Chip Towers reports that John Lilly has joined Jeremy Pruitt’s Tennessee staff as an offensive analyst.
I’m not offering this as an editorial comment in any way, but simply to point how other schools go about their financial business.
Florida is about to embark on an ambitious facility upgrade plan involving a new baseball and football facility estimated to cost around $130 million. Here’s how the athletic department plans to pay for it:
For the entire $130 million project (an additional $4 million is needed for relocation of the maintenance department and infrastructure costs), Florida has already secured about $73 million in funding. Of that $73 million, $50 million will be bonded, in a measure approved by the Board of Trustees on Friday. That measure must still be approved by the Board of Governors at the end of June. Another $13 million has already been secured in philanthropic support, while $10 million comes from UAA investment earnings.
That leaves Florida needing to raise about $57 million more prior to breaking ground on the stand-alone football facility.
So, $50 million in borrowing, $13 million directly from donors and $10 million from reserve fund earnings. Definitely different from Athens.
On the other hand, nobody on Mullen’s football staff has called Florida’s AD out for being cheap on the arms race front.
If you’re trying to measure how deep your college football addiction runs, keep in mind that Vanderbilt’s spring game will be televised on the SEC Network tomorrow at 5PM.
I’m gonna go out on a real limb here today and suggest this isn’t going to go well.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ordered NCAA President Mark Emmert to be deposed in former USC assistant coach Todd McNair’s defamation lawsuit against the organization.
“Plaintiff needs, and has the right, to depose Emmert in order to investigate the intent and knowledge behind one of the statements Plaintiff alleges to be defamatory,” Judge Frederick Shaller wrote in a tentative ruling issued before a hearing on the matter Thursday.
Given the NCAA’s track record in discovery, you’d think this would be a matter ripe for settlement, but you’re not Donald Remy.
Oh, there’s also this nice touch.
The judge is a USC graduate whom the NCAA unsuccessfully tried to remove from the case in 2016.
Now if I can only find that popcorn bag I opened to watch the Ole Miss litigation…
Ordinarily, I’d dismiss this as little more than preseason happy talk…
When Kirby Smart was asked whether Zamir White, the five-star Georgia tailback recruit coming off a knee injury, would be ready for fall camp, Smart acknowledged that it was hard to tell. Then he invited the media to judge for itself.
“You guys are going to see him out there,” Smart said before Georgia’s spring practice. “He’ll probably be doing some individual trials, and you make your own assessment.”
Admittedly it’s hard to say much from watching for a little more than 10 minutes. But White does appear to be ahead of schedule, considering he tore his ACL only in December.
White, wearing a brace around his right knee, is able to run during run and pass route polish drills. In those drills he was doing everything the other tailbacks were doing. But when the tailbacks went into drills when they did more – such as cutting – White sat it out, going to the side on his own. Ron Courson, the head athletic trainer, walked over to White at one point and had him jog in a zig-zag pattern up the sideline. White will also not be doing any contact drills this spring.
Still, while there are many limits to what White will do this spring, the early signs are encouraging.
… but since this is Georgia, the land of Ron Courson and Nick Chubb’s recovery, I’ve decided to keep an open mind.
Triggered, I suppose, by the news that Tennessee and John Currie, its former athletic director, have formally parted ways for the low, low sticker price of $2,220,454 (that, plus his salary, for a mere eight months of “work”!), came this absolutely bonkers thread in my Twitter feed last night. Evidently a reporter or reporters got their hands on documentation relating to the firing of Booch and the subsequent dumpster fire of a coaching search that led to Currie’s sacking and the triumphant return of Phil Fulmer to a position of power in Knoxville.
You should read through the thread in its entirety to get a real flavor for the craziness (Wallace is promising to go through the story of how he got the information later this morning), but there are a few items worth sharing specifically in this post.
The 50-17 Missouri loss may have been the coup de grâce to Booch’s tenure in Knoxville, but the wheels were set in motion after the Georgia debacle, which means that Kirby, in only his second season, can lay claim to having had a direct hand in significantly remaking the division. Not even Nick Saban can put that on his résumé.
Currie didn’t lack for candidates, that’s for sure. It also appears that he didn’t lack for others at UT meddling in hiring a replacement. Peyton Manning? Seriously?
Speaking of candidates, oh, what might have been.
From a selfish perspective, I didn’t think it was possible to top hiring Lane Kiffin, but, damn, was I wrong. This would have been the greatest blogging fodder of my life had it gone down. In the meantime, Mr. Stingtalk Moderator, I beg you to open the message board back up to the general public for the next few days. We’re here for you, man.
Need more comedic relief? Well, since you asked…
“Lack of academic commitment”? Wut?
There’s plenty more. Currie had his sights set on Schiano, but got enormous pushback, including a threat that much of the athletic department would walk if he were hired. When that fell apart, apparently Currie decided it would be best to work virtually undercover — based on the internal chaos, I can’t say he was crazy to think that — and did such an effective job flying under the radar that members of the administration openly worried for his safety.
By late November, Fulmer evidently saw an opportunity.
And shortly afterwards, it was all over but the financial buyout.
This is what Jeremy Pruitt has walked into. I think this is the closest we’ll ever see someone in real life live up to the cliché “I’d crawl over broken glass for the opportunity”. Hope it turns out to be worth it, bud.
UPDATE: More crazy details here.
UPDATE #2: Evidently it’s our old friend, the Freedom of Information Act request, that led to the data dump.
This is epic:
Currie’s search for Jones’ replacement got so dire that even interim head coach Brady Hoke sent a text to Currie on Nov. 29 making sure Currie knew Hoke would be interested in the full-time job.
“JOHN I HOPE YOU DO KNOW I WOULD LIKE TO BE YOUR HEAD FOOTBALL COACH I DO KNOW THE ENVIRONMENT WE LIVE IN AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AT TENNESSEE!” Hoke wrote, using all capital letters.
ALL CAPS always knows, right?