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College football notebook: Ole Miss hit hard by flu outbreak

Oklahoman Published: September 10, 2009
Ole Miss hit hard by flu outbreak
Mississippi running back Dexter McCluster spent Tuesday night in the hospital because of flu symptoms, and nearly two dozen Ole Miss players missed practice Wednesday as the virus continued to sweep though the team.

McCluster, a versatile star for the sixth-ranked Rebels, was released Wednesday morning but did not attend the afternoon practice. So many were out coaches moved practice up and shortened it. Still, they were shuffling the lineup all day.

"Boy, it’s tough,” Ole Miss offensive coordinator Kent Austin said. "We lost another quarterback today. About half our receiving corps is out, half our starting line.”

As many as 22 players — or about 20 percent of the team — are in some stage of the flu. The list includes starting quarterback Jevan Snead, McCluster and several other starters.

Officials believe it is the swine flu and are following U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines that include isolating ill players from other members of the team and public.

The Rebels have an open date this week before playing Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 19.

Alabama’s Board of Trustees compensation committee unanimously approved the three-year extension through Jan. 31, 2018, for football coach Nick Saban that doesn’t include a salary hike but rewards him for staying put and guarantees that he will remain among college football’s five highest paid coaches.

Saban would receive a series of three completion bonuses totaling $5 million if he is still the coach through 2011, 2014 and 2017.


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