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College football briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 18, 2001

Ohio St. finds its coach nearby

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State has a new coach, Jim Tressel, and it didn't have to travel far to find him.

Tressel, who guided Youngstown State to four I-AA championships in 15 seasons, is expected to be introduced today as Buckeyes coach.

The 48-year-old Tressel accepted the job Wednesday, said Jack Rall, chairman of the Ohio State Athletic Council.

Athletic director Andy Geiger called a 4 p.m. news conference but would not confirm the new coach is Tressel.

Local TV and radio reports and the Columbus Dispatch's Web site reported that Tressel would replace John Cooper, who was fired Jan. 2.

Tressel and his wife, Ellen, were in Columbus on Tuesday touring the campus. Tressel met with the advisory committee and spent 90 minutes with Ohio State president William Kirwan.

At a first-day-of-the-semester meeting with his team at 7 a.m. Wednesday, Tressel told players he was interested in the job just 145 miles away. By late afternoon, Tressel had left.

TROUTMAN GOING PRO: Bethune-Cookman quarterback Pa'tell Troutman, the school's all-time leading rusher, decided to enter the NFL draft rather than come back and risk injury. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Daytona Beach native has missed games in each of the past two seasons to injuries. "I've gotten a lot of interest from the NFL teams," he said. "Plus I've suffered enough injuries from college." Troutman said many teams, including Tampa Bay, Miami and Jacksonville, want to try him at wide receiver and tailback, and Green Bay is interested in him as a quarterback.

EX-PASCO STAR DECLARES: Former Pasco High School tailback Cleo Stinyard has decided to forego his senior season at Fort Valley State University in Georgia and declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. The 5-foot-10, 187-pound running back and kick returner said family issues led to his decision to leave less than 20 credits shy of his degree. "I have a little girl and a family," he said.

STOOPS HONORED: Bob Stoops, the Oklahoma coach who led the Sooners to the national title in his second season at the school, received the Bear Bryant Award as the nation's top coach. The Sooners were 13-0 and beat Florida State 13-2 in the Orange Bowl.

MEMPHIS AVOIDED: Talk of recruiting misdeeds has made recruiters leery of looking for players in Memphis, Alabama spokesman Larry White said. Alabama has cut back on recruiting throughout the city, and Kentucky has stopped recruiting at one Memphis school.

BLUE-GRAY GAME: The all-star game lost its sponsor after 14 years, one of the longest sponsorship arrangements in the bowl business. The Christmas Day game was sponsored by Kelly Tires, whose parent company is Goodyear.

AUBURN: Nine assistant coaches, already among the best-paid in the SEC, will be getting raises totaling $121,000.

OREGON ST.: Quarterback Jonathan Smith will miss spring practice because of surgery on his broken left hand.

TENNESSEE: Coach Phillip Fulmer agreed to a contract worth $9.1-million over seven years. Fulmer, who guided the Volunteers to the 1998 national championship, was given a $250,000 raise, boosting his annual pay to $1.3-million, and a two-year extension through 2007.

- Staff writer Jamal Thalji contributed to this report.

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