Bill Shanks takes a look at what’s gone on with the Georgia football program over the last two months and concludes that Mark Richt’s contract extension (and the raises for the assistants and the move to build the IPF) resulted from winning the Belk Bowl.
Daily Archives: January 28, 2015
The National Labor Relations Board has yet to weigh in on the regional director’s ruling that gave football players employee status under federal labor law, allowing them to unionize, but, if nothing else, the decision has played a hand in kick starting an effort by the schools and the NCAA to bend more in the direction of student-athletes.
Earlier this month outside Washington, Northwestern women’s soccer player Nandi Mehta was one of three Big Ten athletes to cast a vote in favor of the “cost-of-attendance” scholarships. Student-athletes make up 15 of the 80 votes, along with each of the 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences.
Mehta, whose three-year term will stretch beyond graduation, said she relishes having a “direct voice” in the process and does not believe that unionization — which would rebrand athletes as employees — is the right avenue for reform.
“But the way (Colter) did it,” she said, “did get a lot of attention.”
I can think of worse legacies for Kain Colter.
Of course, the decision has brought out its share of the morons, too. If you question my characterization, read this:
I asked Pscholka about this issue of admitting athletes just for their athletic ability, and he said it’s wrong if that’s what Michigan does, but that he has seen no evidence of it. He also said that he had heard of such things happening “in the SEC, but not in the Midwest.”
Uh hunh. Right. That’s why everyone keeps getting the Big Ten confused with the Ivy League.
Every once in a while, I’ll be accused by a commenter of posting something purely for click bait purposes. Hey, you know what? If I really wanted to post stuff merely to drive traffic here, I’d be writing will he or won’t he recruiting pieces ’til the cows come home.
But I can’t do it. Not if it means trying to climb inside the heads of seventeen-year olds and speculate about their decisions. (As the father of three delightful daughters, I can tell you that the inside of a seventeen-year old’s head is a mystifying place, both to the adult and to the kid.) And especially if it means winding up in a place where we label the likes of Ray Drew as “overhyped”.
There’s a market for it, no doubt. People spend lots of money subscribing to recruiting services. But I just can’t do it.
Yesterday, Georgia hosted a forum about the health and safety of college athletes Tuesday at the Georgia Center. Ron Courson spoke, and the subject quickly turned to Georgia’s strength and conditioning program and what, if anything could be done to lessen the risk of knee injuries that it seems the Dawgs have suffered a rash of in recent seasons.
Courson, to his credit, got pretty specific with his answer.
… he acknowledged that Georgia has re-evaluated all its training techniques and has introduced some new ones in hopes of preventing ACL and other injuries in the future.
“A lot of it goes back to the science of strength and conditioning,” Courson told the student. “Traditionally a lot of things have been done in strength and conditioning just because that’s the way it’s always been done. We did heavy squats because they’ve always been done that way, and we ran and did a lot of other things because it has always been done that way. I think we’ve got to advance with sports science.”
It seems Richt had some specific things in mind with the hire of Tereshinski’s successor.
… The Bulldogs in December hired Mark Hocke from Alabama to take over their football strength and conditioning program. And one of the techniques that they’re implementing is something called proprioception. In general, proprioception is the awareness of the position of one’s body and, in sports training, it incorporates a lot of balancing techniques into training exercises.
“That’s one thing we found out (helps), learning how to land coming off a jump,” Courson said after the 90-minute program. “Because most ACLs are non-contact. The contact things we can’t do a lot to prevent. But the non-contact things we can. There’s a lot of things we can do from a strength and condition standpoint. We tried to sit down with Coach Hocke and our strength staff and tried to look at what areas we wanted to focus on. For example, we may want to put more emphasis on hamstring, we want to put more emphasis on shoulder and rotator cuff or balance and proprioception. If we can identify trends and factors, it helps us to be better at trying to prevent.”
That they’ve thought hard about the problem is good. Whether this leads to healthier results is the big question now. Malcolm Mitchell, who was also at the forum, is skeptical and doesn’t think Georgia’s training regimen has contributed to his knee problems.
“An ACL isn’t a muscle. I can’t make it stronger. I can make the areas around it stronger and hopefully that prevents the injury. But you still have a chance of that happening. You just look at how Keith (Marshall) got hurt. Was that preventable on his behalf? The way I got hurt, the only thing that was preventable was if I wouldn’t have run down there (to celebrate with Todd Gurley). For Todd, how preventable was that”
“So I’m not sure ACL has one distinct motion or one thing that hurts you. It’s so varied in the way it can happen, you never know. So I don’t think as of right now. There’s nothing that proves that. The only thing that’s been proven is you can recover from it.”
Courson seems to agree to some extent, as he notes that the recent swell of ACL problems is somewhat cyclical. But if there’s anything to be learned from studying what’s happened and there’s a course of action that can cut the risk even a little, it’s worth pursuing. The best part to take from all of this is that there seems to be a different attitude now about what to expect out of strength and conditioning. We’ll see where that goes this season.
UPDATE: The ACL stuff isn’t all Mitchell is cynical about.
Mitchell didn’t indicate any huge immediate changes under the new strength staff, other than “they’re hyped up all day” by virtue of their youth.
“Working out is working out,” Mitchell said. “How tough it is? They’re gonna make it challenging. But at the end of the day it’s just working out to get better. You just do what they say and hopefully you get better.”
David Ching assesses what’s in store for Georgia at the position here. He teases out a couple of interesting stats:
- Mason passed for at least 200 yards in just one game.
- Although Ramsey played far less than Mason, he accounted for two of the Bulldogs’ five longest completions of the season.
Considering that Gurley had one of 2014’s other three longest completions, it’s pretty clear that Bobo abandoned the long passing game for the first time in a while.
With either Ramsey or Park at the helm, it’s a pretty good bet that Georgia’s going to be trading one set of strengths, Mason’s accuracy and ball protection, for another, the threat of a deep passing attack to keep opposing safeties from loading up against the run as much.
And that leads to a set of questions for which we’ll have to wait on the answers – (1) is Schottenheimer up to the task of selling the deep threat? and (2) can the offensive line’s pass protection hold up for the longer time it takes those passing plays to develop?
Matt Hayes is flummoxed about many things. Evidently one of those is understanding the cyclical nature of college football. Two seasons ago, the SEC was flooded with talented quarterbacks. Poor ol’ Matt can’t figure out what happened last year.
Welcome to the story of SEC regression: the league doesn’t have it where it matters most. In this era of college football where elite quarterbacks win championships, the 14-team monster conference has one quarterback of significance.
It’s not like they sign long-term contracts, dude. And even you seem to have glommed on to the existence of a source to replenish talent called recruiting. It’ll cycle around.
Of course, when it does, all the great running backs now in the conference will probably have moved on to the NFL. I guess that’ll give you the next inspiration for a column.