Everybody’s a comedian.

By now, I assume you’ve heard that the underage drinking and fake ID charges against Jonathan Ledbetter have been dismissed.  (Although Chip Towers is reporting that it’s unlikely that will lead to Ledbetter’s suspension for the opener being changed.)

Anyway, what’s a little striking about the decision is that the prosecutor felt the need to explain in detail why the charges were dropped by his office.  It sounds like something straight out of an episode of Law and Order:

Athens-Clarke Solicitor General C.R. Chisholm said while the evidence shows that the 18-year old Ledbetter was intoxicated “we would not be able to overcome a motion to suppress in the case. So we would not have been able to present that evidence if it had gone to a trial.”

… At issue was evidence against Ledbetter that appeared to have been obtained illegally.

According to the incident report, the officer wrote: “I could see the Georgia Driver’s License protruding from his wallet. I retrieved the license and observed the male’s date of birth to be (redcated) 1997.”

Chisholm said the license was grabbed before Ledbetter was under arrest and had not yet even engaged in conversation.

“Due to Ledbetter’s inebriated state and stature I asked him to step away from the entrance and I took possession of his wallet finding a fraudulent photo copy Georgia’s Driver’s License with Ledbetter’s information but with a date of birth of (redacted) 1992,” the incident report said.

Chisholm said a judge would not allow that evidence to be used in a trial.

Lenny Briscoe’s turning over in his grave.  Anyway, that leads to the comment of the day.

Chisholm watched video of the incident from the body camera of the Athens-Clarke County police officer and determined that the prosecution would have lost the case, based on two Georgia Supreme Court Cases, because of how the information determining Ledbetter’s age was obtained.

“It would have been a waste of court time to put that up,” Chisholm said. “I know how these cases look. Sometimes folks will think, ‘Oh, well, he’s a football player, he’s getting a break.’ The fact is this is one where it was a set of facts and we were not going to be able to survive a motion to suppress.”

Sometimes folks will think, ‘Oh, well, he’s a football player, he’s getting a break.’ ? In Athens, Georgia?  C’mon, mane.

Either that is eleven-on-a-scale-of-ten level sarcasm, or we’re being seriously trolled by a public servant.



Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Dirty talk

Fresh off his social media escapade regarding his colorful choice in hat messaging, Josh Rosen returned with commentary inspired by UCLA’s ginormous new deal with Under Armour.


Unlike his shot at Donald Trump, though, Rosen took that crack down shortly after posting it.

I guess that tells us what really passes for obscenity in college athletics these days.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

Coach knows best.

The Pac-12 announced its concerns about time demands on student-athletes yesterday, and while the cynic in me was ready to brush those aside as same old, same old (and even so, let’s not forget it’s just talk at this point), I was genuinely surprised to see the conference make this admission:

In that same vein, based on the conversations that Scott and his staff had with athletes, the Pac-12 report included a set of “important learnings applicable to future development of rules and policies on time demands.” Some of those are unsparing.

The conference acknowledges: “Academic sacrifices are being made. It is not uncommon for student-athletes to be forced to change their majors due to practice and competition schedules, either because they cannot schedule the classes and other requirements they need, or they cannot keep up with their academic demands due to their sport’s time demands. Student-athletes are also discouraged from taking certain majors from the outset due to their athletic demands. …”

“Many athletes told stories of changing majors, sometimes well into their academic careers, and not being able to graduate on time due to their sport’s time demands.”

Boy, I bet there are some irritated coaches this morning.  Doesn’t Larry Scott understand the way the real world works?


Filed under Academics? Academics., Pac-12 Football

That’s a leading question, counselor.

Ah, l’affaire Tunsil.  In the end, I suspect these aren’t going to be the key questions:

Should Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze have to testify in a lawsuit filed by Laremy Tunsil’s stepfather, Lindsey Miller, against the former Ole Miss star offensive tackle? And if Freeze must testify, should the testimony be shielded from public view?

Instead, they’ll be (1) how much pressure will be put on Tunsil to settle? and (2) if Tunsil moves to settle the litigation, will Ole Miss be willing to kick in a few bucks to make things go away?

Stay tuned.


Filed under See You In Court

Opening act

Nick Saban, Kirby Smart and the story of a flashy, neutral-site opener:

“It started as a recruiting strategy by Nick,” said Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, who served on Saban’s defensive staff for the past nine seasons, “which paid unbelievable dividends, because we go into (Atlanta in 2008 to play) Clemson, and just smash them that one game (34-10), and it kind of started the program, and it set a trademark. … You go outside your footprint and have a great game. In recruiting, it helps and the national exposure you get you can’t replace.”

Smart starts his head-coaching career with the Bulldogs in a neutral-site opener against the ACC Coastal champion Tar Heels. He has adapted Saban’s offseason methods because he has seen them work.

“If you ask a strength coach, any strength coach in the country, they will hard-sell that opening game,” Smart said. “The trend is, you go in reverse, so the first week of summer workouts, they’re going to (show video of) the game they have last. At Alabama, we would start with Auburn. … You show clips of that game, whether you won or lost, you show motivating clips of that game, so they’re thinking about that opponent. A kid’s squatting, he’s looking at a picture of the guy he’s going to line up across.”

By the end of summer workouts, when the team is lifting the most, the players are watching clips of their first opponent. “It’s a hell of a lot better when that first game is Clemson, North Carolina or Wisconsin than it is when it’s App State or Western Michigan or somebody,” Smart said.

I’d say it’s something we’d better get used to, Dawg fans.  The question is, would you rather have that splashy opener in, say, Dallas, or another cupcake game in Athens?  The money’s about the same, so McGarity won’t object (though, tough luck, local businesses).

Recruiting sells, you know?


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules

The risk/reward ratio of Isaiah McKenzie

Question for you, Shane Beamer.

McKenzie is the main punt returner, barring injury (and he’s had a few) or something else. The 5-foot-8 (in high tops) speedster is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and owns four career punt return touchdowns. He also has a kick return touchdown, as a freshman, so why did he only return four kickoffs last year? And why isn’t he back there for every single punt return? It’s worth pointing out that Davis brought back a punt for a touchdown last year too, and averaged a not-too-shabby 23.2 yards per kick return. But his longest kickoff return was only 39 yards last year. It’ll be interesting to see where Smart and Beamer go here: Get McKenzie, their most dynamic return option, back there as much as possible? Or do they end up with the same worries the previous staff had about McKenzie’s decision-making and ball control?

Okay, questions.  One of which I discount – if it’s a choice between Davis and McKenzie, decision-making and ball control is a wash.

Honestly, if coaching is all about getting your best players on the field, it’s hard to see how you can justify keeping a home run threat like McKenzie on the sidelines (assuming he’s healthy, of course).  And I say that knowing there are others, like Godwin and Michel, who have potential, but potential ain’t the same thing as five career touchdown returns in two seasons.

Hell, if you’re trying to hedge your bets a little, use a twin-returner formation on kickoffs.  But get Isaiah on the field.


Filed under Georgia Football

“The feeling is if the board got rid of Art (Briles), they’d be sitting in a $300 million mausoleum instead of that new football stadium…”

Again, the usual Chip Brown disclaimer applies, but if true, this sounds like things could get even uglier at Baylor, if that’s possible.

The Baylor board of regents is expected to remove six-year school president and chancellor Ken Starr by the end of the month – possibly sooner, sources tell HornsDigest.com.

The three dozen members of the Baylor regents board are preparing to blame Starr – not football coach Art Briles – for failed leadership during the ongoing scandal over how the school handled reports of rape and assault made against five BU football players – two of whom (Tevin Elliott and Sam Ukwuachu) were convicted of raping Baylor co-eds, sources close to the situation told HornsDigest.com…

The only thing that is clear, according to sources, is that Starr – not Briles – is going to be the fall guy for the school’s inaction after at least six Baylor female students reported they were raped or assaulted by BU football players from 2009 through April 3, 2016…

A source close to Starr said he might not go quietly if terminated.  [Emphasis added.]

Ken Starr with a chip on his shoulder?  Hoo, boy.  Pass the popcorn.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Crime and Punishment