Daily Archives: June 4, 2014

“He’s our witness.”

Nail that cross-examination, son.

NCAA president Mark Emmert and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany are among the people on the NCAA’s revised live witness list for the Ed O’Bannon trial that starts next week, according to a court filing Wednesday.

The O’Bannon plaintiffs wanted to call Emmert during their arguments that lead off the case. But U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled last week that each live witness will testify only once and that Emmert will be available to the plaintiffs during cross-examination of the NCAA’s defense.

“We believe that he would be better testifying in the defense because we want him to be able to respond to things that happen in the plaintiffs’ case,” NCAA attorney Glenn Pomerantz told Wilken at a pretrial hearing last week.




Filed under The NCAA

Maybe the NCAA just needs some lithium.

Donald Remy.  In one breath, he’s all “we shall fight on the beaches” all the way to the Supreme Court.  In the next, he’s all wimp.

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said NCAA members “right now” believe paying a college athlete or allowing a player to receive compensation based on name, image and likeness would erode the collegiate model.

“I don’t know that it’s my call or that I would be able to conceive of a particular circumstance where a student-athlete would receive compensation for name, image and likeness,” Remy said. “I do know the membership has consistently found it to be something that would ruin the collegiate model and create problems in the recruiting context and competitive fairness model.”

“Right now”, eh?  Regular tower of defiance, there.

Maybe Donald’s a manic-depressive.  (Stacey Osburn has no comment.)  In any event, it sure seems unproductive to spend millions to defend a claim you can’t defend more strongly than that.


Filed under The NCAA

How you know it’s not the Year of the Quarterback.

SEC’s fourteen SIDs vote Maty Mauk and Nick Marshall as the two best passers in the conference.


Filed under SEC Football

Too much fun

I know some of you are going to eat this up…

Everyone received reps and worked under Pruitt’s direct attention. Poor reps were corrected and repeatedly. No one sat out and watched. This was a dramatic shift in intensity from how the defensive backs had been working in practices prior to this past spring.

“It’s different, because they’re working the whole time,” Herrera said. “You’re not getting the chance to joke around. You’re not getting a chance to talk like that anymore. … They have to change. They can’t have all the fun like they used to. They can’t joke around like they used to. They’ve got to be serious and ready to work every day. And that’s everybody, really.”

Wiggins actually referenced the lack of fun he was having in a statement released to 247Sports when he left Georgia’s team.

“I am looking for a team who will embrace my personality, someone who is a jovial, carefree and a bit of a jokester but who knows when to put jokes aside, get focused and become a true competitor, especially when on the field,” Wiggins said.

Returning players attribute some of this to simple youth and lack of maturity. This may have been corrected with time and experience anyway.

But at the same time, the overall approach has clearly changed now, says Mason.

“You deal with a lot of egos. Kids come in because of these recruiting websites, and their heads are all blown up,” Mason said. “You need a coach that’s going to lay the law down and not be able to get away with stuff that maybe some guys have gotten away with, just as far as a disrespectful type of attitude over the past couple of years. It’s just good to see a guy who’s going to implement the law and lay it down and say ‘Look, it’s team. It’s not me.’

“Guys that can’t get along with that, as you can see, they’re gone.”

Now entering his senior season, Herrera says he’s optimistic — and confident — about what is taking place with a new defensive staff

“I know what’s going to happen,” Herrera said. “I know how things have changed.”

So what’s going to happen?

“We’re going to be better than we were last year.”

… but I think I’ve heard that last line before.


Filed under Georgia Football

“And we all know why.”

To the surprise of no one,

Pre-registration for Georgia State’s football camp is well ahead of last year’s pace.

Penn State coach James Franklin and his coaching staff will be on hand for the June 10 sessions, something that Georgia State coach Trent Miles’ camp website advertises.

Miles said there were 40 or 50 campers who signed up ahead of time last year.

“This year we’ve got a few hundred,” Miles said.

If Miles pulls in even one commitment he wouldn’t have gotten before, isn’t it worth it for him?

Just wait ’til next year, when Notre Dame lends a hand.  Assuming the NCAA doesn’t pull the plug on this, that is.


Filed under Georgia State Football, Recruiting

The free market is a beyotch.

For those of you who continue to wonder how in the world somebody could calculate the monetary value of college players’ likenesses, EA was prepared to pay college football and men’s basketball players for the use of the names, images and likenesses in the company’s NCAA-themed games.

Except, you know, amateurism.

It’s really not that hard unless you’re dealing with stubborn assholes.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

No expectations

Nothing like a touch of adversity to bring out the blog traffic, and judging from the spike in last night’s hits due to the Matthews news (a spike that’ll likely take GTP through today), we’re a consistent bunch.

But enough about the blog.

What’s pretty funny is that it’s not just us feeling it.  It’s getting to some of the beat writers, too.  Take Seth Emerson:

In the wake of Tray Matthews’ dismissal, if you’re looking for a deep analysis piece examining the Georgia football program … well, I already wrote that. Feel free to read it again. Nothing has changed, rinse, repeat, the cheese stands alone.

The only thing different about the latest news is that Mark Richt did little to hide his contempt this time. “We are trying to make room for guys who want to do this right,” was his official statement. Nothing about wishing him well, and quite a departure from what Richt told me less than a week before about Matthews. Clearly, something happened in the meantime; judging by what Richt said a week ago about needing to become a dependable player, and “it’s time,” it’s a good bet Matthews was on his last strike, and whiffed somehow.

Otherwise, it’s no longer news that Richt has a short trigger or that a talented ex-Georgia player will be suiting up elsewhere. It’s going to be a pretty good race to see whether more current or former Georgia players make the 2016 All-American team.

Then, there’s Gentry Estes.


If there is such a thing as attrition fatigue, Georgia’s secondary now has caused it. The list of departures of the past few months — we’re talking perceived quality and starters as much as sheer numbers — now includes Tray Matthews, a promising safety who started six games last season while dealing with a hamstring ailment.

By all accounts, Matthews is a good player. Georgia on paper surely isn’t any better for losing him. But one grows desensitized to all this after a while. There is only so much you can say that hasn’t already been said about a unit enduring such an obviously turbulent transition.

You had me at “Sigh”.

Estes goes on to make a déjà vu all over again observation that occurred to me as well last night.

The final point looms suspiciously like last season. The Bulldogs were desperate to have incoming defensive backs play in 2013 because they had no other choice. Attrition and recruiting misses made for dangerously low numbers. The result was a mess on the field — as we all saw at the time — and off the field, as we all see now.

And Emerson writes that, perhaps unlike last year, keeping things in context may help us better keep our mental health this season.

The best course for a Georgia fan this season, at least when it comes to this secondary, is low expectations. Don’t make the mistake of last year, where too many bought into the idea that pure talent would trump youth. It didn’t. And this season a change in coaching philosophy won’t necessarily overcome the talent drain back there. Maybe it will. Just don’t count on it.

There’s legitimate reason for optimism elsewhere on defense. The outside linebackers are future pros, and probably pretty high picks. The inside linebackers are solid SEC players. The line was pretty decent last year, and with only one key player gone, there’s no reason to believe it can’t be again, and perhaps better.

All that, plus a high-powered offense led by a Heisman-candidate tailback, should be enough to keep expectations fairly high. Then keep those expectations fairly low when it comes to the secondary. That may be the only way for a Georgia fan to retain any sanity on third down next year.

All true.  All good advice.  But another thought nagged at me last night – the role last season’s injuries played.  If everyone had stayed healthy in 2013, what kind of regular season record would we be looking back at?  I think the Clemson and Vanderbilt losses turn into wins, Missouri turns into a toss-up (the defense really had a tough time with the Tigers’ offense much of the day) and Auburn stays a toss-up (however much I wish otherwise, I can’t ignore that giant rabbit’s foot sticking out of Gus Malzahn’s back pocket).  So, that’s 10-2 at worst (against a regular season schedule with, what, five top ten teams?).  With that defense.  And those special teams.

If health isn’t much of an issue this season, then, how bad can things be?  That’s what I wonder.  Okay, until proven otherwise, there’s a drop off at quarterback.  But right now the offensive line doesn’t look any more iffy than it did in 2013 and Bobo showed he can do a pretty good job scheming around that with the right amount of skill position weapons.  As Seth noted, the front seven on defense look pretty formidable.  Can the secondary and special teams be any worse than they were last year?  Honestly, I can’t imagine it.  (Of course, it may be that I simply lack a certain type of imagination.)

I’m not drinking any Kool-Aid and I’m not making any predictions here.  Coaches gotta coach, players gotta play, and all that.  I’m just saying that there’s enough talent on this team to work around what looks like a severely weakened secondary.  Don’t pull out those razor blades yet.


Filed under Georgia Football

“I think some of these schools have forgotten where they came from.”

Okay, I know it’s a target rich environment, but put Mike Bianchi and George O’Leary together on the subject of autonomy and what do you get?  Gold, Jerry.  Gold.

George O’Leary is starting to wonder if the Southeastern Conference is being governed by league commissioner Mike Slive or Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

O’Leary, the blunt, straightforward coach of the UCF Knights, compares the SEC’s recent threat to break away from the rest of major college football and start its own division, to the Confederacy’s decision to break away from the United States and risk the sovereign unity of college football.

“They sound like the South during the Civil War,” O’Leary said of the SEC and the other saber-rattlers in the so-called Power 5 conferences. “If they don’t get their way, they’re going to secede and start their own country. . . . I think college football is in real trouble.”

Does that make Mark Emmert college football’s Abraham Lincoln?


Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles

Rodney Dangerfield is wearing orange and blue.

Damn it, Robbie Andreu is puzzled.

After being around other members of the media way too much last week at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, I walked away with the distinct feeling that those who cover SEC football think the Gators are basically going to be no factor in the conference race this season.

I’m not really sure why preseason opinions of Florida seem so low. Maybe the other hacks can’t get that Georgia Southern stain off their minds, or maybe they’ve forgotten all those crippling injuries that helped wreck UF’s season in 2013, and the fact most of those guys will be back in 2014, including starting quarterback Jeff Driskel (who really seems to get no respect from the media around the SEC).

That Georgia Southern loss?  Well, yeah.  Blame injuries as much as you want for that disappointing season – well, except for the loss to equally crippled Georgia – but the Gators still should have had enough in the tank to beat a 1-AA team in the Swamp.

Gotta admit “the other hacks” is a nice touch, though.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Media Punditry/Foibles

Wednesday morning buffet

Some things to take your mind off… well, you know what.


Filed under Big Ten Football, College Football, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Science Marches Onward, SEC Football, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are., The Blogosphere