Daily Archives: July 24, 2012

Hand me that bottle.

Please, please tell me Louisville is going to name its new academic center for Maker’s Mark.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich and Makers Mark COO Rob Samuels will hold a press conference later today announcing a partnership that will bring a new academic center to the University of Louisville.

The Academic Center of Excellence will be built under the South Terrace at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. All of the proceeds from the Charlie Strong commemorative Makers Mark bottle which was released last week will go towards the project.

Yep, it’s one day after Mark Emmert nuked Penn State and you can already feel the culture of college athletics changing for the better.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

If at first you don’t succeed…

Maybe the second time will be the charm.

On another note, the canceled Georgia-Ohio State series may not be dead yet.

The reason for canceling it had been that Ohio State didn’t have room on its future schedules because of the planned scheduling agreement between the Pac-12 and Big Ten. But that was canceled last week.

McGarity said he planned to place a call to Ohio State to renew talks.

“I may call them on the way home,” McGarity said.

To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised he hasn’t done that already.  In any event, I hope it leads to something good.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Aaaaand… they’re off!

Boy, that didn’t take long.

Coaches at two programs that I spoke with Monday morning said they had been contacted by Penn State players or people on their behalf previously about possibly transferring before the sanctions were announced.  [Emphasis added.]

Several programs CBSSports.com contacted Monday said they will be faxing over lists of names of Nittany Lions they are interested in recruiting…

The body hasn’t even had a chance to cool yet.

And, yes, it sounds like Mark Richt is ready to embark upon the national land rush to Happy Valley.  (Given the room Georgia has to accommodate transfers on its currently configured roster, there would have been complaints if Richt wouldn’t even admit at least to considering it.)

“A lot of colleges around the country certainly will be interested in some of those players,” Richt said, “and we’re one of those teams. It’s pretty well-documented that we’re under our 85 number right now. We’ll try to get in touch with some of these young men and see what their interest is.”

Two current Penn State players, defensive end Deion Barnes from Philadelphia and linebacker Khairi Fortt from Stamford, Conn, considered Georgia out of high school. Both took official visits to Athens, according to Rivals.com.

Two Penn State commitments—defensive end Garrett Sickels from Red Bank (N.J.) Regional and tight end Adam Breneman from Cedar Cliff (Pa.)—were offered scholarships by Georgia.

After the event, Richt admitted Georgia coaches had already looked at Penn State’s two-deep roster during their annual “hideaway meeting,” Monday.

“We took a little bit of time out of what we were going to do to talk about that a little bit and decide what we might want to do,” he said. “It may not be anybody. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re at least going to explore.”

That may sound insensitive, but it’s the prudent thing to do.  You have to figure that there are a number of kids who won’t stay at Penn State.  You also have to figure that (former Penn State) new strength coach John Thomas is going to find himself being contacted by some of those kids.  It may not lead to anything, but Richt owes it to the program to find out.

I just hope that he warns any interested parties to stay away from scooters and alleys.

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UPDATE:  Paul Myerberg goes into some of the details of the hunt.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Reformer, reform thyself.

It’s hard to argue with Charlie Pierce’s assessment of what Mark Emmert laid on Penn State yesterday.

This is not “reform” because the NCAA, the most corrupt entity in a corrupt business, is still in place, and so are its rules. This is not “reform” because, all over America, there are still multimillion sports enterprises wagging the dog at universities, and coaches with enough power to cover up even the most heinous crimes. This is not “reform” because nothing was, well, reformed.

Even Emmert himself ultimately seems to admit that.

In punishing the Penn State football program with an unprecedented series of sanctions, President Mark Emmert said he hopes the NCAA has served notice that a win-at-all-costs mentality in major college football won’t be tolerated.

This has been a theme for the former University of Washington president since he got the job in October 2010 and scandal after scandal hit the headlines, from Auburn to Miami and State College, Pa.

Yet the NCAA does not plan to overhaul its procedures for handling potential infractions. Emmert made it clear that the $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions and more were put together largely by himself and a handful of NCAA leaders because Penn State and serial child molester Jerry Sandusky presented a unique situation.

In other words, few can imagine anything like this happening again.

“This is a statement about this case,” Emmert said.

It’s kinda like the NCAA’s Bush v. Gore moment.  (Remember “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.”?)  Which is why Mark Fox’ question is a purely rhetorical one.

Dogs basketball coach Mark Fox on the NCAA’s decision: “We’re talking about crimes against children. Let’s just hope – and there’s no comparison here, because the offenses are different – but will the NCAA be as stiff with people who cheat to get a competitive advantage? For them to get involved in this, it’s groundbreaking.”

The only precedent that’s been set is that if there’s enough public outrage about a situation, the NCAA will stretch its bylaws and guidelines as far as need be to mollify the outraged.  I’m sure we won’t ever again have to worry about serial child molesters being enabled by major college athletic departments.  As for the business as usual stuff, I’ll believe things have changed for the better when I see it.

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Filed under The NCAA