February 28th, 2013 07:46 AM║ Posted By: MrSEC.com ║ Permalink
Somehow we’re already a sixth of the way through 2013. Blink and it will be football season again. The old adage about time moving faster the older you get? Yeah, it’s true. If only I’d believed that at 25 I’d have stopped more often and smelled a few more roses.
Instead my 20s were just one big enjoyable blur. Followed by a rapid decline into decrepitude. Ah, well.
The thought/lyric of the day comes from The Grateful Dead. It’s the Dead’s first appearance on the site. And it’s placement today has absolutely nothing to do — as far as you know — with all the Alabama fans claiming this we at MrSEC.com hate their Crimson Tide because we dared to say we would have booted two players two weeks quicker than Nick Saban did. Egads. In hindsight, maybe we should have displayed our hate for Saban and Bama a day earlier, too… instead of writing this. Guess we’re just not too good at carrying out vendettas… way too wishy-washy in who we hate from day to day.
“Alabama getaway. Alabama getaway. Only way to please me — turn around and leave and walk away.”
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1. Ole Miss has offered more than 70 prospects on ESPN’s class of 2014 watch list as the Rebels ride the momentum of a breakthrough signing class earlier this year. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze: “Already, we’ve had four or five of the nation’s top 100 kids on campus, and we hope to have more soon.”
2. With offers already from LSU and Alabama, the recruiting of 14-year old Dylan Moses is generating plenty of buzz. The AP’s Jim Litke is not a fan – “It sounds like brainwashing to me.” You can read the MrSEC viewpoint here.
3. What’s happened to other middle school athlete phenoms who were offered early scholarships? Jon Solomon goes exploring for some answers.
4. Along with Texas Tech, Auburn offered Mobile, Alabama lineman Josh Casher this week. Auburn wants him to play center – a position he’s never played but Casher’s high school coach thinks he’ll do just fine. ”I think he has a chance to be a great lineman in college — an All-SEC or All-ACC performer.” Casher says Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Alabama (which has yet to offer) as his favorites.
5. Nassau (New York) Community College lineman Chad Mavety has received an offer from Alabama. Crimson Tide face competition from Ohio State – Urban Meyer is recruiting Mavety personally – and Syracuse. Mavety, a New Jersey native, has called Syracuse his “dream school.”
6. Florida high school principal Bob Jones on defensive end and Kentucky 2014 commitment Denzel Ware: “He is as good as the three players I coached who went to the NFL. He is a legit four-star player with size, speed and strength. I think UK is looking at him as an outside linebacker, and he can play that spot.”
7. The 2014 wide receiver class at South Carolina has the potential to be one of the best in the country.
8. 2014 quarterback prospect Jarrod Heard is a Texas commitment but Texas A&M is reportedly pursuing him. His high school coach thinks he’ll stick with the Longhorns - “I don’t see him de-committing from Texas.”
9. Alpharetta, Georgia quarterback Josh Dobbs, part of the 2013 class at Tennessee, won the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Award Saturday night in Los Angeles, which recognizes the “premiere African-American male scholar athlete.”
10. Robbie Andreu thinks six members of Florida’s 2013 class can have an immediate impact – four freshmen and two transfers.
11. Greenwood, Arkansas quarterback Jabe Burgess just wrapped up a visit with the Razorbacks. He came away impressed with new coach Bret Bielema. “I loved what he had to say and I loved the direction he’s leading the program. He makes you feel at ease while you’re talking to him.”
12. For the first time since 2010, Kentucky will have a signee play in the 40th annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic. Derek Willis will play in the game scheduled for April 19th in Louisville’s Freedom Hall.
13. The nation’s No. 1 prep player is visiting Kentucky. Huntington Prep’s Andrew Wiggins is scheduled to be on hand tonight at Rupp Arena when UK hosts Mississippi State. His high school coach tells the Lexington Herald-Leader, ”I know it’s probably not the greatest game in the world for Kentucky. But he was at the Carolina game last year, so he’s seen the atmosphere when it’s at its highest.”
Check out Wiggins highlight video below.
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This afternoon came news that Nick Saban and/or the University of Alabama had dismissed four football players arrested earlier this month for their involvement in a pair of violent on-campus robberies. That news has once again stirred the blood since this site — and in particular this writer — initially called for two of the four accused to be dismissed immediately after their arrests. (Those two players had already confessed to police that they had committed the crimes.)
I have seen many responses in our comment boxes and in my email box today that echo the responses I saw then: “What’s wrong with getting all the facts straight?”
Well, in my opinion, when a player confesses to a violent crime there are no more facts to get straight. End of story, there’s the door.
But in reality, the majority of people who’ve taken me to task for my opinion — some of whom claimed I was leading a witch hunt or a lynch mob — have simply been defending Saban and Alabama. I know it. You know it, too.
And that’s the led me to wonder something…
If Saban had immediately dismissed the two players who had confessed to police, would the same people who criticized my opinion have sent us messages claiming Saban had led a witch hunt? Would they have said, “Where’s the due process, Nick?” “Why the rush to judgement, Coach Saban?”
I’m going to guess that the answer is no. In fact, I’ll bet that some of those who chastised me would have praised Saban for running a tight ship, for taking no bull, etc, etc.
This wasn’t about finding justice for the accused, it was about defending Saban and Bama. Do you really believe any school’s fans would shout so loudly for patience and due process — a legal term that has no bearing in this situation — if a rival school’s players had admitted to knocking two students unconscious?
Again, I think we all know the answer to that one.
In the end, the two players I believe should have been given the boot immediately have been tossed from Alabama’s team. The other two players have also been given the heave-ho. When the names Eddie Williams, Tyler Hayes, DJ Pettway, and Brent Calloway are mentioned moving forward, there will be an “Ex” before the words “Alabama football players.”
Considering their crimes, Bama got it right. Regardless of timing.
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In 2012 the SEC experimented with a wireless communication system for its officials. One goal was to allow officials to make calls quicker, without having to huddle for a discussion. Another was to provide quicker access and information to a replay official in the pressbox.
Last season, two SEC crews used the system. The league will continue to use the headsets in 2013 and coordinator of officials, Steve Shaw, says someday the SEC office wants to outfit all its crews with the wireless system. The NCAA recently decided to allow other leagues to use wireless communications as well. (The SEC had to ask for a waiver in order to conduct its experiment last season.)
“I think more conferences will go to it. One area that it really helped — and it’s going to be an area we feel more and more pressure in — is uptempo offenses and substitutions. This helps you manage the game because the umpire and ref can communicate.”
According to Shaw, use of the system cut game times by about three to four minutes.
Shaw also said that the SEC will experiment with adding an eighth on-field official during some spring games this year.
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As college sports fans wait to see if the NCAA backs away from the controversial rule changes its scheduled to adopt this summer, coaches and administrators continue to share their two cents. Today, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen is a pair of pennies lighter thanks to an interview with Michael Carvell of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In case you’re wondering, Mullen likes the idea of sending unlimited text messages to recruits and he’s also in favor of an early signing period. He also gave his take on the NCAA’s decision to erase dead periods from the recruiting calendar. Many believe that decision will lead to an overload of communication for the prospects as well as to a further loss of family time for coaches. (“If the rival school’s coach is texting on Christmas Day, I’d better be texting on Christmas Day.”)
Mullen has a solution:
“I don’t want to want to sound like a non-worker, but everybody worries about these new rules, and how you will be working 24 hours per day. They want to know where is your down time? If they want a time for where coaches have to shut it down, then you designate four weeks in the summer where you’re completely off. You can do no recruiting during those four weeks, and you’ve eliminated the problem for all coaches.
Currently, we have eight weeks where we’re not allowed to do anything with our (current) players. You can do that for coaches with recruiting, too. You would let the schools pick their four weeks because schools get out earlier in the South than they do up North. Schools up North, they would need later recruiting times to do camps and summer visits. You can pick your four weeks, and move from there. So for four weeks, you can’t do anything during the summer.”
If the NCAA presidents are looking for a happy medium between the over-regulated system of the past and the anarchy that’s currently scheduled to take effect, Mullen’s plan would fit that bill. Allowing recruits and coaches at least some relief from the recruiting war would not be a bad way to go.
The only problem with Mullen’s plan is giving schools the opportunity to pick their own off weeks. Some recruits — whether the situation has been explained to them or not — won’t understand why Coach X stops calling for a month while Coach Y continues to dial and text. Other than that, we’d give Mullen’s idea the MrSEC.com stamp of approval.
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Wednesday night SEC Basketball
Kentucky 85, Mississippi State 55…LSU 65, Arkansas 60
Ole Miss 82, Texas A&M 73…Vanderbilt 63, Georgia 62
Mississippi State tight ends coach Tim Brewster reportedly accepts job at Florida State
Vanderbilt RB Warren Norman is having to give up football due to thinning cartilage in his knees
Georgia FB Zander Ogletree will also give up football due to an unspecified injury
Players from the SEC and other conferences will wear electronic chips in their jerseys… The data will be used to improve on-field safety
South Carolina’s season-opener against North Carolina will kickoff ESPN’s Thursday night football coverage this fall
Follow the SEC every single day at MrSEC.com
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The playing careers of four University of Alabama football players arrested and charged with robbery and/or fraudulent use of a credit card earlier this month have ended in Tuscaloosa. Nick Saban announced today that all four freshmen – Brent Calloway, Tyler Hayes, DJ Pettway, and Eddie Williams — are “no longer associated with the (Alabama) football team.
A statement from the University of Alabama said: “UA’s judicial review has been completed. The four students involved in the robberies on campus are no longer enrolled in UA.”
“Based on all the information we’ve received and gone through and tried to determine the future of the four guys that got in trouble, those guys are no longer associated with the football program. Their actions do not reflect the spirit and character that we want our organization to reflect. It’s obviously very disappointing and unacceptable what happened…
I also think that I’ve been really proud of over the last five years that our team has done a very good job and shown personal responsibility and how they represent the university, what they’ve done in the community, in the classroom, off the field. And they’re going to continue to do as much as we can in personal development, character development in our program with education to try to help guys have a chance to be more successful in life…
Some people learn by words, some people learn by consequences, some people can’t learn.”
It was only a matter of time before Saban and/or the University of Alabama dismissed at least the three players directly involved in the robberies. We felt that Calloway might survive as he had only used a stolen credit card.
In the end, it is a privilege to represent one’s university as an athlete, not a right. A violent criminal act should end that privilege posthaste. Especially if one has already admitted to committing said act.
Here’s hoping the young men turn things around and make the most of any second chances that are afforded them in life. But that second chance should not have come on the same campus where the two students they knocked unconscious continue to matriculate.
On a separate note, Saban also revealed today that receiver Danny Woodson Jr. has been suspended for a violation of team rules.
Update: With the suspension, Woodson, Jr. is not participating in the team’s offseason workout program and he’s not the only one. Receiver Marvin Shinn has decided not to participate and will likely transfer, according to Nick Saban. Both players redshirted in 2011 and were reserves in 2012.
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