Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Jordan Lynch’s exit leaves huge hole at NIU ]]> Lead story image

Northern Illinois returns a number of key players from its high-scoring offense of 2013. Back are speedy wide receiver Tommylee Lewis, tailback Cameron Stingily (who will miss the start of the year because of injury), and all five starters on the offensive line. Akeem Daniels, the starting running back on the 2012 Orange Bowl team, also returns after missing all of last season with a foot injury. However, the main cog in the Huskies’ attack, quarterback Jordan Lynch, has moved on and is looking to make the Bears as a running back. Lynch bailed the Huskies out of tough situations … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:32:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ USC’s Josh Shaw admits to lying about injuries, nephew rescue ]]> Lead story image

USC coach Steve Sarkisian said Tuesday that he’s received several calls questioning the validity of cornerback Josh Shaw’s story describing how he sustained two high ankle sprains over the weekend. The school is vetting the tale. ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:26:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Notre Dame players under investigation will miss opener ]]> Lead story image

Notre Dame will be without the four players under investigation for suspected academic dishonesty for at least the season opener. ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:33:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Notre Dame to open season under cloud of uncertainty ]]> Lead story image

The starting quarterback hasn’t taken a snap in a meaningful game since January 2013. The defense is filled with players who will be full-time starters for the first time. And the futures of four players, including three projected starters, remain in question because of an ongoing investigation into suspected academic dishonesty. The only certainty about No. 17 Notre Dame as it opens the 2014 season is the uncertainty. The Irish are preparing for their season opener Saturday against Rice without wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore because of the aforementioned investigation. … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:27:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Illinois Preview: Illini won’t bowl anyone over ]]> Lead story image

Is it really bowl-or-bust for Illinois coach Tim Beckman in Year 3? That has been the take in the national media since a 4-8 record last season left Beckman at 6-18 overall — with a glaring 1-15 record in Big Ten games — and fighting for his job. But is the bowl part accurate? The only answer is maybe. It’s reasonable to think the Illini could finish 5-7 — no bowl — but reflect well on their coach with better defense, generally competitive play and, somewhere along the line, an upset of a conference opponent that might engage the fan … ]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:48:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ A college-football primer as the season gets ready for liftoff ]]> Lead story image

Congratulations, college football fans, you made it to the start of another season. Well, technically you aren’t all the way there yet, but you have made it to Week  1. The first game is Wednesday night — a matchup so lame, we’re actually not going to tell you who’s playing. (Fine, it’s Abilene Christian at Georgia State. Are you happy?) Thursday brings a ton of action, most notably Texas A&M at South Carolina. Point is, college football is back, baby. In previous days, we’ve told you which team will win it all (Oklahoma), which others will contend for the title (not … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:33:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Loss of Braxton Miller sends Big Ten to bottom of Power Five ]]> Lead story image

How damaging to the Big Ten is the training-camp injury that knocked out Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller for the 2014 season? Look at it this way: With Miller in the fold, the Big Ten would’ve rated no worse than fourth — and might’ve been No. 3 — among college football’s Power Five conferences. Without Miller, the Buckeyes have plummeted in the preseason polls and have left the Big Ten with only Michigan State as a perceived contender for the season-ending four-team playoff. Wave your Big Ten flags all you want, friends, but “we’re No. 5!” isn’t much of a … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:22:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kelly, Notre Dame trying to look beyond four suspensions ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame unveiled its new threads during media day Tuesday. Officials displayed mannequins wearing the team’s home and road jerseys, as well as this year’s Shamrock Series uniform. It was a case of the show going on. Players have had a few days to absorb the sudden absences of teammates DaVaris Daniels, KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams and Kendall Moore. The four have been held out of practice — and could miss games — while the university looks into suspected academic dishonesty of several students. With the investigation ongoing, most of the players available Tuesday tried to … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:20:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Coaches sure Notre Dame’s defense will get through changes ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Brian VanGorder didn’t want to gauge where Notre Dame’s defense stood right at this moment. ‘‘The one thing I do know is that there is a lot better football in front of us,’’ the Irish’s defensive coordinator said Tuesday. ‘‘We can be a lot better than we are as I talk to you today.’’ Notre Dame’s defense is still developing, with lineman Sheldon Day and linebacker Jaylon Smith providing leadership for the young unit. There already were plenty of questions surrounding the defense coming into preseason camp. Linemen Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix   III decided to enter … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:20:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ If Notre Dame can’t stay clean, who can? ]]> Lead story image

RICK MORRISSEY: Notre Dame always has viewed itself as the ideal of how academics and athletics should coexist. Raising the question: If the Irish can’t make this work, who can? ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:14:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oklahoma is our preseason No. 1 in college football ]]> Lead story image

STEVE GREENBERG: A consolation game? Yeah, that’s how Alabama coach Nick Saban refers to the Sugar Bowl game last season against Oklahoma — and perhaps only he could dare say such a thing with a straight face. But the Sooners, who were surprise 45-31 victors in that memorable contest, don’t have to like it. And they sure as heck don’t. ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:16:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ NCAA Football: Sun-Times Top 25 ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Sun-Times college football writer Steve Greenberg ranks the Top 25 teams in his preseason poll. ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:25:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Notre Dame football ranked No. 17 in AP preseason poll ]]> Lead story image

There’s no asterisk next to Notre Dame’s name in the Associated Press’ preseason football poll. Perhaps there should be. The Irish landed at No. 17  in the poll, which was  released Sunday. But votes were due in before the  announcement Friday that four Irish players, including three starters, were  being held out of practices and games until the completion of an investigation into academic fraud. Notre Dame is looking into suspected academic dishonesty on the part of several students, including receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore. ‘‘As players, you don’t replace KeiVarae … ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:48:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Notre Dame reputation tarnished again by academic scandal ]]> Lead story image

RICK TELANDER: Four Notre Dame football players, all likely starters — including a potential All-American in defensive back KeiVarae Russell — were dropped from the team Friday in the midst of an academic-fraud scandal. ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:46:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Brian Kelly pledges that ND will not ‘look the other way’ ]]> Lead story image

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The ­future of four of coach Brian Kelly’s players is up in the air. And the possibility exists that previous Notre Dame victories will be vacated. The word “distraction” would be quite an understatement. Notre Dame opens the regular season in less than two weeks against Rice. While the team practiced Saturday, the dark cloud of an academic investigation hovered over the program. The university is looking into suspected academic dishonesty on the part of several students, including wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore. The four will … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:32:25 -0500 <![CDATA[ Northern Illinois still seeking starting QB ]]> Lead story image

DEKALB, Ill. — Northern Illi- nois coach Rod Carey said his sense after watching his team scrimmage Thursday was that none of his three quarterbacks ‘‘ran away’’ with the job. ‘‘I know a lot of them did some good things, and I know there are a couple of things from all of them that we’ve got to get sewn up a little bit,’’ Carey said. ‘‘But I’ve got to look at [the film], and I’ll know a lot more.’’ Matt McIntosh took the field first, and he, Drew Hare and  Anthony Maddie spent time playing with the first and second teams. … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:32:36 -0500