Daily Archives: January 26, 2018

Today, in euphemisms

Can you say “adjustment”?  I thought you could.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

About “hands-on” and staff decisions

As we sit here, Kirby Smart has two open spots on the coaching staff, one being the newly authorized one for a tenth assistant and the other to fill the hole created when Shane Beamer left for Oklahoma.  I have no doubt these are high priority decisions for Smart, but unlike a lot of other head coaches, he hasn’t rushed to fill them.  I’m not burning with desire for final decisions, but I am curious about what he’s taking his time over.

One reason I wonder about that — and keep in mind this is the purest, rankest speculation on my part, totally unsupported by any evidence — is whether it’s an indication that he’s pondering the possibility of restructuring the responsibilities of the staff in the course of making these next hires.  What set that off in my mind is something Marc Weiszer tweeted yesterday.

Now, that could mean very little more than the usual talk about getting the tight ends more involved in the passing game, something we’ve heard so often over the years that we discount it a lot more than newly enrolled players seem to.  Or it could mean something more.  Could Smart be thinking about making Chaney a de facto tight ends coach?  If so, would that have any effect on Chaney’s official role as the quarterbacks coach?  While I have a hard time buying into that last possibility, as Chaney has a good record developing quarterbacks, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for an offensive coordinator not to be the QB coach also.  (Saban just elected to go down that road, for example.)

Again, I have no idea about any of this.  I’m just spinning off the top of my head, so don’t take it any more seriously than that.  I’m sure Smart has a lot of options to choose from at the moment.  I’ll be curious to see the result of what he’s looking for and thinking.

Speculate for yourselves in the comments.



Filed under Georgia Football

Alex, I’ll take SEC coaching analogies for $200.

Is this year’s “Georgia hired Kirby Smart to be the next Nick Saban” going to be “Tennessee hired Jeremy Pruitt to be the next Kirby Smart”?  Barrett Sallee takes off down that path.

But Pruitt is still a first-time coach who’s going to make rookie coach mistakes. He’ll forget to call for the punt team, mismanage the clock, unnecessarily use timeouts and do all of the other things that first-timers might plan for, but struggle with when it comes down to execution.

It even happened with Kirby Smart at Georgia in his first year in 2016, and he was with Nick Saban at Alabama and the NFL‘s Miami Dolphins for a full decade. One year later, those two were squaring off for all the marbles.

Easy peasy.  Although he goes on to qualify, “That’s not to say that Pruitt will follow in Smart’s footsteps.”

Sallee sees a rockier (topped?) road for Pruitt than Smart had because the talent base he inherits in Knoxville is at a lower level than what Smart started with — amazing how Georgia’s incredible disappearing class of 2013 is already a faded memory — and because UT’s S&C program needs a complete rebuild.  I’m skeptical on both fronts about the comparisons, but I do think starting out Pruitt has a harder row to hoe than Smart did in one important aspect:  the SEC East in 2018 is a tougher neighborhood than the one Smart moved into a couple of seasons ago.

That being said, if the Vols aren’t playing in the 2019 SECCG, expect the Smart comparisons to crop up in Knoxville.  And not in a good way.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

“It’s a very complicated dynamic with Hugh Freeze.”

Is it, really?  I mean, it sounds pretty straightforward to me.

“Because there were other SEC programs this year who wanted to hire him. I know there was one who wanted to hire Hugh Freeze as offensive coordinator, and I’m not saying the SEC told them no or necessarily discouraged them, but I think there was a fairly clear message from the SEC office, or at least it was perceived that way to say, ‘Hey, maybe wait a year. These were the circumstances surrounding the NCAA stuff.’”

Wolken went on to mention the fact that an SEC bylaw states that coaches who have been involved in a major infractions case have to be consulted with the SEC commissioner.

That’s just one of two hurdles that stand in the way of Freeze coming to Tuscaloosa, according to a report from Aaron Suttles of TideSports.com, the other being that Saban is facing internal objections about the hire.

“Yes, Nick Saban operates on a different level, and he can maybe get away with things that other people can’t get away with from a PR standpoint, and we’ve seen that with some of his other reclamation projects,” Wolken added. “However, I do think the dynamics are very, very complicated throughout the whole thing.”

Coaches want to win.  Administrators want to look pure.  Sooner or later, we’ll find a school where the coach gets his way over the AD.

By the way, when push comes to shove, there’s nothing Greg Sankey can do to stop the hire.


Filed under Freeze!

Old dog, old tricks

Color me shocked, shocked by this:

The NCAA departed from custom — if not violated procedure — in announcing an investigation against Michigan State, several sources indicated to CBS Sports.

Primarily, the NCAA seemingly deviated from a general principle in speaking to the New York Times about the beginning of an investigation. On Tuesday, the Times quoted an NCAA statement that read, “The N.C.A.A. has sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University regarding potential N.C.A.A. rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State. We will have no further comment at this time.”

“It’s like FBI announcing it’s going to investigate,” said Sue Carter, Michigan State’s former faculty athletic representative.

The NCAA typically does not announce letters of inquiry, the process by which a preliminary investigation begins into wrongdoing. In doing so at Michigan State, the NCAA seemingly violated its own bylaw 19.5.2 which pertains to public statements: “The enforcement staff shall not publicly confirm or deny the existence of an infractions case before complete resolution of the case …”

But how would we learn that Mark Emmert’s heart remains pure?

If anything, this move appears like an even more futile gesture than his sanctioning of Penn State was, because the authorities — excuse me, the relevant authorities — have already stepped up.

The same criticisms of NCAA overreach have surfaced with the Michigan State case. Critics have wondered why the NCAA is moving in — once again — to a criminal case that has been adjudicated.

Nassar has been sent away basically for life after pleading guilty to widespread sexual abuse of gymnasts. President Lou Anna Simon has resigned. Carter, a journalism professor, resigned her FAR position in response to Michigan State’s handling of the Nassar situation.

“I don’t think the NCAA is set up to investigate this type of thing,” Potuto said. “Look, Simon has resigned. The state legislature is after it. It isn’t as though the faculty hasn’t spoken up or the students haven’t spoken up …

“If this is indeed [going to be pursued], as member associations we need to talk about it, write some bylaws and have something to tag institutions with if the institution has responsibility.”

Eh, that’s too much like work.  Emmert wants to feel good now.  Who cares about the aftermath?


Filed under Crime and Punishment, The NCAA

Musical palate cleanser, strange bedfellows edition

Today’s MPC was inspired by a Tom Jones tweet I saw yesterday.  I kid you not.

Jones, like a lot of 60’s pop stars, wound up hosting a TV show, This Is Tom Jones.  He invited all sorts of rock stars on, but… um, liked singing with them.

For example,

That borders on the surreal.  Don’t take my word for it — look at some of the expressions on Neil Young’s face.

One more:

I gotta admit they look like they’re having a lot of fun there.  Crazy, man.


Filed under Uncategorized