Junior safety changes mind about draft

Updated: January 14, 2005, 2:58 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tennessee: Safety Jason Allen will stay for his senior season instead of heading to the NFL after leading the SEC in tackles as a junior.

"I have made a decision to stay here at the University of Tennessee another year," Allen said Thursday. "I feel like we're going to definitely be one of the best teams out there in the country."

He had 123 tackles, two interceptions and forced three fumbles this season. He was a third-team All-American and graduated in December.

Ohio State: Ohio State president Karen Holbrook has appointed a 15-member search committee to find a replacement for retiring athletic director Andy Geiger.

The university announced the committee Thursday.

The committee includes two athletes -- football player Brandon Mitchell and volleyball player Jackie Schardt. Two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, a longtime associate AD, is also on the committee.

Geiger says he will step down on June 30th.

The committee's chairman is Joe Alutto, dean of Ohio State's college of business. The coaches on the committee are men's lacrosse coach Joe Breschi and women's soccer coach Lori Walker.

Tami Longaberger, chair of the board of trustees, is also on the committee.

Holbrook also says a search firm has been hired to assist the committee.

Colorado: One of the state's top high school players says he is headed to the Buffaloes.

Tailback Maurice Greer, who led Mullen to the Class 5A state championship and rushed for more than 2,000 yards, made a verbal commitment Tuesday.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Greer is ranked No. 13 among national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming's top 25 tailbacks. He said the biggest factors in his choice was playing near family and a "trust" in coach Gary Barnett and the rest of the Colorado staff.

Grand jury materials ordered released to indicted recruiting aide: The only person indicted in the university's football scandal won the right to review all materials from a grand jury that investigated the scandal but lost a bid to have the case suspended based on alleged leaks from the secret panel.

The materials ordered released could include transcripts of conversations between prosecutors and grand jurors, testimony by witnesses, and a fraud investigator's report on the CU athletic department's finances and a private foundation.

Nathan Maxcey, 28, was charged with soliciting a prostitute and embezzlement of public property by misusing his university-issued cell phone. Maxcey, who flew in from Texas to attend the hearing, did not enter a plea and refused to comment to reporters afterward.

"I don't know if there is any information in that material that may be exculpatory for Mr. Maxcey," Maxcey's attorney Patrick Mulligan argued before the judge. "But there is a great wealth of additional (material) that I need to parse through to determine what may or may not be relevant."

District Judge Daniel Hale ordered the material released under seal, meaning only Mulligan and his investigators have access to the information.

Arizona: Former Oklahoma quarterback and current Sooners graduate assistant Josh Heupel has been hired as a full-time assistant at Arizona.

Heupel confirmed the hiring in an interview with the Tulsa World, Arizona head coach Mike Stoops, a former OU defensive coordinator, will formally announce the hiring soon.

Heupel said he will coach tight ends and either offensive tackles or fullbacks.

"The opportunity at Arizona is a unique one," Heupel said, "and one I'm excited about.

"It's a place where I'll be able to go in and look for some more ideas offensively with an upstart program."

Arizona was just 3-8 last season, Stoops' first, but won two of its last three games, including an upset over ranked opponent Arizona State in the season finale.

The Wildcats current recruiting class is ranked by some as among the top 20 in the nation.

Heupel transferred to OU from Snow (Utah) Junior College and after a 7-5 season in 1999 he led the Sooners to a 13-0 record and the 2000 national championship. He still holds school records for most 300-yard games (eight), 400-yard games (two) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (25).

LSU: Left offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth has decided to stay for his senior season, forgoing a chance to enter the NFL draft.

Whitworth said Wednesday that he was optimistic about new coach Les Miles' goals for the program -- and the commitment of the other upcoming seniors. He said he made the decision after meeting with Miles and talking with friends, family, an NFL advisory committee and his teammates.

"It's definitely something we have on our minds, to be successful, and we're going to make sure we get that done," said Whitworth, a former standout at West Monroe High School.

Miles, who succeeded Nick Saban as LSU coach on Jan. 3, was pleased by Whitworth's decision

"Anytime you postpone wealth for what is the common good of a team, to extend a college career and enjoy college for another year, to be a kid again and not have to worry about being a paycheck guy, it takes a guy with real values, who understands perspective and intangibles," Miles said after Whitworth made his announcement.

Alabama: Quarterback Spencer Pennington is leaving the team to focus on baseball.

Pennington, the team's No. 3 quarterback at the start of the season, started the final seven games after starter Brodie Croyle and backup Marc Guillon were injured.

"We went our separate ways, but in a positive manner," Pennington said Wednesday. "They were very supportive."

Pennington, a first baseman-outfielder, was redshirted in baseball last season after separating his throwing shoulder and has three years of eligibility left. He turned down a six-figure signing bonus after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

Utah State: Coach Brent Guy has hired Greg Stevens and Vance Vice as assistants.

Stevens has spent the last four seasons as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Stephen F. Austin under former coach Mike Santiago, the Aggies' new offensive coordinator.

Stevens will coach receivers at Utah State.

Stevens grew up in Ephraim, Utah, and played quarterback at Snow College and Eastern Oregon.

Stevens has also coached at Snow College, Eastern Arizona and Mesa State.

Vice played tight end at Oklahoma State when Guy was an assistant coach for the Cowboys. He will coach Utah State's offensive line after spending six years at Illinois State.

Vice has also coached at Murray State and Clemson.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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