Daily Archives: June 1, 2015

Roquan Smith is all in (the house).

No fuss, no bother.

Now we can move on to a new black helicopter conspiracy theory for the next kid who doesn’t sign a NLI.



Filed under Georgia Football

“If I could change one thing, I’d like to slow down the recruiting process.”

Confession time for Mike Bobo.

“Everybody’s trying to get ahead of the next guy,” Bobo said. “When you’re the first one to offer somebody, it does mean a little more to the young man. A lot of these offers schools are throwing out don’t mean anything. Yeah, we’re going to offer him as a 10th grader and if he doesn’t turn out … Some kids have 30 offers as a 10th grader and by senior year aren’t going to any of them.”

A former offensive coordinator at Georgia, Bobo said it used to drive him crazy to talk to 10th-grade quarterbacks, projecting how their skillset might look in his offense years down the road. He tried then as he tries now to provide players with a realistic look at what their college experience might be like, and how important it is to find the right fit. That will help guard against “misses” — guys who don’t live up to expectations — and transfers.

“My message to these kids is, don’t get caught up in where you’re ranked, who’s been offered where and how many,” Bobo said. “A lot of them just want to get offers, and they aren’t concentrating on being a senior and being the best leader they can be. It’s hurting their development a little. Then we have more problems with kids when they get here because they’re over-recruited. They want to transfer out.”

Not saying it isn’t true.  Just saying it’s easier to unburden your soul when you’re not recruiting in the SEC wars now.  Speaking of which, think any of that’ll get used on the recruiting trail if Bobo ever makes it back down South?


Filed under Recruiting

ESPN College Football Final, I don’t know you anymore.

Well, things are certainly looking up.

Whatever the WWL comes up with as a replacement, it can’t be any worse than the Holtz-May clown show was.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

“Home is where you make it, really.”

Mike Bobo talks about the move.

“I worked for such a good man in Mark Richt and was coaching at my alma mater in the SEC,” Bobo told USA TODAY Sports. “We were having success offensively, and people would call. Different things would come up. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, if I wanted to uproot my family.

“After more people kept calling the last couple of years, my wife and I started to get serious about conversations. Is this something I want to do — do I want to be a head coach? I can’t keep telling people, ‘No, I’m not interested in that job.’ I started to kind of re-think the idea that I wanted to stay there forever.”

Bobo loved the challenge of coaching in the SEC, and the process of molding teen-agers into young men. He liked watching his quarterbacks thrive, too, be it Aaron Murray or Matthew Stafford or any of his other passers. But during this period of conversations with his wife and personal reflection, he realized something else.

“I thought that I was becoming somewhat comfortable there at the University of Georgia,” he said. “You’re there so long as a player, as a coach, you almost become part of the woodwork. I didn’t know if — we were doing different things offensively, but I didn’t know if I was growing like I should as a coach. I didn’t know if my family was growing. I think sometimes when you move — I moved around a lot in the state growing up with my dad a high school coach — and I think moving helps with growth for children, having to experience new things.”

Being comfortable at Georgia?  That’s what Greg McGarity counted on, Mike.


Filed under Georgia Football

Rodney Garner gets technical on us.

And the results are about what you’d expect.

And the Tigers’ defensive linemen have plenty to learn as well, with Rodney Garner describing it in precise football terms.

“Just getting them to understand that, hey, yesterday we were back to the one-gap. We’re four down (linemen),” he said. “Now going forward … we want to be able to comingle, so they’ve got to understand, are we two-gapping it or are we single-gapping it? But I think as they get more comfortable with the system and understanding how to apply the technique and the fundamentals to what the calls are, I think they’re going to get better.”

But what is the biggest advantage the 3-4 holds over the 4-3 from a lineman’s perspective?

“You can disguise your pressure. That’s the one thing when I was at Georgia working with (then-defensive coordinator Todd) Grantham, we could disguise so many different ways to bring pressure and to do different things,” Garner said. “And it changes an offense’s blocking schemes, especially if you can comingle; you’re giving them a three-down look, a four-down look and they’ve got to block that thing differently, whether it be in their run game or their pass (protection). How are they going to set their pass (protection)? So it definitely gives you a lot of flexibility.”

Comingle is the new black, I guess.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Strategery And Mechanics

“This is a watershed moment in college athletics.”

I linked to an Andy Staples piece last weekend in which he speculated that the conferences are looking at a choice between settling the antitrust litigation for 10-15 cents on the dollar, or fighting to the death and looking at a split with student-athletes more along the lines of 50-50.  Facing those choices, most rational people would make the effort to settle, but, hey, this is the NCAA we’re talking about.

The funny thing is, it sounds like there may be a few cracks in the glass starting to show.  Take, for example, what Ohio State AD Gene Smith has to say about O’Bannon:

“I don’t struggle with (covering) the cost of attendance because it’s in our financial model,” Smith said. “What we had (in the NCAA) was antiquated. But we could be getting to the O’Bannon thing, which is really pay-for-play. That’s going to be real interesting.”

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken ruled in August 2014 that the NCAA’s restriction of compensation to college athletes for use of their name, images and likeness is in violation of the nation’s antitrust laws.

The federal judge’s injunction allows schools to offer deferred payments to Football Bowl Subdivision players and Division I men’s basketball players for use of their name, image and likeness beginning in the 2016-17 academic year.

Wilken ruled that the NCAA is allowed to cap those payments at no less than $5,000 per year, but the Aug. 1 start date could be delayed if the NCAA wins its ongoing appeal before a three-judge panel in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“With the O’Bannon case, there isn’t much you can do,” Smith said. “You just got to sit and wait and see what (the appeals ruling) is and what the clarifications are. There are a lot of questions around that.

“You can ask questions all you want, but at the end of the day, you have to have finality in order to have clarity. And we’re not there yet. Even with the ruling, whatever it ends up finally being, you still have a million questions even if you just go down the Title IX route.”

Smith isn’t high enough in the food chain to make that call, but you have the sense he knows what’s coming down the turnpike soon and would prefer to get on with making plans to deal with that.  That’s about all an AD at a P5 school can say right now.

However, Harris Pastides is a horse of an entirely different color.

NCAA Division I board of directors chairman Harris Pastides said he is not inclined to have the NCAA try to get the US Supreme Court to hear the Ed O’Bannon case if the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals rules unfavorably against the association.

Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina, said that an NCAA committee is currently working on creating new NCAA bylaws allowing football and men’s basketball players to be paid if the O’Bannon injunction goes into effect. Depending on the outcome of the NCAA’s appeal, schools could begin offering players deferred payments for use of their names, images and likenesses (NILs) beginning Aug. 1. The payments would go into effect in the 2016-17 academic year.

Pastides said he thinks the NCAA made a good case in its appeal and described the O’Bannon decision as a “hybrid ruling” that at least would allow the NCAA to limit how much money could flow to athletes. The NCAA could cap the amount of money for NILs at no less than $5,000 per year.

“My hope would be that we’d get beyond this,” Pastides said in an interview with CBSSports.com from the SEC spring meetings. “You ask me if I’d like to see it appealed to the Supreme Court. I’m one member of the board. I’m eager to see us turn the page on that and start working within whatever framework we have to start working in.”

You wonder how many of Pastides’ peers are also ready to turn the page.  It’s hard to believe he’s expressing himself in a vacuum.

Besides making peace at least on one front, there’s an added benefit from structuring NLI payments.  Conferences could use them, as long as they meet Judge Wilken’s minimum requirement, to level out uneven COA stipends.

CBSSports.com: Wilken did include cost of attendance in the O’Bannon injunction in addition to the allowance of money for NILs. So is it your understanding that it would be $5,000 plus cost of attendance, or it would be a combination?

Pastides: I thought it would be a combination. I really do. That’s why I think (the dollar amount is) not that far away. … I think her decision would be just a bump up to five grand. But there are details that would have to be figured out. In fairness to us, if it goes through unobstructed by appeal, there would be some clarification. The NCAA would immediately have questions back: What did you mean by that? How does that get adjudicated? Literally, if we wanted to implement that ruling, it’s not clear. Just like the questions you had for me.”

Pastides may not have the court order exactly right, but you can tell where he’s going with his thinking.  And this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, either.

CBSSports.com: Some members of Congress want to create a presidential commission to examine issues in college sports. Do you think that is going to happen and what do you believe Congress’ role should be in college sports?

Pastides: I don’t think it’s going to happen. I think there will be a constant din. There will probably be a minority of people wanting this anytime there is a flagrant problem [in college sports], because there will be these problems, I’m sure, every year. Congress’ role ought to be inquiring, to be interested, to be observant, but not to be managing or legislating because I think we’ve done very well all these years.”

At least they’re starting to get a clue about what things to be concerned with.  On the other hand, you’ve got to laugh at this:

Pastides: I know, but I would say 90 percent or more of NCAA members — even the 65 universities in the five autonomy conferences — are not going to find it easy to find the extra money because you can’t divert it from the coaches. The only thing you really can do is either in the best case defer projects that are of value to the university and the players themselves, or increase tuition or take state appropriations away in order to pay the athletes more. There’s not a huge treasury that allows us to do that. We’re fortunate with the [SEC] Network we have some new income. That’s where we’re going to get the money.

They’re stuck with the coaches’ salaries, salaries that have been set in a market distorted by free labor costs.  Poor babies.

Bottom line:  college football’s landscape a year from now may look very, very different from how it appears today.


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Monday morning buffet

Man, it’s already the first of June.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Science Marches Onward, See You In Court, The Blogosphere, Whoa, oh, Alabama