DALLAS — SMU coach June Jones resigned Monday only two games into his seventh season at the school, citing “some personal reasons” for his sudden decision.
The resignation, effective immediately, came after the Mustangs scored only one touchdown while losing their first two games.
“It was a very difficult decision for me to make, as you can imagine. I have devoted my life for the last 50 years to playing and coaching this game and it has been a great journey,” Jones said in a statement. “This job has a lot of demands, as you know, and along with that journey comes a price that is paid. I have some personal issues I have been dealing with, and I need to take a step away so I can address them at this time.”
The 61-year-old, who was 36-43 at SMU after nine seasons at Hawaii, didn’t elaborate on what those personal issues were. Defensive coordinator Tom Mason, who was Jones’ associate head coach, was elevated to the top job for the rest of the season.
The Mustangs are off this week, providing some extra time to make adjustments after Jones’ departure. Their next game is the home opener Sept. 20 — against No. 7 Texas A&M.
SMU hadn’t been to a bowl in 25 years before 2009, when the Mustangs went 7-5 in Jones’ second season and then beat Nevada 45-10 in the Hawaii Bowl. The last postseason game before that had been before SMU was the only team ever given the NCAA’s so-called death penalty, and had its program shut down for two seasons, 1987 and 1988.
DUKE GAME SET FOR 11:30 START: Tulane’s game at Duke on Sept. 20 will kick off at 11:30 a.m. CST from Wallace-Wade Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, Tulane announced.
The game will be broadcast on the ACC Regional Sports Network and online on ESPN3.
PAC-12 REPRIMANDS HADEN: The Pac-12 Conference reprimanded and fined Southern California Athletic Director Pat Haden $25,000 for coming down to the field at Stanford Stadium and confronting game officials.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said Haden’s conduct during USC’s 13-10 victory at Stanford on Saturday was inappropriate. Scott said “such actions by an administrator in attempt to influence the officiating, and ultimately the outcome of a contest, will not be tolerated.”
The conference also reprimanded USC coach Steve Sarkisian, who said he requested Haden’s presence on the sideline after a series of penalties left him irate. Haden and Sarkisian apologized for their actions Sunday.
“I regret putting Pat in the situation I put him in on Saturday,” Sarkisian said. “It is my job to manage the game, not Pat’s. For the good of the game, I will be better on this in the future.”
Around the nation
Quarterback Bryce Petty of No. 8 Baylor could return Saturday at Buffalo. He missed last week’s 70-6 victory against Northwestern State after suffering two small cracked bones in his back. ... Texas coach Charlie Strong said quarterback David Ash (concussion symptoms) is out indefinitely and that the Longhorns will push ahead with Tyrone Swoopes at quarterback. ... UConn officials said quarterback Casey Cochran decided to end his career after multiple concussions.