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Sprints Doesn't See Anything Wrong With Bama's Fishing Trip // 08.25.09

Team Speed Kills Now tonight. As always, 9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CT. We wrap up our preview of nonconference opponents with a look at Texas A&M, who battles Arkansas, and Georgia Tech, who faces both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State in addition to the annual tilt with Georgia. That's on our last preseason edition of TSK Now. (As always, you can listen live on the blog, on TalkShoe or wait to download the podcast afterward.)

I'm missing something. Anyone who's followed this blog knows that your humble correspondent is not someone who goes easy on NCAA rule breakers. But I'm still trying to make heads or tails on whether Alabama and the Association are wasting time and tearing apart a friendship for no reason or there's something we're not being told here.

UA's investigation determined Anderson is not an athletic booster. Student-athletes accepting benefits from a booster, defined as a representative of a school's athletic interests, would be considered a possible major institutional violation of NCAA rules.

UA also determined the excursion did not violate NCAA Bylaw, which prohibits student-athletes from receiving extra benefits due to their status or reputation as athletes.

Okay. So there's nothing wrong here. Right? Not that common sense wouldn't have told you that.

Jones' family has long denied any wrong-doing in the matter.

"(Julio) never went fishing with any Alabama booster. We're not that crazy," said Sam Jones, Julio's uncle.

Sam Jones has that right: As a famous WR with a potential future in the NFL, Julio Jones would have to be insane or terminally stupid to go on a fishing trip with a booster. But whether Jones and Curtis Alexander are friends doesn't matter. They are not to see each other anymore.

Schools officials have nonetheless asked Anderson to discontinue his relationship with Jones or Ingram for the remainder of their collegiate careers. Jones and Ingram have also been told not to contact Anderson.

The school could not "disassociate" Anderson since no association was found.

"It's almost where you can't befriend anyone," Sam Jones said. "I don't think he's done anything wrong, and hopefully, nothing is wrong."

One friendship down because of a nonexistent violation. Good job.

Note the sarcasm. Unless we're only getting part of the story.

Welcome back to the starting QB job.  You're on your own.
Surprising no one, Jonathan Crompton was tapped to be the Vols' starting signal caller. Now, all he needs is a center and some wide receivers and ...

The most heated job competition on the team may go to Cody Sullins by default.

Josh McNeil, who has a string of 35 consecutive starts at center, missed Monday's practice to allow a specialist to evaluate his aching knee.

Oh, and the team's best receiver -- maybe the best offensive veteran -- is down for four to six weeks.

Ron Zook would like to point out that they kept getting better in beating up freshmen. Let's say you were sitting in your office in, say, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and you're -- I don't know -- a football coach. You flip on your computer, go looking at news about your previous employer, and you see this.

"You don't win many games, but you feed off freshman and shaved eyebrows ... Unbelievable," Meyer said. "Now I have a freshman who's really going through some hard times, and he says -- stood up in front of the team, tears falling down his eyes -- he said I really want to thank the older guys for taking care of me.

"It's called a team, not some silly nonsense. That was five years ago, let's go beat up freshmen. Let's get our brains kicked in against our rival, but let's go beat up a freshman."

Give the Zooker credit -- he came up with one of the best zingers he's had.

I was surprised to see that, once again, five years later, we're blamed for something else at Florida. But by now I guess I shouldn't be. (HT: Wiz)

But, you see, we're misunderstanding Urban. He wasn't criticizing Ron Zook when he criticized Ron Zook.

"Some people said that they thought there was some criticism on Coach Zook. There absolutely was not," Meyer said Saturday.

"That was about the locker room, the way the locker room was set up. Our staff has never been critical of any staff. ... I just said we had fights here a lot, because the locker room, the way they had it in the past, and it's not that way anymore because the locker room has been changed." [EMPHASIS C&F's]

Um, Urban -- who is 'they'?

Clifton Geathers had a bad day
And that's really the last thing the Gamecocks needed.

The Gamecocks could ill afford to lose another defensive lineman for any period of time. Ladi Ajiboye will be suspended for the first three games for violating university policy. Nate Pepper has been limited in camp because of a chronically balky knee.

But South Carolina might have a solution at its disposal: Suspend him for games he would have already missed. Lou Holtz didn't pull a Brett Favre and come out of retirement, did he?

Injuries slow down mortals, but not the Golden Tebow
Tim Tebow laughs at your worries about his illness, and follows up reports of a tweaked back by "head-butting people."

More medical problems for Florida
Donan Munroe will only be out 5-6 weeks, but it still chips away at the team health that was a key element of the 2008 national championship run.

Nick Saban is driving to Louisiana right now
You have to figure that leaks from Louisiana-Lafayette were about the last thing that Saban was concerned about going into the season. The rumor: Trent Richardson in the WildTide or the WildBear or whatever they're calling it in Tuscaloosa.

Here we go again
Swamp Things tracks down the voters who dared to cast their ballots against THE MIGHTY GATORS. They actually make a few cogent points, and both seem like reasonable fellows, not some "SEC DROOLZ!" haters.

Nice, but we did 12
Dr. Saturday begins SEC Week. Week? Singular?

But common sense says he doesn't
Track Em Tigers looks at how "History Says Chizik Has A Chance." Yes, it has shades of homerism -- as a piece on an Auburn blog should -- but also draws an interesting parallel.

And how can we forget the hiring of Division I-AA Samford coach Terry Bowden. He made his Jordan-Hare Stadium debut a year prior when he brought his Bulldogs in for a 55-0 whipping and a big payday. Looking back, there probably should have been similar outrage to what we saw in December with Chizik.

Of course, let's not talk about how that ended, mkay?

The New York Times believes in Ole Miss -- sort of
The Rebels land at lucky No. 13 on The Quad Countdown.

Ole Miss will be good, maybe even great on occasion, and it has the schedule to perhaps earn a place inside the top 10. But let’s not allow a tremendously impressive win over Florida and a bowl victory over a defeated Texas Tech team to blow out of proportion the current status of Mississippi football: it’s still growing as a program, and while I do think the Rebels will improve upon last season’s win total I don’t think one should be penciling it in for a B.C.S. bowl in 2009.

Of course, they said at the time that last year "looks like a .500 season at best," so grain of salt recommended (as with all preseason previews).

Meanwhile, while we and the Mayor have tried to kill it more times than I can count -- most recently in the encyclopedia -- the myth lives in The Quad's preview of Georgia.

No one really believes the program’s window has closed, but it seems to me that most are counting Georgia out of the hunt for the SEC crown and a B.C.S. bowl bid. Why? If Richt has shown anything, it’s that his teams will surprise, and will play its best when the underdog.

I sincerely hope they didn't rest their No. 11 prediction solely on that.

Doyel joins Pappy Bowden's Charlie Ward parade
This is oversimplifying a bit, but his argument essentially boils down to: Statistics don't matter. Those numbers are just so overrated.

Ward didn't play in the spread offense. He played in an explosive, pass-friendly offense, don't get me wrong -- this wasn't the wishbone -- but Ward didn't have five receivers and a tailback running routes, stretching the defense, occupying defenders. ...

Tebow did more damage than Ward on the ground, but only because he was allowed to -- because he had to. Florida's running backs in 2007 were nobody.

Keeping going at this rate, Doyel, and Urban won't even let you have seats on the opponent's side of the field.

I've always been intrigued by this line of argument, because it has some allure to it. Numbers, after all, are a function of things like the offense a quarterback runs and might not be tied strictly to how "good" he is. Then again, there are plenty of quarterbacks in the game who have had running backs worse than the ones who lined up with Tebow in 2007. (Coincidentally, Percy Harvin's contribution is notably passed over by Doyel.) Most of them didn't put up the numbers the Golden Tebow has.

Florida Football Core Values: No Running Backs
It's right there in this series of pictures. One of the "Florida Football Core Values" is "No Weapons." But "The body of a Florida Running Back is a WEAPON designed to PUNISH DEFENDERS."

Which will be larger at the end of the season?
Mike Hartline's passing yardage or the number of Facebook friends for his mustache.