Daily Archives: March 4, 2014

Mark Richt has lost control of Clemson team rules.

“They didn’t rob a bank,” Swinney said, “but they broke a team rule.”

“They” being four Clemson players suspended for the opener against Georgia, including starting defensive end Corey Crawford.

Hmmm… maybe this is going to turn out to be Mark Richt’s year after all.



Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

The difference between college football in the North and college football in the South

Dabo Swinney thinks that spring practice ought to wrap up with an exhibition game against another school.

Paul Chryst will wrap up Pitt’s spring practice… with a practice.


Filed under College Football

Video (games) killed the football star.

Honestly, in a From The Rumble Seat blog post about declining student attendance, is there anything more that needs to be said than this?

In college, I always found it wildly disturbing how many people (very social people, I should add) would rather sit in their rooms and play Assassin’s Creed or Battlefield all day rather than go watch Georgia Tech play a game against a major opponent like Pittsburgh or North Carolina. (Clemson, Virginia Tech, and uga were much easier to get attendance at without peer pressure – otherwise, a lot of folks showing up were doing so because they were “supposed to”, and doing so late before leaving at the start of the fourth quarter.) People have developed their entire social circles around others who like to play video games and partake in other entertainment via the internet, and it ends up that those things interest these individuals far more than watching folks do activities that they themselves never did or were never any good at. The sample at Georgia Tech may be somewhat skewed towards this type…

Never make a Techie choose between Dragon*Con and football.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

If you’re not going to pay them, pay for them.

John Infante makes an eloquent point that deserves mention.

… If collegiate athletics continues to insist (and is allowed to continued to insist) on amateurism, then a bachelor’s degree remains the primary compensation for athletes. Taking that away from the athletes who most need athletics to have that opportunity would reduce the value of what they get out of college athletics too far. Part of the commitment to academically challenged or underprepared athletes should be to see them through all the way to a bachelor’s degree.

Absolutely.  It’s not enough to say your cause is noble.  And if you don’t like the added expense exposure, don’t sign kids who are academic risks.


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

“Let’s get caught up on recruiting before we even start talking about football.”

Jeremy Pruitt hasn’t coached a down of defense in Athens yet, but it seems like he’s already had a profound impact on his boss.

“He came straight from his vacation to accepting the job,” UGA coach Mark Richt told the AJC. “He came straight in and started working. The first thing he did was to start watching videos of our (2014) commitments and anybody else in the state of Georgia that was on our board at one time or another, and that might’ve been committed to another school. I was like ‘Let’s just see who he wants to offer and try go to recruit.’ There was just a little time left before signing day.”

“And after signing day, my thought was that the first thing Jeremy was going to do with that defensive staff was to gather them together and teach them the system. Well, the first thing he wanted to do was look at ’15 and ’16 kids together as a staff. He knew we were behind on the defensive side of the ball with making offers and seeing film because of what had happened (with the coaching changes).”

It’s no secret that the coaching world has gotten more aggressive on the recruiting front during Richt’s time in Athens.  And it’s been more than a little frustrating watching Richt deal with that in fits and spurts.  A lot of that comes from – dare I say it? – Richt having scruples.

“If you’ve only see this many and you make your offers based on this, then when you start seeing the rest, it’s like ‘Man, I wished I had offered that guy before this one.’ If you can see a bigger pool before you say ‘This is who I want,’ then you make better decision. It’s better for your kids, and it’s better for your program.

“But if you’re making offers fast because you don’t want to get behind, and a kid says he wants to come but you say ‘well, that’s not a committable offer’ … We are not going to do that here at the University of Georgia. We want to be thorough and we want to be truthful about what we’re telling a guy.”

All of which is admirable.  But it can leave you in a hole while every other program in competition for talent goes full-bore after it.  The solution would seem to be a combination of better organization, better focus and harder work.

The good news is that Richt seems to recognize that.

“I told McClendon, ‘Let’s look at what we do on a daily basis for the year and let’s get a plan for the amount of time that we’re going to spend as a staff on recruiting. So really, we’re already set up to where 50-percent of the time is football and 50-percent of the time is recruiting between now and the beginning of spring ball.

“Every single day, we’re evaluating film and making decisions on kids that are ’15 , ’16 and ’17 or whatever comes down the pipe, and making contact with the ones we’re allowed to, and talking to high school coaches.”

How much of that came to Richt on his own and how much of that was inspired by the coaching change and the addition of a new perspective is impossible to say right now.  But it’s sure going to be interesting to look back on the Pruitt hire in about five years’ time to measure its impact.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

“Obviously the NBA doesn’t have to concern themselves with us so much.”

Seth Emerson does a nice job pushing back on the Mark Cuban canard about the one-and-done rule being the fault of the NCAA.  Unfortunately, once you get past that, there’s an overwhelming sense of “so what?”.  Nobody outside of the folks who’ve stroked big checks to high schoolers who flopped at the professional level thinks the current eligibility structure serves a good purpose.  And everybody knows nothing can change without the consent of the NBA.

“The hope now is that with the new NBA commissioner that maybe there’s a chance for progress there. Because we certainly we need the NBA to address it,” Fox said. “That’s ultimately whose guidelines we end up reacting to. And it is my belief that if a kid is good enough to go after high school, but if they go to college, like we do in football, like we do in baseball, require them to stay for three years. Because I think it would make not only our game better, but their game better. But we definitely need the cooperation of the NBA for that.”

Fox is right, for a number of reasons.  But it matters little to the NBA or the NFL.  And the colleges don’t have the leverage to make that change.  Neither do the kids.

This is why I can only shake my head when I see comments defending the current arrangement as fair to the student-athlete.  The NFL cuts off a professional outlet for kids less than three years out of high school who wish to earn a living off their best skills.  While the NCAA isn’t at fault for that, it certainly has taken advantage of the situation by using an archaic amateurism policy to lock away those same players’ ability to earn something from their likenesses while schools exploit those for their own benefit.  However you want to describe the current arrangement, “free market” ain’t any part of it.

In fairness to the NCAA, I do think it would welcome the opportunity to restructure the rules in the direction suggested by Fox and Stallings in Emerson’s piece.  That would make for a cleaner arrangement for those who don’t want to go to college and give the NCAA a more defensible position.  It’s too bad that Maurice Clarett wasn’t exactly an attractive poster boy for the cause.  You wonder if somebody like, say, Tim Tebow after his Heisman season might have been more successful with a challenge to the existing order.  Maybe not, but one thing’s for sure.  You won’t see the NCAA doing anything about it.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

Tuesday morning buffet

Have at it, guys.

  • Scarbinsky mocks Nick Saban’s concern about football becoming a “continuous game”.
  • Arthur Lynch be preppin’ for the NFL.  It’s always interesting when players find new motivation (read:  $$) to take better care of their bodies than they did in college.
  • Dan Jenkins has a memoir coming out today.  That should be a semi-great read.
  • Ed Aschoff says Jeff Driskel, who’s important enough to the Florida program that Boom pushed back the spring practice schedule to accommodate his recovery, “has every reason to be bitter”.  Hmm.
  • CFN‘s “unsolicited advice” to Georgia for spring practice is to work on turnover margin.  Dang, I bet Mark Richt wishes he’d have thought of that.
  • Miami joins the ranks of programs hiring high-profile high school coaches in an advisory position.
  • Weiszer notes a comment made by a 2015 Georgia commit:  “They’re switching to a 4-3 defense and I think that will give me an opportunity to come in and play as a true defensive end…”  Jeremy Pruitt, all things to all men.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple