Sprints Has Nothing to Apologize For // 05.27.09

Okay, now for Plan B. Mike Slive had grand plans going into the SEC winter meetings. Well, not so grand plans, actually. He just wanted his football coaches to shut up.

"The final analysis, what's good for one institution in this league is good for all institutions in this league, and what's not good for one institution is not good for everybody in the league. We're all in this together," Slive said.

Slive addressed the SEC football coaches and told them to end the smack talk. He talked to the coaches about "principles" the league adopted several years ago concerning coaches' behavior. He said coaches should remember "what's in the best interest in the league long-term."

So much for that.

It didn't take long for everything to get started up again, thanks to -- you guessed it -- Boy Wonder. Of course, he pleaded for professionalism. Yes, that Lane Kiffin.

The man behind the plan and the spark said he doesn't understand why anyone caught up in the collateral damages would be offended.

"I would expect everyone (in the SEC coaching fraternity) to be professional," he said. "I wouldn't think there would be any hard feelings. I just talked to Coach (Steve) Spurrier coming out of the elevator (implying that it was an amicable encounter)."

Apparently, though, professionalism does not include apologies. (An NCIS fan, perhaps?)

When asked if he planned to apologize to Urban Meyer in person for accusing the Florida coach of cheating, Kiffin said he was still waiting for an apology from USC coach Steve Spurrier - for questioning whether Kiffin had taken the NCAA recruiting test after Kiffin was hired (a question that took on more relevance as Kiffin tripped over recruiting rules).

One of these days, he'll learn. Maybe.

Told of Kiffin's remark, Spurrier shook his head, paused then turned around and faced Kiffin, who [was] waiting to get on an elevator.

"I didn't accuse you of cheating," Spurrier said, pointing toward Kiffin. "I said, ‘Is it permissible to call recruits before he's announced as head coach, before you take the test?'"

Spurrier then turned down back to the group of reporters and said: "He took the test online and I didn't know you could do that. I thought you had to take the test on campus, then get announced."

Other coaches either steered clear or -- God bless Houston Nutt -- tried to get a good seat.

Again, C&F thinks this is good for the league. The problem with commissioners like Slive is that they are of a past generation. That's not to say anything bad about them, just that they see this kind of talk as poor sportsmanship and something that takes away from the game. Fans of C&F's generation see this as part of the game -- or at least that's how C&F views it. Or maybe CBS tapped Tennessee at Florida as its first 2009 game just because they thought it would be a good game.

Other meetings items: Mark Smith is still a Vols coach -- for now. Spurrier is still waiting to decide the futures of C.C. Whitlock and Ben Axon. C&F doesn't expect Whitlock to be around long, but Axon appears to be telling Gamecock coaches that the 23 baggies of weed weren't his.

Houston Nutt: Renaissance Man. How else to explain this gem of an interview with Sporting News?

What's on TV: I watch the news on CNN and also SportsCenter. I also like watchingCSI and The Andy Griffith Show when I can. 
What's in my iPod: Elvis Presley, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Tina Turner, Montgomery Gentry, Kool & the Gang, Earth Wind & Fire  ...
Love to trade places for a day with • Moses

Houston Nutt as Moses. Forget the congregation thing, Rece. He's leading a nation.

Play Ball! Regionals Edition. Mike Bianco wants to take no chances, so he'll throw remaining ace Drew Pomeranz in the first game of the Oxford Regional. LSU fans, meanwhile, are already measuring the curtains on the trophy case for the Baton Rouge Regional. Of an expert giving them a 79 percent chance to win, And the Valley Shook says:

Honestly, I think he is undershooting it.  Minnesota is ranked 40th in the ISR  and Baylor is ranked 37th (LSU is 5th).  This isn't to say both teams stink, but neither is really on LSU's tier.

You know, they have bulletin boards in baseball, too.

Major League Alumni. David Price, surprisingly left off the Rays' roster to start the season, is in the big-leagues to stay. He does need to get his pitch-count down, but should be fine otherwise.

Meanwhile, Matt LaPorta is going the other way. He was sent to AAA by the Indians, ironically on the day following Price's first MLB start of 2009 -- a no-decision against Cleveland, who defeated the Rays after Price left.

TMB: Too Much Basketball. When did the SEC become a league where basketball stories got reported in May?

In any case, Kentucky is paring its roster in two ways. The first is more of the cleaver approach, though portrayed as "we met with them, and they decided to move on."

UK announced Tuesday that three scholarship players will not be back on the team next season.

The three were A.J. Stewart, Donald Williams and Jared Carter.

The other approach is perhaps less brutal and less subtle.

"I asked several times to speak to Coach Cal to see what was in my best interests," [walk-on Landon] Slone said.

That meeting never took place.

Of his best interests, Slone said, "I think it's starting to get very obvious."

Meanwhile, Mississippi State is looking for help in choosing a design for its basketball court. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, Ole Miss fans are all too willing to help. The Bulldogs are also working to extend Rick Stansbury's contract.

Wind Sprints. Percy Harvin wants Tim Tebow's groupies ... Sonia Sotomayor saved MLB and (in a way) college football, though something tells me that won't play into her confirmation hearings ... The NFL won't suspend Matt Jones, assuming he, you know, ends up on a team ...

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