Daily Archives: July 9, 2013

Cocktail Party conflict

I’m conflicted.  On the one hand – and I say this with a total absence of snark – Alligator Army deserves much credit for being the first Florida source to acknowledge that the Georgia-Florida series has entered a new phase.

On the other hand, Florida 41 – Georgia 27?  C’mon guys, seriously?  I’m not discounting the possibility that the Dawgs lose this year, but this Florida offense scoring the most points in Jax in the post-Tebow era?  Grantham’s boys ain’t as bad as that, sorry.  Barring a one-sided turnover fest, I’m not seeing it.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

“As a patriotic Gator, I helped.”

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at one of our favorite SEC traditions, the go-to criminal defense lawyer.

As the article notes, there is one troubling aspect to the quality legal representation being offered in these cases:

Barnett said he stopped representing athletes in 1990. At the time, he said, he believed his representation might cause problems with the NCAA. “I knew we shouldn’t be giving special treatment to athletes,” he said.

As the governing body of intercollegiate sports, the NCAA has gone to great lengths to enforce a code of amateurism that prevents players from being paid for their participation or accepting any benefit derived from their status on campus.

Josephine Potuto, a University of Nebraska law professor and the school’s faculty representative to the NCAA, said: “I grant you 1000% that there are enforcement problems” with this legal representation policy. Nevertheless, she said she does not believe athletes should be denied free representation if they can’t afford to pay. “The opportunity to get somebody to help should override enforcement’s concerns,” she said.

Nice straw man, dahlin’.  The issue isn’t denial of free representation – that’s constitutionally guaranteed, and I presume Gainesville’s got a public defender office – it’s whether lawyers who normally charge up-front five-figure fees for representation are providing something of value to an amateur athlete by agreeing to take his case for nothing.  Hey, I’m not the only one who sees that:

University of Florida spokesman Steve McClain said the school “periodically” asks local defense attorneys to confirm that they are treating the school’s athletes like other clients. In 2011, according to McClain, the school sent Johnson an email asking him for written confirmation that all Florida athletes pay for the legal services he provides—and that the fees are consistent with what other clients are charged.

In his reply, which was provided by the school, Johnson said “We are aware of NCAA regulations as they relate to student-athletes and legal representation and we wish to assure you that we are in compliance with said regulations.”

Consider me reassured.  Go Gata!


UPDATE:  John Infante has more on the representation issue.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, The NCAA

Mandel rides again.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve felt the need to get worked up about a Stewart Mandel piece, but his lists of best and worst coaches in college football manage to scratch that itch.  And they do it for the same reason that his M-word stuff did.  Both are way too arbitrary and lacking in any logical cohesion to make much sense.

Take, for example, Bobby Petrino’s placement on his ten-best list.  Petrino is, no doubt, one of the very best offensive minds in the game.  Other than that, though, he brings little more to the table.  He is at best an indifferent recruiter – ask his successors at his last two stops what kind of talent base they inherited from him – and institutional loyalty is an alien concept to him.  Petrino’s got a mid-major title to his name and a sprinkling of double-digit win seasons on his resume.  But how in the world does that add up to anything close to what Steve Spurrier has accomplished?

And how to explain Kevin Sumlin clocking in at number six, while David Shaw finds himself grouped in with the “maybe in three years” bunch?  Sumlin’s got two hot years (there’s a losing season at Houston mixed in earlier, which Mandel conveniently ignores) while Shaw sits at 23-4 in two seasons as a head coach.  At Stanford.

Tell me where that fits with this:

Before I get into my list, it’s necessary to revisit the methodology behind these admittedly subjective rankings. Please note that they represent the best and worst coaches right now. They are not career achievement awards. Picture an inverted triangle, with the most recent season on the top line (the widest), the 2011 season below that, and so on. Each season is thus weighted a little bit heavier than the last. Someone like Mack Brown, who easily made this list six years ago, is nowhere to be found because his past three mediocre seasons are more relevant today than his 2005 national title. That said, I do like to see more than a one- or two-year track record before anointing a coach. Consider it my lesson learned from Charlie Weis.

Speaking of Weis, he’s an easy entry on the worst five list, but most of the rest of that is a big a mess as the other.  I yield to no man in my contempt for Junior, but there’s no way a guy who recruits as well as he does belongs with a group of the five worst college coaches.  And his logic chopping of Kirk Ferentz – “Take away that one 11-2 season” – still leaves a guy with a winning record at a backwater like Iowa.  Is Ferentz overpaid for the results he’s gotten recently?  Sure, but that’s a long way from saying there is something like 120 better coaches than him.  (It also begs the question of how Mack Brown doesn’t qualify.)

These aren’t the worst lists of their type I’ve seen – HP set the gold standard in that department (at least Mandel has enough sense to put Miles on the right side of the ledger) – but they’re pretty dumb.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Mandel was worried he might not have enough material to stretch out a couple of preseason Mailbag columns and wanted to make sure he could gin up some reader response.


Filed under College Football, Media Punditry/Foibles