ACC, ESPN agree to deal to broadcast Orange Bowl

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MIAMI — The Atlantic Coast Conference has agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN for the rights to televise the Orange Bowl, with the conference champion facing either Notre Dame or a team from the Big Ten or Southeastern Conference.

The deal announced Thursday begins with the 2014 season and runs through 2026. ESPN.com has previously reported that the network will play about $55 million per year for the game.

Under the new deal, the Orange Bowl will be played either Dec. 31 or Jan. 1.

“The opportunity to partner with ESPN to showcase the game on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day provides us with a terrific way for fans to ring in the New Year in South Florida,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said.

Also Thursday, Bill Hancock was hired by the conference commissioners and university presidents to be the executive director of the playoff system that starts in 2014.

GEORGIA: All-American outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was named one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given annually to college football’s top defensive player.

He was also named one of eight finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is awarded to the player who has the biggest IMPACT (Integrity, Maturity, Perfor­mance, Academics, Com­mun­ity and Tenacity) on their teams both on and off the field.

Jones, a junior, was named one of the 15 “Players to Watch” for the Walter Camp Award for nation’s top player earlier this week, and he is also a semifinalists for the Bednarik, Maxwell, Butkus, and Lombardi awards.

• Offensive line coach Will Friend said junior tackle Austin Long has emerged as Georgia’s go-to sixth offensive lineman.

Due to guard Chris Burnette’s injury, Mark Beard has joined the starting lineup at left tackle. Long will now be the top backup along the offensive line and be the rotating sixth man.

Friend said he prefers to rotate a sixth lineman into games to build experience in case of injuries.

MISSOURI: Receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has resolved an early-season marijuana arrest with a guilty plea to a reduced charge of trespassing.

A Columbia, Mo. municipal court clerk says the freshman paid a $200 fine and court costs on Oct. 16, two weeks after he and two teammates were arrested by campus police and charged with smoking pot near the Mizzou football stadium.

TEXAS A&M: Freshman receiver Thomas Johnson has been found safe in Dallas after he disappeared from campus three days ago.

Johnson’s mother, Linda Hanks, says Texas A&M University police told her Thursday the 18-year-old is unharmed.

TENNESSEE: Reserve defensive back Deion Bonner has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

• Wofford at South Carolina, 1 p.m. (pay-per-view)

• Georgia Southern at Georgia, 1:30 (WSB-TV Atlanta)

• Savannah State at South Carolina State, 1:30 (No TV)

• North Carolina State at Clemson, 3:30 (ABC-Ch. 6)

• Duke at Georgia Tech, 3:30 (ESPNU)


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