Mike Leach, I love ‘ya, but no…
Boy, there’s enough to read between the lines in that Weiszer article to make War and Peace feel like a short story.
I see another Greg McGarity PR campaign has been launched. He’s tough, but often misunderstood. Just ask him.
“You have to understand that the decisions that you make will always be challenged by everyone,” he said. “Maybe not challenged, but questioned. …I’ve always felt like any decision that’s made is made in the best interest of the institution. Sometimes that’s not in the best interest of an individual or a team or a coach or what have you. …I think sometimes people assume, they guess. They might read what’s on social media and then they form their opinion at that time. A lot of people voice frustration, they don’t understand. We are basically limited at times to talk about it until it’s all over. The hope is people would trust you to make the right decisions.”
The funny thing about this is that events of the past six months have overtaken the concerns about a dysfunctional program many of us had last December. Immediately after the bowl game, this comment would have had me stewing. Now, I find that I can’t get worked up about it anymore. So feel free to keep spinning, Greg. As long as everyone associated with the program appears to be rowing in the same direction, the rest doesn’t matter to me.
Instead of Jim Delany’s blanket ineligibility proposal for incoming freshmen student-athletes, the Mississippi State coach offers something more nuanced to help kids adjust: Any player above the NCAA’s new core grade-point-average requirement should get five years of eligibility instead of the standard four.
As he explains it, here’s what you’d get with that.
“You might take a freshman and they are being punished for having better grades. They might be forced to play even though they needed a redshirt year,” Mullen says. “One of the thoughts I had was there’s a mandatory academic redshirt year for a certain group of people…well, if you are above that new standard you should get five years of eligibility. Why punish someone who might be forced to have to play?
“Instead of punishing guys for doing bad, why not reward guys for doing good?”
Well, that’s nice, but he’s a coach, so you can figure there’s another agenda lurking in the background. And there is.
His idea is to counteract the NCAA’s requirement, set to go into effect August 2016, which requires prospective student-athletes to have a minimum GPA of 2.3. If the recruits can’t hit that 2.3 GPA figure but are above the old 2.0 scale, they’d be forced to take an academic redshirt year. The NCAA also raised its sliding scale based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores, and now requires recruits to have completed 10 of their 16 core classes before their senior year.
Mullen imagines a hypothetical scenario in which multiple players have to take an academic redshirt year, and how that’d force other guys into playing time before they might be ready. That’s the impetus behind his push to give those players an extra year of eligibility.
If Mullen’s idea were passed, it could dramatically change the way programs recruit. Schools would still recruit talented players with shaky transcripts, but the benefits of signing a stronger student would be big when another year of eligibility is on the table. It would even the scales a bit for programs with tough admissions standards.
So what he’s really after is more signing flexibility. That, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (In fact, if it leads to less pressure on coaches to futz with players’ grades, it’s likely a good thing.) But the bottom line here is that this is about giving guys like him a lifeline to be able to manage continuing to bring in athletic talent that isn’t so talented in the classroom. And to the extent that eases the pressure on high schools and high schoolers to bring their academic efforts up to a more serious level, that isn’t such a good thing.
What do y’all think?
Why does seemingly every advanced stats projection of the 2015 season favor Georgia more than we do?
The huge jump in Alabama’s COA stipend came as a result of transportation expenses being increased by 42% for in state students and a whopping 75.4% for out of state enrollees.
I guess everybody flies first class to Birmingham and takes a limo from there.
On the surface, that’s the kind of talk we typically hear in late July as we get ready for the start of preseason practice. But under the surface, I think it’s indicative of something more important that really is worth appreciating.
Special teams are where you really notice a team’s quality depth. And because of Richt’s questionable roster management practices over the 2009-2013 period, quality depth was lacking. How could it not be, with a roster that at one point had fewer than 70 scholarship players on it? If Richt now observes that there are more athletes on special teams, there’s only one reason for that.
Quite simply, Richt’s got more scholarship bodies to work with. And that is a welcome development.
There are certainly things Richt’s done that are worthy of criticism. But he also deserves credit for learning from his mistakes and making the effort to overcome them. If you’re like me and think that the hesitant way he managed the numbers on Georgia’s roster was his most egregious, then this is a good sign. It’s talk that makes me happy for the right reason.