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UNLV loses Hales to dislocated elbow

UNLV senior starting defensive tackle Jacob Hales dislocated his left elbow Wednesday night at Rebel Park, and his status is unknown for the Aug. 30 opener against Utah State at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Hales, a Las Vegas High School graduate, will be X-rayed today, and the results probably will be known in the afternoon.

“It was put back in place by the doctor,” coach Mike Sanford said. “That’s a good sign.”

Two other players returned to practice — junior defensive tackle Perry Eppenger and junior linebacker Jimmy Miller.

Eppenger, who went to Cheyenne High, was sent home last weekend from training camp in Ely for violating team rules. On Wednesday, Eppenger told coaches he wanted to return to the team.

“What he’s got to do is earn his way back,” Sanford said. “He’s got to earn the respect and trust of the coaches and the players.”

Miller was back on the practice field but has not been cleared academically. UNLV should soon find out if he is eligible to play.

NEW MEXICO — The NCAA put New Mexico on three years’ probation and cut five scholarships as punishment for academic violations involving two former assistant coaches.

The sanctions imposed by the NCAA’s infractions committee went beyond the university’s self-imposed penalties, which included two years of probation and fewer scholarship reductions.

The NCAA concluded that the former Lobos assistants in 2004 improperly helped three recruits obtain fraudulent academic credits through correspondence courses they never completed at Fresno Pacific University, a fully accredited, four-year college in California that also offers online degrees.

The NCAA did not identify the assistants. But the committee heard from former assistants Lenny Rodriguez and Grady Stretz at a hearing in Indianapolis in April.

Rodriguez, who coached at New Mexico from 1998 to 2006, is now an assistant at Mount San Antonio College in suburban Los Angeles. Stretz, an assistant from 1998 to 2005, coaches Arizona State’s defensive line.

RULE CHANGES — The NCAA has banned the horse-collar tackle.

Following the lead of the NFL and acting on a proposal made by its Football Rules Committee, the NCAA will assess a penalty this season when a runner is yanked to the ground from the inside collar of his shoulder pads or jersey.

Other changes include a clarification of rules on chop blocks, or tackling below the knees, and implementation of a 40-second play clock that will start as soon as the ball is ruled dead. Previously, a 25-second clock began only on the referee’s signal.

PITTSBURGH — Coach Dave Wannstedt picked Bill Stull as the starting quarterback for the 25th-ranked Panthers.

A 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound junior, Stull took nearly every repetition with the first-team offense during more than two weeks of practice.

BOISE STATE — Coach Chris Petersen named redshirt freshman Kellen Moore as the Broncos’ starting quarterback, ending a lengthy battle with senior Bush Hamden.

It’s the first time in school history that a freshman will open the year as the starter.

LOUISVILLE — Coach Steve Kragthorpe said North Carolina State quarterback Justin Burke is transferring to play for the Cardinals.

Burke, a redshirt sophomore, saw limited action in three games for the Wolfpack last season.

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