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NCAA Probing Alabama

November 24, 2000|Times Wire Services

The NCAA plans to question some Alabama football players and departing coaches about possible rules violations.

"We don't know where they are looking," Athletic Director Mal Moore said. "They have not briefed us on their concerns, nor have we received any preliminary letter."

The NCAA action comes at a tumultuous time for the Crimson Tide. The football team finished 3-8 and the school has begun looking for a replacement for coach Mike DuBose.

Moore said Wednesday the NCAA notified the school of the visit by phone this week. NCAA enforcement staffers are expected on campus "in the very near future."

"They're in an information gathering stage," said Marie Robbins, the university's director of compliance. "We'll cooperate as we know we should."

Reports surfaced last summer that the NCAA had interviewed Eric Locke and Travis Carroll, who transferred to Tennessee and Florida, respectively.

NCAA investigators have also interviewed Chris Reier, a former high school teammate of Carroll who signed with Alabama but has since transferred to Jacksonville, where he plays baseball.

Gene Marsh, Alabama's faculty chairman of athletics, said the NCAA did not say what was to be discussed or if it related to possible accusations by former players.

Alabama has been placed on probation twice in the past decade.

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Clemson offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez will be named West Virginia's coach, replacing the outgoing Don Nehlen, the Charleston Gazette reported. The Mountaineers play their season finale today against Pittsburgh and Rodriguez's appointment won't be made official until next week. Rodriguez was a defensive back at West Virginia and letterman from 1982-84. . . . Missouri has contacted Toledo Coach Gary Pinkel about its coaching opening, the Kansas City Star reported. Another Mid-American Conference Coach, Western Michigan's Gary Darnell, also has been contacted, as has Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt.

Wake Forest quarterback C.J. Leak plans to skip the 2001 season so his knee can be fully healed after a season-ending injury suffered in September. Leak, one of the nation's top recruits when he signed with Wake Forest, intends to return to the team in spring practice in 2002. Leak dislocated his knee Sept. 15 against Clemson. . . . Joel Gines, a backup quarterback at Utah, was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a life-threatening cancer. He will begin chemotherapy treatments on Monday. "The doctors told me, 'It's serious. It could kill you,' But it's not going to," Gines said.

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