That’s Entertainment (and Sports Programming Network).

Remember when ESPN’s public editor asked, “Who’s expected to live by the traditional rules and ethics of journalism, and who isn’t?” and answered by saying,

“Expecting analysts to magically transform into journalists is not a realistic expectation — and, frankly, not the role they are being asked to play.”

Yeah, well, Todd McShay.

I heard from a lot of readers on Twitter looking for information on why ESPN college football reporter and NFL draft analyst Todd McShay was part of Michigan’s signing day event hosted by the Players’ Tribune on Feb. 3 at Hill Auditorium. The optics were odd given this was essentially a pep rally for Michigan and McShay had a formal role in the show. It was unclear if you were watching whether McShay was being paid by Michigan, which would really be odd given he’d have to report on them as a sideline reporter and draft analyst. Viewers clearly notice this stuff.

ESPN management said that McShay was not paid for the appearance and it did not know about his attendance prior to the event. To his credit, McShay answered the question when asked by SI. “I completely understand that I made a mistake and clearly should have discussed this appearance with ESPN in advance,” he said. “I will obviously learn from this situation, and in no way will this compromise the quality or objectivity of my work going forward.”

These guys aren’t even fucking trying anymore.  Sure, Todd, I’ll respect your objectivity as much as you do.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil

If you price it, they will come.

And here we go.

A gift from University of Georgia swimming letterman and Atlanta philanthropist Tom Cousins has permanently endowed the UGA head baseball coaching position according to a joint announcement by UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity and the Cousins family.

The position bears the name of Cousins’ father, Ike, a three-sport athlete, including baseball, at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.

It is the first endowed head coaching position at UGA and will be known as the Ike Cousins Head Baseball Coach.

The Director of Athletics position was endowed in 2013 by John and Kay Parker of Athens.

In that spirit, I’d like to announce a program here at GTP to raise enough money to endow the Dawgs’ head football coaching position.  I think “Senator Blutarsky Head Football Coach” Kirby Smart has one helluva ring to it, no?

My friends, please join me in this noble effort.  Every dollar counts.


UPDATE:  There’s gold in them ‘thar names, folks!

According to UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity, the Bulldogs have already exceeded their goal of raising half of the $30 million needed to pay for the 109,000-square-foot building, which has been under construction since mid-December.

“We’re edging up on $16 million,” McGarity said this past week. “So we’ve already exceeded our goal and we still have two big naming opportunities for the field and for the facility itself. … The challenge now is to fund the whole thing since we’ve accomplished what we’ve accomplished, which is a lot in a short time.”

At some point in time, McGarity’s gonna eliminate the middleman and sell the name for the reserve fund.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

COA impact so far? “Not at all.”

Eh, except where it might be.

“Kids and parents and high school coaches and AAU coaches are very aware of what cost of attendance is about and they want to know the number,” says NIU men’s basketball coach Mark Montgomery.

“It’s already a recruiting topic,’ adds [Northern Illinois Football Coach Rod] Carey. “It’s not as big of one as it will become because schools are still figuring out how much and how they’re doing it. Once that has a year to go through, and then you’re going to have comparables. Then yea, oh yea, it’s going to be a recruiting topic.”

No shit, Sherlock.

We’re still in the feeling out stage, but I have a hard time believing that Auburn and Tennessee aren’t pimping out their stipend advantage on the recruiting trail.  And why not?  That’s what it’s there for.  If it were me, I’d be pushing it hard.  It’s not like there’s a downside to doing so.

Now do I think it’s decisive in every kid’s case?  Of course not.  For some, the difference in the amount of the stipend at schools may not be enough to overcome things like playing time, state pride or the perceived quality of a particular program.  But for a recruit facing an all-other-things-being-equal choice, yeah, I suppose a couple of extra thousand dollars a year could be enough to swing a decision.

And as far as “Schools aren’t free to just make up a number, of course” goes… blogger, please.  Come spend some time in SEC Country and let me know how that works.


Filed under Recruiting

Now, the hard work begins.

With an exception or two, the recruiting hay is in the barn, for 2016 at least.  The staff got a little reset time this past weekend, but the time has arrived for the nitty gritty to commence.

Smart strengthened bonds with Crimson Tide players before leaving and began forming bonds with the recruits who signed their letters of intent with Georgia last Wednesday, but he did not have time to familiarize himself with the returning Bulldogs.

“We’ve got to get our hands on our players and get into the offseason conditioning program,” Smart said on signing day. “We need to get around those guys and spend more time with them. As a staff, we’re starting on quality control this next week, and I’m really looking forward to that, because that’s the part I enjoy the most.

“I like building relationships with the players. The core of our team this year is on this campus, and we’ve got to develop that.”

Beyond the occasional tweet from the S&C coaches, I doubt we’ll hear very much about that development, and what little we do hear is likely to be your basic offseason happy talk.  But there’s a lot for Smart and the staff to get started with and a fairly short time before the public gets an inkling of how things are going.

The next few weeks will include player meetings and offseason workouts before the calendar flips to March and the start of spring practice. Georgia will hold its G-Day game on April 16, with Smart having issued a challenge to Bulldogs fans to fill all 92,746 seats of Sanford Stadium.

Obviously the quarterback situation is going to suck most of the oxygen out of the room, but there are also legitimate questions about Pittman’s reworking of the offensive line (not to mention what Chaney has in mind with the offense as a whole), the place-kicker competition, who fills in the holes at wide receiver and defensive line and the minor detail of Nick Chubb’s recovery. Whew!

Add on top of that just getting around to developing relationships with the rest of the team already on campus, and Kirby Smart’s got himself a full plate.  It’s a good thing that’s what he enjoys so much, because he’ll certainly be at it for a while.


Filed under Georgia Football

“There’s a first time for everything.”

This From The Rumble Seat post about Georgia Tech’s recruitment of Demetris Robertson is about as classic an example of “so you’re saying there’s a chance” wistfulness as you’ll ever read.

Bonus points for “As for how georgia (sic) fits in to Robertson’s recruitment, it’s fairly unclear…”.  Yeah, the genius’ offense is clearly a better fit for Robertson’s skill set than any other in college football.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting, The Blogosphere

There’s loaded. And then there’s LOADED.

The top recruit in the class of 2016 signed with Michigan, but beyond him, the SEC did alright last week.

* SEC schools signed the top two pro-style quarterback prospects and three of the top five.

* SEC schools signed each of the top three dual-threat quarterback prospects, along with four of the top six.

* SEC schools signed four of the top six and six of the top 14 running backs. And league schools signed two of the top eight all-purpose backs.

* Robertson is the top wide receiver and he has yet to sign. As it is, SEC schools signed three of the top six, four of the top nine, five of the top 18 and six of the top 20 receivers.

* SEC schools signed the top tight end, along with four of the top nine and eight of the top 17 at the position.

* SEC schools signed three of the top four safeties.
* SEC schools signed three of the top five cornerbacks, as well as six of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 at the position.
* SEC schools signed the top inside linebacker, as well as six of the top 15.

* SEC schools signed two of the top five outside linebackers.

* You’ll notice we skipped over the linemen. That’s because as well as SEC schools did at the other positions, they absolutely dominated in the trenches. SEC schools signed the top two offensive tackles, along with three of the top six, five of the top 10 and seven of the top 18. SEC schools signed three of the top 10 guards. SEC schools signed five of the top eight centers. Finally, SEC schools reeled in a boatload of top defensive linemen. League teams signed eight of the top 12 and 11 of the top 17 defensive tackles, along with four of the top six, five of the top 10 and six of the top 11 defensive ends.

Actually, that’s pretty staggering. And it’s how you wind up with this:

* Tennessee was 14th in the nation in recruiting — but that was good for just seventh in the SEC, smack dab in the middle. Consider this, though: That No. 14 finish puts put the Vols third in the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 and second in the Big 12.

Hugenin points out that Georgia reeled in its third top ten class in a row.  That’s nice, but…

Alabama has finished in the recruiting top 10 nine years in a row. FSU has finished in the top 10 in seven consecutive years; Ohio State has finished in the top 10 in six consecutive years. LSU has finished in the top 10 four years in a row, while Auburn, Georgia and USC have finished in the top 10 three years in a row.

When the day comes that college football delivers a sixteen-team playoff, you’ll likely see the field loaded with SEC teams.  In the meantime, with a four-team field, if Georgia can’t separate itself from the middle of the conference pack, it’s likely that its dreams will die regularly in Atlanta.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Too much progress isn’t a good thing.

Give the NCAA credit for finding a way to discourage graduate transfers in the name of accountability for the academic progress of athletes.

Some opponents contend grad transfers should be rewarded for earning a degree early and that the NCAA should not interfere with the current system.

Gosh.  Isn’t virtue it’s own reward?


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA