Originally created 08/04/06

Simmons returns as Tigers' assistant



COLUMBIA - One of coach Tommy Bowden's first big recruits at Clemson, Willie "Shotgun" Simmons, has returned to the Tigers as an assistant.

Simmons, a quarterback with the Tigers from 1999 to 2002, was named a video graduate assistant, the school said Thursday. He'll also work with the Tigers' quarterbacks. Simmons takes over the spot that opened when Richie Wessman left for a position with the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

"Maybe some things have changed," Simmons said by phone. "But it looks like the same homey place as before."

GEORGIA TECH: The first game is still a month away. Georgia Tech can't wait.

The Yellow Jackets opened preseason practice Thursday, a sweltering afternoon that was better suited for a trip to the pool than suiting up in helmets and pads.

But everyone was eager to get on the field - even in the midst of a heat wave - because each practice brings them a little closer to that Sept. 2 opener against Notre Dame.

"That's the first challenge, and it's our biggest challenge," cornerback Kenny Scott said. "It definitely pushes us to prepare to the best of our ability."

OKLAHOMA: Coach Bob Stoops said Thursday that the school acted quickly when it found out that starting quarterback Rhett Bomar and offensive lineman J.D. Quinn broke NCAA rules through their employment at a car dealership.

Stoops said he had not been aware that Bomar and Quinn were working at the dealership last fall until Oklahoma's compliance staff investigated the situation.

The coach said he didn't rush to a decision but considered it "fairly cut and dry."

Stoops said the players, who were dismissed from the team Wednesday, "knowingly" broke the rules.

GEORGIA: The Bulldogs' season-opening game against Western Kentucky on Sept. 2 has been set for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff time.

The game will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports, formerly known as the Jefferson Pilot Sports network.