Sprints Gets Headaches Listening to All This Scheduling Talk // 05.31.12

You know, this man and John Calipari have a lot in common when it comes to schedules and rivals.

SEC SPRING MEETINGS

So you're saying there's a chance
Really,. there's probably no way that the SEC goes to nine conference games. But at least the idea isn't dead yet, and at this point, it seems like almost anything could happen in the scheduling debate -- even if 6-1-1 is the leader right now.

The reemergence of nine conference games as a discussion point was a new development. Most SEC schools have said they are adamantly against going to nine. Alleva, who opposes nine games, said he doesn't think there are the votes to pass it.

Of course, Alleva's football coach is out there saying that there's a majority opposed to 6-1-1, so maybe their nose-counting skills leave something to be desired.

Did Dan Mullen get the best of Les Miles?
The Mississippi State head coach was not fond of Miles' knocking the Western Division Bulldogs' interdivision rivalry with Kentucky as part of LSU's crusade to jettison its annual game against Florida. Mullen found a not-too-subtle way of punctuating the point.

"I've been in this league for a while and I have a national championship ring from when my crossover games at the University of Florida that year were Auburn, Alabama and LSU," the former Gators offensive coordinator said. "Is that fair? But we still won a national title. I don't see how there’s any relevance to that. It all balances out."

Mullen also could have pointed out that Kentucky was one of the two teams that defeated LSU when Miles won his national title in 2007. But, remember, Miles only sees those as part of his team being undefeated in regulation.

Steve Spurrier still wants to pay his players
Legally, of course, though the idea of coaches chipping in remains unconventional. Especially when you push the number into the triple digits.

"We as coaches believe they are entitled to a little more than room, books, board and tuition. Again, we as coaches would be willing to pay it if they were to approve it to where our guys could get approximately get three, four thousand bucks a year. It wouldn't be that much, but enough to allow them to live like normal student-athletes."

It's not clear whether Spurrier thinks the coaches should pay the extra $1,000 to $2,000 a year on top of the current proposed NCAA stipend -- that could add up to $170,000 for 85 scholarship players, which is real money even for SEC coaches -- or if coaches should pay the entire $4,000 -- which would put the price tag at $340,000 a coach.

At least it's a better idea than his division schedule plan. But it probably has about the same odds of getting approved.

Of course you shouldn't
As part of our ongoing effort to highlight coaches who do the right thing on transfers, it's a pleasure to introduce South Carolina head basketball coach Frank Martin.

"If that young man does not want to be at this school, then you shouldn't hold him hostage," Martin said while attending the SEC spring meetings.

Again, this seems fairly common-sense stuff to us common folk out here. But it's good to see some coaches feel the same way.

'IND' OF THE AFFAIR: THE INDIANA-KENTUCKY GAME

In Calipari's dictionary, compromise means he gets what he wants
No doubt there's a reason that Indiana released its letter to Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart about negotiations to keep from needlessly canceling the Kentucky-Indiana rivalry. But what was released in the letter looks pretty bad for Kentucky, and its head coach and noted humanitarian John Calipari.

Essentially, Indiana tried to end a standoff over where to hold the rivalry games by giving both teams what they wanted -- two years at a neutral site, which is the venue that Kentucky preferred, followed by two years on campus, what Indiana wanted. Kentucky responded that it would agree to the first two years of the deal. You can see the issue.

"In other words," Glass said in the letter, "we were back to Kentucky's take it or leave it demand that we play on a neutral court with no opportunities to play on our campuses in front of our students and other season ticket-holders."

Ah, Indiana just doesn't see the brilliance in John Calipari wanting to give his fans EXPERIENCES. Or Calipari is just completely uninterested in any compromise of any type.

But, you see, it would have required Kentucky to end the Louisville series
Which is nonsense. Barnhart knows he doesn't really politically have the option of canceling the Louisville series, so even raising that prospect is ridiculous. You don't cancel a rivalry "to keep our non-conference road schedule balanced." You shouldn't cancel one out of pique, but it looks like Kentucky's prepared to do that.

Even some Calipari supporters aren't thrilled about this one
It's "ultimately troubling" to Glenn Logan over at A Sea Of Blue, a site which has staunchly supported John Calipari for a long time. (Really; I have the blog-fight links to prove it.)

Indiana is a long-standing rival, and their attempt to compromise here, based on the available information, looks genuine and well-intentioned. Kentucky's pro-forma dismissal of that proposal based on an astonishingly rigid new policy is not very sportsmanlike in my view, based on what I have before me.

Glenn did get information later that brings him a little closer to the Kentucky position, but he still senses "a bunch of hooey" here.

OTHER NEWS

Big 12: Go with a selection committee
What you have now in the playoff controversy essentially comes down to this: Two of the most successful conferences under the BCS set-up support one system. Two old-guard conferences who still have some major cachet are lined up against them, with allies of convenience in the ACC and the Big East.

What that means isn't clear. It might mean that we're headed to a true plus-one as a compromise, or it might mean that the whole thing falls apart and we get chaos. Remember, if it's not reauthorized, there is no BCS starting with the 2014 season. It would be replaced by something -- but it's anyone's guess what that something will be. Which might be the one reason that this thing doesn't go off the rails in the end.

Grayson Greiner out for regional
This is a major loss for the Gamecocks on defense; Greiner was extremely good at throwing out runners during the last few games of the season and could be needed in the NCAA tournament.

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