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Texas regents mull coaches' conduct with students

Texas regents mull coaches' conduct with students

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) University of Texas regents Sunday ordered a review of policies regarding inappropriate relationships between employees and students after a two-hour, private telephone meeting to discuss incidents involving assistant football coach Major Applewhite and former women's head track coach Bev Kearney.

The call between the regents, their legal staff and Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa was scheduled after the disclosure Friday that Applewhite, the Longhorns' offensive coordinator, had been disciplined by the school in 2009 for his conduct with a student during a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Applewhite was ordered at the time to undergo counseling and his pay was frozen for a year. The regents did not order any further discipline against him after Sunday's meeting.

The revelation about Applewhite's conduct almost a month after Kearney resigned while under investigation for a 2002 relationship with an athlete in her program. Texas officials have said they were in the process of firing her.

``As leaders of the University of Texas System, our chief concern is and always will be the safety and welfare of the students on our 15 campuses,'' regents Chairman Gene Powell and Cigarroa said in a joint statement.

``The No. 1 priority of all UT administration leaders, faculty, staff and athletic personnel should be protecting our students and ensuring that their experience at any UT institution is a positive and safe one,'' the statement said. Regents Vice Chairman Paul Foster would lead the policy review.

In both cases, the university has said the relationships between the coaches and students were consensual. But Kearney's lawyer, Derek Howard, has suggested the track coach was treated unfairly and may sue the university. Howard did not immediately respond to an email message.

Kearney, who won six national championships since 1993, was in line for a large pay increase until the former athlete reported their relationship in October. Kearney was placed on paid leave in November and resigned Jan. 5.

When Kearney resigned, school officials said it didn't appear Kearney had engaged in any other inappropriate behavior with students, but that the relationship with the athlete ``crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student athletes on the team.''

A public records request by the Daily Texan student newspaper revealed a disciplinary letter to Applewhite from athletic director DeLoss Dodds. Applewhite, a former Texas quarterback who was the Longhorns' running backs coach in his first season on staff, was ordered to undergo counseling. His salary was frozen for a year.

Dodds' letter warned Applewhite that any more such actions by him could result in more serious punishment. Applewhite has since been promoted to co-offensive coordinator and will call plays for Texas next season.

In a statement Friday night, Applewhite, who is married and one of the most popular assistants on Mack Brown's staff, said he was embarrassed by his conduct at the bowl game.

``It was a one-time occurrence and was a personal matter,'' Applewhite said. ``Shortly after it occurred, I discussed the situation with DeLoss Dodds. I was upfront and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved by the university four years ago. Through counseling, I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us.''

Dodds said the university's legal office looked in the matter at the time and said Applewhite had been given appropriate punishment.

Joe Jamail, a Houston attorney and prominent supporter of the athletic program who is advising Applewhite, did not immediately return a phone message.

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The Kapri Bibbs touchdown vs. the Cowboys was the very definition of team football

The Kapri Bibbs touchdown vs. the Cowboys was the very definition of team football

The obsession over how football is a team game, and how all 11 guys on the field matter on every single play, can be nauseating at times.

Plenty of things in an NFL contest happen because of one player beating another player. In other instances, it's about a single dude just absolutely screwing everything up all on his own (most often that dude is Blake Bortles).

But on Kapri Bibbs' 23-yard opening-drive touchdown catch vs. the Cowboys in Week 7, a ton of non-ball-carrying Redskins did in fact chip in to help get Bibbs into the end zone. It was one of those plays that just makes you want to scream FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

The first two 'Skins who deserve recognition on the score are Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff.

Lauvao, who was returning from injury, leaked out with Scherff and Chase Roullier to serve as Bibbs' personal, giant escorts to the goal line. He then showed excellent awareness to peel back and seal off Dallas D-linemen Antwaun Woods, which ended any hopes of a Cowboy catching Bibbs from behind.

The true hero, though, was Scherff. The human wood chipper got pieces of two opposing linemen before breaking out to the next level, diving and knocking Kavon Frazier out of Bibbs' path. Without Scherff's insane effort, the screen pass doesn't even result in positive yardage, let alone six points.

Here's a still image of the first two, key blocks:

Large Redskins weren't the only ones getting the job done in hand-to-hand combat, however. For a screen to elevate itself from solid play to major chunk play, you need receivers doing work well past the line of scrimmage, too.

Well, this screenshot of Josh Doctson and Brian Quick holding blocks at the sticks definitely qualifies as doing work:

And, lastly, there's the center, Roullier. The man who started the entire sequence with a snap from the 23-yard line eventually found himself at the 12, displacing Byron Jones to ensure that the home team's tailback would finish things dancing instead of getting up from the ground:

To enjoy the full FOOTBALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!-ness of the six-pointer, head to the 23-second mark of this video. Then, take a moment to reflect on all those poor Cowboys who thought they were going to tackle Kapri Bibbs throughout the course of that highlight, because they never really had a chance and that's just so sad for them.

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What exactly was Alex Smith thinking when he went out of bounds on the last drive?

What exactly was Alex Smith thinking when he went out of bounds on the last drive?

FEDEX FIELD -- Late in the Redskins win over the Cowboys, when the contest was still very much in question, Alex Smith made an incredibly poor decision. 

It was situational football at its peak. The Redskins had the ball with under 90 seconds left and a three point lead while Dallas had just one timeout left. A first down would end the game, but beyond getting a new set of downs, forcing Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to use his final timeout was the next highest priority. 

Somehow, Smith achieved neither. 

On third-and-9 from his own 36-yard-line, Smith took the snap and worked left on a play-action bootleg. There was room to run for a modest gain, but it seemed obvious Smith would not pick up the first down. 

Only Smith didn't see it that way. 

"I knew a first down would end the game and I did have glimpses of myself getting the first down whatever it took," the quarterback said. 

Instead of getting the first down, Smith got dragged out of bounds by Dallas LB Sean Lee. That stopped the clock for the Cowboys, and allowed Garrett to save his final timeout. 

Barring a turnover, it was the worst possible outcome on the play. 

What makes the situation so strange is that Smith is a very smart player. A 14-year veteran, Smith is known as a guy that won't make mistakes to hurt his team and gives his squad a chance for a win every week. Only late in the game, Smith tried to make the play to go for the win, and made a huge mistake instead. 

"I all of a sudden found myself pretty awkward on the sidelines there and can’t have it," Smith said. "[I] could have obviously cost us the game in hindsight at that point, I think kinda abandon ship and go down there on the sideline.”

The good news for Smith, and for the 4-2 Redskins, is that Cowboys kicker Brett Maher plunked the upright on his game-tying field goal attempt. An attempt that might not have happened if Smith stayed in bounds. 

In the end, it didn't cost the Redskins. 

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