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SEC Headlines 6/3/2013

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1. The SEC’s sports information directors predict a rematch in the conference championship game.

2. SEC coaches are being careful with what they say in this 24/7 media environment.

3. Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson discussed what went wrong during his lone season at Southern Miss.

4. Quarterback guru George Whitfield discussed what Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel needs to improve on before the season.

5. Kicker Andrew Gantz, who previously committes to walk on at Tennessee, has decided to attend Cincinnati.

6. Tennessee’s men’s athletics have reason to be optimistic next year, writes John Adams.

7. Kentucky is ranked No. 101 by USA Today for the upcoming season.

8. Alabama AD Bill Battle discussed his new role with the Crimson Tide after replacing the late Mal Moore.

9. Despite comments made by Ohio State president Gordon Gee, Bret Bielema isn’t a thug after all.

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10. Report: Jonas Hayes will become a full-time assistant coach on Mark Fox’s staff at Georgia.


11. Rick Pitino on Gordon Gee: “I have a major problem with him.” It gets better during this radio interview.

12. Rutgers’ handling of the Julie Hermann hire continues to receive criticism.

13. Athlon Sports predicts Clemson will win the ACC championship behind senior quarterback Tajh Boyd.

14. There will be no further action in the Pac-12 officiating dispute with Arizona’s basketball team.

15. Very early preview: The Big Ten has released its 2015 football schedule.

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SEC Headlines 6/2/2013

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1. Arkansas A.D. Jeff Long is not happy with Ohio State president Gordon Gee and his comments regarding Arkansas coach Bret Bielema during his time at Wisconsin.  ”I am deeply troubled by the unfounded and slanderous remarks…”

2. Expect a rematch in Atlanta between Alabama and Georgia if the SEC’s 14 football information directors are right.

3. The SEC’s 2014 schedule expected to be released in the next few weeks: “And no one will be paying closer attention than the league coaches.”

4. Kevin Scarbinsky on Auburn: How long before the Iron Bowl is a game again?

5. Father of Kentucky twins Daron and Zack Blaylock, Mookie Blaylock , upgraded to “serious condition” on Saturday.

6. Stadium capacity at Missouri will be temporarily reduced by about 3,000 due to construction.

SEC/College Basketball

7. Tennesssee A.D. Dave Hart on whether there’s been any contract extension or renegotiation talk regarding coach Cuonzo Martin: “When we think we’re at a point where we have something to say about any of that, we’ll do so at the appropriate time.”

8. Making the case for 13 positions in basketball.

9. “The most significant college basketball program” – UCLA 1964 to 1975.


10. Bernando LaPallo has a new book coming out on his 112th birthday.

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SEC Headlines 6/1/2013

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1. SEC going to start taking more control over which SEC teams go to which bowls.  Mike Slive: “If people aren’t happy where they go to a bowl game now, they blame me…I might as well take some of the responsibility.”

2. LSU A.D. Joe Alleva on ending permanent cross-division opponents: ”We haven’t lost the battle so that’s a real win. Nothing has been finalized. It will continue to be discussed.”

3. Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin on the rivalry with Texas: “It isn’t relevant to us anymore.”

4. According to Ohio State president Gordon Gee, Wisconsin A.D. Barry Alvarez though current Arkansas and former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema was a “thug.”  Alvarez:  ”I have never said that about Bret…” Bielema gets apology from Gee.

5. Aggies A.D. Eric Hyman on student-population growth and stadium expansion: ”The school is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s over 50,000 students so the number of alumni in the future is going to be astronomical.”

6. These bullish predictions about the Aggies include a repeat Heisman performance and a BCS bowl appearance. But can the defense hold up?

7. The father of Kentucky twins Daron and Zack Blaylock, former NBA star Mookie Blaylock,  involved in head-on collision – “guarded but critical condition.”

8. Senior cornerback Louis Covington has left the Ole Miss football team.

9. Ole Miss linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche: “I’m able to be more vocal because I have more confidence.”

10. Backup Auburn linebackers Harris Gaston and Chris Landrum reportedly transferring to Jacksonville State.

11. Backup Arkansas quarterback Taylor Reed transferring to Central Arkansas.

12. Missouri and Arkansas set to become new permanent rivals - “ Ozarkalypse” ?

SEC/College News

13. This year’s $20.7 million payout to each of the SEC schools is more than 100% jump since the league signed TV deals with ESPN and CBS in 2009-10.

14. Missouri and Texas A&M getting full shares from the SEC.  West Virginia and TCU received half shares from the Big 12.

15. Other conferences want SEC teams on their schedule: “Your brand exposure increases dramatically by playing an SEC team.”

16. District attorney wants Harvey Updyke to pay approximately $1 million in restitution for poisoning Toomer’s Oaks.

17. Alabama A.D. Bill Battle on adjusting to his new role: “In the last four weeks, I’ve been in more meetings than I have in the last 20 years,”

18. Look for Cam Newton’s line of shoes on Auburn cheerleaders this fall.

19. NCAA relaxing rules toward food and clothing for athletes?


20. Making moonshine is legal in Tennessee and gaining in popularity around the country.

21. Ten reasons why people are moving to Texas.

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Slive Has Already Accepted An Apology From OSU’s Gee; Columnists, Twitter Outraged

pointed-finger-accusationOhio State president Gordon Gee has once again botched a joke in a public setting.  Actually, he botched several jokes.  His attempts at being funny in front of an OSU athletic council meeting back in December have turned into a national scandal — what doesn’t? — and now he’s having to beg for forgiveness.

If you missed his comments, you can read them here.  Putting it simply, the ex-Vanderbilt chancellor fired a shot at SEC academics while also managing to insult Notre Dame, Louisville, the ACC, and Catholics everywhere.  And, yes, the Catholic thing is the biggie.

Being an ex-SEC man himself, Gee knows SEC commissioner Mike Slive quite well.  And according to Slive, Gee has already called him to apologize.  So has Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.  And Slive has accepted both men’s apologies:


“(Gee) called me a week or so ago and he said he said some things that he wanted to apologize for.  I didn’t know what they were, he didn’t say what they were and (he) said they might come out and wanted (me) to know he was very apologetic and very sorry for what he said.

Subsequently I got a call from Jim Delany the other day, prior to it coming out and not only did he apologize… he made it abundantly clear that he has great respect for the Southeastern Conference, enjoys the competitions and Gordon Gee was not speaking for him or the Big Ten and he apologized on behalf of himself and on behalf of the Big Ten conference.”


Enough.  End of story.

When I first read the Gee story I thought to myself: “What a stupid thing for a university president to say in public, even in a joking manner.”  Then I wrote that.  And then I moved on.

Unfortunately half the folks in America are now out for Gee’s head, outraged — outraged!!! — over his comments.

Lighten up, Francis.

Gee was trying to be cute and as is usually the case when he tries to be cute — “I hope Jim Tressel doesn’t dismiss me” –  he failed miserably.

Sadly, as a society we no longer have the ability to move on from anything.  Take Florida assistant Tim Davis’ “devil” comment regarding Alabama’s Nick Saban.  It was a dumb thing to say in public, joking or not.  UF coach Will Muschamp and AD Jeremy Foley both called Saban to apologize on Davis’ behalf, though the assistant — the one guy who should have apologized — hasn’t.

But did we really need two full weeks of national stories on that topic?

Mention it.  Give an opinion on it.  Move on.

But that’s now what happened in Davis’ case.  And it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in L’affaire Gee, either.

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OSU A.D. Smith Says Big Ten “Not Agressively Pursuing Anyone”

gfx - they said itLast month, Ohio State president Gordon Gee got the sporting world a’talkin’ when he said “there has been ongoing discussion” within the Big Ten regarding further conference expansion.  Maryland and Rutgers have already accepted invitations to join the soon-to-be 14-school league.  The cost of Maryland’s move will eventually decided in the courts barring a negotiated settlement with the ACC, the school’s current home.

It appears that Gee and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith must have different definitions of the term “ongoing discussions.”  That’s because the employee has seemingly refuted the statement made by his employer just about 30 days ago.

Smith told


“I think you’re going to have all types of rumors about us and the Big XII.  We’re not doing anything right now.  We’ll sit and evaluate Rutgers’ and Maryland’s transition.  We don’t want to screw that up.  Right now we’re not aggressively pursuing anyone.”


Most believe that the Big Ten and Virginia (and possibly Georgia Tech and North Carolina and others) are biding their time until Maryland’s exit fee is finalized.  At that point, additional Big Ten moves will come.

Regardless of his intent, Smith’s statement certainly doesn’t quash those theories.

As for the Big Ten “not aggressively pursuing anyone,” well…


Ripley's Believe it Or Not – TV intro 1983

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Don’t Like The Idea Of 20-Team Conferences? Don’t Worry, They Won’t Last Long

hello i am history cartoonWhen Ohio State president Gordon Gee admitted last month that there seems to be “movement towards three or four super-conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams,” he was stating what many already suspected.  While some may envision a sporting landscape that includes four conferences of 16 schools each, there’s absolutely no reason to believe leagues will stop growing when they hit that imaginary ceiling.  If a conference believes there’s more money to be made with 17, 18, 19, 20 or more schools, you can be sure that conference will expand accordingly.

Over the past three years, we’ve seen as much movement, as much shuffling as the college sports world has ever known.  A chart of this evolution would show a slow rise from ape to man from the early 1900s to the 2000s… and then a huge leap forward to a man with both gills and wings in the 2010s.  For the geeks out there, consider these the X-conferences.  And the mutants are taking over.

Here’s a look at what’s transpired since 2010:


* The ACC has lined up Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville, but it’s lost Maryland.

* The Big Ten has added Nebraska and it’s scheduled to add Maryland and Rutgers.

* The Big XII has added TCU and West Virginia, but it’s lost Colorado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Missouri.

* The Pac-12 has added Colorado and Utah.

* The SEC has added Texas A&M and Missouri

* The Big East, well, that list is too long to mention.  Ditto those poor, poor leagues smaller than the Big East.


With the exception of the Big XII and the revolving door that is the Big East, the biggest conferences have been getting even bigger.  Money is the obvious motivation.  Conferences are adding schools so they can make more television dollars off an increased amount of content (games).  Schools are switching conferences in order to find a better pay day.

But if history is a guide, don’t expect any super-conferences currently on the horizon to stick together for too long.  Contracts, grant-of-rights agreements, and exit fees be damned… those leagues expanding to 18, 20, or more schools will eventually splinter right back apart.

Here’s why:

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Survivor, NCAA Style: Big 12 Talks Alliances, “Friends With Benefits”

gfx - they said itBig 12 athletic directors will meet in suburban Dallas on Monday and Tuesday.  With a report surfacing earlier in the week that officials would have a “philosophical” discussion about expansion, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby gave some insight on Friday where the league could be headed.

In an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, Bowlsby said the league has had alliance discussions with three other conferences.


“The ACC is one of them. It’s a process of discovery that would provide some of the benefits of larger membership without actually adding members.”


Bowlsby would not name the other two leagues, although the Pac-12 is believed to be one of them.  He also told that the paper that an alliance – which would cover areas like scheduling, marketing and possible television partnerships –  is not necessarily a precursor to expansion.


“If anything, it’s the opposite. You can begin to get some advantages without taking on any of the disadvantages (of expansion). It’s one option that allows benefits. It’s kind of like friends with benefits.”


Any alliance would include football and basketball and could spread to other sports. On Wednesday, reported that Bowlsby’s interested was piqued in December when a report surfaced that Florida State had reached out to the Big Ten about possible membership.

Meanwhile the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch obtained minutes of a meeting in December where Ohio State president Gordon Gee is quoted as saying he “believes there is movement towards three or four super conferences that are made up of 16-20 teams.”

Responding to a student question about where the league might go, Gee said:



There are opportunities to move further south in the (E)ast and possibly a couple of Midwest universities.”


The Big 10 has reportedly tried to gauge the interest of several ACC schools. ESPN, picking up on the “Midwest universities” part of the quote, asks if that could be good news for Kansas.

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SEC Headlines – 6/1/11 Part Five

1.  This writer says Gordon Gee dropped Ohio State harder than Vanderbilt.

2.  Massive media company IMG is branching out into collegiate ticket sales and they’ll soon be running Tennessee’s ticket-selling operation.

3.  UT defensive end Jacques Smith recently underwent a “precautionary” surgery on his foot.

4.  With Kentucky leading the way, has ranked the SEC #1 in basketball recruiting this year.

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“Gee Should Follow Tressel Out The Door”

For Vanderbilt fans out there who still roll their eyes at the mention of former VU president Gordon Gee — now overseeing the trainwreck at Ohio State — Jeff Schultz of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes something today that you might approve of:

“Gee should follow (Jim) Tressel out the door.  He exuded pomposity at Vanderbilt when he disbanded the athletic department, and more recently downplayed Tressel’s alleged NCAA infractions.  Asked whether he considered firing Tressel, he giggled and responded, ‘I’m just hoping the coach doesn’t dismiss me.’

Further proof that a wall full of diplomas doesn’t ensure a man has integrity.”

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