Daily Archives: September 11, 2013

“It was a journalism restraining order.”

Saban’s probably calling Steve Spurrier tonight to find out how to pull this off.

In 2011, University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier refused to talk to reporters while Ron Morris of The State — McClatchy’s paper in Columbia, SC — was in the room. The coach complained that the sports columnist was a “negative guy.”

Spurrier did the same thing a year later. “I don’t need any questions today,” he told reporterslast Sept. 22, then left. The coach, according to one sports site, quickly exited because he was feared Morris was planting questions with other reporters after being told by his own paper that he should keep quiet.

The 68-year-old football coach won’t have a repeat performance this year, though, because The State has told Morris he can no longer write about University of South Carolina Gamecocks football…

… Morris declined to talk to me, but others familiar with the situation — including former University of South Carolina and State staffers — described how The State’s publisher, Henry Haitz III, made his veteran columnist agree in writing that he would never again write about Gamecocks football or talk about the USC program on TV and radio shows.

The State hasn’t quit covering Gamecock football.  Quite the contrary – the paper has hired a real pro to fill in.

In late August, The State added longtime Gamecocks football reporter and self-described superfan Glenn Snyder to its sports pages. (He’s a contract writer, not a staffer. Snyder previously reported for a publication that’s sent to USC sports booster-club members.)

“I’ve now seen 343 South Carolina [football] games in a row,” the 67-year-old Snyder told me. “I love the University of South Carolina. I love Steve Spurrier. …Coach Spurrier and I have become friends.” (He noted that Spurrier often drops his name during press conferences.)

Spurrier told me that he helped “Superfan” Snyder get his job at The State.

“I did call The State newspaper and put in a good word for him, and they hired him,” the coach said.

Morris may be an ass, but, man, that’s embarrassing all the way around.

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41 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Evil Genius

“I appreciate your interest in the game.”

So, Charles Robinson just Charles Robinsoned Alabama (among others).

Five Southeastern Conference football stars violated NCAA rules by receiving extra benefits prior to completing their collegiate careers, a Yahoo Sports investigation has found. The benefits – which in some cases came from multiple individuals – were conveyed to University of Alabama offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, University of Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray, Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch, Mississippi State University defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and Mississippi State wideout Chad Bumphis.

Fluker, Bray and Cox are all currently on NFL rosters. Bumphis was recently released by the Miami Dolphins. Couch is a senior starter for the Volunteers this season.

The identities of these players were revealed in a web of financial and text message records belonging to former Crimson Tide defensive end Luther Davis. The records were turned over to Yahoo Sports by a source with ties to the NFL agent community who alleged that Davis was acting as an intermediary between several high-profile college football stars and multiple NFL agents and financial advisers.

Problem is, Nick Saban’s got a Game of the Century this week.  He doesn’t have time for media shit.  Especially repetitive dumbass media shit.

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UPDATE:  In a related matter, the heat is on.

29 Comments

Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Good Bull Hunting, you magnificent bastard.

This is awesome.  How awesome?  Put it this way:  it starts with this…

… and gets better.

BEST CASE / WORST CASE

BY THACKTOR

BEST CASE

Win. Any kind of win. A win is the best case scenario here. Winning. Winning the game against Alabama, to be specific. I do not care if it’s 2-0. Win. The. Game.

Oh, and Saban shuns UT’s money and goes to USC. He forcibly TAKES Lane Kiffin’s job before USC gets a chance to fire him. Distraught, Alabama hires Mack Brown and Texas hires Kiffin. I sleep soundly.

WORST CASE

There’s an immovable Bama fan in my seat and they have purchased all of the concessions. I am forced to taze this individual and, in doing so, am forcibly removed from the Hate Barn by security.

The Big 12 doesn’t deserve a fan base this inspired, damn it.

23 Comments

Filed under The Blogosphere

Knowledge is good.

I’m a little jaded after the academic shenanigans that came to light at North Carolina, so what Sports Illustrated turned up at Oklahoma State seems tame by comparison, but I did get a chuckle out of this:

Shortly after Les Miles took over as Oklahoma State’s football coach in December 2000, he introduced an exhortation that he would use often at the end of team meetings during his four years in Stillwater. “Academics first,” Miles would say. “Football second.”

Miles’s words encapsulated one of the central pillars in the mythos of major-college football: that nothing, not even wins and losses, takes precedence over educating young athletes. The reality is that when jobs and money are at stake, priorities quickly skew.

As Miles said, “Academics first,” he would hold up two fingers. And as he said, “Football second,” he would hold up one.

“You heard his words but you saw what he was doing,” says Doug Bond, a Cowboys offensive lineman from 2002 to ’04. “So the thought process was that you’re going to school just so you can play football.”

It was supposed to be funny.

Miles, the coach at LSU since 2005, denies that he deemphasized academics while at Oklahoma State: “I always said, and I always meant, that academics was the most important thing.” Of the one-finger, two-finger gesture, Miles says it happened just once in “a moment of humor.”

Although, considering the source, there’s another possible explanation.

22 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Wit And Wisdom From The Hat

SEC TV news

Couple of quick points from this piece:  CBS will broadcast college football’s greatest meteor game next weekend, as it should, and it’s likely Georgia-LSU will get the 3:30 nod the following week as what should be the only matchup of top ten conference teams.

17 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

The kibitzing genius

Paul Johnson had some time on his hands, so he watched the Georgia-South Carolina game.  And he’s got some advice for Steve Spurrier.

Gaudin asked about South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s fourth-quarter decision to play out of the shotgun on fourth and goal, inches from the Georgia goal line, rather than have quarterback Connor Shaw go under center. On the play, Shaw pitched to running back Mike Davis, who was tackled shy of the goal line by Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera, a game-turning play in the fourth-quarter.

Johnson first explained that that’s how South Carolina runs its offense.

“I wouldn’t do that, but Coach Spurrier’s won a lot of games,” he said.

Good of him to notice.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, The Evil Genius

Name that caption, bad hair day edition

Les Miles and Mike Gundy, in pre-Hat 2004 days:

(AP Photo/The Tulsa World, Kelly Kerr)

Wonder what they’re discussing…

38 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

Kids, you never had it so good.

This Doug Gottlieb piece on Manziel and why student-athletes should appreciate what they’ve been given is making the rounds and getting plenty of favorable nods.  Me, I’m kinda shaking my head over it.  I don’t doubt the sincerity behind what was written (and it sounds like Gottlieb’s got some personal demons he’s still trying to exorcise, which may explain some of that), but it’s hard to swallow this as some sort of fair deal:

OK, here’s the part of your rights you sign away when you accept the athletic scholarship, which remember, entitles you to all of the above. If you’re a star, we are going to sell you. We’ll use your likeness in promotional materials, we’ll use your talents to help sell season tickets and merchandise, and we’ll sell you to recruit more athletes, and more students, to come to our campus. If you’ve made it big, we’ll continue to do that after you leave.

Terms are thrown around like ‘exploitation’ and ‘indentured servitude,’ neither of which reflect the reality of what takes place, which is the marketing of a young men’s athletic skills in exchange for training, promotion, competition and evaluation in their chosen sport, in addition to the best education the athlete chooses to receive from a university. You want exploitation? Try high-achieving students who earned their way into school, perform at high levels academically, graduate and achieve in the workforce, then are asked to join the alumni association and donate money in addition to whatever student loans they’re attempting to repay. In this way, schools exploit all their students. If anything, athletes get off easy, as athletes can exploit (the action of benefitting from resources) schools, more often than vice versa.

First off,  ‘exploitation’ and ‘indentured servitude’ are not equivalent terms and to suggest they are undermines the argument.  Nobody is putting a gun to the head of a kid and parent and forcing them to sign an agreement with a school. But exploitation?  That’s a different story.  A story that starts with teenagers who are not permitted to seek representation and professional advice before entering into the most significant contractual relationship of their lives.  Teenagers, moreover, who, because of the reality of the sports world, typically don’t have any other alternatives to marketing their skills than inside the NCAA system.

And that whole first paragraph is bullshit in the sense that it’s being pitched as part of the deal.  Kids aren’t told, “hey, we’re going to market you so we can get some of our money back.”  They’re told they’re being held to some arcane notion of amateurism that is supposed to keep college athletics pure and holy.  Except for coaches, I guess.

Yes, you may also help the head coach of the program you signed on with make millions of dollars. But let’s not lose sight of this: show me a coach making millions of dollars, and I’ll show you someone who worked for years, usually decades, for that privilege. Coaches all have their degrees, and have worked their way up through the ranks of the profession just like hard-working people do in every profession. They have earned the right to be fully-vested partners in the firm. They have hired you, essentially, as an intern who gets paid in college credits and other amazing, non-monetary benefits as an important part of a lucrative business. They do not owe you a piece of their salary.

Nor do they owe you any sympathy if you decide you no longer want to play for their program and wish to go somewhere else.  Or if they decide they’d rather coach some other place where the grass is greener.

And that’s the whole problem here.  Schools can jump conferences for money. Conferences can change configurations for money.  Coaches can leave for money, or leverage their positions for money.  None of that makes anyone even blink anymore.  But a kid – even one as obnoxious as Manziel is portrayed to be – asks $25 for an autograph or gets $1000 for a signed jersey and he’s a spoiled, ungrateful asshole who, as Gottlieb puts it, “put the rest of his teammates, his coaches, his family and everyone who ever believed in him at risk”.  Sorry, but that ain’t fair.  Even if he is asked to join the alumni association one day.

10 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Mark Richt has lost control of Junior’s plan.

Seriously, the wheels are coming off the USC wagon fast.

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UPDATE:  Nobody knows, for the win!

37 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

“I could not have imagined that,” Bailey said. “Not at all.”

Me neither.

As for the Southeastern Conference stat nobody saw coming — (Sterling) Bailey’s 14 tackles and one sack through two games dwarf the six stops and one sack by South Carolina All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

The line play in the first two games hasn’t been bad.  It’s been poor pursuit angles and missed tackles from the next levels that’s caused most of the damage so far.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football