If our acknowledgement that the relevance of the academic side of the student-athlete experience in college football is more than lip service, than this news should be treated as a pretty big deal, if you ask me.
University of Georgia, Rice University, Stanford University and Tulane University will share the American Football Coaches Association’s 2013 Academic Achievement Award, which is presented by the Touchdown Club of Memphis.
Georgia, Rice, Stanford and Tulane recorded a 100 percent graduation rate for members of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2006. This is the first time Georgia and Tulane have received this award, and the second honor for Rice and Stanford.
That is some pretty prestigious company there. Everyone involved in making that happen – coaches, administrators and, most of all, the players themselves – deserve a major round of applause. I’m proud of every one of those graduates. I’m proud of being associated with a school that helped bring that about.
Take a bow, folks. Well done.
He’s not exactly pulling any punches here.
For years and years, Vanderbilt didn’t have the talent to compete — much less beat — other SEC teams. Nicknamed the Harvard of the South, the university has long prided itself on stringent academic requirements.
On Tuesday, Spurrier wondered if that had begun to change.
“I don’t know all the academic requirements they have there at Vanderbilt, but if you’re going to play in the SEC you’ve got to recruit very closely to the standards everybody else has,” Spurrier said. “I would think they’ve relaxed them a little bit, but I don’t know exactly.”
“They want to play,” Spurrier said. “They want to play football, and they want to be competitive, and to do that you almost have to have the requirements pretty close to the other schools. Pretty close.”
It’s interesting that Spurrier doesn’t mind giving James Franklin some obvious bulletin board material for this week’s game. At least he didn’t bring up the suspensions from the rape charges.
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.
We’re getting close and you need to eat.
- Andy Staples’ SEC preview has some nice bits about Georgia, but, alas, no SEC East title.
- Can a defense in football force turnovers?
- Non-football, but Washington Monthly has Georgia ranked second among national universities for most bang for the buck and seventh for all schools.
- Yeah, Corch is still kind of a dick.
- The AJ-C‘s “College Football Insider” ranks Manziel the third-best QB in the conference because “he has plenty of maturing to do”. I had no idea that affected his play last season.
- Loran Smith thinks Mike Bobo still needs defending.
- Here’s a handy index for this year’s media guides.
- Kyle King, in a nice review of Bill Connelly’s new book, confirms that my memory isn’t totally shot, at least not yet.
- Arthur Lynch, on Georgia’s 2011 mindset: “We knew the talent we had, but we didn’t know how to win, if that makes sense.”
- In case you’re wondering what kind of off time starting defensive backs get for being charged with misdemeanor assault in College Station, here you go. (Hint: less than you’d get in Athens, but you already knew that, right?)
- If you’re looking for more information on Georgia’s first opponent, read Paul Myerberg’s preview, complete with a Georgia Tech ding.
Yeah, this’ll fix everything.
The NFL is considering not inviting players who are academically ineligible in college to the scouting combine, a league source told CBSSports.com.
The move is being discussed because of the increased scrutiny on the maturity and commitment of the prospects entering the NFL, the source said, adding that if this measure was in place in 2013, a sizable group of players would not have been invited to Indianapolis for the combine.
But they still would have been eligible for the draft. And, presumably, for private workouts for whatever teams wanted to see them beforehand. Which makes it little more than some ineffective ass covering when the NFL gets asked about the next Hernandez.
Honestly, this sounds like something Mark Emmert would dream up. Is stupidity contagious?
I guess this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given SOD’s need to attend to proper shower etiquette, but academically speaking, Tennessee’s football program is in a world of hurt.
The NCAA released its annual Academic Progress Rates on Tuesday, and Tennessee’s single-year APR of 909 in 2011-12 dropped the Vols’ multiyear score to 924.
Beginning next year, teams whose APR multiyear score dips below 930 or a two-year average of 940 will face possible postseason bans. The NCAA approved raising the minimum threshold from 900 two years ago.
This has truly been a joint effort.
The Vols’ current four-year APR score encompasses the end of Phillip Fulmer’s tenure as coach, Lane Kiffin’s one season at Tennessee and the first two seasons under Derek Dooley. A total of 33 players from the last four signing classes either transferred, left the program for academic, disciplinary or personal reasons or never made it to campus. After the single-year APR jumped from 928 (2008-09) and 921 (2009-10) to 934 in 2010-11, it again dropped significantly.
To escape the academic bowl ban, UT’s next APR score needs to wind up somewhere north of 950. Given that the best the Vols have done is 934, that seems a tall order. So we’re looking at a potential situation where Tennessee gets that magical sixth win for the first time in a while, but still can’t go bowling. Gee, maybe I ought to put up a reader poll to see whether the schadenfreude would be greater for the Urnge to have another losing season, or to get shut down over grades. Nah, I’m not that cruel… at least publicly.
The tidbits, the tidbits!
- So how’s that whole Dream Team thing working out?
Malik Ramik Wilson progresses at inside linebacker.
- Of all the lists I’ve seen, this is certainly one of them.
- Mike Gundy almost left Oklahoma State for Tennessee because of non-conference scheduling.
- Tony Barnhart wants you to know something: “The SEC West is the toughest division in the toughest college football conference in America. This is not debatable.” They don’t call him Mr. Conventional Wisdom for nothing, folks.
- Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker claims Alabama jammed him up with the NCAA. Is there anything to that? John Infante says the Tide had the means, but there’s no way to know about the motive.
- Todd Gurley was banged up at the end of last season… not that you could have known from his production on the field.
- Jeez, this is a creepy story.