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Sherman’s Job Is Safe At Texas A&M

Last week, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel found himself in hot water after being hit with a DUI.  The coach survived with a suspension and a hit to his wallet.

The other football coach entering the SEC next year — Texas A&M’s Mike Sherman — has found himself on the hot seat for other reasons.  His Top 10 team has turned into a 6-5 mess and that’s led some/many Aggie fans to call for his head.  For now, however, said head appears safe.

A&M president R. Bowen Loftin was asked yesterday if his coach is safe with four years left on a $1.8 million-per-year deal.  “As far as I’m concerned, yes.  We don’t want to make any hasty moves, and we look forward to him being our football coach in the future.”

Texas A&M is 25-24 in four seasons under Sherman.  They are just 15-17 in Big 12 play.  If the Aggies weren’t facing such a major transition this offseason — moving from the Big 12 to the SEC — we believe it’s highly unlikely Sherman’s status would be so secure.

Meanwhile, A&M has received a bill from the Big 12 for its exit fee, but the school continues to try to negotiate that number down.

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Calipari Drops Curfew On Cats After Early Morning Car Wreck

Where were you at 2:30am this morning?

Kentucky basketball players Terrence Jones and Stacey Poole were involved in a car accident in Lexington at that time.  Both players received minor injuries when the SUV they were riding in was struck by a man eventually charged with DUI.

The players weren’t breaking a team rule by being out at 2:30am.  But that’s about to change according to John Calipari:

“Because of the actions of a select few, this team has showed me an inability to make proper judgment and decisions that they’ve been given the freedom to make.  Therefore, going forward, this team will now have a curfew for the rest of the season…

We hold our players to a higher standard at Kentucky.  They must learn that they’ve been placed in a leadership role and that every action defines this team, this state and its fans.  As always, any additional punishment will be handled within the team.”

A third, unidentified person was driving the SUV when it was hit by the alleged drunk driver.

UPDATEThere is some debate as to whether Jones — who’s still underage — was drinking at the time of the accident.

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Richt Still Believes In Crowell; Test Results Learned After UF Game

Isaiah Crowell — the SEC’s fifth-leading rusher — gave himself and the Georgia program a black eye this week when a failed drug test led to his suspension from the team for a week.

This news came on top of preseason rumors that Crowell was having a hard time adjusting to college life and college football.

But Mark Richt says his star tailback — who was prematurely compared to Herschel Walker by some — is far from a finished product at this stage of his life:

“I feel like he is going to grow up from this in some ways and I think is going to be better for it.  Sometimes things happen in life that will help you grow up a little bit quicker.”

The coach also said that his running back is “very remorseful” and that he was encouraged by the way Crowell took his punishment.  “… I think it was one of the better conversations I’ve had with Isaiah since he’s been here.”

Crowell’s high school coach also believes his former pupil has learned his lesson.

Lucky for Crowell his lesson seems to have come in a relatively minor way.  There was no arrest.  There was no violent crime, no DUI.

One failed drug test can serve as a wake-up call.  Here’s hoping Crowell answers that call.

On a sidenote, the AP has now quoted two people “familiar with the results” of the drug test as saying that the tests were administered last Wednesday, but the results were not confirmed until Tuesday, when the suspensions were announced.

Georgia AD Greg McGarity said yesterday, “We don’t play games around here.  For someone to insinuate that we are being selective like that is absurd.  We don’t manipulate things.  We are going to conduct our program with respect and do things the right way.  For anyone to claim otherwise is irresponsible.”

Richt added: “We didn’t know anything until Monday evening.  That’s when we knew we needed to start thinking about what’s going on.”

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MSU Recruiting Aide Resigns

Mississippi State assistant recruiting coordinator for football Mark Ouimet has resigned following his on-campus DUI arrest late last month.  Ouimet was arrested about 15 hours after State’s overtime win over Louisiana Tech.

Ouimet stated yesterday that his resignation “is strictly related 100 percent to a situation with my son and my family.”

He told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger that his son has a health issue.  His son and wife live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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UGA’s Sack-Leader Will Miss 2 Games Due To DUI

After an 0-2 start and numerous calls for his scalp, Mark Richt had begun to turn things around at Georgia.  His Bulldogs had rolled off three straight wins — two of them conference wins — and had found themselves right back in the heat of the East Division race heading to Tennessee on Saturday.

And then the team’s best pass-rusher went and got arrested for a DUI early Sunday morning.

“It’s a setback,” Richt said of linebacker Cornelius Washington’s arrest.  “But I don’t know if it’ll deter us from playing hard and playing well.” 

Indeed, it might not keep UGA from playing hard and playing well.  But facing the SEC’s top-rated gunslinger Tyler Bray, the Dawgs’ chances would be vastly improved if their sack leader could play this weekend.  At Georgia, a DUI arrest results in an automatic suspension of a minimum of 20% of the season (which is a very good, cut-and-dried rule, by the way).  Twenty percent equals two games and Vanderbilt follows Tennessee on UGA’s schedule.

Washington had two sacks against Mississippi State on Saturday and 1.5 against Ole Miss the previous week.

“He’s sick,” Richt said of Washington.  “He feels awful.  He knows that he let the team down, let his coaches down, let his family down, and the Bulldog nation in general.  He understands that there’s going to be a price to be paid.  He’s going to take his punishment like a man and come back and finish strong for us.”

Unfortunately, Richt and his staff could pay a greater price should Georgia lose it’s East Division showdown on Saturday.  Georgia’s coach likely needs to win eight games to keep his job for another year, but some of those wins need to come against his squad’s East Division foes.

The loss of Washington will likely have some impact on the field Saturday… and that could lead to a bigger, longer-lasting impact on the UGA program moving forward.

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SEC Headlines – 7/27/11 Part Two

1.  A South Carolina trustee says of GA Mangus’ arrest: “No one would condone his behavior, but he didn’t endanger a life like a DUI… it’s a little bit different.”

2.  Two Gamecock freshmen will feel pressure to help improve USC’s hoops fortunes.

3.  Derek Dooley is ready to stop talking and start working.

4.  This writer suggests that Tennessee should give away its many unsold football tickets to children.  (That’s not a bad way to hook future fans.)

5.  Vanderbilt’s John Jenkins is trying to shoot his way onto the 2011 USA World University Games team.

6.  Auburn freshman linebacker Kris Frost had successful surgery on his should yesterday… and he could be ready to play this season.

7.  Gus Malzahn’s offense will face some big challenges in the fall.

8.  Bobby Petrino talked expectations and quarterbacks at ESPN yesterday.

9.  Running back Vick Ballard is making his mark at Mississippi State.

10.  Pass rusher Kentrell Lockett is ready to test his knee at Ole Miss.

11.  UM is actually “ahead of pace” in season ticket sales.

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USC’s Holloman Arrested For DUI

When you add South Carolina football + alcohol + trouble the answer usually has something to do with quarterback Stephen Garcia.  Not this time around.  This time is was actually a teammate of Garcia’s who got into trouble over the weekend.

The Charleston Post & Courier reports that Gamecock linebacker DeVonte Holloman was arrested early Saturday morning on a DUI charge near Williams-Brice Stadium.  Holloman had a blood alcohol content of .08 when stopped at a late night checkpoint.

Holloman started 10 of Carolina’s 14 games a year ago and was the Cocks’ third-leading tackler.

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Scholarship status for WR Frankie Hammond Jr. still undetermined

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

On the field, at least, Frankie Hammond Jr. appears to be earning his scholarship back. The Gators’ redshirt sophomore had it revoked after a DUI arrest this summer, one that has since been settled in court.

At the time, coach Urban Meyer said Hammond would pay his way this season and possible for the entire year.

This week, Meyer said he still hasn’t determined Hammond’s scholarship status. By all accounts, though, Hammond has taken this as a lesson and is moving in the right direction.

“Do I have a timetable? No,” said Meyer. “But I’m evaluating everything he’s doing and that includes his unselfish contribution to this team, his academic reports and his off-the-field behavior and assisting us with a lot of off-the-field things. He’s doing very well.”

After missing the first two games, he has emerged as one of the Gators’ top receivers. He leads Florida with 16 receptions in the past five games, and is the team’s best blocking receiver.

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UK’s Roark Given Four Days House Arrest

Kentucky receiver Matt Roark has been sentenced to four days’ house arrest and given a 45-day license suspension after pleading guilty to a DUI.

Roark was arrested on October 24th for driving with a .192 blood alcohol level.  The legal limit in Kentucky is .08.  Ouch.

Roark was suspended for the Mississippi State game this past weekend.

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Clarification to Thursday column on DUI

Content provided by John Clay’s Sidelines.

This morning for the print product, wrote column on UK football coach Joker Phillips and his approach to the recent DUI charge of wide receiver Matt Roark.

In the column, I said that UK’s disciplinary policy on such matters was left up to the individual coach.

UK sports information director Tony Neely informed me this morning that the athletic department does have an across-the-board policy in dealing with DUIs that calls for a suspension of 10 percent of an athlete’s season. In the case of football, that would be one game.

It is then up to the discretion of the coach if he or she wants to add to the penalty, said Neely.

As I said in the column, I’m not criticizing Phillips handling of the Matt Roark situation. It is Joker’s first time handling such a situation as a head coach, and we’ll see how it goes. Plus, UK football has been fortunate enough to avoid this sort of issue of late. But I did want to point out the seriousness of the matter, as illustrated by what happened with the death of football player Artie Steinmetz and his friend Scott Brock back in 1998.


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