Auburn dismisses troubled RB Smith
Notes: UGa. reinstates Ealey; UNC hires Robinson a D-line coach
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn running back Eric Smith has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules. Athletics spokesman Kirk Sampson did not elaborate on the reason Monday.
The 5-foot-10, 240-pound junior was primarily used as a blocking back and special teamer for the defending national champions, but also caught five passes for 49 yards.
Smith had missed the first and final game of the 2009 season. He missed the opener after being charged with third-degree assault for an off-campus fight. He was granted youthful offender status.
He was also academically ineligible for the Outback Bowl against Northwestern.
Georgia reinstates RB Washaun Ealey
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia running back Washaun Ealey has been reinstated to the team, less than three weeks after he was suspended for disciplinary reasons. Coach Mark Richt said Ealey, who led the team last season with 811 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, will rejoin team activities on Monday.
"Over the past few weeks, Washaun has done the things we expect him to do, the things we expect all our players to do,'' Richt said in a statement Saturday. "He's been doing things the Georgia way.''
Ealey was suspended Feb. 8, fueling speculation that he was on the verge of transferring. Richt didn't give a specific reason for the punishment, but left the door open for Ealey's return. ESPN.com reported that he failed to show up for disciplinary running.
This wasn't the first time Ealey had been in the coach's doghouse. The sophomore was suspended for the 2010 season opener after his arrest for driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident. Despite missing the game, he was the top rusher on a team that finished 6-7 for Richt's first losing season in 10 years at Georgia.
Georgia's other top tailback, Caleb King, missed the Liberty Bowl with academic issues and was suspended for two games last season for failing to appear in court to deal with a speeding ticket.
Ealey and King will get competition this season from one of Georgia's top signees, Isaiah Crowell of Carver High in Columbus, Ga.
Richt said he expects Crowell to contribute heavily as a freshman, starting with the very first game against Boise State in the Georgia Dome. "I wouldn't be shocked to see him run that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play if he does what he's supposed to do,'' Richt said.
UNC hires Robinson from LSU as D-line coach
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina has hired LSU's Joe Robinson as defensive line coach. Robinson spent the past three seasons with the Tigers coaching the defensive line and serving as special teams coordinator. He worked previously with Tar Heels defensive coordinator Everett Withers at Southern Mississippi in the 1990s.
Robinson replaces Brian Baker, who left after a month to become an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys. Baker had replaced John Blake, who resigned in September after his friendship with NFL agent Gary Wichard became part of the NCAA investigation into the UNC football program.
OSU volunteer assistant strength coach dies
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A volunteer assistant in Ohio State football's strength and conditioning program collapsed and died while playing in a pickup basketball game in the team's practice facility on Friday.
Jake Nickle, a former football player at Capital University, was stricken and fell on the Les Wexner Football Complex's basketball court. He was transported to the Ohio State Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to university spokesman Dan Wallenberg.
Originally from Marysville, Ohio, Nickle was a defensive end at Capital through the 2009 season. He began at Ohio State in January as a volunteer working with the Buckeyes' strength and conditioning coaches.
USC hires Nebraska's Gilmore as WRs coach
LOS ANGELES -- Longtime Nebraska assistant Ted Gilmore is Southern California's new receivers coach. USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced the hiring Thursday.
Gilmore, 43, spent the past six seasons as Nebraska's receivers coach, and the past four as the Huskers' recruiting coordinator. He also was an assistant head coach, but was dumped by coach Bo Pelini in a staff shake-up last week.
Gilmore replaces John Morton, who left USC last month to join Jim Harbaugh's new staff with the San Francisco 49ers.
Gilmore will be in charge of a touted group of receivers who have arrived at USC in the past two years, including Robert Woods, Kyle Prater, Markeith Ambles, Brandon Carswell and incoming recruits George Farmer and Victor Blackwell.