Daily Archives: February 17, 2011

There goes the sympathy vote.

Really, this was inevitable:

And people wonder how the Hatfields and McCoys got started.


Filed under Whoa, oh, Alabama

“Unless you’re calling to apologize, don’t call my phone no more,”

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for Auburn football.  In addition to the school’s confirmation that the trees at Toomer’s Corner were poisoned, FoxSports.com’s Thayer Evans reported that the NCAA is hot on the trail of Trooper Taylor for possible recruiting violations.

… Lorio said the NCAA investigator who interviewed him asked if he believed Auburn had committed NCAA violations in its recruitment of Robinson, who signed with the national champion Tigers earlier this month. Robinson and Reed, who redshirted as a freshman this past season, were both primarily recruited by Trooper Taylor, Auburn’s assistant head coach.

“I can’t say what Auburn did because I don’t know and I wasn’t involved very much,” Lorio said Wednesday. “I really don’t know truthfully.”

“My answer is what went on with Greg’s recruitment, you’re going to have ask Trooper Taylor, Greg, his parents and, I believe, Sean Nelson. I don’t have any more answers because I don’t know.”

Nelson sounds like quite a guy.

… Nelson says his mentoring program, Total Package, consists of 30 kids, has 10 workers and is based out of a local church. He says not all boys in the program are involved in athletics, but for those like Robinson, the program provides opportunities to work out with an adult in the evenings.

“It’s for kids that need help in any kind of way,” Nelson says.

Nelson says he hopes to someday devote all his time to the program. He plans to seek grants for it; he currently raises money through donations and fundraisers.

Nelson says he has known Reed since the player was in sixth grade and became his guardian after Reed’s mother died nearly two years ago. He says he didn’t realize Reed had a chance to play college football until the youngster performed well at an LSU camp early in his high school career, and says he didn’t have a plan for Reed’s recruitment until a higher power stepped in.

“God gave me a vision,” he says.

According to Nelson, God told him to take Reed to camps and “live on the Internet” so he could do research and network with web-based recruiting gurus.

The Lord works in mysterious ways sometimes, although in this case, Trooper Taylor seems to have figured it out.

… Lorio said the NCAA investigator also asked about Robinson’s grandmother, Lydia Robinson, whom Lorio said he has never met. Robinson said Wednesday she was not interviewed by the NCAA and declined further comment.

But she told FOXSports.com last month that she was unhappy with Auburn’s recruitment of her grandson and Nelson having taken him to Auburn on unofficial visits. Robinson also hoped her grandson would choose another school.

She said Auburn’s coaches “weren’t very intelligent” and was especially critical of Taylor, who she says “got a lot of lies in there when he was talking.”

That sort of sounds like the old joke “how do you know when XXXX is lying?  His lips are moving.”

Look on the bright side, Auburn fans.  At least the story doesn’t involve Cecil Newton.



Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Recruiting

Al from Dadeville goes all in.

If you’re a rational human being, you can’t help but be appalled by someone deliberately poisoning a pair of 130-year old trees.

But let’s face it – what elevates this story from the merely sad to the truly bizarre is this:

… Fortunately for police – and unfortunately for Gogue’s call for civility – the prime suspect has already confessed to the deed on the record, to one of the largest and most deranged radio audiences in the South. On Jan. 27, a ‘Bama fan going by the name of “Al from Dadeville” called the hugely popular Paul Finebaum Show (for the uninitiated, think of it as a radio version of “The Jerry Springer Show” for hardcore SEC fans) expressly to gloat over his crime:

Al: This year I was at the Iron Bowl. And I saw where they put a “Scam Newton” jersey on Bear Bryant’s statue.

Finebaum: OK, now, again, that’s 28 years later.

Al: Well lemme tell you what I did. The weekend after the Iron Bowl, I went to Auburn, Alabama, because I live 30 miles away, and I poisoned the two Toomer’s trees.

Finebaum: [laughing] Well that’s fair.

Al: I put Spike 80DF in them.

Finebaum: Did they die?

Al: Do what?

Finebaum: Did they die?

Al: They’re not dead yet, but they …

Finebaum: They will be?

Al: They definitely will die.

Finebaum: Is that against the law? To poison a tree?

Al: Do you think I care?

Finebaum: No.

Al: I really don’t.

Not care?  Hell, it’s even money this guy winds up revealing himself publicly to take credit for his act before all is said and done.  Because that’s how they roll (Tide Roll) over there.


Filed under Whoa, oh, Alabama

“UGA you just got one hell of a coach in Kirk Olivadotti.”

Now this is service:  a day after my mock call for action on the hiring front, it looks like Georgia has its man.

Georgia is expected to name Washington Redskins assistant coach Kirk Olivadotti to its defensive coaching staff by the end of the week.

And at least one former Bulldog says that is very good news.

“UGA you just got one hell of a coach in Kirk Olivadotti,” former Georgia and current Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels posted on Twitter.  “The defense just got a whole lot better. One of the smartest coaches I have ever known. Enjoy success with him on board. Congrats K.O.”

Georgia hasn’t announced the hire, but the Washington Post reported that Olivadotti is leaving the Redskins to accept the position. Assistant-coaching hires at Georgia often are delayed for a day or longer while pre-employment background checks are completed.

Makes me wonder what I could accomplish if I wasn’t kidding.

Joking aside, there’s a lot to like about this hire.

  1. The process. No muss, no bother.  The lack of drama around this (and Friend’s hire) speaks volumes about what seems to be a new sense of control and order around the football program.  It’s early and I don’t want to read too much into it, I continue to be impressed with the absence of false steps lately.  I’ve said it before, but sometimes a losing season does have the benefit of focusing the mind.
  2. Delegation. Friend’s hire was an indication to me that Richt was giving his coordinators more responsibility to fashion the staff.  Olivadotti’s hire cements that.  I don’t think there’s any doubt this is Grantham’s guy.  It’s another sign that Richt has been willing to adjust his management style.
  3. The résumé. Olivadotti’s experience is tailor-made for what Georgia was looking for in Belin’s replacement:  11 years in the NFL working with top-notch coordinators, with experience in quality control, position coaching at all three levels of the defense and special teams coaching experience to boot.  In fact, it’s so in tune with Georgia’s needs I almost wonder what the catch is.

The question we should be asking today is how a program with a head coach on everybody’s hot seat managed to make itself attractive enough to draw an established NFL coach of Olivadotti’s caliber.  The pessimist in me keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop, but in the meantime, I have to acknowledge that Mark Richt is still on a roll.  He needed a big offseason and so far he’s got one.


Filed under Georgia Football