February 2, 2015 · 1:51 PM
Stuart Mandel jumps on the woe-is-Florida meme. And, boy, am I enjoying Jamie Newberg’s wistful summary:
“People don’t realize how poor [Florida]’s roster is offensively. They need a complete overhaul,” said Newberg. “They need to really attack that side of the ball with this group, or it’s going to set them back another year.”
Darn shame, that.
February 2, 2015 · 12:49 PM
So, I’m reading an interesting NYT article about whether schools should allow sports majors. As the piece goes from weighing the pros to the cons, I hit this sentence – “A major sticking point is the illustrious history of academic fraud that long predates the University of North Carolina scandal.” – and had the sudden, depressing feeling I was about to read something I really didn’t want to be reminded of.
A smattering of universities used to offer courses entitled “Varsity Basketball” or “Varsity Football,” graded on attendance. Coach Bill Snyder of Kansas State — surprise — gave nearly all his players an A, and Jim Harrick Jr. was fired as assistant basketball coach of the University of Georgia; one of the reasons was a final exam he gave to his “Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball” class with multiple-choice questions like “How many points does a 3-point field goal account for?”
Thanks for cheapening my diploma, fellas. Again.
By the way, since I’m on the “again” track here, let me repeat my deeply held belief that Michael Adams should have burned for this. Shame on everyone who enabled him.
February 2, 2015 · 7:53 AM
So, the NCAA is weighing whether to allow an early signing period for football and the SEC… yawns.
SEC executive associate commissioner Greg Sankey said the SEC is in no rush to take a formal position. Last spring, the SEC wanted no early signing date, or if there was one for it to be the Monday after Thanksgiving and only for recruits who don’t take any official visits before that early date. SEC coaches voted 14-0 in favor of a no-official visit, post-Thanksgiving early signing date.
“I’m not sure where the ability of an early signing period outweighs what I view as mounting pressure to sign as many people as possible in the early signing date,” Sankey said. “How does that ripple effect impact recruiting activity in early December and the fall and summer around camps and then in the spring when it’s only an evaluation period?”
Yeah, when you’re the one doing most of the late grabbing, what sense does it make to change the status quo?
February 2, 2015 · 7:42 AM
I like Andy Staples, but I don’t know where he’s coming from with this observation:
After LSU beat Ole Miss in late October, I wrote it might be dangerous to presume the best team in the SEC West was automatically the best team in college football. The remainder of the season and the bowls proved that to be true. While the division remains fairly stacked, the gap between the West and the rest of the Power Five closed in 2014.
Some of this has to do with the gap between Alabama and everyone else closing. Everything is cyclical, and it was crazy to think the Crimson Tide could continue to stack five-star recruit upon five-star recruit before a few elite high school players began choosing to go elsewhere. When Nick Saban was building his machine in Tuscaloosa, he might have gotten Robert Nkemdiche (from Georgia) and Joey Bosa (from Florida) to sign with Alabama. But once Saban had an entire roster of players with similar recruiting pedigrees, it only became natural for great high school players to begin seeking easier paths into the starting lineup.
Yeah, ol’ Nick’s getting blown up on the recruiting trail this year. For sure.
February 2, 2015 · 7:37 AM
Gene Smith gonna sacrifice.
Ohio State’s board of trustees on Friday approved an adjustment to the contract of Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith that eliminates bonuses for individual championships won by Ohio State athletes.
Previously, Smith earned an extra week of pay, about $18,000, every time an Ohio State athlete won an NCAA title. So when wrestler Logan Stieber won an NCAA wrestling title last March, that bonus kicked in.
And it didn’t go over very well. In a world where the discussion over paying athletes has intensified, an administrator earning money for a title won by an athlete who earned nothing was a flash point.
Gee, I wonder why.
Of course, propriety only goes so far.
Smith no longer has bonuses tied to individual titles. But he still will receive a bonus for conference or NCAA titles won by the football team or men’s basketball team, or a top 10 ranking by the baseball team.
There may be no “I” in team, but there’s still bonus money in one.
February 2, 2015 · 7:26 AM
Read the section labeled “The basics” in this piece and tell me Georgia hasn’t managed to check two of the boxes there for teams recruiting against it over the past few seasons.
UPDATE: More here, including this…
Lance Barnett, the father of five-star quarterback Blake Barnett, said one of the things he liked about Alabama is the staff never negatively recruited or talked ill about any other program.
Maybe that’s because in his son’s case, ‘Bama didn’t have to.
February 2, 2015 · 7:18 AM
Gee, I wonder why.
I only hope some enterprising Georgia beat writer gets ahold of Mike Bobo for a comment.