Category Archives: SEC Football

“Laremy knows exactly who was behind this. We all do.”

Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

— Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of Silver Blaze”

In the case of Laremy Tunsil, what’s curious isn’t that the dog has done nothing.  It’s that nobody wants the dog to make a sound.

 

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3 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, The NCAA

The Missouri Way?

Here’s an interesting tale from Mizzou.  Apparently, head coach Barry Odom wants to flip the field, so to speak, because he sees a coaching advantage in that.

Missouri football coach Barry Odom wants to switch the team sidelines on Faurot Field, a move that would require some seating changes and has at least one student organization unhappy about the proposal.

Odom and members of Mizzou athletics department met with student leaders from nine different campus organizations last Thursday to discuss Odom’s proposed changes, MU athletics spokesman Nick Joos said. Odom wants the Tigers’ bench to be moved from the east sideline to the west sideline at Memorial Stadium and the visiting team moved to the east sideline.

Odom believes there are competitive advantages to having his team on the west side, Joos said. For one, during game days, the team on the west side is in the shade and not staring into the sun on the hotter side of the field. Also, Odom believes the opposing coaches in the west-side press box have a clearer view of coaches’ signals and personnel moves that come from the east sideline.

“There’s an opportunity from a signal standpoint and formation standpoint and even and players entering and exiting the game that it gives you a better (chance to) disguise, for the lack of a better word, when you’re on the press box side as opposed to being more open on the east side,” Joos said.

There are two obstacles, though.  The first — you can file this one under “Things I Did Not Know” — is a conference rule.

There’s a Southeastern Conference rule that states home student sections are prohibited between the 30-yard lines and up through 25 rows behind the visiting team’s bench. In the stadium’s current seating design, student seating takes up the sections directly behind the east team sideline. Under the proposal, those seats behind the visitor’s bench would be filled by fans from the visiting team.

“By SEC rule you have to give the visiting team 1,000 seats in the lower bowl,” Joos said. “They would fill in 1,000 of those (seats). Then we’d start a young alumni and recent grad ticket program for inexpensive season tickets over there (behind the visiting fans.) Player guests seating would be over there, too.”

The first obstacle leads to the second one.

That arrangement would displace some student sections to the outer margins of the front sections along the east side, outside the 30-yard lines.

Only one student group, Tiger’s Lair, was resistant to the proposal, Joos said. The Tiger’s Lair is the school’s “official student cheering section for the Missouri Tigers,” according to the organization’s web site. “The Tiger’s Lair promotes school spirit and excitement at all home football games through the performance of organized card stunts and cheers, and by providing a great environment for costumes and spirited signs,” the site states. “Members of the section are recognized as the wildest, most dedicated, and most enthusiastic at Mizzou football games.”

In a statement sent to the Post-Dispatch, the student organization declined comment, saying only, “Tiger’s Lair is examining the situation and refraining from comments at this time until we gather more information on this matter.”

The Tiger’s Lair later released a statement, saying the proposal will result in “a dramatic disinterest in Mizzou Football” and cited the section’s challenges related to lower enrollment numbers and “a reduced desire for season tickets from current students due to the performance of the team.”

Here’s the statement:

If that’s accurate, the change would move the student section from its current position near the action to the end zone.  If so, then, yeah, I can see how that would be a downer.

So what we have here, it appears, is a conflict between the kids who go to the school and want to support the team, the head coach who’s paid to win football games and an obscure SEC rule that exists to make sure good seats go to the paying public.  Sounds like college football, circa 2017, in a nutshell, doesn’t it?

When the people running college sports wake up in twenty or so years wondering where the paying customers went, this will just be chalked up as another minor moment of cluelessness.  Too late by then, of course.

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UPDATE:  Bill Connelly assumes this storm will blow over “if Mizzou puts a good product on the field again”.  Gee, that’s a familiar sounding tune.

12 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Today, in I don’t think that word means what you think it means

This is al.com’s idea of Greg Sankey “addressing” speculation on conference expansion:

Southeastern Conference commissioner Greg Sankey declined to deny whether the conference has privately explored expanding in an attempt to be the first league with 16 teams.

“I’ll let others discuss expansion publicly,” Sankey said, adding that he thought he answered the question “directly.”

I doubt even Sankey believes that.

29 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Second chance, with an asterisk

Greg Sankey puts a “not so fast, my friend” on the possibility of D’antne Demery to another SEC program.

“At the time of a National Letter of Intent is signed an SEC financial aid agreement is signed as well and in there is a recruiting prohibition. So the other schools in the league are prohibited in the league are prohibited from recruiting individuals who signed that agreement and that’s in place right now, for each signee.”

Whether that would apply if the individual in question spent a couple of years playing JUCO ball and then sought admission to an SEC school is a question for another day, but the way Sankey phrased that makes me think if Demery kept his nose clean, so to speak, he’d be able to work his way back.

3 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, SEC Football

“Now you can agree or disagree with that policy, but that’s the policy.”

When it comes to the SEC’s policy on selling alcohol in the general seating area, Greg Sankey’s not sayin’, he’s just sayin’.  If you know what I mean…

7 Comments

Filed under I'll Drink To That, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football

Surrender. But don’t give yourself away.

Looks like one of Greg Sankey’s noble stands is about to bite the proverbial dust.

Malik Zaire has been a popular topic for Gator Nation this offseason.

The former Notre Dame quarterback has interest in joining the Florida football program as a graduate transfer, but for now he is on standby.

An SEC rule instituted in Jan. 2016 prevents UF from taking Zaire because former grad trnasfer Mason Halter and Antony Harrell failed to meet academic requirements in 2015.

However, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in December that the league could alter the rule at its spring meetings in late May. Sankey reiterated those comments Friday on the Pat Dooley Show on ESPN Gainesville 98. 1 FM.

“It will come up,” Sankey said. “I do think we need to look where we’ve been restrictive in the past because of the absence of national rules and look at reducing some of those restrictions. I’m one who would position it as interest in freeing things up without just removing every restraint, because I think the restraints have been healthy for us.”

At this time, the SEC is the only conference with a grad transfer rule in place. Sankey said he’s disappointed that the NCAA has not taken a harder look at the issue.

“There’s this notion that they’ve graduated, so let them just have freedom,” Sankey said. “I don’t necessarily argue with that, but there’s nothing in the context of intercollegiate athletics that says, ‘Oh, just go play games.’ We never say that.”

“I look at it now and say that we’ve adjusted to realities, and we likely can pull back on some of those internal policies. … I don’t want us to just walk away. I do think it’s a good conversation to adjust because we are performing (better academically).”

Eh, what’s the big deal about graduation, anyway?  Besides, now that you’ve adjusted to realities (Translation:  the other conferences are taking the kids we’re having to turn away because of our rule), the spin becomes rather obvious.

There will be another hill to die on retreat from soon enough.

13 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., SEC Football

Does D’Antne Demery get a second chance?

Before you get all Jonathan Taylor Rule on me, consider something Mark Schlabach wrote.

In May 2015, Georgia officials proposed a conference-wide rule that was eventually adopted by the SEC that banned its schools from accepting transfer athletes who were dismissed from their previous institution for serious misconduct, which includes sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence.

Georgia officials proposed the rule after it dismissed defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor in 2014, after he was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly hitting his girlfriend with a closed fist and choking her during an argument in his dorm room.

Taylor spent the 2014 season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi and enrolled at Alabama in January 2015. The Crimson Tide dismissed him two months later after he was arrested again on domestic violence charges in Tuscaloosa. Taylor pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief in the Alabama incident, and he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor simple assault, battery and simple battery in the Georgia incident.

The SEC considered expanding the rule to include incoming freshmen last year, after Mississippi State allowed freshman defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons to enroll. He was caught on video delivering several punches to the upper body and head of a woman who was on the ground after she fought with his sister.

That sound you hear is Rodney Garner reaching for his cellphone.

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UPDATE:  That he said, she said stuff is complicated.

21 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, SEC Football