Category Archives: The Body Is A Temple

Louisiana fat

I get this.  I mean, totally.

Travin Dural’s entree of choice during his convalescence from hamstring surgery last off-season was, you might say, an off menu item as far as the LSU training table was concerned.

Popeyes fried chicken. He found it side-sticking good.

“Yeah, Popeyes was putting a lot of weight on me,” the fifth-year senior wide receiver from Breaux Bridge said this week, skillfully transferring the blame.

His mother, Tamika Dural, noticed an obvious change.

“I went home one day, and my mom was like, ‘Man, you look stuffed,’” Dural said. “So, that’s when I knew it was time for change. I was almost 230 pounds in the spring and I played at 203 last year.”

Who among us can argue?  Let he who is without sin cast the first gnawed chicken carcass.  Spicy, of course.


Filed under The Body Is A Temple

There’s preseason happy talk and then there are numbers.

I guess the strength and conditioning coaches have been busy this summer.

Fifty-nine players weigh more than they did since the last updated roster, including 21 by double digits after an offseason under new coach Scott Sinclair and staff.

The biggest gainers in listed weight were freshman quarterback Jacob Eason and offensive tackle/tight end Aulden Bynum each up 24 pounds. Eason, nicknamed “Skinny”, is now listed at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds. Bynum goes 6-5 and 292.

Quarterback Greyson Lambert also is up 14 pounds to 6-5 and 234 pounds. Brice Ramsey is up 3 to 6–3 and 210.

Running back Nick Chubb is up eight pounds to 228.

Sam Pittman wants his offensive line to be supersized: Dyshon Sims is up 16 pounds to 309 and Brandon Kublanow up 11 to 293 and 6-6 Sam Madden up 12 to 334.

“Big Country” Ben Cleveland isn’t quite as big. The 6-foot-6 freshman dropped four pounds to 341. Freshman Solomon Kindley was listed at 370 entering but he’s now at 336.

The defensive line also has more beef.

DaQuan Hawkins is up 18 to 320 and Michael Barnett 16 to 292.

Outside linebacker Chuks Amaechi now is 250, up 20 pounds.

Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick drew praise for the shape he is in from Kirby Smart. He’s down 10 pounds to 238. Freshman defensive lineman Michail Carter (if this isn’t a misprint) had the biggest drop in weight down 24 to 293.

By the way, muscular Elijah Holyfield, the freshman running back, is listed at 5-11, 215, up six pounds.

Of course, we’ve seen weight changes in summers before.  What we don’t know until we see them play is to what end they’ve been made.

It’s also worth remembering that while the team will be on its third offensive coordinator in three years, the changeover in S&C has almost kept pace, as I believe this marks the third head strength coach in four seasons.  Is one offseason enough for a complete remake of what went before?  You got me.


Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

“The strength coach knows more about the team than anybody in the building.”

Here’s a good New York Times piece on why people like Alabama’s Scott Cochran are making the big bucks.

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Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple

“This is a very high-value lawsuit.”

Word comes that the parties to the suit filed by the parents of Derek Sheely, the football player who died from concussion-related injuries, have reached a settlement.

The Board of Public Works approved the state’s part of the deal Wednesday. The three-member panel voted in favor of the proposed $50,000 payout to the family of Derek Sheely, who died in 2011 after he collapsed on the practice field from a traumatic brain injury.

The Maryland attorney general’s office became involved because the family filed a $1.6 million lawsuit that named three state employees — two coaches and an assistant trainer at Frostburg — among the defendants.

While the state financial settlement is relatively small, the potential reach of the case is significant.

The lead defendant is the NCAA, the governing body for college athletics in the United States. In recent years, the NCAA has come under fire for its reluctance to impose rules on colleges and universities for recognizing and preventing potentially lethal concussion-related injuries.

If you’ll recall, this is the litigation that brought out the NCAA’s callousness to an unprecedented level, which is saying something.  Even the grand poobah admitted that.

By settling, the NCAA and the other defendants can avoid the publicity of a high-profile trial. Among those who could have been called to testify was NCAA President Mark Emmert, who said in a deposition in the case that he had not heard of second-impact syndrome.

The family contends that the NCAA has known of the syndrome’s danger since the 1990s.

Emmert told Congress in 2014 that the NCCA made a “terrible choice of words” when it contended in the Sheely case that it had no legal duty to protect student-athletes.

What’s worth keeping an eye on here is the remedy that the two sides are in the process of fashioning in the settlement.  It’s not about the money, apparently, as there’s only $50,000 being paid and Sheely’s parents aren’t keeping that.

The $50,000 settlement with Maryland would go to a foundation named after Derek Sheely.

Among the changes the Sheelys have sought are a ban on certain football drills, limits on practices, and suspensions for coaches who violate rules that protect athletes’ health. They have also called for more education about concussions, and for NCAA investigations in cases such as their son’s.

Is the NCAA really prepared after all this time to put some real teeth into practice protocol?  I have no idea, but will note this was announced yesterday:

The NCAA football oversight committee recommended Division I football programs hold only one “live-contact” practice per week.

The current guidelines, which are not enforceable rules, allow two live practices per week. The new guidelines announced Wednesday will take effect this season.

I’m sure you know the difference between a recommendation and a requirement.  So do college coaches.


Filed under See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

“Where’s the stats?”

There seems to be some resistance in the coaching ranks to eliminating kickoffs.  I almost hate to say it, but Bobby Petrino has a point.

“They always come out and say it would help with concussions but nobody shows you the statistics,” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. “Does it really help? One year we didn’t like that the ball was being kicked out of the end zone so we moved it back so we’d get more returns. It’s kind of who’s the special interest on it. It’s always been a big part of the football game, but if it is causing injuries and it’s something that we need to take away to improve that, we could get away with it. But is it really?”

We know why the chatter’s there.  The NCAA is finally waking up, not out of some idealistic concern about players’ well being, but because the lawsuit threat is gaining serious traction.  Petrino’s right to insist that a knee-jerk reaction to that isn’t the best way to address the problem.  It’s just that it’s all the NCAA’s got right now to show the world — okay, plaintiffs’ lawyers — that it cares.

I hate to drag the NFL into the discussion, but if the schools want to show they’re truly getting serious, maybe the conferences ought to take a page out of this book and start fining the crap out of programs that don’t adhere to strict concussion policies.  Money seems to be the one language that every school understands these days.


Filed under The Body Is A Temple

“Take their heads out of the game”

A University of Georgia researcher suggests that football rules need to focus on two things in an effort to reduce head injuries:

“When you combine a three-point stance with running a long distance, it results in the most severe head impacts,” said Schmidt, who studies concussions in the college’s department of kinesiology. “So that points toward a need for rule changes that emphasize the combination of the two if we’re going to reduce head impact severity.”

She also suggests that focused coaching would help.

Because the study focused on high school players, who have a tendency to change positions throughout their time on a team, she suggested coaches and administrators emphasize good tackling techniques by teaching proper head and body positioning.

Shockingly, no mention made there about targeting penalties or replay officials.  Eh, scientists.


Filed under The Body Is A Temple

Kicking out the kickoff?

They’re talking about it — fairly seriously, from what it sounds like.

However, rules changes typically bubble up to the committee from coaches and administrators. The AFCA acts in an advisory role to the NCAA rules committee. The oversight committee vets any changes by the rules committee before approving them.

“I’m excited we’re starting to have this discussion,” said Todd Berry, AFCA executive director. “It looks like the data is skewed where we have more injuries on that play. If that’s the case, we have to look at eliminating the play, modifying the play, change blocking schemes.”

Berry spent 14 years as a head coach. He replaced Grant Teaff this year as the top AFCA executive.

“It’s a very, very, very in-depth conversation of how it [kickoffs] affects the game,” said Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, an AFCA trustee.

Don’t know what they would replace it with, but if they wind up with a straight out place-the-ball-on-the-30-and-go result, what impact would that have on walk-ons?  For that matter, what impact would it have on the 85-man scholarship limit?  Would you need the same roster size in a world without kickoffs?


Filed under College Football, The Body Is A Temple