Daily Archives: February 8, 2017

When momma ain’t happy, you don’t sign.

When it comes to UGA, it turns out that Aubrey Solomon was negatively recruited… by his own mother.

She said a big reason why Georgia didn’t sign her son centered on coaching decisions and not anything specific in their recruiting relationship.

Caldwell said they were affected by the scholarship that was no longer there for 4-star Texas RB and longtime UGA commit Toneil Carter.

Adding to the confusion: SEC All-Freshman kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was not extended a scholarship offer despite what he did to win games for the Bulldogs last season.

She said that was not her family’s fight but that it was a factor into how they perceived UGA.

“We were concerned with the scholarship issues of those not either receiving (them) or getting it pulled and again (this was) not our fight but it played a factor,” she said.

Why did her son not take a last official visit to Georgia when he had one left? Why did Kirby Smart not get one last in-home visit?

Caldwell said that a final visit was planned. That’s when their family would’ve asked about the Blankenship and Carter situations. They wanted to find out those answers.

What happened there? Caldwell said the birth of her grandchild in late January was a factor. There were complications that extended that hospital stay there for her daughter. Her 5-star son also got to be an uncle. The Southwest Georgia storms were also cited as a factor.

She also had to get her hair done.

Ken Blankenship appreciates the solidarity.  He’ll probably bring that up the next times he fires off a screed to the media.



Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Don’t cry for me, Oxford.

Kirby’s got himself a new defensive line coach.

Georgia has already found a new defensive line coach in Tray Scott, who had just recently signed on for the same role at Mississippi. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze told the Rivals’ affiliate RebelGrove.com about Scott’s decision to leave.

After spending the last two years coaching the position with North Carolina, Scott took the defensive line coaching job at Ole Miss.

Scott replaces Tracy Rocker, who was recently let go by the Georgia program.

Ole Miss released a statement on Scott’s leaving the program.

“Tray Scott is leaving our staff for another opportunity,” the statement reads. “We want coaches that are 100 percent committed to winning championships at Ole Miss. Our student-athletes, our staff and Rebel Nation deserve that, and that is what we will bring to this great program.”

Mmm, those grapes seem to taste a bit sour, Hugh.  Then again, lateral moves tend not to sit too well.  Especially when the guy may not have even found the time to unpack his bags.

Scott was hired to coach the defensive line at Ole Miss in January 2017 after serving two seasons as defensive line coach at North Carolina. According to information on Ole Miss’ bio of Scott: “(His) 2016 unit was especially effective in the red zone, ranking 35th nationally allowing opponents to score only 79.6 percent of the time. His defensive line also helped UNC rank top 50 nationally in scoring defense (24.9 ppg). Scott mentored defensive tackle Nazair Jones to All-ACC honors for the second straight year.”  [Emphasis added.]

Can Kirby borrow that bio?  It doesn’t need any updating.

I wonder if Smart saw something in last year’s opener that caught his eye.  I presume Scott can recruit, or he wouldn’t be headed to Athens.  In any event, welcome aboard, sir.


UPDATE:  About the Ole Miss staff,

Scott is the second assistant who has been hired by Ole Miss only to leave before ever coaching a a game. Matt Lubick was hired as receivers coach but left after Baylor offered him a co-offensive coordinator job.

Generally speaking, that’s not a good look.

Also, I’m guessing Greg McGarity is thrilled with the hire, at least in one aspect.

Scott was on a one-year contract, which paid him $375,000. Since it was a one-year deal, no buyout needs to be paid.

Kirby’s probably planning on splitting the savings with the reserve fund, so he can go hire another support staffer.


UPDATE #2:  Then again, maybe this is what caught Kirby’s eye.

Scott was hired in late December after long-time Rebel D-line coach Chris Kiffin left to become his brother’s defensive coordinator at UCF. Scott, who’d previously served as a graduate assistant in Oxford, had built a reputation as an up-and-coming star while coaching D-linemen at North Carolina. It didn’t take long for him to prove he had an eye for talent, offering a scholarship to and receiving a commitment from lightly-recruited three-star JUCO tackle Larrell Murchison, who shortly thereafter received offers from Texas and Georgia. Murchison ended up defecting to NC State at the last minute, but it seemed to be a promising example of Scott’s scouting acumen.

There is a touch of irony there, in that Smart got Murchison to flip, but then had to send Rocker to let the kid know there wasn’t a spot for him in the ’17 class.  Small world!


Filed under Georgia Football

Today, in Baylor

The Big 12 decides to hit the Bears in the one place it might hurt.

They might need that money to settle a couple of lawsuits, so maybe that’ll work.


Filed under Baylor Is Sensitive To Women's Issues, Big 12 Football

“There’s not much he can do this offseason to grow a couple inches.”

I missed this quote when it came out, and it’s a good one.

Malkom Parrish and Deandre Baker are returning starters, and Parrish will be a senior who has started the past two seasons. Their only, uh, shortcoming: They’re short, or at least shorter than Kirby Smart and company would like.

That’s why they went out and signed five — yes, five — cornerbacks last week, all of whom are 6-foot or taller. Parrish, on the other hand, is listed at 5-10 (and when we write “listed” hopefully the skepticism is conveyed) while Baker is 5-11.

Smart, a safety listed at just under 6 feet, admitted last week: “I wouldn’t sign me, ever.”

He was laughing, but did not back down from his point.

All of which makes for a good question — will last year’s starters at cornerback lose their spots to taller, greener players?  As much as I’d like to dismiss that, seeing how Parrish and Baker played last year, Smart has concerns about them physically.

“I do think longer DBs are the trend. Foot quickness becomes a problem with length. Can he move quick enough to cover quick, fast, receivers,” Smart said. “So many of the wide receivers we faced, and we struggled with, have length. When you play against length, you want a guy with length. Uniquely, we were able to get some guys that we thought had good length to help in this class. I think that’s a trend across the country.”

Maybe it’s just about giving Tucker a greater ability to mix and match his corners against opposing receivers.  But maybe last year’s throwaway season at quarterback will turn into this year’s throwaway season at defensive back.  Either way, I sure hope somebody gets coached up in a hurry.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Today, in money

There appears to be a growing revenue gap that threatens to widen the divide — not between the haves and have nots, but between the haves and haves.  Jon Wilner lays it out:

Fiscal year 2015 school distributions (all figures confirmed):

SEC: $32.7 million
Big Ten: $32.4 million
Pac-12: $25.1 million

Fiscal year 2016 school distributions

SEC: $40 million (confirmed)
Big Ten: $35 million (approximate)
Pac-12: $27 million (approximate)

That looks bad … that is bad … but it’s about to get much worse for the Pac-12.

Remember: The Big Ten’s new Tier 1 deal begins in 2017-18, and it’s also a whopper, averaging $440 million per year.

Which brings us to …

Fiscal year 2017-18 school distributions …

Big Ten: $45 million (estimate)
SEC: $43 million (estimate)
Pac-12: $31 million (estimate)

Yeah, I can see how that would be perceived as a problem.  And the problem isn’t exclusive to the Pac-12; it extends similarly to the ACC and Big 12.

All of which has led to some understandable back patting.

Props to Jim Delany for riding the television spending tidal wave like a Los Angeles weed dealer with a surfing hobby. The B1G is in prime position to loot the jewels from the Big 12’s vault whenever that ponzi scheme collapses.

However, it might be worth considering the possibility of more than one ponzi scheme out there.

Walt Disney Co.’s struggles with ESPN took center stage again Tuesday as the entertainment giant blamed falling viewership and advertising for lower sales and profit.

Revenue at the Burbank, California-based company shrank 3 percent to $14.8 billion in the first quarter ended Dec. 31, Disney said Tuesday in a statement. That missed the $15.3 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

A decline in profit at ESPN, which had fewer college bowl games and lower viewership, dragged down results in cable TV — which is by far Disney’s largest business. With the highest subscriber rates in pay TV, Disney’s sports network is especially at risk of losing revenue as cable audiences cancel subscriptions for online services or sign up for so-called skinny bundles that don’t play up sports programming.

Disney also blamed higher programming costs at ESPN…

Oh, I’m sure it’ll work out.  Delany and Sankey aren’t considered geniuses for nothing, right?


Filed under College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, It's Just Bidness


Georgia’s first conference opponent in 2017 is Mississippi State.  As Marc Weiszer points out, there will be lots of familiar faces decked out in maroon for that one.

Georgia is also losing a support staff member. D.J. Looney, an offensive graduate assistant who worked with Sam Pittman’s offensive line, is returning to Mississippi State, his alma mater, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports. He will help coach tight ends and offensive tackles.

Former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham now holds that same position at Mississippi State. Former Georgia linebacker Christian Robinson is a graduate assistant again under Grantham, coaching the inside linebackers. Georgia opens SEC play against Mississippi State in Athens on Sept. 23 against a team that now includes former Georgia players Chauncey Rivers and Johnathan Abram.

All I can say is that if we’re not roundly mocking third-and-Grantham after the game, Jim Chaney ought to be in some serious trouble.  Even John Lilly managed that feat in his one-game career as offensive coordinator.


Filed under Georgia Football

“The NCAA has changed and it’s a business.”

I doubt this goes anywhere quickly, but two Connecticut legislators have proposed a bill that would create a “athletic protection commission” to monitor and enforce the safety for all NCAA athletes in the state.

As you can probably guess, that isn’t sitting well with the affected parties, who are indignant that anyone would think they need prodding to make sure their student-athletes are tended to properly.

“Do I really think there’s this kind of need? The answer is no,” Fairfield AD Eugene Doris said. “Normally, you hear the nightmare things behind the scenes. I don’t get any sense that student-athletes are in any jeopardy in any way. All of my colleagues, to a person, would be appalled if it happened on their campus and would fire people if they found out something was occurring and not being done correctly.”

Well, color me reassured.

Like I said, this bill’s likely doomed before it gets out of the gate, but add it to the steady drip, drip, drip of concern regarding players’ health.  Guys like Doris would be wise to get ahead of things, but that would require thinking ahead, which isn’t a strong suit for most athletic directors.

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Filed under Political Wankery, The Body Is A Temple

‘You’re doing it again. Don’t do it.’

You have to read this Dennis Dodd interview with North Carolina AD Bubba Cunningham about the ongoing NCAA investigation into the academic shenanigans there in its entirety to get the true flavor of its craziness, but the gist of it is expressed in one Slick Willie-esque paragraph.

Revealing what seems to be North Carolina’s defense in the case, Cunningham told CBS Sports, “Is this academic fraud? Yes, it is by a normal person’s standards. But by the NCAA definition [it is not].”

The NCAA, of which North Carolina is a proud, voting member last time I checked, isn’t normal.  That’s some defense you got there, Bubba.

The whole thing is nuts.


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

Musical palate cleanser, love’s a game edition

This one popped up on the iPod — from one of my favorite groups, the deserving of more attention than they ever got New Rhythm and Blues Quartet, otherwise known as NRBQ.  It’s the pinnacle of guitarist Big Al Anderson’s 22-year stretch with the band.  From All Hopped Up, it’s the sublime “Ridin’ In My Car”.

The gorgeous, final 40-second fade out is worth the price of admission by itself.

Bonus track:  from Big Al’s earlier group, the Wildweeds, comes this delicious slab of mid-to-late ’60s white boy soul, “No Good To Cry”.  It was a big regional hit in the Northeast that I think briefly cracked the national 100 back in the day.

By the way, the Allman brothers dug “No Good To Cry”.


Filed under Uncategorized