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SEC Headlines 3/16/2014

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Two SEC quarterbacks are on the move.  Jalen Whitlow is leaving Kentucky and Coach Mark Stoops says he’s “disappointed,” wanted him to consider moving to wide receiver. Started 15 games in two seasons at Kentucky.

2. Matt Joeckel departing from Texas A&M. Joeckel has already graduated and will be immediately eligible at an FBS program. Aggies down to sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen.

3. With Dorial Green-Beckham’s dismissal, Missouri has lost three receivers 6-4 or taller.  They’re being replaced by receivers all 6-3 or shorter.

4. Florida coach Will Muschamp likes his wide receiving talent: “I think we’re as deep as we’ve been at wide receiver…”

5. Georgia’s focus this summer – getting players leaner. “This league is a lot of no-huddle. We can’t be 330 pounds out there.”

6. Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt wants leadership from his upperclassmen: “We need more out of them,”

7. LSU’s opener in Houston against Wisconsin will kick off in prime time.

8. LSU quarterback Brandon Harris will spend the month of May with former LSU quarterback Craig Nall and quarterback guru George Whitfield.

9. Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson on injuries this spring: “We had probably about a dozen guys that either missed all of spring practice or a great portion of spring practice…”

10. The left tackle battle at Alabama is a two-man race between third-year sophomore Brandon Greene and freshman Cam Robinson.

11. Kevin Scarbinsky defines the Bowden Triangle: “It’s the place where the best high school and junior college prospects come to play and the rest of the Football Bowl Subdivision’s dreams of a national championship go to die.”

12. Many thought Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was on the hot seat last season but A.D. Scott Stricklin says that wasn’t the case.“What people on the outside seemed to perceive wasn’t really the case.”

SEC/NFL

13. Former South Carolina players Kelcy Quarles and Victor Hampton are expected to be drafted next month.  They’re also reportedly wanted for questioning for their roles in a New York City nightclub fight.

14. Johnny Manziel will work out for the Cleveland Browns this weekend.

15. Missouri’s Max Copeland was a guard in college – wants to be a fullback in the NFL. Lost 50 pounds.  ”I would work until I puked and then keep working.”

16. 23 NFL teams at Georgia’s pro day.

Cuonzo Martin and Tennessee

17. David Climer on Cuonzo Martin’s departure from Tennessee: “While Martin was never fully embraced at UT, he never fully embraced UT, either.”

18. Tennessee A.D. Dave Hart: “There were a lot of distractions, you know what they were, you reported on them.”

19. “Hart and the rest of the UT administration should never again treat a coach the way they allowed Martin to be treated.” 

20. MrSEC: Martin was never embraced in Knoxville for one reason — he wasn’t Pearl.  

21. Martin on his new job at Cal:  ”It’s a place I could spend the rest of my life.”

SEC Basketball

22. Slate: Bill O’Reilly’s Racially Coded Interview With Kentucky Coach John Calipari

23. Rupp Arena renovation plans up in the air after legislature fails to vote on $80 million in proposed state aid.

24. ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla on Missouri’s Jabari Brown – projected as a second-round pick: “I think he’s going to play in the NBA someday, but there’s a difference between playing in the NBA and becoming a true NBA player — a guy who stays in the league for 10 or 12 years.”

Extras

25. Unlimited meals and snacks on the way for college athletes.

26. The New York Times on the Jameis Winston case – “there was virtually no investigation at all, either by the police or by the university.”

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Martin’s Departure Has Tennessee Chasing Its Tail Again

dog-chasing-tailHere they go again.

In Knoxville today, the private planes are being warmed up for yet another coaching search (assuming the boosters allow Tennessee’s AD to use them).  Cuonzo Martin’s surprise decision to go to California with an aching in his heart creates the umpteenth coaching vacancy at UT in the past decade.  Here’s the school’s scorecard in case you haven’t been able to keep track of all the major comings and goings in the Volunteers’ men’s athletic department:

 

* Basketball coach Buzz Peterson — fired March 2005

* Baseball coach Rod Delmonico — fired June 2007

* Football coach Phillip Fulmer — fired November 2008

* Football coach Lane Kiffin — left January 2010

* Basketball coach Bruce Pearl — fired over NCAA violations March 2011

* Baseball coach Todd Raleigh — fired May 2011

* Athletic Director Mike Hamilton — resigned June 2011

* Football coach Derek Dooley — fired November 2012

 

Now I don’t know about you, but that makes Tennessee’s athletic department look rather dysfunctional to most unaffiliated observers.  For example, here’s some of the national reaction that average fans — and coaches — are seeing across the country today:

 

Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com:  ”Can you imagine?  You sign two five-star prospects in a span of three recruiting classes, win more games each year than the year before, mold a roster into a team that will soon make the Sweet 16, and, still, literally tens of thousands of your own fans have taken time out of their day to sign a petition requesting that you be replaced by the man you replaced three years earlier.”

Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports:  ”There is something in the water, or the soil — or, most likely, the people — at the University of Tennessee that has turned the athletic department into a transient, turmoil-ridden place.  Basketball coach Cuonzo Martin’s departure Tuesday is just the latest huh? moment for a school that has been buffeted by them in recent years.”

Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com:  ”In a lot of places (Martin’s results) would merit a raise, a contract extension and a heap of praise.  At Tennessee, it got Martin a heap of nothing.  Impatient fans and lukewarm administrators never really gave Martin a chance — Indiana fans, with a bit more basketball dog in the fight, gave Tom Cream a longer leash.  And now the Vols got what they stopped wanting and exactly what they deserved.”

 

The first response to the national media from many Vol fans will be one big “who cares?” and a string of “yeah, buts.”  But no school’s boosters and fans really want the sporting world to view their athletic department as some sort of sad joke.  And unfortunately for the faithful on Rocky Top that is exactly how Tennessee is being viewed today.

Martin was never embraced in Knoxville for one reason — he wasn’t Pearl.  As soon as the NCAA came down on Pearl he became to some UT fans their own “Lost Cause” hero, a combination of generals Albert Sydney Johnston and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  ”Why we’d have never succumbed to Yankee tyranny had our beloved leader in gray not been taken from us so grievously!”

Martin got better each year in three at Missouri State.  He got better each year in three at Tennessee, too.  He wound up three points shy of the Elite Eight last month.  But he still wasn’t Pearl on or off the court.  So the anti-Martin crowd simply changed their battle cry as the Vols advanced in the tournament — “Yes, but we underachieved in the regular season.”  So when a team lives up to preseason expectations at tourney time the regular season becomes the problem?  Kentucky fans are bonkers about hoops, but I don’t see anyone running John Calipari away for following the very same path Martin went down last season — disappointing regular season, expectations basically met in the postseason.

The greatest irony is that Martin was the only guy to do any real winning on Rocky Top in years.  Pearl won an SEC basketball title in 2008.  That is the only championship for Tennessee in a major men’s sport in 15 years.  Vol baseball last took home the SEC trophy in 1995.  Vol football hasn’t been crowned league champ since 1998.

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SEC Headlines 4/15/2014

headlines-tueSEC Football

1. Tennessee assistant coaches getting a one-year contract extension. Rivals national recruiter of the year Tommy Thigpen getting a $25,000 raise.

2. South Carolina running back Mike Davis has a message for SEC defenses: “I’m going to run angry next season, and everybody’s going to know about it.”

3. Florida safety Marcell Harris made a game-high nine tackles at Saturday’s spring game. “I feel like I made a lot of plays.”

4. Academics forced Kentucky players J.D. Harmon and Rashad Cunningham to the sidelines last season: “It was a huge wake-up call for me.”

5. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on linebacker Michael Scherer: “Wow, this guy’s going to be a heck of a player.”

6. Five players who could make an impact at Texas A&M this fall.  List is topped by quarterback Kyle Allen.

7. Ten players at Georgia who will leave spring practice in better shape than when they began.

8. Alabama coach Nick Saban on his defensive line: ”They’re improving but we’re still not striking up front…”

9. Want to pick a magazine cover, LSU fans?  Here’s your chance.

10. Auburn receiver Sammie Coates on backup quarterback Jonathan Wallace: ”He’s one of the best leaders on the team,”

SEC/NFL

11. Jeremy Hill, Zach Mettenberger and AJ McCarron – potential first-round surprises?

12. Quarterback Aaron Murray throwing at Georgia’s Pro Day.  Projected as a likely third or fourth-round pick.

SEC Basketball

13. Kentucky’s Willie Cauley-Stein will return for his junior year. “I want to come back and have a chance to win a national championship…”

14. Kentucky coach John Calipari: “Make the media buy their tickets!”

15. ESPN’s Chad Ford breaks down Kentucky’s pro prospects – had Cauley-Stein rated as a certain first-round pick.

16. Cornell guard Nolan Cressler transferring to Vanderbilt. Led Cornell in scoring last season. Tracking all 2014 transfers.

17. Optimism at South Carolina.  Coach Frank MartinL “I get a completely different vibe right now in the community when I’m around than I have at any time in my two years here. Completely different vibe.”

18. Georgia coach Mark Fox on the impact a contract extension has on recruiting.   ”Every recruit’s parents, they want to send their child to a secure situation. Once you can establish that, it does make it easier (to recruit).”

19. Ole Miss resuming a series with Memphis in 2015.

Extra

20. 40 bowl games in 2015 means 61 percent of the FBS will be in the postseason.

21. With a gunshot wound to the stomach, former LSU linebacker Tahj Jones defies the odds.

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The SEC’s Most “Taxed” Fans

tax-dayHappy Tax Day, everyone.  From one coast to the other millions of Americans are making out checks to the government and dropping them in the mail today.  We know of no one who’s actually happy about that, of course.

In honor of this day of “giving,” we at MrSEC.com wanted to determine which SEC programs’ fans have been “taxed” the most.  What do we mean by that?  Losing is taxing on a fanbase.  It wears a person down as their favorite school suffers defeat after defeat.  So we’ve endeavored to determine which fans in the SEC have been dealing with defeats and losses most often.

As we normally do we’ll look only at the two revenue sports (which happen to be the two sports we cover around here).  Also, we’ll limit our time frame to two seasons since Missouri and Texas A&M have now completed two football and two men’s basketball seasons as SEC members.

Below you’ll find the number of losses piled up by each program.  There are four categories: Overall Football Losses, Overall Basketball Losses, SEC Football Losses and SEC Basketball Losses.  If you’re wondering why conference losses would be, in effect, counted twice each, it’s because losses to one’s neighbors are typically more painful.

 

Most Losses Since 2012

  School   Football Overall   Football SEC   Basketball Overall   Basketball SEC   Total Losses
  Miss. State   11   9   41   29   90
  Auburn   11   9   39   27   86
  S. Carolina   4   4   38   27   73
  Arkansas   17   14   25   16   72
  Kentucky   20   16   23   12   71
  Vanderbilt   8   7   33   21   69
  Tennessee   14   13   26   14   67
  Texas A&M   6   6   31   21   64
  Ole Miss   11   10   23   15   59
  Georgia   7   4   31   15   57
  LSU   6   5   26   18   55
  Missouri   9   7   23   16   55
  Alabama   3   2   32   17   54
  Florida   10   6   11   4   31

 

In terms of walking away from a stadium or arena in defeat, no SEC fanbase has had to that more than the folks down in Starkville over the last two years.  Bulldog backers have endured 90 losses (double-counting the SEC losses) since 2012.  The onus is on Dan Mullen and Rick Ray — especially Ray — to start recording a few more victories in the seasons ahead.

Surprisingly, Auburn fans wound up in second place on the list.  If not for the remarkable turnaround captained by Gus Malzahn last football season, Tiger fans might’ve ended up atop our “most taxed” list.  AU has lost 50 games overall and another 36 when the in-conference losses are added in again.

On the other end of the spectrum, fans of Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, Missouri and Alabama have yet to experience the heartache of even 60 losses.  And Florida — with only 31 losses — has the “least taxed” fanbase in the SEC.  Gator fans have only had to deal with 21 losses over the last two years; ten more losses are added to their tally when their SEC losses are counted twice.

As you’ve probably figured out, the numbers are skewed in the direction of basketball.  More games played, more potential losses.  So be it.  This is simply a fun — depending on where your school ranks on the list — exercise to see which fans have a right to be the grumpiest in the Southeastern Conference.  That honor goes to MSU with Auburn, South Carolina, Arkansas and Kentucky falling next in line.  Bulldog fans are the most taxed in the SEC.  But here’s guessing they needed no chart to tell them so.

 

 

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The SEC Needs A Rule Protecting Schools From Having To Face Players Booted For Disciplinary Reasons

gfx-honest-opinionLast week, Gary Pinkel surprised a lot of people — including many Missouri fans — when he jettisoned talented receiver Dorial Green-Beckham following his third run-in with police.  While the victims of the latest investigation into the player refused to file charges, the evidence suggests Green-Beckham busted into a girl’s apartment, shoved a friend of his girlfriend and then grabbed and dragged his girlfriend by her neck.

He earned his dismissal and Pinkel deserves credit for protecting the integrity of his football program.  Pinkel does not deserve to face Green-Beckham if/when the player purifies himself with a year of junior college ball.

We’ve stated this view on previous occasions.  Just last season, for example, Georgia had to face two starting quarterbacks  with the SEC who had previously been drummed out of Athens.  In the spring of 2009, freshman Zach Mettenberger was arrested.  Reportedly, he then failed to come clean to Mark Richt about the circumstances of that arrest and he was dismissed.  After a year at Butler Community College he transferred to LSU and almost knocked off Richt’s Bulldogs in a 44-41 thriller last year.

Later in the season, Georgia did fall 43-38 to an Auburn team quarterbacked by Nick Marshall.  Marshall began his career as a defensive back at Georgia, but he was dismissed from the team as a freshman in 2011 due to an unspecified violation of team rules.  After a year at Garden City Community College, Marshall landed on the Plains and came within one drive of leading the Tigers to a BCS championship.

Richt being Richt, he said he was happy that both young men had turned things around and found success.  We don’t doubt that.  But was it right for Richt to have to play two players that he had chosen to discipline?  The fact that a booted player could come back to haunt a coach down the road might lead some to hang onto players a bit longer even if they’ve proven to be bad news.

That wasn’t the case with Richt, nor was it the case with Pinkel.  They — among others over the years — made tough decisions to sever football ties with athletes who’d let down them and their programs.  One lost a game to a player he’d dismissed and might lose another to him this fall.  The other could wind up seeing Green-Beckham lined up against him somewhere down the road.  That’s not right.

The SEC should discuss at its spring meetings the possibility of taking a unified stance against players disciplined by member institutions.  There are 125 FBS programs in the nation.  Anyone thinking, “What about second chances?,” needs to remember that.  If a player errs so seriously or so repeatedly as to cost himself an opportunity to play for 14 of those schools — those in the Southeastern Conference — he would still have 111 other top-flight schools as possible landing spots.

(Interestingly, such a rule could have applied to an SEC coach in recent weeks.  If such a rule were put in place with regards to players — it won’t be — there would likely need to be a similar rule regarding coaches who lose their SEC job due to NCAA violations.  Now, would any school respect its leaguemates enough to back away from a proven coach who just happened to run afoul of the NCAA law at a conference rival?  No way.  Much to Bruce Pearl’s happiness.)

If maintaining discipline and protecting the reputations of schools is important in the SEC, the league’s schools should work in concert to make discipline a priority.  If a player is banished from one school for disciplinary reasons he should be barred from landing at one of that school’s conference rivals.  No coach doing the right thing should himself be punished for doing that very thing.

Pinkel has said that he wants what’s best for Green-Beckham.  ”I love that kid.  I want him to get some help.  He can go to another place and get a fresh start and he can still achieve his goals.”  Those are admirable comments from Mizzou’s coach.  But the Tigers shouldn’t be punished because they chose to punish a player who had brought negative attention to the University of Missouri and Tiger football.

We at MrSEC.com hope Green-Beckham does turn his life around and does earn himself a second-chance at another school.  But that school should be one of 111 schools across America.  That school should not be in the Southeastern Conference.

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SEC Headlines 4/14/2014

headlines-monSEC Football

1.  Alabama coach Nick Saban appears to be very pleased with the spring performance of running back Derrick Henry.

2. Auburn defender Justin Garrett is back on the field and feeling healthier after dealing with foot injuries.

3. Auburn’s coaching staff expects a lot of the Tigers’ wide receivers this year.

4. Which Georgia players helped themselves this spring? Seth Emerson takes a look.

5. Quarterback Hutson Mason showed he’s ready to lead Georgia, writes Barrett Sallee.

6. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel following the dismissal of Dorial Green-Beckham: “I’ve got to protect the integrity of the program.”

SEC Basketball

7. Bruce Pearl landed his first commitment at Auburn. The prospect was accused of eating marijuana during a January traffic stop.

8. Pat Dooley looks back at the top moments from Florida’s run to the Final Four this season.

9. Jerry Tipton is live tweeting John Calipari’s Monday media tour.

10. ESPN’s Chad Ford on Kentucky guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison will go to the NBA, but “I don’t think either of those kids should leave.”

SEC/NFL Draft

11. An anonymous NFL personnel man called Jadeveon Clowney “spoiled” and “lazy.

12. Clowney goes No. 1 to the Houston Texans in Josh Norris’ latest NFL mock draft.

13. Peter King looks at the draft in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

Extra

14. Dennis Dodd looks at Jameis Winston’s busy weekend, which included a 56-pass spring game and save in a baseball game.

15. Ohio State quaterback Braxton Miller poked fun at rival Michigan over its spring game attendance.

16. Where is outrage about college sports coming from? “Much of it comes from academia and the media, which doesn’t make it wrong.”

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SEC Headlines 4/13/2014

headlines-sun3-150x150SEC Spring Games

1. Expect a very different Florida offense this fall. “The Gators will come at opponents quickly, and also in waves.”

2. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the progress of his offense:  ”I think you can attribute all that to [new coordinator] Kurt Roper and the offensive staff and the job they’ve done.

3. Josh Dobbs impressive at quarterback for Tennessee but coach Butch Jones in no hurry to name a starter. ”No timetable.”

4. But what about the other side of the ball? “It was a tough day for the defense.”

5. Mark Bradley on Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason’s performance: “He missed on some deep throws, but he hit on enough of them to kindle hope…(that he could) lead the Bulldogs to an SEC title as a first-year starter.”

6. Safety Tray Matthews missed the game with hamstring issues. Coach Mark Richt: “We probably need to re-evaluate what we’re doing with him…And he’s probably gotta take some ownership of it too.”

7. Dan Mullen on Mississippi State’s spring game: “We got to see, which is what I wanted, a lot of young players put in situations that maybe they haven’t been in before in this stadium. Lingering question is inconsistent kicking game.

8. Freshman running back Ralph Webb a star of Vanderbilt’s spring game.

9. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier called a touchdown pass to women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley “the best play” of the scrimmage (around the 1:50 mark).

SEC Football

10. Missouri running back Marcus Murphy on Dorial Green-Beckham’s dismissal.   ”I just hope it helps people to realize the things they can and can’t do and just how to carry themselves.

11. Coach Gary Pinkel: “It’s not a real fun day to be a head football coach.”

12. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on A.J. Derby’s transition from quarterback to tight end. “I don’t think you could find a happier person on this earth right now than A.J. Derby. He’s loving it.”

13. At Alabama’s second scrimmage, quarterback Blake Sims continued to separate himself from the current competition ahead of Jacob Coker’s arrival.

14. Quarterbacks Drew Barker and Patrick Towles generate buzz at Kentucky’s scrimmage.

15 Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on next Saturday’s spring game“It’s going to be exactly like it was last spring game and we’re going to put the ball down and we’re going to get after it.”

16. Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason’s mural gets a makeover.

17. Paul Finebaum apologizes to Jadeveon Clowney for calling him the ”the biggest joke in college football” last season.

18. Former LSU player Tahj Jones participated in LSU’s Pro Day on Wednesday – he was  reportedly shot by former LSU player Brandon Winey on Friday night. Gunshot to the abdomen and in serious condition.

SEC Basketball

19. Glynn Cyprien  is no longer Billy Kennedy’s associate head coach at Texas A&M. “Sometimes it’s best for both parties to go their different ways.”

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Top MrSEC Clicks For The Week

 

 

SEC Headlines 4/12/2014

headlines-saturdayDorial Green-Beckham’s Dismissal

1. The first player in Missouri history to catch four touchdown passes in a game is no longer a Tiger. ”This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind.”

2. Missouri A.D. Mike Alden on whether Green-Beckham’s girlfriend was contacted by Mizzou coaches.  ”We were assured by our coaches that that, in fact, did not take place.”

3. Beckham’s dismissal comes on same day independent report is released regarding alleged assault of a swimmer by members of the Missouri football team.

 4. “It will be easy for some to think of Green-Beckham as the sacrifice, the one paying for the sins of others. But that’s not fair.”

5. “There are coaches out there right now salivating over the possibility of adding him for a year, until he leaps to the NFL.”

6. Beckham – from Springfield, Missouri – won’t land at Missouri State.  ”That’s not the kind of player we recruit to our program.”

SEC Spring Games

7. Starting quarterback job on the line?  Spring game at Vanderbilt could determine the leader.

8. One of the storylines this spring at Florida - linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. has been a beast.

9. Gator running back Kelvin Taylor has separated himself from the pack.

10. With defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt being new, don’t expect Georgia to reveal the entire playbook. “Being the fact that it is Jeremy’s first year as the coordinator, people look at our TV spring game.”

11. Mississippi State’s defense has been physical and impressive this spring.

12. Plenty of questions about South Carolina’s defense and its backup quarterback.  ”For much of spring, the gap between Dylan Thompson and his backup candidates has been the Grand Canyon. ”

13. Tennessee coach Butch Jones:  “We’re not going to be the best team on the field, but that’s OK. We’ve won championships with not having the best collection of talent. ”

14. One week from today, both Auburn and Alabama will have their spring games.  ”There’s only one state in the country where anticipation builds to see not only who shows out…but how many show up.”

SEC Football

15. Backup quarterback battle at Ole Miss could continue through the fall.

16. Former Alabama quarterback Luke Del Rio granted immediate eligibility at Oregon State.

SEC/NFL

17. Could be the first year since 2010 that Auburn produces two first-round picks.

SEC  Basketball

18. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes on his decision to enter the NBA draft. “I feel like I can produce on a team in the NBA. I really do. ”

19. Auburn center  Matthew Atewe underwent surgery on his left shin Friday.

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SEC Headlines 4/11/2014

headlines-friSEC Legal Beat

1. Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee arrested on charges of driving under the influence.

2. Little Rock, Arkansas prosecutors say they’ll drop Alabama running back Altee Tenpenny’s drug possession charge if he doesn’t get in trouble in the next year.

3. Arrested in January for resisting arrest, Alabama freshman Tony Brown was granted youthful offender status Thursday.

4. With no charges filed against Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham – is this a defining decision for  Gary Pinkel? “Does the Missouri coach stand on his stated principle or side with expediency?” MrSEC:  ”Pinkel now sits in Coaching Hell.” 

5. Zach Price kicked off Missouri basketball team by coach Frank Haith.   Louisville transfer – who never played at Mizzou – was arrested twice after former teammate Earnest Ross had filed a restraining order against him.

6. Seven Mizzou football and men’s basketball players have been arrested eight times since January.

7. A former intern in the Vanderbilt athletics department files a lawsuit in federal court – says he should have been paid.

SEC Football

8. Thanks to Vanderbilt moving the game to LP Field, Ole Miss will play three straight games in NFL stadiums. 

9. Florida coach Will Muschamp on the impact of new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper: “I think there’s a lot of confidence level on our offensive side of the ball for the first time in a while. Quarterback Jeff Driskel has lost 15 pounds.

10. Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt doesn’t have a lot of patience for mistakes in the secondary.  “You mess up a couple of plays, you’re out.”

11. Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee: “I want to make it very clear, we’ve not made any changes to our offensive line.”

12. Texas A&M running backs coach Clarence McKinney likes no longer having offensive coordinator responsibilities.  “I can focus on some technical things with those guys we kind of got away from last year.”

13. Brandon Allen on the quarterback battle at Arkansas: “My mindset is I’m the starter and I need to go out and prove to everyone that I’m still the starter.”  A.J. Derby moving to tight end.

14. Tennessee defensive end  LaTroy Lewis getting reps at tight end.

15. In addition to unveiling new uniforms, Mississippi State signs extension with Adidas - seven-year deal worth $17.5 million.

16. Economic study on the impact of LSU football: “Over a 7-game home season, total spending by fans from outside the metro is $62.8 million in Louisiana, with $47.7 million of that spent within Baton Rouge metro.”

17. Daniel Bush spent the past three years working on Alabama’s player personnel staff.  He’s now Arkansas’ new Assistant Recruiting Coordinator/Director of Personnel.

SEC/NFL

18. Johnny Manziel reportedly had the highest Wonderlic score among quarterbacks.

SEC Basketball

19. Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes expected to announce he’s entering the NBA draft.

20. For Kentucky basketball fans “no one in recent years — not Duke, not Louisville, not North Carolina, certainly not Tennessee — has been responsible for more heartache than the Connecticut Huskies.”

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