There’s good news and bad news about Arian Smith’s injury.
Actually, there’s no good news.
Injuries continue to pile up for sophomore receiver Arian Smith, who will undergo surgery for a high ankle sprain, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the Bulldogs’ first scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday.
It’s another setback for Smith, who dealt with a leg injury last season and played in only four games (injuries limited Smith’s freshman season to four games, as well). Smart didn’t know how much time Smith will miss, but the ankle is not broken.
“Arian’s probably the toughest one; poor kid can’t catch a break, man,” Smart said. “He’s worked so hard to get back. He gave up track this year, and he’s an elite track runner. Elite. And he gave that up so that he could have a successful season.
“… We’re hopeful to get him back. He’s overcome so much, and he’s such a great kid. Great family. Such a positive kid. And he keeps getting tough breaks. I know that he’s going to persevere that, and I think he’ll bounce back, when it comes to that.”
“Hopeful to get him back” is not exactly a firm timetable there. I wouldn’t expect to see much of Smith this season, if at all. Hate it for the kid.
Nick Saban, channeling his inner Bear Bryant:
“Camp is a tough time, though it’s not as tough as it used to be.”
Pass the salt tablets!
When they tell you who they are, believe them.
Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey, probably the most influential person in college athletics, said Thursday he wants to take “a fresh look” at the NCAA men’s basketball tournament—perhaps with an eye toward expansion of the current 68-team field.
Sankey cautions that he is “not ready to make headlines there yet.” But he also is open to conversations about a Big Dance that doesn’t exclude small-conference champions while potentially including more teams.
As an example, he mentions the 2022 College World Series baseball championship, which was won by SEC member Mississippi—the last team into the 64-team field.
“If the last team in can win the national championship, and they’re in the 30s or 40s from an RPI or [NCAA] NET standpoint, is our current approach supporting national championship competition?” Sankey asks. “I think there’s health in that conversation. That doesn’t exclude people. It goes to: How do we include people in these annual national celebrations that lead to a national champion?”
The man is telling us he’s prepared to water down the biggest postseason field in college sports — one that he doesn’t directly control, mind you — and you don’t think he’ll push for it with the smallest? As long as the money is there, of course he will.
Georgia is 29-1 (!) over that time frame when it wins big play margin. Now you understand why Smart harps on explosiveness.