- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cincinnati went right back to Central Michigan for its next coach.

Butch Jones was hired Wednesday to replace Brian Kelly, who came from Central Michigan three years ago and built the Bearcats program into national prominence before leaving for Notre Dame last week. Now it’s up to one of his former assistants to keep it there.

The fourth-ranked Bearcats (12-0) won their second straight Big East title, finished third in the BCS rankings and earned a chance to play Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

“It’s very rare to have the opportunity to come in and take over a two-time defending champion and the No. 3 team in the country,” said Davis, who was introduced at an evening news conference after agreeing to a five-year deal.

The chance came along because Kelly left for Notre Dame last Thursday. Jeff Quinn, who was his offensive coordinator in Cincinnati, was named interim coach and will direct the team in its first Sugar Bowl appearance while Jones settles in.

“I’m going to be around,” Jones said. “But I’m going to be in the background. I think it’s all about them finishing what they started.”

No. 25 Central Michigan plays Troy in the GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6. Associate head coach Steve Stripling was named interim coach for the Chippewas’ bowl game.

KANSAS: Former football coach Mark Mangino will be paid $3 million as part of a settlement both sides signed last week.

The university announced the payout and said the settlement will be paid through private funds raised by the athletics department, with no taxpayer money involved.

Mangino resigned earlier this month amid reports he emotionally mistreated his players.

ILLINOIS: Receiver Arrelious Benn will skip his senior season and enter April’s NFL Draft after a disappointing junior year.

The D.C. native said he thinks he is ready for the NFL and wants to take care of his family.

“I know this is the right time to challenge myself at the next level,” Benn said while standing with his mother, Denise Benn. He is one of five sons she raised on her own, he said.

“I feel like I’m ready and I’ve proven a lot on the collegiate level,” Benn added.

CONNECTICUT: A lawyer for the man at the center of recruiting allegations against Connecticut said his client has not spoken to investigators.

UConn said in March it was working with the NCAA in investigating a report by Yahoo Sports that former team manager Josh Nochimson helped guide basketball recruit Nate Miles to Connecticut, giving him lodging, transportation, meals and representation.

But more than eight months later, Nochimson’s attorney, Matthew Leitman, told the Associated Press that his client has not spoken to anyone investigating the case.

“We’ve not been involved in anything,” Leitman said. “We’ve been on the sidelines for everything.”

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