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The Philadelphia Daily News

 

FIRST, LET'S GET this out of the way.

Everyone involved in the Manny Diaz at Temple era has acted as if it's a big surprise move that Miami head coach Mark Richt left down there. Diaz, Richt's defensive coordinator, is officially the new Hurricanes coach, so the Manny Diaz at Temple era lasted 18 days.

But if Richt hadn't left now, and if Miami had another subpar season, Richt would have been gone next season. Did anyone at Temple ask Manny Diaz what he would do if Richt left Miami in the near future? If they didn't, it was because they already knew what Diaz would do, and he's done it.

Now, let's get this out of the way: Anyone who signed a letter of intent with Temple in December, after being recruited by Geoff Collins and his staff - remember Geoff Collins? He used to coach Temple, almost to the end of his second season - and if those high school seniors chose to stick with their own "commitment" after Diaz came aboard, they have to be let out of their own letter of intent. If this doesn't happen, it's a scandal, period. Anyone who is against this shouldn't be working in higher education.

Let's also get this out of the way: Anyone who thought Temple players with proven pro futures should have ignored their own health and played for the glory of the Cherry and White in the (Insert Sponsor Here) Independence Bowl, you owe them an apology. Heck, the Owls weren't even wearing their Cherry and White in the (Insert Sponsor Here) Independence Bowl. New spiffy gray uniforms were designed by (Insert Apparel Company) for the occasion. It could have been any team playing out there.

Let's get this out of the way: Constant coaching turnover negatively impacts football teams. Who could believe it? Twice in the last three years, the head football coach departed for greener pastures, not coaching to the end of the season. Twice, Temple laid a bowl egg. To be clear, interim coach Ed Foley is 0.0000 responsible for those eggs. For starters, an offensive/ special teams coach isn't responsible for a second-half defensive breakdown. And you don't blame the substitute teacher for the unruly class.

The fact is, Foley represented Temple so well, shining a massive positive national spotlight on the school, Temple owes him way more than he owes the school. But by making him interim twice, Temple may have eliminated Foley from the head-coaching candidate pool, since it's hard to announce the guy who is 0-2 in bowls as the next big thing.

Speaking of owing, let's get this out of the way: Diaz and Miami reportedly owe Temple $4 million for his 18 days of service. That's the buyout. That's college sports today. Just don't act as if that's actual found money, since Temple loses millions at football.

Also, St. Joseph's Prep coach Gabe Infante left his job to join the Diaz staff. Temple and Diaz both owe Infante a job. Both would be lucky to have him. Just a little subplot.

In his statement announcing the egg now on Temple's face, athletic director Pat Kraft got two things wrong and one thing very right. Pay attention to the one thing very right.

Kraft got it alittle wrong wishing Diaz the best as he returns home. The man just embarrassed Temple. Don't wish him well. But that's nit-picking. Kraft is a polite man. We get it.

Here's what Kraft got really wrong: "We have already launched a national search..."No, no, no. That's the wrong message. Enough with the national searches. You should know your next man already. Delvon Randall, a Temple star who just finished up, did a great job of explaining the mindset of Temple players when he tweeted Sunday night, "So who is Temple's new head coach..." Randall then added a head-slap emoji. Then he wrote, "somebody coach my boys and stay loyal to them please..." Randall then added a 100 emoji, keeping it real.

The day Diaz was announced, I asked Diaz what kind of minimum time commitment he could offer Temple players.

"You offer them your best every day,'' Diaz said. "Because everything else is out of your control, you know. My theory is, bloom where you're planted."

He said alittle more, but that was the thought. Bloom where you're planted. No guarantees. At least give the man points for honesty, if you can't quite call it integrity.

I asked Kraft at that news conference for his thoughts on the same subject. He said, "Where we are right now, this is a wonderful problem to have. I will take that every single day... If I'm sitting there hugging Coach Diaz on the stage at the Fiesta Bowl and he tells me, 'My dream job is open. I'm going to go.' Go get it, and we'll be right back here bringing the next best coach to Temple."

So there was no Fiesta Bowl, no hug, just a bad loss in the (Insert Sponsor Here) Independence Bowl and a long-distance call from Miami.

As for the rest of it, about the next coach, now pay attention to what Kraft also said in his Sunday night statement. This is the part that matters.

"Our student-athletes deserve excellence and stability and we are searching for the coach who can deliver on both."

That's dead on. You can't bring in the next Collins or Diaz and say he's the best man for the job and it's a great day for the university and (insert next coach's bio and enthusiasm here). It's no longer first down. It's third-and-long and there is full-scale pressure on this decision.

Temple made a great move bringing former Owls assistant Fran Brown back from Baylor as a Diaz assistant. If the thought was that Brown, who apparently interviewed impressively for the head job himself, needed alittle more seasoning but might be the coach in waiting, those thoughts still might all be true, but those were first-down thoughts. We've argued either Brown or Foley would be a fine hire on any down. Particularly now, on third-and-long.

+mjensen@phillynews.com

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USA TODAY

 

It's standard during the regular season for reporters to get weekly access to a few coaches and players, typically the coach and the team's best players. That made media days at the Orange and Cotton Bowls an opportunity to pepper the entire roster and coaching staff from the four College Football Playoff teams -- Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma -- with a series of questions related about the status of the sport. Their responses:

WHAT'S ONE RULE YOU WOULD CHANGE IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL?

"It's football but also making sure player safety is important. I do think they could do a little bit better with the targeting calls. They could be a little more loose with those calls, but other than that everything is fine." -- Alabama defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs

"I mean, we definitely want to get paid." -- Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings

"Dress we have to wear, the uniform stuff. Everything they say we can't do I feel like we should be able to do. From the shirt being out to the knees being out, I don't get the reasoning behind it at all. Whatever, man." -- Notre Dame linebacker Jonathan Jones

"I'd probably say the transfer rule. I mean, a lot of people think it's unfair that coaches can leave and do whatever they want, but if a player wants to leave he has to go through this, sit out or appeal the NCAA decision." -- Oklahoma defensive lineman Ronnie Perkins

"Targeting stuff has been controversial but I think the concept behind it is good. The game needs some of it, but some instances it's been a little hazy. We've had some this year called where I was like I don't know if that's targeting; some that weren't called. I think it's a good rule; the game needs it. Maybe it just needs time, only been in place for a few years. Needs time to develop." -- Clemson tight end Garrett Williams

HOW MANY TEAMS SHOULD BE IN THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF?

"Everyone makes it, 129. FCS starts in the spring and once they win, they get in. Winner of FCS and FBS play each other. Oooh, other rule change: We could do what the Premier League does in soccer where we relegate teams. North Dakota State's up with us now and we send someone else down." -- anonymous

"I see pros with the eight-team playoff. I think it honestly gives you a better chance to see what team is truly the best. But at the same time, that's a lot of games. It takes a toll on the players.... But if you're looking to find the best, the eight-team playoff is the way to go." -- Oklahoma tight end Grant Calcaterra

"As a fan I'd like to see it expand but as a player, we're already playing up to 15 games and I think it'd really deteriorate from the actual playoff if it expands because a lot of people don't play in these bowl games since they're trying to get drafted, don't want to get hurt.... I think four's fine." -- Tanner Muse, Clemson safety

"I like the eight-team. I think four just makes more people talk, and eight might just shut everybody up." -- Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith

WHAT'S THE STRANGEST THING YOU WERE TOLD DURING YOUR RECRUITMENT?

"Oh lord, I'll keep it PG. The strangest thing?... I guess with all the baseball thing I had, I've had a lot of stuff said to me about what I could do. A couple people said I could pitch, a couple said I could come out and hit every once in a while for football and baseball. That I could pitch if I wanted to -- I'm like I don't know, are you trying to sell me some crap?" -- anonymous

"Everyone always brought up, 'The girls here love football players.' And not that it was weird.... I mean, it definitely excited me, but I'm kind of like, I'm 17, I'm sitting with my mom. She doesn't necessarily want to hear that." -- Alabama tight end Hale Hentges

"I was told by one school that when I came on my official visit, I would have a host who was a football player but most of the time I'd be accompanied by a female athlete, also. For the whole weekend. A female. He said he'd put us in contact with a beautiful female athlete to accompany us for the whole weekend." -- Perkins

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN DRUG-TESTED THIS SEASON?

Among the more than 15 players asked, responses mostly ranged from 0 to 4 with an even disbursement.

OTHER THAN YOUR HOME FIELD, WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE STADIUM TO PLAY IN?

"I would say the Cotton Bowl." -- Calcaterra

"Definitely Kyle Field, at Texas A&M. That's so fun to play there. My fiancee, all of her family went to Texas A&M, so this past year it got a bit more significant for me. But I love playing there. It's so loud." -- Hentges

"The most fun I've had in was Boston College this year. I made a tackle on their side, tackle for loss, and then I had a beer thrown at me. I didn't know you could sell beer in a college stadium until it was thrown at me there." -- Muse

SHOULD KYLER MURRAY PLAY FOOTBALL OR BASEBALL?

"Baseball: More money, longer time, more endorsements, more face time, more guaranteed money. I don't love baseball but if he loves it, that's the practical choice." -- Notre Dame safety Devon Studstill

"I feel like he should go like that man Bo Jackson and do both. Go crazy. He pretty cold at both. If he were to do just one, I'd say baseball -- not knocking him because he's a bad quarterback. He's going to be great whatever he does, but if I personally was in that situation, I'd go baseball." -- Jones

"From what I've heard, he's a really good baseball player. Obviously he's a really good football player. Being drafted in the first round of baseball speaks for itself. I don't know what to tell him. I'd say baseball if he got drafted that early." -- Clemson punter Will Spires

WHAT ADVICE DID YOU GET ON THE NFL?

"Stay true to yourself, make your circle smaller and going out, knowing what you want. Never lose love for the game, always try to do your best." -- Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams

"Take it serious. Be all in with it and take it serious." -- Clemson defensive back Trayvon Mullen

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Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)

 

Is the new year inspiring you to get back into shape? If so, you might want to try an exercise tracker, group fitness or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These are the top three fitness trends for 2019, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, and each has been ranked highly for several years.

For its 13th annual forecast, ACSM asked more than 2,038 fitness professionals employed by commercial gyms, medical facilities, nonprofit organizations and corporate health programs to rank 39 possible fitness trends. Among some changes and surprises, core training and circuit weight training fell out of the top 20 trends, while Pilates and online training didn't make the top 20. Here's a look at the top five in ACSM's Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019.

Wearable technology moved back to No. 1 after falling to No. 3 in 2018. "The wearables, even the low-end ones, have gotten more accurate," says Walter Thompson, the 2017-2018 ACSM president and author of the report, which appeared in the November/December issue of ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. "That may help explain why they're back at the top."

Although the survey results indicate that we love to measure our outcomes, the continuing popularity of group fitness, at No. 2, suggests we don't want to compete just against ourselves. "Some smart psychologist out there might say the millennials have access to all the technology in the world, and yet they still want to be part of a community," says Thompson, referring to the generation the health industry is most interested in capturing.

"Group exercise is the future," says Devon Maier, managing director of Balance Gym, a Washington, D.C.-based gym. "It definitely delivers on the community aspect, but you also have the instructor who motivates and pushes you harder."

Also important are the accountability and acknowledgment inherent in a class of regulars, Maier says. When you do a good job, you get a shout, and when you don't, you might hear about that, too. "If I am part of the 6:30 a.m. cycle class, I know I need to be there or they (the instructor and fellow cyclists) will give me crap next time I show up."

Group fitness, of course, is not something new. But Maier argues that it is different from what we saw in the 1970s and '80s with personalities such as Richard Simmons. "It's driven by boutique studios that do one thing and they do that one thing well. It's inspired everyone to up their game," Maier says. "A cycling class today is much better than just a few years ago" because it incorporates more aspects of exercise, such as varying levels of intensity.

This brings us to No. 3 on the list: HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training. This type of training is generally 30 minutes or less and incorporates short, intense intervals that can push your effort level up to 90 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. It has long been a mainstay among elite athletes, but has just recently made its way into the time-crunched public. "I think at first we were all afraid that HIIT would lead to increased injuries in the general public, but that has not proven to be true," says Thompson, who is also an associate dean and professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University. "There is no more risk of injury than any other exercise."

Instead, HIIT has taken the country by storm as people try to squeeze in an effective workout between 1,000 other obligations. This is the case for Patrick Serfass of Washington, who has two young children. Serfass used to do triathlons and run multiple races every year, but since he became a father a few years ago, time is short.

"The block of time for endurance is no longer there," Serfass says. "But if I can get 30 minutes of high intensity in two or three times a week, I feel that's pretty effective for basic fitness."

HIIT is a great candidate for group fitness, because it's hard to self-motivate at that top level of exertion, says Maier, who is also the managing operator of F45 U Street, a new group training studio that incorporates HIIT, body-weight and circuit training.

"No one is going to want to do (HIIT) on their own. It's more realistic to do it in a class and have a coach who knows what they're doing," he says, adding that keeping track of the timing of 20-second drills, short rests and the number of reps can already be overwhelming.

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Copyright 2019 The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Steve Alford has been fired as UCLA basketball coach midway through his sixth season, with the Bruins mired in a four-game skid that included losses at home to Belmont and Liberty.

Athletic director Dan Guerrero said Monday that assistant Murry Bartow will serve as interim coach through the end of the season.

UCLA is 7-6 and in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament despite a talented roster that includes sophomore Kris Wilkes and freshman Moses Brown.

Alford's final game was a 73-58 loss to Liberty on Saturday, the worst home defeat in his tenure. The Bruins committed 24 turnovers and missed a season-high 22 three-pointers.

It's unusual for UCLA to fire a coach in the middle of the season, but with the Bruins set to open Pac-12 play Thursday against Stanford at home, Guerrero is clearly hoping it spurs a turnaround.

"While Steve led us to three Sweet 16 appearances, we simply have not been performing at a consistent level," Guerrero said in a statement.

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