This week, in Title IX litigation

It’s Tennessee’s turn to step up to the plate.

Six women filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday claiming the University of Tennessee has created a student culture that enables sexual assaults by student-athletes, especially football players, and then uses an unusual, legalistic adjudication process that is biased against victims who step forward.

The lawsuit, filed by plaintiffs identified only as “Jane Does,” accuses five Tennessee athletes of sexual assault. They are former basketball player Yemi Makanjuola, former football players A.J. Johnson, Michael Williams and Riyahd Jones and a current football player named as a “John Doe.”

… In making its case that the university enabled an environment of bad behavior and used a disciplinary system that favored the players, the lawsuit cited more than a dozen incidents involving football players that included underage drinking, sexual harassment, assault, armed robbery and sexual assaults that did not involve the Jane Doe plaintiffs. Some of the incidents cited have previously never been reported.

What makes the situation in Knoxville somewhat unique in comparison with what we’ve seen alleged in places like Baylor and FSU is how institutionalized the process is made out to be.

The plaintiffs say that UT’s administrative hearing process, which is utilized by public universities across the state, is unfair because it provides students accused of sexual assault the right to attorneys and to confront their accusers through cross-examination and an evidentiary hearing in front of an administrative law judge. The administrative law judge who hears the case is appointed by [UT Chancellor) Cheek, the lawsuit says.

The details of that, as laid out in the complaint, are pretty amazing.

Tennessee is the only state in the country to use such an administrative hearing process, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims that UT student-athletes frequently hired prominent Knoxville attorney Don Bosch to represent them in their administrative hearings.

“Athletes knew in advance that UT would: support them even after a complaint of sexual assault; arrange for top quality legal representation; and then direct them to the (Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act) hearing procedure that denies victims the right to a hearing and to the same equal procedural, hearing, and process rights as given to perpetrators of rape and sexual assault,” the plaintiffs said in their lawsuit.

That’s gotta be encouraging for a rape victim.  It certainly gives the administration a certain level of comfort in managing the process, and that’s what several of the allegations made in the suit point towards.

“UT administration (Chancellor Jimmy Cheek), athletic department (Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director) Dave Hart and football coach (Butch Jones) were personally aware (as ‘appropriate persons’ under Title IX) and had actual notice of previous sexual assaults and rapes by football players, yet acted with deliberate indifference to the serious risks of sexual assaults and failed to take corrective actions,” the plaintiffs said in their lawsuit…

The university “delayed the investigation process until the athlete perpetrators transferred to another school or graduated without  sanction or discipline,” the lawsuit said. Johnson was suspended at the end of his senior season but was able to participate in the UT commencement ceremony…

And this allegation is just nasty.

Two of the student-athletes named in the lawsuit — Johnson and Makanjuola — were publicly praised by UT coaches and administrators while they remained on their teams, graduated or transferred, even as those officials were aware that sexual assault allegations had been made against the players.

If true, either these people are too stupid or too lazy to worry about plausible deniability – or simply too arrogant.

There’s plenty more alleged in the complaint.  I don’t see how Tennessee has any choice but to fight this hard, given the way people all the way up the chain of command are named.  In any event, it sure looks like all the rumors about misbehaving Vol players being coddled by the administration going all the way back to the Fulmer era are coming home to roost.  Ugly.

79 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Crime and Punishment, See You In Court

“This seems completely counter to the dialogue.”

The SEC is urgently requesting the NCAA to block Michigan from holding part of its spring practice in Florida because it doesn’t want Jim Harbaugh’s ugly mug getting extra exposure at IMG Academy it would be held during spring break.

No, really.  Cue Greg Sankey’s sad tears:

“We have work to do on [giving athletes a] day off. We have work to do on, how do you provide a postseason break? It seems where this is one where reasonable people could say we just shouldn’t be in this space.”

That is so sweet.  And if the NCAA doesn’t do it for the kids, then what?  Then Sankey intends to get medieval on Harbaugh’s ass.

“The net of that is to say the Southeastern Conference is not going to be outpaced in recruiting,” Sankey said. “If the national approach is that we want to have more aggressive summer camps and coaches touring around all summer, then we will not only engage in that behavior, we will certainly engage in that behavior more actively — probably more effectively than others.”

Sounds reasonable to me, Greg.

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UPDATE:  The SEC actually has a rule prohibiting its members from doing what Michigan is doing.

I guess we know what Sankey’s first move will be if the NCAA turns down his request.

40 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Not to interrupt your midday drool…

Before you finish trying to compose yourself after reading this morning’s Eason/Chaney post, you might want to take a minute to think about what a couple of folks are saying about Charlie Woerner:

“What exactly is he? He’s a utility player that can do a lot of things,” Smart said. “He’s getting bigger, he runs track. He’s played defense, he’s played offense. He’s not a guy that’s coming in and looking for the high-profile situation. All he wants to do is come in and play and compete. I’m excited because having gone against Jim Chaney’s offense, I know the way he uses players like that. I watched him do that with Hunter Henry (at Arkansas), I watched him do that with guys at Tennessee. He’ll find ways to get the guy the ball and put him in unique situations for his body size and matchup. We’re obviously excited about Charlie.”

Woerner’s high school coach at Rabun County, Lee Shaw, believes his pupil’s skill set and size could make for some interesting mismatches down the road. Last July, when Woerner committed to Georgia, Shaw said his standout player should be able to allow  Georgia’s coaching staff – which has since changed – to move him around in various formations.

“(Woerner) presents mismatches because you can force a defense into different fronts,” Shaw said. “Then you flex Charlie out, or send in trips open and he’s a single receiver, and you force the defense into a scheme they don’t want to be in. Charlie’s that guy. That’s why I compare him to (tight end Rob) Gronkowski and how they use Gronkowski at New England.”

Cigarette?

22 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

“Preseason FPI is designed to take the guesswork out of preseason ratings.”

ESPN, any ratings system that has Tennessee coming out ahead of Alabama may be many things, but guesswork-free ain’t one of ’em.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Stats Geek!

Goodness, I need a cold shower.

If this Ian Boyd post, entitled “5-star Jacob Eason is a perfect fit for UGA’s new offense, because he’s already been running it”, isn’t pure, 200-proof Dawg porn, I don’t know what is.

A little taste:

Eason doesn’t even need to have his feet firmly set in order to hit tight windows and make long throws down the field. He reminds SB Nation recruiting guru Bud Elliott of Drew Bledsoe with the way he regularly beats safeties on post routes and seam routes with his velocity and ball placement.

In terms of physical tools, there’s no doubt that this kid can execute any style of offense at a very high level, if he can learn to read defenses well enough to avoid mistakes. So exactly what kind of system is he going to be learning to attack defenses with at Georgia?

Jacob Eason in the new Georgia offense

Jim Chaney made his name in the college football world by unleashing an overlooked and undersized Texas HS QB named Drew Brees in a wide-open, spread offense at Purdue. That Purdue team won a split Big Ten championship in 2000. This was before everyone was unleashing overlooked and undersized Texans in spread offenses.

Chaney eventually entered the pro game but then came back to college at Tennessee in 2009 before joining Brett Bielema at Arkansas. From his time in St. Louis with Scott Linehan he picked up the art of utilizing TEs and diverse run games with varied blocking schemes and angles, which has defined the Arkansas offense under Bielema’s oversight.

In an age where schematic complexity tends to focus around the passing game, Chaney’s diverse run game is a unique challenge, with its myriad of false keys and varying blocks for linebackers to recognize. After setting the table with these schemes and putting TEs on the field, Chaney then sprinkles back in his spread passing game.

Chaney’s development towards becoming more TE- and run-focused is crucial for Eason, particularly if he’s asked to step in and play soon. An offense built around a multiple run game that deploys TEs on the field is often an easier one for a QB to manage, since it generally only relies on the passing game to punish defensive responses to the run. Also, it’s easier to hit 6’4″+ targets in the middle of the field, especially if they are running free after faking a block.

I’ll let you have some privacy now.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Chantastic recruiting news

Jeez, if you think Georgia Tech’s 2016 class was a little underwhelming, get ready for 2017, when the Jackets deal with the aftermath of having only 13 seniors on this year’s team — including 10 in their fifth year of eligibility.

If Johnson has another disappointing season on the Flats and gets canned (and, no, that’s not a prediction), imagine how long it’ll take his successor, who presumably won’t run the triple option, to sort out Tech’s offensive personnel shortcomings.  Hoo, boy.

33 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

‘How the hell did this come about?’

How you know when a high school isn’t completely serious

Lakatriona Brunson becoming the first female head coach of a Florida high school football team is a circus. We can all agree on that.

Brunson, better known as Bernice, moonlights as a reality television star — if there is such a thing — on South Beach Tow. One of her assistant coaches is Luther Campbell — the flamboyant record producer better known as Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew — who is also a South Florida football impresario.

The truly great thing there will be watching college coaches suck up to the two of them on the recruiting trail.  Now that would make a great reality show.

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UPDATE:  Campbell says he came on board to make sure “this wasn’t going to be any joke or circus”.

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Filed under Recruiting