Charlotte FC defender Anton Walkes dies at 25 after boating accident
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Anton Walkes, a player who spent the entire 2022 season with Charlotte FC, died early on Thursday morning following a boating accident in South Florida, the club announced. He was 25.
Walkes was in critical condition after two boats crashed near Miami Marine Stadium on Wednesday around 3 p.m., according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Miami Herald reported that he was found unconscious and received CPR from Miami Fire Rescue.
Charlotte FC had arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 9 to begin a 12-day training camp to kick off its 2023 preseason. — Alex Zietlow, The Charlotte Observer
Michigan’s Harbaugh acknowledges Level II violations, denies lying
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, facing a Level I allegation from the NCAA for lying to investigators, has acknowledged the program has committed four Level II violations, but he will not agree to state on or off the record he lied to investigators.
The news was first reported early Thursday by Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, and The Detroit News confirmed the information with a source close to the situation. The source requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Michigan, which is trying to secure Harbaugh, 59, long term with what is expected to be a lucrative contract extension, has met several times this week with the NCAA, according to sources, as both sides have attempted to work toward a negotiated resolution in this matter. That is a preferred outcome with the NCAA, which would avoid a protracted process that could last well into the year. Michigan could propose self-imposed sanctions, and the NCAA also could impose a multi-game suspension on Harbaugh.
Still, Harbaugh, entering his ninth season as Michigan head coach, has been resolute he will not agree to the allegation he lied to investigators.
— Angelique S. Chengelis,
The Detroit News
Bucs fire OC Byron Leftwich as part of housecleaning
TAMPA, Fla. — Following a losing season and one-and-done playoff appearance despite having Tom Brady at quarterback, the Bucs made massive changes to Todd Bowles’ coaching staff Thursday.
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and five assistant coaches were fired while three others retired.
Gone in the housecleaning are receivers coach Kevin Garver, specialists coach Chris Boniol, running backs coach Todd McNair, assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust and offensive quality control coach Jeff Kastl.
Three other assistants have decided to retire, including quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen, senior offensive assistant Rick Christophel and outside linebackers coach Bob Sanders.
The decision was made after Bowles met with members of the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, and general manager Jason Licht.
“We appreciate the hard work and contributions that all of these coaches made to our success over the past four seasons,” Bowles said in a statement. “As a collective group, we did not meet the high standards that had been set for this past year and my focus now is on doing what is needed to ensure a successful 2023 season. These were very difficult decisions but something that I felt was necessary to our football team going forward.”
Bowles wasn’t promoted to head coach until March 30 and basically inherited Leftwich and the coaching staff from Bruce Arians, who retired to take a job as senior advisor to Licht. — Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times