Gene Wojciechowski has an oh, snap! moment at Mike Slive’s well-deserved expense:
… According to SEC doctrine, Mississippi State should have presented a formal response to the league within 30 days of reporting the Newton allegations. It didn’t. January became February. February eventually became late summer before details finally emerged.
The widely respected Greg Sankey, who oversees the league’s compliance department as associate commissioner, was interested in discovering the truth. But the SEC’s own protocol required Mississippi State to become CSI Starkville. The league junked its investigative department not long after Mike Slive was hired as SEC commissioner in 2002. How’s that working out?
If the SEC got beat up (and it did) because those policies were questioned, it’s partly the league’s fault. The Big Ten concluded its inquiry into the Pryor & Co. situation in less than a week. But the SEC couldn’t nudge its institutions to move things along in less than seven months?
Hey, if you can’t investigate, it must mean there was nothing to investigate in the first place, right?
Artist's representation of what SEC's investigative officer would look like, if he existed.
Here’s Thomas Brown, talking about how he perceived recent problems with Georgia’s program:
“I think you can solve most problems with more competition,” he said. “I think that’s one of the biggest things that’s different from when I was here as a player (to) what’s here now. I came in as a highly-recruited, No. 1 running back in the state of Georgia, No. 2 or three in the nation, and came in I was No. 7 on the depth chart of eight running backs. And I had to compete.
“I think that kind of makes guys raise their level of expectations. I think it’s harder for guys to be motivated when they kind of know they’re guaranteed to play.”
It’s not like he played in the Stone Age. He’s talking about a motivational issue that’s developed in the last three or four years.
Mike Leach’s breach of contract claim gets knocked out by a Texas appellate court, which leaves the Pirate with a lovely parting gift.
… The ruling released Friday allows Leach to try to prove that the university’s reasons for firing him were false, but without monetary relief.
Yeah, that’s so gonna happen.
All of which leads me back to the question I had when the suit first came to my attention: if Texas law holds that a state university can’t be sued for damages for breach of contract, how does a football coach protect himself against a school which reneges on a promise to pay?
Two things of interest in the wake of the Mitchell and Rome commitments:
- It’s Coach Lakatos’ world and we’re just living in it. Georgia now has commitments from four cornerbacks, none of whom are shorter than 6’0″. In a clear departure from Martinez’ recruiting philosophy, smurfs need not apply. Yeah, they’ve still got to be coached, but it’ll be interesting to watch how the secondary develops over the next two or three seasons.
- Even if you’re a skeptic about the program, it was a positive development. Don’t kid yourself – recruiting is a tough sell for Coach Richt right now. For him to go toe to toe with Saban and Smart, two tough recruiters who have a hotter program to pitch, and win is an indication to me that maybe, yes, there still is some fire in the belly. If the greatest flaw in the program over the past few seasons has been attitude and accountability, that begins with the head man. Georgia is in serious need of real, positive momentum and at this time of year, an engaged coach who can put together a top-flight recruiting class would make for a good place for that to start. No, getting the Rome and Mitchell commitments doesn’t mean that the Dawgs are headed for 13-0 country this season, but it’s not like whiffing on them would have helped right the ship, either.