Boom goes the NCAA’s dynamite.

Ole Miss, when you find yourself spending more than 20 minutes explaining your response to the latest round of NCAA’s Notice of Allegations, you’re losing.

These are the three allegations the school won’t challenge

1. The first allegation – it is alleged that a prospective student-athlete (Prospective Student-Athlete A) went hunting near campus on private land owned by a booster during his official visit in 2013 and on two or three occasions after he enrolled, and that the access to this land was arranged by the football program. This has been alleged as a Level III violation.

2. The second allegation – it is alleged that between March 2014 and January 2015, a former staff member (Former Staff Member A) impermissibly arranged for recruiting inducements in the form of lodging and transportation for one prospective student-athlete (Prospective Student-Athlete B) (who enrolled at another institution) and his companions on several visits to campus and for the impermissible transportation of another prospective student-athlete (Prospective Student-Athlete C) on one occasion. The total value of the lodging and/or transportation between the two prospective student-athletes is alleged to be $2,272. It is also alleged that the football program provided approximately $235 in free meals to Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution) and Prospective Student-Athlete C and the friends of Prospective Student-Athlete B during recruiting visits in this same timeframe. The allegation is alleged as a Level I violation.

3. Third, it is alleged that Former Staff Member A violated the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly committed NCAA recruiting violations between March 2014 and February 2015 and when he knowingly provided false or misleading information to the institution and enforcement staff in 2016. This is charged as a Level I violation.

Then, there’s one the school may or may not challenge.

4. In the fourth allegation, it is alleged that between April 2014 and February 2015, Former Staff Member A initiated and facilitated two boosters having impermissible contact with Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution). It is further alleged that these two boosters provided Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution) with impermissible cash payments during that timeframe and that Former Staff Member A knew about the cash payments. The value of the alleged inducements according to the NCAA is between $13,000 and $15,600. This is charged as a Level I violation.

The rest they intend to fight.

5. Allegation number five – It is alleged that one former staff member (Former Staff Member B) arranged for a friend of the family of Prospective Student-Athlete D to receive impermissible merchandise from a store owned by a booster on one occasion in 2013 and that Former Staff Member A arranged for Prospective Student-Athletes B and E (both student-athletes enrolled at another institution) to receive merchandise in 2014, 15, and 16. The value of the alleged impermissible recruiting inducements is approximately $2,800 and is charged as a Level I violation.

6. Number six – It is alleged and we will contest that, in 2014 a current football coach had impermissible, in-person, off-campus contact with Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution). This allegation is charged as a Level III violation.

7. Allegation seven – It is alleged that a booster provided money, food and drinks to Prospective Student-Athlete B (who enrolled at another institution) and his companions at the booster’s restaurant on two-to-three unspecified dates between March 2014 and January 2015.   The value of the alleged inducements is between $200 and $600. This allegation is charged as a Level I violation that we will contest.

8. Another Allegation that we will contest is number eight – It is alleged that the head football coach violated head coach responsibility legislation. This allegation is not based upon personal involvement in violations by Coach Freeze but because he is presumed responsible for the allegation involving his staff that occurred between October 2012 and January 2016. Although we disagree, according to the NCAA, Coach Freeze has not rebutted the presumption that he is responsible for his staff’s actions. This is charged as a Level I violation.

9. Finally, allegation nine – It is alleged that the scope and nature of the violations demonstrate that the university lacked institutional control and failed to monitor the conduct and administration of its athletics program.  This charge replaces the more limited failure to monitor charge in the January 2016 Notice of Allegations.  This is charged as a Level I violation that we will contest.

The last two are the real killers.  If you want the Cliff’s Notes version, Ole Miss is about to get seriously hammered.

To give you a rough idea of how serious this has gotten for the school, Ole Miss’ starting position is a self-imposed postseason ban for 2017.  There’s real money tied to that, too.

I bet there are a few tweets Bjork and Freeze wish they could have back now.  Have fun on the recruiting trail with this, fellas.  On the bright side, none of it has anything to do with Tunsil.  Stepdad must have made a helluva convincing witness.

I’m sure Greg Sankey’s a happy commissioner right now.  It would serve the SEC right if Ole Miss won the West this season.

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UPDATE:  Best complaint ever.

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22 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

Don’t even think about leaving.

The buyout provisions of Major Applewhite’s first contract with Houston are something to behold.

If Houston were to fire Applewhite, the school would owe him the base salary — $650,000 — for each year remaining on the deal. But if Applewhite were to leave, he would owe the full $1.5 million — that’s his base salary plus “non-salary compensation” — for every year remaining on the deal plus any buyouts owed to assistant coaches not retained by the new head coach.

Hell’s bells, no wonder Junior’s not coaching there.

12 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

A Champion of Life departs.

One of the two remaining original staffers Booch brought to UT is leaving for the same job in the NFL.  Gettin’ out while the gettin’ is good?

9 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Recruiting the recruiters

If Jim McElwain’s two most recent coaching hires live up to their reps, in state Florida recruiting is gonna be more brutal than ever, especially when you think about the new coaches at the mid-major programs there.

Mark Richt had better step up and do his job in South Florida.  Hurting the Gators’ recruiting efforts is good for both Miami and Georgia.

15 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

“Who replaces Isaiah McKenzie?”

It’s a good question, but the more relevant one is who blocks for who replaces Isaiah McKenzie?

Even with McKenzie, Georgia’s return teams have been substandard for years.  Here’s how they’ve ranked in conference play for the last four seasons:

KICKOFF RETURNS

  • 2016:  9th
  • 2015:  12th
  • 2014:  7th
  • 2013:  14th

PUNT RETURNS

  • 2016:  6th
  • 2015:  5th
  • 2014:  5th
  • 2013:  14th

McKenzie certainly had a noticeable impact on punt returns, but overall, that doesn’t exactly paint a picture of excellence for Georgia’s special teams.

As Seth notes, it’s not as if Smart lacks for options when it comes to returners.  But it won’t matter much if they can’t find some players who can set up the returns with consistent blocking.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Close, but no ceegar

Your reminder of how 2016’s 7-5 regular season could have been:

Georgia is one late, fourth-down touchdown catch by Isaiah McKenzie (against Missouri) away from going 0-4 last season against the teams it will face in this four-game stretch. Of course, the Bulldogs also came close to going 3-1 against Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Mizzou and Florida.

The only game that was out of reach was a 24-10 loss to Florida where Georgia mustered all of 164 yards of total offense. But had the Bulldogs not surrendered an unbelievable Hail Mary touchdown on the final play against Tennessee, and had their offense not faltered late in a 17-16 loss against Vanderbilt, the narrative from Kirby Smart’s debut season as Georgia’s head coach would be slightly more positive. As it stands, it was a disappointing first season for Smart marred by losses in three of the four biggest games on the schedule: Georgia Tech, Florida, Auburn and Tennessee.

“Slightly”?  Win those Tennessee and Vandy games, and they roll into Jacksonville with a 6-1 record, 4-1 in the conference, and a completely different mindset.

Of course, they’ve got to run the same gauntlet again this season, with only one of the four games in Athens.  If we’re looking for a measuring stick for improvement in Smart’s second season, it starts with going better than 1-3 (barely) against that bunch.

42 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

When Nick met Jesse

This may be your ultimate “doesn’t have time for this shit” moment.

The coach said the visit reminded him of a conversation he once had with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spoke at LSU at Saban’s request when he coached there. “He said, ‘You know, Nick, your stadium, Tiger Stadium at the time, on a Saturday night is closer to the Kingdom of God than my church,”’ Saban said. “I looked at him like come on, man, you’ve got to be kidding me. First of all, if you’ve ever been to a game at LSU, you can smell the bourbon from the 50-yard line. Everybody celebrates life. Everybody has a party out there.”

Bullshit detector:  on.

LSU football:  getting closer to Gawd with booze.

2 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, Nick Saban Rules