Sprints Has a Somber Warning, and Problems With Media Hype // 09.22.10

KENNY McKINLEY, 1987-2010

'Nobody would have ever believed he would have done it'
The police are now saying that Kenny McKinley had spoken of suicide before he reportedly took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"He had made statements while playing dominoes shortly after the surgery that he should just kill himself," the officer reported. "No one believed he was serious." ...

"If it had been said to me, I probably would have been like, 'Yeah, whatever, Kenny.' It would have completely gone over my head," [friend and a former teammate's wife Brittany Boyd] said. "That's not the type of thing he would say and if he did say it, that's not the type of thing that you would take seriously coming from him.

"Because of his personality, because of who he is, nobody would have ever believed he would have done it."

And here's your annual public service announcement: NEVER EVER EVER decide not to take someone seriously when they're talking about suicide. I don't blame the people in McKinley's life who might have ignored this, because we don't talk about suicide enough in this country, either because it scares us or because most of us don't understand it. But suicide is not a joking matter for most people, and it's best to check and re-check with someone who makes such a joke just to make sure.

Who knows if there's someone who played dominoes with McKinley a month or so ago blaming themselves for what happened? They absolutely shouldn't, but I know I would have a problem listening to someone else say that if I were in their shoes. And we should all take all the steps we need to just to make sure we never have to ask ourselves that question.

South Carolina to honor McKinley with helmet decals
On an unrelated note but included in the same post: Guess who's trying to get back on the team?

OTHER NEWS

Giles out at South Carolina
That's Jarvis Giles, the once highly-touted running back who hasn't been seen much this year thanks to one Marcus Lattimore. As Haney points out, this really isn't much of a surprise, given the fact that Lattimore can apparently carry the ball 50 or 60 times a game. If you'd told South Carolina fans a few years ago that Spurrier would recruit enough players at any skill position that it would spark a transfer, I think they would have taken it.

It was just a little stalking -- what's the big deal?
Mike Pouncey is quickly becoming one of the more entertaining Florida players around.

Pouncey, who was a teammate of Rainey’s at Lakeland High School, said, "He’ll be back. We just don’t know when."

Later, a University Athletic Association spokesperson told reporters Pouncey does not speak for Meyer, the program or the university.

Well, yeah.

The only real question is how much longer Mike Pouncey will be allowed to speak for Mike Pouncey.

MARK RICHT IS ABSOLUTELY ON THE HOT SEAT AND IS GOING TO BE FIRED TOMORROW
Just listen to Greg McGarity pour fuel onto the Paul Finebaum hot-seat talk.

"It's not like you're going out there and getting slaughtered every week," McGarity said Tuesday. "Some things just didn't go our way. You have to give the other teams credit, too. Both these teams are talented and you've got to tip your hat to them. They're trying just as hard as we are. You can't do anything about what's happened and the more people focus on what has happened and not focus on the future, then we're going nowhere as a program."

In truth, Richt would probably have preferred the athletics director's defense not begin with "It's not like you're going out there and getting slaughtered every week," but it's also not a Steinbrenner-esque statement of impending ax-swinging. I've said before that I seriously doubt Richt is anywhere near the hot seat, and I still believe it. Sure, if he goes 4-5 over the course of the rest of the season and ends with a losing record, things could change.

For now, though, this seems like a story in search of a reason to be written.

I was for Georgia being ranked in the Top 25 before I was against it
Dan Mullen says:

"… Their record might not show it, but they’re a top 25 football team in the country, easily," Mullen said.

Dan Mullen does:

Well, the second-year coach at MSU did not vote for Georgia in this week’s USA Today coaches poll. In fact, no coach on the 59-member board slotted  Mark Richt‘s team in one of the 25 spots after the 31-24 loss to Arkansas.

You see, he was really busy when he was trying to fill out the ballot. At the same time he was doing that, he was watching the film of the LSU game and trying to count all the interceptions, and understandably got distracted.

TAX EVASION! NO! THE HORROR!
Okay, so one of the arguments for a playoff is supposedly that it would bring in buckets of money, right? So of course the supporters of a playoff system are decrying the bowl system for ... making money?

Yes, Playoff PAC -- which to me still ranks as one of the dumbest ideas in support of anything ever -- has decided to take on the bowl system by challenging its tax-exempt status. VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

As to whether the complaint, even if successful, will help the PAC's goal of a playoff system, Sanderson argued that "when we raise awareness about these types of irregularities, the need for change becomes more apparent."

Yes, because there's nothing like an allegation of something close to tax evasion to prove that college football needs a playoff.

No, it didn't make any sense when I typed it, either.

Two signs that there are too many bowl games
The first is the thing that is actually dangerous both to college football and to the bowl system: Allowing losing teams into bowl games. It used to mean something to go to the postseason, and it has meant progressively less as 7-5 and 6-6 teams are regularly playing in late December and early January. But losing teams takes that to a new level.

The second sign:

"It’s early, but sure there’s concern, absolutely," said Bruce Binkowski, executive director of San Diego’s two bowl games.

San Diego has two bowl games. San Diego!

If that doesn't call for getting rid of some postseason contests, I don't know what does.

And our final hyperventilating story of the day: People who don't watch athletics pay athletics fees anyways
Just like people who don't use campus technology pay technology fees anyway.

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