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SEC Headlines 4/22/2012

1. Arkansas AD Jeff Long on replacing football coach Bobby Petrino: “The thought of changing the system that it took all spring practice to install has impacted my decision.”

2. When will the decision be made: ”I hope to make a decision in days, and it won’t be weeks before we have a decision.”

3. Record crowd for Razorbacks spring game.  The man in charge at Arkansas?  It’s quarterback Tyler Wilson.

4. Message the same at Mississippi State where it’s now Tyler Russell’s team.

5. Bulldogs wide receiver Jameon Lewis sparkles in the Maroon and White game.

6. Some answers from the Grove Bowl. Some questions as well – including one about former Kansas State quarterback Brock Berglund.

7. Ole Miss doesn’t name a starting quarterback after the spring game – which went into overtime. Both Bo Wallace and Barry Brunetti look sharp.

8. At the Orange and White game, Tennessee running back Marlin Lane is the star. A good day for the running backs. But what about QB Tyler Bray - is he ready to take his game to the next level?

9. Derek Dooley: “(M)aking a lot of critical mistakes in critical situations, that’s obviously something we’ve got to get better at before next fall.”

10. 2,300 non-renewals for season tickets at Neyland Stadium.

11. At Kentucky’s Blue-White game, did the Wildcats discover some play makers?

12. Joker Phillips: ”I’m really pleased with our tight ends right now.”

13. Can Kentucky football draw inspiration…from Kentucky baseball?

14. Former Maryland offensive lineman Max Garcia is now a Florida Gator.

15. It’s a wide-open competition at linebacker for the Auburn Tigers.

16. It’s looking like Jameill Showers will be Texas A&M’s quarterback this fall.

17. A potential first-round pick at one point, former Georgia tight end Orson Charles now expects to go much later.

18. Expect a lot of former LSU Tigers to get the call during the NFL draft. Cornerback Morris Claiborne expected to be a top-five pick.

19. Frank Martin, the son of Cuban immigrants, and the long road to South Carolina.


20. Bobby Petrino makes this list of Top 10 sports sex  scandals since 2000.

21. Best seat for a sporting event – your living room?

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NCAA Doesn’t Appear Too Worried About Non-Miami Athletes Named In Probe

Of the 70+ players named in Yahoo! Sports investigation into Miami’s football program, four had some tie to the Southeastern Conference.  Within two days, all four have been cleared.

Question: Have you ever known the NCAA to clear a player of eligibility issues in two days?

Question: Isn’t it odd that all three schools (Florida, Georgia and Kansas State… where ex-Tennessee tailback Bryce Brown wound up) all put out similarly worded statements?

Take a look…

Kansas State:
“Kansas State University has been in communication with the NCAA.  Regarding Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown, the NCAA staff has informed the institution that it has no concerns about their eligibility to compete at K-State.  Kansas State University does not comment on NCAA investigations at other institutions… and will have no further comment.”

Georgia: “The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles and has been in communication with the NCAA.  There are no issues with UGA or eligibility issues with Orson Charles.  UGA will have no further comment regarding this matter.”

Florida: “We have been in communication with the NCAA and there are no eligibility issues with Andre Debose and Matt Patchan as it relates to recent reports.  Andre, Matt nor the University of Florida will have any additional comments regarding this matter.”

As noted above, eligibility issues tend to drag out when the NCAA is concerned.  Rapid clearance — especially over such serious matters as the possible receipt of illegal benefits — is unusual.  After all, there’s no way the NCAA could have already found the aforementioned players to be innocent or guilty of dealing illegally with booster Nevin Shapiro.

So our best guess as to what’s up?  This is the NCAA’s first major step toward focusing on the big picture.

NCAA president Mark Emmert and his staff have tried to streamline NCAA investigation and enforcement procedures.  Emmert and several college presidents have spoken often about the need to properly focus the NCAA’s attention on big issues, not the minutiae.

It appears that that’s what’s happening here.  With all of these players being cleared so quickly — and with all of the institutions releasing statements that appear to be riffs on a standard boilerplate — it’s as if the NCAA is saying, “We don’t have time to sweat the small stuff in this case.”

If so, that’s a good move.  While the acceptance of any illegal benefits is wrong and is worth checking into, Miami’s apparent rampant disregard for the rules is by far the biggest at play here.  (Add in the fact that the NCAA is also currently investigating Ohio State, North Carolina, Auburn, etc, etc, and these players eligibility issues become even less important.)

Georgia, Florida, and Kansas State seem to be benefiting from this new NCAA direction, but that’s A-OK with us.  Those schools did nothing wrong aside from signing players who might have done something wrong while being recruited to another school several years ago.  Miami is the serious wrongdoer in this case — it appears — and the Hurricanes should bear the brunt of the NCAA’s fury.

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UGA Says There Are No Eligibility Concerns For TE Charles

Earlier today, Georgia AD Greg McGarity said his school was checking into tight end Orson Charles’ ties to Miami booster Nevin Shapiro.  Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday that Charles was taken to meet with Shapiro while being recruited by the Hurricanes.  And Shapiro is at the center of perhaps the largest NCAA infractions case since SMU.

Well apparently the Dawgs have finished their research.  UGA released a statement saying:

“The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles and has been in communication with the NCAA.  There are no issues with UGA or eligibility issues with Orson Charles.  UGA will have no further comment regarding this matter.”

That’s good news for Mark Richt’s squad.  Already needing to replace star receiver AJ Green, losing another of Aaron Murray’s favorite targets might have proved devastating.

Also, this allows Charles to continue his climb up the list of world famous Orsons.  He currently ranks behind Misters Welles and Bean, but has already passed the once-famous leader of Ork (as in “Mork calling Orson.”)

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