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Selvie named Big East's top defender
By BRENDAN GALELLA, Times Correspondent
Published December 6, 2007
After missing out on two national awards, USF defensive end George Selvie was honored by his conference Wednesday.
The sophomore was named the Big East defensive player of the year after getting passed over for the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Ted Hendricks Award.
"How about that? Isn't that neat? It's great for George," coach Jim Leavitt said. "I think George would tell you that when he wins an award, the University of South Florida wins an award."
Selvie led the nation in tackles for a loss (31.5) and ranks second in sacks (14.5), but Virginia's Chris Long won the Hendricks Award as the nation's best defensive end, getting more than 60 percent of the votes, the most in the award's six-year history. Earlier in the week LSU defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey won the Nagurski (top defensive player).
West Virginia quarterback Pat White was named Big East offensive player of the year and Cincinnati's Brian Kelly was named coach of the year.
The 6-foot-4, 242-pound Selvie was one of three Bulls named to the All-Big East first team, along with linebacker Ben Moffitt and cornerback Mike Jenkins.
Cornerback Trae Williams, guard Ryan Schmidt and linebacker Tyrone McKenzie were named to the second team.
In other news, senior wide receiver Amarri Jackson, who missed the final four games of the regular season with a bruised bone in his knee, is expected to play in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
UF starter charged
GAINESVILLE - Florida starting defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, former Gator Jonathan Demps and former LSU standout and Olympic hopeful Xavier Carter were arrested early Wednesday after an altercation at a sandwich shop.
According to Gainesville Police Sgt. Art Adkins, Cunningham and Demps were involved in a verbal dispute with a clerk at Jimmy John's sandwich shop on 1724 W University Ave.
"They were told they had to pay for a bag of chips," he said. "They became verbally abusive, struck the employee with empty soda cans and a sandwich, and then fled the store."
According to the arrest report, Cunningham threw empty cups and soda cans, while Demps hurled the sandwich.
Demps and Cunningham were charged with simple batter, a misdemeanor. Carter, who recently moved to Gainesville to train under UF track coach Mike Holloway, was charged with resisting arrest without violence.
All were released on their own recognizance Wednesday morning, according to court records, and were ordered not to have contact with the sandwich shop employee. Carter was ordered not to have contact with Demps or Cunningham.
Cunningham, who played in all 12 games, was not at practice. He is tied for the team lead with 6 1/2 sacks and is third with 62 tackles. Cunningham is the ninth player arrested since the Gators won the national championship in January. His status for the Capital One Bowl is uncertain.
"Once I know the whole thing, I will let you know what we are going to do, how serious it was," coach Urban Meyer said. "Sounds like complete ignorance. Which I guess in my world, I have to deal with a lot of ignorance."
TEBOW HONORED: The Associated Press named Florida quarterback Tim Tebow the SEC offensive player of the year. Dorsey was defensive player of the year, Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom was coach of the year and Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno was freshman of the year. UF's Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes joined Tebow on the AP's first team.
ZOOK UP FOR HONOR: Illinois' Ron Zook is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson coach of the year award. The others: Missouri's Gary Pinkel, Kansas' Mark Mangino, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, Air Force's Troy Calhoun, Arizona State's Dennis Erickson, Hawaii's June Jones and Ohio State's Jim Tressel.
FAU: Owls quarterback Rusty Smith, who passed for a Sun Belt-record 3,352 yards, was named conference player of year and Howard Schnellenberger was coach of the year.
PENN STATE: Two players face trial next year on misdemeanor charges stemming from an on-campus fight, but more serious charges were dismissed at a preliminary hearing. Defensive tackle Chris Baker and backup linebacker Navorro Bowman were ordered to stand trial on misdemeanor charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct as well as a summary violation of harassment and stalking.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix is no longer in the running for the coaching job at Southern Miss.
SYRACUSE: Four days after he said he would shake up things, coach Greg Robinson said he was replacing offensive coordinator Brian White. Of 119 schools, Syracuse was 116th in scoring (16.4), 114th in total offense (291.9), and 118th in sacks and rushing (62.6).
WASHINGTON: With an 11-25 record in three seasons, coach Tyrone Willingham will return.The school would have owed him $3-million had it bought out his contract before Jan. 3. "My message to them would be please hold on," Willingham said of a faction hoping a change would be made.
Times staff writer Antonya English contributed to this report, which used information from Times wires.