The National Football Foundation is withdrawing an award that it was to present to Penn State Athletics Director Tim Curley.
The NFF announced Wednesday that the John L. Toner award, given to an athletics director who has shown "outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football," will not be presented at its award ceremony in December. The organization says there will be no winner for this year.
Earlier this year, the NFF, which also runs the college football hall of fame, announced Curley as the Toner award winner. Curley has been charged with perjury and failure to report an alleged incident of child sex abuse by former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities, as required by state law. Curley took a leave of absence Sunday night.
Miami safety out pending investigation
Miami safety Ray-Ray Armstrong will not play Saturday against Florida State, and school officials are checking to see whether he broke NCAA rules by having dinner with someone who owns a public relations firm that works with professional athletes.
Armstrong has not practiced this week because of what Miami described as a violation of team rules. He served a four-game suspension to start the season after a separate investigation determined he broke NCAA rules by accepting gifts from a former Miami booster, and he was ordered to repay $788.
This latest situation stems from a dinner he had Sunday night — and what was said on Twitter after the meal.
Armstrong dined at a Miami Beach restaurant with Arielle Washington, who owns a firm called Double Coverage PR and lists clients including Darius Butler of the Carolina Panthers. After dinner, Armstrong and Washington posted some details about the meal on their respective Twitter accounts.
The posts have since been deleted, but not before they raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the meal. Washington met with Miami compliance officials Tuesday, and the investigation is apparently ongoing.
NCAA hires police veteran
The NCAA has hired a 28-year police veteran to lead its football investigations staff.
The organization said Wednesday that William Benjamin, currently the deputy chief of police at the Indianapolis Police Department, has been named a director of enforcement with a focus on football. He also played football at San Jose State.
Vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach says Benjamin will lead a team of football-focused investigators charged with "building knowledge, meaningful contacts and actionable leads to better inform investigations."
The job is one of 12 redefined or newly created positions within the NCAA's enforcement department.
Benjamin, a former Marine, was most recently deputy chief of the operations and criminal investigations divisions.
Hall's fund-raising woes
Fund-raisers for the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta are facing a tough deadline to raise $15 million if construction is to begin in February as scheduled. In this economy, that's a major challenge and the reason Gary Stokan said he is stepping down as president and CEO of the Atlanta Hall Management.
Stokan said Atlanta needs a full-time expert in corporate fund-raising, and he needs to focus on his duties as the head of the Chick-fil-A Bowl.