Daily Archives: February 20, 2013

You got to spend money to make championships, a final observation.

I’m not sure everyone completely groks the point I’m trying to make in my recent series of posts about the new NCAA recruiting regime and how Georgia is currently facing it.  I’m not arguing that Butts-Mehre needs to import the Process and turn itself into Tuscaloosa East.  Nor am I arguing that Greg McGarity should morph into some slightly less profligate, more sensible version of Mike Hamilton.

What I am saying is that there seem to be two realities bearing down the road to remaining a dominant player in the SEC – and, yes, Virginia, a team that’s played in back-to-back SECCGs qualifies as such – and programs that choose to disregard them do so at their own peril.  More and more money continues to flow into conference schools’ coffers, and since the major labor costs (the players) are controlled, there are only so many places to direct the tsunami.  The new recruiting regime, like it or not, presents such an opportunity.  Kevin Steele is very good at exactly what Alabama wants from the position he just filled; spending the money given the context of the times makes sense to the folks running the ‘Bama athletic department.  Greg McGarity isn’t convinced about the wisdom of a decision like that.

Who knows, maybe he’s right.  But here’s the thing, as I mentioned before.  The conference is already well into an arms race when it comes to assistant coaching contracts and Georgia’s taken its sweet time recognizing that reality.  The school has been lucky that Mark Richt is an attractive head coach to work for, but in this day and age, loyalty only goes so far.

Let me illustrate my concern with the latest example of Gawd’s way of letting us know that the SEC has too much money.

That’s Cam Cameron, who has managed to parlay being fired from his last offensive coordinator job into being hired by his good friend to run the same offensive scheme that LSU has run for years, give or take a little Crowton craziness.  But not just merely hired.  In 2014, Cameron, who hasn’t coached in college in over a decade, will become the highest paid offensive coordinator in the SEC.  (Unless another school does something even farther out there, of course.)

That’s all well and good, you may say.  LSU’s business is its own.  But if you’re Greg McGarity, here’s the question you’ve got to be asking yourself today:  if Cam Cameron is worth a three-year, $3.4 million contract, how much is Mike Bobo worth?

Now I’m not arguing that’s fair, or that it’s not crazy.  I think Cameron’s contract borders on the ridiculous.  But that doesn’t change that it’s reality.  And as much as McGarity may resist, it’s something he’ll have to factor into his dealings with an assistant coach who’s directed one of the top ten offenses in college and is an excellent recruiter.  Sure, Bobo has reason to be loyal to his alma mater and the man who gave him a real shot.  But how long are you going to keep him on the farm, so to speak, once he’s seen contracts like Cameron’s out there?

In terms of coping financially with the world as it is, the new era of recruiting being ushered in isn’t really much different.  And if you can’t undo the rules change (McGarity’s first choice), ignoring the consequences in favor of a prettier bottom line may seem like the prudent thing to do in the short term, but if it turns out that devoting more resources in this area has legs, Georgia’s going to be playing catch up.  Again.  And not just with Alabama.

So the choice isn’t saying Saban or Bust! today.  It’s simply being proactive to the extent of keeping your options open, as opposed to taking a knee-jerk, OMG, my precious profit margin! approach to the situation.  That’s all I’m asking for here.



Filed under Georgia Football

Is there such a thing as a meteor investigation?

Po’ Donna Shalala.  Her school gets hit with the dreaded “lack of institutional control” notice by the NCAA (insert your pot-calling-kettle-black joke here) and in the end, the best she can come up with is a we’ve suffered enough defense.

She is good enough to remind us in the very first paragraph of her statement about what her school considers “harsh sanctions”.

We have already self-imposed a bowl ban for an unprecedented two-year period, forfeited the opportunity to participate in an ACC championship game, and withheld student-athletes from competition.

Major props, Donna!  Your team posted a 7-5 record last season and along the way lost to every ranked team it played, including the FSU squad it would have faced again in the ACCCG.  No doubt the postseason you sacrificed would have been truly epic.

If you read her statement carefully, there’s no denial that the school is guilty of some things.  Just not the most salacious ones.

Despite their efforts over two and a half years, the NCAA enforcement staff could not find evidence of prostitution, expensive cars for players, expensive dinners paid for by boosters, player bounty payments, rampant alcohol and drug use, or the alleged hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts given to student-athletes…

Hey, now that’s a relief.

But the rest of what’s there is clearly offered in the hope that enough anger can be stirred up against the NCAA’s botched investigation to deflect any further attention to what did happen with Shapiro.  Not that Shalala doesn’t have a point.

Many of the charges brought forth are based on the word of a man who made a fortune by lying. The NCAA enforcement staff acknowledged to the University that if Nevin Shapiro, a convicted con man, said something more than once, it considered the allegation “corroborated”…

Lewis Carroll had higher standards than the NCAA, it seems.  But here’s the problem with all that righteous indignation:  if it was so bad for the NCAA to associate itself with Shapiro, how was it any better for Miami to do so?

Shalala concludes with an appeal for fairness:  “We trust that the Committee on Infractions will provide the fairness and integrity missing during the investigative process.”  How about the Committee sanctioning both Miami and Emmert?


Filed under The NCAA

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Okay, it’s already obvious I’m going to be able to mine the NCAA’s Miami debacle for plenty of chuckles.  Let’s start with Nevin Shapiro’s attorney’s babe in the woods act.

“Had I realized I was dealing with, what is in my opinion … such an incompetent regulatory institution, I would have never allowed Mr. Shapiro to have had any type of contact with the NCAA — period,” Perez wrote in a text message to AP.

Welcome to the party, girlfriend.  I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual.


Filed under The NCAA

“Toby always mentioned Georgia.”

Honestly, this is the kind of stuff that drives me up the wall about present-day recruiting coverage:

Johnson, who delayed his college decision two weeks after signing day so he could visit Mississippi State last weekend, gives UGA some much-needed momentum after a disappointing finish on signing day. The Bulldogs went 0-for-4 on high-profile prospects who announced their decisions on ESPNU.

The missed recruit that hurt the worst was Montravius Adams, the 5-star defensive tackle from Dooly County High School who surprisingly picked Auburn over Clemson and UGA. What was really surprising about Adams’ decision was that he didn’t decide to visit Auburn until less than a week before signing day – and then ended up signing with the Tigers. A lot of it had to do with his longtime friendship with Rodney Garner, the former UGA recruiting coordinator who was hired away as Auburn’s defensive line coach.

I hate to pick on Carvell here, because he’s far from the only one who indulges in bullshit like this, but he’s convenient.

If you think that signing Toby Johnson was a great get for Georgia because it makes up for a disappointing signing day rather than because he’s a talented kid at a need position for the Dawgs, you have badly missed the forest for the trees.

And I know it interferes with the narrative, but I bet if you polled the Georgia coaching staff, they’d tell you that losing Tunsil hurt worse than losing Adams.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

“I beat myself up.”

You still in the dumps about the SECCG?  You’re not even close to where Aaron Murray is.

“The next day I came over and watched the film,” said Georgia’s quarterback recalling, painfully, the previous day’s loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. “I didn’t want to, but I forced myself.”

Since then, Murray estimates he’s seen the film 100 times — the game film of Bama’s thrilling (at least to some) 32-28 victory in that title game. That’s 100 times experiencing that same result. That’s 100 times trying to figure out what went wrong. That’s 100 times going numb all over again.

On the other hand, at least he figured out who egged his house after the South Carolina game.


Filed under Georgia Football

Amateurism, with a twist

It sounds like Johnny Manziel will be spending more of his offseason time with a quarterback coach in San Diego than he will on campus with his fellow Texas A&M students.

But he feels like a “normal” student.  So there’s that.


Filed under College Football