Sports News

College football notebook: A&M seeks culprit in Manziel uniform theft

Police at Texas A&M haven’t exactly got their man in the theft of a Johnny Manziel uniform from the Hall of Champions at the school’s football stadium on campus in College Station, Texas, but they have identified a man they want to interview.

Campus police on Thursday released a photo of man whom they are calling a person of interest in the Aug. 26 theft, in which the uniform of the 2012 Heisman-winning quarterback was taken off a mannequin at the 30,000-square-foot museum at Kyle Field.

Within a few hours of posting the surveillance camera image, police said they’ve identified the man. He was wearing Texas A&M apparel, but ESPN cited an athletic department spokesman in reporting the man is not an Aggies student-athlete.

Manziel played two years at the school, completing 68.9 percent of his passes in throwing for 7,820 yards and 63 touchdowns and rushing for 2,169 yards and 30 scores on 345 carries. The first freshman to win the Heisman, Manziel finished fifth in the voting the next year.

--Defensive lineman Antonio Alfano, Alabama’s top recruit in the Class of 2019, hasn’t shown up for practice this week amid disciplinary issues.

Coach Nick Saban addressed Alfano’s status with reporters Wednesday night, saying, “He’s kind of disappeared a little bit. I talked to our team today about the fact that people make mistakes. We all mistakes. ... But I think you compound the problem when you don’t confront the mistakes that you make and you create greater consequences for yourself because of the choices and decisions that you make after you make a mistake. So hopefully this will be a learning experience for all the guys on our team.”

Alfano, from New Jersey, was suspended for an undisclosed reason for last Saturday’s game against New Mexico State and wasn’t on the sideline. He is allowed to practice during the suspension but has missed three practices this week.

--Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. will be a game-time decision Saturday at No. 6 Ohio State.

The redshirt freshman is dealing with an unspecified injury, described by Hoosiers coach Tom Allen as “something not feeling right.” Penix has completed 38 of 60 passes for 523 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in two games this year.

Allen was stingy with the details but did say the injury shouldn’t be long term and that it did not occur in last weekend’s 52-0 victory over Eastern Illinois.

--Less than two weeks after starting Cal’s season opener, redshirt freshman tight end McCallan Castles said he is entering the NCAA transfer database.

Castles started the Golden Bears’ 27-13 victory against UC Davis on Aug. 31, but had dropped to third on the depth chart behind sophomores Jake Tonges and Gavin Reinwald.

The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Castles, who caught one pass for 15 yards in 2018, did not have any receptions in two games this year.

--After surrendering 80 points in its first two games, Florida State added former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt to its defensive staff.

Leavitt, 62, will have the role of defensive analyst and will be tasked with helping defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett with game-planning, Seminoles coach Willie Taggart said.

Leavitt was Taggart’s defensive coordinator during the latter’s lone season as coach at Oregon in 2017.

--Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer hasn’t ruled out a return to coaching after stepping down from his post earlier this year.

“I’m not there at the moment,” Meyer told when asked if he’d consider coaching in 2020. “Like you said, next year can I say that? We’ll talk again next year and we’ll see.”

Meyer’s response is a change from where he was in May, when he told The Columbus Dispatch, “All I’m going to say is I believe I’m done (coaching). I think I’m done.”

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