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Amir Carlisle leaving USC for Notre Dame

Amir Carlisle, a tailback who ran for 118 yards as a USC freshman last season, will transfer to Notre Dame, whose South Bend, Ind., campus is about 95 miles from Purdue, where his father works.

January 07, 2012|Staff and wire reports
  • USC running back Amir Carlisle (41) celebrates a touchdown with offensive lineman Khaled Holmes in the second half of a game at Colorado.
USC running back Amir Carlisle (41) celebrates a touchdown with offensive… (Jack Dempsey / Associated…)

USC tailback Amir Carlisle is transferring to Notre Dame, his father told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune.

Carlisle, a freshman last season, was slowed by ankle and knee injuries but played in eight games. He rushed for 118 yards in 19 carries and had seven receptions, one for a touchdown.

Under NCAA transfer rules, he will have to sit out next season and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

Duane Carlisle told the Tribune that his son's move "definitely was a family decision."

Amir Carlisle played high school football in Sunnyvale, Calif. Duane Carlisle worked for the San Francisco 49ers as a strength and conditioning coach when Amir chose USC. Duane Carlisle is now the director of sports performance for Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., about 95 miles from Notre Dame.

Carlisle is the second USC tailback to leave the program in the last three months. Dillon Baxter was removed from the team by Coach Lane Kiffin after the Trojans played Notre Dame in October. Baxter, a San Diego native, reportedly is considering transferring to San Diego State.

Senior Curtis McNeal, who gained a team-best 1,005 yards last season, and sophomore D.J. Morgan are the most experienced returning tailbacks. Sophomore George Farmer was shifted from receiver to tailback midway through the season.

Javorious Allen redshirted.

— Gary Klein

O'Brien introduced

Bill O'Brien was introduced as Penn State's new coach and told a news conference, "I feel like I'm a mentally tough guy right now. I feel like I'm the right guy."

The New England Patriots' offensive coordinator inherits a program in turmoil in his first head-coaching job. Until Nov. 9, the Nittany Lions had been coached for 46 seasons by Joe Paterno, who was fired that day in the aftermath of a child sex abuse scandal involving retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The case also led the school president to resign.

Not only is O'Brien replacing Division I's winningest coach, but he also is joining a still-reeling school attempting to steer its way through federal, NCAA and Big Ten Conference inquiries — not to mention criminal proceedings against Sandusky and former administrators.

O'Brien will remain with the Patriots for the duration of their playoff run. He said he would pull together his staff during the next two or three days, and get the assistants on the recruiting trail immediately while he works with New England. He will retain assistant Larry Johnson from Paterno's staff to coach the defensive line.

North Dakota State wins FCS title

Brock Jensen threw a touchdown pass right after a fake punt, then had a one-yard keeper for another score set up by a long interception return as North Dakota State won its first Football Championship Subdivision championship with a 17-6 victory over top-seeded Sam Houston State at Frisco, Texas. Both teams finished 14-1.

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