Daily Archives: May 9, 2016

Inches away, indeed.

This one has some real potential to be painful to watch…

(h/t)

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Filed under Georgia Football

Eight ain’t enough.

If you’re wondering what Kirby Smart thinks the answer to these questions is…

Smart recently discussed the sheer number of requests he received for satellite camps.

“Everybody wants one now,” Smart said. “Every high school wants you to come to their place. So how do you keep everybody happy and go to all of them? It’s impossible. So they’re popping up everywhere and it’s a little bit out of control as far as how many of them there are.”

“Then you’ve got to decide as a coach, ‘Where do I send my coaches. Where do I send my support staff? Where is it a priority to send them?.’” he said.

… apparently it’s all of ’em.

On Monday, Cartersville head coach Joey King released news of a camp on June 15 at the LakePoint sporting venue in Emerson, Ga. Georgia is one of the schools expected to be in attendance, along with Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State, and Chattanooga…

… This is the eighth known satellite camp that has promoted Georgia as being in attendance:

  1. June 2 – Maynard Jackson HS (Ran by Cedar Grove HS)
  2. June 3-4 – Mercer
  3. June 5 – Lassiter HS
  4. June 7 – West Georgia
  5. June 9-10 Woodland-Stockbridge HS
  6. June 11 – Samford
  7. June 15 – LakePoint Sporting Community (Ran by Cartersville HS)
  8. June 16th Buford HS

The interesting thing is that all but one of them are in state.  I guess it’s Kirby’s way of keeping an eye on those border fences.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Outstanding

Our old friend David Ching lists the top five SEC quarterbacks in the past decade and Aaron Murray deservedly makes it at number four.  It’s an impressive legacy that he boasts.

Just look at where he ranks in the SEC career record book. First in passing yardage (13,166). First in total offense (13,562). First in passing touchdowns (121). Fifth in passing efficiency (158.61). The Kansas City Chiefs backup twice led the Bulldogs to the SEC championship game and nearly to the BCS championship game at the end of the 2012 season…

So, yeah, in terms of historical significance, Murray clearly fits in with names like Tebow, Newton and Manziel.  There’s just one slight difference.

The only player on the list who didn’t win a Heisman and/or start for a national championship team…

Sigh.  We get that a lot here at Georgia.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“We’re going to force the president to tell us where we stand.”

The Oklahoma board of regents gets all “you’re not the boss of me” with the school’s president about Big 12 expansion.

The most strident and powerful voice in favor of Big 12 expansion has a significant opponent at his own school.

Max Weitzenhoffer, the Oklahoma board of regents chairman, told CBS Sports he will try to convince influential OU president David Boren to ditch Big 12 expansion.

“I can tell you I’m not alone,” Weitzenhoffer said.

The seven-member board, which serves as the school’s governing body, will meet Thursday. At that time, Weitzenhoffer said, he will seek clarification on the board’s input regarding the school’s vote on expansion.

At least one other regents member, Oklahoma City Thunder chairman Clay Bennett, is against expansion, Weitzenhoffer said.

“One-hundred percent [with] what we’ve been talking about,” Weitzenhoffer said of Bennett’s position. “We just want to let him [Boren] know, we don’t like it.

“If it goes forward, it may get to the point where we may not be able to stop it.”

Why the conflict?  Hint:  it’s a five-letter word beginning with “m” that rhymes with honey.

He added he is “very close friends” with Boren but added, “We’re not on the same page. They keep talking about more money, but it’s really not that much more money.”

It is known that any expansion candidates will be paid “pro rata” — the same annually as current Big 12 members, about $23 million per year. What is not known is what additional money — if any — rightsholders ESPN and Fox would be willing to pay the Big 12 for expansion.

Judging from this, Weitzenhoffer may very well have the better argument:

Weitzenhoffer explained why the Big 12 stands to gain little in expanding to schools most commonly mentioned — Boise State, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis and South Florida, among others.

“Those are the ones I keep hearing,” Weitzenhoffer said. “They have no seating capacities in their stadiums. They really don’t build them up. They really don’t have any TV. I really don’t know what we have to gain by that.”

“The problem with Cincinnati is … then they start getting all this money,” Weitzenhoffer said. “Then what do we do? We build up somebody we don’t want to build up.”

At least six of those expansion candidates have capacities at or below the Big 12’s two smallest stadiums — TCU and Baylor (approximately 45,000). Only UConn ($72 million) would be close to the lowest-revenue athletic departments in the Big 12 (Baylor and TCU, each at approximately $71 million).

The real money is elsewhere.  The Big 12’s problem is that the real money isn’t going anywhere else.

The only way expansion makes sense, Weitzenhoffer said, is snagging teams from a Power Five conference. With the exception of the SEC, those conferences are bound together at the moment each by a grant of rights. If any school leaves, its television rights are retained by the existing conference.

Thus — short of a bitter, protracted court challenge — no Power Five schools are likely to leave until the middle of the next decade.

“I don’t think anybody can [be shaken loose],” Weitzenhoffer said, adding, “We’ve been fiddling with Notre Dame for years … but they’re not going to be leaving.”

Eh, it could be worse.  At least the Big 12 has the bold leadership of Bob Bowlsby at the helm.

 

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Filed under Big 12 Football

Just like any other student

Current NCAA policy:

Critics of college sports’ current health insurance model complain that it’s inefficient, contains costly gaps in coverage for the NCAA and its members, and creates policies that don’t guarantee equal coverage for athletes across all conferences and schools. The NCAA requires that athletes have insurance paid for by the school, the athlete or his or her family. The insurance must cover up to the $90,000 deductible of the NCAA catastrophic injury program.

In other words, if a student-athlete doesn’t cover the deductible, he or she doesn’t get the NCAA coverage.  Former Rep. and Oklahoma football player J.C. Watts is pushing for a replacement of that model.

Among the proposed coverage provisions through the benefits plan:

• Ensure no out-of-pocket expenses for players and their family for injuries that occurred while participating in college sports. Schools often pay a lot of these costs but there are no requirements and some athletes get saddled with thousands of dollars in medical bills from injuries sustained in college.

• Provide health coverage to former athletes related to college sports injuries. The coverage would extend to the age of 26, which would be consistent with the current Affordable Care Act requirements.

• Serve as the athlete’s primary medical coverage during college eligibility.

• Lower the cost of comprehensive basic injury, dental, vision and catastrophic healthcare coverage.

• Protect athletes from substantial and unexpected medical expenses and help a university’s ability to respond in those cases.

• Add additional support to athletes through family travel benefits, financial literacy and career counseling programs, lifetime scholarships, and compatible cost of attendance stipends.

Sounds fair.

“I’m not one that says you should pay a player to play college football, but I don’t think a college athlete should have to pay to attend the University of Oklahoma when you don’t have the type of benefits these players should have,” Watts said. “And it’s not just the time they’re at Oklahoma but after they’ve left. Stadiums have gotten bigger [and] weight rooms have gotten bigger [while] the benefits have largely stayed the same.”

Not only that, but the plan’s sponsors claim it will save almost $300 million.  Who, I ask you, couldn’t get behind a proposal like that?

Do you really need to guess?

Where the NCAA stands on the “Student Athletes’ Enhanced Benefits Plan” is unclear and a frustrating issue for Watts Partners. Watts and Pruitt said they met in October 2014 with NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy, NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline and NCAA director of travel and insurance Juanita Sheely to lay out the idea.

“Our basic response from them was, ‘Go build it and come back to us,’” Watts said. “They’ve been lukewarm at best. Tom really is the one that has turbo-charged it in the last six months because of his credibility and access to the ADs and conference commissioners. It doesn’t hurt having a Rhodes Scholar trumpeting your plan.”

The NCAA declined comment regarding the benefits plan being considered by athletic directors. Last year, Sheely defended the NCAA’s insurance coverage for athletes in this online article.

Earlier this year, the NCAA sent out a medical insurance survey to its members. The survey was described internally by the NCAA as a starting point to examine where coverage gaps exist before moving forward.

“We’re two years ahead of them and have done the kind of analysis that even their survey will not pick up the data for,” Pruitt said. “Their survey is mostly a cost accounting survey than it is looking at the actual benefits and policies that the schools require and how those interface with what the NCAA offers. We’ve already done all that.”

Some NCAA officials have privately expressed concern that the Watts Partner plan overlaps with what’s already being provided to athletes…

Yeah, can’t have any overlap.  What would the rest of the student body think?

 

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Filed under The NCAA

Alabama got a commitment from Sam Pittman’s wet dream.

It’s not just that offensive guard Evan Neal is six foot six and weighs 350+ pounds, or that, in the words of his high school coach, “(h)e’s got a tremendous first step, he’s as aggressive as any kid I’ve ever coached as a senior”.

It’s that he’ll be part of Alabama’s 2019 class, because he just turned fifteen.  Holy smokes.  I’m not sure describing him as massive does him justice.

(h/t)

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Filed under Recruiting, The Body Is A Temple

One man’s bold predictions…

As those sorts of columns go, this one’s actually kind of thought-provoking.

Start with this:

1. Tennessee will beat Alabama for the first time in a decade

It’s no surprise to regular readers I’ve been high on this year’s Volunteers for some time. Tennessee returns 18 starters, including a potentially dynamic quarterback in Joshua Dobbs, from a team that lost four games by a total of 16 points last year. The Vols will no doubt have Oct. 15 vs. the Crimson Tide circled on their calendar, and this is the year they finally get over the hump. It’s been a while. The last time Tennessee beat Alabama (2006), Mike Shula and Phillip Fulmer were the two head coaches. But unless the still-unresolved off-field controversy engulfs Butch Jones at some point (and there’s no evidence thus far that it will), this will be a memorable year in Knoxville.

Eh, maybe.  I still want to see Booch’s team climb the mountain first.  Yeah, they lost some close ones last year, but the point is they lost them.  And if he’s right that Alabama’s defense will be better than it was last season, that’s quite the mountain to climb.

But my real question is how hard will the Vols sell out for this game?  If they really give it everything they’ve got and lose, what kind of shape will they be in for their next game, which, although it’s against a team they’ve handled of late, will be their fifth conference game in a row?

Tennessee’s November is what Tennessee’s November usually looks like, so if Georgia is going to win the East, the Vols had best get dinged up before then.

And then there’s this:

5. Auburn will post its second straight losing SEC record

The Tigers improved toward the end of the year last season; that’s pretty much indisputable. And to their credit, they did not quit after a disastrous early-season slide. Trouble is, Auburn still has no answer at quarterback and did not upgrade after changes on the defensive coaching staff. Picking up Vanderbilt on the SEC schedule helps, though Texas A&M and Mississippi State are the only other likely wins on the Tigers’ conference slate. LSU, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama are almost certain losses. Arkansas might be the swing game. A loss in that one would put the Tigers at 3-5 in the league. With a loss to Clemson in the opener (a virtual certainty), Auburn would finish 6-6. Though I’m not 100 percent certain it will happen, I’ll be consistent in what I’ve said in the past. If Gus Malzahn doesn’t win at least eight games this year, he’s done.

Would Auburn really do that?  If Chizik can get fired two seasons after winning a national championship, nothing’s really out of the question on the Plains.

The thing is, the Tigers usually do their best when nothing is expected out of them.  And that’s certainly the case in 2016.  Then again, I look at this schedule and only see seven wins right now.  To notch that eighth one, Gus is going to have to upset somebody.  Even if he doesn’t, is 7-5 bad enough to cost him his job?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange