Daily Archives: March 23, 2016

“It just allows us to play on the same field as Alabama and everybody else.”

The Sabanization of Georgia continues apace.

Except I’m not talking about the University of Georgia.  I’m talking about Georgia’s state government.

An amendment attached to an unrelated records bill passed by the state House and Senate late Tuesday states that “athletic departments and related private athletic associations” will have 90 days to process open records requests. The lone exception to this would be to access salaries for “nonclerical staff,” which includes coaches and other various athletic department staffers.

Senate Bill 323 with the attached amendment will be sent to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for a signature.

This law would change how the University of Georgia operates, given that current law states that it must provide access to existing public records within three business days of it being requested, or the agency must give a timetable for how long it will take to produce the records.

State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, is a co-sponsor of the amendment and said the intention is to add extra time in returning open record requests as other states and athletic departments are afforded.

“This will help the startup programs, this applies to every single intercollegiate program in this state, every university from the University of Georgia  … [to] any intercollegiate sport at a D2, D3 school,” Ehrhart said. “It just allows us to play on the same field as  Alabama and everybody else.”

This is absurd.  And what is with this “us” shit, anyway?  I must have missed seeing Ehrhart in the coaches’ booth last season.

What it’s really about is shielding B-M from having to say much about you know what.

National Signing Day, when high school athletes can sign National Letters of Intent with universities to play college athletics, occurred this year on Feb. 3. The Atlanta Journal Constitution published a lengthy story on how much money Georgia’s athletic department spent on recruiting-related expenses since Smart took the job on Feb. 21.

“At that recruiting time of year they get absolutely inundated with people wanting to have that recruiting information and it’s not a level playing field because Georgia, our athletic associations, are private in and of themselves and they don’t have that capacity, so this just allows that type of level playing field,” Ehrhart said.

Ehrhart claims this amendment won’t restrict information.

Do I really need to ask the question when can you tell a politician is making things up?

Maybe we just need to offer the Georgia governorship to Nick Saban.  Resistance appears to be futile.  Besides, doesn’t every Georgian deserve a level playing field?

28 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Nick Saban Rules, Political Wankery

Kirby Smart and “new coach smell”

If you’re jonesing for some Dawg porn, then this piece comparing Georgia’s recruiting under Richt and Smart from Bud Elliott should be right up your alley.

Yet after spending the weekend in Atlanta covering the Nike Opening tour, the feeling that Kirby Smart is recruiting a lot better than Richt did is inescapable, though tougher to articulate than I expected, both for me and for recruits I asked.

Anecdotally, Smart’s Georgia seems quicker to evaluate and offer prospects than Richt’s did. It’s common to pull up a prospect’s profile I’ve been asked to check out and see that Georgia is one of or the first to offer. That didn’t happen as much under Richt. Early offers matter an awful lot to recruits, who perceive the school as having faith in them throughout the process. Georgia even recently hosted a “freshman day” to invite the state’s youngest stars to see the school.

That’s no surprise, and in Richt’s defense, Georgia had begun a change in that approach before he was dismissed.  (Remember, Trent Thompson’s first offer came from UGA.)  Still, it’s nice to hear something like this:

One thing is certain, though: recruits are feeling Georgia right now and if Smart can steer the Bulldogs to a solid season, UGA should land an elite class.

Something I like a lot about what Smart has done is that he has some excellent recruits committed early, like elite like safety Richard LeCounte and linebacker Jaden Hunter, who are vocal and charismatic in trying to convince fellow stars to pick UGA.

Jake Fromm, too.  It takes a village to nail a recruiting class these days.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Mark Richt may be gone…

… but the spirit of Kirk Herbstreit at ESPN lives on.

Smart isn’t doing anything 99% of the other coaches in America already do, but only at Georgia is it an absolute disgrace.

Get a grip, people.  Wait, it’s ESPN and Finebaum – what am I thinking?

70 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, PAWWWLLL!!!

Still going: recruiting the class of 2016

The unusual case of Demetris Robertson aside, one thing I really appreciate in the wake of the coaching change is the relentlessness of the new staff on the recruiting front.  We’re more than a month past signing day, and Smart apparently is still looking to add kids to this year’s class.

There’s a concern about running back depth right now and there’s this note from Marc Weiszer.

Jake Reuse of Rivals.com reported that Brian Herrien of New Manchester High in Douglasville was at practice. He’s an unsigned 2016 prospect.

Smart said Saturday that the lack of depth at running back for now “is a bigger problem than probably anything else for us.”

I don’t know if Herrien is going to get an offer, but I doubt Georgia had him at a spring practice just for the hell of it.  Either way, it’s good to see Smart hasn’t stopped exploring his options.  That’s something I wish we’d have seen more of from the previous staff, especially in those puzzling days when the roster dropped under 75 players on scholarship.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

A full cost scholarship here, a full cost scholarship there…

… and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and 11 major conferences likely will be seeking more than $240 million in damages, according to a court filing that became public Tuesday…

The expert report examines the difference between the value of a traditional athletic scholarship and one that also covers the full cost of attending college, then applies that differential across groups of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball players over the five-plus years covered by the suit…

Under antitrust law, if a jury decides to award damages to a plaintiff, the amount is tripled, so more than $720 million could be at stake in the case. Although the NCAA and 11 conferences are named as defendants, other Division I schools and conferences are alleged to have been co-conspirators.

Just like we saw with O’Bannon, there are some cringeworthy moments coming when NCAA and conference officials have to get on the stand and justify their position.

To that end, the plaintiffs began providing evidence regarding what they say were the reasons that the NCAA’s refused to allow cost-of-attendance-based scholarships to replace scholarships basically limited to tuition, fees, room, board and books. The NCAA argued in the O’Bannon litigation that its limits on what athletes could receive for playing Division I sports were justified, in part, because they helped promote competition among the member schools.

In the documents unsealed Tuesday, the plaintiffs argue: “To the contrary, the common proof will show the real (unlawful) reason behind the scholarship cap — Defendants’ collective desire to cut costs and increase profit share.”

To back that assertion, they submitted dozens of historical and recent documents, ranging from transcripts of comments made at NCAA conventions in the 1970’s and 1980’s, to comments made in more recent NCAA meetings, e-mail exchanges and membership surveys. The plaintiffs claim these documents show that the defendants “and their members were well aware that the restraint was having a broad and negative impact on college athletes, but yet continued to reinforce it.”

In other words, if schools find it okay to pay the COA stipend now, why wasn’t that the case five years ago?  Did something happen in the time between then and now that dramatically changed competition?  Or were schools just trying to save a few bucks?

And the threat of Kessler’s case is out there, too.  It’s a steady drip, drip, drip until one day the dam bursts.

12 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Kirby Smart challenges Brice Ramsey’s manhood.

Okay, maybe not quite, but, still, this is a challenge of sorts.

And from what Smart has seen of Ramsey has him “pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Smart said he told Ramsey on Tuesday that “I think you relax a little bit too much.”

He said there are a lot of drills where players are watching and told Ramsey “‘I need you to be more assertive, take more of a leadership role. Show me that it means something to you. That you want it.’

It would be nice to see if that works.  Given that Ramsey couldn’t motivate himself into the starting job last season when the competition was wide open, I can’t argue with trying a little coach-shaming to see if that makes the light bulb go off.

Radi Nabulsi posted Smart’s presser from yesterday, if you’re looking for a little more information.  (And who isn’t?)

The boss doesn’t sound very happy.  Except about the punt team.  Yay!

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Oh, it’s on now.

Harbaugh returns serve.

This is getting fun.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Gene Smith wusses out.

Once again, you mess with the Harbaugh, you get the horns.

17 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football