the start of the 2011 season. Kolb remains under contract with Arizona but the team is expected to want to restructure his contract. He is set to make $9 million plus a $2 million roster bonus for the coming season.

``I'm not ready to give up on Kevin Kolb yet,'' Bidwill said Monday.

Bidwill has to interview McCoy this weekend in Denver under NFL rules that provide a narrow window for such meetings with members of coaching staffs whose teams have a bye the first round of the playoffs. McCoy also has an interview scheduled with the Browns.

Larry Fitzgerald, who had one of his worst seasons as the Cardinals struggled at the quarterback position, weighed in on the firing of Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves. In a lengthy tweet, Fitzgerald thanked the pair for giving him the opportunity to ``live my dream in the NFL.''

``We all shoulder the blame for a disappointing season which began with such promise,'' Fitzgerald wrote.

He said that ``even in the midst of a tumultuous season, it was still a pleasure to work for the staff we served under, and for that we remain grateful.''

``Their professionalism will provide for renewed accomplishments in different environs,'' Fitzgerald wrote. ``We all, to a man, thank them and wish them the best.''

Whisenhunt set the record for victories by a Cardinals coach, going 45-51 in six seasons, 4-2 in the playoffs. The team got off to a 4-0 start but lost 11 of 12 to finish 5-11 for the second time in three seasons.

Whisenhunt and his staff was never able to find success on offense after the retirement of Kurt Warner, who quarterbacked the team to its surprise run to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season and the NFC West title in 2009.

Bidwill said he decided over the last few weeks that Whisenhunt and Graves should be replaced, making the final decision on Sunday night. Graves had been with the organization for 16 years.

Bidwill said he had no preference on the order of hiring a new general manager and coach.

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AP Sports Writer John Wawrow in Buffalo, N.Y., contributed to this report.

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Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Big Ten announces cancellation of fall college football season

Big Ten announces cancellation of fall college football season

After speculation and uncertainty surrounding the college football season grew in recent days, the Big Ten Conference has announced that it is canceling its football season for the fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said in a statement. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall."

In the release, the Big Ten announced it will "continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring."

News from the Big Ten differs from speculation and reports coming out of the ACC which state that the conference is set on making the season work in the coming months.

The Mountain West Conference announced it would be canceling its fall season as well on Monday, with hopes to play in the spring instead. 

The Big Ten decision does not come as much of a surprise. It was reported that the Big Ten was going to call the season off on Tuesday. Dan Patrick reported that news and said that the conference had an internal meeting on Sunday resulting in a 12-2 vote to not play a college football season this fall. Nebraska and Iowa were the two conference programs to vote in favor of playing this season.

Additionally, signs of hesitation were shown in the days leading up to the announcement. The Big Ten recently postponed its ramping-up period that included full-pad practices. The Big Ten did, however, recently unveil its 2020 conference-only schedule, leading to confusion in terms of what its stance was on playing football in 2020. Now, there is no more speculation. 

The Pac-12 Conference is reportedly expected to make the same choice as the Big Ten, but has yet to make an official decision. 

While it's understandable that the conference is prioritizing the health and safety of its players amid a pandemic that continues to impact thousands on a daily basis, the news is sure to upset players and coaches around the college football world. Big names such as Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, among others, have been campaigning to continue the season with the #WeWantToPlay movement on social media.

With players from all Power 5 conference uniting, they have asked for universal health and safety protocols, opt-outs for athletes that want them, guaranteed eligibility and voices from all conferences to be included in the decision. President Donald Trump also weighed in, supporting the call to play football in the fall on Monday and reiterating that in statements on Tuesday.

Despite the large faction that was on board with the status quo for now, the Big Ten will not be part of a potential college football season in the coming months. There is a chance that the season is played in the spring. Reports indicated that Warren and leaders around the conference preferred that idea, but no decision has been made at this time.

The Big Ten has now spoken, and the Pac-12 is expected to follow suit soon. With two of the five major conferences backing out, it will be up to the SEC, Big 12 and ACC to dictate the future of a 2020 college football season. 

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Reports: Big Ten to cancel fall football season, hopes to play in spring

Reports: Big Ten to cancel fall football season, hopes to play in spring

The Big Ten is canceling the 2020 fall football season and will attempt to play in the spring, according to multiple reports. Pete Thamel of Yahoo! Sports was first to break the news.

The decision does not come as much of a surprise.

On Sunday, the commissioners of the Power Five conferences had an emergency meeting to discuss the outlook of playing this fall, and the large majority of Big Ten presidents want to postpone the season due to concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Big Ten is the first Power Five conference to postpone its season. The league had postponed padded practices earlier this week until more protocols were put in place. Earlier this month, the Big Ten announced it would conduct a revised, conference-only schedule in 2020.

Several college football stars, including Clemson's Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State's Justin Fields, have advocated for playing this fall. Players across the country have attempted to unionize in one last effort to save the season, too.

President Donald Trump has also sided with the players, saying the players have worked too hard for their season to be canceled.

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