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Oregon Pac-12 favorite with Mariota back

(AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (AP) Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role.

"I've had to get used to it and come out of my shell a little bit, but I'm trying to enjoy it," Mariota said at the Pac-12's media day. "I take it as an honor and a privilege, and hopefully an opportunity to provide a good influence."

Coach Mark Helfrich and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott both used the league's first session of its two-day Hollywood kickoff event to praise Mariota for staying in school. The rest of the Pac-12 isn't quite as excited about the Heisman Trophy candidate's return after two dynamite seasons for the Ducks, but he's just one reason why they're favored to win their highly competitive league again.

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NCAA enforcement director defends work

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Jonathan Duncan understands that a perfect NCAA enforcement division won't catch every cheater in college sports. He still believes his team is getting the job done.

Two days after Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby called the NCAA enforcement system overwhelmed and "broken," the NCAA's top cop fired back by defending his staff's work and acknowledging the impossible mission of policing more than 1,200 schools.

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9 FSU players on preseason all-ACC team

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston is one of nine Florida State players on the preseason all-Atlantic Coast Conference team.

The ACC announced its preseason team Wednesday following a vote of media members covering its media days earlier in the week.

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Cowboys already prepping for Winston

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has spent considerable time this summer trying to find flaws in Jameis Winston's game.

He's still searching.

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C-USA commissioner sees bright future

IRVING, Texas (AP) Conference USA commissioner Britton Banowsky knows at least one thing won't change with autonomy for the five power conferences to make their own bylaws.

"There's been a differentiator whether you call them BCS, non-BCS," Banowsky said Wednesday. "I'm not naive to think that there won't be some continued differentiation."

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Bowling Green picked to win MAC

DETROIT (AP) Defending champion Bowling Green is the favorite to win this season's Mid-American Conference title.

A poll of media that cover the conference on Wednesday picked the Falcons to finish ahead of Akron in the conference's East division and defeat projected West champ Toledo in the MAC title game here in December.

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Prosecutor: Robbery led to player death

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) A prosecutor says Eastern Michigan University wide receiver Demarius Reed was killed "for an iPhone and a wallet that were never even used."

Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of 21-year-old Ed Thomas of Detroit on open murder and robbery charges in the shooting of the 20-year-old football player from Chicago's South Side.

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Utah St. QB Keeton getting Heisman hype

LAS VEGAS (AP) Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton got his junior season off to a superb start, only to have it derailed by a knee injury in Game 6.

Back healthy as a senior, he's generating plenty of hype as the Mountain West's preseason offensive player of the year and, potentially, a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate.

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TCU suspends DE Fields amid probe

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, "I should blast you!"

Officers said 20-year-old Haley Brown's right cheek was swollen and she had a cut under her eye when they arrived at a Fort Worth home early Sunday. Police said Tuesday that no charges had been filed and Fields, the Big 12's preseason defensive player of the year, had not been arrested.

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Paterno's son, former assistant sue PSU

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) A son of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has sued the university over his dismissal from its coaching staff two years ago, saying he has been unfairly linked to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Former assistant coach Jay Paterno and another former assistant, Bill Kenney, filed a federal lawsuit in Philadelphia on Monday, seeking more than $1 million and a statement from the university saying they did nothing wrong related to Sandusky, who was convicted of abusing several boys, some on campus.

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