Hanging together

Kirby and Boom, this year’s SEC buddy movie.

“I talk to Will a lot,” Smart said earlier this month. “We bounce ideas off each other of what he’s doing, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked. We always share information. He’s a very trustworthy friend when it comes to information when it’s not competitive information.”

If CBS grabs the broadcast of the Georgia-South Carolina game this year, I can hear the Verne gushing already.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

When are time demands “undue”?

When you’re on Harbaugh time, of course.

The topic of satellite camps inevitably crosses over into the topic of undue time demands placed both coaches and student-athletes, especially in reference to Harbaugh’s decision to hold a week of spring practice at Florida-based sports factory IMG Academy.

Last week at its own spring meetings, the Pac 12 proposed a rule to prevent its own institutions from holding similar type events during the period of time traditionally deemed as “spring break” for colleges around the country.

The proposal was part of a 22-page report that, according to CBSSports.com, identified particular time demand issues for student-athletes, and included other smaller proposals such as forcing schools to designate “rest days” with no required athletic activities, as well as three days off per week during the offseason.

The SEC could follow suit and create its own parameters and restrictions on when and how student-athletes are allowed to be utilized during team offseasons, with the potential for much stricter language in an effort to help push the topic to the NCAA stage next winter.

“Undue time demands placed both coaches and student-athletes…”  You gotta love equating the two there.

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If Ole Miss ain’t cheatin’, it ain’t tryin’.

From the Oxford Citizen (h/t):

… Hot flash to the NCAA, the fans don’t care or understand your laws. What the fans that pack Vaught-Hemingway Stadium want to see on a Saturday afternoon is a good game. And preferably a win.

You think people who pay $1,600 for four season tickets care if a player’s family got an extra $800 at the airport or not? You think the vast majority of those same ticket holders care if Laremy Tunsil or CJ Hampton are driving around with a loaner Nissan Titan or Dodge Challenger? Most people would say “It’s not my car. It’s not my issue. I just want to see a win over Alabama for the first time in my life.”

Hot flash to the Oxford Citizen, Ole Miss is a member of the NCAA.  The NCAA is the schools’ creation.  When you’re bitching at the NCAA, you’re bitching at Ole Miss.  Which, of course, is kind of detail the fans that pack Vaught-Hemingway Stadium don’t really want to think about.

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Filed under General Idiocy, Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA

Let’s get stoned: a tale of perspective

Man, all these student-athletes getting caught drinking and smoking weed.  If they could only be more like their peers… oh, wait.

On any given day in America, roughly 1.4 million college students between the ages of 18 and 22 — or more than 1 out of every 8 American undergrads — will drink alcohol, according to new data from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Those who partake will consume an average of about four drinks each — just below the five-drink threshold that defines binge drinking. Of course, many of them will drink more than that. Many will drink less.

Other young people will opt to alter their consciousness with different substances. Roughly 900,000 college students, or 1 in 12, will get stoned…

The point here isn’t to condone the behavior – rule breaking is rule breaking, after all – but merely to question whether a take no prisoners zero tolerance approach really is the wisest, considering the general population these kids find themselves immersed in.

Maybe we could start with not holding surprise drug tests of players on their first day back from spring break.  Hell, the Jim Harbaugh approach to spring break at IMG Academy makes more sense than that.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Musical palate cleanser, lovin’ a little Dusty edition

My last MPC was from Dusty Springfield, so it seems appropriate to follow that with a cut from Shelby Lynne’s 2008 Springfield tribute album, Just A Little Lovin’.  The vibe is totally different, but the result is still compelling.

Take, for example, my favorite cut from the album, the closer, “How Can I Be Sure”, the Rascals’ hit.  (Dusty covered it, so that’s why it’s there.)  Lynne totally inverts the song, delivering it with an intimacy that’s almost too much.  The sparse arrangement, just her accompanied by acoustic guitar, match the mood perfectly.

That’s sublime.

As a bonus, here’s a little studio prep for the song.

By the way, this is another album for which computer speakers simply don’t do the recording acoustics justice.  It’s superbly recorded.  Along those lines, you should read the piece Lynne wrote about why she refused to record the album digitally.  It’s a real hoot.

I was born in ‘68. Mama and Daddy had albums. I grew up listening to their vinyl. I have discovered that having a vinyl collection is so much cooler than having an iPod. Now, I have an iPod and I admit they are genius especially for travel and convenience. But they aren’t really any fun. I don’t call up my friends and say “Hey why don’t y’all come over and bring your computers and let’s have a party”? Hell no! I say bring pot, wine and vinyl. That’s sexy. It’s really a great excuse to get together and listen to music. Everybody takes a turn looking through the collection and it’s interesting to see what each person plays. The vinyl way is just me. I think if if we all listen to more music together, it really doesn’t matter how we do it. Music will save us all just like it always has. We feed our souls with it. Vinyl just creates a little more discussion for us. You get to look at the covers, the liner notes, sometimes the lyrics are included. Plus you can roll a doobie on it. That’s hard on an Ipod.

If you agree with her sentiments and you still spin vinyl records, you definitely ought to have this in your collection.

 

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Today, in meaningless euphemisms

These are exciting times for the SEC’s student-athletes, friends.

In a new twist for the SEC, five athletes are going to participate during portions of this week’s meetings: Arkansas women’s tennis player Flavia Arajo, Ole Miss baseball player Brady Bramlett, ex-Mississippi State football player Jay Hughes, Tennessee women’s basketball player Diamond DeShields, and Texas A&M swimmer Antoine Marc. Three of them are the SEC’s representatives for NCAA autonomy voting. Sankey described the athletes’ presence this week as a “voice opportunity” for them with administrators.

And what’s this “voice opportunity” you speak of, Commish?

The SEC plans to create athlete leadership councils to engage players’ ideas. What this doesn’t signify, at least not yet, is SEC athletes having votes on conference issues, as the Pac-12 now allows.

“That’s not developed yet — not to say it will or won’t,” Sankey said. “One of the challenges is given the seasons and schedules, how do you interact with football and men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes? We’ve been intentional about wanting to implement something that is fresh and that’s sustainable.”

Oh.

One thing I might note besides the utter toothlessness of the proposal is that it’s kind of hard to interact with your football and men’s basketball student-athletes when you don’t even bother to invite them to your spring meetings.

Then, again, I suppose in certain quarters that’s a feature, not a bug.

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, SEC Football

Are we witnessing the end of the “Just win, baby” era?

Ivan Maisel believes we’re at the dawning of a new age of accountability in college athletics.

Mark this day down. Turn the corner of this page in the college football family bible. Someone in the gridiron-industrial complex stood up and said some standards are more important than winning.

Baylor will fire head coach Art Briles, who in the past five years has won 50 games and two Big 12 Conference championships. The university also forced president Kenneth Starr to relinquish the job and reprimanded athletic director Ian McCaw. But Starr will be university chancellor, and McCaw will still be AD. Briles received the harshest punishment…

… Briles’ dismissal is different from Barry Switzer being forced out at Oklahoma, or Jim Tressel at Ohio State, to name two other highly successful coaches who lost their jobs because of their program’s misdeeds off the field. Oklahoma and Ohio State live among the blue bloods of the sport. Both programs regained their status within college football and maintain it to the present day.

You know what else is different?  Money is at stake at Baylor.  Lots of money, both in terms of the existing lawsuits and the federal threat of withholding funds due to Title IX noncompliance.  Tressel made the mistake of lying to the NCAA, which is a long way off from the ugly situation in Waco.

So, yeah,

We demand greater adherence to community standards of good behavior. Coaches must treat players well. Players must treat other students with respect. The double standard is the exception, no longer the rule.

But FSU just swung through another ugly situation with Jameis Winston and last I checked, nobody’s lost a job there.  And don’t get me started on the doings at Tennessee, other than to say if there’s ultimately a settlement, we’ll see how many heads roll as a result.

Old habits die hard, you know.  I expect this one’s got a little life left in it.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment