Laremy Tunsil in an election year: you knew somebody would have to go there.

And that somebody is Chris Christie, pandering away.

Christie saw the video of offensive tackle prospect Laremy Tunsil apparently smoking marijuana sometime in the past through a gas mask bong, which apparently got him really, really high.

“It’s unbelievable,” Christie said. “Because the bong hits aren’t enough. Give me the gas mask too. It’s incredible. I can’t take my eyes off it. It’s unbelievable.”

For Christie the former U.S. attorney and a devout guardian of both Rutgers football and American ideals of justice, Tunsil’s actions are a grave problem.

And the governor has a strong take on what to do about it, via BuzzFeed’s Christopher Massie:

“When I was a prosecutor, I would’ve gone in and cuffed this guy,” Christie said. “I would’ve been all over it.”

That would have been fun to watch.  When’s the last time Christie cuffed somebody bigger than him?

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Filed under Political Wankery

Making bank.

Now here’s a chart to hit recruits over the head with.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NFL Is Your Friend.

If Paul Johnson really were a genius…

… he’d be on the phone to Kirby Smart suggesting something similar to this.

Let’s face it – it’s not as if the schools are chasing the same talent on offense.  And Tech could make a good living off of Georgia’s leftovers.

The hard part is selling Kirby on what’s in it for him.  Free passes to Dragon*Con maybe?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, son.

As farewells go, this is pretty much the textbook definition of perfunctory.

Translation:  of all the assistant coaches I’ve known, he’s certainly one of them… although ask me in a couple of years, and I may not even be able to say I really knew him.

Now if you’ll excuse Nick, he has to go wash his hands of the whole thing.  May be a while.

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Filed under Nick Saban Rules

Envy and jealousy, snitches get stitches edition

Jon Solomon nails Todd McShay with this:

Let’s stop with the narrative, as put forward by ESPN’s Todd McShay, that Tunsil sold out his Ole Miss coaches by supposedly telling the truth to the media. This thinking sums up what’s wrong with the negative stigma created by the NCAA about amateurism. In McShay’s mind, it’s better to lie publicly than to be honest when caught about getting paid. Only in college sports is this line of thinking acceptable. The NFL couldn’t care less about Tunsil getting paid.

It’s time for my obligatory reminder that news of college players getting paid under the table is neither shocking nor worth taking a moral high ground. This happens far more often than people want to believe — imagine if the federal government ever went after tax evasion for these under-the-table payments — yet fans keep passionately watching the college games whenever a story like this comes out.

I get the “NCAA rules are NCAA rules” aspect to this, as Solomon does in his next paragraph, but that’s Ole Miss’ problem.  As far as Tunsil goes, it’s not like he committed a crime.  Outside of the folks left at the school who have to clean up the inconvenient mess they helped make, ultimately nobody cares but McShay.  Well played, Mr. Solomon.

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Filed under Envy and Jealousy

“I have no way of handling surprise amounts.”

Somehow, I don’t think Hugh Freeze will be extending the same gracious invitation to the world today.

In what has to be a first, last night there was some actual real-time drama that took place during an NFL Draft show.

An anonymous hacker used the night of the NFL draft to try to take down Laremy Tunsil and the Ole Miss football program.

Moments before the draft began a video of Tunsil smoking out of a bong fashioned out of a gas mask was posted onto his Twitter account. When it had done its damage, moving Tunsil out of the top 10 entirely and to the Miami Dolphins on No. 13, the hacker started on Tunsil’s Instagram account.

There they posted screenshots of alleged text messages between Tunsil and John Miller, assistant athletic director for football operations, in which Tunsil asks for money to pay rent and also for his mother’s $305 electric and water bill. In reference to the former, Miller makes a reference to “Barney.” Barner (sic) Farrar is Ole Miss’ assistant athletic director for high school and junior colleges.

“I made a mistake,” Tunsil said in a press conference. “That happened.”

Pressed if that meant he had taken money from a coach, Tunsil said, ‘I’d have to say yeah.’

I’d have to say that’s not good.  And I’d have to say this sure must have been awkward:

Coach Hugh Freeze was in the green room with Tunsil and fellow NFL first-round picks from Ole Miss, Laquon Treadwell (23rd overall to the Minnesota Vikings) and Robert Nkemdiche (29th overall to the Arizona Cardinals).

Talk about your “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” moment.

No comment was forthcoming from the usually chatty freeze.  As for the school,

Ole Miss released a statement late Thursday night that said it was aware of the reports and, “Like we do whenever an allegation is brought to our attention or a potential violation is self-discovered, we will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC.”

Yeah, sure.

A few thoughts on the situation:

  • It’s easy to mock Tunsil, I suppose, but as a Georgia fan who suffered through the Green and Gurley debacles, I don’t have the heart to do so, especially in the case of a kid who was by most accounts NFL-ready after his freshman year having to beg for table scraps to keep the water on for his mom.  In a fairer world, none of these kids would have ever had a problem with bending NCAA amateurism rules for a few bucks.
  • On the other hand, given Freeze’s previous sanctimony on the subject, Ole Miss deserves all the questioning and finger-pointing that is being and will continue to be directed its way.
  • What in the world was Jimmy Sexton thinking, letting Tunsil speak to the media last night?
  • All of that being said, and even with the NCAA already being in Oxford Town looking over the operation, so to speak, we’re a long way from seeing the hammer drop.  First off, while Tunsil said plenty last night, the NCAA can’t compel him to say any more, or provide any other information.  He’s in the NFL now, so he’s not touchable.  Miller and Ferrar are probably going to be scapegoated and cut loose at the earliest possible time, likely to be painted as rogue actors in this play.  That leaves Ross Bjork, the AD, to tap dance around institutional control claims, but to date he’s proved himself to be fairly adept.  Certainly he’s no Greg McGarity.
  • What’s the over/under on the number of FOIA requests that hit Ole Miss today?  And is that higher or lower than the number of times rival coaches use this as an issue with which to hammer Freeze on the recruiting trail?
  • Back to Tunsil – if you’re interested in whether he has a claim against the person who hacked his accounts and publicized what he posted, you might want to read this.
  • You know who’s relieved about this story dropping last night?  Nick Saban, who saw his own bad story – one that should have been a huge one last night and today – buried under Tunsil’s.  (Think there’s any chance Sexton suggested the timing?  Eh, nah.)

*************************************************************************

UPDATE:  The NFL thinks Ole Miss has a “culture”.  Not in a good sense…

The hot rumor as Thursday approached was that the several teams, including the Chargers at No. 3, coveted Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley over Tunsil. Multiple sources told The MMQB that Tunsil’s off-field behavior was becoming increasingly worrisome and reason for some teams to remove him from their draft boards altogether. Much of it had to do with the culture at Mississippi, sources say. The football program was served in January with notice of allegations of a number of NCAA violations. Last season Tunsil was suspended seven games for receiving impermissible benefits, and at the combine in February teammate Robert Nkemdiche said Tunsil had been with him when Nkemdiche fell out a hotel window. Then, two days before the draft, Tunsil’s stepfather filed a lawsuit against him for “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” stemming from a dispute last June. For a player pegged as a potential No. 1 pick, there were enough problems surrounding Tunsil to turn some teams away.

And this is, hands down, the best summary of the surreal evening:

Asked again if there had been an exchange of money, Tunsil then responded matter-of-factly, “I have to say yeah.” A further question about whether he’d met with the NCAA was being posed when Milam appeared from behind a curtain, cutting the session short. “He’s got no more comments. Thank you guys so much,” she said, tapping the offensive lineman on the shoulder, whisking him away and leaving media as baffled as Tunsil apparently had been.

“There’s no way I heard that correctly,” a reporter in the front row said. “There’s no f—ing way that just happened.”

Just a reminder that Jimmy Sexton, who, by the way you shouldn’t forget, represents both Tunsil and Freeze, didn’t exactly have a good night.

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Filed under SEC Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground, The NCAA

I’ll take Galactically Stupid Ideas for $200, Alex.

Oh, for fuck’s sake

We’re talking about a commissioner for major college football: the Power 5 or the entire FBS.

The commissioner concept has traction among some prominent coaches, frustrated with a factionalized process. Others argue that college football isn’t set up for a commissioner and urge greater coach engagement and faith in a still-evolving legislative structure.

But after the satellite camp silliness, it’s foolish to discount an alternative.

“There’s a great need,” Tennessee coach Butch Jones said, “for leadership.”

Coming from the man who used to (past tense, supposedly) get serial heads-up from the Knoxville police department when his charges wound up on the wrong side of the law, that’s a bit rich.  Leader, lead thyself.

Not that he’s alone in that sentiment, or in putting forth dumb support for it.

Stanford coach David Shaw prefaces his remarks by restating he’s not going to the NFL — since everyone asks — but he is a product of the league, having worked for three NFL teams from 1997 to 2005. The NFL’s administrative structure shapes his perception.

Shaw thinks the launch of the College Football Playoff marked the “end of the old ways,” and mandates greater standardization in areas like scheduling, recruiting rules and staff sizes.

“When we get to a point where we can normalize our lives as Power 5 college football,” Shaw said, “then you’d love to have a committee and then on top of that, a commissioner, someone who doesn’t work for anybody other than college football. It would make the absolute most sense.

“We’re no longer complete and separate entities. We’re all feeding into one system.”

Tell that to ESPN when it comes time for the Pac-12 to negotiate its next broadcast deal, man.  I’m sure it’ll go over well.

And then there’s the question of who gets to run the asylum.  Hey, let’s ask Nick Saban for a suggestion!

Like Shaw, Saban coached in the NFL and appreciates how the NFL’s model — led by a commissioner but also committees with team representation, like the competition committee — shapes policy for all 32 organizations rather than 2-3 divisions.

“It would be good if there was somebody, and I don’t know who, but somebody that looked at the game from 1,000 feet,” Saban said. “Not as an AD. Not as a conference commissioner. Not as an offensive guy or a defensive guy, but somebody who’s looking at it from the entire scope.

“It’s not what’s best for the SEC or the Big Ten or the Pac-12, but what’s best for the game. That way, there’s no self-interest.”

Blutarsky’s Rule:  Any time someone suggests having a background in the NFL is a plus for making suggestions to improve college football, walk away.

I’d go on a rant here about how college football’s one saving grace right now in antitrust court is that there is some real competition between the conferences and that doing what these coaches suggest would immediately trash that, but I think I’ll simply state that if even Bob Bowlsby – Bob Bowlsby, for Gawd’s sake – knows this won’t work…

Added Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby: “The idea of having a commissioner over football is probably imposing a structure over college sports that is better in place for professional sports.”

… it really is a brain-dead suggestion.

As for who would make a good CFB commissioner, I have a better candidate than anyone on Rittenberg’s list:  Donald Trump.  After all, he’s got professional football league management experience.  Who better to make College Football Great Again?

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Filed under College Football