Bruce Feldman has an interesting story up at The Athletic($$) about how some kids in a group of 25 European football prospects on a two-week tour of U.S. colleges have landed scholarship offers as a result. One of them is the first European player to land an offer at quarterback from a P5 school, but what really caught my attention was the story about Kariem Al Soufi, a 6-4, 340-pound guard.
It seems the player caravan landed in Athens early on — you knew Kirby wouldn’t pass on an opportunity like that, right? — and Al Soufi worked out for Pittman. Here’s how that went.
So thankful for Coach Pittmann from the Georgia Bulldogs taking the time to put me through a workout today with almost all of the offensive staff!Coach Pittman said that I am the best Guard he has seen so far in the 2019 class. Blessed and honored!@CoachSamPittman @FootballUGApic.twitter.com/RLOJRJUQOZ
He didn’t get an offer on the spot from the Dawgs, but, according to Feldman, “after some footage of that session was posted on Twitter, the Gators offered the massive lineman before he and the tour group even made it to Gainesville.”[Emphasis added.] Now, that’s influence.
By the way, Al Soufi didn’t commit to the Gators. He’s Virginia-bound.
Honestly, as a general principle, I can see the need for an AD to hire a search firm under certain circumstances. Greg McGarity, then, makes a valid point in defense of retaining one when Georgia went out to find a replacement for Mark Fox.
Turner “was outstanding,” McGarity said. “When he and I engaged on (March 10), he knew who would be in play and who wasn’t in play. I think that’s important. … Todd will say so-and-so’s not interested. They’re not movable. So and so might be.”
I recognize that plausible deniability from both sides is how the hiring game is played these days, so having a middleman as a cutout can be useful in that regard. Sixty grand to gauge the interest of two guys who weren’t even employed at the time of McGarity’s search, though? (And, for that matter, somebody didn’t read Thad Matta right.) Not seeing a lot of value in that. But Greg seems happy, which I guess is what’s important when you’re not socking the money away in the reserve fund.
Speaking of making money, over the last ten seasons, the sweet spot in betting Georgia ATS is here: “When the Dawgs are favored by fewer than 14 points (-13.5 to -0.5) they’ve gone 36-28-3 ATS.” Overall, though, they’re in the hole.
This is certainly favorable news for the NCAA and amateurism.
A federal appeals court has backed an NCAA rule requiring most football players who transfer schools to sit out a year.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld a lower-court finding that NCAA transfer rules don’t violate U.S. antitrust laws.
Monday’s decision was in a lawsuit brought by a former punter for Northern Illinois University, Peter Deppe. The ruling focuses on a requirement that most Division I football players who transfer to another school must sit out a year.
Deppe’s lawyers argued the Indianapolis-based NCAA enforces the rule primarily to ensure transfers don’t hurt the quality of the football and thereby cut into lucrative revenues. They say that makes it an unreasonable restraint on trade.
But the 7th Circuit rejected that. Its unanimous opinion accepted the NCAA’s concern that easy player transfers would undermine “the amateur character of college athletics.”
The reasoning doesn’t make any sense to me, but there’s no doubt a win’s a win.
Early in his coaching career, Jones conducted a five-year study of injuries to offensive linemen and found high ankle sprains to be the most common injury. But during his five years as Tennessee’s head coach, Jones could never pinpoint a cause or even a single recurring ailment to blame for all the games key players missed because of injury.
He even studied the grass at Tennessee in 2016 to try to determine what was causing the rash of injuries. [Emphasis added.]
Ya’ think? Gee, Butch, it wasn’t a problem when it was Georgia’s players who were getting hurt.
I was going to draft up something lengthy last night for you, but family business came first. In its place, though, I will share one of those factoids that Steele loves to throw in regularly.
If there’s one hole in Kirby’s game after two seasons, it’s how his team has performed in its two cross-divisional road games. The Dawgs have been blown out in both, by Ole Miss and Auburn. Maybe there’s something in the water once you cross the Chattahoochee.
Just something else to tuck in the back of your head when the team goes out to Baton Rouge…
“And Georgia fans, don’t be turds. Enjoy this. Soak it up. It’s awesome. If you don’t win this year, it’s still not a failure. It’s a heck of a run. Back-to-back in the Playoff era hasn’t been done. So, to ask for a third I feel like it’s gluttonous. I feel like it’s not OK. But we’ll be in the mix.”-- David Pollack, On3.com, 5/9/23