Daily Archives: December 21, 2011

Quarterbacks. You can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em.

I’m not sure what Seth Emerson is getting at when he writes,

At first glance, Georgia seems set at quarterback for two more seasons with Murray, one of the top at his position in the SEC. But the Bulldogs’ situation at the most important position is actually full of questions.

The central one revolves around Mason, who has been open about possibly transferring after this season in order to start somewhere else. And if Mason does leave, is LeMay ready to be the top backup? Finally, it may not be likely to happen, but what if Murray has left the door open to exploring the NFL after next year.

Let’s see… entrenched starter (see Doug Gillett’s post about why Murray is entrenched) and back up quarterback who is frustrated over lack of playing time behind said starter.  Gee, where have I heard that song before?

Listen, Mason’s gotta do what’s best for himself, whether that’s take a redshirt for some separation with Murray or leave the program.  Either way, the offense will survive.  Murray’s here at least another year, most probably two.  LeMay’s green, but so what?  He’s not playing for real for at least another season.  (And if there’s one thing we can be fairly comfortable about with this program, it’s that Bobo can develop a quarterback.)

In other words, this ain’t uncertainty.  It’s how things go typically at a major school’s football program.

The time to worry about Georgia’s quarterback situation isn’t when the staff has to deal with questions like these.  It’s when there aren’t any options at all and they’re stuck with a quarterback who says things like “I kind of saw Norwood and was like, hmmm, but I decided to throw it anyway…”  after tossing a pick-six.

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Filed under Georgia Football

I got yer plantation for you, right here.

I don’t know if any of you flipped through the rest of the NCAA override report I linked to yesterday, but if you didn’t, I suggest you pop it open again, turn to page fifteen and prepare to become pissed off.  I know I am.

It’s the response to proposal 2011-97, which allows schools to offer scholarships as multi-year grants.  As much crap as I toss in Mark Emmert’s direction, here’s something he’s pushed that deserves nothing but praise.  It’s laudable for at least two reasons I can think of off the top of my head:  it strikes a legitimate blow against the roster management excesses most of us find objectionable and it drills in the point to every student-athlete that a scholarship isn’t more than a one-year commitment unless it says so in writing.

Another plus is that it gives smaller schools a market-based tool to use in the recruiting wars.  Duelling one-year offers between an SEC school and a Sun Belt school may seem like a no-brainer type of decision for a recruit, but what happens when the mid-major’s offer is twice as long as the big boy’s?  Nothing wrong at all with a little leveling on the playing field, in my book, especially if it results in a win-win for the school and the player.

So you’d think the small fry would be all in on this baby.  Wrong, bacon breath.  Just read what Boise State “believes”:

2001-97 creates a recruiting disaster that affects both the prospective student-athletes and the institutions. Institutions will be competing for recruits by “making the best deal.” One school may only be able to offer a one-year grant while another offers 2-years and another 4-years. In order to be competitive, institutions may offer multi-year awards so they can sign higher level recruits. However, there is never a guarantee that the incoming student-athlete will be a good fit for the program and the institution. If it is a poor fit the program is put in a difficult situation to continue to keep a student-athlete on scholarship.

Please don’t make us pay for our inability to assess a kid’s talent and character, NCAA!

Part two is an even more naked assertion that the NCAA’s feature is the Broncos’ bug.

When you combine 2001-97 with 2001-96 it creates a culture of brokering. For a prospective student-athlete, the decision as to where to attend college and participate in athletics is most likely the biggest decision they will make at that point in their lives. That tough decision becomes more complicated when the student and his/her family have to factor in what school “offers the best deal” versus where they may want to attend if all offers were for one year without the enticement of 2,000.

God forbid we give these kids a little more control over their fates.

And that’s the real issue here.  Andy Staples’ righteous indignation is spot on.

So why does Boise State hate the idea so much that its officials wrote that the proposal would “create a recruiting disaster?” “When you combine 2001-97 with 2001-96 [the stipend proposal] it creates a culture of brokering,” reads the override request. “For a prospective student-athlete, the decision as to where to attend college and participate in athletics is most likely the biggest decision they will make at that point in their lives. That tough decision becomes more complicated when the student and his/her family have to factor in what school ‘offers the best deal…'”

Hmmm. People brokering the best deal for themselves. Why does that sound so familiar? It almost sounds like a school that by 2013 will have hopped conferences twice in two years. Apparently, that’s OK for Boise State’s athletic department, but it’s not OK for an 18-year-old. Hypocrisy, thy name is Smurf Turf.

All those people bitching and moaning about the NCAA’s amateurism fetish not allowing players to be paid being a form of slavery… folks, this is the plantation you should be itching to burn down.  Because this is nothing more than a bunch of schools seeking to hang on to power and control over kids with none once they sign on the dotted line.  As Staples notes, Todd Graham can skip from school to school without an issue.  Indeed, Graham’s former employer can jump conferences seemingly at a moment’s notice without any repercussion.  Hell, both do so because there’s a benefit to it.

But when it comes to the student-athlete, the free market, even the limited one granted by this proposal, is one of those “good for me, but not for thee” deals that simply can’t be tolerated.  More Staples:

… Each athlete’s eligibility is finite. He or she has five years to play four. That makes eligibility a supremely valuable resource. The schools know this, which is why, depending on if the athlete has already redshirted, he is tethered to the school by the threat of losing one-fourth or one-fifth of a career.

How is the school tethered to the athlete? By that one-year, renewable scholarship. Schools can drop a player for no reason, and the player has no recourse to get his scholarship back. If an athletic director fires a pro-style offensive football coach and replaces him with a coach who runs the option, every quarterback on the roster becomes expendable. If a run-and-gun hoops coach gets canned in favor of a bleed-the-shot-clock defensive whiz, then the hair-trigger point guard becomes dead weight. Can these athletes leave for another school of their own volition? Sure. If they want to sit out a year or fight for a waiver they may not get that would allow them to play immediately.

This is the part where the anti-athlete faction usually chimes in to say athletic scholarships should be no different than academic scholarships, which are almost universally annually renewable based on a series of scholastic benchmarks. That argument works only to a point. Here is where an athletic scholarship differs from an academic scholarship: Georgia Tech will not allow a new president to suddenly convert the campus to a liberal arts college and yank the scholarships of engineering students so he can recruit more philosophy majors. Universities do not alter their missions overnight. College sports teams — especially college football and basketball teams — alter their missions overnight relatively frequently.

Indiana State officials believe the system “isn’t broke” because it is so ludicrously tilted in favor of the schools. As long as the schools make rules to give the Todd Grahams of the world all the power, the Todd O’Briens don’t stand a chance.

It’s outrageous.  It’s just wrong.  And, by the way, as Staples notes, they’re only three schools short of derailing this proposal with the start of an override process.

Brian Cook shares some additional, caustic thoughts on the matter here.

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Filed under College Football, The NCAA

Apocalypse Liberty Bowl

Coach Franklin, I get that winning a bowl game would be a big deal for a program on the rebound like yours, but this seems a bit, well… over the top.

I mean, “us against the world”?  Dude, there isn’t a soul in North Korea who knows you even exist.

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Filed under SEC Football

What more can I say?

If I’ve ever linked to a more “presented without comment” item than this, I’m hard-pressed to remember what it was.  (h/t The Wiz of Odds)

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, General Idiocy

Maybe money can’t buy you happiness, but it can sure get you upgraded facilities.

This goes in the “nothing surprises me anymore” bin:  Coastal Carolina fires a head coach with a winning record and replaces him with a guy last seen as the head coach of a 1-5 UFL team… who happens to be a billionaire.

Oh, in case you were wondering, you shouldn’t be.

There are no NCAA regulations limiting how much the nation’s wealthiest college coach can spend on the Coastal Carolina program either directly or through donations.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

“Aron White, Aron White, folks… he’ll be here all week. Try the veal.”

One of my favorite Dawgs has a suggestion on how to keep Orson Charles on campus next season.

… The big question is whether starter Orson Charles will go pro. White, who has been sharing snaps with Charles for most of the past few years, has an angle on how Georgia can get Charles to return:

Get White into the end zone in the Outback Bowl.

White and Charles are tied for the all-time touchdown record for a tight end at Georgia. So White, a senior, hopes that he gets one in the bowl game to take the lead, and then Charles decides he wants the record and returns for his senior year.

“So everybody root for me to score a touchdown in the bowl if you want Orson to come back,” White said. “I’m doing this for you all, not for me.”

Okay, maybe he’s not being completely selfless about it.

White also joked – at least he was probably joking – that he didn’t want Charles to go pro now and “kill my draft stock.”

It’s been a good year for a DGD.

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Filed under Georgia Football