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All 4 Alabama Football Players Arrested Earlier This Month Dismissed

mrsec-breaking-newsThe playing careers of four University of Alabama football players arrested and charged with robbery and/or fraudulent use of a credit card earlier this month have ended in Tuscaloosa.  Nick Saban announced today that all four freshmen – Brent Calloway, Tyler Hayes, DJ Pettway, and Eddie Williams — are “no longer associated with the (Alabama) football team.

A statement from the University of Alabama said: “UA’s judicial review has been completed.  The four students involved in the robberies on campus are no longer enrolled in UA.”

Saban said:

 

“Based on all the information we’ve received and gone through and tried to determine the future of the four guys that got in trouble, those guys are no longer associated with the football program.  Their actions do not reflect the spirit and character that we want our organization to reflect.  It’s obviously very disappointing and unacceptable what happened…

I also think that I’ve been really proud of over the last five years that our team has done a very good job and shown personal responsibility and how they represent the university, what they’ve done in the community, in the classroom, off the field.  And they’re going to continue to do as much as we can in personal development, character development in our program with education to try to help guys have a chance to be more successful in life…

Some people learn by words, some people learn by consequences, some people can’t learn.”

 

It was only a matter of time before Saban and/or the University of Alabama dismissed at least the three players directly involved in the robberies.  We felt that Calloway might survive as he had only used a stolen credit card.

In the end, it is a privilege to represent one’s university as an athlete, not a right.  A violent criminal act should end that privilege posthaste.  Especially if one has already admitted to committing said act.

Here’s hoping the young men turn things around and make the most of any second chances that are afforded them in life.  But that second chance should not have come on the same campus where the two students they knocked unconscious continue to matriculate.

On a separate note, Saban also revealed today that receiver Danny Woodson Jr. has been suspended for a violation of team rules.

Update: With the suspension, Woodson, Jr. is not participating in the team’s offseason workout program and he’s not the only one.  Receiver Marvin Shinn has decided not to participate and will likely transfer, according to Nick Saban.  Both players redshirted in 2011 and were reserves in 2012.

 

 

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Alabama Suspends Four Arrested Players

mrsec-breaking-newsThe University of Alabama has released a new statement — this one from head coach Nick Saban — that fails to deliver the justice at least two of the four players arrested yesterday deserve.

For those who haven’t been keeping up, Alabama freshman footballers Tyler Hayes, DJ Pettway, and Eddie Williams have been charged with second degree robbery of two fellow UA students.  Both students were assaulted and beaten.  The arrest reports show that Hayes and Williams admitted their involvement to police.  If true, they should be booted immediately.

But they will not be:

 

 

“The young men charged are indefinitely suspended as we continue to gather information and talk to the appropriate people.  The University and football program have strict guidelines regarding issues of this magnitude.  This behavior is unacceptable for any student-athlete at the University of Alabama and not representative of our football program.”

 

Unfortunately, yes, it is representative of Alabama’s football program so long as those players — especially the two who reportedly confessed to police — are members of the Crimson Tide football program.  There’s really no other way to put it.  If two players admit to beating and robbing two UA students yet they are allowed to remain on the football team as representatives of the school, their deeds are indeed representative of the team.

If Saban, AD Mal Moore, and the Alabama administration don’t want these people representing their football team or the school, the rather simple solution is to show them the exit.

These are serious issues.  This isn’t some underage kid drinking a beer in front of campus police.  This isn’t a player with a blunt in his glove compartment.  This isn’t a freshman driving with a suspended license.  These were violent crimes that left at least one student unconscious.  Nothing more needs to be said.

If Hayes and Williams confessed, they should be gone.  If it’s proven Pettway took part in this, he should be dismissed just as coolly.

The fourth player involved in all of this — freshman Brent Calloway — has been charged with using a credit card stolen from one of his teammates’ two victims.  He claimed via Twitter that “it wasn’t a credit card” and that he “wasn’t even awake during the robbery.”  If there’s a player who might deserve a second chance on Saban’s team it’s Calloway.  But Calloway was himself arrested on possession of marijuana charges in 2011.  Whether two strikes constitute an out at Alabama is yet to be determined.

What we do know is that several strikes from players’ fists and feet to their fellow students’ heads and bodies do not.

 

SIDENOTE Perhaps Alabama’s decision not to dismiss the players — at least not yet — will put to rest the batty notion that Saban somehow knew these robberies were going to be committed and was counting on them to allow him to do some roster-purging.  Hell, the CIA couldn’t pull off such a conspiracy.  That’s “Zero Dark Nutty.”

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More Details On Bama Arrests

cop-lightsNew details have emerged concerning the arrests of four Alabama football players in Tuscaloosa yesterday.  According to the arrest warrants — which you can get to via Al.com — freshman Tyler Hayes, redshirt freshman DJ Pettway, and freshman Eddie Williams attacked and robbed a pair of University of Alabama students named Samuel Jurgens and Caleb Paul.  Freshman Brent Calloway then used a credit card stolen during the robbery.

According to Andrew Gribble’s report from Al.com:

 

“The trio is accused of physically attacking Jurgens with ‘punches to the head and face’ and kicks to the ribs and back and stealing his backpack, which contained an Apple MacBook Pro.  Jurgens was knocked unconscious and was treated for several cuts, a mild concussion and severe swelling.

Both Hayes and Williams confessed to committing the crime, according to the arrest warrant.

In a separate incident, Williams physically attacked Paul with ‘punches to the head and face’ while Hayes and Pettway waited in a car ‘with knowledge of Williams’ intent.’  Williams came away with Paul’s wallet, which contained cash, a UA student action card and various credit and debit cards.

Williams later used Paul’s UA card and debit card to purchase snacks from a vending machine on the first floor of Bryant Hall.

With knowledge that it was stolen, Calloway, who was not involved in the robberies, admitted to using Paul’s UA card for numerous purchases.”

 

We’re big believers in second chances around here, but getting a second chance in life has nothing to do with getting a second chance to represent a university as a member of its football team.  If Hayes and Williams admitted to the beatings, they should be dismissed from Alabama’s football team immediately.  Period.  End of story.  (That’s not to say Pettway and Calloway shouldn’t get the heave-ho, too — they should — but violence is a more pressing issue than theft in this writer’s eyes.  And if Hayes and Williams admitted to their roles in those beatings, they should be booted ASAP.)

Alabama AD Mal Moore said via statement:

 

“This is a very serious matter and we are very disappointed in the actions that have resulted in the charges against these student-athletes.  In this type of situation, the Athletics Department works in conjunction with the University.  We will have more to say at the appropriate time.”

 

We expect the word “dismissed” to be included when UA officials decide it is the appropriate time to talk.

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Miles To The Razorbacks? The Latest On UA’s Search

Yesterday, the website SportsByBrooks.com — a site that floats lots of stories and occasionally nails a whopper — tweeted that they had heard Arkansas was making a run at LSU’s Les Miles.  We scoffed.  Openly.  In this day and age, there’s not a single rumor that we don’t treat with cynicism/skepticism and this one seemed like total hogwash (pun intended).  Why in the world would Miles leave a gold mine for a bit tougher job?

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette quickly tracked down Miles’ agent who said “There’s nothing like that going on.”

But then a source told The New Orleans Times-Picayune that an offer of $27.5 million over five years was indeed put before Miles by Arkansas AD Jeff Long:

 

“They made a serious offer.  (LSU AD) Joe (Alleva) is meeting with (Miles’) agent and the discussion is ongoing.”

 

Les Miles would not provide a comment according to LSU’s sports information department.  “We’ve seen the tweet by SportsByBrooks ans we’re not going to comment on rumors or bits of information,” Michael Bonnette said.  “It has been brought to Les’ attention and he didn’t have anything to say.”  Miles is scheduled to meet with the media today at 3pm ET regarding the Tigers’ 10-2 season.

The Baton Rouge Advocate could not get a comment from Alleva or Miles’ agent George Bass.

Last night, we worked the phones regarding all three ongoing coaching searches in the SEC and here’s what we learned after speaking to two sources close to the Arkansas search and one industry source:

 

1.  Arkansas did make a run at Miles.  We could not confirm the numbers being kicked around, but it is believed UA has made LSU’s coach an offer in excess of $5 million per season.

2.  Miles has ties to both Arkansas’ AD and Arkansas’ biggest booster — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.  Long and Miles served at Michigan together from 1987 through 1994.  Miles was on Michigan’s coaching staff, long in the athletic department.  Miles then served as an assistant coach with the Cowboys from 1998 through 2000.

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SEC Coaching Carousel Update – 11/26/12

With four jobs now open — Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, and Tennessee — here’s the latest news and gossip concerning each SEC coaching search:

 

Arkansas

Razorbacks AD Jeff Long reportedly met with the Arkansas team yesterday and told them that his timetable for hiring a new coach is 10-14 days.  The fact that Long had an eight-month head start on all other schools but didn’t have a hire ready to announce as soon as the season ended isn’t sitting well with many Hog fans.  So long as Arkansas finds the right guy, all will be fine in the long run.  But in this day and age, fans aren’t going to be patient.

Reports have already tied Arkansas to TCU’s Gary Patterson.  We believe UA representatives spoke with Patterson’s reps before a breakdown in discussions a couple of weeks back.  This communication could kick up again, but at the moment it appears Patterson will stay put in Fort Worth.

Jon Gruden was reportedly offered the Razorbacks job and turned it down last week.  It’s also been reported that Arkansas officials reached out to representatives for Vanderbilt’s James Franklin (though VU athletic director David Williams has said he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his coach in Nashville).  A new name has been added to big-spending Arkansas’ wish list — that of Boise State’s Chris Petersen — but it’s unlikely he’ll move.  He’s turned down just about every premier job in the country at this point and it’s quite possible that he saw what happened to Dan Hawkins when he left Boise for Colorado.  Perhaps Petersen would rather be a big fish in a small pond than vice versa.

The fact that UA has been tied to so many coaches suggests that Long really didn’t do a whole lotta agent-contacting before season’s end.  Fair or not, many in the UA fanbase believe the AD failed to do enough legwork during the season.

And anyone hoping Arkansas would rush back and rehire Bobby Petrino can likely forget that one.  Long made a point of saying this weekend that UA will look for a coach with “discipline, honesty and integrity.”  You can bet Long doesn’t feel Petrino fits those criteria.

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Smith Isn’t Running Up A White Flag Regarding Hogs’ Job

John L. Smith just keeps on smiling.  His team is 4-6 and just 2-4 in the SEC, but Smith continues to look on the bright side of life (NSFW).  The man thrown into an unwinnable situation — made so because most believed the Arkansas situation was way too winnable — isn’t thinking about the end of his tenure as the Razorbacks’ interim coach.  He’s still trying to be optimistic.

According to the Associated Press, Smith said the following during a press gathering yesterday:

 

“I’m the most optimistic guy you could imagine.  So, I’m always optimistic.  I’m optimistic on us going to Starkville and getting a win this weekend.  The other stuff can take care of itself.  I’m not overly worried about any of that…

That’s way over my head, mentally (to reflect on his coaching career).  I have trouble just concentrating on today and this part of our season and where we are.  I’m going to love every day that we go do the practice field, because that’s the best part of my day and being around those guys is what it’s all about.  And thank God I’ve had the opportunity to do that.

I’m just knocking on wood, stretch it as far as we want or as far as we can.”

 

Players like quarterback Tyler Wilson and kicker Zach Hocker still speak highly of Smith and they should.  While many Hog fans have blamed him for their team’s collapse, the real culprit is Bobby Petrino, the sunshiney Smith.  It should be clear in Arkansas today — just as it was clear in Louisville after he left there — that the secret to Petrino’s winning programs isn’t great recruiting classes, great assistants, or great defense… it’s Petrino himself.

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10 Days From Kickoff, Here Are The SEC Betting Lines

Oh, sure, sure.  You just look for entertainment purposes.  NCAA football betting isn’t something you actually engage in.

Unless, of course, you’re in Las Vegas.

Or your bookie Vito calls.

Regardless of whether you bet on games or not, there’s nothing like a good Vegas line to give teams some extra motivation heading into a ballgame.  How many coaches over the years have uttered the words “Nobody is giving you a chance to win” to their teams?  Thousands?  Hundreds of thousands?

Well, below are the latest lines for Week One SEC action.  Feel free to be outraged because your favorite team isn’t favored… or isn’t favored by enough.  Enjoy.

 

  Game   Opening Line   The LVH   MGM/Mirage   Caesars/Harrah’s
  South Carolina at Vanderbilt   USC -8   USC -7   USC -7   USC -7
  Texas A&M vs La. Tech   A&M -11   A&M -7.5   A&M -7.5   A&M – 7.5
  Tennessee vs NC State   UT -7   UT -4   UT -4   UT -4
  Buffalo at Georgia   UGA -37   UGA -37.5   UGA -37.5   UGA -38
  Bowling Green at Florida   UF -23   UF -29   UF -29   UF -29
  Auburn vs Clemson   AU +3.5   AU +3.5   AU +3.5   AU +3.5
  Alabama vs Michigan   UA -11   UA -12.5   UA -12.5   UA -12.5
  N. Texas at LSU   LSU -48   LSU -42.5   LSU -43   LSU -43
  Kentucky at Louisville   UK +13   UK +14   UK +14   UK +14

 

Notes:

* The LVH is The Las Vegas Hotel, formerly The Las Vegas Hilton.

* Texas A&M/Louisiana Tech, Tennessee/NC State, Auburn/Clemson and Alabama/Michigan are all neutral site games.

* Jacksonville State at Arkansas, Central Arkansas at Ole Miss, Jackson State at Mississippi State and Southeastern Louisiana at Missouri aren’t listed because those games involve FCS-level schools.

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SEC Headlines – 8/10/12

Looks like it’s gonna be a headlines-only kind of day.  My apologies.

 

1.  Alabama freshman receiver Chris Black will miss 3-4 months after shoulder surgery.

2. The passing skills of Tide quarterback AJ McCarron are underrated.

3.  The competition is heating up for Auburn’s safeties.

4.  Arkansas “unafraid” defense took a step forward yesterday.

5.  Hog hoopster Marshawn Powell has been cleared to return from injury during UA’s tour of Italy.

6.  It’s lonely at the top, but LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis likes it that way.

7.  That’s not a bowling ball, it’s MSU running back Josh Robinson.

8. Bulldog quarterback Tyler Russell could break a lot of the Bulldogs’ passing records.

9.  Ole Miss’ freshmen are taking baby steps.

10.  Christine Michael leads a talented stable of running backs at Texas A&M.

11.  Florida’s got quite a battle raging at cornerback.

12.  Redshirt freshman receiver Ja’Juan Story — a once highy-sought after recruit — will transfer from UF.

13.  Georgia freshman kicker and freshman punter have big shoes to fill.

14.  Joker Phillips is in a bind when it comes to true freshman Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles.

15.  CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman says that John Calipari once tried to get him fired.

16.  South Carolina’s got playing time available at wide receiver, behind Ace Sanders.

17.  Linebacker depth is a concern for Tennessee.

18.  While their new football complex is being finished in Knoxville, the Vol team heads off campus for a week of NFL-style camp.

19.  Vanderbilt’s new video board is in place at Dudley Field.

20.  For the first time, Missouri has sold out its season-ticket allotment and Gary Pinkel has praise for those doing the buying.

21.  Help is on the way for the Tigers’ banged-up offensive line.

A final sidenote…

22.  Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips has announced he’s retiring.  (So I guess now that FSU/Clemson “done deal” to the Big XII thing can be announced.  We’re still waiting for a couple of Big XII fans to return and apologize — as they promised they would — for ripping us when we called those initial rumors nonsense.)

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Hogs’ Davis Still Off Limits When It Comes To Tackling Drills

It’s was about this time last year when dynamic Arkansas running back Knile Davis suffered a serious ankle injury in practice that cost him the 2011 season.  Rather than turn pro, Davis chose to return to Fayetteville and he’s back on the practice field.

But Razorback coaches are still keeping him away from heavy contact.  Offensive coordinator Paul Petrino told The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “As of right now, he’s not going to get hit yet.”

So when will UA’s coaches feel comfortable enough to let their expected starter get some contact?  That’s an “ongoing conversation” according to Petrino.

In 2010, Davis rushed for 1,322 yards, 13 touchdowns and led the SEC with a 6.5 yard-per-carry average.

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Bryant Museum Boasts “So Many Trophies, So Little Space”

Allow us to state the obvious: The Paul W. Bryant Museum is a designed to draw in Alabama fans.  Fans of other schools might tour the place when in town for a weekend, but a Bear Bryant museum is going to first try and target Bama fans first and foremost.  Obviously.

For that reason, no one should take too much offense to the boastful new advertisement that the museum posted online yesterday:

 

So Many Trophies, So Little Space

 

“So many trophies, so little space,” instantly gets the message across that Bama’s football history is, well, pretty darned good.  (Though it also makes the museum sound kinda small, if you think about it.)  More interesting to us is the guy who makes a cameo at the end of the spot.  Any SEC basketball fan will immediately recognize the bug-eyed face of UA student Jack Blankenship who became a bit of a sensation by holding up a large cut-out of his own face while opponents attempted free throws during last hoops season.

 

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