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NCAA College Football 2016: Jerry Kill Lands at Kansas State and Other Thoughts

This story has a happy ending.

Jerry Kill had to leave his post as the head coach at Minnesota due to health reasons and reoccurring seizures. That may have ended his career on the sideline, but it hasn’t taken completely away from the game or college athletics.

According to The Sporting News, Kill has agreed to become the associate athletic director and chief administrator for the Kansas State Wildcats’ football program.

Kansas State released a statement with the news of the new hire, calling it a “new administrative phase of his career.” The comments made were to quell any speculation that the move was made to have a coach in waiting when Bill Snyder eventually calls it a career with the program.

Minnesota hired Jerry Kill in December of 2010. He took over for Tim Brewster who was fired during the middle of the season. Kill brought much of his NIU staff with him to Minnesota, including offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, and special teams coordinator Jay Sawvel. While his first season in Minnesota was not particularly successful (finishing with a 3–9 record and one of only two non-bowl eligible teams in the Big Ten), Kill was in the headlines most often due to his health issues.

In 2015, health issues continued to dog him, even though his team started out with a 4-3 record. Worsening health problems led him to retire from his position as head coach on October 28, 2015. He was succeeded by Claeys.

NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROLES

Rachel Margolis Siegal of ESPN.com is reporting there will be a shakeup of roles with college football broadcasting this year at the four-letter network.

Four prominent ESPN commentators will have new college football roles for the upcoming 2016 season, it was announced by Mark Gross, ESPN, senior vice president, production & remote events. Samantha Ponder joins the ABC Saturday Night Football telecast as a reporter, while play-by-play commentator Joe Tessitore moves to the ESPN College Football Primetime game. Additionally, Steve Levy who returns to a weekly college football play-by-play role, forms a team with Brian Griese to call action on ABC or ESPN on Saturday afternoons.

The cable sports station has been undergoing major changes with broadcasting personalities leaving lately. The changes are to enhance coverage throughout the 2016 college football season.

“Our new assignments demonstrate the depth of our roster and the new growth opportunities that exist within ESPN,” said Gross. “We are all anxiously awaiting the start of the 2016 college football season, one we know will be filled with great moments across ESPN networks.”

It has been noted that Ponder will continue contributing to the Saturday College GameDay broadcasts in addition to her new role.

NEW HOME FORMER SYRACUSE PLAYER

Qaadir Sheppard, a defensive end who was kicked off the Syracuse football team appears to have found a home in SEC country.

Sheppard will be playing for Ole Miss, as collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com is reporting.

The Rebels program has not officially announced the news, however, the website is reporting that Sheppard took to his Instagram page to make the announcement.

Just a note, Sheppard’s Instagram page is private so we could not get a snapshot of the announcement.

In early February, Sheppard was dismissed by the Orange for the vague “violation of unspecified team rules.”

Originally, Sheppard was a three-star recruit as part of the program’s 2015 freshman class. As a true freshman last season, Sheppard played in nine games. However, he reportedly failed two drug tests and was suspended for the last two games of 2015 as well as the first four of 2016.

That four-game suspension will not carry over to Ole Miss.

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