Embattled scouting service owner Will Lyles told Yahoo! Sports that University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly personally approved a controversial $25,000 fee that sparked an ongoing NCAA investigation and was in constant contact as Lyles provided the Ducks with recruiting assistance that may have violated NCAA rules.
In a wide-ranging, multi-day interview, Lyles said Kelly “scrambled” in late February and asked Lyles to submit retroactive player profiles to justify the $25,000 payment to his company, just days before the transaction was revealed in a March 3 Yahoo! Sports report.
[Offensive Line] Outlook: Poor. If Georgia manages to negotiate the season without a starter losing significant time to an injury — a virtual impossibility — this could end up being a serviceable SEC group. More than likely the Bulldogs are going to have to coach around this position as a liability.
I think there’s the potential for the starting five to be more than serviceable. But if any one of them gets hurt, things sure could get ugly in a hurry.
I highly recommend that you take a minute and read Kit’s post. What he has to say there goes for me in spades – except that I’d add to his formula list the development I’ve seen cropping up of late, both here and elsewhere, from people who have no clue grounded in actual knowledge asserting that Richt’s recent shortcomings as the head coach are due to lack of effort and lack of concern because he isn’t living, breathing Georgia football 24-7.
Evidently you can’t succeed unless you’re totally obsessed. You know, like this guy.
The armchair psychology seems to have kicked up a notch with Richt’s trip to Honduras. It seems that showing concern for the world’s less fortunate and having sincere religious convictions will get you seven-loss seasons as a direct result. I’m a Jew (and not a particularly observant one at that) who’s been unhappy with the program’s direction over the past three seasons and I still find this whole line of criticism of Richt’s Christianity obnoxious.
And the flip side of the argument – that the spoils go to the clinically preoccupied – is ridiculous, when you think about it. Nick Saban, the poster boy for those who think Richt is too balanced to succeed, famously owns a home on Lake Burton. Maybe he never uses it. He also took time recently to help victims of the tornadoes that did so much damage in Alabama. The only difference between that effort and Richt’s is that Saban didn’t have to get a passport. The coach whose team embarrassed Saban’s in the Iron Bowl and went on to an undefeated, national title-winning season (surely the ultimate proof of complete devotion) is about to embark on a five-day, four-state tour promoting his new book. Face it: relaxed, balanced coaches with outside interests win titles all the time. (Like Richt in 2002 and 2005, remember?)
I get the frustration some of us have and the burning desire to see Georgia succeed. I do. And as I’ve blogged repeatedly, there are things dragging the program down which need to be corrected if Richt is going to survive as head coach. But the idea that he’s wired to fail and the only way Georgia can become great is to replace him with somebody who doesn’t have a life outside of coaching football – sorry, that’s just something I can’t accept.
Not to mention it’s no guarantee of eternal success, either.
“Now that Belin is back home, he only wishes his parents had lived long enough to see it. His father died in 2006, and his mother died Dec. 4, 2010. During what turned out to be the final five weeks of his mother’s life, Georgia coach Mark Richt allowed Belin to travel home one day a week to be with her.”
Perhaps one reason Bill Hancock feels confident about how yesterday’s meeting with the Department of Justice went is that Christine Varney, the Assistant Attorney General who wrote the letter to Mark Emmert which started this particular ball rolling, didn’t even bother to show up for it.
And, yes, I do think the word means what I think in means when it comes to what James Franklin is doing on the recruiting trail right now.
… That work could pay off on Friday when three players announce their college decision. Wide receiver Cory Batey, offensive lineman Andrew Jelks and running back Brian Kimbrow are all expected to choose Vanderbilt when they announce their decisions in Nashville. That would push Vanderbilt’s commitment total to 11 prospects for 2012.
Kimbrow, who’s ranked the No. 1 prospect in the state of Tennessee by 247Sports.com, would be Vanderbilt’s highest-rated commitment for the 2012 class.
“I’m just looking for somewhere that’s comfortable for me,” Kimbrow told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “Someplace that’s a good fit.”
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect to see Vanderbilt rocket up to the top of the recruiting rankings any time soon. But just becoming a persistent in state irritant to Tennessee would be a staggering development. And if that forces Derek Dooley to reallocate time, effort and energy in response, I don’t see how that’s anything but good news for Georgia.
Nothing in life is perfect, and that includes college football. So it’s fair to say that we can always expect occurrences of matters that don’t make us happy. (Although any grist for the mill makes a college football blogger happy, right?)
Pete Fiutak’s got a decent preview of South Carolina here. In his mind (and I agree), success in 2011 for the ‘Cocks is going to come down to one factor:
Key player to a successful season: Senior QB Stephen Garcia. After yet another issue and after another suspension, Garcia’s career is being defined as much for his off-the-field problems as he is for his on-the-field successes. South Carolina has the potential to win the SEC championship, and while Garcia doesn’t have to carry the team, he has to be good enough on a regular basis to keep Connor Shaw on the bench. There were times when Garcia was nearly flawless, like the 17-of-20 day in the win over Alabama, and there were times when he made too many mistakes. He threw 14 interceptions on the year and had five multi-pick games. The two against Furman were no big whoop, but South Carolina was 0-4 in the other four games against Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn in the SEC title game, and Florida State. The team’s fifth loss of the season, the first matchup against Auburn, came partly because Garcia had problems holding on to the ball. With the one loss coming against the Tigers, USC was 8-1 when Garcia few fewer than two interceptions. [Emphasis added.]
That ought to be a relief for South Carolina fans. If there is one thing Stephen’s known for, it’s making good decisions.
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23