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SEC Headlines – 7/1/11 Part One

1.  Here’s a look at who’s had the most home field success in SEC football since 2006.  (And here’s a correction.)

2.  The trial of alleged Toomer’s Corner tree poisoner Harvey Updyke has been delayed until Halloween.

3.  Former Auburn and Alabama assistant football coach James Willis has pleaded guilty to charge of assault and domestic violence and has been sentenced to six months of deferred probation.

4.  Four people were charged with allowing underage drinking at the party where former Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas died.  (The medical report showed that Douglas had multiple drugs in his system, but not alcohol.)

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Willis Story Gets A Little Weirder

The case of former Texas Tech assistant James Willis — rumored to be a target of Florida’s Will Muschamp — continues to grow more and more odd.

First, the backstory: Willis was an assistant coach under Tommy Tuberville (and under D-coordinator Muschamp) at Auburn.  He then became an assistant at Alabama where he won a national championship ring last year.  This past season he served as Tuberville’s defensive coordinator at Texas Tech.

This weekend, Willis and Tech parted ways.  The school said Willis was leaving to pursue other opportunities.  Tuberville wished the coach well.  Willis then wrote “The truth shall set you free” on his Facebook page (whatever that means).

Eventually, reports emerged that Tuberville had learned — through third parties — that Muschamp had been talking to Willis about joining his staff in Gainesville.  It’s not considered Kosher for a coach’s ex-aide to poach said coach’s current staff without so much as a heads-up to his old boss.

Here’s the new twist: Last night the Fox television affiliate in Lubbock reported that “a domestic dispute” had taken place at the Wolfforth, Texas home of Willis last week.

Police were called to the residence at 3:15am on December 22nd.  A 33-year-old female alleged an incident of domestic violence.  Police reported her injuries as minor.

The suspect was a 38-year-old male who was not at home when police arrived.  No arrest has been made and the case has since been turned over to detectives.

Willis just happens to be 38 years old.

Not the kind of publicity you want floating around while you’re trying to land a new job, eh?

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Texas Tech’s Willis Headed To Gainesville?

Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis is out in Lubbock.  And it could be because he’s trying to get in to Gainesville.

According to The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Willis resigned his position yesterday.  Why?  Because he and head coach Tommy Tuberville had decided it would be best if he left.  Why?  Because Tuberville found out “through third parties” that Willis was talking with Will Muschamp about a job at Florida.

Muschamp and Willis both served on Tuberville’s Auburn staff.  Muschamp was Tuberville’s defensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007.  Willis was the linebackers coach at AU from ’06 through ’08.  (He went on to serve as an assistant on Nick Saban’s national championship-winning staff at Alabama in 2009.)

But Willis didn’t exactly tear things up as the Red Raiders’ D-coordinator.  Tech ranked 116th out of 120 FBS school in total defense.  His unit ranked dead last in terms of pass defense.

In a statement, Tuberville wished “James the best of luck,” but you have to wonder what the coach thinks about his two old assistants chatting about a job… without ever giving him a courtesy call as a heads-up.

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