Former Western Michigan linebacker Robert Spillane said Wednesday that "contrary to media reports" his decision to get his release from the school "has nothing to do with P.J. Fleck or the University of Minnesota."

WMMT-TV, in Kalamazoo, Mich., citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday that Fleck contacted Spillane before the linebacker was given his release.

Under NCAA rules, coaches are not allowed to contact their former players while they are still part of their previous school's program.

Spillane intends to transfer, but there are no indications that he's coming to Minnesota. Gophers spokesman Paul Rovnak said Tuesday that, "We are not recruiting any students from Western Michigan."

Spillane, who was one of Fleck's first recruits at Western Michigan, was one of the Broncos' top defensive players last year.

In a Twitter post, he shot down the Minnesota speculation but did not specify why he intends to transfer.


Scoggins honored

Chip Scoggins, a columnist for the Star Tribune, was named the 2016 Sportswriter of the Year in Minnesota by the National Sports Media Association.

Scoggins also won the award in 2013.

Mark Rosen of WCCO-TV was named the Sportscaster of the Year. He has not won the award before


• Four Gophers will compete in the NCAA Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships March 10-11 at Texas A&M. They are Kimberly Golding and Emma Spagnola in the 60-meter hurdles, Emerald Egwim in the 400 and Kelly Sabin in the shot put.

• Senior Emie Peronnin finished in a tie for 13th with a closing 1-under 71 for a 219 total in the Hurricane Invitational in Coral Gables, Fla. Minnesota finished 11th.

• Pitcher Sara Groenewegen and outfielder Sam Macken of the Gophers are among 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. which is based on character, and work on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Groenewegen is 7-0 with a 0.66 ERA this season.