Tennessee rules Couch ineligible against Ducks
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Butch Jones says defensive lineman Maurice Couch has been ruled ineligible for Saturday’s game against No. 2 Oregon while the university investigates allegations he was one of five Southeastern Conference players to receive improper benefits.
“As of right now, the situation with Mo Couch is we’ve declared him ineligible for this game,” Jones said Thursday during his weekly interview with Nashville radio station 104.5. “Right now our compliance group is currently in the process of working through all the details and logistics of the situation. That’s all we kind of know right now, but as of right now moving forward, he will not make the trip to Oregon.”
Jones later told the Associated Press via text message that it was Tennessee’s compliance department that ruled the 6-foot-2, 304-pound Couch ineligible.
A Yahoo Sports report cited text messages and financial records of former Alabama defensive end Luther Davis, along with an unnamed NFL source who said Davis was a go-between for the players with NFL agents and financial advisers. Couch, a senior from Orlando, Fla., was the only active college player named in the report, which said Couch had received four payments totaling $1,350.
The other players named in the report were former Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, former Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and former Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis.
Snedeker catches fire in round one of BMW
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Brandt Snedeker was making so many birdies that even an 18-foot putt looked like a mere tap-in.
When he finished his amazing run Thursday in the BMW Championship, he had seven straight birdies on his card and an 8-under 63 at blustery Conway Farms.
“You get on runs like that, you get excited for the next hole because you know something good is going to happen, because you’re in such a good frame of mind and everything is going in the right direction,” Snedeker said.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Zach Johnson in the third FedEx Cup playoff event. Tiger Woods sounded disgusted with his round of 66, mainly because he had a pair of three-putt bogeys and missed a 4-foot birdie putt over his last five holes.
“I’m not exactly real happy,” Woods said. “I played well, and I just didn’t get much out of that round. I missed three little short ones in there and then played the par 5s even par. That’s just not very good.”
Steve Stricker, Charl Schwartzel and Kevin Streelman also were at 66.
Phil Mickelson shot a 1-under 70 while Lee Westwood, fighting severe pain in his back and ribs, had an 80.