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Injured Noel Raps – Yes, Raps – That He Might Return To UK Next Season

nerlens-noel-mugFreshman Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel might not be making headlines on the court these days, but he’s still getting plenty of pub off it.  After suffering a torn ACL last month in a game at Florida, Noel’s ability to zip straight to the NBA became a hot topic.  That discussion lasted for all of about eight hours.  Once a gaggle of NBA scouts let it be known that the Wildcats’ center would still be top 5 pick even with the injury, the topic cooled.

Could it now be heating back up?

Noel briefly shares rapping duties in “Number 9,” a song posted to YouTube.com yesterday and referred to as a “New UK Basketball Anthem by Wes Grams.”  It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a college/sports rap about a hoops team aiming for its ninth all-time national title: “Feelin’ straight ’cause we got number eight, now it’s time that we grab number nine.”

Uh, OK.

But at about the 1:50 mark of the song Noel takes the mic and shares the following:

 

“They talk about the draft, be me in?  Don’t sweat it.  I might come back, but I don’t know yet.”

 

Now, I have no problem admitting that I might have missed that “be me in” line.  My rap tastes run toward Public Enemy and not the modern stuff, so maybe there’s a new phrase or two that I’m just not hip to.  Hard to believe, I know.

But it’s the last line that’ll pique Kentucky fans’ interest.  Might Noel really pass on millions of guaranteed NBA dollars in order to spend another year risking yet another injury in the college game?

If you believe so, then you’ve probably already set “Number 9″ as your ringtone.

 

NUMBER 9 – Wes Grams ft Nerlens Noel

 

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UT’s Dooley Suspends Freshman Phillips After Twitter Shoutout To Florida

Defensive lineman Omari Phillips hasn’t had the greatest of starts to his college career.  After signing with Florida in February, the school refused to admit him as he did not meet its academic standards (which must have thrilled Will Muschamp who’d recruited and wasted a signing slot on him).

After UF surprised him with its decision, Phillips announced via Facebook in July that he would “be taking my talents to knoxville.”  Having cleared the NCAA’s eligibility requirements, Phillips was OK’d by Tennessee’s administration for enrollment.  But the true freshman who was once a four-star prospect has played in only one game, recording no tackles in the Vols’ win over Georgia State.

Now he’s been suspended indefinitely by UT coach Derek Dooley for the dreaded “violation of team rules.”

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UK Freshman Noel Cleared To Play By NCAA

The NCAA explored everything from Nerlens Noel’s circle of advisors to his ability to pay for unofficial visits.  In the end, they found nothing on the big freshman who’s expected to replace Anthony Davis on this year’s Kentucky basketball team.

Wildcat coach John Calipari told ESPN’s “SportsCenter” audience: “He’s been cleared to practice and cleard to play games.  Everything’s good to go.”

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USC’s Lattimore Misses Practice With A Bruised Hip

Just a day after telling you that South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier was talking about giving running back Marcus Lattimore a bigger workload this weekend against Florida, the word out of Columbia now is that the Gamecock star might not even start in Gainesville.

Lattimore bruised his hip last Saturday at LSU.  Spurrier said he was “running around OK” at Monday’s practice.  But the Ol’ Ball Coach held Lattimore out of Wednesday’s practice altogether.

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A&M’s Sumlin Needs To Lighten Up Over Victory Celebration Video

We’ve got a tip for Kevin Sumlin.

No, it has nothing to do with football.  The Texas A&M coach has led his team to a surprising 4-1 start in 2012.  He’s got the football side of things covered for the time being.

Instead, it’s a tip about recruiting — Coach, there’s nothing wrong with letting recruits see your players having fun and enjoying victories.

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Will South Carolina Commit Visit Elsewhere?

South Carolina linebacker commitment David Johnson from Lithonia (Ga.) High School is considering taking visits to other schools.

“I don’t know, I’m going to make a decision after the season is over,” Johnson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If I take a visit and I’m already committed, it feels like I’m doing something wrong, you know what I mean? But I don’t know. I’m gong to talk to my coaches and (South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward) about it and see if it’s OK.”

Auburn and Vanderbilt have continued to recruit Johnson. Georgia has limited communication with Johnson and doesn’t appear to be in the picture.

“I don’t know why they aren’t recruiting me hard,” Johnson said. “I can’t go begging (UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner). If they’re not going to recruit me, then that’s their loss. I will work hard for anybody I go to, like I will at South Carolina. If Georgia’s not trying to recruit me, then they are missing out on a great athlete, a hard worker and a great person.”

And a prospect who still seems very likely to sign with South Carolina.

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Hogs’ Wilson Talks About His Controversial Comments After Saturday’s Loss

Last Saturday, one-time Heisman-hopeful Tyler Wilson was forced to watch from the sideline as his Arkansas squad battled Alabama without him.  The concussed QB saw a 52-0 beatdown of his fellow Hogs and — from what he said afterward — he didn’t see quite as much battling as he would have liked.

After the contest, Wilson went so far as to say that Arkansas’ players “at times, gave up.”  Interim coach John L. Smith quickly moved past that remark and praised Wilson for taking on a leadership role within the team.  Even Arkansas AD Jeff Long praised Wilson’s desire to win on Twitter.  But still, the comments were a bit more controversial than what you normally expect a quarterback to say about his teammates.

For that reason, Wilson tried to explain yesterday what it was he was trying to say on Saturday:

 

“I was going into that room not to speak to the team, but to speak to the people because I’m an Arkansas kid.  I know how much it means to me growing up, to a lot of you guys in this room, to a lot of the fans in the stands to see that display out there on the field, the product we displayed.  And it’s tough.

And I wanted everybody to know that that is not acceptable here and going forward we are going to do the best we can.  I’m going to do the best I can to keep everybody together and display a much better product out there on the field.”

 

OK, but that really doesn’t change the fact that some Arkansas players were accused of quitting by Wilson after Saturday’s game.  Was it a case of a 20-something getting caught up in the emotion of the rout and saying something he’d later want to take back?  No doubt in my mind.

But the fact is, the signal-caller called out his teammates.  Now he says he’s going to “do the best I can to keep everybody together” following the Hogs’ 1-2 start.  And Smith yesterday said “I don’t listen to that crap” when asked about fan criticism.

Arkansas has the talent on offense to turn things around if Wilson can be kept upright.  But I’d foam the runways just in case.  This once high-flying program with stratospheric expectations appears to be nosediving following last weekend’s whooping.

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Carolina Backup QB Reinstated, Spurrier Flippant About Incident

Steve Spurrier recently joked that he liked playing Georgia early in the season because the Bulldogs always seem to have a number of players suspended at that point (and they will again this season, too).  Considering that wisecrack, the Ol’ Ballcoach should probably expect some backlash from the weak brand of discipline he decided to display this weekend.

Less than a week after being arrested in North Carolina for speeding and driving after consuming alcohol — not a DUI — backup quarterback Tanner McEvoy is back on the Gamecock team.  Talk about a whirlwind suspension.

But here’s the odd part.  Coming off numerous alcohol-related incidents and suspensions and finally a university-forced dismissal of ex-quarterback Stephen Garcia, you’d think Spurrier would want to nip such behavior in the Bud(weiser) with his redshirt freshman, McEvoy.  Instead, the coach was pretty flippant regarding the whole deal:

 

“Tanner’s back.  He’s been approved to come back to the team.  Do you know what he got arrested for?  He told me… I think South Carolina doesn’t have that law.  North Carolina has that law (about underage people not being allowed to drink any alcohol at all before driving).  He got arrested for it, and he’ll pay his fine.  You want him suspended for having a beer and he’s underage?  How many football players would be playing if they had a beer and they were underage?  Buy anyway, go talk to coach Tanner (athletic director Ray Tanner) about that, if we’re going to suspend him, OK?  I’m not going to suspend him for that, all right?  But I don’t if he’s going to play anyway.”

 

Are college kids going to drink?  Yep.  Should McEvoy be flogged or pilloried for his transgression?  Nope.  But should a coach who’s promised parents he’ll take care of their sons — that’s the typical recruiting line from all coaches — be tossing out a “boys will be boys” defense that some players could take to mean he’s all for sudsing it up?  Also very much nope.

What might Garcia think of all this?  He was suspended five times before being dismissed from his team and the majority of those suspensions were tied to alcohol.  Now McEvoy has an alcohol-related arrest and Spurrier laughs it off.  What message does that send?

Also, does Spurrier’s comment — “I think South Carolina doesn’t have that law” — mean that he’ll now only punish players based on their actions within the jurisdiction of Palmetto State law enforcement officers?  That might get a little tricky at some point.

Just to make this clear — ’cause we know a few Gamecock fans will twist what we’ve written to fit their own agenda — McEvoy doesn’t deserve to be hanged and Spurrier couldn’t prevent college-age kids from drinking if he tried.  But taking the nonchalant approach is not the right way to go on this thing.  A one-game suspension for a kid fighting to be Connor Shaw’s backup would not be over the top in the least.  And it might send the message that a Carolina football player can expect their to be some consequences to bad actions.

Until Spurrier is ready to put his money where his ever-flapping mouth is, it might be best if he pipe down about the discipline being meted out at Georgia or any other SEC schools.

 

(Preemptive strike to the “you hate Spurrier” buffoon brigade that will assuredly chime in on this one:

http://www.mrsec.com/2012/07/spurrier-says-carolina-will-do-more-running-pick-its-spots-to-pass/

http://mrsec.com/2012/01/carolinas-best-season-ever-was-also-spurriers-best-season-ever/)

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Hogs’ Petrino Injured In Motorcycle Crash

Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino has been hospitalized following a motorcycle crash last night.  According to police this morning, Petrino’s cycle veered of a highway and no other vehicles were involved in the wreck.  A police spokesman said Petrino was taken to a hospital in Washington County last night but that he did not know the coach’s condition or whether he is still hospitalized.

Sources told ESPN.com’s Joe Schad that the coach “did not suffer life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover.”  A “source close to Petrino” told Schad that Petrino is “pretty banged up.”

Tom Murphy of The Arkansas Democrat Gazette has tweeted the following:


“Source close to situation said Bobby Petrino had multiple broken ribs, “all kinds of cuts and bruises,” neck sprain, but going to be OK.”


Petrino is “an avid motorcycle enthusiast” according to the AP report.  The crash happened about 7:45pm ET last night about 23 miles southeast of Fayetteville. 

Arkansas’ coach is expected to try to return to practice as soon as possible, but no one knows how long it will take him to recover.

Bobby Petrino is a lucky man.

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Spurrier Says He’s Not Going Anywhere

Steve Spurrier may turn 67 in April, but he’s not interested in hanging up his visor just yet.  Speaking to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carolina’s football coach said:


“I didn’t hear much about my retirement this year.  It was funny.  There were talking to Tom Coughlin.  We’re about the same age.  They asked him if he was going to hang it up after winning the Super Bowl.  He said I’m having more fun now than I’ve had in a long time, I’ve got plenty of energy and I’ve got several more years in me.  Of course, that’s what I say.  We’ve got the best group of players we’ve ever had at South Carolina since I’ve been here.  It would be hard to quit after you’ve accumulated and assembled a strong team that won 11 games last year.

If the time comes when we start going bad, oh don’t worry, I will be the first to say they need somebody else in here.  It won’t be any big deal or anything like that.  Right now, I’m doing pretty well, physically and mentally.  I feel as good as I did 20 years ago.  I still call the plays.  My mind is OK, I believe.  So I don’t know what else I would do right now except for coaching ball.”


In other words, opposing SEC coaches can stop with the “he’s not gonna be there very long” negative recruiting.  Not that that tack has worked too well in recent years anyway, as evidenced by the major upgrade in talent at Williams-Brice Stadium.

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