Sprints Avoids Going on Trial // 06.05.09

The Trials of Urban Meyer. Suddenly, the Gators coach finds himself under fire for the number of Gators arrests, which magically became newsworthy at 24. Gregg Doyel, who is obviously not a Gator, rips into Meyer.

Because this isn't funny. This is infuriating, bordering on insanity. This is a football program that has had 24 players arrested -- that's an entire recruiting class [C&F: Not for Houston Nutt.] -- in Urban Meyer's four years as coach. ...

Looking the other way won't do it. Urban Meyer has already tried that. ...

And if Meyer won't take care of business on his own, maybe the sound of angry voices -- like mine, and more people like me -- will shake him up.

It'll be 37F for you at the next home game, bub.

This article has caused a bit of a ripple on the Web -- as a national columnist blasting his alma mater tends to do -- but I'm not sure how Doyel expects to "shake [Meyer] up." As Clay Travis points out, there's not much you can do to a coach who's winning the way Meyer is.

Because deep down none of us really care about the arrest records of our favorite teams. At least not anywhere near as much as we care about the won-loss record.

(HT: John Clay)

The Trials of John Calipari. The war over whether Calipari is guilt in the Derrick Rose affair continues.

But don't worry, Cal. Jay Bilas has your back, decrying the "ridiculous notion that the head coach is responsible for everything that goes on in his program." Really? It's ridiculous to expect a coach to control his program?

Meanwhile, Memphis obviously does not allow the PR people or anyone who gets out of the office much to read its letters to university officials before they go out.

"To all Tiger fans, please know that we will represent you well on June 6," wrote the university's lawyer, Sheri Lipman, in a letter to the Board of Visitors and the Board of Trustees. "And go Tigers!"

Nothing says team spirit like "motion to suppress."

Because it's summer, and we bloggers have nothing better to do. How else to explain the continuing discussion of whether experience and returning starts -- the stat Phil Steele seems to value above all others -- than "June doldrums"?

Dr. Saturday joins the ranks of those questioning what he calls "the cult of experience" by pointing to a team that might be getting better by willingly tossing a good chunk of last year's starters to the side: UCLA. Meanwhile, an EDSBS reader tries to put numbers to the experience question. The result: If you download the spreadsheet and insert a fit line, there is a slight correlation. But it's not very strong, and it's made weaker by the number of outliers. Grain of salt.

In other Web debates, the Mayor tackles the issue of secondary violations. He says, essentially, get rid of them.

What enemy is the N.C.A.A. fighting here? What we’re worried about are rogue boosters, fake jobs, hundred-dollar handshakes, and Cadillac Escalades in the parking lot of the athletic dorm, right? Why, then, are we even worrying about---why are we even talking about---whether Coach O does a dance routine for recruits?

Correct me if I'm wrong -- I don't believe the dancing routine was a violation. It might be the only thing Boy Wonder has done since he got to Knoxville that hasn't been, but I think the Vols are in the clear on that one. But the Mayor's point is well taken -- there are some secondary violations that seem picayune, to be kind about it.

Here's the problem, though. There's a reason some secondary violations exist. You require schools to report an accidental second call to a recruit, for example, so recruits don't get bombarded with four calls a day. You require schools to report a recruit's discussion of football with a booster as a secondary violation in the hopes that it will prevent boosters from paying kids under the table.

Finally, the Mayor cites a seciton of the rule book I think should be carefully looked at in relation to the violations being reported in the SEC. Some of these incidents are obviously not "isolated or inadvertent in nature." And I doubt that the coaches think they "provide only a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage." In that case, they probably wouldn't be happening.

Potential secondary violation in progress: Kiffin on Outside the Lines. Who knows what he'll say.

NYT: Mississippi State in trouble. The Gray Lady's college sports blog puts the Western Division Bulldogs at No. 89 on its countdown of every program in the nation.

I’m really not sure where wins are going to come from. Jackson State is obviously one, and Middle Tennessee could make two. The other two non-conference games (Georgia Tech and Houston) are going to be very difficult to pull out. So let’s say the Bulldogs finish 2-2 out of the SEC: who can this team beat in conference play? ... For this season, I can’t predict the Bulldogs to do any better than 5-7, with the more likely final mark being a repeat of last fall’s 4-8 record.

Worth a read.

What was better than Alabama football? At least two other Tide programs, according to the Bama Beat's annual Alabama wrap-up. Nick Saban does get coach of the year, and Julio Jones is the male newcomer of the year. (Baseball comes in eighth among the Tide's programs. Basketball, as you might presume, falls a bit further down the list.)

Sap, but good sap. It's easy to mock the "people stories" that ESPN likes to do on sports. But some times an athlete comes along whose perserverance and good spirits really do take your breath away. D.J. Williams -- one of my new favorite players -- is a great guy, and anyone who reads The Slophouse entry and the ESPN story that inspired it will be glad they did. In the end, it's about more than Williams. It's about how a family overcame one of the worst and inexcusable forms of violence in the world.

Play Ball! Thoughts on Super Regional pitching from the Red Cup Rebellion and And The Valley Shook. Open Thread forthcoming at 11 a.m. ET.

Wind Sprints. Garnet and Black Attack's prediction for the South Carolina-Georgia game: "Georgia wins by a touchdown." It was ever thus. ... You realize how easy it's going to be to make fun of this slogan if the season goes south, right? ...

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