Monthly Archives: February 2011

Child’s play

If you’re looking for a succinct comment on motivating the college football player, it’ll be hard to top Kirk Olivadotti’s:

“ . . .  But at the same time people are people.  You’re going to have guys that are going to work their butts off; you’re going to have guys that you’re going to have to motivate, and you’re going to have guys that you have to always make it their idea in order for them to want to do it. Those are the different things that you do in life. I have to do it with my 3-year-old daughter.”

Remember, this is coming from a guy who survived six head coaching changes in Washington.  He must have some idea on how to read people.

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11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Tennessee State’s loss is Paul Johnson’s gain.

With this, I think we can bury the “Georgia Tech has trouble recruiting because of its higher academic standards” myth for good.

That’s not to say the Jackets don’t have trouble recruiting, of course.  It’s lucky for Tech that all the rooms at Nutt’s Inn were occupied.

20 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Tech Football

“We’ll see how it plays out down the road.”

If you wonder why I keep seeing shades of gray in the oversigning debate, meet Lorenzo Mauldin.  Chip Towers tells an involving story about Mauldin, a South Carolina recruit from Atlanta who’s overcome a rough life – he’s been a ward of the state most of his life and his mother has been incarcerated since he became a teen-ager – to be on the verge of going to college to play football.

South Carolina offered Mauldin last summer, he gave a verbal then and never wavered despite interest from other schools.  Except that he didn’t sign this month.  South Carolina ran into a numbers problem and pulled its offer.  And did so in a pretty classless way.

… But Mauldin didn’t end up signing with South Carolina as expected. He found out via a letter faxed to his school the day before national signing day that the Gamecocks would not have room for him in their Class of 2011. South Carolina signed 31 players on national signing day and added one more — Jadeveon Clowney, the nation’s No. 1 prospect — on Feb. 14th.  [Emphasis added.]

Terrible, right?

Well, yeah.  Except for one thing (there are a lot of “excepts” in Mauldin’s story):  as of National Signing Day, Mauldin hadn’t qualified academically.  Even Mauldin sounds conflicted about Spurrier’s call.

“I kind of feel like I’ve been shoved away,” Mauldin told me recently. “Then again, on the other hand, I realize that I wasn’t academically eligible and I understand that was on my part. And I can’t really use the times I’ve been through as an excuse for that. It’s all right.”

Except (see?) South Carolina signed other kids who to date haven’t qualified.  Which raises all sorts of questions about how Spurrier elected to pick and choose who got to sign and who didn’t, not to mention the awkward position the school finds itself in now as it waits to see what happens if all of these kids wind up qualifying by the summer.  It’s not a pretty picture.

And yet, with all that out there, Mauldin’s first choice – still – is to attend South Carolina.

“I’m pretty much set on South Carolina because of the fact that they will, if I don’t make the score that they need, they will put me into prep school for a semester and I will be there until early January,” said Mauldin, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end at Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson High School. “So I mean that’s pretty good. I’m used to making good decisions in life and to me that sounds like a pretty good decision.”

And that’s despite the fact that, as his high school coach makes abundantly clear, he’s got other viable options.

So what do you say here?  If a hard cap on signings were in place, it’s highly unlikely Mauldin would have a shot at his first choice.  Would that be better or worse for him?

***********************************************************************

UPDATE: Chris Low adds more details about Mauldin’s recruitment.

… Yes, the Gamecocks offered Mauldin a scholarship last July. And, yes, Mauldin accepted. But he was also told that there was a chance he might have to wait until January 2012 before enrolling on scholarship, which is more commonly referred to as grayshirting.

South Carolina coaches told him that possibility would only strengthen if he had not met NCAA entrance requirements prior to signing day.

Two weeks prior to signing day, South Carolina coaches reminded Mauldin that there might not be a scholarship available in this signing class.

If that’s how South Carolina handled things, I’m having a hard time seeing what’s wrong there.  Which leads to this point Low makes:

… The key is communication and being upfront with prospects and their families throughout the process and not springing a surprise on them at the last minute.

If a kid really wants to go to South Carolina or Alabama or LSU and is willing to wait it out and grayshirt, and that’s presented as a possibility all along, then maybe it’s not such an ugly practice after all.

What that suggests to me is that perhaps where Mike Slive ought to start the conversation in the June meetings is in setting meaningful disclosure standards which every coach in the conference has to comply with – and real penalties for those who don’t.

38 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Friday morning buffet

Chock full o’ goodness.

  • In declining to match Florida’s move to raise ticket prices for this year’s Cocktail Party game, Greg McGarity tells his old boss, “It takes two of us to tango, so to speak.”
  • Dan Mullen has no regrets, but admits to “mixed emotions” about the recruiting of Cam Newton.  Let’s see if he feels the same way a year from now.
  • Toughest.  Punishment.  Ever.“Later that school year, Jones failed to comply with a university directive that he complete 40 hours of community service after he was found in a dorm room where marijuana was present. As punishment, the university prohibited him from using his student ID card to charge items at the campus bookstore.” Go, and sin no more!
  • Georgia places five on Phil Steele’s list of top 2011 recruits.
  • Paying outsized salaries to college coordinators:  it’s not just for Texas and the SEC anymore.  (I bet RichRod wonders where that money was when he was the head coach.)
  • Speaking of Michigan, ahhh, what might have been.
  • The national media is beginning to have a very different take on Mike Hamilton’s future than the local media.
  • Chris Low says that Mike Slive is ready to take on the subject of oversigning at this year’s SEC spring meetings.  How would you like to be a fly on the wall for that?

13 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Recruiting, SEC Football

A tribute to a man with a dream… and a pair of red panties.

This one goes in the “damn, son, I don’t think I would have said that” department.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Their mascot can kick your mascot’s ass.

These guns are deadly, people.

Either that, or that Vandy student validated every nerd cliché you know.

15 Comments

Filed under The Body Is A Temple

Let them eat cake.

You know, you read this thoughtful series over at Team Speed Kills about whether college athletes should receive some form of compensation which doesn’t threaten the NCAA’s amateurism standards, see this eminently reasonable point…

The thing is, A.J. Green might have needed the money. And with a better system in place, A.J. Green — who is not known as the kind of guy who goes around breaking rules — might have been able to avoid the incident. That is a case for tweaking the system, not a wholesale revision of what college football has always been…

and start to nod your head in agreement.

That is, until you discover that Mark Emmert doesn’t give a damn what you think about it.  Because he inhabits a different planet than you do.

… He doesn’t believe that infractions such as taking money from a prospective agent or selling sports memorabilia stem from athletes being broke, as is widely the perception.

Right.  It’s not like kids who come from lower class families (or even worse circumstances) and are now expected as a matter of routine to give up their summers for “voluntary” training and summer school could possibly need money any more than the schools which make up Emmert’s constituency do.

22 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA