Daily Archives: March 15, 2016

The deal is done.

Those of you hoping to see Jacksonville permanently in the rear view mirror of every Georgia fan are going to have to wait a while longer.

I, on the other hand, am looking forward to a few more enjoyable weekends on Amelia Island.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

Kirby’s defensive strategery

I’m going to post something at some point about Smart’s defensive philosophy at Alabama – and, yes, Virginia, there was a Smart defensive philosophy at Alabama – but in the meantime, consider this:

I hope the 50% they’re leaving out is the way the defense played against Tennessee last year.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Nick Chubb isn’t an ordinary mortal.

Jeebus, he’s not human.

Chubb has started doing some cutting, rather than just straight-ahead running, since spring break. He began walking on his own last December, a couple months after requiring knee surgery to repair multiple ligament tears.

There’s a “you gotta walk before you can cut” joke in there somewhere.  Three freakin’ months!

Honestly, my first thought after reading about his injury last year was that he’d never play this season and be somewhat tentative starting out in 2017.  At this point, though, I’m at the stage where nothing would surprise me.

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UPDATE:  Chip Towers goes bold and predicts Chubb will play in the opener.  I’ll predict if that’s the case, the Georgia Dome will be totally nuts when he steps on the field.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Spring is about to be sprung.

I looked at four media outlets to get a feel for what Georgia’s big questions entering into today’s first day of spring practice might be:  David Paschall, Marc Weiszer, Jason Butt and David Ching.

Here’s how they broke down:

  • Quarterback (4 out of 4).  Obvious question is obvious.
  • Wide Receiver depth (4 out of 4).  Ditto.
  • Kicking game (3 out of 4).  Good question that may not get answered until the season opener.
  • Offensive and defensive lines (2 out of 4).  Another question that has a ways to go before being answered.
  • Linebackers (1 out of 4).  I’d narrow this down to what Lorenzo Carter does this season.
  • Nick Chubb’s health (1 out of 4).  That one ain’t getting answered any time soon, either.

In short, you can probably expect the same questions in August.

No questions about tight end or secondary, so at least there are a couple of places of calm.  Although Groo points out that perhaps the secondary’s 2015 work is a bit overrated.

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UPDATE:  About those quarterbacks

Lambert will be the first team quarterback for Tuesday’s first practice, Ramsey will be second-team and Eason third team.

“From there we’re going to decide each day how we’re gonna do the reps,” Smart said. “We’re gonna evaluate those guys each day. … Coach  (Jim) Chaney and I have in-depth conversations about how we’re going to structure practice.”

Ramsey will also continue to work with the punters this spring, Smart said…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Suddenly, a direct link

You tell me, but this strikes me as a rather major concession:

In perhaps its clearest admission that football can cause degenerative brain disease, the N.F.L.’s top health and safety official admitted Monday that there was a link between the sport and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease found in dozens of retired players.

In a round-table discussion on Capitol Hill, Jeff Miller, the N.F.L.’s senior vice president for health and safety policy, was asked by Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, whether “there is a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like C.T.E.”

“The answer to that is certainly, yes,” Miller said.

Needless to say, that’s a rather abrupt turn the NFL has made.  And that’s in the face of ongoing litigation.

In a letter sent early Tuesday morning to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which is considering the players’ appeal, Steven Molo, their lawyer, said Mr. Miller’s comments on Capitol Hill are “a stark turn from its position before the district court,” when the N.F.L. relied on experts to dismiss the significance of Dr. McKee’s research.

“The N.F.L.’s statements make clear that the N.F.L. now accepts what science already knows: a ‘direct link’ exists between traumatic brain injury and C.T.E. Given that, the settlement’s failure to compensate present and future C.T.E. is inexcusable.”

So how long can Mark Emmert and the schools whistle in the dark about this?

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Filed under See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple

“We don’t want to talk them out of their dreams; we just want to give them some reality, too.”

You know, there’s much to criticize about how schools blow smoke about how college athletics is merely an extension of their academic mission, so pointing out the hypocrisies embedded in the current arrangement is justified.  But it seems to me some of the anger coming out of this study is misplaced.

Young black men playing basketball and football for the country’s top college teams are graduating at lower rates than black male students at the same schools — despite having financial and academic support that removes common hurdles preventing many undergraduates from earning degrees, a new report has found.

While 58 percent of black male undergraduates at the 65 schools in the Power 5 conferences got degrees within six years, 54 percent of black male student-athletes at the same schools graduated, according to an analysis of the 2014-15 academic year by University of Pennsylvania researcher Shaun Harper.

Harper said the graduation gap represents a wide and systemic issue worse than isolated scandals seen on individual campuses.

“It happens just about everywhere,” said Harper, director of Penn’s Center for Race and Equity in Education. “Generations of young black men and their parents and families are repeatedly duped by a system that lies to them about what their life chances are and what their athletic outcomes are likely to be.”

You’re starting with the wrong system, man.  Start with high schools that are woefully resourced for the purpose of preparing these kids for college.  And as far as their parents and families go, well, they don’t have the excuse of youthful inexperience to fall back on.  So why aren’t they doing more proactively before their children are misled?

That being said, I don’t disagree with this:

“When coaches are looking for the best athletic talent, that’s what they’re looking for,” Harper said. “They’re not really concerned with academic talent.”

And why should they be, when the system doesn’t incentivize them to do so?  But if that’s not where their focus lies, who’s there to see to it that the schools’ proclaimed devotion to the academic life aren’t just empty words?

One thing I do give the NCAA credit for was its decision to stiffen core eligibility standards in high school curriculum.  But those are new and we won’t see their effect for a few years.  In the meantime, more finger pointing is in order, I suppose.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Life After Football

Temporary quarters

Chip Towers has a piece up about the Dawgs’ temporary new digs.  One little bit in there raised a question for me.

Other than the inconvenience of being located exactly three miles away (by car) from the existing football complex, it doesn’t appear that the Bulldogs are going to lack for much in their new setup. While they had four fields at their disposal before, they’ll have three at the Club Sports Complex.

Georgia took one of its FieldTurf — or artificial turf — fields from the Woodruff complex and re-installed it on the Club Sports grounds. The school also renovated the one existing natural-grass on the location and built a second natural-grass field. So now they have three 90-yard fields side-by-side-by-side…

After spring practice, they’ll have to install drainage systems and re-sod the practice fields. McGarity said several other improvements will have to be made before preseason camp begins the first week of August. At that point they’ll be using the facility three or four times per week.

For now, McGarity said they will utilize the club sports setup for only about “seven or eight” of their 14 practice opportunities this spring. The others will be conducted at Sanford Stadium.

If you’ll recall, one thing Georgia imported with the hiring of Pruitt was (I presume) a more Alabama-like approach to multi-tasking at practice.  By all accounts, it was a big success.  I’m just wondering if having less working space is going to have an effect on that, and, if so, how Smart intends to deal with it.

By the way, when I hear McGarity say, “But when we went down there and looked at the site, it fit us perfectly. Due to the remote location, you can control parking and access and everything.”, I get the feeling that we may be receiving less information about spring practice than ever.

club6_drqmdg

Yes, that looks promising.  Hope I’m wrong.

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Filed under Georgia Football