Florida State University must pay ex-student leader in ouster for religious views, judge says

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A federal judge has ruled that Florida State University must pay the salary of a former campus Senate president who was ousted over his religious views.

U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor last week ordered FSU to make “prospective payment” for lost wages to former Student Senate President Jack Denton, a senior and political science major who was voted out by his colleagues in June over text messages he exchanged with other Catholic students.

Judge Winsor, a Trump appointee, said the university, which administers the student government, had violated Mr. Denton’s First Amendment rights by failing to protect him against retaliation for his protected speech and should resume paying his stipend until his term’s expiration in November.

“To state the obvious, expressing one’s religious views is a constitutionally protected activity. And being removed from a student Senate presidency, as Denton was, would chill someone from expressing himself,” the judge wrote in his 25-page preliminary ruling in the closely watched religious liberty case.

Judge Winsor compared Mr. Denton’s ouster to the Georgia state legislature refusing to seat newly elected lawmaker Julian Bond in 1966 over his criticism of the Vietnam War. A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled the legislature’s move unconstitutional.

“All students should be able to peacefully share their personal connections without fear of retaliation,” said Tyson Langhofer, an attorney with the nonprofit advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom who is representing Mr. Denton.

An FSU spokesperson wrote in email that school officials are reviewing the decision and “considering the university’s options.” An attorney for the Student Senate defendants did not respond to request for comment.

FSU pays the Student Senate president $9 an hour. Mr. Denton told the court that he estimated working six hours a week until the end of his term on Nov. 11. He is to be paid


University of Florida thankfully rejects Dan Mullen plea to pack Swamp after Texas A&M loss

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Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey reportedly sent a strongly worded memo last week to conference coaches and athletics directors threatening fines and possible suspensions for those who do not follow COVID-19 protocols.

Hopefully, Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen will be the first to get hammered with a heavy fine and/or suspension for his incredibly irresponsible comments following Saturday’s defenseless 41-38 loss to coach Jimbo Fisher’s No. 21-ranked Texas A&M Aggies.

Mullen, commenting on the effect Texas A&M’s announced crowd of 24,709 had on the game, said UF’s administration needs to lift its COVID-19 crowd constraints, follow Gov. Ron DeSantis’s Phase 3 reopening guidelines and allow UF to pack the Swamp for its next home game.

“The crowd was certainly a factor in the game,” Mullen said of Texas A&M’s fans. “I know our governor passed that rule so certainly, hopefully the UF administration decides to let us pack the Swamp against LSU — 100% — because that crowd was certainly a factor in the game. I certainly hope our administration follows the governor. The governor has passed a rule that we’re allowed to pack the Swamp and have 90,000 in the Swamp to give us the home-field advantage Texas A&M had today.”

When I asked Mullen a follow-up question just to clarify his previous comments, he doubled down on his ill-considered stance.

“Absolutely I want to see 90,000 at the Swamp,” Mullen said. “The section behind our bench (today), I didn’t see an empty seat. It was packed; the entire student section; must have been 50,000 people behind our bench going crazy. Hopefully, that will create a home-field advantage for us next week because we’ve passed a law in our state that allows us to do that.”

Thankfully, it appears, UF’s administration is not on board with Mullen’s opinion. Florida


Florida vs. Texas A&M score: Live game updates, college football scores, NCAA highlights, full coverage

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As expected, No. 4 Florida and No. 21 Texas A&M brought plenty of offense into their meeting Saturday at Kyle Field as the Gators take a 21-17 lead into halftime. The teams combined for just six possessions in the first half, all six resulting in points. Both teams had touchdown drives of 7 minutes or longer, and the only reason there wasn’t more scoring was because both teams appeared to deliberately slow the pace of the game by running the play clock down instead of going no-huddle.

Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond surpassed Jerrod Johnson as the Aggies’ all-time leader in passing yards during a great first half in which Mond completed 16-of-22 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Mond’s favorite target in the half was Caleb Chapman, who matched his career total with six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown. Not to be outdone, Florida quarterback Kyle Trask completed 13-of-18 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. His first scoring strike of the game went to tight end Kyle Pitts for Pitts’ seventh touchdown catch of the season.

CBS Sports will be with you the entire way updating this story with the latest from Florida at Texas A&M on Saturday afternoon. Keep it locked here for live updates, highlights and more throughout the game.


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College football picks, predictions, odds for Week 6: Notre Dame vs. Florida State among best bets

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This season is unlike any other we have ever experienced in college football, especially as it pertains to home-field advantage not meaning as much due to little or no crowds. So far, the home teams have won 45 of the 99 games between FBS teams. Four of the 10 conferences have yet to start playing, so the number of games available is much lower than usual. Computer simulations, if that’s your thing, mean nothing with only 53 total non-conference games between FBS schools currently scheduled. Nevertheless, we must work with what we have.

Each week, I will use this space to tell you what I think are a few of the best bets heading into the weekend. I will also throw in an upset of the week, which will be a team that is at least a touchdown underdog that I am picking to win outright. I will also give you picks on other games involving potential College Football Playoff teams. Considering many teams haven’t played yet, pretty much everybody is technically a CFP candidate right now, so I’ll go with the Top 12 teams in this week’s AP Top 25 poll that have already commenced play this season.

I was 1-2 on my regular picks last week but hit on my first upset pick of the season. There are only 31 games to choose from this week, the fewest since the SEC started playing.

Odds below provided via William Hill Sportsbook

Week 6 Picks

Florida State at No. 5 Notre Dame (-21): Florida State is a mess. The Seminoles have lost at home to Georgia Tech and got smashed at Miami. Last week, they needed a second-half rally to beat Jacksonville State. Notre Dame has only given up 13 points so far this season, albeit to Duke and South


College football odds, picks, predictions for Week 6, 2020: Proven model backing Florida, Clemson

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Clemson hasn’t lost to an ACC opponent since Syracuse in October of 2017. The top-ranked Tigers will look to keep that amazing streak alive as they take on No. 7 Miami (FL) at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Week 6 college football odds from William Hill give Clemson a 14-point edge at home. Elsewhere in the ACC, No. 8 North Carolina is a 5.5-point favorite in the latest college football lines as the Tar Heels host No. 19 Virginia Tech in another top-20 clash.

Which ACC teams have value in the college football spreads this week? And which teams from the SEC, Big 12 and every other conference in action should you back in your college football bets? Before making any Week 6 college football picks on those games or others, be sure to see the latest college football predictions from SportsLine’s proven model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $4,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is a sizzling 20-3 on top-rated picks through five weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning over $1,300 in profit already. Anybody who has followed it is way up. 

Now, it has turned its attention to the latest college football odds for Week 6 from William Hill and locked in picks for every FBS matchup. Head to SportsLine to see every pick.

Top Week 6 college football predictions 

One of the top Week 6 college football picks the model is recommending: No. 4 Florida (-6.5 at William Hill) wins and covers on the road against No. 21 Texas A&M in a noon ET kickoff on Saturday. The Gators rank fourth nationally in

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