Daily Archives: April 14, 2017

25, the hard way

One more thing about NCAA Proposal No. 2016-116 — while the part affecting hiring high school coaches has gotten a fair amount of howling from SEC coaches, including Kirby Smart, there is another provision that doesn’t seem to have drawn much of a reaction, somewhat to my surprise.

Limitation of annual scholarships to 25

If passed: Effective Aug. 1, 2017, affecting newcomers in 2018.

Need to know: This is a move to do away with oversigning and to reduce the practice of grayshirting, blueshirting and greenshirting. If you’re color-blind to these practices, don’t worry, it likely won’t matter much after this year.

The legislation would limit to 25 the number of prospects whose aid is initially offered in the fall term of an academic year. Current rules limit to 25 the number of prospects allowed to sign from Dec. 1 through May 31.

Central to the proposed changes, walk-ons who have not been enrolled for two years and transfers will both count against the 25-player limit. A walk-on awarded a scholarship after two or more years enrolled will not count against the limit.

A prospect whose scholarship paperwork specifies that he’ll be offered aid in the second or third term of an academic year may count toward the current academic year or the next year.

The SEC has proposed an amendment that would allow a newcomer who, before participating in competition, is injured or ill — to the point that he will apparently never again be able to play — to not count against any limit.

That strikes me as a pretty radical change to the way many Southern schools have gone about their business.  (Mark Richt, no doubt, is thinking, “about damned time”.)  Other than the amendment mentioned in the last paragraph in the quoted passage, though, I haven’t heard much of a peep from anyone in the SEC in response.  Is Nick Saban really that comfortable with the change?



Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Bert’s all about doing it for the kids.

I’ve discussed the strategy behind the NCAA’s Proposal No. 2016-116, a package of rules changes designed to temper some of the flaws in the recruiting process, at least as the NCAA Division I board of directors sees it.  The hope is that there’s enough in the package that’s acceptable to coaches, such as adding a tenth staffer, to offset what’s less palatable.

Judging from this, that may be a tough balancing act.

The conferences appear to have found consensus on all of the above — except for adding April-June official visits. The Southeastern Conference and other leagues in the South are reluctant to sign off on the change.

They have proposed an amendment that would limit spring official visits to April, a month already congested by ACT exams and Easter. There’s almost no way a prospect could use all five of his official visits in April.

It’s easy for prospects from, say, Atlanta, to take unofficial visits to Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and ACC schools such as Georgia Tech and Clemson in the spring. Not so much to Penn State and Nebraska, especially if the prospect and his family have limited means and cannot afford to fly.

“It’s like Trump,” one Big Ten official said. “Except the SEC wants to build a giant wall around the Southeast.”

The SEC’s justification for its stance is what really has Big Ten coaches steaming — academics.

“It’s a joke,” one Big Ten coach said.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, in an interview with the Tribune, said it’s no joke.

“The North wants recruiting and signing day to move up,” he said. “I get it. But on the same account, you’d have kids potentially not focusing on getting good grades to end the school year, and to me that’s really dangerous.”

Fake unctuousness from Bret Bielema?  Why, Miz Scarlett, I nevah.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, SEC Football

When Kirby ain’t happy…

it’s time to take it out on the media.

Freshman defensive back Deangelo Gibbs sustained an apparent injury in practice on Thursday.

It was witnessed by reporters during one of Georgia’s two open media periods.

So several wrote about what appeared to be an upper body injury.

Coach Kirby Smart was none-too-pleased afterwards when he was asked about the injury.

“Well, considering I haven’t had a lot of time to talk to the trainers, but it’s nice to know that you guys have found it in your hearts to report it,” Smart said. “So his mom has to find out from you guys rather than from us, which upsets me a little bit to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s really fair.”

Georgia does not have a policy that injuries seen while the practice is open to the media are not supposed to be reported. It does have a policy about no social media or message board posts from practice and no phone calls allowed.

Smart indicated he plans to implement a rule regarding injury reports.

“We’ll make some changes for you guys and try to handle that a little better from now on,” Smart said.

Gulp.  Sounds ominous.  What’s the Sanford Stadium equivalent of Seat 37F?


Filed under Georgia Football

This is why they pay Nick Saban the big bucks.

This one’s something of a tough call:  a redshirt freshman defensive back who led Alabama in tackles on kickoff coverage has had an arrest warrant issued for felony aggravated assault.

He’s productive enough not to be a transfer candidate, but obviously not a superstar yet.  Does Saban have time for this shit?  Or does he need the roster spot to make room for another five-star recruit?  Decisions, decisions…


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Nick Saban Rules

Ken Blankenship, winning

A second walk-on kicker has left the football program since the end of last season.


Filed under Georgia Football

Honest to a fault

Also from that Weiszer article I just posted comes this quote from the guy who proclaimed himself to be “a pretty honest guy, forthright in telling the truth” just the other day:

Six Georgia players left the team as transfers since the bowl game, all who served in backup or reserve roles.

In an ESPN .com article this week, Ed Aschoff wrote after interviewing Smart that when “some of the ‘bad apples’ who didn’t think they played enough have moved on, you tend to get more done.”

Smart was asked if “bad apples” was his term: “I’m not sure, to be honest with you. I don’t really remember.”

Short-term memory loss can be a bitch.  I hope that’s not a sign of early onset of Alzheimer’s, Mr. Forthright.


Filed under Georgia Football

Happy talk quote of the day…

… comes from Jeb Blazevich, who notes something I’m sure we’ve never ever heard a Georgia player say about his teammates.  Ever.

“I think the culture of leadership is the thing that we’ve changed,” Blazevich said. “Everybody’s holding everybody accountable.”

I tells ‘ya, this year is really gonna be different.


Filed under Georgia Football

¡HOLA! México

Welp, this is one way to boost subscription numbers in an age of cord-cutting.

ESPN announced today the launch of ESPNU and SEC Network in Mexico.  The networks will be made available to fans and followers of college sports on Totalplay, the entertainment and total connectivity company offering internet, interactive television and telephone services, with a presence in more than 20 cities throughout the country.  Launched in 2005, ESPNU is ESPN’s 24-hour college sports television network, and SEC Network is devoted to covering collegiate sports in the Southeastern Conference, a college athletic conference whose member institution are located primarily in the Southern part of the U.S.

“ESPNU and SEC Network offer the best of college sports and we are excited to make both networks available to Totalplay customers in Mexico,” said Gerardo Casanova, vice president and managing director, Latin America North and ESPN Mexico.  “Together, ESPNU and SEC Network will immediately offer college sports fans in Mexico more than 1,000 exclusive live events, including regular-season football games, men’s and women’s basketball games, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, track & field, as well as unparalleled access to news and information shows and original programming.”

I can’t wait for somebody from south of the border to call into Finebaum’s show.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, SEC Football