Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree.

One of my favorite bits from Dan Wolken’s “Dysfunctional Georgia” piece from a couple of weeks ago was this stellar list of worthies that “Georgia could and should pursue, according to multiple people in the industry”:  Jimbo Fisher, Dabo Swinney, Mark Dantonio, David Shaw, Jim Mora, Gary Patterson and James Franklin.

This is how one of those coaching studs reacted last night during a loss to Washington State.

I would pay good money to see/hear Greg McGarity’s reaction to a coach trying that on him.

Maybe Wolken needs to find some new insiders.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Pac-12 Football

Sometimes, it pays to stay up late.

If you didn’t stay awake for the Stanford-UCLA game, you missed this:

And check out David Shaw’s reaction.

Classic.

23 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

“We support all our coaches 100 percent until they’re not our coaches.”

I’m no fan of Junior, but even I thought this was a little cold at the time:

Haden fired Kiffin hours after the game, when the team arrived back in Los Angeles at 3 a.m. Kiffin was called off the team bus that was preparing to head to campus from Los Angeles International Airport and taken to a small room inside the terminal where Haden told Kiffin he was being dismissed.

Yeah, that’ll humble a guy.

But Haden managed to top that with his abrupt firing of Steve Sarkisian.

Yecch.

The amazing thing is that Pat Haden, who hired Sarkisian who hired and fired both of them, not only still has a job, but the confidence of his boss.

That should come as a real comfort to the next guy Haden hires.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

“You must be a lot better at learning football than you are at math.”

This is probably going to come off sounding a lot more critical than I mean for it to be, but it’s kind of amazing that Georgia can’t fix on a starting quarterback in half a year’s time, while Oregon’s found one in two weeks.

20 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

He’ll be here all season, folks. Try the veal.

Honestly, given the constant pressure in coaches’ lives to enjoy any semblance of normality, I’m surprised we don’t hear more of this kind of stuff generally.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

Larry Scott’s modesty

Well, now we know who doesn’t have the biggest Johnson.

If you don’t got it, don’t flaunt it, I guess.

8 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

The Pac-12’s big maybe

Boy, if there was ever a “devil is in the details” proposal, this is it.

The Pac-12 is believed to be the first conference to direct schools to pay post-college medical costs for sports-related injuries that an athlete suffered at their school. What eligibility criteria is used by Pac-12 schools will help determine how much help former athletes receive and at what costs without people abusing the benefit. The new practice could also set a blueprint for the NCAA or other conferences to follow or avoid.

Pac-12 schools must provide direct medical expenses for at least four years following the athlete’s graduation or separation from the university, or until the athlete turns 26 years old, whichever occurs first. The timeframe for coverage was chosen in part because by the age of 26 a person is covered by the Affordable Care Act.

There’s a “but” coming, I can feel it.

Each school will establish its own policies and procedures to determine who is eligible for the benefit. The conference office has no role in oversight, leaving Pac-12 schools to figure out the best approach.

Let the head scratching commence.

“It’s going to be hard to calculate,” Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said. “When was the injury created? How will we do it? We want to do the right thing and try to help out, and wherever it lands I’m going to support it. But I’m not sure right now what that is.”

The Pac-12 bylaw states that a school’s policies to determine eligibility “may include the required disclosure of pre-existing conditions not related to participation in intercollegiate athletics, mandatory reporting of injuries suffered during athletics participation at the institution, required participation in an exit physical upon graduation or separation from the institution, and other criteria that an institution deems appropriate.” In other words, Pac-12 schools are on their own to figure this out.

“It’s such a difficult thing to wrap your head around because what’s continuation of a problem and what’s a new problem?” Arizona athletic trainer Randy Cohen said. “How do you handle people who continue to do activities and maybe you recommend they don’t continue doing that? We really want to take care of these kids. But at what point is it the risk of playing sports and having injuries versus we hurt you?”

Most likely, Pac-12 schools will use exit medical evaluations of players to determine eligibility and buy insurance policies that carry stipulations, such as for in-network and out-of-network coverage. However, Cohen said finding insurance to cover an injury for four years out is difficult because most providers want a condition treated within two years. Cohen said Arizona will likely add four years to its insurance plan at a cost of a couple hundred thousand dollars a year, and require that for athletes to have costs covered they show a preexisting injury, undergo a departing physical when leaving the college, and demonstrate they followed recommendations for their health.

Cohen, who chairs the college committee for the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, rattles off potential challenges to managing the Pac-12 rule. What if an ex-player elects for surgery against the wishes of medical experts who say surgery will only make the injury worse? Is the school responsible for that surgery and if the injury worsens? Does the university get portrayed as the bad guy in the media if the former player tells the public the school wouldn’t pay its costs?

How should caring for mental health related to concussions be treated? If a school agrees with research that shows hits to the head can cause long-term brain damage, that degenerative process might not occur until after the Pac-12’s four-year window. So should there be payments to the athlete if dementia occurs 20 years later?

What if a gymnast tore an ACL in college that leaves her with an arthritic knee, she runs marathons two years later, and tells the school her knee is bothering her and needs to be treated? Then what if a 225-pound football player left college saying his knee felt fine, blew up to 300 pounds after his career ended and has a bad knee while mainly sitting on the couch?

“Do I not take care of the girl when she’s exercising and making it worse, but I take care of the guy who’s doing absolutely nothing and gaining 75 pounds?” Cohen asked. “Most people logically would say if you’re doing something that aggregates the knee, don’t pay them. But on the other end, if the guy does nothing to help his knee, how do I balance those two? We don’t want to encourage people not to have active lives after they’ve stopped playing. I don’t have an answer to that.”

At some point in time, you figure these guys are just gonna throw up their hands and decide it’ll be easier to deal with a players’ union.

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Filed under Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football, The Body Is A Temple