Sprints Is Wondering If We'll See Masoli at Ole Miss ... and A&M in the SEC? // 07.30.10

MASOLI-IPPI

HE WAS NOT ARRESTED
Jeremiah Masoli wants to make a few things clear. So many things clear that he and his PR firm have set up an entire website devoted to the good citizen that is Jeremiah Masoli. It's worth your time.

I made a few very poor decisions in the past year, and I apologize to my family, friends and fans for them. But I am not the person who has been portrayed in many media stories. ...

I am not a thief nor a thug. The people who know me best know that is the truth.

Among the highlights: retired Hawaii Supreme Court Judge Walter Kirimatsu calling Masoli "someone you'd want your young son to be mentored by" -- though even if you take Masoli's version of events at face value, that seems somewhat questionable.

And he corrects what appears to be every incorrect sentence any newspaper has ever written about him -- including one from The Commercial-Appeal, which is a great way to endear yourself to the local media at your reportedly future school.

The Corrections Department
The list of mistakes include sentences from Bleacher Report and a Bangkok-based news portal. Really. But mostly, they want you to know that he was not arrested in the alleged burglary or marijuana case in Oregon.

Jeremiah was not arrested in either incident. He was charged in the burglary and pled guilty.

Which, you know, is so much better. (HT: Brandt)

His side of the story
I haven't had a chance yet to read the whole thing, and Year2 linked to it earlier, but the issue here is clear as soon as you read the first paragraph.

Jeremiah Masoli is asking you to open your mind, to consider the possibility that, regardless of what you've read or heard, he is not a thug. That would be an easier sell, of course, if he hadn't spent nearly three months in a juvenile facility in 2005 for robbery; if he hadn't pled guilty in March of this year to burglarizing a fraternity house; if his career as the starting quarterback -- and a potential Heisman contender -- at Oregon hadn't ended last month after police found him driving with marijuana in his car.

Yes, in that case it would be considerably easier.

Chip Kelly talked to Houston Nutt about Masoli
No, you can't know what he said.

Oregon coach Chip Kelly, appearing at Pac-10 media day at the Rose Bowl, the site of Masoli's final game as a Duck, was guarded on the status of his former quarterback and his apparent move to Mississippi. He did confirm, though, that he and Rebels coach Houston Nutt have talked.

"That's between him and me," Kelly said when asked what he told Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

My guess?

Nutt: "Giggity. You had this great player, had a bit of trouble, like to bring him on our team here at Ole Miss, get him involved in offense, see what he can do, have a great season. Need to hear your thoughts on him, like you as a person Chip, wanna hear what you had to say."
Kelly: "Well, Houston ..."
Nutt: " 'Cause you're a straight shooter, know I can take what you say to the bank, help me out a little bit. Just let me know what I'm in for, tell me if this kid is somebody that I can count on. Wouldn't want to make a wrong step, you know. Done that once or twice before, caused all kinds of problems."
Kelly: "If you want my honest opinion, I think ..."
Nutt: "Thanks, Chip-otle, can't tell you how much this means, glad to hear from you, hope y'all have a great season, too. Talk to you later. Giggity, out."
Click.

20(BIG)12: THE END OF THE WORLD. AGAIN

That didn't take long
Remember back when we all said that the Big XII's last-minute deal to keep the league alive wasn't going to last five years? We might have been too generous.

"A key part of Texas A&M's decision to remain in the Big 12 earlier this summer was the commissioner's commitment that Texas A&M would receive a minimum of $20 million annually in future conference distributions," Loftin said in a statement. "We remain committed to the conference and fully anticipate that the Big 12 will honor its commitment to Texas A&M."

And what happens if the Big 12 doesn't honor its $20 million pledge? A high-ranking A&M official said late Wednesday that every legal avenue would be explored first, with the potential of bolting for the Southeastern Conference coming after. ...

The A&M official said Wednesday it wasn't the school's "concern" how the Big 12 got its money together for the revenue distribution -- just that it lived up to its promise of $20 million. The league's pledge is oral, and the A&M official said the school's lawyers are working to get it in writing. [Emphasis added.]

Here's guessing they have a lot of success with that. The issue seems to be in the agreement by the North schools to give their share of the Nebraska and Colorado exit fees to Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe, who is not at all in the pocket of Texas, said the Sooners and the Longhorns graciously declined but the Aggies insisted on the dough. (Left unsaid: Texas and Oklahoma can both probably make more money off their own TV networks than can A&M, so they can afford to give up the funds.)

In any case, it becomes increasingly clear (if it was ever in doubt) that the Big XII deal was held together with bailing wire and duct tape. And all it takes is one unhappy team to unravel the whole thing. (Thanks to Thomas for bringing the SEC implications of this to my attention.

Dan Beebe, your reaction?

"The commitment to Texas A&M was made, and it still stands," Beebe said in a statement. "We did not have the luxury of time during the crisis to sort out the details, but that will be addressed in the future."

But will he put it in writing?

OTHER NEWS

Arkansas Expats talks to Phil Steele
Hey! We got an interview with Arkansas Expats later in the day, so we got an interview with the people who interviewed Phil Steele. That's almost as good, right?

Really, I do not have an offensive question mark on Arkansas. In fact, I rate ‘em either number one or number two in the country offensively this year.

And if they could play their defense every week, they'd score 100 a game!

Watch Dabo Swinney fail in three dimensions!
Auburn-Clemson will be carried by ESPN 3D. Heaven help us.

Tebow has typical NFL contract
And by that I mean it makes no sense. It's $8.7 million in real money, an $11.25 million contract, but it has "escalators" and incentives that could make it worth $33 million. (This is all over five years, by the way.) Granted, these are minor details when you're talking that kind of money. But it's still a strange way to run a league.

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