Sprints Is Wondering When We Might Know About Eligibility for Dareus and Saunders and ... // 08.31.10

SECRET AGENT MEN

This is outrageous
There is no reason that the NCAA should not be able to rule on Marcell Dareus' eligibility, unless there's something there we don't know about. There is little reason they shouldn't be able to at least rule on Weslye Saunders' eligibility for the first game, though one could understand why some of his teammates could still be question marks. As far as UNC -- well, UNC appears to be a very special case.

You would think that the NCAA could have a policy under which it advises coaches which players it has probable cause to believe will face eligibility issues. If you play one of those players, you do so knowing that any games they participate in could be vacated. If the NCAA rules that a player is unlikely to face an eligibility issue, then the team could play them without the games being vacated (unless, of course, new issues turn up later). It's not perfect, but it would give us some resolution.

Having teams waiting until a day or two before the games to find out which players are eligible -- even if the players broke the rules -- is ridiculous. They've had a month with Dareus and Saunders and at least a couple of weeks with the Whitney questions. Figure it out.

South Carolina could hear as soon as today
And if the Gamecocks know what's going to happen and the Tide doesn't -- well, that's really outrageous. In any case, it looks very much like South Carolina knows something.

Spurrier's assistants, including a couple requested for interviews, didn't speak Monday evening because of an impromptu staff meeting. A part of that meeting, a source said, included discussions about how to handle the NCAA's news, particularly on the field.

The secondary is looking shaky, but that counts as an area of strength for South Carolina, which might not face a really strong passing team until the Alabama game on Oct. 2. Losses along the offensive line, on the other hand, would cause problems at least as soon as the Georgia game next week. Stay tuned.

Saunders might be gone (I know, surprise)
The State reports that "coaches are preparing for the possibility of playing without embattled tight end Weslye Saunders this season, according to sources close to the program." Those talented young wideouts are on the verge of being much more important than expected.

The Rubber Chickens: Nothing to Hotelgate under the NCAA rules?
This is interesting. It doesn't end the debate over whether discount rates at the Whitney would be a problem, but The Rubber Chickens go the novel route of actually "looking at the rules" to figure out if the NCAA might have a problem with this.

So, it turns out that the institution or an individual connected to the athletic interests of an institution must provide the benefit in order for it to be considered an "extra benefit." That’s interesting, as we at TRC don’t recall one instance where a reporter covering Whitneygate made the effort to actually match the facts to the definition.

My hunch is that there's at least a potential problem here, if for no other reason that it would seem that the NCAA could fairly easily figure out if the Whitney's owners were closely enough connected to the university to make further steps (i.e., questioning players while they're supposed to be practicing) unnecessary. That, and the fact that the reporters involved seem to be good (Full disclosure: I've worked with Travis Haney before, but that also allows me to say I have no doubts about his professionalism and accuracy) and the coaches are bracing for suspensions to lead one to believe there is something there.

From my understanding, it doesn't take much if anything more than owning season tickets to be a "representative" of the university in the eyes of the NCAA. And, if we're being completely honest here, the NCAA can do whatever it wants.

All that said, it's something to keep in mind as we try to figure out the next steps in Columbia.

'We're still trying to figure out first and second string on the scout team'
UNC has yet to release its depth chart and looks unlikely to do so before its kickoff against LSU. Which really shouldn't matter, since Les Miles is still likely to think he has much longer to review it than he actually has.

OTHER NEWS

Houston Nutt also looking to get eligibility questions answered
He's looking for an answer from the NCAA about whether Jeremiah Masoli can play football, well whether he may play football, 'cuz boy can he play football. He can also play dominoes, real good at that game, and he's just gosh-darn a better kid than you would think from all those issues he had up there in Oregon and whatever. Solid kid, solid quarterback, love having him on the team.

Ealey borrowed hit-and-run car from a teammate
Jakar Hamilton apparently provided the vehicle that has Washaun Ealey in trouble. Hamilton says he wasn't aware that Ealey was driving on a suspended license.

He was against the freshmen on the team before he was for them
Mike Pouncey revises and extends his remarks about the first-year guys at Florida.

Turning over a new leaf. Just not right now
Urban Meyer's new in-season routine: Well, really the same as his old in-season routine. This should work out well. Really. No, I'm not going down that rabbit hole again. Not until they're 4-7 and Meyer's getting an IV during Florida State's seventh TD drive.

Red Cup Rebellion reschedules the entire SEC
And most of it -- including the nine-game conference schedule -- is a good idea. I do have one little quibble, though: If it's "pretty easy to fix" Alabama not playing Tennessee on the Third Saturday in October, then why didn't they do so? Oct. 24 is the Fourth Saturday in October, and there sits the Alabama-Tennessee game. With everyone in the conference having a rotating interdivisional game the week before and only LSU and Kentucky having a scheduled game against each other on Oct. 24, couldn't the Tide and Vols meet on Oct. 17 and play their rotating game the next week?

The Death of the West: 'Is everyone up there as stupid as you?'
The entire Western United States seems to have taken leave of its senses completely, with BYU aiming for independence despite the fact that the WAC is likely to dissolve and the WAC trying to enforce an agreement dependent on a merger with BYU that will not almost certainly not happen.

It's mass delusion out there, but we should know the depth of BYU's insanity within hours.

Sources in Logan familiar with the situation told The Tribune on Monday it appeared the Cougars were now looking elsewhere for a nonfootball affiliation.

That could mean the West Coast Conference -- an eight-school league composed of private, faith-based institutions -- is now BYU’s destination for its other sports. Utah State, which as of two weeks ago was closely tied to BYU’s plans, expects details about BYU’s intentions of becoming an independent in football to be announced today.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?!? Is BYU really so fed up with the Mountain West that it is about to leave just as the MWC is on the verge of becoming an AQ league so it can get a few million dollars a year? Do officials not realize that it takes a lot more than a few million dollars for a school like BYU to actually take the kinds of steps it would need to avoid playing the Armed Forces Bowl every year? (For BYU fans: It's like the Vegas Bowl, only with nothing fun to do in the surrounding area. Well ... never mind.)

By the way, if there's any doubt about the editorial direction of The Salt Lake Tribune, note the ominous weather photograph with no actual relation to the BYU story. I don't know that I've seen any media outlet actively cheerlead for a decision like this since ... okay, a the last round of conference realignment rumors, but you know what I mean.

And Oregon can be the Pac-10 champion, and ...
Add Mack Brown to the list of people who want to rewrite history in the wake of the Reggie Bush scandal. I have always thought -- even before the awards ceremony that year -- that Vince Young should have gotten the Heisman in the first place. But if you give Auburn or Oklahoma or Utah the 2004 national championship and make Vince Young the Heisman winner -- where do you actually stop? Do we go back and recalculate all the defensive statistics for the teams that played Southern Cal in 2005?

I'm all for vacating some of these things, but giving an award to the next person on the list is a bit too revisionist for my taste.

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