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Sprints // 02.18.09

I'm actually working a piece that requires -- let me make sure I spell this right -- research. So here's a few links to tide you over on Wednesday:

Carl Johnson. That's about all you can say about the guy without calling him some variation of sleazebag, scumball or twisted human being. Even Florida blogs are saying it's time for Johnson to go -- and they're right. The, um, lowlights, because there are no highlights in something like this:

The arrest Monday of Gators offensive lineman Carl Johnson stemmed from a petition from a former girlfriend who claimed Johnson "date-raped" her on three occasions from September to November of 2008. ...

In the relationship, Johnson would claim to be "play fighting" when "he would shake me, bite me and hit me," the petition states.

Johnson claimed that a goal in life was to "shoot and kill someone," the petition states. When the petitioner told Johnson's family of the physical behavior and Johnson found out, the petition states, he informed her of his plans to "go upstairs and get his gun." When she told him he could go to jail, he said "I don't least it would be for something good," the petition states. [EMPHASIS IS C&F's.]

This one isn't even a close call. Alligator Army says it best: "Johnson is innocent until proven guilty, but he does not have that luxury on the football team."

The most hated team in the SEC is ... Tennessee? Followed by Alabama? With Georgia third? I would have imagined Alabama and then Georgia or Florida, but I would be wrong, according to the research conducted by Dr. War E. Atlanta at Track Em Tigers. At least Vols fans can stop worrying that Lane Kiffin is costing them respect in the SEC.

I meant I wanted to transfer to play baseball and football. Everyone's favorite ex-Gamecocks QB turned Alabama catcher might return to the rectangular field for Nick Saban.

Because he redshirted his first season at South Carolina, he would have one season to play football at Alabama, which seems a possibility. He has met with Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban, who told him to take some time and see how he felt.

‘"It's something I'm going to put some serious consideration into," Smelley said. "Because I always grew up a big Alabama fan and went to all the football games growing up. That would be great to be able to play for Alabama for a year."

One hopes that his kind words for Spurrier are true. Because if he had trouble with the Ol' Ball Coach, one can only imagine how quickly St. Nick would break him down.

Other sport-switching eligibility news: Marcus Monk can't play basketball at Arkansas, and the Razorback Expats are following developments.

And I though Native American Mascot-Gate was bad. The NCAA has found a way to be even more picayune than it was during the Battle over Chief Illiniwek. (And I'm part Cherokee and proud of it, so I feel free to say that the whole incident was stupid.)

"If Chris is the man and he gives the speech, hopefully they will tape it ... I would absolutely watch it, I'd be excited to watch it," Richt said. "I'll make sure to check with compliance, but I can't imagine that being [an NCAA] violation."

Kudos to Richt for taking the high road concerning the most asinine thing I've ever heard. Let me handle the low road: Here is a football coach who wants to encourage a player in his academic pursuits, for crying out loud, and the NCAA Politburo won't let him because it could be a recruiting violation?!? I just -- But, but -- I'm speechless.

That said, all the best to Myles Brand. He might seem like a distant, unknown commodity, but seeing any human being hurt like this is sad. It's an AP article, so that great guardian of democracy might swoop me up and take me to a black site somewhere if I quote from their freedom-of-speech-loving pens, but it doesn't look good for Brand. Thoughts and prayers.

Other AP-ness. Texas Tech and Mike Leach are deadlocked. So in a bid to make sure the most successful head coach in program history doesn't leave without talking to you first, you're going to make sure he leaves when his deal is done. That makes -- no sense at all. ... Brandon James has surgery, but should be fine in the fall. ...