Daily Archives: June 12, 2014

Back to high school

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but, while Mark Richt won’t directly criticize Grantham, he has been quick to tout the new staff’s high school, as opposed to NFL, background.  Some of that he chalks up to teaching,

“All the coaches have all coached high school football at one time or another in their career,” UGA head coach Mark Richt said. “I think that’s important, because in high school you take a kid from ground zero, and you’ve got to teach fundamentals. You’ve got to be a true teacher, literally a teacher in the classroom. … So they’re really good teachers, good fundamental football coaches.”

I wonder if there’s something else in play, as well.  Seth Emerson gets at that in his Mailbag:

Coaching-wise, Grantham’s NFL background perhaps made him a bit more tolerant of things. That was fine when you had fiery leadership on defense his first three years, such as Christian Robinson, Jarvis Jones and Shawn Williams. But that was lacking last year, from what Smith told me.

Shawn Williams… now that I think about it, you could argue there was leadership lacking on the 2012 defense, at least for part of the season, too.

It’s interesting, given Grantham’s on field nature, that he’s described as tolerant.  But it’s clear he didn’t read his kids correctly if he thought they could motivate themselves.  That’s understandable for that 2012 bunch, but to think that approach would work with a defense as green as Georgia’s was last year was bad judgment.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“I just committed.”

Is it just me, or does it seem like Georgia has seriously accelerated its evaluation and offer time to recruits since Jeremy Pruitt showed up?

The 6-foot-4, 218 pounder camped at Georgia on Tuesday and was offered by Mark Richt and staff on Wednesday during an unofficial visit. During his time at camp, McCrae posted an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.62 seconds.

McCrae had been evaluated by Bobo and Ekeler previously and Tuesday wasn’t his first trip to Athens, but you get the feeling from the story and this tidbit from Carvell

By the end of the day, McCrae had committed to UGA over Kentucky, Louisville, and Michigan State. His runner-up school was Auburn, even though he hadn’t earned an offer from there yet.

“I think Auburn was fixing to pull the trigger,” he said. “If Auburn would’ve offered first, I would’ve committed there.”

… that the staff moved this into a higher gear once it sensed that other programs were focusing in on the kid.  Also, don’t forget this follows on the whirlwind courtship of Quincy Vasser.

Remember, this is the same Mark Richt who liked to move deliberately in making offers and complained about other programs tossing out offers like candy.  Now if you don’t want to be guilty of the same practice – and I don’t think Richt does – but you want to be assured you’re making the right calls with your offers, you’ve got to work harder and you’ve also got to be very confident in your player evaluations.

It’ll be interesting to see where this all shakes out in two or three years, but Georgia looks like it’s doing recruiting differently these days.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“I didn’t think it was fair at all.”

If you really want to understand why I think the NCAA’s control over player likenesses is wrong, let me introduce you to my poster boy, Tyrone Prothro.

Three years after suffering a gruesome career-ending injury in 2005, former Alabama star Tyrone Prothro wrote a book, Catch & Hold. He wanted to include some action shots from his playing career, but upon contacting a university photographer he learned he’d have to buy the images from the school’s website for $10 apiece. So he didn’t include them…

… In 2005, however, just months before breaking both legs on a horrific freak play, the receiver made “The Catch,” a spectacularly rare play that won that year’s Pontiac Game Changing Performance award, earning his school $100,000 for its general scholarship fund.

Over the next year, Prothro watched “The Catch” replayed over and over in ads for the award with a Pontiac logo stamped on the highlight. Yet neither Pontiac nor the game broadcasters sought to compensate him for use of the image, because they didn’t need to. If they had, Prothro, who had college eligibility remaining, couldn’t have accepted it.

Even three years later, he learned, he still did not control the rights to his own images as an Alabama football player…

There are so many things wrong with that picture, particularly when you factor this in, it’s hard to know where to start.  And it’s why I hope the plaintiffs kick the NCAA’s ass in O’Bannon.  Because nobody else in America, including the people who run the athletic departments and the NCAA, has to put up with that kind of restriction on their person.

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Filed under The NCAA

Division IV and the next round of conference realignment

And while we’re on the subject of big conference autonomy, John Pennington asks an excellent question that I’ve pondered lately, namely, if the mid-majors call Mike Slive’s bet and the Power Five react by forming the Division IV Slive threatened to create if he didn’t get his way, will that lead to a new round of conference expansion/realignment?

Pennington’s in the “duh, of course it will” camp and cites a couple of reasons why.  First (and most obvious), there are going to be some programs left out initially that want to be brought into the tent.  Because, you know, money.  Second, a hyper division is going to lead to plenty of political jockeying among the power conferences and a bigger conference will be able to cast more votes on a contentious issue.

I tend to agree that a new division will set off another realignment whirlwind.  I’d like to think it would be for a positive purpose, as it would give the power conferences a chance to realign into something that could benefit the postseason in a way that would strengthen the regular season – the chance to organize four sixteen-team conferences, with the conference championship games serving as the first round of the playoffs for the national title.  But I’m kidding myself, of course.  For one thing, that would mean lopping off one school (current power conference members plus Notre Dame total sixty-five.)  Second, when’s the last time these people did the right thing?

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Filed under College Football

What’s all the hubbub, bub?

Mark Emmert is Cocoon Man.

Despite recent saber rattling from Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive that resuscitated talk of a separate division for the 65 wealthiest athletic departments, NCAA president Mark Emmert told USA TODAY Sports on Wednesday he remains confident the current framework for a new governance structure under the Division I umbrella will be approved in August.

“The reality is, they’re not that far apart on the various ends of that and I’m pretty confident the whole thing is going to work out and probably be successful,” Emmert said following a closed-door meeting with more than 100 Division I athletics directors at the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention.

Now while I don’t doubt that in the end the little guys cave and Slive and Company get what they want, the idea that there’s an even-level set of negotiations going on and everyone’s just working on smoothing out a few loose ends is humorous, to say the least.

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Filed under Blowing Smoke, The NCAA

Adios, Joker.

So, Joker Phillips is out at Florida, ostensibly for the standard “personal reasons”, although there is a mysterious hint that it has something to do with NCAA recruiting violations.  His replacement to coach the wide receivers is former Gator quarterback Chris Leak.

You can choose to focus on different parts of the story – what Phillips did, how Florida fills the gap on the recruiting front, Leak and Tebow jokes – but the part to me that’s most significant about this is that it marks the second time in three years that Boom has turned to a graduate assistant to coach his receiving corps.

That’s why you can’t have a nice passing game, Gator fans.

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Filed under Gators, Gators...