Don’t ask me why, but the opener with Appalachian State has been scheduled for 6:15 PM. Not that I’m complaining. Those noon starts in September can be brutally hot.
Houston Nutt’s attorney is threatening to sue Ole Miss for defamation.
If an acknowledgement and apology isn’t forthcoming, the possibility of a defamation suit against Ole Miss remains in play according to Nutt’s very persistent attorney, Thomas Mars.
“I would hope this wouldn’t become a legal situation,” Mars said. “But if the university doesn’t recognize at some point the damage that’s been done … I would like to think the appropriate action will be taken.
“This was a smear campaign. If it weren’t so deceitful and morally wrong, it would probably go down in college football history as one of the best trick plays ever.”
Gawd, yes, bring it on.
As I often do when the Nuttster’s name is invoked, I can’t help but wonder what Pork Rind Jimmy is up to these days.
Georgia’s athletic director remains enamored of his mad PR skills. Why, I honestly don’t know.
Take, for example, today’s exhortation to the Athletic Board after he acknowledged that overall, Georgia’s athletics performance isn’t where it needs to be.
“Our institution is a very birthplace of higher education in this country. We have a legacy unlike any other. We have a college town unlike any other. So many have committed to the G. And we are now asking everyone who believes in all the good that Georgia does, not only throughout our state, but around the country, to commit to Georgia.
“Let us not be distracted by those who attempt to divide us. We must be united and stronger than ever before to help move our athletic program forward.”
Words fail me. The man needs an intervention. Surely there’s a competent Grady graduate working in some capacity at the school who can step in and provide McGarity with some guidance as to why paranoia in response to criticism isn’t the best look.
Asked later what he meant by “distracted by those who seek to divide us,” McGarity declined to elaborate.
Maybe he’s saving that for his next edition of “The First Word”.
Ladies and gentlemen, our athletic director on the state of the state:
But don’t worry. Mr. Accountability is on the mother.
UPDATE: Marked improvements… starting… now.
Boy, I didn’t expect cord cutting to have an effect that quickly. Look out, ticket prices.
UPDATE: Seth Emerson reports they’ve spent a lot of time at today’s Athletic Board meeting discussing the reserve fund. Here’s the series:
UGA treasurer now addressing the reserve funds, and the amount that is in the UGA Foundation that I’ve discussed earlier: It’s now $34.8 million, and the school says they haven’t been able to spend it. (That $34.8 million, in addition to the other known reserves, brings it to about $75-$80 million.)
They’re proposing to give the A.D. the ability to spend 4 percent of the money in the UGA Foundation. So they can use $1.3 million of it.
But they’re also still setting a limit on how much of it has to stay in there. So around $30 million cannot be spent and must stay in the foundation.
Or, to define the parameters more specifically,
The takeaway right now is they’re explaining the reserve fund and justifying it, but also handcuffing themselves by saying that they can never:
- Have the reserve fund go below $30 million.
- Spend more than 4 percent of the existing money set aside in the UGA Foundation, which is currently $34 million.
And when Seth says “they”, he’s not just talking about McGarity and Morehead.
Ryan Nesbit, the school treasurer, now leading a slide show presentation that emphasizes the benefit of keeping a good operating reserve. Includes “sound financial planning and fiscal management,” and “capacity for other unforeseen needs.”
I know, I know. But, here’s what they try as an explanation.
Another board member complimented UGA’s fiduciary policy, and then Jere Morehead spoke up to make another point.
“We’re depending on our donors to pay for that project, or else our position changes dramatically,” Morehead said. “We need that project to be funded by our donor base so then we can move on to other projects.”
Nesbit said it would be “ill-advised” to go beyond the $10 million set aside for the west end zone project.
Another board member asked what “unforeseen” events would be that would necessitate keeping the funds. Morehead pointed to the SEC revenue, and whether it will be that much 10 years from now.
So, they’re not worried about the players getting paid now as much as they are us not watching ESPN on cable. Ho-kay.
There’s no dissent from the board on the fiduciary policy. Just some questions and points of clarification. But board members are complimenting the athletic department for its policy.
As long as they’re on the same page, then.
Man, Stewart Mandel is still taking a victory lap in Montana.
But one particular question I answered in August 2007 took on a life of its own. A reader asked me to rank the nation’s power-conference schools by “prestige and place in the national scene.” For reasons I can’t recall, I opted to invoke a Medieval feudal system in dividing the 66 BCS programs at the time into Kings, Knights, Barons and Peasants.
Thus, my Program Pecking Order was born.
People took the thing pretty seriously. One Georgia blog actually enlisted a Dawgs fan to go around to sports bars in Montana testing my premise that the “G” helmet is not universally recognizable enough to merit a spot in the top group. (An “A” for effort, though it turned out I was right.)
I suppose I should be flattered.
Here’s a cute little wrinkle. It’s no surprise to most of us that in many states, the highest paid public employee is either the head football coach or men’s basketball coach.
In Maryland last year, though, they took that to the next level: the highest paid state employee was the former head football coach.
No wonder the school needed the revenue bump to jump conferences.
In a series of tweets yesterday, William McFadden broke down some of the tape from G-Day. You can go check his feed out if you want the entire analysis, but I wanted to focus on just a few things he put up highlighting the quarterbacks.
First, compare these very similar plays called to start the game for both Eason…
… and Fromm.
This gets back to a point I made in my Observations post about G-Day. There was a noticeable difference in the first team secondary’s play versus that of the second team’s.
Fromm did a lot of good things in the scrimmage. Here he reads the blitz right and gets rid of the ball quickly.
And this may be my favorite play of Fromm’s from the day.
He showed some maneuverability and good field awareness there.
On the other hand, while this play starts off well enough,
… it almost ends disastrously. (Against a good SEC defensive back, it wouldn’t have been almost.)
Then there’s the game’s flukiest play.
He missed reading the open receiver, threw off balance, but was saved by the defensive back’s whiff and Simmons staying with the play. Again, that’s likely a different result against a conference defender.
As far as Eason goes, it was also a mixed day. On the interception,
… Eason forces a throw because he’s under pressure, but look at the routes the receivers are running. That whole side of the field looks crowded. It’s a poorly executed play all around.
On the other hand, feel free to drool over this.
Eason reads the blitz, the line gives him just enough time and he makes a killer throw.
That’s what a great arm, given enough time, can do.
And one more.
Folks, there aren’t many college quarterbacks who can do that. There just aren’t.
The point here isn’t to argue for one Jake over the other. (I don’t think Eason did anything to loosen his grip on the starting job, but I digress.) It’s that I’m excited about what I see there from both players.
In terms of quality depth, this appears to be shaping up as the best quarterback situation Georgia’s had since Richt’s early run with Greene and Shockley. Give Eason and Fromm adequate pass protection and some consistency from the receiving corps and the passing game could be resurrected into a real threat quickly.
According to Todd Berry, the director of the American Football Coaches Association, while coaches are just wild about the new rule allowing redshirt players to appear in as many as four games in a season without sacrificing their statue, they’re not thrilled with the idea of simply granting student-athletes five years of eligibility. Why? Um, well…
“Our coaches have always voted down 5-for-5. Some support it, but the majority want to protect the collegiate model, that it takes four years to graduate,” AFCA executive director Todd Berry said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation.
So Berry sees this new idea as somewhere in between.
“This would allow for young people to preserve that redshirt and work on a master’s,” he said. “Football is a different sport. We don’t have 40 games in a season like baseball or basketball. One year is a precious amount of time to play a great sport and get out what you want. I don’t know that there’s a lot of reasons not to do it. Certainly, the only one I’ve heard is that some other sports might like to do it also. If that’s the case, I think football’s a different sport, and everything can’t be regulated the same.”
I see. That certainly makes more sense than this.
Earlier this month, the AFCA announced it was proposing to allow players to play in any four games and keep their redshirt — as opposed to fewer games, early in the season, just to be eligible for a “medical” redshirt. Every coach is for the proposal, and why wouldn’t they be? It lets them play more players.
But it still needs to go through the NCAA legislative process. One proposal that has failed in the process before is the idea of “5 for 5,” meaning five years of eligibility, no redshirts. But it’s never made it through, in part because of costs and affects on roster turnover.
Jesus, what a bunch of cheap bastards.
That’s how long we’ve got until September 2nd. Damn.