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Sprints Sees Why Tennessee Fought for Bryce Brown // 08.27.09

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Now we know. Vols fans can rest easy; Bryce Brown will be on their side when they take the field against Western Kentucky on Sept. 5. Something tells me, though, that games on Sept. 12 (UCLA) and Sept. 19 (at Florida) are part of the reason Tennessee appealed the planned penalties for Brian Bulters most prominent client "advisee."

Kiffin said the original penalty that UT appealed was a four-game suspension and a significant financial penalty to repay the travel costs.

"His penalties were waived," Kiffin said. "He’ll miss no games and owes no money. So I think that’s a heckuva deal by the NCAA to get it done right and get it done with a sense of urgency. We’re very grateful for that." ...

Kiffin declined to specify how much money Brown was originally asked to repay. But when Kiffin was asked if the figure was in the thousands, he said, "Up there." ...

Picture for a minute the panic that would have gripped Knoxville had the penalty been followed.

And who said Boy Wonder can't be diplomatic when he wants to be?

Kiffin said he also visited with the NCAA to strengthen Brown’s case.

"Without going into too much detail, I had some conversations with the NCAA and I felt they were going to get things right," Kiffin said. "I spent time explaining who this kid is and what he’s about, how this is not a kid that should be punished for something like this."

Actually, Kiffin's on a first-name basis with enforcement officials anyway, so that probably gave him a little bit of a boost. They were probably just thrilled to hear from Kiffin without the conversation beginning, "I've got another secondary violation I need to report ..."

But, as wshelton2 points out at Rocky Top Talk, there's no reason to believe that the clouds over the heads of some of the figures in this matter have lifted for good.

There was and is a lot of gray in the matters being investigated, including fund raisers for Brown to attend football camps as early as his sophomore year of high school and the presence of Brian Butler -- and if this isn't the last time we hear of a potential violation like this involving Butler, I'm sure we won't be surprised.

Though Tennessee fans probably don't want to admit it, I doubt we'd be surprised if we heard something similar about Brown, either.

What could possibly go wrong?
Jackie Sherrill is back at Mississippi State camp, following the letter but possibly not the intent of the agreement hammered out in the wake of his last visit.

Part of State's reaction to that involved this line from its April 21 letter to the Southeastern Conference about the incident: "Jackie Sherrill will not be invited to attend any future Mississippi State University football practices." ...

Brett said Sherrill wasn't invited, therefore he didn't violate that term.

Something tells me this is pretty much how things went when Sherrill was the coach of the Bulldogs. (Note: This is the first CL link we've tried in a while. Let me know if it doesn't work and I'll kick the problem up to the great tech guys at SBN and see if they can figure out what's going on.)

That didn't take very long
The SEC now seems to be signaling a retreat on its media policy as well. This, however, is probably not an urgent problem:

So if Tennessee won another national championship under the new policy, no paper in the state could run a commemorative section with in-house photographs.

Somehow, I doubt that sparked the protest.

Not that you can really blame him
If I were Dan Mullen, I'd also try my hardest to avoid choosing a quarterback.

You heard it here first
As Sprints predicted in yesterday's edition:

Former Olive Branch High quarterback Cannon Smith has left the University of Miami, and two Mid-South schools are under consideration to be his next destination. ...

Sources close to Smith, who starred as a senior at Olive Branch in 2006, said he is considering Mississippi State, Tennessee and SMU.

Miami: The place to be when you really want to start in Knoxville.

'At best, probably three or four weeks'
Josh McNeil had his surgery.

Vandy loses another DE
Theron Kadri, who was to help replace Steven Stone, won't be with the Commodores due to "personal reasons."

If this turns out to be 2009's answers to BIRD FLU, we're all going to look like idiots.

Then again ...
It takes a heck of a virus to make Mount Cody sick.

On LSU, Dr. Saturday is confused but agreeable
Hinton touches on one of the things that has somewhat bewildered me this offseason about the Bayou Bengals.

They're in the top 10 in the AP poll, the Blog Poll and most of the magazines, and No. 11 according to the coaches; most projections peg the Tigers as the top challenger to Alabama in the SEC West, ahead of Ole Miss, despite the Rebels' head-to-head win in Baton Rouge, better overall season, significantly better quarterback situation and more experienced returning lineup. All hail the power of the brand.

I get it, but I still am not sold on LSU. I think they'll be better this year, no doubt -- I have them in the Top 20, but nowhere near the Top 10. We've gotten burned doing this before -- remember mid-decade Florida State and Miami?

Matt Millen vs. Mel Kiper
Not sure whom I'd rather have on my side, but the former GM of the dreadful Lions teams of most of this decade says Tim Tebow should do fine in the NFL.

"He might be the best college football player to come out in decades. He is. He might be of all-time, just for what he’s done and the strength of his character."

Who knows, though -- Millen might have been interested in drafting the Golden Tebow as a linebacker.

Tim Tebow reacts to GQ -- sort of

Tebow didn't seem too excited to talk about the article. Surely he didn't love the title, "Does God have a Tim Tebow Complex?" One thing Tebow isn't about is belitting God. Apparently Tim's father, Bob, was "miffed" about the article's sarcastic tone.

To an extent, I'm sympathetic -- see below -- but what did he expect from GQ?

'What Would Tim Tebow Do Night' (sort of) doesn't happen
I do think Tebow has a valid complaint about this and the GQ article. It is insulting from a Christian perspective to have yourself or any human compared to God. (I'm uncomfortable even typing the name of the event.) And the fact of the matter is that if Tebow weren't a Christian, these things wouldn't be happening. So isn't he being singled out for his faith?

Tennessee vs. Cincinnati ... in 2011
The Vols continue to schedule some competitive nonconference slates. The Bearcats join North Carolina on the schedule two years hence, though the toughest year looks to be 2012, when the Tar Heels and N.C. State are both on deck.

Is there an 'appropriate use' standard?
A&E is in trouble for using a bit of Rocky Top in -- well, read it yourself.

A 12-second video clip that includes the iconic tune has landed the television network A&E in federal court. The network is accused of inserting "Rocky Top" into a true-crime television documentary set in Knoxville, even after the song's owners said A&E could not do it.

Now, why on earth would a producer ever think to use the fight song of the Tennessee Vols in a true crime documentary? I just can't figure it out.

This is why
There's a reason some coaches are afraid of having their Top 25 ballots released: They would look almost as bad as you would expect.

Leavitt’s top 15 includes four Big East teams in the top 25 where the AP top 25 has none, including USF at #18. Breathe deep the intoxication of two decades of sleep deprivation, and now consider that Leavitt has Florida State at ten, North Carolina at 12, and Oklahoma replacing four of its five offensive linemen over Florida for the number one spot.

I'm high on UNC, too -- but, really, No. 10 Florida State? He does know that Bobby Bowden hasn't actually retired yet, right?