Headlines only today as yours truly starts a little mini-break. The next few days, Mike Mitchell will provide daily headlines and Josh Ward will handle recruiting news — as usual — as well as any breaking news coverage. I might have an extra story or two in the hopper for early next week, but just be aware the next few days are mid-summer breaktime.
Now, on with the news…
1. College hoops coaches are now free to call and text around the country at their whim.
2. The fight for a college football playoff creeps and crawls towards a resolution.
3. This isn’t a sports story, but questions are now being raised about how quickly Auburn students were informed of a weekend shooting… and a shooter who was on the loose.
4. Arkansas will open its 2013 football slate against Southern Miss in Fayetteville.
5. Comedian Dave Chappelle got a kick out of a trademark Razorback Hog Call during a Little Rock show.
6. For a guy that throws a lot of barbs and needles, Dan Mullen has got some thin skin. MSU’s coach took offense to something Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes said in praise of his own players… and then Mullen took a straight shot at Dykes’ coaching ability. (State fans love him the way Vandy fans love Franklin, Gamecock fans love Spurrier, and Volunteer fans once loved Kiffin… but all four of those guys are/were bratty.)
7. Ex-Bulldog hoopster Renardo Sidney has been dropped by his agent.
8. Meanwhile, Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze says his school doesn’t “have the talent level that people in the SEC West have right now at a lot of spots” and “that’s not fixed overnight.”
9. Kevin Sumlin – talking of a a fresh start for the Aggies in 2012 — joked with Texas A&M boosters that his team’s still undefeated and he just won his fifth straight spring game.
10. Virginia Tech freshman forward Dorian Finney-Smith is reportedly transferring to Florida’s basketball program.
11. Good news: Gator linebacker Neiron Ball has been cleared to return to football after suffering a brain hemorrhage in February of 2011.
12. Kentucky players are loving the upgrades made to their football facility.
13. New South Carolina hoops coach Frank Martin believes his school’s support for baseball can carry over to the Colonial Life Arena. (Of course, winning back-to-back NCAA titles hlps.)
14. Former DePaul and Virginia head coach Dave Leitao is joining Frank Haith’s staff at Missouri.
15. Tiger football coach Gary Pinkel told a Nashville radio station that Mizzou’s recruiting “is going as well as it has ever gone for us” thanks in large part to a move to the SEC.