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Saban: Durkin observing Tide, not hired

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) Former Maryland coach DJ Durkin is spending time with the Alabama football staff but hasn't been hired.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said in a statement Friday that Durkin "is spending a few days with our staff in Tuscaloosa from a professional development standpoint." Saban says Durkin hasn't been "hired in any capacity" but is observing Alabama's football operations as other coaches have done.

Durkin was fired Oct. 31 after an investigation into the death of Maryland offensive lineman Jordan McNair. Durkin faced allegations of bullying and intimidation by himself and one of his assistants. He spent more than two months on administrative leave while independent investigations were conducted into McNair's death and the culture surrounding the team.


UK RB Snell to turn pro, will play bowl

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. says he'll skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft, but will play in the Wildcats' New Year's Day bowl game.

Snell announced his decision in a video posted to Twitter on Friday. He thanks the school's fans for making Kentucky feel like home, but said "there comes a time you have to leave home to build a life of your own. That's what I'm about to do."


Minnesota gives Fleck 1-year extension

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota has extended football coach P.J. Fleck's contract again by one year, through the 2023 season.

The university announced the agreement on Friday, after it was approved by the Board of Regents.


Tennessee LB Sapp to enter NFL draft

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee linebacker Quart'e Sapp says he's bypassing his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Sapp tweeted out a video announcing his intentions Friday, the same day he earned his degree.


Former Pitt star OL Fralic dies at 56

PITTSBURGH (AP) Bill Fralic, the burly, bruising and athletic offensive lineman who starred for the Atlanta Falcons and was a three-time All-American at Pittsburgh, has died. He was 56.

He had cancer and died Thursday at his home in suburban Atlanta, the university said.


Hurricanes promote 3 defensive coaches

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Miami has promoted defensive assistant coaches Ephraim Banda and Jonathan Patke, and they will now share the Hurricanes' defensive coordinator job.

Defensive line coach Jess Simpson was also promoted, and will now have the associate head coach title under Mark Richt.


NC St. tabs Kitchings, McDonald as co-OC

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State has named assistants Des Kitchings and George McDonald as co-offensive coordinators.

The school announced the news in a release Friday. That came a day after coordinator Eli Drinkwitz left to become the head coach at Appalachian State.


Indiana DB Johnson arrested on campus

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) Indiana freshman defensive back Jamar Johnson faces a preliminary charge of resisting law enforcement following his arrest on campus.

Indiana police spokesman Lt. Kevin Lauerman says officers patrolling the Sembower Recreation Sports Fields Complex detected the odor of marijuana Thursday night and saw two people nearby. One of the individuals ran away before returning and Johnson was arrested. He was released late Thursday from the Monroe County Jail.


Appalachian State names Drinkwitz coach

BOONE, N.C. (AP) Appalachian State has hired North Carolina State offensive coordinator Eliah Drinkwitz as its head coach.

Drinkwitz's five-year contract was approved Thursday by Chancellor Sheri Everts and the school's board of trustees. Financial terms of the deal were not released by the school. He will be introduced on campus Monday, two days after the Mountaineers play Middle Tennessee State in the New Orleans Bowl.


Texas Tech's Wells gets $18.8M, 6 years

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) New Texas Tech coach Matt Wells has a six-year, $18.8 million contract, with Utah State getting an $800,000 buyout.

The school released details of the contract Thursday. Wells, who replaced Kliff Kingsbury after the former Texas Tech quarterback was fired, could earn incentives of up to $1 million and will owe 20 percent of the deal's remaining value if he leaves for another job.

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