Daily Archives: February 22, 2016

It’s Pander Dawg time!

This ought to drive the sentient, carbon-based life forms over at StingTalk completely over the edge.

So that’s one point in its favor.

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16 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

About “a marital dispute between a couple I know in Louisville”

So the news came out this weekend that Charlie Strong potentially faces being subpoenaed in a divorce case involving a member of the Louisville Board of Trustees.  You can read all the blah, blah, blah about it here, but the only important issue is this:

The good news for Charlie is, if this mess does in fact have legs that eventually cost him his job at Texas, at least he knows he doesn’t have to look any farther than his successor at Louisville to know there’s a road back for him.  Thanks, Bobby!

26 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, See You In Court

They don’t call it the Fulmer Cup for nothing.

Barrett Sallee characterizes this

The news of a Title IX investigation into the athletic department’s handling of sexual assault cases and allegations broke on February 10. Former Vol and Super Bowl champion quarterback Peyton Manning’s case involving a trainer from two decades ago bubbled back to the surface thanks to a New York Daily News report that included the accuser’s affidavit from a 2003 defamation lawsuit. Former Vol and recent graduate Mack Crowder was arrested on felony charges related to a child sex sting. Current Vol and recent junior college transfer Alexis Johnson was arrested and suspended indefinitely following an arrest for aggravated assault and false imprisonment.

… as “February distractions” that the program should be able to shrug off in its quest to win the SEC East.

Well, it’s not like UT doesn’t have plenty of experience doing that.

9 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Okay, maybe I was wrong about that.

As silly as I think all the attention paid to the commitment process is, the idea of silent commitments strikes me as even sillier.  At least it did until I heard this rationale:

Of course there are many reasons for recruits to make a silent commit. Trent Thompson said more than once that he wanted to get his teammates exposure and felt that some coaches from other schools would quit coming to his practice if they knew he was committed.

You know, that actually isn’t inherently mockable reasoning.  I can see how that might in fact work.  Good on ‘ya, Trent.

15 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

When you’re at a football school, even trolling about basketball is a tough task.

GTP isn’t a basketball blog, and this post should not be seen as an invitation to get into some sort of major debate over Mark Fox’ tenure.  What I wanted to comment about, instead, was this post over at Georgia Basketball Blog.

One would swear that the media would want to move past Basketball Season already and get back to Football, the postmortems that have come out prematurely are a sure sign of this.  The postmortems are forced reflections upon a regular season that has not ended.  The premature rush to summarize or make judgments about the 2015-16 Season and the Georgia Basketball program as a whole should be considered troubling.

The sentiments from the old media represented by Bill Shanks, Mark Bradley and Chip Towers reflect antiquated attitudes and prioritization of a major College Basketball program.  It should be noted that none of these journalists cover Georgia Basketball full time and even full time coverage is more-or-less defined as covering the sport from the start of Fall Practice through the end of the season in March.  The pre-game pressers come during SEC season when the Georgia Football season ends.  Journalists that try to cover Georgia Football and Basketball during the non-conference slate have to balance out the scheduling and try to avoid the ire of the readership.

Shanks does not cover Georgia Basketball and he admittedly does not care to cover it as he has mentioned in a segment on 960 WRFC-AM in Athens.  Mark Bradley swoops in to provide commentary on Georgia Basketball on a typically annual basis.  Chip Towers does Basketball coverage once the Georgia Football regular season and conference championship season ends, he could not pronounce Derek Ogbeide’s name after Thanksgiving when the media had already been pronouncing his name correctly.  Towers was late to the party because priorities.

The rush to the postmortems on the season reflect a laziness and desire to shake up the conversation on a season and a sport that fails to capture the imagination of the Georgia fan base.  The best way to shake things up is to sensationalize even if it is for Men’s Basketball.  Creating that element of controversy is clickbait during a time of the year that is rather dormant for Georgia Football…

I’d argue it’s not even particularly effective clickbait.

The whole thing is emblematic of something bigger than the men’s basketball program, which, when you think about it, is pretty big, even at a football school like Georgia.  The reality is that a large portion of the fan base cares little about anything at Georgia other than its football team.  If you think I exaggerate, consider some of the comment threads we’ve had here about McGarity’s hiring/firing track record.  Though it’s decidedly mediocre, many commenters in their desire to see Richt replaced were willing to dismiss it as being inconsequential.

Even though that came from a fan’s perspective, there is perhaps a certain element of truth to it from a strictly business perspective.  Football is the economic engine that drives the athletic department train.  That’s the house McGarity has to protect.  Yes, men’s basketball doesn’t operate at a loss, but some of that is because of rising television broadcast revenues that have lifted all boats.  (Just look at how much basketball head coaching salaries have started to rise over the past couple of years in the conference.  It’s not because the SEC has gone any more basketball crazy.)

As much as he gives lip service to the pursuit of Directors’ Cup excellence, McGarity knows he can get away with mediocre coaching performances from his hires – to a point.  Football doesn’t give him that luxury.  On the other hand, if Smart succeeds at the level we want, there’s no reason to expect the benign neglect given to most of Georgia’s other athletic endeavors to change.  We don’t care enough for that.

58 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

“We got hit.”

I do not envy the place Missouri AD Mack Rhoades finds himself occupying these days.  His department is paying a price for the football players’ threatened boycott:  a hostile legislature, a decline in contributions due in some part to donors’ reactions to what happened and, as we saw last week, an administration that doesn’t seem particularly adept at managing the situation.

What he’s left with is trying to hold both ends against the middle, which is how you get to a mixed message like this:

University rules include sanctions, up to losing a scholarship, for athletes who do not meet their scholarship obligations.

“There is an expectation that our student-athletes practice, play, go to class and be responsible socially,” Missouri Athletic Director Mack Rhoades said. “There is absolutely that expectation of our student-athletes.”

The player boycott was an extraordinary situation and the athletic department is working to prevent a repeat, he said.

“For us, this is about creating an environment where our student-athletes never feel that they have to go to that measure,” Rhoades said.

On one level, there is definitely a certain amount of “what else can he say?” at work here.  As Bill Connelly notes, attempting to placate the Missouri legislature is a goal here, although that may be a fool’s errand.

And regarding further protests … Hank Foley needs to be careful. He appears to have convinced himself that he needs to talk tough to make the legislature happy — he’s prboably right, though I’m not particularly convinced anything is going to make the legislature happy, and they’re making Foley and Mike Middleton go through an elaborate song-and-dance before wrecking Mizzou’s funding (further) regardless — but he’s also putting Mack Rhoades in a tough spot.

I mean, do these really sound like the kind of people who are going to be satisfied with Rhoades’ proposed “environment”?  Hardly.

But think about what’s on the other side of the divide.  Say there’s another player boycott threatened and this time the school makes good on its threat by revoking the scholarships of 30+ football players.  That would result in about 40% of the football team being gone.  It would take years to replace the numbers, given the scholarship restraints in place, and that’s assuming Missouri would ever be able to regain traction recruiting black student-athletes after such a decision.  (The negative recruiting – “A kid can get in trouble with the law in Columbia, Missouri, and remain on the team, but let him speak his mind and look what happens!” – almost writes itself.)

In essence, the school would likely be creating its own private death penalty.  That should go over well with the rest of the SEC.  So Rhoades is justified in trying his damnedest to find a way to defuse the situation; given how the tone-deafness of the administration contributed greatly to the boycott threat in the first place, of course it’s a valid course of action for Missouri to recognize.  But what a tightrope to have to tiptoe…

Somehow, I doubt Rhoades thought he was signing up for all of that when he took the job.  If he can figure out a way to navigate through all of it without a scratch, he may become the first athletic director I can honestly say is underpaid.

63 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery

“There’s a difference between not being prohibited and being OK.”

As the hand-wringing over Jim Harbaugh continues apace, with the asinine insistence that this is all about demands on student-athletes’ precious time (never mind Harbaugh’s point that college basketball players have taken trips all over creation without similar objections), this is a pretty good rebuttal from one of Harbaugh’s players:

Take that, Emmert and Sankey.  No wonder Jim Delany can’t bring himself to take a stance.

9 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA