Daily Archives: July 25, 2013

Free at last!

Well, I’ll be damned.

Nearly three years after arriving at Georgia, Kolton Houston is finally going to be allowed to play football. That the news came on his birthday was a bonus.

Houston, a junior offensive lineman from Buford, had his eligibility reinstated Thursday by the NCAA. He had been banned for steroid use in January of 2010. He has been under NCAA suspension ever since.

He’s got two years of eligibility left.  The question is how quickly he can be game ready, but in any event, it’s great news to hear.

29 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Oh, yeah, there’s gonna be another division.

If you had any doubts about the likelihood of a new NCAA division to accommodate the power conferences, let Jim Delany put them to rest for you with as condescending dismissal of Mark Emmert as you’re ever going to hear.

Although Delany’s talk centered on the NCAA going forward, he also addressed the organization’s embattled leader, Emmert, saying that the NCAA president has done some good things and also made some mistakes along the way while he’s “learned on the job.”

“We’ve tried to work with him in every way we can on every major issue that’s come up,” Delany said. “I wish him the best and have no motive other than to see him and the NCAA succeed, but there’s no doubt that we have challenging times and he’s the leader of an entity that’s our group but also is responsible and accountable for where we are over the last three years.

“But most of the challenges we have at the NCAA predate Mark Emmert.”

Translation:  go sit over there, Mark, while the grown ups figure out how to take care of this.

But if you’re really looking for a tell on how far along this move is, we’ve already got a conference trying to maneuver itself into the big boys group.

The American Athletic Conference will likely push for inclusion if the power conferences break into a subdivision or so-called “Division 4,” commissioner Mike Aresco told CBSSports.com.

Aresco said he will expound on this topic at the conference’s media days in Newport, R.I. early next week, and he wants to know the parameters of a subdivision before discussing further with his presidents.

But on the surface, Aresco believes the American would fit certain criteria such as market size and long-term viability on the field.

“We want to compete at the highest level,” Aresco said.

Even better, somebody’s broached the dreaded “a”-word.

If a separate governance agreement could be subject to anti-trust lawsuits, perhaps the subdivision will include a membership threshold that any school can meet assuming they are willing to spend the necessary money for inclusion. In that case, the American, the Mountain West and others might have a chance to join, and the big schools still get what they want – the ability to spend their money as they choose.

But the power conferences could up the ante until the smaller conferences can’t afford it.

Shoot, all we’re missing to complete the picture are a couple of congressmen and an attorney general vowing to get to the bottom of things.  This puppy’s a done deal.

23 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

In Montana, they like Mark Richt’s style.

Poor Corch.  That’s seems to be the theme of Stewart Mandel’s sensitive look at why Urban Meyer is taking so much crap from the media these days.

The scrutiny is expected. There’s no avoiding it when you’ve won two national titles. But it sure seems he’s being held to a harsher standard than some of his peers.

“Some of his peers” turn out to be two:  Les Miles and Mark Richt.  Of course.  Although Mandel manages to pull his punches when it comes to Georgia’s coach.

Georgia coach Mark Richt’s program has had rashes of offseason arrests and suspensions, though less so this year. He and the Bulldogs have taken heat for it. But Richt, widely regarded as one of the classiest coaches in the profession, is largely praised — rightfully so — for his firm disciplinary stances (some of it mandated by a rigid school drug-testing policy).

So what exactly is his point?  Beats me – if Richt’s getting credit that Meyer isn’t because Richt is perceived as doing a better job of holding his players accountable when they misbehave, isn’t that how things should work?

40 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Urban Meyer Points and Stares

Bobo sets himself up.

Georgia’s coordinators met with the press yesterday.  It’s the time of the year when I’m grateful for any tidbits those gentlemen are willing to throw out, and for any observations that the media can share.  It’s a minor thing, but I like the way Emerson set his piece up:

Todd Grantham was calm and measured, like he was the one about to open practice with an all-star lineup. Mike Bobo, on the other hand, preached about urgency, and at one point got a bit chippy with the media.

Bobo, unlike Grantham, has to fight complacency with his group, so chippiness is welcome.  That being said, this is one of those comments that’s going to draw the attention of the football gods.

“We want to lead the league in having the least amount of turnovers. We don’t want to have a lot of penalties. We don’t want to have missed assignments,” he said.

Great goals, no doubt.  But you can see where this is headed.  Opening night.  Large and noisy road crowd.  Dawgs line up for their first play on offense in 2013… and one of the linemen moves before the snap.  Penn Wagers smiles.

As long as it’s not an omen of things to come.  Those football gods can be tricky.

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football