SEC MEDIA DAYS BEGINS TODAY
As always, we'll liveblog the proceedings and wrap things up in the evening.
-1:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. CT: Mike Slive
-2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT: Alabama/Nick Saban, Mississippi State/Dan Mullen
-4:20 p.m. ET / 3:20 p.m. CT: Florida/Urban Meyer, Kentucky/Joker Phillips
And we'll have live editions of Team Speed Kills Now from Hoover. Here's our preview podcast from Tuesday night, including an interview with the Mayor about Georgia and Urban Meyer's esophagus:
The SB Nation Media Days Story Stream
Some folks writing under odd names -- they might even be real.
Slive 'concerned' about off-field issues, but seems resigned that they'll be discussed
He even says he'll touch on conference expansion (remember that?) during his podium remarks, but he's not happy about agents, brawls and all the other distractions.
"I'm always concerned when there are issues off the field that (put focus) off the field rather than on the play on the field," Slive said.
As a blogger ... I cannot agree. C'mon, commish, we need something to write about in the offseason.
SECRET AGENT MEN
Roll Bama Roll has this pretty balanced post
It's a bit sympathetic to Marcel Dareus and the university -- but that's to be expected. It also points out the possible link in this story. The center of the investigation, if the allegations prove to be true, is clearly Marvin Austin and a group of friends that we already knew includes Weslye Saunders.
When Dareus came out of Huffman as a recruit in 2008, he picked Alabama over North Carolina and Auburn, and the general consensus then was that the Tarheels came in a close second. Dareus' mother -- who recently passed away -- actually wanted her son to sign with UNC (don't know why exactly, in all honesty), and when Dareus took an official visit to Chapel Hill in January of 2008 he quickly became friends with Austin. From what I can tell, they have been relatively close acquaintances ever since. Of course, though, that doesn't mean Dareus did anything wrong here (and in all fairness to Austin, it is not a definite that he did something wrong either).
As the fan of another institution caught up in this mess, I would like to believe that. But it's getting harder and harder to do so.
NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis didn't respond to e-mail requests from ESPN.com.
What a surprise.
The Bylaw Blog: It's not impossible
If you're not reading the Bylaw Blog ... well, why not? Actually, I have to admit that I just added it to my RSS reader. But I think it would be wise for all of us to pay attention. And here's a good bit on handling the agent problem, not by repealing the rules, but by doing the relatively small amount of monitoring it would require while acknowledging some realities.
It means demanding more documentation from athletes for big ticket items like cars, off-campus housing, and trips to tryout with professional teams. It means checking recurring names on pass lists for a possible connection to agents. It means making passes of student-athlete profiles on social networking sites. Certainly it’s more work, but not an excessive amount. ...
It is much more palatable to retreat from the NCAA’s principle that a student-athlete must, to the greatest extent possible, be treated like a regular student. Provide relatively minor additional benefits (like nicer athlete-only dorms) and admit that these are stars who need to herded into the NCAA’s system rather than regular students who just happen to be great athletes.
The idea of raising scholarships to cover the full costs of attendance is, to me, a no-brainer. Acting like students just have to pay for tuition is nonsense and not in keeping with any other kind of scholarship. (HT: Blutarsky)
Zac Etheridge has been cleared to play
And it looks like there was never an alternative.
I never considered not playing. I've been telling everyone that I was going to play again regardless. I can't stop now.
Good luck to him this fall.
ACC tries to use statistics to prove it's still a deserving BCS league
As in all other pursuits, they fail.