Category Archives: The NCAA

Early, but not too early

In light of coaches’ strong opposition, the NCAA’s Division I Council drops consideration of a proposal for an early June signing period.  (Another early signing period in December is still a possibility.)

Control, for the win.

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Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

Tough guy

Willie Taggart is Oregon’s new head coach and like many of his ilk, wasted little time in regime change.  This time of year, that means tougher strength and conditioning work, under the direction of a new S&C coach he brought in.

Things are going swimmingly.

At least three Oregon Ducks football players were hospitalized after enduring a series of grueling strength and conditioning workouts at UO last week, The Oregonian/OregonLive has learned.

Offensive linemen Doug Brenner and Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick are in fair condition and remained at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield on Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said. They have been in the hospital since late last week after workouts that occurred during the team’s return from holiday break.

Poutasi’s mother, Oloka, said that her son complained of very sore arms after the workouts and had been diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, a syndrome in which soft muscle tissue is broken down with “leakage into the blood stream of muscle contents,” according to the NCAA medical handbook. Depending on the severity, it has the potential to lead to damaged kidneys.

Nice.  But the school is very sorry.

“The safety and welfare of all of our student-athletes is paramount in all that we do,” Oregon wrote in a statement on behalf of the entire athletic department. “While we cannot comment on the health of our individual students, we have implemented modifications as we transition back into full training to prevent further occurrences.

“We thank our medical staff and trainers for their continued monitoring of the students and we will continue to support our young men as they recover.”

Actually, I have to give Oregon a little more credit than that.

The University of Oregon suspended football strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde one month without pay after three players were hospitalized following a series of intense workouts last week.

The school announced the decision in a statement Tuesday evening and detailed a review of the incident. It added that all future workouts have been modified and the strength and conditioning coach will now report to director of performance and sports science Andrew Murray instead of coach Willie Taggart, who apologized in the statement.  [Emphasis added.]

Oregon’s statement detailed that players began an off-season conditioning program last Tuesday after six weeks away from “football-related activities” and Oderinde led those workouts.

I wonder how many other D-1 head coaches have lost control over their strength and conditioning programs after only one month on the job.  For that matter, I wonder how many other D-1 head coaches have lost control over their strength and conditioning programs.

But here’s what I really don’t get.

The NCAA medical handbook listed “novel workouts or exercises immediately following a transitional period” such as a winter break as one of its 10 factors that can increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis. It also cautioned that “all training programs should start slowly, build gradually, include adequate rest and allow for individual differences.”

The NCAA constantly blathers about its concern for the well-being of student-athletes.  Where is it in this mess?  The reason this came to light was because of media reports.  But for that, it’s likely that Taggart wouldn’t have been penalized.  Is waving a medical handbook the best the organization can offer?  Don’t answer that…

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Filed under The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Mean Coaches

Hugh Freeze, topic of conversation:

Many conversations in the hallways and lobbies inside Opryland Hotel centered on Ole Miss. Coaches here anticipate NCAA sanctions for the Rebels in the next two or three months — presuming there is not another round of investigation, which still remains a possibility.

Some coaches and industry sources are of the opinion that the results will wind up costing coach Hugh Freeze his job. One of those sources said he believes Freeze “is on the hot seat as much as any coach in the country.”

Another coach pointed out that skepticism — and maybe jealousy, to some extent — is perhaps causing coaches to wish for doom in Oxford more than it will actually come. But even those close to the program seem to be bracing for NCAA impact.

At their most optimistic, people inside the football building are hopeful that, like the Miami case, the hovering cloud and perpetual fear wind up being worse than the punishment itself.

“With the NCAA, you just never know,” one industry source said. “Impossible to predict.”

Vultures, vultures everywhere.

If coaches are saying this to the media, one can only guess what they’re saying to recruits and their families.  The great thing is that they can play the faux concern card on the recruiting trail and still get plenty of mileage out of the sheer uncertainty surrounding the program right now.  In that light, another round of NCAA investigation putting off Judgment Day a while longer would be a bug, not a feature, for Freeze.

By the way, Ole Miss currently sits next to last in the current 247 SEC team recruiting rankings.

17 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

A dollar here and a dollar there

Penn State’s financial fallout from the Sandusky scandal approaches a quarter-billion dollars.

The NCAA got the biggest chunk of that, but I bet there are days now when Mark Emmert tells himself he could have gotten more.

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Filed under The NCAA, You Can't Put A Price Tag On Joe Paterno's Legacy

Jeez, Freeze.

I’m no fan of the man, but as cringeworthy as the comment is, I almost hope this is a misunderstanding.

Calloway told reporters during the Under Armour Combine Media Day earlier this week about how Freeze is describing the investigation with recruits.

Q: We’ve heard a lot about negative recruiting at Ole Miss with the NCAA thing going on, what has Ole Miss said to you about that?

“Well, Coach Freeze told me when you’re that big and out there with faith in Christ, he’s like, ‘What do you expect? Jesus got nailed to the cross.’ So, he was just telling me sometimes things like that happen, but that’s never going to change how he’s going to treat his players and take care of them. Even if — I don’t know if he really did make the mistake, doing what he did or not — but I can just tell he’s a good person, great person. I know they’re looking at maybe a bowl suspension [for 2017]. I don’t know what they’re gonna do. But I don’t think that’ll affect anything as far as how he treats his players and stuff like that.”

Oy.

Crucified by the NCAA?  Seriously?  Does that even sell on the recruiting trail?  If it were my kid and Hugh Freeze walked in the door saying that, I’d really wonder what was going on inside his head.

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UPDATE:

So I guess the difference between Jesus and Hugh Freeze is that the former never had any trouble being understood.

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Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Today, in adventures in amateurism

Christian McCaffrey jumps on board the Fournette Train.

Naturally, panties are in a wad over this.  How can he skip a game?  How can he bail on his team?  Doesn’t he understand the meaning of commitment?

In rebuttal,

Bidness decision.

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UPDATE:  You can probably guess what Herbstreit thinks about this.

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UPDATE #2:  A little more

“Put yourself in their shoes, an injury could change the course of the rest of their lives,” the veteran NFL personnel man said. “We’re not talking about a left guard here. We’re talking about a skill (position) player who is a huge target. That’s the reality of it.

“Look at what these coaches are making now. Those guys are making $5 or $6 million a year and they may pressure these kids to play? Look at what these coaches and ADs are doing. It’s OK for them to leave, but it’s not OK for players to think about their futures? For coaches to (be critical), that’s incredibly selfish. Hold on a second here, guy. You pressure these kids to play, and then one of them (suffers a career-altering injury) and it’s, ‘I love you, and you’re a great teammate. Sorry about that.’ And it’s all for some bowl game who no one cares about? That’s a joke. I’m looking at it practically. If it was your son, what are you gonna say? It makes sense.”

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UPDATE #3:  And a little more…

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UPDATE #4:  Last word goes to a former Dawg.

71 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Monday morning buffet

Get ‘yer feedbag on…

15 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., ACC Football, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, The NCAA