Daily Archives: October 12, 2018

Your second half of the season narrative

Assuming a Georgia win tomorrow (I know, I know), I’m guessing the media won’t Dawgrade LSU too much, because they’ll be busy talking up Florida… and then Kentucky… and then Auburn…

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Filed under Georgia Football

Larry Scott surveys all he sees and pronounces it good.

Man, this is something.

In the wake of a report that Pac-12 leadership has influenced decision-making during the replay process of football games, commissioner Larry Scott announced an immediate change that will prevent any real-time involvement from conference leadership moving forward.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve made mistakes in terms of our procedures involved with replay review in the command center,” Scott said. “We nixed administrative oversight and leadership with real-time replay review calls made by our experts on the field, in the stadium and in the command center.”

An instant-replay booth report obtained by Yahoo Sports said a “third party” “did not agree” with the booth’s and the command center’s decision to call targeting in the USCWashington State game on Sept. 21, resulting in targeting not being called.

Yahoo identified that third-party as Woodie Dixon, the Pac-12’s general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs, whose involvement was confirmed Thursday by Scott at the conference’s Pac-12 men’s basketball media day.

It’s bad enough that there’s questionable officiating throughout college football, but now we’ve got some untrained suit putting his thumb on the scale — I mean, what could go wrong here?

Evidently, not much in the eyes of Commissioner Scott.

Scott indicated there would be no punishment for anyone involved in the process and that the policy change “is the most significant, strong response” he could imagine at this stage. He said he was confident there was “no mal-intent” by those involved and that Dixon, who oversees football for the Pac-12, did not believe he was dictating to the replay official what call should be made.

Well, thank goodness his heart was pure.  I’d hate to see anyone held accountable.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

What if we’re asking the wrong questions about amateurism?

A sports historian at Arizona State University, who’s also a former NCAA champion and retired professional runner, thinks we should be asking this instead:

Are schools failing in their educational mission to develop brains and bodies? In other words, should schools even be in the sports business? And, more tragically, why have we been allowing them to get away with horrible business practices?

Considering Christion Abercrombie and Jordan McNair, do schools value football players’ lives?

Considering the FBI probe into college basketball, do schools, the NCAA – even the federal government – care more about policing amateurism than they do about ensuring athletes receive the world-class educational experiences they’ve been promised?

Considering the stories of decades of abuse emerging from multiple campuses, do schools care more about the negative PR of a publicly-exposed scandal than the well-being of the athletes they’re supposedly serving?

I can’t say I agree with everything she writes, but I do think those questions do a good job of framing the way the schools and the NCAA try to have it both ways.  Food for thought.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

“But the field’s going to be the same.”

I agree with Kirby that after six games, pointing to Georgia’s relative youth isn’t much of an excuse any more, but as an explanation for how those games were managed, it does have value.

Georgia is one of the youngest teams in America this season. The Bulldogs’ roster consists of 68.5 percent freshmen and sophomores. That’s the youngest in the SEC and 15th youngest in the country, according to UGA Sports Communication.

The Bulldogs are currently starting two freshmen on the offensive line in right tackle Isaiah Wilson (a redshirt) and right guard Cade Mays. They may start a third today if sophomore Solomon Kindley (knee) is unable to go at left guard.

On defense, true freshman Tyson Campbell of Plantation, Fla., has started every game at left cornerback. True freshman Brenton Cox is D’Andre Walker’s primary backup at outside linebacker.

Meanwhile, Jake Camarda, a freshman from Norcross, has started every game at punter.

The games have been managed.  Georgia has grinded its way to sizeable leads, playing defense with the primary purpose of guarding against big plays.  It’s worked and it’s also allowed the coaches to get plenty of players, young ‘uns in particular, credible amounts of game time.

Now comes the first big test of playing in a hostile environment from the kids.  And youth is no excuse any more.

“Football fields are the same length at LSU and South Carolina and Missouri and everything else,” Smart said earlier this week.

We’ll see.

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Filed under Georgia Football