Everything must be earned, all over again.

Kirby gets asked about his defense’s potential and expresses concern in his response.

This is where the rubber meets the road for me.  An upgrade in recruiting is great, but if the plan is to elevate the program above Richt’s level, the comfort level attitude that plagued Georgia football before, particularly during the Martinez years, has to be completely eradicated.

You’d like to think Kirby’s background at Alabama gives him the framework to accomplish that, and I’m certainly hopeful in that regard.  But it’s still got to get beyond the talking stage for that to payoff.

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Filed under Georgia Football

“The goal is to do it for our fans who don’t have access to the premium areas.”

LSU wants a beer garden, as soon as possible.  But (there’s always a but)…

Now, it appears the beer garden concept—which would limit beer sales to a single area in the stadium as opposed to having taps at all concession stands—could happen this year. Talks between the university’s athletic department brass and the Southeastern Conference are under way, and appear to be going well.

“They are having those conversations now,” he says. “They are working towards doing it in the fall.”

The SEC prohibits its 14 member schools from selling alcohol at athletic events, which is why beer sales at LSU home games are only allowed in the stadium club and suites, technically separate structures from Tiger Stadium.

Interesting, both that the conference is the heavy here and as to the loophole the schools have discovered to benefit the deep-pocketed folks (coincidentally, I’m sure).

I still think general beer sales in one form or fashion are an inevitability.  It’s too tempting a revenue stream for schools to ignore forever.

15 Comments

Filed under I'll Drink To That, SEC Football

Musical palate cleanser, take ’em to the bridge edition

This is… inspired.

(h/t)

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Filed under Uncategorized

Star time

The biggest offseason battle on defense comes at the one spot without a returning starter, the star position, where Maurice Smith graduated.  Two promising early enrollees, Richard LeCounte and Deangelo Gibbs, are getting looks, but at the moment it’s Tyrique McGhee, the rising sophomore cornerback, who’s in the lead.

Experience matters, of course, but there’s something else worth mentioning.

While Smith is 6-foot and 195 pounds, McGhee is a tad smaller at 5-foot-10 and 183 pounds.

Smart noted that ideally, the star position is served by bigger defensive backs since fighting off blocks from tight ends is customary. Gibbs, at 6-foot and 200 pounds, would actually seem to be the prototype for the position.

“If you’re out there playing on Charlie Woerner and he comes to block you, do you want a 160-pound guy or do you want a 205-pound guy?” Smart said. “It’s pretty obvious we’ve got to have a big guy. Deangelo is a guy who we know has the ability. Can he sustain, can he learn, can he do all the things he’s got to do?”

Sounds like the position is in a state of flux, in other words.  I don’t know if we’ll see a true freshman in the starting lineup against Appalachian State there, but I sure wouldn’t be surprised if that changes as the season progresses.

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Filed under Georgia Football

Unsaid threats are the best threats.

The SEC ain’t happy about the state of Arkansas preparing to allow guns at college sporting events.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey that the measure signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson creates concerns for the conference and its member institutions. The new law allows people with concealed handgun licenses to carry on college campuses, government buildings and some bars if they undergo up to eight hours of active shooter training.

The University of Arkansas is an SEC school, and Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium holds 72,000 people.

“Given the intense atmosphere surrounding athletic events, adding weapons increases safety concerns and could negatively impact the intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Arkansas in several ways, including scheduling, officiating, recruiting and attendance,” Sankey said in a statement. A spokesman for the conference declined to answer whether the new law would threaten future SEC games in Arkansas.

Why answer, when the question itself speaks volumes?

Thus beginneth the backtracking.

An Arkansas House committee advanced a measure Tuesday to exempt college sporting events from a state law allowing guns after the Southeastern Conference appealed for guns to be banned from facilities such as football stadiums.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the new state law last week allowing concealed handguns at colleges, government buildings, some bars and even the State Capitol.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced the exemption measure after it was amended. Under the amended exemption, college stadiums such as the University of Arkansas’ Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences would be able to designate sensitive areas where they wouldn’t want people to carry concealed handguns. To prohibit concealed carry in those sensitive areas, they would have to put together a security plan for those areas and submit it to Arkansas State Police for approval.

Republican Rep. Bob Ballinger told the panel that the changes to the proposed exemption measure were made to address concerns people had with the original bill.

“We took ten steps forward, and a lot of people weren’t quite ready to go that far forward. So now we’re taking one step backward,” Ballinger said.

Ballinger said that if college sporting events and the medical facilities were going to prohibit concealed carry, then they must demonstrate that they will provide the necessary security.

The National Rifle Association, which supported the expanded concealed handguns law, opposes the exemption measure in its current and previous form.

The SEC vs. the NRA?  Boy, talk about your meteor game there.  I guess we’re about to find out whether football or guns hold more weight in the South, although I suspect those handsome checks the conference sends Fayetteville’s way every year may have an impact on the deliberations, too.

88 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery, SEC Football

When the romance dies

When it comes to compensation for student-athletes, this describes my personal evolution on the subject perfectly:

I was once a die-hard college football fan who thought that paying college players would destroy college sports, and thus was staunchly against it. However, I eventually realized that schools make far more money than they claim, hide profits, don’t offer real educations to athletes, and lie in court to continue to stuff their coffers. With revenues still rising, college athletics executives give themselves massive raises and hire unneeded support staff to appear broke in financial reports so they can continue to trick the public into thinking that paying athletes would destroy college sports.

Amateurism is not a principle; it’s whatever the NCAA decides it is that day. One day it was nothing beyond an academic scholarship, then nothing beyond an athletic scholarship, then nothing beyond the cost of attending a university. It’s a nostalgic tool used by the NCAA to give schools absolute power over their athletes, and its definition changes whenever there’s even the hint of a new revenue stream.

Consider the words of former NCAA president Walter Byers: “This is not about amateurism. This is about who controls negotiations and gets the money.”

Or, if you prefer a shorter definition, it’s about control.

Those of you who have a hard time accepting my point of view, I understand.  After all, I was once with you on it.  It’s simply impossible for me now to reconcile standing on tradition in this one area when the lords of the college athletics universe have managed to toss out tradition in virtually every other nook and cranny in their relentless chase to leave no dollar unturned.  You being able to turn a blind eye to that is what I have a hard time accepting.  To each his own, then.

78 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

One state’s bathroom controversy is another state’s opportunity

GTP reader ApalachDawg alerted me to what I guess is technically a non-football story about fallout from North Carolina’s notorious bathroom bill, but is nevertheless worth a mention for the punchline.

The law, introduced in North Carolina last year, mandates that transgender people use the bathrooms matching the biological sex on their birth certificates.

Its introduction last April sparked a wave of controversy and prompted Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr to cancel concerts.

It emerged yesterday that the law could cost the state over $3.7bn in lost business over the next 12 years, with PayPal, CoStar, Deutsche Bank, Adidas and Irish outsourcing giant Voxpro among the major companies to axe investment plans because of the law.

Speaking from New York last night, Voxpro’s Dan Kiely said North Carolina was one of three states earmarked for a new Voxpro office last year.

“But when it became clear that this law was being introduced, we just scratched North Carolina off our list. We didn’t even visit the site.

“The law runs completely contrary to our core values. I am proud to work alongside trans and gay people. The diversity of our workforce is what makes us who we are.

“Our investment instead went to Athens, Georgia, where we hope to reach 500 jobs within the next 12 months.”[Emphasis added.]

Welcome to Athens, folks.  Hopefully you won’t have a problem with the local bathroom issues we’re struggling with.

54 Comments

Filed under Political Wankery