Daily Archives: January 16, 2013

Lennay Kekua, we hardly knew ‘ye.

Either this is one of the greatest social experiments concocted by a football star to see how far he could push a media hoax, or it’s just one of the creepiest things I’ve ever read.  In any event, there sure seems to be a whole lot of lying going on.

There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.

Lennay Kekua’s last words to Manti Te’o were not “I love you.”

Of course, what I’m waiting for now is the inevitable “How much will the Kekua story affect Te’o’s draft status?” piece.

It’s a strange world we live in, peeps.


UPDATE:  “If Te’o’s dying girlfriend story had been invented 80 years ago, it would have been memorialized in film and people would still believe it today.”


Filed under Notre Dame's Faint Echoes

Freak out time?

Chip Kelly to Philadelphia hasn’t even had time to cool yet, and the rumor mill’s already cranking up.

Nice timing with a month to go on the recruiting front.


UPDATE:  New, improved freak out!


Filed under Georgia Football

Grass is greener, redux.

Ken Malcome again decides to leave the program.

“I have made this decision because I think I can get more playing time some place else,” Malcome said in a statement released through UGA.  “I have enjoyed my time at Georgia and appreciate the opportunity that Coach (Mark) Richt and the other coaches have given me here.  I look forward to my next challenge.”

This time, the decision sticks.  If he wants more playing time, I certainly can’t blame him, because he won’t be taking it away from Gurshall barring catastrophic illness.  I wish him the best of luck.

Meanwhile, I guess that means another roster slot has opened for this year’s recruiting class.


Filed under Georgia Football

Some plantation you’re running there, fellas.

You’ll be shocked, shocked to find this out:

Annual spending on sports by public universities in six big-time conferences like the SEC and Big 12 has passed $100,000 per athlete — about six to 12 times the amount those universities are spending per student on academics, according to a study released Wednesday to greet college presidents arriving at the NCAA’s annual meeting in Texas.

The study finds the largest gap by far in the Southeastern Conference, which combines relatively low academic spending and explosive coaching salaries. Median athletic spending there totaled nearly $164,000 per athlete in 2010. That is more than 12 times the $13,390 that SEC schools spent per student for academic expenses, including instructional costs and student services.

Now that doesn’t mean schools are spending all that money directly on student-athletes.  Rather, in the case of the major conferences, schools are spending a boatload – actually, ever bigger boatloads – on athletics.  And those expenses are spread over fewer people.

This is nothing new.  But what’s interesting is that the have-nots are still hoping to find ways to rein in some of this.

The figures likely won’t shock college presidents arriving in Grapevine, Texas, for the NCAA convention, but they will highlight their rising concern over out-of-control spending on intercollegiate athletics that threatens to sink budgets and compromise their academic missions. Some want the NCAA to do more to address the issue even if it can’t legally limit salaries.

“How many sport video analysts do you really need?” said John Dunn, president of Western Michigan University, who gave a talk Tuesday at a preliminary portion of the meeting on rising inequality in college athletics. “How many assistants for a coach — not assistant coaches, (but) assistant office personnel, to keep his life straight?”

“While the NCAA wants to avoid being overly intrusive, they have never had a problem saying there should be x number of coaches and x number of scholarships awarded,” he said. “Why not also govern how many ancillary personnel you can have?”

Um, I don’t think Nick Saban has time for that shit.  If this actually gets some traction, expect an uptick in sorrowful calls for a separation of schools within D-1 athletics.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Kiffin watch, math iz harrd edition

In his defense, Junior’s been dealt a hard hand to play with the effect of the NCAA sanctions on USC’s roster numbers.  But he knew the job was difficult when he fell into took it.  So nobody’s going to feel sorry for him if he gets his hand burned from being a little too aggressive massaging the offers.

Which is what’s happened.

Defensive end Kylie Fitts, a four-star recruit Rivals ranked seventh nationally at his position, was committed to USC and took extra high school classes so he could graduate early and enroll at the university in January.

Fitts talked to a couple USC coaches at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5 and they said they were ready to have him on campus. But the following Monday, he received a call saying his scholarship was no longer available for the spring semester.

Fitts was supposed to be on campus on Jan. 10.

The Trojans didn’t pull his scholarship entirely, but deferred him to the fall because they didn’t have a scholarship freed up from a graduating senior like they thought they would. However, since Fitts had already graduated high school, he had nowhere to go and didn’t want to wait.

There’s something remarkable going on here.  It’s not a case of a coach pulling the plug on a marginal kid – Fitts is highly ranked, isn’t injured and doesn’t have academic concerns.  The Laner just thought Fitts was so awed by the idea of playing for him that he’d put his life on hold for a few months.  Maybe that approach would have more sway if USC was coming off a big bowl win, or an appearance in a BCS game, but unfortunately for Kiffin, a Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech lacks a certain cachet.

Fitts’ high school coach is even less enamored of Junior than Fitts is, judging by this:

Hey, when Junior gets canned at USC and jumps back to an NFL head coaching slot a couple of weeks later, he’ll remind us it’s all part of the plan.


Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin