Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt

Bret Bielema Apologizes For “Unintentionally Hurtful” Comments

SorryThat didn’t take long.  One day after referencing the death of a California football player while  voicing support for a proposed NCAA rule change that would try to slow down up-tempo offense, Arkansas coach Bret Bielema apologized for “unintentionally hurtful” comments.

Bielema had reference Cal football player Ted Agu, who died in a team training run earlier this month, when responding to a question about a proposal that would  prohibit offenses from snapping the ball until 10 seconds have run off the 40-second play clock.

Those comments came Thursday night.  By Friday, Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour called the remarks “beyond inappropriate” and took aim at the Arkansas coach in a series of tweets.





Not long after, Bielema issued an apology.  a statement:


“It was brought to my attention that remarks I made yesterday evening while discussing a proposed rule change were unintentionally hurtful. I am very passionate, as we all are, about the serious nature of protecting the well-being of student-athletes. Earlier today I was interviewed by Andy Staples to explain my stance on the proposed rule. In my press conference last night, I referenced information about the tragic loss of a life of a student-athlete. My comments were intended to bring awareness to player safety and instead they have caused unintended hurt. As a head coach who works with young individuals every day, the passing of Ted Agu is a reminder to us all how short and precious life is.

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences and sympathy to the Agu family, Coach Sonny Dykes and to the University of California family.”


In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples earlier on Friday, Bielema attempted to put the Agu comments in context by saying,  ”We all have sickle cell players. To me, it’s the most scary individual thing we face. There are no signs. There are no indicators. ”

Bielema and Alabama coach Nick Saban have been two of the coaches most critical of hurry-up, no-huddle offenses.

It’s not an opinion shared across the conference.  South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier has called it the “Saban Rule” and says he hope it doesn’t pass. Said Georgia coach Mark Richt this week: ”I feel like if you can train offensive players to play five or six plays in a row, you can train defensive players to play that many plays in a row, too.” Auburn’s Gus Malzahn  is skeptical of claims linking pace of play to safety issues.  ”There’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that (it) is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions.”

The vote on the proposal is scheduled for March 6.

Post Comments » Comments (10)



SEC Headlines 6/5/2013

headlines-wedSEC Football

1. Georgia coach Mark Richt on the one-game suspension for Josh Harvey-Clemons: “Even if Josh was starting for us, he’s a pretty inexperienced player right now.”

2. Richt on the season opener against Clemson: “I know both teams will be highly ranked, highly motivated.”

3. Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell on the transition facing freshman players: “It’s going to be a tough transition for a lot of people.”

4. South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward compares Jadeveon Clowney to former Alabama player Derrick Thomas:  ”They’re both freakish athletes, but I’ve seen Jadeveon do some things that I didn’t even see Derrick Thomas do.”

5. Auburn had two backup linebackers transfer but coach Gus Malzahn says he isn’t worried about depth.

6. Malzahn on his five quarterbacks competing for a starting job:   “Once we decide who our starting quarterback is in the fall…We’ll build around his strengths.” Football first for Jeremy Johnson.

7. The Ole Miss – Texas game on September 14 will be carried on the Longhorn Network. Ole Miss working with ESPN to get the game shown on secondary channels as well.

8. Record-attendance at Ole Miss camp.

9. Is Bowling Green a trap game for Mississippi State in October?

10. Is Kentucky a trap game for Missouri this fall? Tigers a candidate for a rebound in offense?

11. Seats near the 50-yard line will cost about $4,000 at the renovated Kyle Field.

12. Updated look at opening week kickoff times.

13. David Climer on SEC scheduling: “Do what you must, SEC, but keep the traditional rivalries intact.”

14. Phil Steele’s preseason All-American teams feature plenty of SEC names.

15. Panel discussion on the integration of football programs at Alabama and Auburn will be moderated by Paul Finebaum.

16. Why the NFL doesn’t need as much contact in practice as college?  ”When players get to the NFL, they actually know what they’re doing,”

17. It appears offensive coordinators have the edge over their defensive counterparts when it comes to getting a head coaching job.l

SEC Basketball

18. Not so fast.  Former Missouri guard Michael Dixon hasn’t committed to Memphis just yet.  Not getting any support from Mizzou.  ”[Missouri A.D. Mike Alden] shredded him to my AD — just absolutely shredded him.”

19. Once Memphis transfer Antonio Barton completes three online courses - he’s free to enroll at Tennessee.

20. Mark Wiedmar on the troubles facing Alabama basketball player Devonta Pollard and former Auburn player Varez Ward:  ”They’re basketball players rather than football players, which means most of the league’s fan bases will never know it happened.”

21. Kevin Scarbinsky: “At Alabama, baseball and men’s basketball have fallen behind in the chase for championships.”

Goodbye Gordon Gee

22. Ohio State president to retire July 1. 

23. Gordon’s greatest gaffes.

24. Matt Hayes:  ”Ohio State has become bellwether in college sports; the powerful, prosperous program you follow to just watch it trip up—and then revel in its misery.”

25. Andy Staples: “When we in sports media see a major public figure bashing Notre Dame AND the SEC at the same time, it’s like hitting the Web traffic lottery. Gee never stood a chance.”


26. Former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin on the hot seat at Southern Cal?

Post Comments » Comments (8)



SEC Coaching Headlines 12/5/2012

Coaching News/Rumors/Reactions

1. Did Auburn repeat a mistake and skip over more qualified candidates?

2. Stewart Mandel: “Auburn AD Jay Jacobs essentially conceded what many already believed — that Malzahn was the real brains behind Chizik’s 2010 national-title team.

3. Bo Jackson on Malzahn: “(A)ctually, we were surprised that he was as sharp as he was.”

4. When Auburn phone Bobby Petrino this week, the questions and comments  “all revolved around Petrino’s personal life and why Arkansas fired him in April.”

5. Bret Bielema was a surprise hire at Arkansas to many people, including the state’s governor.  “I never heard him mentioned, so it is a surprise.”

6. Andy Staples on Bielema: If he considered (Urban) Meyer a ruthless foe, wait until he meets Nick Saban and Les Miles.”

7. Dan Wetzel: “There’s hardly any legitimate competition between the Big Ten and the SEC anymore. At least, not on the field. That’s just reality.”

8. Bielema’s deal worth $3.2 million annually over six years.

9. “Both schools found capable coaches, but chose very different approaches.” The challenges the two men will face.

10. Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury a possible candidate to replace Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State?

11. Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown on rumors linking him to Kentucky.

12. Ellis Johnson reportedly interviewing for defensive coordinator at Auburn. Future plans for Gene Chizik?

13. What does the future hold for Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo?

14. What about former Florida coach Ron Zook for the University of South Florida?

15. For the fifth straight year, the Bowl losing a coach who guided team to postseason.  This year, both teams, Arkansas State and Kent State, will be looking for new coaches.

16. Butch Davis to Florida International?

17. All these coaching searches have sparked an Internet feud.

Post Comments » Comments (29)



SEC Recruiting Headlines – 1/18/12

1. Andy Staples of believes the SEC’s new 25-player signing limit provides a safety net for prospects.

2. Alabama has reached its limit on commitments but is still pursuing defensive tackle Korren Kirven. He isn’t the only one.

3. Defensive end JaMichael Winston insists his commitment to Arkansas is solid but he still plans to visit Clemson and North Carolina.

4. Auburn recruits are getting to know defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.

5. Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy is a solid commit to Auburn, according to his high school coach.

6. has released its final Rivals100 list for the 2012 class. Here’s a breakdown of the moves.

7. Alabama early enrollee T.J. Yeldon was named Mr. Football in Alabama.

8. Alabama coach Nick Saban has been busy recruiting in Atlanta.

9. Why didn’t defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson visit Georgia this past weekend. Michael Carvell of the AJC has an answer for you.

10. Will it be a “photo finish” between Florida and Georgia for linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons?

Post Comments » One Comment



SEC Expansion: The Latest Scuttlebutt

Two conflicting, expansion-related stories are being reported on Big 12-related websites this afternoon.  Both are behind paywalls, so we’ll simply provide you with summary information.  (Sort of silly considering the info will be copy and pasted into a million messageboard posts this afternoon, but hey, we’ll play by the rules).

First, — the Rivals site for Texas A&M — is reporting that all of the SEC’s presidents and chancellors are at Hartsfield International Airport this afternoon.  AggieYell believes this could be the final vote to invite A&M and to discuss other potential targets for expansion.

However, — the Rivals site for Missouri — is claiming that according to their sources in College Station, “the SEC might be slowing things down.”  According to PowerMizzou, the SEC felt fine bringing in A&M and then taking its time to find School #14.  They do not — supposedly — feel comfortable inviting A&M in the face of total armageddon.  Instead, the site claims, the SEC would rather have a full 14-16 school lineup in place.

Andy Staples of reports that the SEC should know by tonight whether or not A&M has the nine votes necessary to land an SEC invite.  If so, a deal could be announced tomorrow and then the dominoes could start falling in other leagues.

Post Comments » Comments (8)



SEC Expansion Nuggets

1.  Tommy Hicks of The Mobile Press-Register believes Texas A&M and Oklahoma would fit right in with the SEC.

2.  Chip Brown of writes that the SEC has called “an emergency meeting to address the possible addition of Texas A&M.”  (If so, we know of at least one SEC president/chancellor who is away from his office and won’t be attending.)

3.  Chuck Carlton of The Dallas Morning News writes that SEC and A&M officials met in New Orleans in recent months.

4.  Andy Staples of wonders if all the realignment dominoes are about to fall.

5.  Sources are telling The Palm Beach Post that Florida State officials have been flirting with the SEC for several months.  A source close to FSU — whoever that may be — told the paper, “This is real.”

Post Comments » Comments (10)



Kentucky #4 On List Of Best Hoops Jobs

Last week, Andy Staples of ranked the 20 best college football jobs in the country.  Not to be outdone Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News has posted his list of the 10 best college basketball jobs in the US of A.

Want a shock?  John Calipari’s gig at Kentucky doesn’t rank #1.  So it must be behind the North Carolina job at #2, right?  Uh, no.  That would be UCLA. 

So UK ranks third?  Uh-uh.  That’s Texas.  “There’s so much talent and money — and minimal pressure to win it all,” DeCourcy writes of the Longhorns.

And at that point — at #4 on the list — you’ll find Kentucky’s head coaching position.  “Perhaps more than any other program, Kentucky makes certain there is life beyond basketball for those who prove themselves to be committed Wildcats.”

Depending on your point of view, that line could be seen as a positive… or as a possible veiled shot at UK’s history of rules violations.

Reading the comments beneath DeCourcy’s post, it’s clear that most UK fans see their school’s gig as the top job in the country.  And that’s not a shock.

No other SEC jobs make the pundit’s list.

Post Comments » Comments (10)



Bad News For Bama In Mock Tourney Selection

The NCAA just wrapped up its annual mock tournament selection seminar and the process was eye-opening for’s Seth Davis.  It could also prove to be bad news for Alabama fans.

Each year, the NCAA invites a number of media members to Indianapolis and walks them through the process of selecting the NCAA tourney field.  The journalists have the same type information available to them that the actual selection committee will use next month.  They follow the same guidelines.  They complete tasks in the same order.

Davis — one of the nation’s top basketball writers — learned a few things during this year’s meeting.  First, he learned that strength of schedule matters in the bid process… a lot.  Second, he now feels it will be impossible in an expanded, 68-team field to prevent teams from the same conference from meeting prior to the regional final round.  Third, he also pointed out that committee members pay special attention to a team’s success against RPI top 50 teams.

Turning things to the SEC, Davis also delivers what might be some bad news for Alabama fans:

“There will never be clarity over just how much emphasis the committee places on how a team performs down the stretch as opposed to early in the season.  Two years ago, the committee removed the record in the last 12 games as a piece of criteria because they thought it was misleading.  The NCAA wants the games in November to count just as much as the ones in February and March.  Again, I disagree.  Alabama is a great example.  The Crimson Tide played poorly in November, but then Anthony Grant suspended his best player for a few games, and after that player returned the team took off.  Now they’ve won 13 out of 15, including at home over Kentucky and on the road at Tennessee.  To me, that’s an NCAA Tournament team, but I was obviously in the minority because the Tide were left out.  At any rate, if the committee’s mission is to select the ‘best’ 37 at-large teams, then it only makes sense to give extra emphasis to the way the team is playing late in the season.”

But how much emphasis qualifies as “extra” emphasis?  Make no mistake, the selection committee does consider how a team finishes.  It has to.  There is no way for Leonardo DiCaprio to incept his way into committee members’ minds and remove recent scores and results from their brains.  Therefore that info has to play some role in the process at some level.

Also, the committee is in a room together for one weekend — conference tournament weekend.  Those league tourney games are the only games all year when committee members can watch together, discuss the outcomes, have their eyes opened by these teams, and roll their eyes at those teams.  Losing in the conference tourney might not be devastating, but getting bombed in the conference tournament can be.

The NCAA’s attempt to explain the selection process is a good move.  It helps fans and media understand how things play out inside the NCAA’s cones of silence.  But it’s not gospel.  There are still plenty of games left to be played.  And committee members — unlike the media at this week’s seminar — won’t be working on the double-quick.  So what was bad news for Bama this past week might not be bad news in a couple of weeks.

For the record, here are the bids and seeds received by the SEC:

Florida — 3rd seed in the East Regional

Kentucky — 4th seeds in the Southwest Regional

Vanderbilt — 4th seed in the West Regional

Tennessee — 7th seed in the Southeast Regional

Georgia — In a play-in game with Butler for the 11th seed in the Southwest Regional

(Just remember who’s been telling ya “five bids” while everyone else has been saying “six.”  That’d be us, in case you didn’t actually remember.)

For more on this topic, check’s report from Andy Staples here.  He believes “the committee relies entirely too much on the RPI.”

Post Comments » Comments (4)



Tuesday Morning Recruiting Headlines

Here are some recruiting headlines to get your Tuesday morning started.

-Running back Tom Smith is ready to help Tennessee as a freshman.

-Here are 10 prospects for Florida fans to keep an eye on eight days before signing day.

-Coaches are recruiting for 2012, too. Here are Florida’s Top 50 prospects for next year.

-Mississippi State is looking for linemen to help close out its 2011 class.

-Ole Miss is trying to rebuild its defensive line, too, because of several departures.

-Here are some outside linebackers considering SEC schools. There are several inside linebackers available, too.

-Florida State, which competes for many SEC prospects, is doing very well in recruiting this year.

-Defensive tackle John Jenkins will decide after his trip to Florida this weekend.

-A very good read: Andy Staples looks at problems with oversigning in the SEC and college football.

Post Comments » One Comment



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC