Nothing says you’ve got nothing to hide like this:
Last month, the Tribune reported that dozens of UT-Austin donors threatened to pull funds if the university got rid of the song, which has been the subject of student protests. After the story ran, UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell released a statement that said he received a “small number” of hateful emails about the issue and they “bear no influence on any aspect of our decision-making.”
Then, after the Tribune inquired about missing records, UT-Austin identified more than 550 additional emails that should have been provided in response to an open records request.
Oopsie! I can’t imagine what the problem was…
“This current, highly emotionalized and factually inaccurate movement is counterproductive, will generate more divisiveness and also destroy the progress made in integration up to now,” Stanley wrote in a letter in mid-June criticizing Hartzell’s leadership for meeting with the athletes, which was forwarded to Hartzell by donors nearly a dozen times. “It is being fomented by socialistic groups that are using the blacks as pawns. It is regrettable that the University has accepted this movement. If black athletes really want to improve the general situation for the black community, they should work within themselves.”
Yes, that is regrettable. But they’re working on it.
Mickey Klein said in a phone interview with the Tribune that while minstrel shows are “disgusting,” he supports keeping the alma mater song and wants the university to get to a place where “everyone, Black [people], people of color are comfortable with the song.” The Kleins said they would continue to support the school financially regardless of Hartzell’s decision over the issue.
“This is not something that we can sweep under the rug, there has to be an open dialogue and discussion,” Mickey Klein said.
Well, Mr. Stanley has certainly been afforded that opportunity.
As far as making people of color comfortable with the song, Texas might start by not mandating that its football players have to associate with it by standing for the song after a game. Then again, that might be too open a dialogue for some folks.
“NIL will be a game changer for all,” one respondent said. “Many will get out of college athletics as this is not what they signed up for. Schools should resist NIL and go Ivy [League] non-scholarship model. I do not see why NIL is good for all.”
It’s when you get a little further into the piece you find the giveaway:
Nearly 69% of respondents came from the 22 conferences that do not play FBS football. Only 10% of respondents came from the Power 5.
I give Chicken Little credit for cutting to the chase. No mention is made of what’s in it for college athletes, because that’s not really a concern for an AD. And if I were an AD at Podunk Southeast U, I’d love for the SEC to go Ivy League.
But it ain’t gonna happen. None of it. Just ask Tulane’s AD.
Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen was among the 15% of ADs who said they believe NIL payments will have no impact on competitive balance.
“The kids that are going to Alabama are still going to go to Alabama. The kids that are going to Southern Cal are still going to go to Southern Cal. The kids that are going to Tulane are still going to go to Tulane,” said Dannen, whose school competes at the top tier of Division I football (FBS) in the American Athletic Conference.
Looking back five years from now, which athletic director do you think will be proven right?
Clemson had their spring game this past weekend. Even taking this early read on things with a grain of salt, there are three takeaways worth mentioning: (1) with the Achilles injury to its backup quarterback, Clemson has a depth issue at that position; (2) there is no Travis Etienne on the roster; and (3) the Tigers keep rolling out all these long, lanky wide receivers who are going to cause some matchup problems for Georgia’s secondary.
Georgia got more than just a commitment from now-former West Virginia defensive back Tykee Smith on Sunday night. The Bulldogs announced him as a part of the team and Dawgs247 has confirmed that Smith has locked in his spot with a Letter of Intent. UGA is now bound to him and him to UGA.
… Smith was pursued heavily by the likes of Auburn, Penn State, and Texas and had he simply committed to UGA, those programs would still be able to pursue. But Bulldogs can rest easy knowing that the junior defensive back his signed on the dotted line.
Kirby Smart is a bad man. And this is a big deal. You don’t grab productive players like this for an area of need like Georgia’s secondary every day. And make no mistake, Tykee Smith has been a productive player.
At 5-foot-11 195 pounds, Smith manned the nickel (SPEAR) position at WVU in 2020. It’s similar to the STAR position UGA employs in its nickel package, a personnel grouping the Bulldogs use for a majority of their snaps since opposing teams are so often in three-receiver sets.
He played in 22 games in his first two seasons in Morgantown. In 12 games as a freshman, he piled up 51 total tackles 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack, and two interceptions. He returned one of those interceptions 19 yards for a touchdown and forced one fumble.
In 10 games as a sophomore, Smith racked up 61 total tackles and eight tackles for loss while breaking up five passes and intercepting two. He helped the Mountaineers field the nation’s No. 1 pass defense in yards-per-game average and No. 10 pass defense in yards averaged per pass attempt.
When the season ended, Smith was honored as a third-team All American by the Associated Press. He was a member of the All Big 12 honorable mention team. He earned Freshman All-American honors in 2019.
“I just feel like it was time for me to do it because I didn’t want all the attention,” Smith said. “I wanted to make a business decision and I felt like today was the right day.
“They do a lot of things. They don’t just line you up to the field. They do a lot of different stuff. They can see me at the ‘Star’ position, or one of the high safety spots. I will be able to play man and all that stuff, so I will be able to showcase all my skills.”
The 5-foot-10, 198-pound Smith plans on enrolling at Georgia in late May, after he finishes the semester at West Virginia.
His arrival at Georgia will also signal a reunion with defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae, who joined the Bulldogs’ staff after spending the last two seasons at West Virginia.
“I am real comfortable (with Addae),” Smith said. “I feel as though he got me to the point of having an all-American season last year, so why not finish what we started. He helped me take my game to the next level as far as me getting off breaks and getting me right.”
And vice versa. As Jake Rowe points out, Smith alleviates some pressure on the defensive coaches to sort out where to fit the inexperienced talent.
The addition of Smith has a ripple effect the rest of the secondary because he can play that position at a high level. UGA will still work other players at the position and Smith will have to earn a starting spot, but the need to experiment at that spot shrinks.
The lack of experience at cornerback comes into play here. Put yourself in Addae’s shoes. If he’s trying to get four or five guys ready to play winning football at cornerback, it makes his job much harder if he’s trying to use some of those same guys to play the STAR position.
With a proven playmaker entering the fold at that spot, one who has piled up 10.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and nine pass breakups in his first 22 games at the college football level, abates the necessity to cross train players who already have a tremendous challenge ahead.
Smith has three years of eligibility left, but it’ll be a shock if he uses even two of them. That’s okay. He’s as close to a perfect plug and play talent as Georgia could find for 2021. Kirby Smart couldn’t ask for a better bridge to get all that young talent ready to go this year and next.
UPDATE: Interestingly enough, it wasn’t Addae who reached out to Smith first. Or even second.
In a telephone interview with UGASports, Smith said that while a reunion with Addae was one of the reasons he decided to choose Georgia, it was Bulldog defensive coordinator Dan Lanning who made the first move.
“He (Addae) had a huge impact, but he wasn’t even the first one to reach out to me from the staff. Coach Lanning was the first one, and then Coach Kirby (Smart),” Smith said. “We’ve been in touch a lot.”