First, a sad story: former USF wide receiver Reshod Durant died last Saturday after an altercation in which another man is facing murder charges.
Durant was a reserve during the 1999 USF season, and scored USF's first ever touchdown against a I-A team, a garbage-time score against San Diego State. He was dismissed from the team two games into the 2000 season, and had trouble with the law throughout his life.
In other news, Big East commissioner Mike Aresco expressed his desire to add a 12th school to the Big East. Lord only knows what school(s) he has in mind, though he did say the league is going to stay east of Texas from now on.
Perhaps even more disturbingly, Aresco dropped that the the Big East "may end up doing a deal with multiple networks." That doesn't sound good. In May 2011, the Big East turned down a nine-year, $1.4 billion offer from ESPN. Discuss amongst yourselves.
Aresco also says he wants to keep the Big East name, but I don't buy that. The name is far more meaningful to the Catholic Seven than the random collection of schools that inherited it. I suspect this posture is to extract maximum value for the name in the negotiation with the Catholic 7. Smart man, this Aresco. If only we'd hired him sooner.
In nearer-term Big East realignment news, the league announced a new set of home/away games for the 2013 season, to reflect San Diego State not joining the league. USF's opponents and sites did not change from what was originally announced. Unfortunately.
The now 10-team league is playing an 8-game schedule, which means each team avoids one opponent. USF does not play Temple; SMU avoids Louisville; Connecticut skips Houston; Memphis misses its one chance to play a conference game against Rutgers; and Cincinnati does not play Central Florida. Inevitably, these omitted games end up influencing conference races; remember 2002, when Iowa and Ohio State both went unbeaten in the Big Ten?
Every Big East team's home and away opponents for 2013 are listed in the link.
USF's softball team was chosen as favorite to win the conference by a panel of Big East coaches. USF edged Notre Dame and Louisville for the preseason honors, with DePaul also getting a first-place vote.
After Willie Taggart
pulled Connor Rafferty's scholarship offer to USF, suggested he keep his options open, Skip Holtz made Rafferty an offer to join him at his new school, Louisiana Tech. He also has an offer from Buffalo.
Some comments from former Bull Dominique Jones seemed to have rubbed coaches the wrong way in Dallas. Late last year, DoJo said the team's problems are in the mirror, and suddenly found himself grabbing some pine, just as he was starting to earn more playing time. One hopes this ends well for DoJo, but it's probably not a good sign that the Mavericks signed temp point guard Mike James for the rest of the season.