Tulane punter shot in hunting incident

Updated: November 14, 2005, 2:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tulane Green Wave: Tulane punter Chris Beckman was expected to recover from a gunshot wound he sustained at the end of a hunting expedition, authorities said.

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said Beckman, 22, of Grenada, Miss., was struck Sunday in the abdomen by a large-caliber rifle bullet that ricocheted off a small metal target at which he and three others had been firing.

The case was being treated as an accident, Stone said. Beckman was listed in stable condition at a hospital.

The shooting happened off Louisiana Highway 33 after Beckman and the others, including his brother, had returned to a staging area after a hunt.

The Green Wave football team is enrolled at Louisiana Tech while its campus is repaired from Hurricane Katrina for the resumption of classes in January. Beckman is expected to miss Tulane's final two games against Tulsa on Saturday in Monroe and at Southern Miss on Nov. 26.

Beckman, a three-year starter at punter and a first team all-Conference USA selection choice year, had returned to Ruston with the Tulane team from Houston, where the Green Wave lost to Rice 42-34 on Saturday.

Vanderbilt Commodores: Sophomore running back Jeff Jennings will miss at least five months with a torn ligament in his right knee, the Nashville City Paper reported.

Jennings will undergo surgery in the coming weeks and will miss spring drills. He is expected to begin rehabilitating next summer in preparation for the 2006 season.

Jennings rushed for 476 yards and seven touchdowns this season.

Central Florida Knights: Cornerback Ron Ellis has been suspended indefinitely after being arrested for sexual battery.

Authorities said Monday that the 20-year-old junior is accused of sexually assaulting a woman Nov. 1 while she was drunk. Ellis was arrested two days later and released Nov. 5 on $5,000 bond, UCF police Sgt. Troy Williamson.

An arrest report said Ellis and others were drinking in the woman's apartment when he followed her into her room and touched her inappropriately.

UCF Coach George O'Leary said he would not determine Ellis' future until the school's student disciplinary panel has reviewed the case. Ellis has been ordered not to consume alcohol, use drugs or have contact with the alleged victim.

The former Palm Bay High standout started nine games for UCF and appeared in 25 games in three seasons.

Hofstra coach retires
Football coach Joe Gardi retired Monday after 16 seasons with a school he guided from Division III to a consistent winner in I-AA.

Gardi will coach his final game Saturday at home against Massachusetts. His record of 118-62-2 and .654 winning percentage are both second best in school history. Hofstra (6-4) is out of playoff contention entering the finale.

Gardi was an assistant coach for the New York Jets from 1976-84 and worked as the NFL's assistant supervisor of officials for five years before taking over at Hofstra in 1990.

He helped the school jump from Division III to I-AA in 1994. Hofstra went 8-1-1 in its first season as a I-AA member. Gardi was I-AA coach of the year in 1995 after Hofstra went 10-1 in the regular season.

The Pride have been to the I-AA playoffs five times in the last 10 years under Gardi, and he has had 10 winning seasons.

Gardi was an offensive lineman for at Maryland from 1956-60 and started his college coaching career at the school in 1970.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.