Monthly Archives: January 2014

Friday afternoon buffet

Here are a few things I couldn’t get to earlier in the week.

  • AJ McCarron claims he knew the losses were coming because some of the younger players didn’t “buy in”.  I’m not sure what that has to do with letting Auburn run back a missed field goal for the game winner, but whatever.  Maybe they won’t buy in this season either.
  • Texas had $165.7 million in operating revenue and $146.8 million in operating expenses for 2012-13.  Good Lord.
  • Barrett Sallee has an interesting look at a recruiting visit to Georgia.  Best thing in there is Aron White talking about his official visit being the first time he saw people eating oysters.
  • “Meanwhile, the Teflon Tide keeps rolling through what’s considered a wide-ranging list of clichéd violations alleged against them.”
  • Kentucky is considering plans for a brand-new, privately funded $45 million football training facility.
  • Chip Towers asks the musical question “Did Georgia’s defense get better as result of Grantham’s departure?”
  • Jimmy Williamson, take notes.
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24 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA, Whoa, oh, Alabama

You can’t put a price tag on working for Mark Richt.

Given what Auburn is paying Rodney Garner, Tracy Rocker’s contract looks like a good deal for Georgia.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Tommy Tuberville’s wet dream

Auburn is contemplating claiming a national title for its 2004 team.

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UPDATE:  Bruce Feldman has a point.

What next? Does Utah also get to claim a national title in 2004 since the Utes won a BCS Bowl in a blowout, were undefeated that year and didn’t have players who went on HBO RealSports and said they received extra benefits as some Tiger players from that team later did?

Corch couldn’t have said that any better himself.

32 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ

Moar coaching staff

It sounds like Richt and Pruitt are zeroing in on their last candidate for the defensive staff.

Mike Ekeler, who coached Southern California’s linebackers this past season, has emerged as a serious candidate to join Georgia’s staff. In fact, two sources at UGA said Ekeler was on his way to meet with head coach Mark Richt on Thursday.

Attempts to reach Ekeler for comment were unsuccessful. A source cautioned that it was not yet a done deal, and that Ekeler had also been speaking with UCLA. But the fact he was heading to meet Richt points to an advanced candidacy.

There is no firm connection between Ekeler and UGA, although he did work at Oklahoma with Chris Wilson, who spent last season as Georgia’s defensive line coach. Wilson, coincidentally, left for the same job at Southern California.

Ekeler, 42, was Indiana’s defensive coordinator from 2010-12, and one of his assistants was Jon Fabris, the former Georgia assistant. Prior to that Ekeler was an assistant at Nebraska for three years under Bo Pelini. Ekeler also worked at LSU from 2005-07, serving as an intern and graduate assistant, when Pelini was the defensive coordinator there. The Tigers won the national title while Ekeler was there.

If Ekeler is hired, that would mean three of the four members of the defensive staff would have coordinator experience.

Ekeler also has some other experience that I’m guessing is attractive to Richt.

A source said Ekelar, if hired at UGA, would help coach linebackers and also have a role coaching special teams. Ekeler was a special teams standout at Kansas State, where he played from 1991-94.

In fact Ekeler was named the national special teams player of the year as a senior by the George Michael Sports Machine, the now-defunct national sports show.

The George Michael Sports Machine?  Way to dig, Seth.

Seriously, it can’t hurt.  Although that Fabris relationship makes me a little nervous.  If Ekeler comes out in his presser admitting he likes a challenge, good luck to Marshall Morgan.

(Also, note the end of Emerson’s piece – it looks like Kelin Johnson is coming home as a graduate assistant.)

13 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Easier said than done.

Ivan Maisel neatly summarizes how we got to pondering the possibility of a college players union:

Regardless of which side you come down upon in the debate over whether student-athletes should be allowed to unionize, there’s no question that the NCAA and its member schools brought this upon themselves. They have dismissed the student-athletes’ concerns, if they ever listened. The industry needs to find an answer beyond “Shut up and look how much we’re spending on you.” That isn’t working.

Sadly, they think it is.

But then I attended the NCAA convention earlier this month, where Duke lacrosse player Maddie Salamone — representing the organization’s largely ceremonial Student-Athlete Advisory Committee — got up in front of 800 Division I administrators and lamented, “The student-athlete voice is not as meaningful as we have been led to believe in the past.”

You would think at some point that somebody with a modicum of common sense would urge his or her peers to pull their collective heads out of their asses.  But this is the NCAA we’re talking about, so that’s still something of a pipe dream.

6 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label, The NCAA

You snooze, you lose.

Some of you will probably want to see this as some sort of metaphor.

I just wish Bobo had the presence of mind to capture the moment with some cell phone video.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

It’s for their own good.

College coaches really aren’t digging the graduate transfer rules these days.

… Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski went as far as calling the rule a “farce.” And even coaches whose teams have benefited from such transfers would like to see changes.

“I think we’ve reached a point with the epidemic of transfers that it would probably make sense to have everybody sit out a year regardless of circumstances,” said Arizona State Coach Herb Sendek, whose second-leading scorer, Jermaine Marshall, left Penn State after graduating. “We really have a free agency market in the spring.”

The Division I Leadership Council was expected to discuss the rule at the NCAA convention two weeks ago but the matter was tabled. One potential change to the rule would be to grant transferring graduate students an extra year of eligibility and then force them to sit out a season before they use it.

Yeah, free agency sucks.  If you’re a coach, that is.

Except, as John Infante notes, graduates aren’t really free agents.

… Like all other transfers, graduate transfers need permission to contact another institution. If a coach denies permission to contact and it is upheld on appeal, the athlete cannot accept an athletic scholarship at a potential transfer destination.

But let’s say an athlete is both willing to transfer without being recruited by the next institution and is willing to walk-on. They still cannot play immediately without the support of their previous institution under either the graduate transfer exception or graduate transfer waiver.

So even with a graduate, if a coach wants to be a prick about transferring, there’s nothing the student-athlete can do about it.

Which begs a question Infante is more than willing to answer.

So when coaches say they want the NCAA to restrict graduate transfers to avoid “free agency”, they are forgetting or ignoring the tools the NCAA already gives them in the transfer process, even for graduate students. What they are in fact asking for is some combination of the following:

  • For the NCAA to save them from having to make the unpopular decision to deny permission to contact or the release to play immediately; and/or
  • For the NCAA to prevent School A from letting an athlete transfer to School B and play right away even though School A has no problem with it.

Sounds about right.  After all, when it comes to control, why leave anything to the amateurs?

28 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Not coming soon to a SEC Network outlet near you

The next time somebody whines in your presence about why college professors and administrators make less than football coaches, point them to this handy FAQ from the SEC Network:

20. Will there be academic programming?

There are no dedicated blocks of academic programming planned at the outset of the network, but there will be opportunities to promote the academic and research accomplishments and reputations of SEC institutions within the live event programming of the network.

C’mon.  I sat through some pretty riveting lectures in my day, let me tell you.  Of course, maybe that’s just me.

They could always cut the baby in half by creating a reality show that follows a few athletes around as they go to class and work with their tutors.  Call it “The Sausage Factory”.  No?

13 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., SEC Football

The NFL can’t win for losing.

Pity the poor oligarchs.  They’ve got a free developmental league in college football.  They got the player’s union to agree to a rookie salary cap so that nobody gets a really big deal until he reaches his second contract.

And now the law of unintended consequences has struck, much to their dismay.  (h/t Mandel)

That leads players—and the agents and buddies whispering into their ears—to the following thought: Get into the NFL as soon as possible to get that free agency clock started and get to that big money.

The result is that you’re getting more and more players leaving school early, many of whom aren’t ready. “The college programs are having a big problem,” said one prominent NFC general manager who spends a lot of time on the road scouting. “That means the NFL has a big problem. I can only speak for me, but I want guys who have skins on the wall. A lot of these guys don’t have them, and you’re having to project even more.”

Quick – to the waaambulance!

There’s a suggestion that more education about life in the NFL is on its way to college players, but that ain’t gonna fly because who wants to knock the very thing that tempts so much talent into playing college ball in the first place?

Nah, my money’s on a more elegant, yet simple solution – the end of underclassmen being eligible for the NFL draft.  Blame it on Obama and concussions, or something.  Do it for the kids is always a popular working thesis. Pay no attention to that bank account behind the curtain.

26 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Because there’s never a wrong time for Dawg Porn.

ESPN Insider’s national college football writer dishes out some Jeremy Pruitt love.

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UPDATE:  In case you’re interested, Pete Roussel says there’s a GA who will follow Pruitt to Athens.

25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football