EDITOR'S NOTE: The order of today's Sprints -- Sugar Bowl, Mike Leach / National, Other SEC -- is not normal. But I didn't really want to stick the Urban Meyer stuff second and didn't want to have Mike Leach last.
SUGAR BOWL / URBAN MEYER DETIREMENT
Let's try to be sensitive here
ESPN got the 911 call from Urban Meyer's house on the day after the SEC Championship Game. Let's try to handle this with some sense of compassion, even if it's kind of avoidable to at least mention it.
I'm not sure that the tape really contradicts Meyer's statement so much as it makes clear that there was more to it than he said. It also makes clear that Urban Meyer had trouble waking up after taking Ambien, which is probably not much of a surprise given the medication's purpose. But the incident was apparently a lot scarier than any of the reporting since then has made it out to be.
You were thinking it; he just said it
Kirk Herbstreit about Urban Meyer:
"I was probably more surprised than anybody [about Meyer changing his mind] because I talked to him, to see the next day at the press conference, to hear him say that I looked at the trophies and I watched the kids practice and I’ve had a change of heart. Part of me wonders if that’s just to kind of get through recruiting and get through the bowl game and after the first week in February kind of see where he is.
"This is a real feeling that he’s having and it’s kind of unchartered waters so I don’t necessarily think even he can predict where he’s going to be when the 2010 season starts up." ...
I haven't known so far whether to classify this kind of stuff as conspiracy theory or a legitimate possibility. But Herbstreit (who knows Meyer) saying it at least lends credibility to talking about it. That still doesn't mean it's true or that we'll know if it's true until at least February.
And Jeff Demps will become a linebacker
Your humble correspondent is not sure what to make of this. Sure, coaches often don't tell the exact truth when trying to recruit athletes. That said, it's hard to see why Meyer would lie about this if he planned to return at any point.
How Ron Zook missed Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard
Here's a good rule for recruiting high school players: Don't show up on senior skip day.
It's football and some people might miss it
How is that not justiciable?
MIKE LEACH FIRING / NATIONAL NEWS
Mike Leach's statement
Courtesy Double-T Nation, our excellent Texas Tech blog:
Over the past several months, there have been individuals in the Texas Tech administration, Board of Regents and booster groups who have dealt in lies, and continue to do so. These lies have led to my firing this morning. I steadfastly refuse to deal in any lies, and am disappointed that I have not been afforded the opportunity for the truth to be known.
There's a lot of good stuff they said about it to read, so go there. But here's some of the best of it:
The long and short of it is that Mike Leach and the Board of Reagents cannot get along. We have two different organizations, Mike and his legal counsel and the BOR, who both are determined to get their way and are not willing to negotiate peace between the two. While it's a lot easier to just blame the administration, there is part of my mind that believes that Leach is just as much to blame, considering that he had the opportunity to play politic and go back to normal.
Frankly, though, I wouldn't have played the politics either. What the TTU administration asked of Mike Leach was unacceptable and was never going to be agreed to. And I think they knew it. Someone with the power was ready to be rid of Mike Leach and we get to suffer for it.
The disagreement I have is that if what James' family is saying is true, this is more than just a question of whether Leach would play politics. It's about whether he will keep his players safe.
His players seem really torn up about it
These kinds of statements are, to my mind, the most difficult thing for Leach's supporters to deal with:
[Leach] put Adam [James] in a shed like an animal. Like an animal in a cage. That was bull. You call other players. I think it was a good decision. We have our pep back now. We practice hard this week. We had less stress this week. You know why? Because he's gone.
That's defensive tackle Chris Perry.
Then again, this doesn't make Craig James look pretty good
Like the Mayor, I've never really cared for James as a broadcaster. (It's difficult to exercise any judgement about him as a person, since I don't know him, so I'll confine it just to his broadcasting persona.) The fact that James is involved in this makes it much more difficult to come to a clear conclusion until we know all the facts.
I don't know what to think about this
But it probably ought to be carefully considered before giving it too much weight.
The best quote comes from Greg McElroy
The Alabama quarterback might have the best take on the whole thing.
I have a lot of friends on the team, so it was just really disappointing. I'm upset about that. I'm upset for Coach Leach, and obviously what happened with the James family. I'm upset that their son had to deal with that.
Sometimes, there's not a clear cut good guy and a clear cut bad guy. Humans are funny like that.
Who else did you expect to be Mike Leach's attorney?
Except maybe Captain Hook.
Who's paying for this stuff?
A day after a polling organization surprises us by reporting that most college football plans want a playoff, the AP reports that universities are more likely to waive admissions standards for athletes. Well, yeah. Your point?
OTHER SEC NEWS
There is no way to get away from them
ESPN finally found a way to get Southern Cal into the BCS this year: Hire Pete Carroll for analysis. You might think I'm kidding, and I wish I was.
It's Romeo Crennel
The Mayor says the Dawgs might be close to hiring Crennel as their next defensive coordinator. (He also gives a good read on the Mike Leach situation, which will be addressed presently.)
No, it's Chavis
Westerdawg looks at the possibility of former Tennessee and current LSU coordinator John Chavis coaching in Athens.
If he wins, will he paint a picture of the moment?
Daniel Moore appeals a ruling that he has to pay Alabama when he puts his paintings on coffee mugs.
This should go well
Why does anyone even let Outside the Lines on campus any more?
Some players tell Outside the Lines Calipari told them that they were unlikely to get much playing time in his system if they stayed. Several players said the dramatic roster turnover at Kentucky is an example of how coaches have little loyalty to returning student-athletes, especially when a new coach is hired.
The response from A Sea of Blue should be the length of a small novel. If by "small novel" you mean War and Peace.