Three quick hits for a Monday afternoon:
1. Clark’s dad: He didn’t know. The news broke Friday and The Associated Press picked it up Saturday: Senior Air Force running back Asher Clark, second on the Falcons’ all-time rushing list, is no longer at the school, reportedly after being part of an academy investigation into illegal drug use. Sunday, Frank Schwab at The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette gave the Clark family’s side of the story via Asher’s father, Mark, who said his son thought he was smoking tobacco at a March 2011 party when in fact he’d been given a pipe packed with “Colorado Chronic” — a type of synthetic marijuana.
That act, Mark Clark said, resulted in his son’s dismissal from school. Key quote: “I get it, they made an example out of him. There are 4,000 cadets and they said, ‘If we’ll kick Asher Clark out of this school, we’ll kick you out even faster.’”
Mark Clark said the next step — re-enrolling at another school, filing a lawsuit, etc. — is up to his son. Air Force Academy officials would only tell The Gazette that Clark no longer attends the school and have not said whether he’ll be asked to reimburse the school for the cost of his education, which would be well into six figures.
2. Conference powwow. Officials from the Big East — including future members, like Navy — will meet this week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and they’ve got plenty to talk about. ESPN blogger Andrea Adelson breaks down some of the issues here, and the Tampa Bay Times offers a good overview here. Major topics: Negotiating a new TV deal, finding a new commissioner, figuring out future division alignments and finding the league’s place in what’s become known as “BCS 2.0” — the postseason setup that will begin after the 2014 season and could include a four-team playoff and radically different bowl affiliations. One piece of good news for the conference: It looks like Boise State’s still in the fold.
3. Independents’ day. Army junior running back Raymond Maples and Navy senior linebacker Matt Warrick were the only service academy representatives on Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team, which the college football guru released Friday. Eleven academy players — five Midshipmen and six Black Knights, including senior quarterback Trent Steelman — received second-team mentions. It’s a high honor, but the pool is limited — Army, Navy, Notre Dame and BYU are the only independent Football Bowl Subdivision programs this season.