Erik Ainge comes clean about his drug addiction, which had gone on for a long time.
… By the time I was a senior in college, I was an addict. I played my whole senior season with a broken finger on my throwing hand. It was really badly broken. Just taking the snap, throwing the ball, handing it off, getting tackled — everything that goes along with playing quarterback — it was very painful.
Throughout that process, I became hooked on pain killers. I got them from the team doctor. I went through the prescriptions pretty fast. After he had been giving them to me for quite a while, he said he couldn’t give them to me anymore.
I was hooked on them and I was playing football, and there was no way I was going to cancel my senior year by going to rehab. I started getting them from people, buying them, getting them off the street. I wasn’t the only player on the team that was doing it, so we knew people. It wasn’t, like, super sketchy or anything. We knew people who had them, and we were Tennessee football players, so they pretty much just gave them to us.
Derek Dooley on player motivation: “What I was surprised at was he wasn’t coming to me and saying, ‘I want the ball.’…I sat there and purposely didn’t give him the ball just to see if he would ever come and he didn’t. Then, I decided we should probably give him the ball.” Okay, fine.
I’m not sure which part of this story amuses me more, that NC State is trying to enforce its trademarked nickname against a school which was using it at least a decade before the farmers, or that it’s taken State twenty years to get around to doing something about it.
“Maybe the answer for most of the ills of our sport is to finally give the football and basketball athletes a choice. Have the NFL and NBA spend the money to establish their own farm systems and draft qualified athletes in those sports right out of high school and sign them to minor league contracts. Let the pro scouts put their money where their mouths are and take the pressure off of college sports.” Well, yeah. The trick is how do you convince the pros to do that?
“Mike assured me everything will work out, and I support that 100 percent,” Martin said. “Whatever happens with the NCAA, I’m here to coach a ball team and to be successful doing that. I’m really not concerned with what the NCAA has to do, what they have to say. We’ll just wait and see when that happens.”
Still, he’s not that trusting.
Martin’s “memorandum of understanding” — a contract has not been finalized — at UT includes clauses that protect his position in the face of NCAA sanctions. The five-year agreement would be extended annually for each year of recruiting restrictions, scholarship reductions or a postseason ban from the NCAA. [Emphasis added.]
With Pearl’s and Junior’s issues, that’s got the potential to be Hewitt-esque.
When the hiring of a new men’s basketball coach prompts columns like this, you know Mike Hamilton’s legacy at Tennessee is just where you’d like it, if you’re a Georgia fan. I don’t know how he still has a job, but long may he run.
… Spurrier was classically critical of his top quarterbacks, neither of whom was particularly efficient in the cool, damp morning weather at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Senior Stephen Garcia, in his first scrimmage action since his suspension last week, was 5 for 13 for 51 yards with a 26-yard touchdown strike to DeAngelo Smith in the back left corner of the end zone.
Backup Connor Shaw was often shaky in his decision-making, going 4 for 14 for 47 yards and an interception on a deep ball. He did make one nice throw on an out route to Lamar Scruggs, a 14-yard pickup as he was getting hit.
Overall, Spurrier was concerned with Shaw’s timing and his ability to get the ball out quickly. He thinks, too, that the sophomore is deciding to run much too quickly, a complaint he’s historically had about Garcia.
… As Spurrier heard Garcia and Shaw’s stats, he repeated them and sort of rolled his eyes.
“I wish one of them would just hit them all and take his steps and throw it when he’s supposed to,” Spurrier said. “That doesn’t happen. That’s why we’ll probably run the ball about 50 times a game, hopefully, with Marcus (Lattimore) and Kenny Miles and Eric Baker.”
That’s Defcon 4 for Spurrier. The next level is a promise to run the Wildcat with Lattimore taking direct snaps.
“I’m to blame for that, too. I’m the head coach. I’m responsible for our performance,” Smart said Thursday. “I respect coach Chaney a lot, the way he’s handled things with you guys yesterday but also with our players more importantly. He owns up to them with them.” -- AJ-C, 12/29/16