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College football player cut from team after kneeling for national anthem

A Pennsylvania quarterback is off his college team after he knelt for the national anthem for the second game in a row.

>> Do students have to stand for the Pledge, anthem?

Gyree Durante, a sophomore, is a second-string quarterback at Albright College in Reading. He said his decision to kneel was a protest against racism and social injustices in the nation. Durante, who is a native of Norristown, told WCAU: “At some point in life, there’s going to be a time when you’ve got to take a stand. For me, it just happened to be on Saturday afternoon.”

>> On Rare.us: A San Francisco 49ers player went after VP Mike Pence for leaving the football game

A spokeswoman for the college said the decision to stand during the anthem was agreed upon by the entire team. She says the team agreed to kneel during the coin toss and stand during the anthem. The spokeswoman explained that the decision to kneel was done “out of the mutual respect team members have for one another and the value they place on their differences.” Her statement went on to say that Durante’s decision to kneel showed that he “chose not to support team unity,” leading to his dismissal from the team.

>> Pence abruptly leaves Colts game after players take a knee during anthem

Durante’s teammates said they believe their colleague broke the trust of the team. One freshman said: "Time and time again he told us he would stand. … When you can’t have a player on a team that you can trust, he’s got to go.”

>> Read more trending news

Read more here.

Joe Tiller, former Purdue football coach, dies at 74

Former Purdue football coach Joe Tiller died Saturday. He was 74.

Tiller's death was announced on the Purdue football program’s Twitter account.

>> Read more trending news

Tiller set the record for most wins in the school's football program. He coached the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2008, where his overwall record was 87-62, ESPN reported. Tiller began his head coaching career at Wyoming. 

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees released a statement to offer his condolences. Brees attended Purdue from 1997-2000 and led the Boilermakers to a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl appearance during the 2000 season, according to the quarterback’s official website.

Alabama football coach Nick Saban: NFL protests not meant to disrespect veterans, military

The question came off as a loaded one.

A fan, who identified himself as a retired veteran, called in to the weekly Nick Saban radio show on Thursday to ask the University of Alabama football coach for his opinion on the NFL protests and whether Saban’s former players who have protested would be welcome back in the locker room or on the sideline.

>> Read more trending news

As Saban did during his Monday news conference, he began his response with the “I’m just a football coach” line.

“I don’t have all the answers to the problems that we have in society,” he said.

>> Related: Donald Trump says NFL anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

The topic of football players kneeling in protest during the national anthem has dominated the sports landscape since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took a knee last year in protest of police brutality against minorities. Scrutiny intensified after President Donald Trump last week called the protests disrespectful and suggested that players who don’t stand during the anthem should be fired.

“The one thing that’s a little disappointing to me is something that has always been real unifying … is no longer that way,” Saban said Thursday. “That is a little bothersome to me. I don’t think that what these people are doing is in any way, shape or form are meant to disrespect a veteran or somebody like yourself, who has worked so hard, fought so hard and sacrificed so much for all of us to have the quality of life that we want to have.

>> Related: Steelers fans burn memorabilia over national anthem stance

“But one of the things that you also fought for and made sacrifice for was that we all could have the freedom to have choice in terms of what we believe, what we did and what we said. This is not something -- look, I respect people’s individual rights. I have my opinion in terms of what I would do and how I would do (it). I would not want to ever disrespect the symbols that represent the values of our country. But, I also respect individual differences that other people have. I think they have the right to express those. Whether it’s our players or somebody else, whether I agree or disagree, I think they have the right to do that.”

>> Related: WWII veteran, 97, kneels in support of NFL's national anthem protests

College football players stay in the locker room during the national anthem.

No. 1 Alabama hosts Ole Miss on Saturday at 9 p.m. EDT.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Auburn, Oklahoma State, USC coaches among 10 charged with corruption

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday announced charges against 10 people accused of participating in a pair of college basketball bribery schemes, including four coaches in top-tier college basketball programs and employees of global sportswear apparel giant Adidas.

>> Read more trending news 

“The picture painted by the charges brought today is not a pretty one,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities allege that four coaches took bribes to steer their student athletes toward financial advisers, business managers and athletic advisers, including Jim Gatto, listed online as the director of global marketing for Adidas; and Munish Sood, identified by The Washington Post as chief executive of financial advisory company Princeton Capital.

Prosecutors identified the charged coaches as Auburn University assistant coach Chuck Person, University of Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland, University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson and Oklahoma State University assistant coach Lamont Evans.

BYU is allowing Coca-Cola, caffeinated soda on campus and everyone is freaking out

On Thursday morning, Brigham Young University announced the university will offer caffeinated soft drinks – including Coca-Cola – on campus and fans couldn’t contain their excitement.

The BYU Twitter account posted the news along with a Q&A with BYU director of dining services Dean Wright on the decision to bring caffeinated soft drinks on the Provo, Utah, campus for the first time since the mid-1950s.

>> Read more trending news

BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and requires students to adhere to a strict honor code in line with the church’s beliefs. The honor code enforces a mandated dress code, personal grooming standards as well as abstinence from premarital sex, drugs and alcohol.

BYU is the largest religious university and third-largest private university in the United States.

>> Click here or scroll down for more

Former Heisman winner Ricky Williams arrested on traffic warrants

Former Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams was arrested in Texas on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show.

>> Read more trending news 

Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said.

He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show. 

Williams, who starred at the University of Texas and played seven seasons in the NFL, is currently a football analyst for ESPN's Longhorn Network. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1998 and was the second Longhorn to win college football’s top prize, and was also a two-time All-American.

Earlier this year, Williams said he was racially profiled while walking through a neighborhood in Tyler. A man called 911 when he "observed a black male, wearing all black, crouched down behind his wire fence," and Tyler police stopped and searched Williams, according to media reports

Williams was taken to the Travis County Jail 17 years ago, when he was playing for the New Orleans Saints, when he refused to sign a traffic ticket, according to previous media reports

Booted twice: Texas Lutheran kicker converts FG after attempt was blocked

It was definitely the strangest field goal ever made in college football, and while it might not be legal, it counted Saturday during Texas Lutheran’s 37-0 victory.

>> Read more trending news 

Texas Lutheran was attempting an 18-yard field goal late in the first half against Belhaven (Miss.) when it was blocked. The ball bounced back toward freshman Tyler Hopkins, who kicked it a second time. The ball sailed through the uprights, and after some discussion among the referees, the field goal attempt was declared good. It overshadowed the first shutout victory for Texas Lutheran since 2008 as the Bulldogs intercepted three passes.

But was the kick legal?

The NCAA’s football rulebook says “a player shall not kick a loose ball,” and doing so is a 10-yard penalty that carries a loss of down, SBNation reported.

“A scrimmage kick that fails to cross the neutral zone continues in play. All players may catch or recover the ball behind the neutral zone and advance it,” SBNation reported, citing the NCAA rulebook.

And here is an end zone view:

Texas Lutheran improved to 1-1 overall in its American Southwest Conference opener. Belhaven fell to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Poll reveals racial divide over whether college athletes should be paid

Should college athletes be paid beyond their full scholarship? The results of an August poll by the Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell show a racial divide in the answer to that question.

>> Read more trending news

When coaches are being paid millions, and sports facilities cost tens of millions, some say athletes should also be compensated.

Although 52 percent of Americans believe a scholarship is enough, 54 percent of black Americans said they believe athletes should be paid based on the revenue they generate. 

"The schools are making an awful lot of money, and the coaches are making millions and millions of dollars, and they're (the players) the ones bringing in the money, really," one black respondent said.

But whites see things differently. 

"The whole reason they go to college is to get an education, and a scholarship should be enough," a white nurse said. "They shouldn't be paid to play football."

The majority of whites who took the poll agreed with her.

Take an in-depth look at what some economists and labor lawyers call a critical problem with college sports on myajc.com

Hurricane Irma: Tim Tebow works with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in preparing for storm

Tim Tebow is doing charitable things once again.

>> Click here for complete Hurricane Irma coverage from the Palm Beach Post

Per "The Paul Finebaum Show," the former Florida Gators quarterback is working alongside Gov. Rick Scott in helping the Sunshine State prepare for Hurricane Irma, which is supposed to arrive this weekend.

>> Hurricane Irma: Live updates

Irma already has caused the cancellation of several college football games, including the Gators hosting Northern Colorado on Saturday. Miami decided not to travel to Arkansas State, and South Florida vs. Connecticut also was postponed.

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Irma approaches Florida

Scott has been asking Florida citizens to volunteer to assist those who are in need as the disastrous storm heads their way.

>> Read more trending news

People willing to volunteer can go to VolunteerFlorida.org to sign up.

King of the Hill: ACC Power Rankings (Week 2)

Now that we're underway, I wanted to throw out my weekly power rankings for the first time this season. As a reminder, these rankings take into consideration how a team has played all year and aren't simply based on their last game. There is weight given to what a team has done lately, though.

That said, here are my rankings after the first week of action. These typically fluctuate quite a bit for the first half of the season before settling in once we have a better idea of where teams fit.

Regarding Pitt, I don't think they're nearly as bad as the final score of that Youngstown State game showed. But I also couldn't legitimately slot them higher than teams who won their opener by 40 and 50 points, either.

1. Clemson (1-0) - Crushed Kent State, 56-3

2. Florida State (0-1) - Lost to Alabama, 24-7, and also lost quarterback Deondre Francois for the season with an injury

3. Virginia Tech (1-0) - Impressive 31-24 win over No. 22 West Virginia

4. Louisville (1-0) - Close 35-28 win over Purdue

5. Miami (1-0) - Easy 41-13 win over Bethune-Cookman

6. Georgia Tech (0-1) - Lost 42-41 in double overtime vs. No. 25 Tennessee

7. North Carolina State (0-1) - 35-28 loss to South Carolina

8. North Carolina (0-1) - 35-30 loss to Cal

9. Duke (1-0) - 60-7 win over North Carolina Central

10-. Wake Forest (1-0) - 51-7 win over Presbyterian

11. Syracuse (1-0) - 50-7 win over Central Connecticut

12. Pitt (1-0) - 28-21 overtime win over Youngstown State

13. Virginia (1-0) - 28-10 win over William & Mary

14. Boston College (1-0) - Narrow win over Northern Illinois, 23-20

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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