Daily Archives: April 10, 2013

Damn it, it’s a scandal if we say it is.

This is the most Red & Black-y header I’ve seen yet.  Although I feel certain they’re bound to top it one day.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

Bob Stoops, company man

This “damn, son, I don’t think I would have said that” observation is making the rounds today:

“I tell my guys all the time,” Stoops says, “you’re not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money.”

Thanks, Coach, for that spoonful of sugar.

And before you get all he’s-got-a-point-there on me, John Infante has your rebuttal.

As a policy matter, Stoops appears to not have considered the counter to his argument. The accusation advanced by groups like the National College Players Association is not that players do not get enough. It is that they are going into the red; that the limits on what a full grant-in-aid can pay for impose a cost on athletes that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars over four or five years. Stipends and full cost-of-attendance scholarships are not about pay-for-play. They are well within the NCAA’s definition of amateurism since they cover actual and necessary expenses of being a student-athlete.

The other problem is the perception of a football coach making $4 million a year telling athletes to suck it up and go hungry. Whenever an institution says their problem is messaging, not what they believe but how they communicate it, the institution is roundly criticized. But it is a serious problem for the NCAA. Many of the people attempting to defend the NCAA’s definition of amateurism and whether it is appropriate in college athletics are doing as much damage as the critics.

Beyond that, don’t forget that one of the reasons schools can afford to pay the likes of Stoops $4 million a year is because they’re paying what they are to the hired help in the name of amateurism.  I guarantee you Stoops hasn’t.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

“Whoever’s ready, I’ll play.”

You want blunt?  Will Friend’s got your blunt right here, podna.

“I didn’t think the Red team played with enough effort,” Friend said of the starting unit. “We’re disappointed in that. It looked like they were trying to just get through the day. They started out early and it was like they thought the day was over. … Didn’t play physical enough, didn’t play with the kind of effort we expected out of them.”

Sad to say, that’s an honest assessment.  That first touchdown drive came so easily that you had the sense that it relaxed the offense maybe a little too much while at the same time ratcheting up Grantham’s aggressiveness.  The result was that the first string line didn’t play the way many of us hoped it would.  Or even people like Ed Cunningham:

“Looking at the film from this game, I’d be very concerned about this offensive line,” ESPN analyst Ed Cunningham, an All-Pac-10 offensive lineman at Washington who played five seasons in the NFL, said on air Monday. “This is my opinion as a former offensive lineman: They played horribly. And that happens a lot in spring games when the defense is a little amped up. If I was Mark Richt, I’d be very happy about my defense at this moment. But going into a schedule that starts with Clemson and then goes into the SEC, if I’m Georgia, I’m very concerned about the performance of my offensive line.”

It’s a G-Day game, so it’s crazy to read too much into it.  Burnette was out; Theus played at less than 100%.  Friend told Emerson that Theus didn’t have an effort problem, but it didn’t change that Theus got bumped down to the second team line in the first practice after G-Day.  And there’s this, too:

Friend said that Andrews, Lee and right guard Chris Burnette (out this spring with a shoulder injury) should remain in the starting lineup.

“I think Dallas Lee’s gotten better,” Friend said. “He’s moving better and Dallas has won a lot of ballgames here in games he’s played in.”

Theus, a five-star recruit who started every game at right tackle as a freshman, would figure to be the starter at left or right tackle. Friend is looking for Theus to improve his technique and get stronger.

“We’d like for him to play better,” Friend said.

So basically, Friend’s got a fall practice to figure out who’s going to handle the tackle spots.  Considering the havoc Clowney wrecked last season, I’d say that’s a pretty big outstanding issue going into a tough September.


Filed under Georgia Football

Trust me, Florida’s really good.

I give up.  I’m at the point where I guess I’m just going to have to take everybody’s word that Florida is a serious SEC title contender because the offense will be better… well, because.  I mean, Andy Staples’ favorable take on the Gators gets to an honest place here:

At quarterback, Driskel should improve in his second season with Pease. Unfortunately for the Gators, their lack of depth at the position could prevent Pease from making the most of Driskel’s skill set. The 6-foot-4, 237-pound Driskel is best suited to run an offense like Ohio State’s — which is why Urban Meyer recruited Driskel to Florida when Meyer worked in Gainesville. This was clear last season when Driskel carried 11 times for 177 yards and three touchdowns against a Vanderbilt team that wound up winning nine games. Pease has no problem incorporating zone-read plays that allow the quarterback to run under normal circumstances, but the Gators aren’t sure they have a capable backup behind Driskel and probably will have to limit his carries. “I do need to, this year, kind of limit the shots that I’ve taken,” Driskel said. “Coach Muschamp and coach Pease have definitely put that in my head.”

… then goes here:

That essentially removes one effective dimension from Florida’s offense. So even with a better line and a stud tailback, Driskel will have to throw well to keep defenses from loading up to stuff Jones. While some of that responsibility falls on Driskel, he’ll need help from Florida’s receivers — who have provided little in the past three seasons. Andre Debose, who looked like another Percy Harvin in high school, has shown only brief glimpses of that explosiveness in four years in the program. Latroy Pittman, who looked like a breakout star as an early enrollee last spring, caught only two passes for six yards during the season. Quinton Dunbar was the most reliable of Florida’s returning receivers, and he had only 383 receiving yards last season. The next great hope at the position is Demarcus Robinson, a 6-2, 201-pound early enrollee from Fort Valley, Ga., who impressed coaches this spring but was limited in Saturday’s showcase by an ankle injury. The other reason for optimism is Purifoy, who will contribute on offense only as long as it doesn’t hurt his ability to cover opposing receivers.

… and then wraps up with a bunch of ifs.

If Robinson lives up to the hype and then gets some help from Purifoy or Pittman or Swiss Army back Trey Burton, the Gators might have an offense worthy of playing alongside their defense. If that happens, Florida’s ceiling is as high as any team in the nation.

Give me enough ifs, and I’ll have Vanderbilt whipping Alabama’s ass in the SECCG.  Like I said, I don’t get it, but there it is.  Florida is the new Arkansas.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

“If you want to compete [in Division I],” he says, “you’ve got to step up.”

The NCAA is still trying to reach a consensus on player stipends.  It’s not going well.  Besides the obvious fault line – there being a lot of schools that either don’t have the money or don’t want to spend the money in that fashion – there’s also a leetle problem with leadership, as nicely understated by Brad Wolverton:

In some ways, the issue has become a referendum on Mr. Emmert, whose attempts to get things done quickly have alienated certain factions.

‘Ya think?

One thing not mentioned in the article that I wonder about is whether some of these schools have begun factoring O’Bannon into the equation.  If that case, either through a settlement or a loss in the courts, results in player compensation from the schools, why toss another $2000 a year their way?

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Wait a minute – Superman’s vulnerable?

I thought only mere mortals suffered neck injuries.  Apparently I’m wrong about that.

South Carolina’s spring game will take place this Saturday. Whether or not star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is participating remains to be seen, however.

In its Tuesday practice notes, South Carolina noted that Clowney has a neck sprain and his availability through the rest of the week is TBD.   And by TBD, we mean he’s probably done for what’s left of spring drills.

It doesn’t sound serious, more like one of those abundance of caution type situations.  And I really like Lorenzo Ward’s “do I look like I give a shit” bravado:

Jadeveon Clowney did not practice again on Tuesday and it’s uncertain whether he will practice again this spring, due to a neck sprain. “His neck and back is still stiff. Whether he goes another snap (this spring), I don’t care,” said [defensive coordinator Lorenzo] Ward.

Still, I bet somebody’s checking with the team’s doctor on Clowney’s progress.  More than once.


Filed under 'Cock Envy