Sprints Weighs the End of Bar Knoxville, Continuation of Agent-Gate and Stupidity of the NCAA // 08.05.10

BRAWLUNTEERS

A sober look at the Bar Knoxville denouement from Rocky Top Talk
Writes Will:

Something clearly happened that shouldn't have, but who exactly was responsible was never made clear to the public. And so we're left with an ugly picture of the two victims, and a new coach administering his own discipline internally that, on face value, doesn't fit the crime that players may or may not have committed. We don't get the justice or resolution we feel like this situation surely deserved initially. And we don't get the sort of disciplinary action that would have sent whatever message we felt like needed to be sent, no definitive impact on the culture that we can see. The whole thing leaves us with not enough information.

Which is fair enough for a fan. Will is right -- most of us are going to defend the head coach of our team, for no other reason than he is the head coach of our team. And there's nothing wrong with that.

That said, there's still an inconsistency in one of the things Will highlights that I can't quite reconcile.

On Tuesday, Dooley again spoke of the consistency of the stories he's heard from his own players, and the way that everything else he's seen, heard, or read in the last twenty-six days has strengthened those stories.

If that's so, then something is not right here. The stories of his players are consistent with everything else? Then did his players tell him that an off-duty police officer was kicked while on the ground and then another patron of the bar was beaten bloody? And did they tell him who was involved? Or did they merely come up with a cover story that couldn't be proven wrong and leaves no one responsible?

Maybe Derek Dooley doesn't have any better answers than the rest of us, and maybe he does. And maybe we'll never know. And for the life of me, I can't think of any reason that things should conclude that way.

They're saying all the right things about it
Marlon Walls and Greg King talk about the fallout from the brawl.

SECRET AGENT MEN

Back to Chapel Hill
The NCAA returns to UNC for more interviews, and Tar Heel Fan tries to figure out what that means.

Pouncey investigation not over yet
Maurkice Pouncey's statement that the investigation of the ALLEGED $100,000 ALLEGED payment from an agent was close to being done seems to have been a bit early, according to the university's police department.

"It's still an ongoing investigation," Holcomb said Wednesday. "It could be another month or two before it's finally closed out. It's a slow-going process."

And unless Mike Pouncey gets caught up in the ALLEGED ALLEGATIONS, there's really no reason to hurry. The Sugar Bowl win will still be there to vacate in October.

OTHER NEWS

The NCAA is still unbelievably stupid
Not that that should really be that surprising to anyone. The whole item is worth a read, but a few paragraphs to give you the basic idea:

Boise State football recruit Emil Smith died in a July 18 car accident in Hemet, Calif. ...[para] Because Smith had not signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) -- signing day is in February -- Boise State coaches could not comment on Smith.

They could not attend his funeral. They could not send flowers. They could not call his grieving parents or any other family members. ...

Or NCAA Bylaw 13.2.9, which outlines how large of a donation or other token of support ($100) a school may provide in the event of his or her death, provided he/she has signed an NLI.

No phone calls are allowed from a team to players or their families from between June 1 and Aug. 31, Hobbs said, meaning no Boise State coach could call Smith's parents.

The NCAA's incredibly lame response? Boise never asked for a waiver. (I can't make that kind of garbage up.)

Statements claiming there are no exceptions to NCAA rules limiting contact to or providing support for the family of deceased prospective student-athletes are erroneous. The NCAA has a long-standing waiver process in place that allows for exceptions from general Association bylaws based on specific situations.

The university now says it will ask for a waiver, but that's not really the point. The point is: Why are there "NCAA rules limiting contact to or providing support for the family of deceased prospective student-athletes" in the first place? Not to be too flip, but is the Association worried that Boise might become more attractive to "deceased prospective student-athletes"?

The problem isn't that Boise didn't request a waiver. It's that the school needed one in the first place. (HT: Dr. Saturday)

Bryant-Denny now fifth-largest stadium in country
It would also be the fifth-largest city in Alabama, passing ... Tuscaloosa, with a population of 93,215 in 2009.

And by 'mutually agreed,' I mean we told him he should leave and he agreed
Nick Saban says Alabama and safety Rod Woodson "mutually agreed" that he should practice his craft at another location. How mutual was the decision?

"I don't really feel it's a problem, when you have people in the organization who aren't accountable, how not having one would affect anything," Saban said. "We cannot make decisions about the future of players who aren't accountable for what they're supposed to do and not responsible to what they're supposed to do as a member of this team, regardless of what they issue is, behavioral, academic, football-related."

Yeah, that mutual.

Outside linebacker out of Athens
Dexter Morant isn't leaving Georgia so much as he's leaving football. Mark Richt explains.

We tried to convince him it would be in his best interest to stay and fight through it because a lot of guys have been through that before. In the end, he just really felt like it wasn’t for him, at least now right now in his life. So we honored that. You can’t make him stay.

On the list of odd things that have happened in the SEC this offseason -- heck, in the list of odd things that have happened at Georgia this offseason -- a freshman deciding football isn't for him ranks way down the list. But good luck to Morant in his future endeavors, whatever those endeavors might be.

'To play' could be fairly loosely defined, given past years
Shawn Elliott, offensive line coach in Columbia, says in response to hurt and sick offensive lines that he only needs to "get five to play." In fairness, this would be a vast improvement over the last two men to have his job.

But how much does it help you?
Nick Saban is right to say the red-zone defense at Alabama is impressive and has improved since his first year, Roll Bama Roll finds. But ... the other teams in the top half of the league by that measure were Ole Miss, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina. And while all of the teams in that 50 percent were eligible for bowls, only Alabama, Florida and maybe Ole Miss had what I would classify as a good season. Then again, no one else in the league had much of a season either.

Erik Ainge reportedly entering rehab
Best of luck and best wishes for the former Tennessee player as he tries to defeat the toughest opponent anyone can face.

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