I keed, I keed… I think.
Daily Archives: July 12, 2018
I dislike the NCAA as much as anybody, but, damn, this is going to be — hell, already is — a real shitshow.
Luke Hancock said he can’t go more than two days without somebody asking him if he had strippers in his college dormitory.
To the former Louisville basketball star, those interactions are evidence of his sullied reputation, a lingering effect of an NCAA investigation and sanctions tied to the escort scandal at the University of Louisville.
A lawsuit filed against the NCAA on Wednesday by five former University of Louisville men’s basketball players is an attempt to redeem reputations.
The five plaintiffs — former Louisville players Hancock, Gorgui Dieng, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and Michael Marra — are seeking “a declaration that they are completely innocent of any wrongdoing as implied by the NCAA,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court.
The suit accuses the NCAA of portraying members of the 2013 team in a false light and seeks to restore the team’s 2013 national championship and associated accolades, which were vacated by the NCAA along with 123 wins as a result of the escort scandal.
“People’s reputations matter,” said attorney Keith Mitnik, who is representing the players.
Hancock, flanked by eight attorneys, was the lone player present Wednesday at a news conference to discuss the lawsuit. The former Louisville team captain wore his championship ring and sat stone-faced as attorneys invoked LeBron James, Louis Brandeis, Muhammad Ali and novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” in a bizarre 35-minute prelude.
Lead attorney John Morgan, of personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan, cast the NCAA as an overreaching bully, an organization with no authority to investigate — or levy punishment for — criminal actions.
Yeah, this is going far. (Although, sure, I’d love to watch Petino’s deposition, if things ever got to that stage.)
As the lawyer’s adage goes, if you have the law on your side, argue the law; if you have the facts, argue the facts; if you have neither, pound Donald Trump.
I agree with those of you that there should be some sort of computer element to the CFP, as there was in the BCS days. For those of us who feel like that, you’ll enjoy reading this interview/oral history with the folks who were responsible for the BCS computer rankings.
This is my favorite bit:
The men were awkward, sure, but they were also outspoken, especially when the BCS changed the rules it used to govern the computers and the rankings in general. In 2002, it decided to drop margin of victory from the computer polls after Washington and Oregon had seen 11–1 campaigns marked by close, hard-fought wins come up short in the eyes of the rankings in consecutive seasons. Mike Tranghese, at the time the commissioner of the Big East, summed up the move this way: “A computer can’t get at the nuances of a score.”
Sagarin: “Somebody should have raised their hand and said, ‘Well just what are the nuances of a 59–3 score?’”
Sadly, I can see that being something the selection committee actually tries to fumble around and answer.
The wild recruitment of Thompson’s Station (Tenn.) Independence four-star wide receiver TJ Sheffield took another turn on Wednesday. Just days after announcing his commitment to Notre Dame, the 5-10, 170-pounder from the class of 2019 has reopened his recruitment and will now consider other schools.
Clearly there was a miscommunication on this front and Sheffield shed some light on this on Twitter earlier today.
“After establishing a long-term relationship with coach Alexander, the receivers coach for Notre Dame, I called him on the morning of the 6th of July and stat to him my intensions to commit,” wrote Sheffield in an announcement on Twitter. “Coach Alexander then congratulated me on committing and he spoke with my parents as well, stating that he looked forward to coaching me. Today I received a call from coach Alexander stating that Notre Dame was not going to honor my commitment due to a change of plans. Coach Alexander stated that he should have let me know on the 6th of July that Notre Dame had different plans. As a result of the information that I received today, my recruitment is now back open. I completely accept Notre Dame’s decision as God’s will for me and know that God has an open door that no man can shut. Thats again to Notre Dame for considering me as a possibility for their program Sincerely, TJ Sheffield. #2.”
So, to recap: Notre Dame had an outstanding offer to a kid, kid accepts the offer, coach accepts the kid’s commitment, even speaks with the kid’s parents and then the school reneges. Nice.
I’m sure the amateurism romantics here will be happy to explain to the rest of us how this is no big deal and Sheffield has plenty of other options, blah, blah, blah, but for a sport that loves to bill itself as teaching kids life lessons about honoring commitments (kids, you need to risk your future earnings by playing in a meaningless bowl game, because, team!), this sure seems like pure garbage.
It’s another good example of why the NCAA ought to blow up the whole signing framework and require schools to treat these deals as straight contracts. One side offers, the other side accepts and, boom, you have a binding arrangement. Until then, the lesson learned is that coaches control until they don’t. Welcome to the real world, TJ.
I’ll bet most of you won’t find any serious fault in Pete Fiutak’s ranking of the SEC’s head football coaches.
Tell me this doesn’t have a ring of familiarity to it.
It recently came to my attention that Florida had the fifth-most NFL Draft picks over the last ten years according to numbers compiled by ESPN. That’s one behind fourth-place Ohio State, seven behind third-place USC, and ten — just one pick per year — behind co-leaders Alabama and LSU over this time period.
Unfortunately for the program, Florida has the fewest wins of these teams over that span at 73. The next-lowest is USC with 82, then LSU with 87. Ohio State has 103, while Alabama has 113.
Most of this should not be a surprise, except for maybe Florida having that many draft picks over the last decade. Despite the team falling down to just over seven wins a year, the talent as measured by the draft was there. On top of that, I counted at least eight players who went undrafted but had a multi-year NFL career, and five more who signed with the Gators but were drafted by other teams after transferring. Barring a catastrophic injury, Will Grier will make that latter number six.
Talent coming in and results not matching… gee, where have we heard that song before?
Muschamp couldn’t recruit offense and he never had anyone who could coach offense. McElwain couldn’t recruit, period. Yet even with those shortcomings, Boom came within a hair of winning a division title and McElwain managed two. Imagine what life in Gainesville would be like if Florida were hitting on all cylinders in recruiting.
Given how last year went and the apparent shortcomings on Florida’s 2018 roster, it’s easy to dismiss the program. That, in my opinion, is a mistake. Florida sits in a talent-rich environment, and, sure, while there are plenty of rivals fighting the Gators over recruits, there is plenty to go around. There is no reason to think that if UF managed a Richt to Smart-type transition, it couldn’t be right back in the thick of the conference title race. The question (for now, anyway) is whether Florida’s managed that with the hire of Dan Mullen.
Early indications aren’t comforting if you’re a Gator fan, at least when it comes to recruiting, but it’s way too early to be slitting wrists. Mullen does bring one thing to the table Florida’s been missing for a decade, a clue about how to coach offense. We’ll soon see if that’s enough to get the program back on track to where it was a decade ago.