Making the morning rounds.
• Hokie Hokie hurt. Virginia Tech linebacker Bruce Taylor — a 2010 All-ACC pick currently leading the Hokies in tackles for the second consecutive season — will undergo season-ending foot surgery next week, making him the third defensive starter ruled out for the year since opening day. Tech was already playing without defensive linemen Antoine Hopkins and Kwamaine Battle (both victims of knee injuries) and linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow (foot), and played last week without All-ACC cornerback Jayron Hosley. Taylor’s replacement, former starter Barquell Rivers, has played just a few dozen plays this year due to injury himself. In all, the Hokie D could be traveling to Duke Saturday with five opening-day starters on the sideline.
“I can’t remember” a more injury-plagued season, said coach Frank Beamer, in his 25th year as Tech’s head coach, “but I think it’s just the way it goes. Some seasons you get to play with the same guy every week and that just isn’t the case for us.” [Associated Press, Washington Post]
• Seeking a second opinion from Dr. Kiper. Injured Arizona State cornerback Omar Bolden, a 2010 All-Pac-10 pick who was ruled out for the year with an ACL tear in the spring, tweeted Monday that he’s been cleared by a doctor to return “from a medical standpoint,” but also added, “I won’t play unless I’m just as effective as I was 6 months ago. … Refuse to damage stock!” Bolden returned to non-contact drills last week, but didn’t want to put a timetable on a possible return, according to the Arizona Republic, because “he doesn’t want to disappoint himself or fans if he doesn’t meet it.” [@Os_Island_TS]
In other injury news… Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa is listed as “questionable” again, this time for the Wildcats’ trip to Indiana. … Alabama offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandijo, one of the most hyped freshmen at any position in the 2011 recruiting class, is undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a “pretty significant knee injury.” [al.com] … South Florida loses starters at wide receiver and cornerback for the rest of the regular to a fractured ankle and ACL tear, respectively. [@CoachHoltzUSF] … And Florida, mercifully, expects senior quarterback John Brantley to play Saturday against Georgia for the first time in nearly a month, relieving the offense of the ongoing growing pains of freshmen Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel. [Orlando Sentinel]
• Mo money, mo problems. More than 300 current college football and men’s basketball players from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Purdue and UCLA have signed a petition asking the NCAA to “realize its mission to educate and protect us with integrity” by giving players an unspecified cut of ever-ballooning revenues. “I really want to voice my opinions,” said Georgia Tech defensive end Denzel McCoy, a redshirt freshman who led 54 other Yellow Jacket players in signing the petition. “The things we go through, the hours we put in, what our bodies go through, we deserve some sort of (results). College football is a billion-dollar industry.”
The petition by current players — a first — joins ongoing lawsuits by former players demanding to be compensated for use of their image in commercial products, among other rights that are standard in every walk of American life not governed by the NCAA. The next item on the agenda, according to perennial NCAA critic Dan Wetzel: A player boycott of minor bowl games. [Associated Press, Yahoo! Sports]
• Berry back in police sights. Ohio State running back Jaamal Berry has been named as a suspect — but not charged — in an assault against a 21-year-old non-student who was allegedly “struck in the face with a closed fist” during an altercation last Friday, according to a campus police report. The victim told police that Berry started yelling “vulgar remarks” at him after he was hit by a car, and proceeded to cross the street and punch both the victim and a friend. Berry was later identified by a witness and by the victim, who confirmed Berry’s identity when he was shown a photo; athletic director Gene Smith said the department is aware Berry may have been involved in an altercation.
The incident is the second alleged assault involving Berry in less than a month, following a bizarre case in which he reportedly attacked another student in a state of unexplained delirium last month. [The Lantern]
Quickly… Washington State‘s student paper calls for Paul Wulff to be fired. … Mysterious vandals target Texas’ campus in Austin. … The Big Ten take on the “Oversigning Bowl.” … Will Muschamp laments “a lot of wasted ink” on the fact that he played at Georgia, whatever “ink” is. … The Knight Commission: Still probin’ after all these years. … And Missouri is still technically a member of the Big 12, but its chancellor wishes the conference “the best, and all of that.”