Redskins

Georgia college turns game into recruiting pitch

Georgia college turns game into recruiting pitch

FARGO, N.D. (AP) Georgia Southern officials are hoping to return home with more than a victory after Friday's football game at North Dakota State.

They want to win over a North Dakota high school senior.

The Statesboro, Ga., college has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students. In the course of crunching numbers from the fall semester, school officials discovered they had students from 90 countries and 49 states.

``We were missing one state: North Dakota. Zero. Goose egg,'' said Casey Jones, a Georgia Southern alumnus who recently took a job in the school's marketing and communications department.

So in addition to sending 60 football players and a handful of coaches to Fargo, the school is arming its radio crew with brochures extolling the virtues of the 106-year-old university.

``I told them to pass them out liberally,'' said Christian Flathman, the school's vice president for marketing and communications. ``Not so much to steal from our colleagues at North Dakota State, but to definitely promote in Fargo.''

The school is reveling in the climate comparisons. A news release points out the ``sun, sand and surf'' that's a short drive away - hey, just 85 miles to Hilton Head Island, S.C.! - and Flathman notes that students ``are walking around on campus right now in shorts and flip flops as they are taking their final exams.''

The high temperature in Statesboro on Tuesday was 68 degrees.

Fargo? It was 11.

``The only snow that we've had this year was a snow machine we had here for a lighting ceremony, kind of like Rockefeller Center, and the fake snow that is currently falling on our university home page,'' Flathman said.

Added Jones: ``People go into freak-out mode around here when you just mention it's going to be below freezing.''

Setting aside the weather, both men noted that Georgia Southern has 120 degree programs ranging from business and engineering to liberal arts and health care. It has been named one of the top 10 most popular colleges by U.S. News & World Report for two straight years. Flathman called Statesboro - population about 29,000 - a town of main streets, shops and courthouse squares and notable alumni include country music star Luke Bryan and current NFL kicker Rob Bironas.

One alumnus, Jim Deal, is a professor and head of the human development and family science department at NDSU. Deal grew up in Statesboro and he said Georgia Southern is a beautiful campus and an outstanding academic school.

Still, Deal has a different take on that weather issue.

``I prefer Fargo winters to Statesboro summers,'' said Deal, who has been at NDSU for 20 years. ``I like the cold weather better and I don't like the heat and humidity and I sure don't like the gnats in the summer.''

As for the team he's rooting for, Deal said he gets some grief from friends and family back home but he is going ``with the school that signs the paychecks.'' He's predicting a 21-10 Bison win in the semifinal game of the Football Championship Subdivision.

Georgia Southern currently has six alumni living in North Dakota and five more in South Dakota.

``This is just something we're having a little fun with,'' Jones said. ``Just about every campus is global. You have someone from everywhere. We just don't have that one person from North Dakota.''

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Follow Dave Kolpack on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/DaveKolpackAP

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Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Asante Samuel got hit Fourth of July fireworks started early Saturday morning with a negative tweet about NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green.

The former Pro Bowler with the Patriots and the Eagles had a fine 11-year NFL career. He is a Super Bowl champion himself. But his out-of-nowhere tweets about Green, one of the NFL’s all-time great corners, were just…weird. 

Green was a dominant player on two Super Bowl champions, a seven-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 1991. He was one of the fastest players in the league, a fearsome punt returner when necessary in playoff games and an all-around great player. Even other players from Samuel’s era were confused, including former Redskins safety Will Blackmon.

That's a pretty accurate description of the differences between Samuel's era and the way the game was played when Green was at his peak. Maybe he stuck around too long and maybe he wasn't close to the player he'd once been by the late 90s and early 2000s.

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But peak Darrell Green was an unquestioned Hall-of-Fame player. Teams didn't throw at him for a reason. When they did, they paid for it. Samuel got a little aggressive for a guy who might have cost the Pats an extra Super Bowl. 

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Tony Dungy, himself a great player and a Super Bowl champion as a player AND a coach, clapped back at Samuel for his ignorance of NFL history. 

That about says it all. 

For his part, Samuel doubled down responding to some tweets but by the afternoon he was starting to see the light. Sort of. 

 

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Ron Rivera reportedly hopes the Redskins can change their name before the 2020 season starts

Ron Rivera reportedly hopes the Redskins can change their name before the 2020 season starts

One day after his team announced they'd be launching a "thorough review" of its name, Ron Rivera told the Washington Post "it would be awesome" if the Redskins could complete the change before the 2020 season.

In fact, Rivera already has a few favorite ideas that he and Dan Snyder have tossed around in their recent, extensive discussions about the topic, though he wouldn't disclose them yet.

"We came up with a couple of names — two of them I really like," Rivera told Les Carpenter on Saturday.

In Washington's Friday statement, Rivera said, “This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”

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While talking with Carpenter, Rivera further explained that a new name must be respectful to both of those groups. 

"We want to do this in a positive way," Rivera said.

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It feels like more progress has been made toward a possible change in the past few days than the past handful of years.

Snyder, who once proclaimed his organization would "NEVER" make a switch, is clearly softening his stance now. That shift comes as outside pressure has really mounted from every direction since Thursday.

According to the Post, the owner and his new coach have really focused on going to a new name over the last month, with Rivera hoping to end the process soon.

"My eyes are wide open," Rivera said to Carpenter.

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