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SEC Headlines 2/21/2014

headlines-fri-150x150Hurry-Up Offenses & Proposed Rule Change

1. South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier calls proposal “Saban rule.”  Tells USA Today - ”It’s ridiculous. Let’s let everybody keep playing the way they’ve been playing.”

2. Georgia coach Mark Richt: “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.”

3. Kevin Scarbinsky on comments by Arkansas coach Bret Bielema (earlier story here): “Bielema was wrong on so many levels… He actually made a case to ban the sport of football entirely.”

SEC Football

4. Mark Richt on the Josh Harvey-Clemons dismissal: “Guys understand that there are certain rules everybody needs to abide by and if they don’t they could possibly lose their privilege to play at Georgia.”

5. With the exception of offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, every Georgia coach will have some special teams responsibility.

6. That includes new inside linebackers coach Mike Ekeler who is fired up to be in Athens. “They’re gonna have to take me out of here at gunpoint.”

7. Arkansas has hired Clay Jennings from TCU to coach defensive backs.

8. Tennessee defensive lineman Danny O’Brien gets community service in exchange for having charges related to possessing a fake ID, resisting arrest and underage drinking dropped.

9. Alabama is suing former wide receivers coach Mike Groh for breaching his employment contract – claims he owes the school $57,000.

10. ESPN’s Chris Low takes a stab at the top-5 offensive linemen in the SEC heading into the 2014 season.

11. With Michael Sam and Kony Ealy off to the NFL, how does Missouri’s defensive line shape up for 2014?

12. A look back at Florida’s loaded 2007 recruiting class that included Cam Newton and here’s a review of Nick Saban’s first full signing class in 2008.

SEC/NFL 

13. Tom Brady to Johnny Manziel: “Ignore the noise.” Johnny’s official measurements - 5’11 and ¾ inches, 207 pounds –  but he has big hands.

14. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock on Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy: “He hustles, plays hard, has some natural edge ability and, in today’s NFL, that all adds up to a first-round pick for me.” Mel Kiper:  “Ealy is a guy, had he gone back, would have been a much higher pick…”

15. Likeliest first round picks from LSU are wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry

16. One take on former Georgia running back  Isaiah Crowell who’s entering the draft after his junior year at Alabama State – “extremely immature and has a history of off-field issues. Can be difficult to coach.”

SEC Basketball

17. With a win over Ole Miss Saturday, Florida will win its 19th straight and potentially vault to No. 1 in the polls.

18. Florida center Patric Young apologizes for calling Boston College “awful.”

19. Time to be optimistic or pessimistic on Auburn basketball?  Tony Barbee has a chance at his first winning season.

Headline of the day

20. Vomiting from car window, Oklahoma man hits head on mailbox.

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WOW Headlines

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel pled guilty today to a misdemeanor charge of providing a fake ID to a cop in 2012…
The reigning Heisman-winner will not spend time in jail but will have to pay $2,000 in fines
LSU coach Les Miles is dealing with increased scrutiny for not taking stiff action against RB Jeremy Hill…
Suspended indefinitely, Hill pled guilty last week to a battery charge that might violate the terms of a previous probation
Auburn WR prospect Earnest Robinson has failed to qualify academically and will enroll in a junior college instead
SEC Media Days kicks off in Birmingham this week…
Follow all the hot stories from each SEC football program at MrSEC.com all week long

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Hearings Set For Two Of Four Arrested Bama Football Players

gavel-scalesLast Monday, four Alabama football players were arrested on charges varying from second-degree robbery to fraudulent use of a stolen credit card.  Today, two of those players had a joint preliminary hearing scheduled.

Eddie Williams is accused of robbing two University of Alabama students.  Both students were reportedly beaten to the point of unconsciousness.  Williams and teammate Brent Calloway are accused of using one of the assaulted student’s ID card to buy items from a vending machine inside a UA dorm.  The hearing for Williams and Calloway has been set for March 19th in Tuscaloosa.

There is no word yet on hearings for two other players — DJ Pettway and Tyler Hayes — accused of taking part in one robbery/beating and being present for the other.

Williams confessed to police that he committed both robberies.  Hayes admitted to taking part in the first and watching the second from a nearby vehicle, along with Pettway.

All four players were indefinitely suspended when the arrests came to light last Monday and on Friday, the three players accused in the beatings/robberies were banned from campus pending a University review.

We wrote last week that it was the position of MrSEC.com that the two players who had admitted to police their roles in the violent crimes should be dismissed from Alabama’s team.  It’s apparent now that Nick Saban does not intend to go down that road and will instead let the school dismiss the players after its review.

Many Crimson Tide fans have written us to say that coaches cannot dismiss players without due process, but that’s a ridiculous suggestion.  Certainly nothing of the sort stopped then-Auburn coach Gene Chizik from immediately dismissing four Auburn football players on the very day of their arrests for robbery in March of 2011.

But, we’re talking about sports fans and fans defend their schools, coaches, and players.  If Jeffrey Dahmer had been a four-star prospect on an SEC team there would have plenty of folks in that school’s fanbase ready to claim the poor chap was dealing with an eating disorder.

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UGA’s Crowell Busted On Felony Gun Charges, Likely Done As A Dawg

In college sports there are arrests.  Then there are arrests.  Alcohol-related issues, driving on without a license, even beating up a fellow student… all are survivable.

Being arrested and charged with two felony weapons charges (as well as a third non-felony) at 3:37 in the morning?  Uh, no.  That’s not survivable.  At least according to what one person in the University of Georgia administration told MrSEC.com in the 10 o’clock hour.  And that’s bad news for Isaiah Crowell.

The oft-troubled — and oft-rumored-to-be-even-more-troubled — former top tailback prospect in the country will be immediately suspended thanks to UGA’s strict student-athlete handbook/code of conduct.  But from what we’ve been told, this is the straw that will definitely break the camel’s back.

Here’s the skinny from Chip Towers of The AJC on the arrest:

 

“According to Athens-Clarke police spokesperson Hilda Sorrow, Crowell was arrested as the result of a “vehicle check-point stop” — a road block — on East Campus Road at Green Street at 2:20 a.m. Friday.  Officer Kristin Thornton reported smelling the odor of marijuana in Crowell’s 2005 Mercury Grand Marquis.  Crowell gave consent to search the vehicle, himself and four other unnamed occupants.  No marijuana was discovered but a 9-mm Luger handgun with an altered serial number was found under the driver’s seat.  Crowell was immediately arrested and taken to jail and the car was impounded.

Sorrow said the police report was not yet available and she was not allowed to identify the other four occupants of the vehicle.”

 

So there could be a few more Dawgs facing some form of discipline just for being with Crowell in a bad situation if any of those four people in the car were UGA players.  That’s still a mighty, mighty big if at the moment.

As or Crowell, Georgia AD Greg McGarity refused to comment earlier today.  Expect the school to jump through all the proper hoops, get the player’s side of the story, and then act.  That act will likely be a dismissal from the squad according to our source.

Crowell was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a weapon in a school zone and possessing a weapon with an altered ID mark.  The altered serial number could prove to be a big issue for the player.  Ballistics tests will be run on that gun.  Crowell had better hope his gun’s never been used in a crime.

For SEC fans, this is remarkably reminiscent of the New Year’s Day, 2010 arrest of four Tennessee basketball players.  The team’s star player, Tyler Smith, was charged with “unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.”  Three players survived their arrests for alcohol and marijuana issues with suspensions.  Smith was booted from the team for being the man who owned the heater (always wanted to call a gun a “heater,” Mugsy.)

Crowell rushed for 850 yards last season in Athens but he was suspended from the team twice (in the first quarter against Vanderbilt for an unspecified rule violation and for the entire New Mexico State game for what was reported to be a failed drug test.)  In the past, when this site has referred to Crowell as a bit of a head case who needed to get his act together, the Bulldog Nation rallied around their own.  UGA fans could suggest the freshman was a knucklehead, but no outside media type could.  Well, this is the kind of thing we and so many others in the media were hinting at last season.

There’s what you can report because you have solid facts and there’s what you sit on and hint at because it’s simply what people close to the situation are telling you.  That’s the line the media is supposed to walk.  Yet when a media member tries to hint at trouble on the horizon for a young man, that person becomes the villain for supposedly smearing a player’s name and reputation.  Well, here’s some inside baseball for you: Most respectable, professional media members won’t publicly suggest/hint/speculate that a kid’s got problems if they haven’t been told by people close to that player that he indeed does have real issues.

In Crowell’s case, he was one Dawg who’d already been given considerable leash.  He had a reputation on UGA’s campus for being a bit of a lone wolf when it came to discipline and practice/film room habits.  At MrSEC.com, we were told on more than once occasion that it would be unlikely — barring some serious growth on the player’s part — that he would finish his career in red and black.

This spring, everyone from his coaches to his teammates to Crowell himself had said he’d matured.  On the field, apparently so.  But rolling around town in the early morning hours with an unregistered pistol under your seat is hardly a sign of maturity.  Or intelligence for that matter.

And that will likely force Georgia to dismiss Crowell from the Bulldog team once and for all.

If that happens, Dawg fans will be hoping Mark Richt’s latest hotshot tailback prospect — true freshman Keith Marshall — can take care of business on and off the field better than Crowell has.  Or did.

Stay tuned to find out who else was in the car with Crowell.  Stay tuned to see just how long Crowell remains on the team before he’s most likely given the boot.

 

UPDATE — The Athens Banner-Herald reports that Crowell was granted a $6,000 bond this morning and placed on a 10pm curfew.

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Veterans Admitted Free Thursday

Arkansas
Content provided by The Slophouse.

In honor of Veterans Day, past and present military personnel will be given free admission to Arkansas’ exhibition game against Victory University on Thursday night, the University of Arkansas announced Wednesday.

Those wishing to take advantage of the offer will need to show their ID on the south side of Bud Walton Arena at the ticket office.

“We want to take the opportunity to share a small token of our appreciation with all the men and women who have served and protected our country as part of our armed forces,” UA athletics director Jeff Long said in a statement. “Whether they are serving currently or have done so in the past, we are grateful for their sacrifice and their commitment to all of us and our great nation.”

Arkansas’ final exhibition of the preseason will tip-off at 7 p.m.

For more visit WholeHogSports.com. You can follow Matt Jones on Twitter @NWAMatt.

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