Sprints Will Root, Root, Root for the SEC Teams // 05.29.09

Play Ball! C&F regrets not being able to provide a more comprehensive previews of the regionals. But here are today's games involving SEC teams.

Baton Rouge Regional: (1) LSU vs. (4) Southern, 2 p.m. ET, Cox Sports
Gainesville Regional: (1) Florida vs. (4) Bethune-Cookman, 6:30 p.m. ET
Oxford Regional: (1) Ole Miss vs. (4) Monmouth, 8 p.m. ET
Clemson Regional: (2) Alabama vs. (3) Oklahoma State, 3 p.m. ET, CSS
Greenville Regional: (2) South Carolina vs. (3) George Mason, 3 p.m. ET
Tallahassee Regional: (2) Georgia vs. (3) Ohio State, 12 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Norman Regional: (2) Arkansas vs. (3) Washington State, 2 p.m. ET
Louisville Regional: (2) Middle Tennessee State vs. (3) Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. ET

You can either watch or listen to virtually all of the games, if not all of them, here. We'll put up a Weekend Thread for you to use all weekend long, starting Friday at 11 a.m. ET, and try to update it from time to time. I'll also be around some.

Saul Smith and Schizophrenic Facebook page. Saul Smith -- he the son of Tubby and former UK player -- criticized John Calipari. Well, not really. How could you call cautioning Kentucky against sacrificing its integrity as criticism of the program's coach, currently under fire for an alleged lack of integrity?

"The UK athletic program will never regain its true champion nature with Businessmen running it. Never, no matter how many so called blue chip players you bring in. You can't sacrifice your integrity for success. You just can't do it. I'm an alum and I deserve a clean-ran program, plain and simple. Period, and if anyone disagrees, you, my friend, shouldn't support the program I played 4." ...

"Coach Cal is my guy," Smith said [in an interview]. "I'm close to him." ...

In another posting, Smith elaborated. He wrote: "said i was disappointed to hear about my alma mater again in a negative light. Period. where r u clowns coming up with the rest. The only thing i said negative was referring to the Administration and we all have our own opinions. KOBE!"

C&F really can't do Tipton's post justice without reprinting the whole thing, so read. KOBE!

Other UK basketball news. Meanwhile, Kentucky files a suit in Kentucky against Billy Gillispie. I'm not sure if this is a countersuit, since it's filed in a different venue. Lawyers?.

Jodie Meeks' father says he's gone if he's a lock for the first round, which isn't looking likely right now.

Nick Saban does have time for this softball ****. If I had to choose which SEC football coach would speak to his school's softball team, Nick Saban would not be at the bottom of the list only because he would not appear on the list.

"He walked in, and we're like, 'Is that really who we think it is?'" senior third baseman Kelley Montalvo said. "And he just started talking. It was great, because coaches don't do that, especially football coaches. They won't take the time to do that with a girl's sport. So when he did that, we just embraced it. We took in everything he said."

The message was quintessential Saban: Practice hard. Play hard. Stay focused. Take it one game at a time and things will take care of themselves, so long as you don't mention that toxic phrase -- "national championship."

Meanwhile -- and this is the only time you will see two softball items on Sprints -- the Orlando Sentinel tiptoes up to heresy by asking whether a softball player is better than Tim Tebow.

OK, maybe this is a push. Obviously Tebow is one of the greatest college football players of all time, and his sport gets a billion times more exposure than softball. But Nelson has proven to be just as good and just as dominant for the No. 1 Gators.

Besides, the Golden Tebow is the "great player of our era." We know because his coach said so.

SEC: Spurrier's comments different than Boy Wonder's. Okay, Tennessee fans, I know you don't like anything that contradicts the greatness of Boy Wonder. And I know you've been carrying on about how what Boy Wonder said was no different than what Steve Spurrier said. But it's not just Gamecock fans who see the difference -- it's the SEC.

And it turns out what Spurrier pointed out to Kiffin here on the first day of the meetings - that he had not accused him of cheating but had asked whether he took the test - was enough of a distinction for the SEC office.

SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said Spurrier's remark "didn't rise to the level of a reprimand (public or private) because of the way he phrased it as a question."

Try again, please.

You know you love him, in spite of yourself. I have to admit that I am amused by Lee Corso. His comments seem harmless enough -- he is, after all, just a panelist on a TV show -- and you can't say he doesn't love the game. Sure, we Gamecock fans have been known to make a fundraising joke or two at his expense, but it's all in good fun.

So thoughts and prayers to Corso as he recuperates from a minor stroke.

"This is just a small bump in the road," Corso said in a statement issued by ESPN. "A 'not so fast, my friend' in my game of life. I look forward to making a full recovery and returning to ESPN for my 23rd season analyzing the greatest sport in the world -- college football."

May there be many broken pencils in your future -- my friend.

Billy Donovan is nuts. He wants to go swimming with the fishes. And not just any fishes.

Today, Billy Donovan, his son, his mother and two family friends are headed to Cape Town, South Africa. After an 18-hour journey that will take them from Gainesville to Atlanta, Dakar and Johannesburg, the group will embark on an eight-day trip, including four days in Kruger National Park, to swim with sharks.

Sharks? Like sharks with actual teeth?

They really got in trouble over the free copies of "Run, Spot, Run." Alabama is expecting to hear back any day now about the textbook controversy.

Funny Pages. Doug at Hey Jenny Slater brings us a conversation between the coaches at the SEC winter meetings. Track Em Tigers focuses on what Mike Slive might have said to Boy Wonder.

Blogs and pen names. C&F obviously does not go by his real name on this blog. (No, it's not Cock N. Fire, though I've been known to do that.) The Mayor takes up the issue here, so I'll reiterate why I don't do it.

I am, as many regular readers of the site know, a news reporter. From time to time, I've been known to use a political parody to make a point about sports. And that can be used "against" a political reporter even if it's not a show of bias.

Or, for example, let's say I criticize President Obama over his advocacy of a playoff. I might support the president on everything else, or might support him on nothing else. But if my name was attached to the blog, and I write a news article critical of the president, those with a reason to attack that story might point to this blog as proof I have some sort of anti-Obama bias.

I keep no secrets. I'm at garnet and black attack -- at  -- gmail -- dot --- com, if you want to reach me. And, as always, the comments are a great place to differ with me, if you so choose.

Wind Sprints. No contract talks yet between Urban Meyer and Florida. Of course not -- he's going to Notre Dame ... Roll Bama Roll is reliving the Franchione years, for some reason ... On the topic of "people who should really avoid thinking about these things," Jerry at The Joe Cribbs Car Wash ponders the QB situation at Auburn ... Scott Bittle won't pitch in the regional ...

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