Daily Archives: February 13, 2013

The NCAA takes a shot at shot taking.

Keep in mind that the devil is in the details when you see proposals like this:

The NCAA Football Rules Committee took steps to further protect student-athletes by proposing a rule to eject players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders.

The committee, which met Monday-Wednesday, unanimously voted to increase the on-field penalty for targeting. The penalty, if approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, will be a 15-yard penalty and automatic ejection of the player. The Panel meets on March 6 to review the proposals and membership comment.

More at stake means more pressure on the officials.  Not that we should worry about that.  Rogers Redding knows we shouldn’t sweat it.

“The general consensus is that the officials on the field make this call properly the vast majority of the time and know what the committee is looking for with this foul,” said Rogers Redding, secretary-editor of the rules committee and national coordinator of officials for College Football Officiating, LLC. “This move is being made to directly change player behavior and impact player safety.”

Yes, if there’s one thing this past SEC season showed us, it’s that there’s a general consensus about making the right call.

Redding is a funny man.

One other proposed change isn’t going to be good for the genius’ blood pressure.

Another area the committee has discussed in recent years deals with blocking below the waist. The past two years, the committee has adjusted rules governing these blocks in an attempt to remove some potentially dangerous plays from the game. The result has been a confusing and uneven rule that has not had the intended impact.

The proposed rule will focus on the block itself and allow these blocks in typical line play.

“What we’re trying to do is write the rule to protect the player that will need to take on this block,” said Calhoun. “So, the blocks from the front of this type in your typical line play are legal and anything that is from the side or back are not.”

Previously, the position of the player at the snap changed whether or not the player could block below the waist legally.

Basically that sounds like a lineman gets one shot at a cut block and if he loses straight ahead positioning, that’s all she wrote.  That, in all honesty, should be easier for officials to follow.  Expect to hear some whining from Johnson about this one if they start flagging it more.

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Filed under The NCAA

Tommy Lawhorne has no comment.

Richt gets a raise and a contract extension.  The amount looks to have been carefully calibrated.

Richt is now tied for fourth among SEC head coaches in annual salary. He has the same basic pay rate as new Arkansas head coach Bret Beilema [sic], and is behind the three current SEC coaches who have won national championships: Alabama’s Nick Saban ($5.3 million), LSU’s Les Miles ($3.75 million) and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier ($3.55 million).

Was it justified?  Jeff Schultz (hey, give credit where credit is due, I say) answers that question.

Richt deserved both.

There are still critics. There always will be critics. They will point to soft scheduling and the fact the Dogs haven’t won an SEC title since 2005.

But praise for Richt is justified. Amid recruiting mistakes, amid going 6-7 in 2010 and starting 0-2 in 2011, amid being 7-10 in SEC games over a two-year-plus span, Richt got players to follow him. He made changes in the program, maybe even in himself, and he galvanized everybody around him.

That’s not easy to accomplish anywhere in college football, let alone the SEC.

The job’s not finished, of course.  But as someone who had serious doubts after the 2009 season that Richt had the gumption to turn things around – to turn himself around, honestly – I have to admit he’s made an excellent start at rebooting the program.  And I’m glad.

To those who say he can’t take things any further, well, you may be right.  But I never thought he’d be able to fix as much as he has in the last two seasons.  As far as I’m concerned, he’s got the benefit of the doubt again.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The new Mike Hamilton?

I wonder what it is about Arkansas’ football program that makes people dizzy.  There were all the folks anointing the Hogs as the next big thing in the SEC West despite the fact they never played a lick of defense under Petrino or Smith.  And then there’s the respect for AD Jeff Long.

Granted, when he hopped on that motorcycle, Petrino left Long in a tough spot.  But the Smith hire was questionable from the start.  And the compensation package Long came up with for his new coach made things even worse.

Former Arkansas football coach John L. Smith has been accused of using his employment contracts with the Razorbacks to defraud several of his creditors, according to two complaints filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court…

… Smith made a series of transactions “with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors,” said one of the complaints filed Monday.

The creditors cite his unusual contract with the Razorbacks last year, in which 71% of his $850,000 salary was deferred until right after the 2012 season. In general, the bankruptcy estate controls assets acquired by a debtor before the date of the bankruptcy filing, which was Sept. 6 in Smith’s case. Debtors generally can keep what they earn after the filing date.

Nothing like having your institution associated with bankruptcy fraud.  And Long’s explanation at the time – “… Long told reporters last year the deferral was made for Smith’s retirement” – seemed lame given that Smith made it quite clear then that he hoped he could do enough to turn his position from interim into something longer term.  And in fact as the article notes, Smith hasn’t retired since leaving Arkansas.

At least Long got a good season for his trou… oh, wait.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal

Monetize the eschaton

Barry Alvarez lets another Big Ten cat out of the bag.

According to Alvarez, Big Ten officials recently agreed to stop scheduling nonconference games against FCS programs.

“The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous,” Alvarez said on WIBA-AM. “It’s not very appealing…

“So we’ve made an agreement that our future games will all be Division I schools. It will not be FCS schools.”

It’s not exactly a cupcake-free diet.  More like cupcake-lite.  But, still, it’s a step in the right direction.  Combine that with the almost given proposition that the conference will go to at least a nine-game conference schedule and it’s pretty clear that the Big Ten Network demands for more product are driving Jim Delany’s scheduling train.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

But it does make you wonder what might be in store for SEC schedules if Slive follows suit by creating his conference’s own network, which seems likely.  My guess is that if the TV money’s there, suddenly the coaches’ concerns about schedules being too tough and ADs’ concerns about that seventh home game will vanish into the mist.

And judging from this story about Georgia’s move to cut the student ticket allotment and create a new class of young alumni season ticket holders, don’t think it’ll take that much to move Slive.  Don’t get me wrong; I think what McGarity has come up with is a good idea.  But here’s the funny part of the tale:

Outgoing school president Michael Adams told the executive board that he had lunch on Monday with SEC commissioner Mike Slive, and that when Adams told Slive about the plan, the commissioner’s “eyes lit up.”

Sure they did.  In Mike Slive’s world, you can never have enough wallets to vacuum.

17 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Bubble boy

Jesus, Gawd, make this stop.

Both Steve Spurrier and Jadeveon Clowney got a good laugh over media suggestions that the All-World defensive end should consider sitting out his junior season at South Carolina to avoid an injury and secure his spot as the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

On Monday night, after watching the topic debated by ESPN’s talking heads, Clowney tweeted, “I’m playing lol.”

Spurrier laughed when asked about it on Tuesday by the AJC:

I told myself I wasn’t going to post anything about this nonsense – a media frenzy over something one of its own invented in a fit of offseason speculation – but Carvell actually goes out and asks Spurrier to comment?  How stupid is this going to get?  Well, I’ll tell you.

“I wasn’t surprised by the media reaction to the idea because those guys have got to talk about something for three hours every day, and that’s something to talk about,” Spurrier said. “Should he stay? Should he sit out and wait for the money?

“Most of the guys that say he should sit out, they don’t realize the benefits of being on a college football team, and continuing with your teammates to have as big of a year as you possibly can. The money is going to be there down the road, so why would a person give up the thrill of playing college football?

“Those people have never played football, so they say he should sit out and get the money. That’s the only side of sports they see — the money. There’s a lot more to it than just the money.”

Steve Spurrier, of all people, pulls out the “in the arena” defense.  And it works.  That’s how dumb this whole thing is.

27 Comments

Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles