Daily Archives: May 22, 2014

“They all think they’re going to make it in the NFL.”

Now this is something I can wholeheartedly get behind:

UGA executive associate athletic director Carla Williams, who counts student-athlete services and life skills among her many responsibilities, told the Athletic Association’s board of directors Thursday about a symposium that has been organized for the Bulldogs’ football players this summer. Attendance for the “2014 Career Management Symposium” is mandatory for all 125 players, and the once-a-week sessions will be conducted over a five-week period beginning on June 18.

The seminars will be conducted by former Georgia and NFL players and the subject matter is designed to be especially useful for players that may eventually become sports professional.

“It will have heavy emphasis on financial literacy and is similar to the NFL’s rookie symposium,” Williams told the board at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee.

Even more impressive, Mark Richt is putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak, by making attendance mandatory.

Since attendance is mandatory, the symposium will count against the new eight hours per week allowance the NCAA has approved for summer training for football.

Well done, folks.  And I expect this is being explained in detail to every mama on the recruiting trail.

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UPDATE:  In what may be the biggest “never mind” in the history of this blog, I’m being told by someone who checked with the school that, contrary to what Chip Towers reported, the seminars don’t count against the eight-hour allowance.  Damn it, Richt, don’t you want to take away practice time?

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79 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Life After Football

Hugh Freeze gives Kendarius Webster a Tunsilectomy.

That conversation between Hugh Freeze and Mark Richt Kendarius Webster believed was about Laremy Tunsil’s recruitment?  Why, the poor lad must be mistaken about what he heard… er, thought he heard.

According to a source with knowledge of the conversation, the call was not “hostile” and actually very cordial. It was also not about Tunsil, but instead about recruits both were interested in. It is not believed that Georgia did any kind of negative recruiting towards Ole Miss in regards to Webster.

A “source with knowledge”?  Damn, how many people were listening in on the conversation?

The whole denial is kind of weird.  Why would two coaches bumping heads on the recruiting trail want to swap talk about their mutual targets, anyway?  For that matter, why even bother to give this further life by commenting on what some kid thought he heard?

Now I’m hoping somebody asks Richt about it.

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I’m innocent. Roll tide.”

The most Alabama thing you’ll read all day.

18 Comments

Filed under Whoa, oh, Alabama

You’ve got to spend money for them to make money.

I had a feeling this was coming.

Remember, that’s for a home schedule that proudly includes Southern, Georgia Southern and ULM.  Call it the Alabama tax.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“We need a little more twitch.”

Meet my new buzzword for Georgia’s defense this year:

“We want to be a little twitchier on the defensive front, which is maybe a little bit different than the things were in the past. We have plenty of size…”

Seriously, there are two things to take away from this.  One, Pruitt’s got a specific vision in mind and he’s got the S&C staff on board.

“We want to trim up a little bit at linebacker so we can play all three downs. And in the secondary, all those guys are built a little different, so (director of strength and conditioning) ‘Coach T’ (Joe Tereshinski) sat down and he’s got an individual plan for all of them. We’ve got a plan. And the kids, we’re going to help them execute it during the summer.”

And two, as last night’s Dawg Porn indicated, he’s a little more optimistic about the defense than he let on before.

Pruitt’s tone was a bit softer Wednesday.

Worried? Alarmed?

Those words aren’t in his vocabulary.

“As long as you’ve got effort and attitude, you can overcome a lot of things. And that’s the big thing we’re going to focus on this summer: effort and attitude,” Pruitt said. “If you lack the skill set or anything like that but you’ve got good effort and good attitude, you’ve got a chance to overcome it. If you ain’t got that, you’re in trouble.”

The story going into fall camp is going to be from which players he can coax that.  But it sounds like he’s confident he can find guys who can play.  That’s making me twitchier.

40 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Bob Kustra’s neverending rage against the machine

Boy, give a guy a blue turf and a bowl win over Big Game Bob – like that’s so freakin’ unusual – and the next thing you know he wants to dictate terms to the rest of college athletics.

You may remember these classic hits from Boise State President Bob Kustra:

  • “The BCS is a fundamentally flawed system that is unfair in its access, governance and revenue distribution…”
  • “We want to propose to the NCAA a mandated home-and-home scheduling arrangement for I-A non-conference football games. Why should Boise State go to Georgia, but more than likely they’re not going to return it?”
  • “… Nowhere is the inequality of the BCS system more evident than in revenue distribution.”
  • “There is considerable irony in the fact that in the highest temple of political correctness, American higher education, the BCS worships the false idols of monopoly, inequity and greed at the expense of the virtues of fairness, access and competition.”

Then again, you may not, because, quite frankly, nobody outside of Kustra’s family really cares what’s bothering him.  That’s not slowing him down, though.  There’s always a new issue du jour to rage against, and today it’s big conference autonomy.  Kustra has submitted an op-ed to USA Today, but since that isn’t the same thing as getting it printed there, he’s turned it over to local media, too.  It’s a real call to arms.

To assure the largesse that intercollegiate athletics needs to feed itself and to perpetuate the dominance of a few, for years now the NCAA leadership has carefully controlled the decision-making structure at the Division 1 level. In the past, the BCS structure guaranteed monopoly control, but the so-called “high resource” five conferences seem to pull the strings these days, with two of the conferences taking the lead in calling the shots for the others. It seems they are never satisfied with their bloated athletic budgets, especially when threatened in recent years by upstart, so-called mid-major programs that steal recruits, oftentimes beat the big boys, “mess with” the national rankings and sometimes take postseason bowl games and revenue away from the anointed few. If they have the resources to outspend their Division 1 colleagues with fewer resources, then why not fix the NCAA rules to do so.

The latest round of NCAA reforms proposes a new governance structure that President Harris Pastides of the University of South Carolina described in a New York Times op-ed piece as allowing universities “to independently determine at what level they can provide resources to benefit students.” Now there’s a sure-fire way to kick off a race for larger athletics budgets. At the very least, they are to be commended for their honesty.

Of course, this grab for money and power is couched in the noblest of terms – it’s all about the student-athletes and paying them beyond the scholarship because they generate revenue for the programs.

Now this shit might be taken seriously, except that Kustra’s had his hand out for some of the loot the big boys keep to themselves for so long that it comes off as little more than comic relief.  And, yeah, more than a little hypocritical.

It is sometimes hard to believe that our finest universities and their presidents are behind this effort to fuel what the former NCAA President Myles Brand termed the “arms race” in Division 1 athletic budgets. You would think that the primacy of the academic mission and the long-held principles of amateur athletics would trump the drive toward commercialism and professionalism in the athletic department. You would think that university presidents would be up in arms at the way the NFL and the NBA use the universities’ athletic departments as training camps and minor league clubs for professional sports.

Kustra would be more than happy to have Boise State take part in the arms race.  It’s just that the Jim Delanys of the world won’t cut him in on the deal.

In related news, Boise State just sold the naming rights to its stadium for $625,000 per year for the next fifteen years.  No doubt that’s to insure that the academic mission retains its primacy.  Wait, what?

With unlimited meals already approved and cost-of-attendance stipends fast approaching on the horizon, the cost of competing in big-time college football is set to increase substantially in the coming years. To his credit, athletic director Mark Coyle wasn’t shy in connecting those developments to today’s.

“There’s a lot of things that are coming down the pipe line,” Coyle said. “A lot of those things need to be defined, but these are things that will help our program to provide for our student-athletes in every way we can.

“We talk about providing a first-class experience to our student-athletes and when we are able to secure a partnership like this with Albertsons, that’s a difference maker for our program to help us address some of those concerns that are coming up in the future.”

Yes, it’s hard to believe.

9 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Thursday morning buffet

Another day, another buffet line.

12 Comments

Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Notre Dame's Faint Echoes, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA