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UK Hoops Signee Noel Taking Summer Classes To Boost GPA

Nerlens Noel is the man expected to step right in and replace national Player of the Year Anthony Davis at Kentucky this winter.  But his academic standing continues to be a concern.

In May, NCAA officials looked into Noel’s academic background at Everett High School in Massachusetts.  This after Noel had transferred to the Tilton School in New Hampshire.  Well now Noel is going back to Everett to take two summer courses in order to boost his GPA enough to meet NCAA entrance standards.

Noel is racing against the clock because he reclassified from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2012 earlier this year.  Meaning: He doesn’t have quite as much time to get his academics in order as he would have had he stayed in the Class of 2013.

If/when Noel does become eligible, the high-top fade will quickly replace the unibrow as the most popular use of hair in the Commonwealth.

Stay tuned…

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SEC Places 6 In Top 25 Athletic Department Rankings

When it comes to football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball, the SEC is currently the master of its domain.  In the last six years, the league has won 12 of the 24 national crowns in those sports.

But there are other sports.  Oh, sure, most fans don’t pay to watch them, but if you’re gonna play them, you might as well win them.  And that’s where the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup comes in.

From the sports mentioned above to lacrosse and water polo, the Directors’ Cup goes to the program that does the most winning across the board in a given year.  This year that program is Stanford’s.  No surprise.  The Cardinal have won the award for 17 years running.

Atop the SEC is Florida.  The Gators finished #4 in the national rankings behind Stanford, Ohio State and California.

Here’s a glimpse at how the SEC’s programs ranked nationally for the 2010-11 school year:


National Rank
School
Total Points
4
Florida
1212.25
19
LSU
831.05
20
Georgia
829.00
22
Tennessee
763.50
24
Arkansas
726.75
25
Alabama
726.25
31
Auburn
638.25
36
Kentucky
585.50
39
S. Carolina
547.50
56
Vanderbilt
378.75
65
Ole Miss
319.25
79
Miss. State
237.00



For the sake of comparison, Vanderbilt ranks behind Tulsa, TCU, the University of Denver and Georgetown.

Ole Miss ranks behind New Mexico and Central Florida.

And Mississippi State falls farther down the list than Cornell, Kent State, New Hampshire, Dartmouth and UC-Irvine.


Now let’s toss in the 2009-10 athletic budget numbers for each SEC school (and remember, schools often handle their bookkeeping in different ways… some schools do not reveal private dollars going toward coaching salaries, for example):


2011 Learfield Ranking
School
2009 Athletic Expenses (SEC Rank)
4
Florida
$105,235,876 (1)
19
LSU
$102,273,060 (2)
20
Georgia
$76,272,474 (7)
22
Tennessee
$96,671,459 (3)
24
Arkansas
$71,801,905 (9)
25
Alabama
$85,303,354 (5)
31
Auburn
$90,891,616 (4)
36
Kentucky
$76,256,467 (8)
39
S. Carolina
$78,295,029 (6)
56
Vanderbilt
$45,726,384 (10)
65
Ole Miss
$43,917,704 (11)
79
Miss. State
$36,265,186 (12)



In terms of conference rankings, here’s a look at the Top 25 programs coming from each major conference this past athletic year:


Pac-10 = 6
SEC = 6
ACC = 5
Big Ten = 4
Big 12 = 3
Big East = 1 (The one being Notre Dame which does not compete in the league in football)

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Fulmer Interested In UConn Job?

Connecticut athletic director Jeff Hathaway says his school’s search for a new head football coach — to replace Randy Edsall — will be “quick” but the school will “be diligent.”  Already a surprising name has popped up in connection with the Huskies job.

According to The Hartford Courant, “A source confirmed that former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer is interested in the UConn job.”

Jim Wogan of WATE-TV in Knoxville reports today that “a source close to Phillip Fulmer” says the coach “may indeed have an interest” in UConn’s job and “may look into” it.

Or this could be yet another push for Fulmer to keep his name in the hopper.  When contacted by Minnesota representative Tony Dungy in November, Fulmer said nice things about the Gopher program before admitting that the fit was not right (meaning he wisely wasn’t going to go to a second-class program up North and compete against Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska).

The Big East is currently a weak sister conference and Connecticut just won the league (and reached a BCS bowl) for the first time.  Those are positives. 

But would Fulmer really want to work so hard at recruiting?  If you think Tennessee is a tough state to recruit in, consider Connecticut.  The rich ground of Georgia was always just a few hours south of Knoxville.  Where would Fulmer go at UConn?  Vermont?  New Hampshire?

Another “hot name” connected to the UConn job — according to The Courant — is KC Keeler of FCS national champion Delaware. 

So the Huskies might have to choose between the former FBS national champion Fulmer and the current FCS national champion Keeler?  Sorry, but it’s hard to picture this story having legs.

Here’s guessing Fulmer is simply letting his name swirl around a bit. 

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