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Florida Atlantic: Lane Kiffin's point spread tweet was joke 

A spokesman for Florida Atlantic University said football coach Lane Kiffin was only joking when he tweeted about a late intentional safety and the point spread it impacted during the Owls’ 30-25 victory against Marshall, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Florida Atlantic clinched bowl eligibility with its fifth consecutive victory Friday night. The Owls were a 6.5-point favorite and led 30-23 with 14 seconds to play. On fourth down from the Florida Atlantic 24, Kiffin opted for an intentional safety, rather than risk a punt block or a return. That iced the game for the Owls, but ruined the line for bettors who picked Florida Atlantic and took the spread.

After the game, Kiffin tweeted that he “didn’t want to cover because of too much rat poison.”

Kiffin's mention of rat poison in his tweet was ia nod toward Alabama coach Nick Saban's past comments about media praise being like “rat poison” to his players' focus, ESPN reported. Kiffin worked for Saban as Alabama’s offensive coordinator from 2014 to 2016.

Devin Singletary rushed for 203 yards to lead Florida Atlantic (6-2, 5-0 Conference USA).

Thunder's charter plane dented during landing in Chicago

The plane Oklahoma City Thunder team members and staff were flying on apparently hit something in midair as it prepared for a landing at Chicago’s Midway Airport, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Players who flew on the team charter from Minneapolis to Chicago landed around 1 p.m. , ESPN reported.They saw the dent as they exited the aircraft.

Several players posted photographs on social media about the bizarre situation, but the team said everyone is safe, ESPN reported. The flight landed as planned and on schedule at Midway.

Carmelo Anthony posted an image of the dented plane with the caption, "What could we have possibly hit in the SKY at this time of night? Everyone is safe, though."

The plane "likely encountered a bird" during its descent, a Delta Air Lines spokesman said in a statement, adding that the aircraft landed safely.

The Thunder, who lost 119-116 to Minneapolis on Friday, are in Chicago to face the Bulls on Saturday.

Jim Larranaga: 'I am Coach-3' in FBI college basketball probe

University of Miami coach Jim Larranaga said his legal team believes he is “Coach-3,” as noted in the Department of Justice report about the FBI investigation into college basketball’s underbelly.

>> Read more trending news

“I am grateful we have come to that conclusion,” said Larranaga, “as I know I did nothing wrong, and it is comforting to know none of my assistants are connected in any way.” He added that the U.S. attorney’s office has not confirmed the identity of “Coach-3.”

In a news conference at the Watsco Center, Larranaga addressed the media for the first time since the Sept. 26 complaint was unveiled in New York. Uncharacteristically, he read from a prepared statement. He fielded questions afterward from reporters about the emotional impact, but referred all inquiries about the investigation to his statement, which said he appreciated that the media had a job to do, but that he would not offer comment.

Larranaga’s full statement: 

“I cannot state more emphatically that I absolutely have no knowledge of any wrongdoing by any member of our staff and I certainly have never engaged in the conduct that some have speculated about,” Larranaga said, holding a piece of paper with both hands.

“I have tried to live every single one of my 68 years on this earth with integrity, character, and humility. … To have those values that I cherish so dearly even questioned, is disheartening and disappointing.”

“Coach-3,” in the FBI report, was said to know about an Adidas executive and others conspiring to funnel some $150,000 to a 2018 recruit, later learned to be Orlando-based five-star wing Nassir Little. Little and his father signed statements, provided to The Post by Larranaga’s legal team, saying they accepted no money, never discussed payment with any of the men charged, and they and Miami did nothing wrong.

>> Related: Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC coaches among 10 charged with corruption

Asked about his relationship with former Adidas executive Jim Gatto, who was one of 10 men indicted by the FBI on conspiracy and fraud charges, Larranaga declined to comment, referring to the statement.

“It’s been a strain, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” Larranaga said. “It’s something that’s there. I have to deal with it. I have the support of my wife and a wonderful family. I have the support of the university, my staff and players.”

Both Ja’Quan Newton and Bruce Brown, the two players Miami made available to the media, said they were not aware of the details of the investigation. They said practice has been as usual, and they’ve noticed no change in their coach.

“Around us, ‘Coach L’ isn’t going to show he’s hurt,” Newton said. “He’s so happy to be around us.”

Larranaga said he briefed his players on Sept. 26, along with UM Athletics Director Blake James.

“They have nothing to do with this,” Larranaga said. “It hasn’t been talked about since.”

Asked how the investigation has affected recruiting, Larranaga said it has been a negative, but his staff is “very strong and resilient, and we’ll figure out a way to recruit successfully.”

UM does not have a verbal commitment for 2018. It had an official visit set up the weekend of Sept. 9 with five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley, but it was canceled when Hurricane Irma forced UM to evacuate the campus.

Asked if he has received messages of support from colleagues, Larranaga answered, “Yes.”

Asked if that has helped, Larranaga answered with the same flat, “Yes.”

Florida State football coach trades verbal jabs with fan after loss

It has been a frustrating season for Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher, who has watched his team stumble to a 2-4 start, including its first 0-3 start at home since 1974.

>> Read more trending news

That frustration boiled over Saturday after Fisher and a fan at Tallahassee’s Doak Campbell Stadium got into a verbal altercation after the Seminoles’ 31-28 loss to Louisville.

As Fisher exited the field, the fan yelled that the Seminoles needed to make changes to their staff. “Get new coaches!” the fan yelled from the first row, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. Fisher walked over to the stands and yelled back, inviting the fan to “walk … down here and say it,” the Democrat reported.

In his postgame news conference, Fisher said he should not have argued with the fan but felt obligated to defend his Seminoles.

"Just support, you know what I'm saying," Fisher said. "There's no reason to be nasty. But at the same time, defending players and people you're with, I'm in charge of them. I love them like a father. When they say something to your family, you take up for it."

FSU is now in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time since 1982, ESPN reported.

“I mean, I understand (the frustration),” Fisher said. "That's what's part of this. If you're a fan, are you going to be a loyal fan or not? Just keep fighting with us. We ain't quitting on you. Please don't quit on us. We're going to keep fighting, scratching, coaching, playing, and you see the heart and desire of those kids. And understand something: What if that's your kid? If that was one of your kids or your nephew or your cousin or your friend, keep supporting them, you know what I mean? Just keep supporting because it ain't that.

“When success happens, (fans) put you too high, and once failures happen, they put you too low. That goes with the territory,” Fisher said. “We're going to keep coaching the same way because there's no quit in us, either.”

College football player cut from team after kneeling for national anthem

A Pennsylvania quarterback is off his college team after he knelt for the national anthem for the second game in a row.

>> Do students have to stand for the Pledge, anthem?

Gyree Durante, a sophomore, is a second-string quarterback at Albright College in Reading. He said his decision to kneel was a protest against racism and social injustices in the nation. Durante, who is a native of Norristown, told WCAU: “At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand. For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”

>> On Rare.us: A San Francisco 49ers player went after VP Mike Pence for leaving the football game

A spokeswoman for the college said the decision to stand during the anthem was agreed upon by the entire team. She says the team agreed to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the anthem. The spokeswoman explained that the decision to kneel was done “out of the mutual respect team members have for one another and the value they place on their differences.” Her statement went on to say that Durante’s decision to kneel showed that he “chose not to support team unity,” leading to his dismissal from the team.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Durante’s teammates said they believe their colleague broke the trust of the team. One freshman said: "Time and time again he told us he would stand. … When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

Joe Tiller, former Purdue football coach, dies at 74

Former Purdue football coach Joe Tiller died Saturday. He was 74.

Tiller's death was announced on the Purdue football program’s Twitter account.

>> Read more trending news

Tiller set the record for most wins in the school's football program. He coached the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2008, where his overwall record was 87-62, ESPN reported. Tiller began his head coaching career at Wyoming. 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees released a statement to offer his condolences. Brees attended Purdue from 1997-2000 and led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance during the 2000 season, according to the quarterback’s official website.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban: NFL protests not meant to disrespect veterans, military

The question came off as a loaded one.

A fan, who identified himself as a retired veteran, called in to the weekly Nick Saban radio show on Thursday to ask the University of Alabama football coach for his opinion on the NFL protests and whether Saban’s former players who have protested would be welcome back in the locker room or on the sideline.

>> Read more trending news

As Saban did during his Monday news conference, he began his response with the “I’m just a football coach” line.

“I don’t have all the answers to the problems that we have in society,” he said.

>> Related: Donald Trump says NFL anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

The topic of football players kneeling in protest during the national anthem has dominated the sports landscape since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee last year in protest of police brutality against minorities. Scrutiny intensified after President Donald Trump last week called the protests disrespectful and suggested that players who don’t stand during the anthem should be fired.

“The one thing that’s a little disappointing to me is something that has always been real unifying … is no longer that way,” Saban said Thursday. “That is a little bothersome to me. I don’t think that what these people are doing is in any way, shape or form are meant to disrespect a veteran or somebody like yourself, who has worked so hard, fought so hard and sacrificed so much for all of us to have the quality of life that we want to have.

>> Related: Steelers fans burn memorabilia over national anthem stance

“But one of the things that you also fought for and made sacrifice for was that we all could have the freedom to have choice in terms of what we believe, what we did and what we said. This is not something -- look, I respect people’s individual rights. I have my opinion in terms of what I would do and how I would do (it). I would not want to ever disrespect the symbols that represent the values of our country. But, I also respect individual differences that other people have. I think they have the right to express those. Whether it’s our players or somebody else, whether I agree or disagree, I think they have the right to do that.”

>> Related: WWII veteran, 97, kneels in support of NFL's national anthem protests

College football players stay in the locker room during the national anthem.

No. 1 Alabama hosts Ole Miss on Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC coaches among 10 charged with corruption

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday announced charges against 10 people accused of participating in a pair of college basketball bribery schemes, including four coaches in top-tier college basketball programs and employees of global sportswear apparel giant Adidas.

>> Read more trending news 

“The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities allege that four coaches took bribes to steer their student athletes toward financial advisers, business managers and athletic advisers, including Jim Gatto, listed online as the director of global marketing for Adidas; and Munish Sood, identified by The Washington Post as chief executive of financial advisory company Princeton Capital.

Prosecutors identified the charged coaches as Auburn University assistant coach Chuck Person, University of Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland, University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson and Oklahoma State University assistant coach Lamont Evans.

BYU is allowing Coca-Cola, caffeinated soda on campus and everyone is freaking out

On Thursday morning, Brigham Young University announced the university will offer caffeinated soft drinks – including Coca-Cola – on campus and fans couldn’t contain their excitement.

The BYU Twitter account posted the news along with a Q&A with BYU director of dining services Dean Wright on the decision to bring caffeinated soft drinks on the Provo, Utah, campus for the first time since the mid-1950s.

>> Read more trending news

BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and requires students to adhere to a strict honor code in line with the church’s beliefs. The honor code enforces a mandated dress code, personal grooming standards as well as abstinence from premarital sex, drugs and alcohol.

BYU is the largest religious university and third-largest private university in the United States.

>> Click here or scroll down for more

Former Heisman winner Ricky Williams arrested on traffic warrants

Former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams was arrested in Texas on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show.

>> Read more trending news 

Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said.

He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show. 

Williams, who starred at the University of Texas and played seven seasons in the NFL, is currently a football analyst for ESPN's Longhorn Network. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1998 and was the second Longhorn to win college football’s top prize, and was also a two-time All-American.

Earlier this year, Williams said he was racially profiled while walking through a neighborhood in Tyler. A man called 911 when he "observed a black male, wearing all black, crouched down behind his wire fence," and Tyler police stopped and searched Williams, according to media reports

Williams was taken to the Travis County Jail 17 years ago, when he was playing for the New Orleans Saints, when he refused to sign a traffic ticket, according to previous media reports

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