Daily Archives: December 12, 2015

Hell hath no fury like a Bert scorned.

Bert’s not taking rejection well.

Bielema addressed the media Saturday about Pittman’s departure.

“There’s news coming out of here. Sam Pittman’s going to leave us. Sam’s had a great three years with us. A lot of positive things,” Bielema said. “But when somebody’s got something in their mind they want to do, it doesn’t really matter what the situation is. It’s something they decide upon and we wish Sam the best in his new decision and everything moving forward.”

Bielema, who was addressing the media so his coordinators and coaches wouldn’t have to, said he first got word from Pittman on Friday that another coach may be calling.

“It’s something that Sam and I talked about yesterday. He notified me at noon that I might get a call from a coach. I got a call. The talks continued and obviously last night I had a conversation with him and he informed me he was gonna leave and that’s where it’s at,” Bielema said.

The Arkansas offensive line is the biggest in all of football — college or pro. The veteran line was featured on this year’s football media guide and paved the way for a running game that eclipsed the 200-yard rushing plateau in six of eight SEC games this season. Running back Alex Collins rushed for 1,000 yards this season — joining former Razorback Darren McFadden and Georgia great Herschel Walker as the only running backs in SEC mark to reach 1,000 in each of their first three seasons.

“The one thing I’ve created during my time at Wisconsin, and especially here, is the notoriety of the offensive line,” Bielema said. “This is a prestigious program to have an offensive line coach. I began to hear from people as early as 3 a.m. this morning and I’m pretty sure my phone’s blowing up right now.”

Bielema wouldn’t compare his transition from Wisconsin to Arkansas the same as Pittman moving from the SEC West to the SEC East.

“One of the things I wanted to learn in my transition, and I can’t sit here and throw stones and act like it hasn’t happened. I left the University of Wisconsin. I left a different conference, a different region to take on an opportunity I wanted to take on,” Bielema said. “This one took place within the conference and I just wanted Sam to address the linemen as to why this is happening. I felt like the last thing he needed to do. He didn’t want to do that so I just took them to him.”

Bielema said the meeting was emotional, but that’s not uncommon for young men in college football.

“When you deal with 19-, 20- and 21-year-old kids, they’re going to be emotional. Some were mad, some were sad, and then sad then mad. It’s a part of the job no one wants to talk about. And Sam, the way he recruits and the way that he handles people, this matter had been very personal,” Bielema said.

“He made a business decision, and he kept repeating to me that’s what it was, and obviously that’s his choice and his choice only.”

Ah, yes, the ol’ bidness decision.  How could Pittman bite the hand that fed him?  Bert made Sam Pittman, by Gawd.  No, really.

Bielema said Pittman is a much sharper offensive line coach because he spent time at Arkansas, making him a hotter commodity than when he first came to The Hill.

“Sam’s great, I’ve enjoyed my time with him, but you know I’ve helped his career quite a bit,” Bielema said. “He wasn’t really a resound offensive line guru until we got things rolling here.”

Really?  Okay, then.  Thanks, Bert.

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Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema

Mistakes were made.

This is everything I love about college athletics administration in a nutshell:

University of Texas athletics employees systematically abused their access to Longhorns football tickets for years, resulting in preferential treatment for favored donors, secret arrangements with ticket brokers and untold financial losses for the university, an audit obtained by the American-Statesman reveals.

Some allegations resulting from a 16-month university investigation point to possible illegal conduct, including employees who accepted gifts and exploited loopholes to pocket immeasurable profits by selling complimentary tickets. The audit says those allegations were referred to police and to the Travis County district attorney, but no charges were pursued.

Many practices uncovered by the investigation violate university policy or represent fireable offenses, UT officials said. However, no employees are named and no one is held responsible in the audit…

Corruption, entitlement and a complete lack of accountability?  Color me shocked, shocked.

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Filed under Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

“You can’t look at the short term.”

That’s our old buddy, Damon Evans, defending Maryland’s obligation to pay Randy Edsall a $2.6 million buyout after the school fired him.

It’s not like Maryland’s anything special in that department.

… Severance pay is the top-rising expense for athletic departments at some of America’s largest public universities, according to a Washington Post review of thousands of pages of financial records from schools in the five wealthiest conferences in college sports.

In a decade, the total annual amount spent on severance by athletic departments at 48 public universities in the “Power Five” conferences increased from $12.9 million combined in 2004, adjusted for inflation, to $28.5 million in 2014. That 120 percent jump outpaced rises on larger athletic budget items such as facilities spending (89 percent), coaches pay (85 percent) and administrative-staff pay (69 percent).

Jesus.  If you’d like to see a more graphic picture of the worst offenders, here you go.

Costly exercise

For athletic departments in the wealthy Power Five conferences that still finish the year with deficits, severance is often a factor. These 10 schools paid the most to former employees in 2014.

SCHOOL SEVERANCE 2014 PROFIT/DEFICIT
Auburn $4,846,662 -$17,139,398
Oregon State $4,143,888 -$16,015,415
Minnesota $3,306,483 -$1,542,547
Illinois $3,203,870 -$6,191,154
California $2,403,280 -$4,828,054
Wash. State $1,840,033 -$18,296,057
Kentucky $1,436,204 $1,211,510
Indiana $1,301,146 $4,282,047
Florida $1,293,655 $10,612,847
Penn State $1,265,927 $150,351

War damn eagle!

Remind me again why these guys think they’re smart.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness

The Pittman hire

If the Chaney hire is met with a lack of total enthusiasm from the Georgia fan base, my guess is that Smart’s other move will not be greeted in such a lukewarm manner.

Per Otis Kirk at Hawgs247, Kirby Smart has tabbed Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman to work with new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

According to Kirk, Pittman turned down a similar offer to stay, only taking a $25,000 raise to leave for Georgia.

Pittman is considered one of the premier offensive line coaches and recruiters in the country, and also held the title of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Arkansas.

Pittman has coached two first-round picks along the offensive line in the past two years, and has been in charge of a unit that has allowed the fewest sacks in the SEC for four-straight seasons – 1.00 sacks per game in 2015, 1.08 sacks per game in 2014, 0.67 sacks per game in 2013 and 0.67 sacks per game in 2012.

In 2014, Arkansas offensive linemen did something no other unit in the country was able to accomplish, helping block for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers.

That appears to be a home run hire.  On paper at least, Pittman is the best offensive line coach Georgia’s had in a couple of decades.  Plus, he appears to be an above-average recruiter.  If Kirby got this hire right, it could fix one of the consistent weak points of the Richt era.

I think I’m excited.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The Chaney hire

So, Kirby goes out and gets the guy who created the game plan that was responsible for contributing “Beyond Crompton” to the GTP Lexicon.  Small world, innit?

The move strikes me as a solid, if not spectacular, hire.  Chaney’s been around the block for a while and has done his share of coaching in the SEC wars.  His national reputation is good.  And he obviously fits the bill as what Smart is looking for in an OC and quarterbacks coach.

Chaney’s first big test is selling Jacob Eason on his future in Athens.  Fortunately, he’s got a credible story to tell.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees put up ridiculous numbers under Chaney at Purdue. From 1998-2000 Brees threw for 3,000 yards or more in all three seasons and never had fewer than 25 touchdown passes. Brees’ total for that three-year period was 11,560 yards and 90 touchdowns. Chaney would go on to coach Kyle Orton at Purdue and Tyler Bray at Tennessee. Orton, who retired last year after a 10-year NFL career, threw for 3,090 yards and 31 touchdowns for The Boilermakers in 2004. Bray would also have one huge year under Chaney — in 2012 where he threw for over 3,600 yards and 34 touchdowns.

We’ll see how it goes.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Kirby Smart gets his first taste of the Georgia Way.

Mark Richt departs and things immediately go to pot.

Literally.

UGA freshman defensive end Chauncey Rivers was arrested for possession of marijuana.

According to an Athens-Clarke County jail booking report, Rivers was arrested at 1:12 a.m. Saturday morning for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor. His bond has been set at $1,000. As of 2:40 a.m., Rivers was listed as “currently incarcerated,” according to jail records.

Rivers was arrested on Nov. 4 for misdemeanor possession of marijuana after admitting to smoking in a UGA campus parking lot with teammate Natrez Patrick. The two Bulldogs were suspended for the Kentucky game on Nov. 7.

Since that’s Rivers’ second offense – in less than two months! – he should be gone for a while.

According to the UGA student-athlete handbook, Rivers is subjected to a suspension of “no less than 30 percent of the total sport season.”

That would be four games, if you’re counting.  That’s not the way things worked in Tuscaloosa.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football