Daily Archives: March 6, 2014

There’s only so much you can do in the name of player safety.

At least they’ve got the sense to end one stupid experiment.

Now, can we have a mulligan on the Vandy game, please?



Filed under The NCAA

Don’t let a good thing die.

Is it too much to hope that Steve Spurrier crashes a Finebaum interview with Nick Saban at SEC Media Days this year?


Filed under The Evil Genius

Let’s say Troy Calhoun is right…

when he says this about defending the HUNH:

“Based on all assurances, especially when you bring in medical people, they say it’s more of a conditioning matter than it is truly a medical item.”

Then, the question becomes what do you want to do about it?  Do you have the NCAA step in to protect programs that don’t make a maximum effort to condition their players?  Or do you leave it up to the schools to proceed along these lines?

Pruitt is looking for Georgia’s big defensive linemen to slim down also. Georgia lists linemen John Taylor, John Atkins and Chris Mayes at 336, 322 and 321 pounds, respectively.

“We’re trying to get some of our bigger guys down,” Pruitt said. “Personally, we feel like everybody’s heavy. We’d like to be a little faster. That’s just, I guess, out preference. Trying to slim up just a little, including the coaching staff.”

Defensive end Ray Drew said he’s gone from a high of 287 last season to 282 and hopes to get down to 275 by the fall.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Thursday brunch buffet

A little nosh for you…

  • Kevin Sumlin says TAMU’s spring football game is worthless for his team.
  • Here’s a look at who’s in the mix to start at quarterback in Clemson’s opener against Georgia.
  • John Infante suggests that Mark Cuban take on AAU ball instead of the NCAA.
  • Greg McGarity, on piped-in music at Sanford Stadium:  “…we have an opportunity to do certain things that will get our crowd excited in a proactive manner, rather than in a reactive manner.”  I have no idea what that means.
  • Michael Elkon has an intriguing look at how the unionization effort by the Northwestern players might impact college football transfer rules.
  • Nick Saban says he’s powerless to remove an injured player on the field playing a HUNH offense (”So you can’t do anything. You’ve got to call timeout to get a guy out. And if you tell a guy to get down, that’s really against the rules, and they boo him out of the park.”).  Mark Lewis, the NCAA’s executive vice president for championships and alliances, emphasized that an injury timeout already exists.  Good to see everyone’s on the same page.
  • With Gary Pinkel’s latest raise, nine SEC head coaches make more than $3 million per year.
  • Athlon ranks the 10 best SEC quarterbacks of the BCS era.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, SEC Football, The NCAA

The next frontier for mesothelioma lawyers

Coming soon, to a late night TV ad near you:

If you or a loved one has been shortchanged under an athletic scholarship., consider speaking to an experienced anti-trust lawyer. For years, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP has helped bring justice and compensation to thousands of student-athlete anti-trust victims — and their families. We are advocates for our clients and are here to serve them first.

As an aside, “NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn could be immediately reached for comment.”  I can’t help but wonder –  what exactly does Stacey do for a living? Because she never seems to speak when reached for comment.


Filed under The NCAA

Mark Emmert is from the NCAA and is here to help.

Mark Emmert is brainstorming again.

The NCAA may need to mandate new “dead periods” to rein in the time demands on college athletes that increasingly pull them away from the classroom, NCAA president Mark Emmert said Wednesday.

“One of the things that’s being very actively discussed right now is the creation — it would have to be sport-by-sport, of course — for serious dead periods,” Emmert told reporters following a breakfast speech to members of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce.

Athletes would be forbidden in such periods “from going to the weight room, forbidden from having practice, forbidden from being engaged in any informal practices,” Emmert said.

I think they used to have that period once.  It was called “summer”.

Emmert was just getting rolling, folks.

In his speech, Emmert noted that a top college football player recently said he spent 354 days of the year on his sport. “He had 11 days … when he wasn’t doing something for football,” said Emmert, who did not name the player…

… In his speech, Emmert also reiterated his opposition to paying college athletes. He said schools’ academic missions would be compromised by such pay. “If you’re a football player, you’re a football player,” he said. “Why would I pay you to [play and go to school]?”

Asked and answered, albeit in a totally disconnected manner.

He got a standing ovation for this.  Really.

(h/t John Infante)


Filed under The NCAA

Neutral policy

Here’s what Richt had to say about the 10-second substitution rule yesterday.

“I support the officials being in position to call the game. I think you can go so fast that an official is out of position. There ought to be something in there to help the officials be in position to call the game, for their safety and for the integrity of the game, so to speak. I think that’s important. I think that not many people snap the ball faster than the 10-second timing that we’re talking about. If everybody snapped the ball right at 10 seconds, they’re flying and they’re going fast. I don’t know how much it would even affect us, but do I think that the rule should change? I don’t think the rule should change. Should it be modified somewhat if it needs to be to help the officials get in the right spots? I’d say yes. I think we’re in an off-year for rules changing, and the only way a rule can change is if it has a player safety issue involved in it. I think it’s more of a style issue than a safety issue. That’s what I think.”

Some of that is probably colored by Richt’s own experience trying to import the no-huddle offense into the SEC a decade ago.  But some of that is probably colored by the pace at which Georgia runs its offense now.

Here’s a rundown of the entire SEC in the last two seasons in terms of offensive snaps per game:


1. Ole Miss: 79.8
2. Missouri: 75.5
3. Georgia: 74.6
4. Mississippi State: 74.2
5. Auburn: 73.8
6. Texas A&M: 73.8
7. South Carolina: 72.5
8. Vanderbilt: 70.8
9. Florida: 68.9
10. LSU: 67.7
11. Tennessee: 67.7
12. Kentucky: 66.8
13. Alabama: 65.9
14. Arkansas: 64.7

Given that Mason likes running the hurry up, I don’t see that ranking dropping much in 2014.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“There isn’t a defensive coach in America who can sleep at night without taking pills.”

Who said this?

“We are now getting plays off every 12 or 13 seconds,”… “We are moving so fast I frequently can’t get a play in from the sidelines. We’ll hit 100 plays a game soon.” This, coming from one of football’s bastions of the conservative, makes it plain that something big has happened.

That would be Woody Hayes.  In 1968.

And Alabama has always been at war with Eastasia.  Or something.

Quite naturally, all of this is driving the game’s coaching giants goofy. Bear Bryant is sitting down there in Tuscaloosa with one of the best defensive teams he has ever had, allowing opponents only 10 points a game, but the Tide has been beaten twice and scared witless almost every week because it just can’t score enough. And coaches with teams that can score try to score plenty, because they pace the sidelines knowing a two-touchdown lead is far from a safe one anymore. (Halftime last Saturday: Ohio State, 24; Illinois, 0. In the fourth quarter: Ohio State, 24; Illinois, 24.)

“What’s happened is obvious,” says Bryant, the master of defense. “First of all, due to the pro influence, there are more good pitchers and catchers coming out of high school. They all want one of those Joe Namath contracts. Then, of course, most colleges use their best athletes on offense, as backs and receivers. That’s not necessarily true in the pros. They’ve got some of their best athletes on defense, especially corner-back. When the defense is forced to spread out, it must go to man-to-man coverage. But if the offensive boy—the pass receiver—is a better athlete than the defensive boy, he’ll beat him. So you have to go to double coverage, and that weakens you against the run.”

It’s the offense’s job to make life semi-tough for the defense.  (Had to get that Dan Jenkins reference in here somewhere.)  Eventually defenses catch up and the cycle renews.  It’s as true now as it was fifty years ago.



Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

You can’t put a price tag on the perception of promoting alcohol use.

Actually, I suspect we’re about to find out that you can.

The SEC plans to review its alcohol policy for neutral-site games and home games off campus, and not necessarily selling alcohol to the public at campus games, SEC Associate Commissioner Herb Vincent said.

The University of Texas recently began selling beer and wine at some sporting events this year and may continue at football games in the fall. At least one SEC athletics director likes the idea for SEC stadiums, where alcohol is permitted in private suites but not public areas.

Selling beer at football games “would enhance the fan experience,” LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva said.

Not to mention the schools’ bank accounts.  Unleash the rationalization hounds!

“I don’t think that’s something that would necessarily be a negative for drunkenness and it might curtail the drunkenness if you sold beer. Right now, they drink excessively in the parking lot before they come in because they can’t get alcohol inside. Perhaps if they had access in the stadium, they wouldn’t drink as much when they come in. I think it’s something we have to talk about. This may come down the road in the future, and I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”

And here’s your real tell:  Mike Slive has “mixed feelings” about it.  That’s a long way from firm opposition.

There’s way too much money involved here, especially once the conference gets over its hypocrisy about message sending.  Aside from concession sales and sponsorships, you’ve got the real golden goose:  advertising.  My prediction is they’ll start sliding down the slippery slope once they see how Texas makes out with its new policy and they’ll keep going with explanations that don’t pass the logic test until they get it all in.

When that happens, at least we’ll be assured of one good thing, an end to this silliness:

In 2006, officials from Florida, Georgia and the SEC asked CBS and other television networks to no longer use the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party” phrase when referencing the Florida-Georgia football game. The movement to tone down the nickname was done to raise awareness about the excessive use of alcohol on campuses.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Get well, Todd.

Amid all the pleasantries we heard yesterday emanating from Athens – players buying in to the new defensive staff, Richt talking about tweaking changes to practice procedure and the renewed energy surrounding the program – there’s one troublesome matter.

After battling ankle and hip injuries last season, Gurley has been “less than full speed” during offseason conditioning drills, Richt said.

“I really don’t know what to expect from Todd in the spring,” Richt said.

Gurley said what’s bothering him more are his legs.

“It’s going to take a little time,” Gurley said.

Said Richt: “My guess is that unless he’s completely healed by March 18, there will be some modification to what he’s doing.”

Now, Gurley’s a warrior and Bobo doesn’t sound particularly daunted by Gurley’s health, so we’re a long ways away from needing to freak out over the uncertainty, but let’s not kid ourselves.  A healthy Todd Gurley is a big factor in whatever success Georgia is hoping for this season.  How big?  Potentially, this big.


Filed under Georgia Football