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SEC Headlines 1/26/2013

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1. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini to high school player Dominic Walker – who flipped his commitment from Nebraska to Auburn: “‘Best of luck, you’re going to need it.”

2. Most loyal fanbase in the country?  Survey says…Auburn.

3. Tennessee has to clamp down on over-exuberant students – eager to greet recruits with a welcome message.

4. Former Florida defensive back De’Ante “Pop” Sanders has enrolled at Tennessee State.

5. Alabama has four players in today’s Senior Bowl game.  All have something to prove.

6. LSU has two players in the game. Defensive end Lavar Edwards projected as a fourth-round pick. Wide receiver Russell Shepard expected to be a seventh-round pick or free agent.

7. Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says he’ll attend the NFL draft combine in February.

8. Vanderbilt wants a Thanksgiving weekend series with Middle Tennessee State.  MTSU wants the series, which starts in 2015, to be the season opener.

9. A facelift of Missouri’s Memorial Stadium is underway. The addition will add more than 5,000 general admission seats and about 1,200 premium seats.

10. AJ McCarron and the responsibilities of being a quarterback at Alabama: ”I don’t think any of us can comprehend the pressure he has to win.”

11. Bear Bryant died 30 years ago today. Former players and coaches remember the private Bryant.

College News 

12. Former Miami assistant coach basketball coach Michael Schwartz will not receive a notice of allegations from the NCAA. Schwartz was an assistant to former Hurricanes coach and current Missouri coach Frank Haith.

13. University of Central Florida coach George O’Leary on the Miami investigation and NCAA president Mark Emmert:  ”I’m sure Mark (Emmert) didn’t know what was going on, but there are times when coaches don’t know what’s going on either and yet we’re getting punished.”

14. The president of the National College Players Association says a news conference on head injuries was cancelled because of pressure from the BCS.  ”The BCS has tried to actively silence us on this. That was pretty disturbing.”

SEC Basketball

15. With Craig Sword and Fred Thomas, Mississippi State has the No. 1 and No. 3 freshmen scorers in the SEC.

16. Florida has held opponents to 52 points or less 11 times this season.

17. How has Kentucky’s Kyle Wiltjer been in practice lately?  ”An animal.”

18. Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope leads the team in scoring, rebounding and steals.

19. In conference play, Ole Miss guard Marshall Henderson leads in scoring.  Tennessee’s Jordan McRae is second.

20. Status of Auburn’s Chris Denson and Jordan Price murky heading into the weekend.

21. Both Keion Bell and Laurence Bowers missed the last Missouri game. Bell has a better chance to play today against Vanderbilt.

22. When Mike Anderson left Missouri for Arkansas, Rotnei Clarke “didn’t feel comfortable” with the new coach and left for Butler.


23. Is a made-for-TV movie next? Katie Couric got Manti, Dr. Phil gets the alleged hoaxer.

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SEC Headlines – 6/30/11 Part One

1.  The SEC has deep ties to the Sugar Bowl… which is why it’s good to see the Superdome is nearing completion of its six-year, post-Katrina renovation.  Le bon temps roule!

2.’s Jeff Goodman says ex-Arkansas sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke would be a perfect fit with Butler.

3.  ESPN is pumping out more lists.  Here’s their list of potential impact freshmen in the SEC East…

4.  And here’s their list of potential impact freshmen in the SEC West.

5.  The SEC has won exactly half of the national championships in football, basketball, baseball and women’s basketball in the last six years.

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SEC Headlines – 6/28/11 Part Three

1.  This writer says there’ll be no excuses if Vanderbilt doesn’t have a heckuva year in hoops this winter.

2.  Anthony Grant got burned by the NCAA selection committee last year… so he’s beefing up Alabama’s basketball schedule.

3.  Auburn is up for a whole lotta ESPY Awards this year.

4.  With Kiehl Frazier in the fold, the loss of QB prospect Russell Wilson to Wisconsin could be better in the long run for the Tigers.

5.  Losing three players to transfer — including leading scorer Rotnei Clarke — is making for “an interesting transition” period at Arkansas.

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Arkansas Writer Rips Clarke Family

Jim Harris of believes Rotnei Clarke’s transfer from Fayetteville might be the most disappointing transfer in UA sports history.  With the jabs and right-crosses he aims at Clarke’s family, the author certainly sounds disappointed:

“Clarke, or his daddy or uncle or somebody decided to take the supposedly denied transfer request to the national media to force Arkansas’ hand.  So, we read, ‘Poor Rotnei is being denied his transfer, while two other guys were granted theirs…’ and so forth.

Even the Mitch Mustain debacle and transfer from Houston Nutt’s program wasn’t handled this poorly by the parties (player and families?) involved.

Now, we wonder about all those whispers that Rotnei was being ignored by certain other Hogs the past three years, that those players were in it for themselves and not passing the ball to poor ol’ wide-open Rotnei.  When the Clarkes needed them, they used the local media and clued-in superfans who would spread the whispers.  When it was time to bolt, notice that they ignored the local media and went national.

A real classy departing, and one that’s disappointing in that new coach Mike Anderson didn’t deserve to be toyed with by the Clarkes in his efforts to restore Arkansas’ basketball program to the level it enjoyed more than a decade ago.”

Wow.  Scorned much?

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SEC Headlines – 6/23/11 Part One

1.  Records for kickoff return yardage don’t last long in the SEC.

2.  This writer believes Rotnei Clarke did Mike Anderson a favor by transferring

3.  Dismissed Florida cornerback has picked Terry Bowden’s North Alabama penal colony, er, football program.

4. projects just three SEC players into the NBA draft’s first round.

5.  The NCAA wants to have more eyes looking over cases before charges of rules violations are made against schools.  Of course, that’s likely to just slow down the entire investigation process even further.

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SEC Headlines – 6/22/11 Part Four

1.  Florida’s going to have some depth issues this year due to “severe attrition in the senior class.”

2.  The Sporting News wonders if quarterback Tyler Wilson and the Razorback defense can lift Arkansas “to the the top of the SEC.”

3.  Rotnei Clarke’s departure from Fayetteville marks the end of one era and the beginning of another.

4.  With Clarke and two others transferring out, this year’s new Razorbacks won’t lack for playing opportunities.

5.  Incoming Ole Miss freshman quarterback Mikhail Miller is enjoying some rare down time.

6.  This NBA mock draft has four SEC’ers going in the first round and three more in the second.

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Clarke Granted Release From Arkansas

Last week, basketballer Rotnei Clarke decided to get word to the press that he’d asked for a release from his Arkansas scholarship.  Over the weekend, new coach Mike Anderson considered the situation.  Yesterday, the Razorbacks’ leading scorer from a year ago was given his release.

“Upon receiving a written request and meeting with (Clarke), as part of our review process, it is clear to me that it is in the best interests of everyone for Rotnei to continue his academic and athletic career elsewhere,” AD Jeff Long said via statement yesterday.  “We wish him well and hope that he finds what he is searching for at a new institution.”

Anderson also released comments yesterday: “Shortly after I arrived, I met with him and was given every indication that he wanted to be a part of our program moving forward.  Recently, Rotnei informed me of his intent to leave the University of Arkansas.  At that time, I informed him that he would need to speak with the athletic director regarding his request.  I then recommended to Jeff Long that we grant him a release to allow him to speak to other schools.”

“We will continue to build our program with student-athletes who are committed on and off the court to being Razorbacks,” Anderson continued.  “That is how this program was built, with guys who are dedicated to the hard work, pride and passion it requires to be a part of the championship tradition of Razorback Basketball.”

Last week, Clarke told “I love the school and the fans, but I just don’t feel as though it’s the best fit for me basketball-wise.”  He also said, “I have spent the last couple of months getting to know Coach Anderson, his staff and his system.  And I still feel as though it’s best for me to finish my career somewhere else.”

Clarke averaged 14.2 points per game over his 92-game UA career.  He holds the school record for most points in a game with 51 versus Alcorn State in 2009-10.  He was one of the deadliest three-point gunners in the SEC.

Without Clarke — and Glenn Bryant and Jeff Peterson who also transferred out — the Hogs will have just six returning scholarship players next season.  Four of Arkansas’ five spring signees, however, are expected to be academically eligible.

It’s one thing to have 10 scholarship players.  It’s another thing to have 10 scholarship players when trying to run up and down the court with a “40 minutes of Hell” style of play.  

Making matters worse, the departures of Clarke and Bryant will be another hit on UA’s APR score.  The Hogs are already being docked one scholarship due to a history of low scores.  (Peterson had already graduated, so his departure will not count against the program.)

As for Clarke, he’ll have to sit out a year before playing his final season of college ball at his new school.

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SEC Headlines – 6/20/11 Part Two

1.  Another list — Charlie Weis, Steve Kragthorpe and David Lee as the SEC’s “most intriguing offensive coordinators” in 2011.

2.  Derek Dooley showed heart and humor while visiting a tornado-hit area of East Tennessee.

3.  One of four Auburn players arrested on charges of armed robbery had his “youthful offender status” request denied.

4.  Gene Chizik’s plan of surrounding himself with ace recruiters has paid off big for all involved.

5.  A decision on Rotnei Clarke’s very public request for a scholarship release from Arkansas could come today.

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SEC Headlines 6/19/2011

1. John Clay on vacated wins - wake up and smell the Internet, Grandma.

2. Mark Wiedmer: “I think the NCAA is going to gently move away from hammering schools and inch toward hammering the individuals responsible for violating those rules.”

3. Scott Rabalais: “Criticizing (Jordan) Jefferson is unfair.”

4. Rotnei Clarke’s decision to go public backfires.

5. Alabama – Auburn and the lost decade of NBA talent.

6. Who had the better year in 2010/2011 - Kentucky or Louisville?

7. With only six seniors on the two-deep depth chart, leadership could be an issue for the Tennessee football team.

8. A challenge modern technology has yet to figure out – syncing radio play-by-play with television pictures.


9. Unsigned NFL rookies cut the grass to pay the bills.

10.  Every wiffle ball in the country starts here.

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SEC Headlines – 4/8/11 Part One

1.  Alabama right tackle DJ Fluker has his weight down to 335.

2.  The competition at left tackle rages on.

3.  Nick Saban sent a message to last year’s starting corners by talking up a backup.

4.  This writer says the “hunger” of this year’s Auburn team should prevent a major nosedive.

5.  Jobs are up for grabs across the Tigers’ defensive line.

6.  Chris Gragg is the new leader in the tight end race at Arkansas.

7. It looks like Mike Anderson is going to keep John Pelphrey’s Top 10 signing class intact.

8.  Rotnei Clarke and Marshawn Powell can aid Anderson by buying into his system ASAP.

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