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WOW Headlines – 11/12/12

Auburn coach Gene Chizik says he believes he can still turn things around at Auburn next year if he returns
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley says AD Dave Hart has told him no decision on his future has been made
TCU coach Gary Patterson on rumors tying him to the Arkansas job: “I don’t think there’s anything to that.”
Ex-Ohio State coach Jim Tressel says there’s “no substance” to reports tying him to Kentucky’s job
Florida QB Jeff Driskel is doubtful for Saturday’s game with Jacksonville State due to a sprained ankle
Tennessee LB Curt Maggitt will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL
Six SEC teams are ranked between #4 and #9 in the latest BCS standings: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and then South Carolina
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Hog A.D. Long In The Hot Seat, Too

Not only has Bobby Petrino left a mess on Arkansas AD Jeff Long’s desk, but he’s warmed the seat beneath his boss’ rump, too.  Long is now in a wildly unenviable position.

He can either:

A)  Choose to keep Petrino, face a possible lawsuit from Jessica Dorrell if she decides to go that route, and take a beatdown from the national media, allowing the school’s reputation to be tarnished.


B)  Choose to fire Petrino, clean the university’s name, and tick off the vast majority of the Razorback fanbase.

I happen to live in East Tennessee.  I’ve also lived in Kentucky, Ohio and North Carolina for those who want to claim I’m a fan of one team or another.

But as an East Tennessean I can tell you that there is a sizable chunk of Tennessee’s fanbase that still doesn’t believe former hoops coach Bruce Pearl had to be fired.  They literally don’t get it.  Can’t grasp it.  Can’t wrap their heads around the fact that a coach facing a three-year show-cause penalty — with a staff also facing a one-year suspension — had to be let go.

And as a former resident of Columbus, Ohio, I can tell you that more than a few Ohio State fans have told me they’re angry that Jim Tressel was relieved of his duties by the OSU administration.  Nevermind the five-year show-cause penalty the NCAA handed him.

Hell, fans literally rioted in State College, Pennsylvania when Penn State University fired Joe Paterno… despite the fact that the school — thanks in part to Paterno’s lack of action and lack of follow-ups — is now facing potential lawsuits out the proverbial ying-yang.

Oh, if Long does what it looks like he’ll have to do for the sake of the University of Arkansas from a legal standpoint — and that’s axe Petrino — he’ll be pilloried by folks in plastic Hog hats who just wanna win football games.

Andy Staples of weighs in on Long’s situation in an excellent piece right here.  Heck, if we’d seen this piece first we might’ve just linked you to it and not bothered writing our own detailed explanation of Petrino’s troubles moments ago.

In our piece, we listed a number of men who were undone by cover-ups.  But there was another former SEC football coach who covered up and survived anyway.  Take it away, Mr. Staples:

“Long is not the first athletic director to face this type of predicament.  In May 1999, Alabama AD Bob Bockrath’s coach, Mike Dubose, lied about a relationship with a secretary after she filed a harassment complaint.  Ultimately, the truth came out and the school had to pay the women $350,000.  Did Alabama fire DuBose?  Nope.  It fired Bockrath.  (DuBose went on to win the 1999 SEC title and himself fired in 2000 for losing.)”

If there’s someone in a spot as tight as Petrino’s today, it’s his boss, Long.  And Petrino’s the man who put him there.

Now thousands of Atlanta Falcons and University of Louisville fans can correctly say to Long, “Told you so.”

Long’s gamble on Petrino paid off for a while, but boy that bubble has burst today.

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Cutting Down On Cheating Requires A Get-Tough Approach

Appearing on a televised sports show this past Sunday morning, I put forth my plan for curtailing cheating in the NCAA ranks.  And it’s not a plan you’ll hear many other people espousing.

Sure, hiring more investigators wouldn’t hurt the cause.  And using ex-judges on the enforcement committee would be wiser than using people currently associated with NCAA schools.  Thinning the rulebook would also be a positive step.

But if the NCAA really wants to cut down on cheating, it needs to get tough on crime.  Here’s how:

1.  Redefine major violations as anything involving a) extra benefits (money, cars, prostitutes in Miami’s case, etc) and b) cover-ups.

2.  Any school found guilty of committing a major violation loses 10% of its scholarships the following season.  In football, that would be 8.5 bodies which rounds up easily to nine.  One major violation and a football team goes from 85 to 76 scholarships for a season.  Two violations and the program loses 17 bodies.  Imagine if a school were found guilty of four or five major violations.  Here’s the beauty of that plan — the more a school cheats, the closer it comes to applying the death penalty to itself.

3.  Any coach found guilty of a major violation is banned from NCAA coaching for life.  Provide an extra benefit or lie to NCAA investigators and they’re done.  End of story.

4.  Any player found guilty of a major violation loses his eligibility.  Period.  Not for a game or a season, but forever.  Don’t take payouts or else.

Sound tough?  We thought so, too.  In fact, we figured many would scoff at such a get-tough approach.

But then we came across Tony Barnhart’s latest column for  His Monday headline?  “New cause: Give cheating coaches the death penalty.”  He writes:

“If you want to cut back on the cheating, make it clear to coaches that if they are intentionally involved in a major rules violation, a la Jim Tressel, and if they lie about or obstruct the investigation — again like Tressel — they will be banned from coaching at any level of the NCAA for life.”

As noted, I would take things even further by bringing serious punishments to the schools and players as well as to the coaches.  But we share a basic idea: If the consequences of cheating are beyond horrible, more coaches (and players and programs) will think twice before committing major violations.

With every new scandal, there’s talk of the NCAA system being broken and the amateur athlete model being outdated.  I disagree.  If the right deterrents were to be put in place, the system would work just fine.

Steps 1 through 4 above are exactly the right deterrents.

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Crowder Suggests He Might Have Sold Jerseys While At UF

Channing Crowder likes to talk.  Google his name and you’ll find where he’s gotten himself plenty of attention via his mouth… which seems to operate freely from his brain at times.  And that makes him a school’s worst nightmare.

On Sunday, the ex-Florida/current Dolphins linebacker suggested on his new radio show that he might have sold his game jerseys while at Gainesville.  As Ohio State players or AJ Green can attest, that’s a no-no.

“I’ll say hypothetically I don’t have any of my Florida jerseys,” Crowder said.  “There were some Jacksonville businessmen who liked my play.”

He then took on the situation at Ohio State:  “I know why (Jim Tressel) got in trouble.  He was lying.  But (Terrelle) Pryor can’t sell his own stuff?  It’s his!”

So did Crowder sell his jerseys while a member of the Gators?  Or did he sell the jerseys after he turned pro?  Or did his mouth just spit out a wholly fictitious story?  With Crowder, you never know.

But for now, there’s no reason for Gator fans to lose any sleep over this one.

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SEC Headlines 6/5/2011

1. Winners and losers from the SEC meetings.

2. Coaches aren’t happy.

3. John Clay: “League coaches take decking in Destin.”

4. Pat Dooley: “In reality, it was a win-win for the league’s presidents and its coaches.”

5. Prediction: Alabama – South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game.

6. Kevin Scarbinsky: “Chizik, no doubt, won’t lose an ounce of sleep over this lack of respect. Instead, he should be thrilled by it.”

7. Gainesville perspective on Nick Saban, the Tide and rebuilding in Alabama.

8. Tennessee will be without starting linebacker Herman Lathers when the season opens.

9. The NCAA Infractions Committee has never seen anything quite like the Tennessee case. Volunteer boosters hope and pray.

10. Former Ohio State coach John Coooper on the parallels of Bruce Pearl and Jim Tressel.

11. Gene Frenette: “It never ceases to amaze me how people want to give more to athletes that are taken care of more than any students on campus.”

12. SEC spring meetings are over - SEC Media Days are next.

13. Bobby Petrino is impressed with Will Muschamp.

14. Dropping the divisions in SEC basketball: problems solved – problems created.

15. Sophomore forward Glenn Bryant is leaving the Arkansas basketball team.


16. West Virginia approves beer sales at Mountaineer football games.

17. Jim Tressel is no longer the coach but he’s still promising victories.

18. Who will coach Ohio State in 2012?

19. Interesting review of “Those Guys Have All The Fun” – the book about ESPN.

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Donovan Has Stayed In Touch With Pearl

Jim Tressel and his downfall have been hot topics at this week’s SEC meetings with a number of coaches showing support for the man whose entire career — including all the good deeds he’d ever done — will now be overshadowed by the word “cheating.”

Well the SEC has its own version of Tressel in recently-fired Tennessee basketball coach Bruce Pearl.  And former Pearl rival — and friend — Billy Donovan says he’s been in touch with the former coach.

“I think he’s trying to move on from it,” Florida’s coach said yesterday.  “A lot of times when things happen, whether it’s Bruce Pearl or Jim Tressel, people want to push back and stay away. … It’s unfortunate what happened.  I think that’s also part of life.  His mindset is to try to move forward.”

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SEC Headlines – 6/1/11 Part Two



SEC Headlines – 6/1/11 Part One

1.  A number of SEC coaches gave their reactions to Jim Tressel’s demise yesterday.

2.  Mike Slive is backing off his “we’ll make changes” comments from this weekend saying that a roster management proposal “can be adopted, it can be rejected” this week in Destin.  (Though he could simply be trying to give the impression that he’s open to discussion… rather than forcing legislation on some who don’t want it.)

3.  Auburn will host Florida Atlantic and 77-year-old Howard Schnellenberger this fall.

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SEC Headlines – 5/31/11 Part Two

1.  This writer wouldn’t be shocked if the “a compromise measure” is reached in Destin this week… kick-starting an overhaul of the oversigning system.

2.  Four former Auburn footballers accused of armed robbery will argue for youthful-offender status.

3.  This writer credits Mike Slive’s handling of Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl for making “sacred cows” and big-time winners like Jim Tressel more accountable.

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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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