Sprints Wants Jadeveon Clowney to Ride a Unicorn, So Everyone Write About That // 02.15.13

USA TODAY Sports

All the news that's fit to make fun of, including the media's ongoing quest to pretend that one of the sport's most famous players is considering something he's not considering

Are you a sports pundit with nothing to write about? Don't worry, just wait for one of your colleagues to write something that has no basis in any fact or likely occurrence, then run with it yourself. Don't forget the smug condescension towards another sport.

Dumbest Story of the Year, Day 5
Thursday marked Day Five of what is quite possibly one of the dumbest sports stories I've ever seen. A columnist for the Charlotte Observer with no apparent connection to Jadeveon Clowney wrote that Clowney should sit out the next season to protect his draft status. Setting aside whether it's even a good idea -- there are reasons I think that it's not -- there was never any indication that Jadeveon Clowney has even considered this.

In fact, Clowney himself tweeted two days ago -- on the real Clowney Twitter account -- that the idea of him not playing was lol-able.

And yet, Steve Spurrier has now been pulled into the absurdity -- because apparently the media also believes Clowney is unable to speak (or tweet) for himself -- and was asked Thursday at a basketball game whether Clowney would play. To his knowledge, Spurrier said, Clowney was a go in 2013.

There's a reason, of course, that Clowney is getting so much attention despite their being no indication that he's going to either challenge the rule barring him from the draft in April or that he's going to sit out for the draft.

"Since that hit in the Outback bowl," Spurrier said, "I think he's become the No. 1 talked-about player. Maybe more than Johnny Manziel."

That's the biggest part of this. Clowney is now, in something new to perhaps any South Carolina player and certainly new to any South Carolina player not named George Rogers, the most famous player in college football. The other ingredient is that there is no lock on who will be the No. 1 pick in the draft this April. There are plenty of players who have a chance, but no one whose selection is as certain as the past. Clowney would change all that.

But the media -- and I say this as a member of the political news media who has also covered sporting events -- is starting to embarrass itself here. When someone, anyone, in Clowney's camp suggests that this has even been seriously considered, write about it. Otherwise, find some other reason to bug Spurrier at the basketball game.

Perhaps the most important non-Jadeveon person speaks
Besides, it looks like Jadeveon Clowney would have to anger his mother if he wants to go to the NFL. And as my mother used to tell me, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

"I enjoy the college games so much," said Josenna. "I enjoy the scenery and the stadiums. I would never want him to sit out a year."

This gets to something that NFL supremacists like Michael Silver and Mike Florio seem to ignore because they don't actually like football, they only like NFL football: Some people actually enjoy going to college and playing in college. There are a number of players who have come back for their senior season despite being eligible for the draft and expected to go highly in it. (Florio's column is the most unctuous of the lot, because it suggests that Clowney is either too stupid or too simple-minded to figure out what's in his best interest.)

Money is not everything to everyone, and it will never be everything to everyone despite how badly Florio or Silver or anyone else want it to be. We can have a philosophical debate over whether the NFL should have the rule it has, though Florio and Co. don't actually want to have that debate, because it requires acknowledging that those on the other side of the debate are actually entitled to have an opinion. But the assumption that Clowney would or should want to leave college even if he had the option is an assumption that has absolutely no basis in anything that's on the record.

Maybe Clowney would come out now if there were no three-year rule. And maybe he wouldn't. There's no right answer to the question, and no wrong answer. And it doesn't make him weird or stupid if he decided he wanted to spend another year or two in college. In fact, it might just make him a lot more normal and lot more well-balanced than the money-obsessed snobs who cover the NFL.

So I guess practicing is probably out of the question
The allegedly rampaging marauders known as Eddie Williams, Tyler Hayes and D.J. Pettway have been barred from Alabama's campus until a "judicial review" is complete.

The most important question: Would he have used Jarrett Lee in the national championship game?
Surprising no one who's been paying attention to sports lately, Cam Cameron is heading to Baton Rouge. The move will become officially official today.

Just keep him away from the defense at bowl games
Kevin Steele is returning to Alabama for a sort of recruiting executive director position.

Shawn Elliott to Alabama?
There seem to be other coaches that are getting more attention for the position right now, but Elliott could be a nice fall-back option for the Tide if they need one.

The other side of guarantee games
Almost no one in FBS football aside from athletics directors and head coaches actually like FCS games. Fans tolerate them, players just do their best not to get hurt and sportswriters hate having to find something to cover about a 52-14 game that wasn't really a surprise. Okay, that might not be entirely true -- politicians love forcing FBS teams to play FCS games, because it's another way to bring home a form of bacon for lower-subdivision schools.

But FCS schools love the games for a variety of reasons -- both for the competition and for the rivers of money. Mostly for the money.

"Just like many FBS schools from the non-equity BCS conferences, FCS programs count on playing these games for unique fan opportunities, a 'David vs. Goliath' moment for their student-athletes and the attractive game guarantees that help make athletics budgets work on an annual basis."

That's Charlie Cobb, athletics director for Appalachian State. Just a useful reminder that, as much as none of us really enjoy the FCS games, the games do benefit someone somewhere besides FBS coaches looking for an extra win.

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