Monthly Archives: June 2016

Hey, maybe that graduate transfer rule isn’t such a bad thing.

Would I be interested in seeing Georgia sign “the favorite to win Alabama’s starting nickel back spot entering fall camp”?  Why, yes, I believe I would.

Smith was playing the nickel as recently as this year’s Alabama spring game, so to say this was sudden isn’t stretching things.  Whatever the motivation, to bring in a quality player who’s fully trained in Smart’s defensive system would be a huge get for the Dawgs.



Filed under Georgia Football

“It’s like that movie Blue Chips with Nick Nolte, with Shaquille O’Neal in it.”

Lindsey Miller, Laremy Tunsil’s estranged stepfather, has been chatting with a few folks on the NCAA’s compliance staff.

He also spoke with’s Pete Thamel.  If you’re a Georgia fan, this little tidbit’s of note.

Miller, who was dating Tunsil’s mother during the recruitment and married her in July 2014, says he provided the NCAA with text messages, e-mails and Facebook messages to back up his claims. He showed multiple Facebook and text messages to SI that appear to verify some of the claims in the NCAA Notice of Allegations. He also says he provided his bank and financial records to the NCAA, which helped investigators verify an $800 payment from a booster in August 2014. At one point, Miller says NCAA investigators took his three cell phones to capture all the data.

In one Facebook message, dated Feb. 8, 2013, Miller appears to write to Ole Miss defensive line coach Chris Kiffin: “Plz do all the u you said to help me and desiree and my 2 sons I have been ole miss biggest fan 2 times he committed to ga I was there foor u be there for us when its time ok.”

Kiffin appears to have responded: “You know I will!”

Miller provided SI with the Facebook messages, but they could not be independently verified.

(When reached by Sports Illustrated, Kiffin declined to comment citing the on-going NCAA investigation.)

Count me among those who’s still skeptical there’s much more the NCAA will do beyond what Ole Miss has chosen to self-impose.  Besides, if things do get worse, there’s always this neat trick:

Ole Miss opens its football season with games against Florida State, Wofford and Alabama. If the Rebels lose two of those three, it’s reasonable to consider that they’d self-impose a postseason ban in the same manner than Syracuse and Louisville’s basketball programs have done in recent years. That would serve as both a preemptive strike toward a more significant NCAA penalty and potentially help the program move forward.

Ole Miss has still not fired any football coaches, which could lead to skepticism by the NCAA of whether the school has sufficiently acknowledged the extent of its missteps. “Schools are probably not doing what they would have issued under the old system,” Buckner said. “You really don’t know. Why penalize yourself when the hearing panel may not impose them?”

Indeed.  It’s the NCAA we’re dealing with here, so there’s no reason to rush into anything.  Although there would be a certain sense of irony if Ole Miss did decide on a postseason ban for itself the week of the Georgia game.

One other amusing thing – Miller claims to have met with one of the NCAA investigators at a McDonald’s in Oxford, Miss so often that they started meeting in the parking lot instead out of a fear of being seen together.  Enter the Oxford Police Department.  At least somebody out there is having a good time with this.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, The NCAA

Congress to the rescue

Among life’s many rules of thumb, like “when they say it’s not about money, it’s about money”, is the notion that when a politician promotes a bill as a “common sense proposal“, somebody’s pocket is probably getting lined.

Welcome to Congress’ latest stab at fixing prices.

You might have heard about the federal lawsuit that three former minor league players filed against MLB a couple years ago, alleging that minor league pay scales violate minimum wage laws. That lawsuit is still going through the courts, but MLB has found allies in Congress. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) introduced a piece of legislation called “Save America’s Pastime Act.”

That sounds like something we’d all approve of, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to save baseball? I bet you didn’t realize baseball needed saving! Here’s what the act would do: H.R. 5580 would clarify that minor league baseball players are exempt from federal wage laws. How does that affect MLB? If the lawsuit succeeds in increasing minor league wages, that’s money out of the pockets of MLB owners. MLB teams — not the minor league owners/operators — pay the salaries of minor league players.

On her website, Bustos issued a news release that stated, in part: “Minor League teams are critically important, not just to the players and their parent teams, but to the communities they serve like Peoria and the Quad-Cities. This common sense proposal will close a loophole to ensure the long-term viability of Minor League teams in communities across our nation and I look forward to working with Congressman Guthrie to get it done.”

That’s so great – except it’s not the minor league teams who are stuck with the payrolls.  It’s the major league boys, who, last time I checked, aren’t exactly missing any meals.

You think Mark Emmert’s adding Reps. Bustos’ and Guthrie’s phone numbers to his Rolodex today?  A “Save College Football Act” has a nice ring to it.  Get that PAC moving!


Filed under Political Wankery

Bob Bowlsby’s got a mess on his hands.

Of course, most of us can think of a dozen things that are more of a mess than satellite camps.  But it’s nice he cares.

“There were all kinds of components of it that would not be what we would want to have as our recruiting environment,” Bowlsby said Wednesday. “We are at the point where there’s full acknowledgement that this isn’t about teaching football, it’s about meeting players and meeting families and meeting middlemen. It’s all about the recruiting environment; it’s not about camps anymore. So we need to deal with it on that basis.”

Of course it’s about recruiting, you silly twit.  You think anyone would care if it were about teaching football alone?

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Just when you think things couldn’t get any creepier…

I mean, what could possibly go wrong here?


Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Gus’ Grand Illusion

He doesn’t want much.

Gus Malzahn’s No. 1 goal this upcoming season is to field a top-10 defense. Yes, you heard that correctly.

“It’s not offense. It’s not ‘this or that.’ It’s for us to play top 10 defense,” Malzahn said this spring, according to Auburn’s official website.

To give you an idea of how off the charts this is, here’s Auburn’s national ranking in total defense over the last six seasons:

  • 2015 — 71st
  • 2014 — 66th
  • 2013 — 87th
  • 2012 — 81st
  • 2011 — 80th
  • 2010 — 60th

I’m sensing a pattern here, and it ain’t top ten.  And that’s with defensive stalwarts like Boom, Ellis Johnson, VanGorder and Chizik having their fingers in the mix.

Good luck with all that, Kevin Steele.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stats Geek!

What if nobody gets it?

Chip Towers previews Georgia’s quarterbacks this morning, and while his conclusion is nothing earthshaking (“Look for the Bulldogs to go with Lambert early but play Eason a lot until they feel comfortable with his ability to lead the offense.”), he does write one thing worth noting.

One can be sure that offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim Chaney will have a quick trigger if things aren’t going well.

I don’t know enough about Chaney’s career to say whether he likes to channel his inner Spurrier if his quarterbacks aren’t playing to his liking, but for the sake of argument, let’s assume he does.  Who’s likely to emerge from the quarterback shuffle?

My bet would be all in on Greyson Lambert, for one reason:  he’s the one quarterback at Chaney’s disposal who’s used to playing musical chairs as the starter, both at Virginia and last season at Georgia.  If Ramsey blows another chance, it’s likely to be his last in red and black, while Eason will just need more time – and be given more time – to develop.

Would it be the end of the world were that to happen?  Well, it would likely mean the initial five-game stretch to start the season would be a little rocky, but remember that Lambert didn’t lose a game after he regained his starting status last year and that the rest of this year’s schedule isn’t that daunting.  If Chaney has a healthy Nick Chubb at his disposal for the second half of the season, the offense is manageable, if not exactly prolific.

While it may not be an optimal scenario, given that Chaney made a competent quarterback out of Nathan Peterman last season with a weaker surrounding cast than whoever is named Georgia’s starter will have to play with in 2016, if none of the three can lock down the job early, Lambert should prove serviceable.


Filed under Georgia Football

Title IX in reverse

What if the problem isn’t that Title IX hamstrings schools from complying with funding equality between the sexes, but that the NCAA hamstrings Title IX?

The NCAA limits the number of scholarships schools can award in each sport. For example, men’s basketball teams in Division I can only award 13 scholarships per year, while women’s teams can award 15. Under Title IX, schools are supposed to spend athletic aid dollars in proportion to each gender’s participation; an unexplained disparity of more than one percentage point indicates a possible violation of the law. If a school sees that it’s underfunding women’s athletic aid, however, it can’t just freely hand out more scholarships to female athletes—that would exceed the NCAA’s per-sport scholarship caps, which would result in association sanctions, including the possible loss of more scholarships in the future.

In other words: the NCAA is potentially limiting opportunities for female athletes, and making it harder for schools to follow federal law.

Take Notre Dame, which says it is “fully funded” in women’s sports, meaning that it is giving out all of the scholarships it possibly can under the association’s caps. Nevertheless, the school has a three percent equity gap—that is, there is a three-point difference between the rate of women’s participation in sports and the rate they are awarded athletic scholarship dollars.

If Notre Dame didn’t have to follow NCAA rules, the school says, it would offer more scholarships to female athletes.

“With respect to financial aid, all 13 of our women’s intercollegiate athletic programs receive the NCAA maximum number of scholarship dollars,” Notre Dame senior associate athletic director for business Jill Bodensteiner wrote to VICE Sports in an email. In a follow-up email, she wrote, “The NCAA limits do have an impact. And yes, we would try to be ‘fully funded’ in all sports if they were increased”—as long as increases didn’t further give an advantage to Notre Dame’s sponsored men’s sports.

It’s not just Notre Dame. In 2013-14, Florida State had an 8.5-point equity gap. It would have cost the Seminoles roughly $681,000 more in women’s athletic scholarships to make things even—an amount the school’s athletic department almost certainly could have afforded.

Tough luck, ladies.  Sure helps the schools’ bank accounts, though.  Which is the point, of course.


Filed under The NCAA

This is what free market value looks like.

Jim Brown, one of the all-time greatest players in American football, today settled with video games maker Electronic Arts (EA) to the tune of $600,000, after he alleged that the company used his likeness in its Madden NFL games series without his consent.

Quite a bit more than the college kids got.

(Via one of my favorite h/ts ever.  He ought to know.)


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

More schedule talk

David Ching has this to say about Georgia’s 2016 slate:

Final analysis: SEC teams rarely play two Power 5 nonconference opponents in one fall, but that’s what the Bulldogs will do with UNC in the opener and rival Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale. That said, Georgia’s slate is not especially daunting. The Ole Miss-Tennessee stretch is the only spot on the entire schedule where the Bulldogs play consecutive scary games. Still, there are four or five contests that are anything but gimmes. The good news for Smart is that Georgia gets three challenging opponents (Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia Tech) at home. Further, aside from Ole Miss, Georgia’s other true SEC road games come against teams — Mizzou, South Carolina and Kentucky — that all fell short of bowl eligibility last year. However, the Bulldogs will play at Sanford Stadium just six times thanks to neutral-site games against UNC and Florida. ESPN’s Football Power Index rates Georgia’s schedule as the 16th-most difficult slate in the FBS, but that ranks eighth among SEC teams. By the conference’s lofty standards, this is a manageable first set of games for Smart & Co.

FPI bullshit aside, this lays out pretty nicely for the Dawgs.  If they can manage their way through the first five games with a winning record, the odds are pretty strong they’ll be headed towards at least a nine-win season.


Filed under Georgia Football