Daily Archives: February 24, 2016

Opportunity is nowhere.

Is this that “culture” thing all those Tennessee coaches were gushing about at that presser yesterday?

University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones told one of his players he “betrayed the team” after the wide receiver helped a woman who said she was raped by two other football players, according to a new legal filing in a sweeping lawsuit filed by six women against Tennessee.

Sophomore Drae Bowles “broke down and cried” after speaking with his coach, the lawsuit said.

Jones later called Bowles back to apologize for calling him “a traitor to the team,” according to the suit.

It’s sure looking like Booch is gonna have a helluva time at SEC Media Days. Assuming he’s not dodging service in Hoover like Fulmer did, that is.


UPDATE:  Booch strenuously objects.


UPDATE #2:  If you’re looking for a legal analysis of what Bowles’ affidavit means, here you go.

There are two important takeaways there.  One – and it’s a big one – don’t lose sight of this being a classic “he said, he said” situation.  Barring some sort of direct evidence popping up about the conversation between Jones and Bowles, Booch will have every opportunity to put his own spin on what was or wasn’t said.

Two – and it’s just as big – Tennessee is in a tough spot with regard to Jones.

Second, Bowles’s allegation directly implicates Jones. This places the university in a potentially awkward position of defending the state’s highest-paid public employee—the university reportedly owes Jones approximately $20.5 million through 2020—from allegations of callous and obstructing conduct. Moreover, the allegation could cause university attorneys to closely study Jones’s contract in the event the university decides to fire him. The contract may contain provisions that enable a firing with cause (a memorandum of understanding for his contract indicates a for-cause provision exists).

If there’s any possibility this thing has legs, how does UT preserve its room to maneuver in the event it has to build a case to throw Jones to the wolves, while at the same time proclaiming its support for the head coach?


UPDATE #3:  Dismissing allegations contained in a lawsuit, as I’ve seen some of you in the comments do, misses the point somewhat.  As noted in the previous update, they may indeed turn out to be impossible to prove.  But Jones and the university will still have to spend time and energy denying them for months, if not longer.  Booch can whistle in the dark about culture and this being no distraction, but that’s bullshit.  It’ll be an issue in every press conference he walks into for the foreseeable future.  And the possibility of organized protests in front of every Tennessee football game can’t be something the administration would appreciate.

Beyond that, speaking of the culture, when you put everything surrounding the athletic department on the Title IX front in an organized timeline, it looks pretty grim.  With everyone in the chain of command named in one form or fashion, you can see why, at least in the short run, the school intends to fight.  But who do you think stands to lose the most if it turns out that there’s real fire behind all that smoke?  For starters, I’ll put it this way:  I wouldn’t want to be the highest-paid, most visible employee of a university’s department that’s forced to remake itself in order to settle a high-profile lawsuit.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Harbaugh vs. Smart: it’s on, baby.

I didn’t perceive the comments Kirby Smart made earlier in the week about Michigan conducting a week of spring practice in Florida to be an accusation that Jim Harbaugh was up to no good, but, then again, I’m not Jim Harbaugh.

Heh… “barking up the wrong tree”… get it?

At this point, I think Kirby ought to follow his own advice, travel down to IMG and take in a little of Michigan’s practice first hand.  I hear the weather there is lovely this time of year.


Filed under Big Ten Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

There’s preseason happy talk, and then there’s Mike Cavan.

This is a mite breathless, if you’re asking me.

“In this short period of time, I’ve been fortunate enough to watch what’s happened with Coach Smart,” Mike Cavan, a special assistant to the head coach, told the crowd at the Macon Touchdown Club jamboree this week when introducing Smart. “He’s got the best staff at Georgia I’ve seen in a long time. There is more excitement there than I’ve seen. I’ve been there a long time and I’ve played (quarterback) on a championship team in the 60s. I coached in the 70s and on a national championship (team) in the 80s and three more SEC championships in the 80s. And I promise you, I’ve never seen the excitement there is right now at the University of Georgia with our fans, with our players.”

It’s a promise, by Gawd!

Can we at least wait until we see the G-Day QBR numbers before we rate the new staff?


UPDATE:  Here’s one from the memory bank.

The early 1980s remain the golden era of Georgia football, but with Georgia playing for its second straight SEC championship tonight against LSU in the Georgia Dome, are the Bulldogs in the midst of a new golden era?

Twenty years from now, will players like David Greene, David Pollack and Sean Jones be remembered like Herschel Walker, Buck Belue and Kevin Butler under coach Vince Dooley?

”We went through some awfully, awfully good times there in the ’80s,” said Mike Cavan, running backs coach under Dooley from 1975-85 and now a consultant for the Georgia Athletic Association’s development office. ”This football team now seems to be on that same track. I see this going on for a long time now here at Georgia.”

I guess Kirby’s successor will ring in a new era of excitement, too.


Filed under Blowing Smoke, Georgia Football

Mr. Conventional Wisdom, company man

Tony Barnhart has some advice for Jim Harbaugh, and it’s exactly what you’d expect to hear.

Harbaugh is pushing the envelope of the recruiting rules and he knows it. He is well within his rights to do it. But it remains that he’s doing it at a time when every other college football player is on break. Those who point that out, like the above-mentioned adults, are portrayed by Harbaugh as “whiners” or “comical.”

Let’s put aside the fact that it is inappropriate for a coach at any school to call out the commissioner of another conference. I know Harbaugh enjoys the WWE; he appeared at Monday night’s WWE event. But, coach, this ain’t the WWE.

If you want to change the rules and make spring break part of the recruiting calendar, then by all means jump in and make your case.

The incoherence in a mere three paragraphs is spectacular to behold.  On the one hand Harbaugh is accused of “pushing the envelope” of the existing rules – something Nick Saban’s made a career out of, by the way – but on the other, Barnhart advises Harbaugh that he needs to make a case for changing the rules.  Er, Tony, it’s your guy, the SEC Commissioner with the purely noble motives, who wants to change the rules.

Speaking of Sankey, are we to presume (as a matter of fact!) that while it’s inappropriate for a coach to call out a conference commissioner, that it’s okay for the SEC commissioner to lecture a coach from another conference about how said coach manages his players’ time?  Or should we simply skip the commentary and presume that, just like death and taxes, Barnhart having the SEC’s back is one of life’s givens?  Yeah, me, too.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

One thing you can say about the BCS

… at least nobody worried about the diversity of the computers.

Former University of Miami president Donna Shalala, who is now the president of the Clinton Foundation, suggested that in order to further diversify the committee in the future, the CFP should consider more former university presidents.

“Should they have more diversity? Absolutely, everybody thinks that,” said Shalala, who is also on the board of the National Football Foundation. “If they were thinking former college presidents, they would actually easily be able to find a group of people who are responsible for big-time college athletics, including football.

“If you wanted to find some people like [Rice],” she said, “you could use that university category and go to former presidents for both women and minorities.”

Settling it on the field, for the win.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Saban makes bank, and then some.

Nick Saban’s financial production may be even more impressive than his team’s performance on the field.

Not only did Nick Saban deliver the University of Alabama its 4th national college football title in 7 years, but he also helped subsidize the entire Crimson Tide athletics department by generating an astonishing $95,132,301 in revenue, the most ever by any single team in the history of college sports…

… To put these numbers in prospective, the University of Alabama’s football program by itself generated enough revenue to rank No. 26 out of 350 Division I university athletic programs! Indeed, the approximately $46 million in expenses (or profit) would rank the program in the top 60 of national athletic departments budget wise.

Tremble, ye mortals.

The catch, if there is one, is that the program’s profits declined from 2014, because of the extra playoff game and because of increases in recruiting expenses and coaching salaries.  Not that anybody in Tuscaloosa cares.



Filed under It's Just Bidness, Nick Saban Rules

Nick Chubb and a measure for success

Pithy observation of the day“If you’re a Georgia fan, as long as the word setback is nowhere near in any reporting about Chubb, consider it good news.”

Amen to that.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Today, in stupid questions

If the Big 12 sees the wisdom in David Boren’s maneuverings – and yes, I’m using “wisdom” in a fairly loose sense, given his less than stellar track record – that would mean the creation of a conference broadcast network.  But (cue the ominous background music), have they thought about this?

A conference network almost certainly means the league would further relinquish some scheduling autonomy. That possibly means Sunday night games in basketball, more Thursday games in football, more primetime games on Saturday. A media partner needs to make its money back. “Is that worth the trade off to continually disenfranchise your fan base?” one source asked.

Dude, you’re kidding, right?

At least with the TV contract they’ll have more money to fund studies to see what can be done to preserve student-athletes’ spare time.


Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness

Tweaking practice

In light of the discussions we’ve had over the years about how Georgia organized its practices – too much contact, not enough contact, rotating reps, not giving backups enough reps, etc. – I thought you might be interested in this comment thread over at CoachHuey.com about what some coaches are ditching from their practice sessions.

If you want the Cliffs Notes version of the thread, look here.


Filed under Strategery And Mechanics

“Returning starter: None” is the new “Expletive deleted”.

Sure, Georgia doesn’t have a single returning starter in its defensive front seven.  But at least we can console ourselves with the thought that there is some experience returning there, and some talent.  Things could be worse.

Like they are at placekicker/punter, where the surest thing going into the spring appears to be a true freshman who won’t even be on campus until this summer.  (Assuming the rumors that Smart doesn’t want Ramsey punting are true, of course.)

Oh, yeah, they’ll be breaking in a new long snapper, too.

In other words, you don’t have to be Vince Dooley to po’ mouth Georgia’s special teams this season.  Good luck, Shane Beamer.


Filed under Georgia Football