tagreena's Blog

Former Syracuse media director pleads not guilty in video case

A recently-fired media director for the SU athletic department is at the center of a unlawful surveillance case involving over 100 student-athletes

The former Syracuse University athletics media director pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges he secretly videotaped athletes in the locker room from the spring of 2010 to fall 2012. 

Prosecutors charged Roger Springfield, 57, with four counts of unlawful surviellence. The videos were taken in the locker room of the football and men's lacrosse team, and involves at least 108 male victims, according to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.

Over 10 videos were found, according to authorities. Springfield worked as a sportscaster for 11 years before coming to SU, where he served as media director for the athletics department for over a decade. 

Hackett to join Marrone in Buffalo, reports say

After former SU head football coach Doug Marrone left the Orange to coach the Buffalo Bills, it seems as though his offensive coordinator at Syracuse, Nathaniel Hackett, will run the Bills' offense next season

The Syracuse football coaching carousel continues. Only a few days removed from the news that former Syracuse head football coach Doug Marrome decided to leave for the NFL, it seems as though another integral part of SU's dominant offense will be going with him.

According to a report by Buffalo News' Tim Graham, Syracuse offensive coordinator Nathanial Hackett will become the new Bills offensive coordinator. This on the heels of more uncomfirmed news that defensive coordinator Scott Shafer will replace Doug Marrone as head coach. 

Hackett, 33, who has no NFL coaching experience except as offensive quality coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffallo Bills, was Marrone's offensive coordinator at Syracuse for the past two seasons. He helped engineer an offense that set multiple school records including total offense (6,188), total yards per game (476) and touchdown passes (26). He helped mentor quarterback Ryan Nassib, who broke multiple school records as well and was invited to the 2013 Senior Bowl.

Athletic Director Daryl Gross must now file the voids left by both Marrone and Hackett on the offensive side of the ball, either through internal promotions or outside hires. He is also tasked with finding a new defensive coordintor if Shafer is to replace Marrone.


Marrone leaves SU for NFL

Syracuse head football coach Doug Marrone decided to become the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, according to ESPN.com and NFL.com

Doug Marrone is heading back to the NFL.

After interviewing with the Buffalo Bills Friday night, Syracuse University head football coach Doug Marrone decided to take the job left vacant by Chan Gailey and coach the Bills for 2013-2014 season, according to ESPN.com and NFL.com. 

There has been no word from Marrone yet, nor has any contract been signed.

Marrone became the head coach of the Orange four seasons ago, turning around a program that was a perrenial Big East bottom-feeder. in 2010, Marrone led the Orange to an 8-5 record and it's first bowl victory since 2001. Two years later, the Orange recovered from a 2-4 start to finish 7-6 and win another bowl victory.

Before coming to Syracuse in 2009, Marrone coached in the NFL for six seasons. He was the offensive line coach for the New York Jets from 2002-2005 and was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2008. In 2008, the Saints led the league in total offense and passing offense with Marrone as its coordinator.

Current and former players, as well as recruits have reacted to Marrone's decision via Twitter. Offensive lineman Justin Pugh, who just declared for the NFL draft earlier this month, tweeted "I think we all should appreciate what coach Marrone did for Syracuse. He left the program in much better shape than where he found it."

Former running back Antwon Bailey tweeted "Happy for Marrone. Great coach. Tough that he's leaving the cuse. Changed the mindset of a program, players and fans."

Augustus Edwards and Malik Brown, two players who originally committed to SU, now plan to visit other schools upon hearing about the departure of Marrone.


Pugh declares for NFL draft

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh decided Thursday to forgo his last year at Syracuse University and declare for the NFL draft in April.

Syracuse University football lost another key offensive player Thursday, as standout offensive lineman Justin Pugh declared via his Twitter account that he has decided to declare for the 2013 NFL draft with one year of eligibility left.

"Coach Marrone and Coach Adkins have been great throughout my career, including through this process," Pugh said in a press release. "I wanted to be honest with everyone as I made this decision and they were the same with me. My Syracuse career was the best four years of my life. My teammates, coaches, the staff and the fans have been great. I would not change anything about my decision to attend Syracuse or my career. I am so happy I came to Syracuse University. I will always be active in the Orange football program and the Syracuse community. I love the Orange. Go 'Cuse."

Pugh, who has played for the Orange for three seasons, was a staple in the SU offensive line. After missing a portion of the season due to injury, Pugh anchored an offensive line that paved the wave for a back field that average 187 yards on the ground and helped Jerome Smith to rush for 1,000 yard seasons. 

"Justin is a big part of this program turning the corner," SU head coach Marrone said. "He came in with us four years ago and gave us everything he had. We are proud of him for earning his degree and for what he has accomplished on the field as a leader of this team. He has earned it. I believe he will be very successful at the next level and in everything he does outside of football. Justin will always be part of the Orange football family."

Many of Pugh’s current and former teammates, including Chandler Jones, who declared for the NFL draft a year early last season, supported Pugh’s decision via Twitter.

Going into the draft, Pugh ranks highly among offensive lineman, possibly as going as early as the second round. 



SU defeats Rutgers 78-53 for Boeheim's 903rd win

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim passes Bobby Knight for sole possession of second place with 903 career men's Div. 1 wins as Syracuse wins its Big East opener against Rutgers.

Jim Boeheim keeps making history this season.

With No. 7 Syracuse (13-1, 1-0 Big East) defeating Rutgers (9-3, 0-1 Big East) 78-53 Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome, Boeheim sits only behind current Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski on the all-time Div. 1 wins list. Boeheim, who was tied with Bobby Knight, won game number 903 to take sole possession of second place.

Tuesday's victory also make the first game of Big East play for the Orange, and the continuation of longest, active home-court winning streak at 33 games.

Senior guard Brandon Triche played well, scoring a season-high 25 points, which also lead all scorers. Triche added 6 assists, 4 steals, and shot over 70 percent from the field (8-of-11) and from behind the arc (5-7).

The two teams traded baskets for the first eight minutes of the half, as neither team gained an advantage of more than 6 points. With 8:18 left in the half, the Scarlet Knights took its first lead of the game at 20-18. It was at this point that the Orange re-took control of the game, going on an impressive 21-0 run that lasted until the end of the half. With senior forward James Southerland scoring 7 points and junior forward C.J. Fair scoring 6, the Orange went into halftime leading the Scarlet Knights 39-20.

From there, it was all Orange. Syracuse dominated the second half, going up by as many as 29 after two Triche free throws with 10:48 remaining in the game. When all was said and done, the Orange concluded their last Big East season opener with a defeaning victory over Rutgers.

Two SU players will not participate in Pinstripe Bowl, Marrone says

Syracuse University head football coach Doug Marrone announced Tuesday running back Adonis Ameen-Moore and tight end Max Beaulieu will not play in the Pinstripe bowl on Dec. 29.

After a few weeks of speculating whether or not linebacker Marcus Spruill and running back Steve Rene would play in the 2012 New Era Pinstripe Bowl after being arrested in early December, Syracuse University head football coached Doug Marrone announced Tuesday that two players would not be playing against West Virginia on Dec. 29.

However, the players were not Spruill or Rene, but instead sophomore running back Adonis Ameen-Moore and junior tight end Max Beaulieu. Marrone stated the two players violated athletic department rules, but did not specify further. 

Ameen-Moore had a great season with the Orange this year, scoring 5 touchdowns on 30 carries. He was utilized in goal line formations for Syracuse, providing a bruising alternative to SU's two other running backs. Beaulieu did not play in his first two years at Syracuse, and saw little action in 2012.

The Orange face West Virginia in its second bowl game in three years at Yankee Stadium on Saturday Dec. 29 at 3:15 p.m.



SU's offense stalls in loss to Cincinnati

George Winn and the Bearcats sprinted by the Orange in the second half as they gave SU its fifth loss on the season

The Cincinnati Bearcats (6-2, 2-1 Big East) pulled away in the second half to defeat Syracuse (4-5, 3-2 Big East) 35-24 on Saturday.. Running back George Winn ran for three touchdowns for Cincinnati and threw for one in a back-and-forth game with offense.

SU got off to a rocky start right from the first whistle. Jeremiah Kobena fumbled the opening kick-off, which Cincinnati recovered at the Orange 28 yardline. Four plays later, Winn and the Bearcats scored the first touchdown of the game to take a 7-0 lead.

But the Orange closed out the first half strong, as quarterback Ryan Nassib ran in for a one-yard touchdown to even the score and Ross Krautman converted a 24-yard field goal, giving Syracuse a 10-0 lead.

In the second quarter, the two teams traded touchdowns. Cincinnati re-took the lead 7 minutes into the quarter with a little trickery. Winn took the hand-off on a 4th-and-2, and then threw to a wide-open Travis Kelce for a 37-yard touchdown. Nassib and company responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Alec Lemon to give the Orange a 17-14 lead at halftime.

Winn scored his third touchdown of the day, this time on the ground, from the one-yard line after a controversial fumble by Bearcat quarterback Munchie Leguax rolled out of bounds inside the one-yard line. The Orange responded on the next drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown of its own from Jerome Smith.

After the touchdown, the game took a turn for the worse for Syracuse. On the next Cincinnati possession, SU cornerback Brandon Reddish had the chance to intercept Legaux’s pass in Bearcat territory. The Orange got the ball back, but three plays into the drive, Nassib fumbled the ball and the Bearcats recovered at the 15-yard line.

Quarterback Brandon Kay, who was among five players to attempt a pass for Cincinnati, helped the Bearcats take the lead for the last time. He threw a quick screen pass to Travis Kelce, who took the ball into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown. 

Cincinnati scored the final points of the game one-minute into the fourth quarter on a Winn 2-yard run. The Orange missed a field goal on its next possession, and failed to create any offense for the remainder of the game. 

Next week, the Orange return to the Carrier Dome to play No. 10 Louisville in front of its home crowd.


All photos courtesy of The News Record






Turnovers prove costly in SU's loss to Rutgers

Failure to take advantage of their offensive chances, Orange football falls to Rutgers 23-15 in Piscataway.

There wasn’t too much positive to take out of Saturday afternoon’s 23-15 loss to No. 20 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-0). Turnovers were the killer for Syracuse Orange (2-4). Rutgers forced a total of five turnovers, three of which came at the hands of quarterback Ryan Nassib. 

The Orange played well during the first half of the game. After Rutgers took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the Orange responded in the second with a three-yard touchdown run by Adonis Ameen-Moore. 

Neither of the offenses could really get it going during the first half which worked to Syracuse’s advantage. 

A terrible second half riddled with turnovers ended up being the difference for the Orange. Syracuse turned the ball over five times during the half, and Rutgers turned those giveaways into points almost every time. 

Syracuse had a chance to take the lead in the third, but Duran Harmon of Rutgers blocked Ross Krautman’s field goal attempt and returned the blocked for a 75-yard touchdown to give the Scarlet Knights a 14-7 lead. On the ensuing possession, Nassib fumbled the ball leading Rutgers to a field goal and a 17-7 lead.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Orange looked to put up some points and at least respond to Rutgers’ 10 unanswered points. But when Steve Rene fumbled the ball on a punt return, the Scarlet Knights again took advantage of the turnover and scored to go up 23-7.

Although Nassib threw his first interception later in the fourth, the Orange defense held the Scarlet Knights to no points for the rest of the game. However, the inability of the Syracuse offense to more down the field and score points in the red zone allowed Rutgers to keep its lead.

The lone bright spot of the game came with under five minutes left in the game. Syracuse drew within 8 points of the lead after Nassib threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Christopher Clark, followed by a successful two-point conversion.

Unfortunately, a late Nassib interception ended any hope of an Orange comeback, and Rutgers came out with the victory. 


Strong second half pushes Orange into Sweet Sixteen

Syracuse shot 66 percent in the second half on their way to a 75-59 win over Kansas State in Pittsburgh on Saturday

Three thoughts from Saturday's game:

1. Rakeem Christmas, Melo’s replacement, is improving …

His stat line says it all: 8 points and 11 rebounds. Those are Fab Melo stats right there, minus the blocks. Slowly but surely, Christmas is developing into the player that he was supposed to be coming out of high school. Melo's absence has forced Syracuse to play Christmas more than they probably would have wanted, but he has performed much better now that he is being given the minutes to perform. With Baye Keita and C.J. Fair not playing up to the standards everyone is used to, it’s comforting to see Christmas emerge as the dominant post player that Melo was during the regular season.

2. Scoop Jardine is more clutch than everybody thinks he is …

In the first half, Jardine only had two points. But when the final buzzer sounded, the fifth-year senior had 16 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Jardine’s 3 3-pointers in the second half were the reason why the Orange won. Everyone thinks that Dion Waiters and Kris Joseph are the most clutch players on the floor, but Jardine proved that he has the same ability to perform well in the clutch and help his team win the big games.

3. Streakiness hurts and helps SU …

The Orange went on a big run in the first half that put them up big early on. However, Syracuse also allowed Kansas State to go on a run at the end of the half to cut the lead to one going into halftime. The Orange has struggled with this throughout the year, and it has always allowed opposing teams to come back in games. Saturday’s game could have easily turned that, but Syracuse’s late run helped close out the game and propel them into the Sweet Sixteen.

Three thoughts from SU vs. UConn

No. 2 Syracuse escapes with a narrow win over UConn in Storrs on Saturday night, 71-69

1. Syracuse knows how to close out games…

Even though Syracuse led pretty much the entire game, Connecticut still kept coming back. Give the Huskies credit, they may have had a dismal season, but they all still played like they had a shot to win it. But, when it mattered most, the Orange did exactly what they needed to do to win. This is a pattern that has been going on all season: finding ways to win games. Add the UConn game to the wins at Louisville, Rutgers, and against Georgetown and UConn at home. Luckily for the Orange, they haven’t had to make any shots to win the game in final seconds. Every narrow victory has been a result of great defense and the inability of the opposing team to score the equalizer or the game-winner. It will be interesting to see if the Orange will have to do just that during the postseason.

2. Kris Joseph can take over any game…

Early on, it did not look like any Syracuse player could score, until Joseph started making shots. As soon as he was feeling it from the floor, everybody knew what was coming next: a team-high 21 points, 7 rebounds, and two steals. Joseph came back from his pitiful performance against USF at home and proved once again that he is SU’s go-to guy.

3. Fab Melo has trouble against good bigmen…

It has been a trend this year that Melo has not played particularly well defensively against legitimate bigmen who can score in the post. Melo is great against shorter players who he can easily defend and block, but when it comes to players like UConn’s Andre Drummond, Melo struggles. During the last meeting, Melo played well on Drummond because Drummond took himself out of the game and was injured. On Saturday, the Connecticut freshman lit up Melo for 17 points and 14 rebounds. Melo struggled defending the alley-oop pass and dunk, which was used on multiple occasions by the UConn guards.