Daily Archives: June 12, 2018

“We better stop treating athletes like they’re being tortured.”

You hope the NCAA, for once, can do better, but as summaries go, this is about as succinct a description of what appears to be heading down the transfer turnpike as we’re gonna get:

“Declaring a victory is silly,” said Tim Nevius, a New York-based attorney who used to work at the NCAA. “We used to deny people the ability to contact another school and get financial aid. But, by the way, we still prevent them from playing.”

By the way, indeed.

One of Nevius’ clients is Evansville soccer player Taran McMillan. The freshman is seeking to transfer after a season in which she was named to the Missouri Valley all-freshman team.

However, Evansville’s policies require transfers to request a move within 21 days following the sport’s championship game. That would have required McMillan to make a decision in November of her freshman season during which he posted a 3.55 GPA.

The school is blocking her transfer, which would make her eligible immediately to play at another school in the fall.

“What makes that so despicable, to me, it gives the athletic department an excuse why it can deny a transfer release,” Nevius said. “It is completely inconsistent with what everyone says is behind transfer legislation — to protect athletes’ academic success . This policy demonstrates exactly the opposite. It is simply about protecting her school’s athletic interests and financial investment.”

And that’s just in women’s soccer.



Filed under The NCAA

Making lemonade out of lemons

I think up and down is a fair characterization of Jacob Eason’s one season at the helm of Georgia’s offense.  It’s what we should have expected from the combination of a new staff, a talented but inexperienced true freshman quarterback and a patchwork offensive line.  When Eason went down in last year’s opener, it was also fair to expect a case of déjà vu.  At that point, what else was there to expect?  All the ingredients from 2016 appeared to be there for the 2017 recipe.

The first and most obvious guess about where things were headed was that the reliance on the running game would hardly subside — with a healthier Nick Chubb and a talented addition in Swift, it would have been malpractice for Chaney not to have given Fromm a chance to get his sea legs by emphasizing the run.  And that is in fact what happened.

During the 2016 season, Georgia had 193.5 passing yards per game, good for No. 97 overall and tenth in the Southeastern Conference. In the 2017 season, Georgia had 176.9 passing yards per game, good for No. 105 overall in the country and 12th in the SEC.

Fromm attempted less than twenty passes in seven of Georgia’s twelve regular season games.  He never attempted more than thirty in a game until the national championship.  He averaged 19.4 attempts per game all season.

Funny thing, though.  In the course of limiting the number of passes, Chaney’s passing attack grew dramatically more efficient.

Team Passing Efficiency

During the 2016 season, Georgia had a 118.67 passing efficiency rating, good for No. 98 overall in the country and 13th in the SEC. In the 2017 season, Georgia had a 154.12 passing efficiency rating, good for No. 11 overall in the country and fourth in the Southeastern Conference.

Passing Yards Per Completion

During the 2016 season, Georgia had 11.86 yards per completion, good for No. 80 overall in the country and 10th in the Southeastern Conference. In the 2017 season, Georgia had 14.26 yards per completion, good for No. 14 in the country and third in the Southeastern Conference.

As a true freshman, Jake Fromm finished eighth nationally in passer rating.  (The next highest rated freshman quarterback was 55th.)

It’s impressive to see how that all worked out, considering where everyone started.  Fast forward to 2018, with a rapidly improving offensive line, depth at running back and wide receiver and, most importantly, another year under the belts of Fromm and Chaney, add to that Kirby’s old friend, competition, pushing Fromm in the form of Fields, and it’s hard not to get a little excited about what may be coming.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“You have to know the powers in all-star 7-on-7, whether you like it or not.”

Resistance is futile, college head coaches, because we all know you have no choice but to go where the talent is.

“There are guys that I’ve watched on 7-on-7 that I go, ‘Wow,’ ” said Todd Graham, Arizona State’s head coach from 2012 to 2017. “Obviously, we want to watch a guy with pads on and playing the game and all of that stuff, but I have had kids that I’ve seen very minimal film on that I’ve watched in a 7-on-7 tournament and no doubt I thought I would offer him off that.”

Three years ago, Graham felt differently. He didn’t like the idea of 7-on-7 coaches invading the “sacred” space of the high school coach, having to build relationships with 7-on-7 directors to recruit players.

But as 7-on-7 gained momentum, Graham, a former head coach at Texas football powerhouse Allen High, started to understand the shift he needed to make to stay atop the recruiting game.

“If you want to recruit the elite player, you have to be involved in it,” Graham said.

Just ask Jimbo Fisher.

“There are too many people out there with ulterior motives, and we are trying to keep that element out,” said Rockwall (Texas) Coach Rodney Webb. “The issue is that college coaches and high school coaches have to work together, and if college coaches are going to give [7-on-7 coaches] a microphone and a platform, then heaven help us.”

That’s what happened last December when Simon received a visit from Fisher, shortly after accepting the Texas A&M job following his eight years at Florida State. The two posed for a photo that was posted to Twitter — four months after Simon was photographed with Texas Coach Tom Herman — to the chagrin of some high school coaches, who viewed it as legitimizing 7-on-7.

Then round up the rest of the usual suspects.

Another factor that raises eyebrows is the involvement of apparel companies. Adidas, Under Armour and Battle provide equipment to select teams, while Adidas runs some of its own events, such as the Adidas 7-on-7 National Championships.

But don’t worry, we’re told.

“The basketball side is what is being investigated in terms of money being exchanged and stuff, but there is no money in football. Guys got to go play three or four years in college football to even have a chance [at the NFL], and it is not going to be a smart thing to do,” said Simon, adding that doing so would be against NCAA rules. “I talk to guys with grass roots and Adidas, and they are always like, ‘Let the [players] know whatever they are doing in basketball, they are not doing with the football side.’ It is two different games.”

You know what we say when somebody claims it’s not about the money.

This is gonna go well.


Filed under Recruiting

Name that caption, towel boy is optional edition

Our man, Todd Grantham.

Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Proof again that nobody looks better in orange.

Have at it in the comments.


Filed under Name That Caption

Musical palate cleanser, north of the border edition

Blue Rodeo is a Canadian group that’s right at home playing alt-country.  This is the opening track from their 1993 album, Five Days in July, called, strangely enough, “5 Days in May”.  Make sure you listen to the blistering guitar solo that closes out the last two minutes of the song.

If that solo’s not the best Neil Young tribute I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what is.


Filed under Uncategorized