COLLEGE FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NATION : Liberty Bowl Has Own Alliance
Five independents announced an agreement to compete among themselves to become host team for the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. Athletic directors from the University of Memphis, Cincinnati, Southern Mississippi, Tulane and East Carolina said the agreement gives their schools an unusually good shot at a bowl berth and could also help in efforts to form a new football conference.
The agreement, which participants call the “Liberty Bowl alliance,” covers this year’s game on Dec. 31 and next year’s Liberty Bowl.
Three Fresno State players were put on indefinite probation for run-ins with the law but will be allowed to play this season.
The players are reserve linebacker Chris Burk, who is charged with mayhem for allegedly biting off part of a man’s lip during a barroom fight; starting linebacker Gene Smith, who is charged with petty theft of vitamins from a health food store, and starting linebacker Ron Papazian, whom police are investigating for alleged shoplifting of garden supplies from a hardware store.
Athletic Director Gary Cunningham said the players were given probations to “assure we don’t have further problems.”
Cunningham also said, “I don’t believe our football program is out of control. I know the controls. I know the discipline Coach (Jim) Sweeney has.”
The Bulldogs will play Ohio State in the Pigskin Classic at Anaheim Stadium on Monday night.
A list of 48 candidates for the Butkus Award, presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Fla., to the nation’s outstanding collegiate linebacker, includes Donnie Edwards of UCLA.
Others on the list include Derrick Brooks of Florida State, Justin Goheen of Notre Dame, Ben Talley of Tennessee, Rohan Marley of Miami and Craig Powell and Lorenzo Styles of Ohio State.