Originally created 12/22/99

TCU's head coach is man of his word



MOBILE, Ala. -- Along with everything he's done to help turn around Texas Christian's football program, coach Dennis Franchione has proved to be a man of his word.

He first came through last season, fulfilling a promise to his players to dye his hair blonde if the Horned Frogs went to a bowl game.

This year, he promised to get a tattoo if they won their conference -- and that's the first thing Franchione did when TCU arrived for the inaugural Mobile Alabama Bowl.

There's no telling what he'll do if TCU (7-4) beats No. 20 East Carolina (9-2) in tonight's game (7:30, ESPN2).

"They did their part, so I had to live up to my end of the deal," said Franchione, whose Horned Frogs won a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.

Franchione did get a tattoo in Mobile. He refused to say what it was, or if it was permanent, only revealing it was on his right arm.

The coach is slowly learning to watch what kind of deals he makes with his team.

When he arrived at TCU two years ago, he inherited a team coming off a 1-10 season. His wide receivers had dyed their hair blonde and asked Franchione if he'd do the same if they went to a bowl. TCU went to the Sun Bowl, upsetting heavily favored Southern Cal.

So Franchione dyed his hair.

"When you inherit a one-win team, you say, `Yeah, sure, I'll do it,"' he said. "And then they went and did it and I was stuck."

NORTH CAROLINA:

Two rival coaches who battled to keep their jobs this season joined forces when fired North Carolina State coach Mike O'Cain was hired by North Carolina coach Carl Torbush.

O'Cain will be the Tar Heels' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

O'Cain, 41-40 in seven years at N.C. State but 0-7 during that time against the Tar Heels, was dismissed Nov. 24 after going 6-6 this season. N.C. State hasn't yet hired a successor.

SOUTH CAROLINA:

An initial investigation indicates a plane on its way to pick up coach Lou Holtz was set to land when it crashed, killing the pilot, a federal investigator said.

The landing gear was down when the plane "broke out of the weather" at about 900 feet in a misty rain Sunday night, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Corky Smith said.

The crash killed pilot Dewey "Sonny" Foster, 65, and injured co-pilot Joe Baier, 77.

There was no sign the twin-engine King Air turboprop collided with anything or clipped trees as it came down into a marsh, Smith said. Investigators still were trying to recover the wreckage Tuesday.

KENTUCKY:

Derek Homer, the Kentucky running back who's endured an up-and-down junior season, will end it at a new position -- wide receiver.

Coach Hal Mumme said Homer will line up at wideout in next week's Music City Bowl against Syracuse, and could remain there next season as well.

FLORIDA:

Starting center Corey Yarbrough will miss the Citrus Bowl because he did not pass enough hours in the fall semester to remain with the team.

Guard Ryan Kalich will move to center to replace Yarbrough, a fifth-year senior, in the Jan. 1 game against Michigan State.