Daily Archives: June 3, 2020

‘This really doesn’t make sense to me.’

Shorter North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham:  The NCAA has spent millions futilely fighting college athletes’ antitrust litigation, so the smart move now is to spend even more money suing states over NIL legislation.

2 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, See You In Court, The NCAA

“You don’t expect a coward to come out and take responsibility.”

So, what’s the NCAA up to today?

Olympic high jumper Erin Aldrich was not surprised when she read the NCAA’s latest response to the lawsuit she and two other track and field athletes filed against the organization.

Frustrated, yes, but not surprised.

The NCAA, facing a potential landmark class action lawsuit, said it has no legal obligation to protect student athletes against sexual abuse and harassment, according to a filing in U.S. District Court Northern District of California.

I mean, say what you want about the tenets of amateurism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

2 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Now I’m a believer.

Montana has had a change of heart, friends ($$).

Stew: The year is 2030. You are doing a recap of the most recent decade of college football. Who are a few teams that you think we could be talking about the same way we talk about Clemson and Alabama today? I don’t think anyone would have guessed, heading into the 2010 season, the absurd level of dominance those two programs would have had. Who should we be mentally preparing for this decade? — Scott F.

… With the caveat that I think Alabama’s run may never be replicated, I do think Kirby Smart is going to eventually win at least one national title at Georgia. His tenure to this point reminds me so very much of Mack Brown’s early days at Texas, when he had the ’Horns winning 11 games a year but couldn’t take the last step. Then he got Vince Young and won one, in his eighth season, and played for another with Colt McCoy. Smart, entering his fifth season in Athens, has all the other pieces, he just needs his Vince or Colt. And given he’s just 44, there’s no reason Kirby can’t have the Dawgs contending for the entirety of the next decade, much like Alabama in the 2010s.

Shockingly, Mandel fails to mention the prospects of the Portal Master™ doing the same.  Inconceivable!

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Your 6.3.20 Playpen

I’m sure plenty of y’all have been waiting to weigh in on George Floyd’s death and the aftermath consuming the country.  Fine, that’s what this Playpen is for.

First, some words of caution.  I don’t have a lot of bright lines here when it comes to commentary at GTP, but making racist comments is one of them.  Anyone who posts something that crosses that particular line will find his/her post scrubbed and their posting privileges revoked for good.  As to what crossing that line might entail, that’s entirely my call.  If you don’t like that, I would suggest that if you’ve composed something you’re unsure passes the smell test, don’t post it.  I’ve still got a couple of neo-Nazis who try to pass their garbage off here on occasion and I don’t have any desire to tolerate it.  Please, don’t be stupid.

As for the topic du jour, I feel a lot like Kirby Smart.  I haven’t experienced racism, but I recognize the pain it’s caused and still causes.  If you are a skeptic about institutionalized racism, I strongly recommend reading this Radley Balko post.  The math is the math.

Institutionalized racism, unfortunately, is a subset of an even bigger problem, institutionalized indifference to police power abuse.  There’s math for that, too, as Balko summarizes here:

The answer to the first question is easy. The problems in policing — from militarization to lack of transparency, to misplaced incentives, to the lack of real accountability — certainly do affect everyone, not just black people. According to The Post’s database of fatal police shootings, since 2015 police have shot and killed about twice as many white people as black people.

But while police abuse and violence have the potential to harm anyone, as with virtually all of the other shortcomings of the criminal justice system, it disproportionately harms black people. Cops may shoot and kill twice as many white people as black, but there about six times as many white people as black people in the United States. Proportionally, black people are much more likely to be shot and killed by cops.

Which brings us to the whole “Black Lives Matter” thing.  Swinging back to Smart’s comment, it’s hard for most of us to understand what that means when we haven’t walked in those black lives’ shoes.

When white people see video of unjust police abuse of a white person, it may make us angry, sad or uncomfortable, but most of us don’t see ourselves in the position of the person in the video. If we’re polite and respectful, we think, and don’t put ourselves in scenarios that lead to confrontations with police officers, there’s little chance that we’ll ever end up like Daniel Shaver. When black people see video of Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, their reaction is much more likely to be that could have been me — or my son, or friend or brother.

I am not arrogant enough to pretend that I have all the answers, or that I should even be somebody who deserves to be listened to in a serious way about this.  But what’s left of my inner libertarian insists that a large part of this is fueled by what I’ve called the failure of the Wars on Nouns (Drugs, Terror, etc.).  We have sacrificed our civil rights and liberties steadily over decades for false security and we’re paying the price for it.

It’s time for our politicians to recognize that and start undoing the damage.  This is a good first step.

And this is a good second one.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have begun a new push to shut down a Pentagon program that transfers military weaponry to local law enforcement departments, as bipartisan urgency builds to address the excessive use of force and the killings of unarmed black Americans by the police.

Somehow, in too many places, we’ve allowed police to mutate from “protect and serve” to occupiers in our midst.  We didn’t intend it, but it’s happened nonetheless.  And while I’ve seen countless examples of good cops over the past week, I’ve also seen what happens when you have police departments that feel threatened, not by individuals’ violence, but by wide scale resistance to police power abuse.  Fixing that isn’t going to be easy, but we’ve got to start making the effort.

Okay, I’m climbing off my soapbox now and inviting you to stand on it.  Please be considerate.

256 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

A luxury

Greg McElroy thinks good quarterbacks are like beer:  you can never have enough.

“I don’t think you can ever have enough, personally, and JT Daniels, I think… he was a really highly-regarded prospect coming out of high school and right now, to have a guy that’s going to sit and maybe learn your system and potentially take over as your starter a year from now, depending on what happens with his eligibility, I think is a real luxury,” McElroy said in an interview with Dawgs247. “And a guy that’s willing to potentially sit our for a year he’s going through the transfer process. I would anticipate him probably sitting out this year and then him being in a dog fight for the quarterback spot next year. I just don’t see… you look at the transfer quarterbacks who’ve had success of late, transferring sometimes gives a quarterback, not that it’s a positive because in a perfect world, you’d love to not have to rely on a transfer guy. You’ve have some home-grown dude that has been in your system for two or three years before he’s forced into the starting role. That’s not always really available in today’s day and age with how quickly guys are willing to move on, but there have been several guys that have transferred and been able to go on and have a ton of success. I don’t see it really as a negative anymore, especially at that position, knowing that only one plays at a time and it’s really difficult to find the field.”

You’d think it would be the Portal Master™ who would embrace this concept, but, nah.

6 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

“We all have to accept the challenge.”

If you’ll indulge me with a tortured analogy of my own making, it seems like every time Dabo Swinney opens his mouth, the results are similar to what Vince Dooley used to say about throwing the ball:  three things can happen and two of them are bad.

The difference is that Dabo doesn’t seem to appreciate the odds.

Take, for example, his wisdom about the death of George Floyd and the protests that have consumed the country:

… Swinney courted controversy in 2016 when he suggested people who protest during the national anthem should leave the country.

“I don’t think it’s good to use the team as a platform,” Swinney said at the time. “I totally disagree with that. I just think there’s a right way to do things. I don’t think two wrongs make a right. Never have, never will. I think it just creates more divisiveness, more division.”

On Monday, Swinney was asked about those comments and said they were “probably a harsh statement, for sure.”

“Probably”?  Amazingly — or maybe not, considering the source — Dabo had actually taken his time before making a public statement on the subject.

Swinney may have thought his comments would be the end of the matter (“We all have a choice as to how we think, how we love, how we respond and how we forgive” is the kind of deep insight these hard times need), but, as is often the case in moments like this, reality set in.

 

When I saw that tweet, I dismissed it as coming from a disgruntled former player.  Such was not the case, it seems.

Clemson assistant coach Danny Pearman apologized Tuesday after word spread on social media of an incident in which he used a racial slur during a practice in 2017.

After several former Clemson players noted the incident Tuesday on Twitter, former tight end D.J. Greenlee confirmed an account to The State newspaper in which Pearman, the tight ends and special-teams coach, overheard players using the term and repeated it himself.

“It was just a heated argument during practice, basically. Me and the coach got into it, and I was speaking with one of my teammates. He heard me use the N-word, basically, and basically tried to correct me by saying the N-word back,” Greenlee told The State.

Pearman, who coached with Dabo Swinney at Alabama before joining the Clemson staff in December 2008, offered an apology in a statement from the school after Greenlee confirmed the incident.

“Three years ago on the practice field, I made a grave mistake involving D.J. Greenlee. I repeated a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field. What I overheard, I had no right to repeat,” Pearman said in the statement.

Yeah, that’s not a good look.  But I’m sure all will be forgiven on the recruiting trail.

5 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

Superspreading

I’ve said that my biggest concern with how we deal with the pandemic is that we don’t know enough about it to have the answers we need on how to protect ourselves.  But every day that goes by is another day where data can be collected and theories can be tested.

This is a good example, and it’s something that gives me hope we can strategize.

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, evidence is growing that superspreading is a hugely significant factor of total transmission…

In our study, just 20 percent of cases, all of them involving social gatherings, accounted for an astonishing 80 percent of transmissions. (That, along with other things, suggests that the dispersion factor, k, of SARS-CoV-2 is about 0.45).

Another 10 percent of cases accounted for the remaining 20 percent of transmissions — with each of these infected people on average spreading the virus to only one other person, maybe two people. This mostly occurred within households.

No less astonishing was this corollary finding: Seventy percent of the people infected did not pass on the virus to anyone.

The authors believe their findings are applicable on a larger scale, but there is more work to be done.

Superspreading is a complex phenomenon, and it depends on several factors: an infected person’s degree of infectiousness, the length of other people’s exposure to them, the setting of that exposure.

We are not aware of any study having been published that identifies individual characteristics that might account for an infected person’s degree of infectiousness or could otherwise help predict who may be a superspreader.

This much, though, is known: The infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 appears to peak within the first few days of the onset of Covid-19 symptoms and then decrease with time. That said, one can be contagious before displaying symptoms or without ever displaying any symptoms. (Hence the importance of face masks.)

It stands to reason, too, that a highly contagious person is more likely to spread the infection in a crowd (at a wedding, in a bar, during a sporting event) than in a small group (within their household), and when contact is extensive or repeated.

Transmission is more likely during gatherings indoors than outdoors. Simply ventilating a room can help.

If superspreading is indeed driving most of the pandemic, how does college football, normally played in front of thousands of fans, plan for that?  Seems to me that if lockdowns and extreme social distancing aren’t the solutions, then it comes back to widespread testing and tracing.

11 Comments

Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

Today, in tortured analogies

“It’s like going on your third divorce in three years…”

Technically, it would be your second, but don’t let me stop your galaxy brain take with math.

Anyway, it’s a brilliant comparison if your first wife left you for someone with more money and your second wife wasn’t good at being your wife.

Now do Nick Saban, genius.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles