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SEC Headlines 6/16/2013

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1. What do you get when you combine NFL tactics with high school recruits?  At Tennessee, it means the green light to hire as many as 18 student workers to help with the recruiting process.

2. Reason for hope at Tennessee in 2013? The offensive line.

3. Kentucky has done better in football against Louisville since Mitch Barnhart arrived than it did before he became the A.D.

4. The investigation into the Howard’s Rock incident at Clemson has South Carolina fans wondering about the motivation. “I hope that true fans can make this a peaceful and respectful rivalry again.”

5. Kevin Sumlins’ father recalls Texas A&M’s victory over Alabama last year.  “You didn’t believe what you had just seen.”

6. Does Georgia have the toughest non-conference schedule in the SEC this year?

7. What impact will sophomore safety Quintavius Burdette have at Ole Miss this year?

College Football

8. College football quietly used a panel last season that reviewed hits to the head and recommended to conferences what punishment should be handed out. Suspension recommended for Quinton Dial hit on Aaron Murray in SEC Championship Game.

9. Proposed college football bowl in Montgomery would be the third for the state of Alabama.

SEC Basketball

10. From Rick Pitino to John Calipari, the focus at Kentucky has shifted from style of play to a players-first program.

11. If a movie about the former Tennessee coach is ever made, what about Seth Rogan in the lead role for the Bruce Pearl story?

Extras

12. Conference confusion.  Did you know Johns Hopkins was a member of the Big Ten (lacrosse only)?

13. Gift or theft? Did Russian President Vladimar Putin steal New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring?

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SEC Headlines 3/10/2013

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1. Message to Tennessee football players from Butch Jones on first day of spring practice: “Every single rep counts; every single practice counts.”

2. Spring practice starts today at Arkansas.  Coach Bret Bielema on his players: “They’re just very, very hungry to have success.”

3. In the wake of Gene Chizik’s final season at Auburn, Gus Malzahn and staff are putting a big emphasis on discipline.

4. Hamstring tightness is reportedly the reason whyrunning back Eddie Lacy will miss Alabama’s pro day.

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5. Brought over from Alabama to boost recruiting, here’s what new Texas hire Patrick Suddes had to say about the Longhorns: “They were the best, and they didn’t feel like they needed to change. But recruiting changed. … You have to keep up with the Joneses.”

6. Kevin Scarbinsky on the Alabama A.D. “The fact that (Mal) Moore ranks 11th among SEC athletics directors in annual compensation suggests he’s due the biggest raise of his career.”

7. Florida state senator on the NCAA - ”the whole system needs to be revamped.”

SEC Basketball

8. Trevor Releford’s buzzer beater Saturday “will go down as one of the most memorable moments in the history of 44-year-old Coleman Coliseum.”

9. “Julius Mays is neither the star of Kentucky’s team nor its best supporting actor,” but he’s an important part of the team.

10. Pat Forde: “Calipari’s Kentucky team is experiencing the dark side of one-and-done…”

11. Some good news for Florida in yesterday’s loss as Will Yeguete continues to make progress returning after a knee injury. Coach Billy Donovan: “This is the first time I’ve seen Yeguete back to close to where he was at.”

12. What was on the line Saturday for Tennessee? “Only everything, if you believe the NCAA tournament bracketologists.”

13. Arkansas is the seven seed in the SEC Tournament – play 10-seed Vanderbilt Thursday. Ten conference wins for Razorbacks most since the 2005-2006 season.

14. There’s a chance the state of Texas may not be represented in this year’s NCAA Tournament.  Hasn’t happened since 1977.

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SEC Athletic Directors: Time To Hold Your Nose, Hire Petrino

Maybe SEC presidents and ADs simply want no part of someone who lost his job via scandal.

Maybe the boards of trustees and regents across the conference just can’t imagine dealing with the negative fallout that would come with making such a hire.

Maybe the league’s leaders have quietly agreed to blackball the man who built up Louisville and Arkansas only to tear down his own career with some very poor choices last spring.

Or maybe word has gotten around that most players at Louisville, Atlanta and Arkansas didn’t care much for their ex-coach.  (They didn’t.)

Whatever the reason for SEC athletic directors at Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee have for ignoring Bobby Petrino… they need to get over it.  Petrino wins.  And in a sporting world where schools jump leagues for a shiny, thin dime and BCS-winning coaches can get ousted just two years after winning said championship, wins are really all that matters.

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Wow Evening Headlines 10/31/2012

Tennesssee expects to sell 85,000 tickets for Troy game Saturday
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has suspended DL Omari Phillips due to an unspecified rule violation
Auburn coaches won’t comment on allegations that program is under NCAA investigation and that two coaches have been pulled from the road recruiting
Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart says football program is “not where we want it to be just yet”
Georgia’s Mark Richt says LB Jarvis Jones is “the best” player “in the whole United States of America”
South Carolina DL Jadeveon Clowney has played three straight games with a deeply bruised foot
Tennessee RB Rajion Neal may return to action against Troy this weekend as his ankle is getting better
Prepping for this weekend’s game with Alabama, LSU S Eric Reid says the Tigers “still have scars” from January’s BCS title game loss to the Tide
Keep up with SEC news every single day at MrSEC.com and twitter.com/mrsec

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UK’s Barnhart Talks ACC And Louisville

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart appeared on Louisville radio today and addressed two rumors that are currently circulating — UK to the ACC and Louisville to the SEC.


On the possibility of UK moving to the ACC: “No.  I would say no we’re not a better fit in the ACC.  We’ve got a great dynamic league… And I don’t want Kentucky to ever think about doing anything but be in the Southeastern Conference.”


On the possibility of vetoing a potential Louisville move to the SEC: “That is Mike Slive’s call, not mine.  I’m not gonna get ahead of him in this entire process.  It’s his call.  I’m not gonna say one way or the other (that UK wouldn’t veto Louisville), I’m gonna do what’s best for our league and if Mike Slive says he thinks this is best for our league I’ll look at it and say, ‘This is what I think this means for Kentucky.’  But that is not something he has crossed that bridge with us yet.”


So UK to the ACC?  No way.  A UK veto of Louisville?  Maybe.

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UK Changes Calipari’s Record

There.  Was that so hard?

University of Kentucky officials announced yesterday that they would indeed follow the NCAA’s wishes and drop John Calipari’s career win total back to 467, well shy of the 500 wins they celebrated last season.

A stink arose this week — and grew to ridiculous proportions — when the NCAA told UK to honor the body’s ruling and strip the wins it had vacated from Calipari’s record (due to issues under his watch at UMass and Memphis) from the school’s records.  Kentucky officials then let the situation fester in the local and national press. 

But yesterday, the school released this statement to the press:


“After consulting with the NCAA, the University of Kentucky has been informed that the honoring of our head men’s basketball coach for his 500th career victory on Feb. 26, 2011 was in error and that, henceforth, we will reflect our head men’s basketball coach’s career record in our media guides, Internet sites and other publications consistent with the NCAA’s official records and statistics.”


First, it wasn’t an “error” on UK’s part.  The school knew its coach had had victories vacated and Big Blue officials chose to ignore that fact and honor his 458th official victory as if it was his 500th.

But here’s the thing — the NCAA had asked UK to apologize.  There’s no apology in the above statement.  The NCAA also wanted to approve the wording of the release.  No word on whether or not they did.  (And yes, even though we understand the NCAA’s desire for schools to actually recognize its penalties, we still believe the apology/approval part was pretty darn ticky-tack.)

Calipari’s comment to CatsIllustrated.com (the Rivals’ site covering Kentucky) wisely attempted to put a nice recruiting spin on this brouhaha:


“Let’s just say my record is 0-0.  I’m fine with that.  This is about those kids, and that’s what I’ve always been about.”


The NCAA has now put its foot down with Kentucky.  Here’s hoping that it follows up by showing some consistency and making sure schools (like UMass) aren’t hanging Final Four banners from trips that — in the NCAA’s eyes — aren’t supposed to be recognized.


(Sidenote — Calipari also told CatsIllustrated.com that he is currently in talks with UK about a contract extension just as Mitch Barnhart had stated tweeted.  The coach made it clear that UK approached him and that he thinks “it’s a good thing.”)

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Writer: An Extension Won’t Mean Much For UK And Calipari

Last week, Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart tweeted his intentions of signing John Calipari to a contract extension “to ensure that he has a long tenure” in Lexington.

Asked about the contract talks yesterday, Barnhart refused to talk.

Larry Vaught of The Danville Advocate-Messenger — a former Kentucky sportswriter of the year, by the way — points out that an extension for Calipari probably wouldn’t mean very much:


“… no matter how much more money UK guarantees Calipari or how many years he has on contract, if he wants to leave for the NBA, he’ll leave.  Either Calipari or a NBA team will buy out the contract and he’ll walk away.

It works the other way if his contract is not extended.  He’s still making plenty of money and with his track record, there’s no way Kentucky would let him walk away.  He can coach at UK for as long as he wants.”


In other words, no one in the Bluegrass State should be sweating over Calipari’s negotiations with Barnhart.

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UK’s Barnhart: “I Don’t Have Any Interest” In UT Job

The folks in Knoxville can scratch the name “Mitch Barnhart” from their list of potential athletic director candidates.  Kentucky’s AD told The Lexington Herald-Leader on Thursday that he’s not interested in pursuing Tennessee’s vacancy.

“I don’t have any interest.  I’ve got good coaches (at Kentucky), I have a family that has settled in here, I have a son who is about to be a senior in high school.

“I said when I agreed to my last contract that (UK) is where I plan to be until I decide on my next path, something that will probably be outside athletics.  I’ve got things I still want to accomplish here and I’m excited about doing that.”

Barnhart spent 12 years in the Tennessee athletic department, leaving in 1998.

We at MrSEC.com expect UT officials to hire a search firm — possibly announcing that move early next week — to aid in their quest for a replacement for Mike Hamilton.

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SEC Headlines – 4/18/11 Part One

1.  This writer says Kentucky right guard Larry Warford could be one of the nation’s best offensive linemen.

2.  In this economy, a replacement for Rupp Arena is a tough sell for UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart.

3.  South Carolina gave Steve Spurrier what he wanted when it came to his new contract.

4.  Derek Dooley says Tennessee made progress during spring practice…

5.  Vanderbilt’s defense stole the show at last night’s Black & Gold Game.  (Or was it just the usual lack of offense?)

6.  The Music City Bowl — an SEC bowl partner — will be played on December 30th this year.

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SEC Headlines – 2/11/11/ Part Two

1.  Will Muschamp says he feels good about Florida’s defensive line… but his writer thinks things could get scary at defensive tackle.

2.  If quarterback signee Jacoby Brissett wants to play some basketball in Gainesville, too, Billy Donovan’s all for it.

3.  Georgia has quite a few signees who could make immediate impacts for Mark Richt’s club.

4.  Herschel Walker tweeted some praise for UGA’s recruiting class.  “We finally kept our Georgia boys at home.  Nice job Coach.”  Backhanded for enough for you?

5.  This scribe believes Mark Fox’s team needs more shooters.

6.  John Calipari credits Josh Harrellson for putting an end to his “BSing” leading up to Kentucky’s win over Tennessee this week.

7.  Terrence Jones says its time to go after more rebounds.

8.  Another writer believes UK’s outgoing president should have left Mitch Barnhart’s contract in the hands of UK’s incoming president.

9.  Is top recruit Jadeveon Clowney making himself into a villain?  (Good read.)

10.  Tennessee big man Brian Williams says “it’s go time” now that the Vols are heading to East-leading Florida.  (Did he say, “go time,” Stringbean?)

11.  Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson are still battling ankle injuries.

12.  Kevin Stallings says his Vanderbilt team “made plays at the end” to win last night’s contest with Alabama.

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