Daily Archives: June 6, 2017

Stand by your man, Ole Miss edition

To summarize:  The NCAA ain’t backing down.  The school ain’t backing down.  Even the boosters ain’t backing down.

SB Nation can confirm that lawyers representing two individuals who would fall under the NCAA’s official classification of booster are prepared for litigation against the university.

Ditto for the Nuttster, who’s also got a lawyer.

Damn it, where’d y’all hide the popcorn?

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UPDATE:  Don’t blame Hugh.

Blame Barney.

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40 Comments

Filed under Freeze!, The NCAA

Today, in tortured analogies

Kirby Smart says there’s no point to a search for truth regarding staff size, because who among us can truly discern one of the great mysteries of our time?

Georgia’s athletics budget, which will be $127.5 million in its fiscal year 2018, allows for the flexibility of support staff hires such as these. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart seemed wary that the NCAA could arbitrarily cap the number of support staffers per program.

“I think it’s hard to pick a number,” Smart said. “I think that’s why we’re all talking about it. It’s no different than, ‘Are there four teams in the playoff? Six teams? Eight teams?’ So where does that number go?”

Why, as far as it needs to, Kirby.

9 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Hate when that happens

Andy Staples cuts to the chase on what really bugs coaches about the new early signing period.

… Still, coaches controlled one vital piece of information—whether their scholarship offer actually was an offer.

Now, coaches have to put their cards on the table six weeks earlier. Some of them hate that.

Most programs hand out more than 100 scholarship offers but aren’t allowed to sign more than 25 players a year. Obviously, they need to offer more than 25 players because not everyone they offer will sign. But do they need to offer 231? That’s how many players claim offers from Minnesota in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports database. Do they need to offer 265? According to rivals.com, that’s how many class of ’18 players claim offers from Ole Miss, whose coach thinks allowing players to sign six weeks earlier is reckless. Even if we correct for the possibility that some of the players are claiming offers they don’t have—let’s estimate that number liberally at 50—it’s still an astounding number of offers.

Before this recruiting cycle, coaches could watch the dominos fall through December and January and either cut loose committed players or ask them to take a grayshirt, which would require them to delay enrollment until the spring of the following year…

When programs sent the FedEx envelopes containing scholarship papers in the first week of February, that’s the first time the players learned whether their scholarship offer was real. In most cases, they were. But on Dec. 18 and Dec. 19 of this year, when some players go looking for those envelopes, they’re not going to find them.

This irks some coaches for several reasons. First, coaches hate change. Second, they hate anything that makes their lives more difficult. Third, many hate anything that offers a modicum of power to the player. In this case, knowledge is power.

It really is that simple.

Just imagine how coaches would react if the NCAA eliminated signing days altogether and made an accepted offer binding on the spot.

13 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

Nick Marshall, and when recruiting chickens come home to roost

Kirby Smart’s got a reputation for being fairly ruthless on the recruiting trail, which makes for a great story about one of Georgia’s 2017 signees, Tray Bishop.

Bishop actually was committed to the Tigers for a long time. He pledged his services to Auburn coach Gus Malzahn in July of 2016 with the intention of heading to the Plains as Auburn’s next great quarterback. It’s the position he played most of his four years at Terrell County and the one he planned on playing in college.

Nevertheless, while telling Bishop he was their quarterback of the future, the Tigers still listed him as an athlete on their recruiting board and continued to recruit other quarterbacks. Auburn told him playing other positions would be an option if signal caller did not work out, but the school’s continued pursuit of other QB targets began to ring disingenuous to Bishop and others in his circle of trust.

“The [Auburn] coaches told me from the get-go they wanted me as a quarterback, but if I signed it was going to be as a quarterback/athlete,” Bishop said. “If I didn’t like quarterback I could go to any other position, receiver or defensive back. After a while, though, my whole mentality changed. I decided I didn’t want to play offense.”

Georgia had a lot to do with that. From the jump, the Bulldogs were saying they liked Bishop as a defensive back. They told him they felt he had the speed to play cornerback and the size to play cornerback or safety. They also spent a lot of time citing NFL data about the number of players that get drafted as a quarterback versus those that get their names called as defensive backs. The Florida Gators were giving Bishop the same spiel, and it quickly started to make sense to him.

Meanwhile, Bishop continued to get knocked around as the Greenwaves’ quarterback. While he enjoyed playing the position for his school, and did it quite well, he never experienced much in the way of team success and stayed beat up most of the time. The only time they made the state playoffs was Bishop’s senior year, and he couldn’t play because of a fractured ankle and torn ligaments. Terrell County went 20-20 while competing in Region 1-A during Bishop’s four years in the program.

“I always told the coaches recruiting me, ‘Tell me what you think, not what you think I want to hear. Tell me the truth. If I can’t do it, I can’t,’” Bishop said. “When Coach Tucker [Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker] came to see me play, he’d tell me that he thought I had the potential to play corner. He said, ‘There’s a few things I can teach you and it’ll be on from there.’ I always appreciated that.”

Toombs admits she wanted her son to go to Auburn. Bishop’s grandparents also “were enamored with the idea of him playing quarterback at Auburn,” according to Huff. But Huff was advising against it.

“Basically what I told him was, in two or three years you’re going to have to learn to play defensive back or receiver for the NFL,” Huff said. “In the meantime, Auburn started signing these other quarterbacks. I think Tray saw the writing on the wall. They were just trying to recruit an athlete and they were going to move him anyway.”

No doubt the recent game of musical chairs at Auburn’s quarterback position helped, but you can almost hear the “so, where’s Marshall playing today?” singing in the background.  Well played, Mr. Smart.

8 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Georgia Football, Recruiting

Moar Junior’s gonna Junior.

Really, what more needs to be said about this:

Lane Kiffin has offered a scholarship to the son of quarterback coach Steve Clarkson, according to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports.

Pierce Clarkson is a quarterback in the Class of 2023, who just finished sixth grade.

Actually, the author of the piece makes a pretty good funny.

A future quarterback battle may already be brewing as Kiffin made a verbal offer to Kaden Martin, the son of USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, for a spot in 2022 recruiting class.

Odds on either of these two playing a down at FAU?  Yeah, that’s what I think, too.

 

6 Comments

Filed under Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Today, in things that make me feel elderly

I never would have guessed Shaq Wiggins is 23 years old.  Does that make him the oldest starting player in the SEC this season?

10 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

We’ve been waiting our entire lives for this.

Just when we thought we were out, they pull us back in.

Al Pacino will portray Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in an upcoming HBO biopic.

The film, directed by Barry Levinson, focuses on the sexual assault scandal that rocked the university and tarnished Paterno’s legacy.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume they’re not going to tell the story from the Penn State perspective.  Cue indignant Paterno family comments in 3…2…1…

15 Comments

Filed under You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy