Daily Archives: March 21, 2016

L’affair Turman takes a new turn.

Remember how Kirby somberly assured us at last week’s presser that Turman didn’t seek an appeal because he wasn’t being prevented from going anywhere he really wanted to go?

Er, nope.

Turman, speaking on Monday, confirmed one thing Smart said in his press conference on Saturday: He had no interest in following head coach Mark Richt and running backs coach Thomas Brown to Miami. Smart said he put the Miami restriction in Turman’s release because he “wanted to set a precedent.”

However, Turman did say he would have been interested in exploring a transfer to Florida.

“But I know that’s a rivalry for Georgia, so that’s why he did that,” Turman said of Smart’s decision. “But I also wanted to be able to contact any schools outside of Florida. I didn’t want this blowing up into a big deal, because I love Georgia. .. I didn’t want this to become such a big deal, like it did. But that’s just how it went.”

Turman also said he filed an appeal after Smart initially denied him a release anywhere. That appeal went through UGA, as allowed under NCAA rules. (That led to a miscommunication, where Turman believed he was filing an appeal with the NCAA.) Either way, it was made a moot point when Smart relented and allowed Turman the limited release.

Not even close.

“I got denied my transfer twice when I talked to him and met with him,” Turman said Monday. “He said he’s not going to let anybody from the University of Georgia transfer because you made a commitment here. Even though he didn’t recruit us, he said he would not let anybody transfer from the University of Georgia.”

I have to say, coming from a guy who left Alabama and took two assistants under contract there with him, “he’s not going to let anybody from the University of Georgia transfer because you made a commitment here” is straight out of the how to be a controlling bastard playbook.  And looking the assembled multitudes in the eye and assuring everyone of something that wasn’t in fact true isn’t very cool, either.

Not only that, but Smart and Turman have apparently agreed upon a new deal that isn’t what Kirby claimed he was granting when he went on the record about this – which, by the way, appears to have been widely misunderstood by everyone.

The release granted last week only gave Turman the chance to transfer to a school in Florida, other than Miami or Florida. The new release will allow Turman to go to schools outside of Florida – other than Georgia Tech or SEC schools.

In other words, the original deal wasn’t that Turman could go anywhere but two places.  It was that he couldn’t go anywhere outside the state of Florida.  That’s beyond ridiculous.  What’s in place now isn’t great, but at least it’s not as obnoxious.  But I guess we now know what “case by case” means, as Smart will haggle over terms with every departing player.  Maybe he’ll require them to sign confidentiality agreements in return for being allowed to go.  (I think I’m kidding about that.)

If this is the transfer culture Greg McGarity’s on board with now, it’s not a good look for him, Smart or the school.  If Kirby was worried about kids leaving and bad mouthing the program on the recruiting trail, it seems to me with this he’s created his own problems there.  Disappointing, to say the least.


UPDATE:  Nothing says owning it like this

A request by the Athens Banner-Herald to Georgia seeking details of the release Turman received was denied citing student privacy laws.

Georgia’s transfer culture:  doin’ it for the kids!



Filed under Georgia Football

The new math?

It’s a given that Jonathan Ledbetter will be suspended.

First-year Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is dealing with his first disciplinary issue as defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter was arrested in the wee hours of Sunday morning for underage consumption and possessing a fake ID. Seth Emerson picked up the police report Monday morning and offered a few more details regarding the actual arrest.

While UGA adjusted its stance on transfer policies to accommodate Smart’s philosophy, it’s doubtful there will be any wiggle room when it comes Ledbetter’s consequences. Discipline for drug and alcohol arrests is spelled out in black and white in the Bulldogs’ student-athlete handbook. It is expressly written therein that a non-DUI, alcohol-related arrest calls for an “automatic suspension” from 10 percent of competition dates.

As Towers says, there’s nothing Kirby Smart can do about him being suspended.  But what about the length of the suspension?

For football and its 12-game season, that comes to 1.2 games. In the past, Georgia has rounded that up to two games. If that’s the interpretation here, that means Ledbetter will sit for the Sept. 3 opener against North Carolina in Atlanta and the home game versus Nicholls the next week.

I’m no mathematics scholar, but I thought when you’re at two-tenths, you round down, not up.  I know week two brings a cupcake to town, but since Kirby’s all about establishing new norms, what do you think the chances are he at least tries to fight on the numbers?


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Don’t be too hard on Kirby.

This is the sound an ESPN writer makes when he’s gushing.

Jim Harbaugh has accomplished a lot in his first 447 days as the Wolverines’ coach. Perhaps his most significant achievement is nationalizing Michigan football again.

Harbaugh is undoubtedly the biggest driver, using his celebrity, coaching credentials, eccentricity, social media precociousness and cage-rattling personality, as well as his latitude with the fan base as a made (Michigan) man who played for Bo Schembechler. He has also tapped into Michigan’s attributes — the program, the university, the brand — and recognizes that for Michigan to matter nationally, a national approach is required.

“We’ve always been national, but that block M, it’s definitely a different feel,” cornerback Jourdan Lewis said. “[Harbaugh] is definitely applying pressure to everybody around the country.

“People see us as a threat now.”

One way Harbaugh’s done that is by pushing the envelope.

As with the satellite camps, Harbaugh took advantage of a rules loophole and scheduled four spring practices during Michigan’s spring break at IMG Academy in Florida. Commissioners and coaches complained, but Harbaugh’s show again went on. Thousands watched Michigan practice, including some of the academy’s prized recruits.

Spring break practices could be prohibited next year, but Harbaugh achieved his goal. Michigan dominated headlines during a gap in the sports news cycle.

“He’s on the cutting edge of college football,” said Tim Drevno, Michigan’s offensive coordinator.

As long as you’re not breaking any rules, with the right guy, cutting edge at major schools works.  Just ask Smart’s former boss, who’s made a living on the cutting edge of recruiting rules and roster management norms.

Bottom line, in the hands of a shrewd coach, this stuff gets results, whether it’s in the realm of rebuilding a national presence or creating a college football program with unparalleled depth.  And that’s the environment Smart finds himself working in now.  Coaches aren’t lionized for being sweethearts when it comes to allowing players to freely transfer, so what does it gain Smart to follow in Richt’s shoes?

Smart is paid to come up with a path to winning titles.  What he’s done may not be something I’m happy with, but in the context of what he’s been directed to do at Georgia, can you really blame him?


Filed under Georgia Football

Musical palate cleanser, it’s only by accident edition

Tift Merritt’s name popped up on my Twitter feed this weekend.  If you haven’t heard her before, here’s “Trouble Over Me”, the opening track from her 2002 release, Bramble Rose.


Filed under Uncategorized

No guts, no glory.

StingTalk is a registered message board now?  Whatta bunch of wimps.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, The Blogosphere