Unverified Voracity Has List Of Things In It!

Unverified Voracity Has List Of Things In It!

Submitted by Brian on February 12th, 2015 at 1:05 PM

A mea culpa. A couple things on the fight song kerfuffle from yesterday. One: apparently there are people who have escaped Taken memery. (They probably "take walks" and "go outside.") No part of the threat-type substance offered yesterday was serious. I'm not going to poison anyone's search results.

I was just referencing this famous Liam Neeson thing:

As for Weiss, I hopped aboard the outrage express in the manner that the generally loathsome Gawker and Jezebel do for most of their clicks. If I'd thought about this Daily article more I would have realized that this proposal was in no way going anywhere, but I took the cheap, easy route. While the goal of preventing a Michigan version of We Are ND is a laudable one, firing up the internet outragemobile is likely to get out of control and I should know better.

Seriously, though: just stop. Nothing good can come of this quest.

Now, like, call it. One of my top eleven subjects to rant about in recent times has been offenses flinging ineligible guys downfield on pass plays with impunity. Boy does that put a bee up my bonnet. Spielman, too.

It appears the hue and cry has made it to the lawmakers of our sport:

The ineligible downfield rule was shifted from three yards to one yard past the line of scrimmage. National officiating coordinator Rogers Redding said defenses were beginning to read run more frequently because offensive linemen were 3 yards downfield and then the quarterback would pass. “It's going to be easier to officiate,” he said.

Or, like, six yards downfield blocking the people who were supposed to be covering passes. One or three doesn't help much if you're just forgetting to enforce it either way; hopefully this will come with an increased emphasis on calling illegal men downfield.

(One exception: if you're engaged with a guy and just kicking his ass enough to end up downfield that should be let go. Taylor Lewan got a penalty a couple years ago because his pass blocking was too effective.)

Approximate top eleven rant subjects in recent times. Give or take:

  1. Dave Brandon
  2. excessive basketball timeouts
  3. block/charge calls
  4. Big Ten expansion
  5. bubble screens
  6. "but the spread won't work in the Big Ten"
  7. piped in music
  8. ineligible men downfield
  9. waggles
  10. Tom Izzo press conferences
  11. when my wife puts the cheese grater in with the food manipulation devices (tongs, spoons, spatulas, etc) instead of the food reconfiguration devices (juicers, graters, mallets, zesters, etc)

This is not 'Nam, MGoWife.

Nyet. Roquan Smith will announce his decision on Friday, whereupon he won't sign an letter of intent. He'll just sign scholarship papers. Well done, sir. (It seems like it's a foregone conclusion that it's not Michigan, unfortunately.)

Add another to the list? If Justice Hayes goes and rips off 1,500 yards I'm gonna be all like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm looking forward to a running backs coach with aspirations.

We would like less football, I guess. It's time once again for a college football person to mutter about changing clock rules For The Fans. Larry Scott's turn, as he advocate running the clock after first downs:

"You'll always get traditionalists who won't change it," Scott said. "I don't find it concerning or daunting that there are some that would oppose it. I think the job for commissioners is to take a step back and look at it holistically. The health and welfare of student-athletes is first and fans are a close second in terms of keeping games appealing. Three-and-a-half hours, to me, is too long."

There will always be traditionalists who are your core customers who know you're not seeing increased costs but still soaking fans with higher prices and ever-longer commercial breaks.

Why might games be longer?

The high-pressure, commercialized world of FBS is playing a much longer game than other NCAA divisions. While FBS games averaged 3:23 in 2014, the Football Championship Subdivision was 2:55, Division II was 2:45 and Division III was 2:41.

I mean:

Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson also favors a running clock after first downs, citing declining attendance. FBS home attendance dropped 4 percent in 2014 for the sport's lowest average since 2000.

"I think our fans are expecting shorter games, and I think when you see attendance is down, we need to address it," Benson said.

Changing the ratio of game to red-hat-on-field the wrong way isn't going to help your attendance, but you don't actually care about that anyway. Just be honest about it. At this point it might be worth looking at some soccer models, which have to deal with an un-interruptible flow of gameplay. I'd rather have a logo next to the score chryon instead of ever-expanding ad time.

Early signing is dumb. Andy Staples addresses it:

I don’t mind an early signing period in theory because the vast majority of recruits know where they want to go, are happy with their decisions and shouldn’t have to wait. But cutting a month off of the process isn’t going to change much. It might be nice if the players who make up their minds really early had a chance to sign before their senior seasons begin, but that isn’t going to happen, either. Athletic directors would hate that since it would make it more difficult to fire a coach if he underperformed. The coach would have the leverage of half a signing class in the barn, and the AD might have to wrestle with double-digit players asking to be released from their National Letters of Intent. This happens all the time in basketball, but it’s different when the coach has 15 players signed instead of three.

Staples advocates a change to the LOI that says "the LOI is a bad thing to sign," so that's not… likely. To reiterate my excellent plan:

The MGo Recruitin' Plan

  1. You can sign a pre-NLI any time.

  2. The pre-NLI guarantees you a scholarship at the school you sign with, allows them to contact you whenever and prohibits other coaches from doing so. You can only take an official visit to the school you sign with.

  3. You can withdraw the pre-NLI at any time.

  4. On Signing Day everyone makes it official.

  5. (Optional but highly desirable) NCAA does away with 85-player cap and allows everyone to sign up to 22-25 players a year, no exceptions. Transfers and JUCOs count.

Changing the cap from a roster limit to a yearly limit instantly does away with any oversigning mutterings since your motivation is to keep players instead of cut them.

(Via Get The Picture.)

Karan Higdon will help you with your homework. Unless you're a fellow athlete, I think that's a violation. Randos welcome though:

"Football comes second to academics and my future after it."

Higdon's a 4.0 student at Riverview. He wants to be an occupational therapist. He's involved in several academic leadership groups at his school, and has been invited to various academic summits, from Washington D.C. to Paris.

If Higdon couldn't run, catch, block or score a touchdown, he'd probably still be headed to college next year with a scholarship in tow.

Academics aren't just part of the deal for Higdon. They're the deal.

I guess he doesn't want an MFA, or he'd be at Iowa. If Fred Jackson was still here he could be a grad transfer and get drafted, maybe.

Etc.: Orson is so fascinated with Tom Crean that he wrote about him. Michigan was the 12th most-watched team in college football last year, which really says something since… uh… you know. NTDP camp thoughts featuring comments on a few Michigan recruits. SBNation has a "Jim Harbaugh is weird" page. Tom Leyden on Bo's passing.

LeVert still projected 15th by DX. Noted Michigan columnist Ramzy Nasrallah on Harbaugh as nemesis.

Unverified Voracity Continues NLI Rantin'

Unverified Voracity Continues NLI Rantin'

Submitted by Brian on February 9th, 2015 at 4:38 PM

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Roquan Smith, trend-setter?

"Don't sign an NLI" spreads. Kevin Trahan details the reasons at SB Nation; Andy Staples has an article in SI:

Though most players don’t realize it, they do not have to sign the NLI to receive a scholarship. They need only sign a financial aid agreement at their chosen school. The financial aid paperwork provides (almost) the same guarantee of a scholarship as the NLI, but unlike the NLI, it doesn’t strip the player of the only leverage he’ll have until he graduates from college.

Why is the NLI the worst contract in American sports? It requires players to sign away their right to be recruited by other schools. If they don’t enroll at the school with which they signed, they forfeit a year of eligibility. Not a redshirt year, but one of their four years to play. In return, the NLI guarantees the player nothing.

That's right: nothing. If you don't get in, which certain massively oversigned teams will massage from time to time, you can be forced out. And even if you do and have been on campus for summer semester, you can still get the boot. The NLI gives you nothing. If you're big time, there's no reason to sign it.

Get The Picture has the view from the Georgia side of things.

More on Gwendolyn Bush. Staples also has an excellent anecdote on Bush's qualifications for her new job:

…if anyone is qualified for this job, it’s Bush. At most large programs, player development personnel work in a mentoring role for current players and serve as contact points for recruits and their parents when they seek info about the program and school.

Bush is perfect for this job because she knows exactly what parents will ask. When Lyons was being recruited the first time around, she asked pretty much every question. It was Bush who designed the in-depth questionnaire Lyons sent to every school that offered him a scholarship. The 50 questions covered everything from insurance coverage to graduation rates to the distance to the nearest department store.

Jim Harbaugh's Stanford was the winner in that recruitment. Bush evidently impressed Harbaugh sufficiently to circle back around to her when he needed a liaison between departments and parents.

A parent who managed her kid's recruitment methodically has a deep knowledge of the relevant issues. The fact that her kid might transfer to Michigan for one year when Michigan returns three starters in the secondary plus Jabrill Peppers plays little to no role in her hire.

Another hire. Michigan's hired Matt Doherty from Miami. Doherty was "director of player personnel" at Miami, and the guy at 247 reporting his hire says he's in a similar role at Michigan. It's not the same role, as Chris Singletary has that title.

Doherty's title is "Recruiting Coordinator" on the directory, FWIW, so this kind of seems like not even a lateral move for him. Michigan's getting serious about support staff.

Illinois: still Illinois. I know the prequels were confusing, but the Stormtroopers were the bad guys.

YOU'RE NEXT… time to get shot in massive numbers by our story's heroes. Points for honesty, at least. No points for football. Just for honesty.

This one is totally random and not at all my fault. A few weeks after implying that Caris LeVert's foot issue was the result of working too hard, Izzo is down one weird guy:

The problem that will be tougher to solve is the fact freshman Javon Bess might out for the rest of the season with an injured right foot.

"Javon might be done for the year," Izzo said Monday at his weekly news conference. "I don't like where it's headed, but he'll definitely be out for a couple of weeks."

Maybe he should have just had his team practice free throws.

Cord cutting continues apace. It was kind of a big deal when Dish offered a 20 dollar monthly package with ESPN and ESPN2 on it, but now they've announced there's an add-on sports pack with yet more coverage:

Sports Extra ($5/mo):
ESPN News, ESPN U, SEC ESPN Network, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Universal Sports, Bein Sports

That just about covers anything an SEC fan would need. If that package somehow added BTN, the only Michigan basketball and football games that wouldn't be on the service would be the occasional road game (or preseason tournament) against a team in the Pac-12 or Mountain West that would end up on the Fox networks.

It's just a matter of time. That amount of time: however long it takes Google to inflict real competition on enough prime markets to hit the cheap gigabit tipping point. That's maybe ten years off; we'll be stuck with Rutgers forever. At least going to a game that far away is more plausible when you can sleep overnight in your self-driving car?

It's going to be okay man. Michigan is 21st in the Power Rank's four-year recruiting rankings, and 17th via SB Nation's methodology. That includes Michigan's extremely weak Hoke-Rodriguez transition class and generally doesn't account for Michigan's extremely low attrition. A big time class like everyone expects would replace the transition guys in the stats, leaving Michigan with a talent base you can do lots of stuff with—kind of like that year when that awful APR fell off the stats and Michigan shot up.

Etc.: Hyman third in the Hobey Watch. Going to be tough to catch Jack Eichel. Dan Dakich twitter fight? Don't mind if I do. Oregon state senator mad that Oregon didn't take any Oregonians in their most recent recruiting class. Lax kicks off the season with a win.

Unverified Voracity Got A Job Just Yesterday

Unverified Voracity Got A Job Just Yesterday

Submitted by Brian on February 6th, 2015 at 12:35 PM

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DON'T DO THIS

WEBER FIASCO DEFCON 1. The damn day after Mike Weber signs a LOI to Ohio State, running backs coach Stan Drayton leaves for the Bears. Weber:

Tony Paul:

The timing of this move is odd, to put it mildly.

John Fox was named the new Chicago Bears coach in early January, and much of his coaching staff was in place shortly thereafter. It seems curious Drayton would be making the move only after Weber signed his letter of intent to play for Ohio State.

UCLA pulled a similar stunt with their DC. Roquan Smith managed to find out before he used the fax machine, but you have to think that maybe some of UCLA's defensive commits would have looked around if UCLA had announced when they knew about it a month before signing day. Just more of the usual crap.

Recruits! DON'T SIGN A LETTER OF INTENT.

DON'T SIGN A LETTER OF INTENT

I mean, if you're a random three star and they say sign this paper or we're moving on, go ahead. If you're a big deal, do this:

The NCAA last fall began allowing football prospects who plan to enroll in January to sign financial aid agreements with college programs as early as August 1 of their senior year. The agreement, which allows the college program to have unlimited contact with the player and publicly speak about him, binds the school to the prospect, but not the prospect to the school. So there's nothing to dissuade a situation like that of Josh Malone, who signed financial aid agreements with four schools before ultimately signing with Tennessee.

Sign a financial aid agreement. It's like the LOI, except backwards, and that makes schools hate it. Instead of stuff like this happening to you, you can have hilarious quotes like this apply to your situation:

"You're basically taking the word of the kid," Mallonee told the AJC. "That's part of the issue."

Yeah! A kid who might drop a school for no reason or sell a school a false bill of goods. Damn kids. Always doing mean things with all the power they have.  

Meanwhile. Can't say I'm surprised about this.

Upshot. Could this lead to Weber flipping back to Michigan? Maybe. Schools can release players from LOIs.

Institutions are now empowered to grant a full and complete release from the NLI at anytime. To do so, an official Release Request Form must be initiated by the prospect and submitted to both the NLI office and the signing institution.

There's also an opportunity to appeal when school refuses to release a player, a process that ND signee Eddie Vanderdoes successfully went through a few years back. I'm unclear on what, exactly, this means as part of the Vanderdoes case:

The victory for Vanderdoes comes after a rather lengthy (and sometimes public) spat with Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly, who allowed Vanderdoes to enroll at UCLA, but refused to release him from the letter of intent he signed with Notre Dame in February.

Kelly can't prevent a guy from enrolling wherever he wants, and there appears to be no partial release from a LOI. The Bylaw Blog post on the topic implies that this was a straight-up win for Vanderdoes after Kelly refused to release him.

In any case: OSU could release him if the publicity gets bad enough, or Weber could decide to go somewhere else and attempt to appeal. If he did not win that appeal he would have to sit out his freshman year and he would lose that year of eligibility, making him a true sophomore in 2016.

Weber would have to want to pursue that, of course. It's possible he gets over it.

ESPN doing Hatch things. Hatch things:

Hiring various people for 'crootin' and 'lyzin'. Michigan announced they've hired longtime college coach and Harbaugh family associate TJ Weist as a "senior offensive analyst." Weist was the WR coach at Michigan in the early 90s, when a guy named Desmond Howard was hanging out, and was most recently the OC at Connecticut.

This analyst position is not a full assistant job, so Weist won't be able to work with players directly or recruit. He'll do film, find tendencies, and advise. Usually when established coaches take these jobs they're short-term gigs before something opens up elsewhere.

Michigan's also hired Gwendolyn Bush as "director of player development." Bush is the mom of Wayne Lyons, the fifth-year Stanford transfer who's supposed to be landing in Ann Arbor.

This has led to a couple of assertions that Michigan is getting down and dirty. If so, let's be clear why: it's not because Michigan wants a defensive back who will be around for one year. It's because Bush was—uh—"team mom" for South Florida Express, a high-powered 7 on 7 outfit that launched the careers of Teddy Bridgewater and Geno Smith, amongst many others.

SFE won the national 7-on-7 championship, which is apparently a thing that exists now, and got profiled in SI, etc etc.

Meanwhile, Lyons. The Lyons transfer thing has broken loose from the paysites and made the Mercury News:

Stanford coach David Shaw on Wednesday enthusiastically described all 22 players who signed letters of intent as part of another well-regarded recruiting class. He was slightly less eager to discuss a player who might be leaving the program.

Cornerback Wayne Lyons is reportedly considering a transfer to Michigan, where he would play one season (as a graduate student) for former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

"For those guys going into their fifth year that want the opportunity to play someplace else,'' Shaw said, "I've never said no, never tried talk anybody out of it.''

Lyons started seven games last year for Stanford's kick-ass defense. Michigan doesn't really need a defensive back but they've got a slot if Joe Kerridge isn't guaranteed a scholarship (and since it's highly likely someone leaves the team before fall that's probably moot anyway). May as well fill it with a quality player.

Michicon Valley. SJSU hires a familiar name:

Then they did the thing:

SAN JOSE -- San Jose State officially announced two of its coaching hires on Thursday, with Al Borges being named offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and Dan Ferrigno the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach.

Greg Robinson is of course the DC. It will be… interesting to see how SJSU does this year. I predict bad.

Meanwhile in offensive coordinator hires that Michigan fans are extremely skeptical of. Tennessee is actually, officially doing their thing:

DeBord has never coordinated anything approximating a mobile quarterback and couldn't even find a position coach job after leaving the NFL, instead landing at Michigan for an Olympic sports administrator thing. Let's see if he can submarine Butch Jones's 80 recruits per year.

Dabo's very particular. This private bathroom thing is a thing.

I've heard worse ideas. BYU signed a guy who's never played football before. Does this sound like an idea on par with hiring an Olympic Sports Administrator to be your offensive coordinator? Not so fast my friend:

That's no moon. Unless it's orbiting a planet. Then it totally is.

Etc.: In case you were considering taking Dave Zirin seriously about anything ever, you probably shouldn't. Vegas odds for the hockey national title are bonkers. Iowa wasn't real happy with the Higdon flip.

Signing day interviews with JayHar, Baxter, Jackson, and Wheatley (Jr).

Unverified Voracity Spends 30 Seconds Grunting

Unverified Voracity Spends 30 Seconds Grunting

Submitted by Brian on January 19th, 2015 at 11:14 AM

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Things pass. Passing NCAA legislation is like hiring assistant coaches: things are done, and then they're done again, and then they're done, and finally they're officially done. These may or may not be officially officially done because NCAA, but it sounds like it is done-done:

  • full cost of attendance scholarships,
  • mandatory four-year guaranteed scholarships,
  • allowing athletes to borrow against future earnings for one purpose: loss of value insurance
  • and new concussion management protocols.

One ACC team voted against the first proposal—I'd love to figure out who that is and if it's Clemson worrying that their bagmen will have to shell out more to make a difference. The SEC (surprise!) and Big 12 voted against the second, with the former using athletes in attendance as cover. This doesn't even make sense:

The SEC's athlete representatives took issue with a clause that would prevent schools from taking away scholarships, or in the case of sports with partial scholarships, reducing the amount of aid, from athletes for athletic underperformance.

"The student-athletes said, 'Don't do that,'" Jacobs said. "They said, 'Give them four years if you want, but … you can pull it away if the players aren't performing.'"

"Give them four years, as long as you can revoke it for any reason." That athlete and his nonsense is headed for Congress. No doubt.

As a result, the second proposal barely squeezed by.

I still have my doubts about how effective the mandatory four year scholarships are going to be. If a guy gets kicked off the team he gets to stay on scholarship, but does the team get to replace him? How difficult is it going to be for coaches to boot guys for unspecified violations of team rules? (Not difficult.) I still think the real solution here is to go from an overall cap to a yearly one. That moves the system from one in which retention comes with an opportunity cost to one in which it doesn't.

Anyway.

The third bullet point sounds seismic until you get to the colon, whereupon it is revealed as a logical change to give athletes some security even if they don't have up-front capital. The fourth may as well be termed the Brady Hoke Derp rule.

Hockey aside. I've mentioned it before: it'll be interesting to see what happens with college hockey after these reforms take hold. Smaller schools have the option to follow the Power 5, but it's doubtful they can do so for just their glamor sport since Title IX looms over all these discussions… unless they're one of the D-II or D-III teams grandfathered in.

Does Miami (NTM) have the dough to keep pace with the Big Ten? Probably not. Would Denver? Maybe—Denver only has one D-I sport. Would the NCHC create an unbalanced playing field within their own conference to help the resource-rich teams compete? I have no idea.

One thing that is definitely good here is that the value of a scholarship went up significantly. That'll help schools compete against the OHL.

You may have screwed up. The San Francisco 49ers fired one of the winningest coaches in NFL history to hire a career position coach who'd never so much as coordinated a defense. This seems unwise, especially when the guy doing the deciding here is Pete Campbell with puffy cheeks.

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NOT GREAT JIM

Maybe he's got great interpersonal skills?

Maybe he's going to surround himself with great coaches?

Kiffin front-runner to be 49ers' OC

Maybe he's going to keep the excellent defensive staff intact?

Source: 49ers have fired Fangio, Donatell and Leavitt

At least you didn't have to pay a buyout to fire your previous coach. So you've got that going for you.

Otherwise, the parallels between this and Brady Hoke's coaching career are eerie.

Hello Texas. Random article from Cleveland on Harbaugh recruiting Andrew Luck notes Harbaugh's excellent success in that talent-rich state:

Luck was one of three Texas players in Stanford's 2008 recruiting class. Harbaugh signed four each in 2009 and 2010 before leaving for the NFL. He moved around the state, getting players from Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.

And Brady Hoke… uh… not doing that.

The Wolverines have actually offered a surprising number of Texas players in the last four years according to 247Sports:

• 15 offers in 2015

• 9 offers in 2014

• 13 offers in 2013

• 11 offers in 2012

None of those players signed with Michigan, but that could start changing with Harbaugh.

I'm not sure how many of those offers were seriously pursued and how many were fired off hoping to induce a visit, but going 0-fer in Texas is some kind of problem. Which Michigan coach was assigned to one of the richest talent-producing states in the country?

I don't know. No, seriously, I don't know.

RALPH. Jim Harbaugh had a personal Ohio State back in the day:

A nine-year-old playing tackle football for the first time, Harbaugh stood at No. 7 in the tackling line, and immediately looked at the group of runners across from him to see who his No. 7 counterpart was.

He counted back, and saw the player he'd be forced to tackle.

"Ralph," Harbaugh recalled Friday afternoon during his speech to the Michigan High School Football Coaches Convention in Lansing. "So I said a prayer. I said 'dear lord, I know I'm only nine-years-old and I haven't asked you for a lot up until now. But please, dear lord, when I'm done with this, please do not let Ralph be No. 7.'

"Ralph was still there."

Landing spots. Roy Manning snags the OLB job at Washington State, making him the third former Hoke coach to find a Power 5 job. (Greg Mattison, who was retained, and Doug Nussmeier are the others.) Darrell Funk latched on at Akron, Dan Ferrigno at San Jose State, and nobody else is employed as of now. Al Borges was rumored to be getting the SJSU offensive coordinator job, but that was 1) contingent on Jimmie Dougherty getting a job at Michigan, which didn't happen and 2) reported only by Football Scoop.

I am reading lots about the coaching profession's opinion of Hoke's staff into this.

Redshirt. Not that it's a surprise, but don't expect to see DJ Wilson the rest of the year:

"We'd have to have a couple of major injuries," Beilein explained. "The only way that I'd play him right now is if I could look him in the eye and say, 'Listen, I think you'll play 15-20 minutes per game. That's what's fair to him right now."

Next year's "recruiting class" currently consists of Wilson and Williams transfer Duncan Robinson.

Gardner at WR. He's been impressive:

Michigan WR Devin Gardner: Gardner (6-4, 216) famously is making the switch from quarterback to wide receiver. He played wide receiver for half the 2012 season and didn't start focusing on the position again until early December, right after the Wolverines' season ended. "He got better and better each day," Jeremiah said. Gardner has good, not great, speed but can be elusive and has good hands, especially for a guy who has been a receiver for only about seven weeks. His size also is a big plus. He should become more acclimated to the position, and his pre-draft workouts could be quite interesting.

I didn't think much of his ability to find balls downfield when he was playing WR, but that's something time can fix. Also, for a 6'4" dude his speed is likely a plus.

Hooray. Michigan passes a law that may be directly aimed at Michigan's notoriously horrible FOIA department:

…will not be allowed to charge more than 10 cents per page for copies of public records; they can face increased fines for delaying responses, and people seeking the records now can sue if they consider the fees to be exorbitant. …

Another change in the law requires governments to provide the records electronically instead of on paper if the requester seeks them in that format.

Damages have gone up significantly as well. This doesn't do anything about Michigan's retention policy being "we don't have one," unfortunately, but it's a step in the right direction.

Etc.: LeVert's injury looked harmless. Hockey podcasting with Mike Spath. Zach Hyman is tearing it up. On something meaning something. We're relevant enough to be an offseason theme. Playcalling duties are yet to be determined between Drevno and Harbaugh.

Unverified Voracity Is A Robot Programmed To Coach Football

Unverified Voracity Is A Robot Programmed To Coach Football

Submitted by Brian on January 14th, 2015 at 11:01 AM

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two point buckets are rare as unicorns these days [Bryan Fuller]

That was ugly. I don't have much to say about last night's demolition in Columbus. It's pretty much over as far as an NCAA bid is concerned—even 9-4 the rest of the way leaves Michigan with two horrendous, horrendous losses compared to the rest of the bubble and no real marquee wins.

I don't know what blew up. Obviously losing all three posts from last year is a big factor, as is the almost total lack of production from Kam Chatman (who is shooting an unbelievable 34%/25%). But there's something not right with the guys we thought were going to be the big guns. When your captains are saying you're in "coast mode" after a game that's nasty.

Walton's obvious: he's got turf toe. Irvin and LeVert are both doing okay; neither has become anything approximating a go-to guy. Both are shooting 44% from two with little in the way of free throws; Walton's even worse at 36%. With no one who can create two point shots consistently they've lost the crazy offensive efficiency of the last two years, and the defense hasn't improved nearly enough to keep their heads above water.

The only remaining hopes for the season is that they start getting better, make the NIT, and have a run in there that gives you some confidence.

Mattison back, officially. The latest in a long line of re-re-confirmations:

"Jack Harbaugh will always be one of the most influential coaches I've ever been with," he said. "I had the opportunity to coach with him for five years, just a tremendous football coach who taught me a lot about coaching.

"And I really respect (John Harbaugh), you always knew he'd be successful. ... And there's another Harbaugh (I'm close with), when we had our first child, Lisa, the only person she'd ever let babysit for her was Joanie (Jim's sister). That Harbaugh family, we've known for a long, long time."

Having Mattison around is going to be excellent for recruiting and continuity, and should allow Durkin to gradually adjust to being the man on that side of the ball after coaching under Will Muschamp at Florida.

Early signing may be happening. The Conference Commissioners Association was tasked with looking into an early signing date for football, and the proposal now has a shape:

On Tuesday at the American Football Coaches Association convention in Louisville, Susan Peal, NCAA associate director of operations who serves as a liaison between the collegiate governing body and the commissioners, revealed that the committee is leaning toward recommending a mid-December signing period. Peal said that window would likely coincide with the midyear junior college transfer signing date that occurs in the third week of December.

"Based on all of the feedback -- and there are all kinds of dates out there of what people want -- the most favorable option the committee has seen seems to be for an early signing day in December, something that's in line with the midyear junior college transfer signing date," Peal said.

I'm not a fan of early signing because it does nothing for the players, who get locked in earlier than they do now in exchange for bupkis. But at least that date is much better than the ridiculous August 1st date supported by the ACC, which the Big Ten somehow supported. Signing before official visits are even possible is some kind of dumb.

The darkest alternate timeline. Les Miles lost his excellent defensive coordinator to a conference rival and has now hired former Clemson DC Kevin Steele to replace him. The Kevin Steele whose last act as a DC was this, as Get The Picture points out:

image

Miles is also supposedly bringing in Ed Orgeron, a move that bodes well for local press conferences, Louisiana-set buddy cop movies, and recruiting but maybe not so much organization and the like. If Les farts around again next year I wouldn't be surprised to see him get the boot, because LSU fans have always been way more discontent than you'd think.

The competition to best describe Harbaugh is over. Former Stanford tackle Ben Muth:

"When I first met him, I honestly thought a lot of it was an act, it was like a robot who was programmed as a football coach," says Ben Muth, who played offensive tackle for Harbaugh at Stanford. "It's absurd stuff, but he believes it all. And after a while, so do you. Just the way he talks, his cadence and his deliverance. He talks like a normal football coach, but kicked up 50 percent and he's always on."

Also: hooray spring game fun? As part of Harbaugh's insane competitiveness, he turned Stanford's spring game into a full on draft-win-die thing:

At Stanford, his spring games featured full-scale drafts. The coaching staff was split down the middle into two groups, and inside the team meeting room, every player was drafted to a side for the game.

They weren't just glorified practices, they were full-scale competitions. Nothing was wasted or viewed as insignificant.

If that format's announced and Michigan pushes it back to best roll the dice on the weather that would be guaranteed to be Michigan's best-attended spring game ever.

Why do you hate turkey? I get most of what Oregon's trying to say here.

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I'm down with most of it, as well (though tradition generally wears two colors unless you want to count white). But what's with the shot at turkey on Thanksgiving? Surely you would prefer us to eat that instead of duck, right?

Whiskey the dog. In case you were like "WTF" when Brandon brought up Whiskey during his My Personality Is To The Best Of My Ability tour:

Sap and MVictors have more details over there.

Whatever this is. OSU and Michigan are listed 1-2 in "intrinsic value" thanks to improved cash flows:

image

Note that OSU is bringing in 20 million less than Michigan this year, and Michigan is above everyone except Alabama and Texas in revenue. Oregon's 18th. Brandon's relentless focus on dollars above everything else was unnecessary.

Etc.: Michigan is getting a visit from 2015 megaprospect Jaylen Brown.

Unverified Voracity Gets Misty

Unverified Voracity Gets Misty

Submitted by Brian on August 14th, 2014 at 1:54 PM

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Bryan Fuller

On Csont'e York. It was inevitable that once the York video was released there were going to be a lot of strong reactions to it. I deleted a number of things that were over the line, and expected to.

I left up a bunch more that weren't quite delete-worthy but did make me feel uncomfortable. Most of those were uncomfortable because they weren't sad. Many called him a coward, others were almost gleeful in their eagerness to ship the guy out. Those threads don't reflect well on our community here.

While I think that York's second chance has to come somewhere else given the severity of what he did, I would appreciate it if everyone would keep in mind that even a kid who did a dumbass thing remains a person. There's an unfortunately paywalled profile of York from his time as a recruit up on ESPN. Chantel Jennings:

In August, he'll enroll at the University of Michigan and become the first person in his family to attend college. He has made it through the death of his mother, a number of family moves, and out of Detroit with a positive attitude. And through all of this, what he keeps closest to his heart is his family.

"My little brothers and sisters, I think about them," York said. "It has always been in my head that I have to do this for them. This isn't just for me. It's for my family. That's all I think of."

The reason York did what he did started with the people around him as he grew up and the primary emotion should be sadness that a kid couldn't keep it together. Once we're on to third chances I can see the disdain begin to creep in legitimately. Now, though, I just think of the times when I've been on the verge of a bad decision and struggled not to make it.

Kleenex at the ready. Austin Hatch and John Beilein profiled:

Three years ago, lying in a hospital bed in Traverse City fighting for his life, Austin Hatch's relationship with John Beilein went beyond a player-coach situation.

Nine days after pledging his verbal commitment to Michigan in June of 2011, Hatch was involved in a tragic plane crash that took the lives of both his father and stepmother and left him in a medically-induced coma.

At that point, no one was concerned about Hatch's basketball career. The main focus was saving his life.

And, unknown to Hatch at the time, one of those people standing at his bedside -- fighting along with him -- was Beilein.

Huge, they say. Michigan is apparently set to announce two home and home series:

Michigan football is set to announce two huge home and home opponents this week.

Terry Foster and Mike Stone met with Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon today and that’s when Brandon dropped the news that this announcement will happen later this week.

FWIW, apparently there was a connected guy on the Rivals board saying the opponents were Stanford and Duke in a since-deleted post. No idea if that's accurate or not; obviously only one of those teams would even sort of qualify as "huge." And with Stanford there's always the possibility that they return to historical norms by the time the game rolls around. I kind of doubt that's accurate anyway—tough to see Stanford taking on Michigan when they've got a nine-game conference schedule plus their now-annual game against Notre Dame. But anyway, stay tuned.

By the way, that post has a poll asking who you'd like to see Michigan play that includes Nebraska and Wisconsin, which was momentarily absurd until it wasn't. Marshall, another option, remains so.

WELP? Prepare for the Colening.

Everybody get up. But especially you. Aubrey Dawkins can get up, yo.

When Michigan took MAAR and then still went after Dawkins that was an indication they liked him more than his rating would imply, and In Beilein We Trust.

That shot came from an open practice Michigan held before their Italy trip during which Kam Chatman impressed:

Michigan’s most highly touted freshman is multifaceted and college-ready. The general consensus among the scribes perched up on the observation deck was that Chatman will be a day-one starter, barring anything unforeseen.

The 6-foot-7 wing drilled smooth left-handed 3-pointers as a standstill shooter and off the dribble. He looked comfortable and capable making decisions with the ball. He finished in traffic.

Quinn's colleague Nick Baumgardner concurred:

First thing that struck me was Chatman. High-level shooter, can handle, finish, isn't skinny. He'll start right away.

Both Chatman and Dawkins spent time doing post drills as they prepare to play Novak/GRIII undersized 4. DJ Wilson is also going to be a 4 of the not-undersized variety but is still being held out with his pinky injury.

Unfortunately, Michigan won't be streaming any of the Italy games.

Brutal departure/injury spree. Unlike Nebraska's, this one actually matters for Michigan: Northwestern tailback Venric Mark will transfer; leading wide receiver Christian Jones is out for the year with a knee injury.

Mark, of course, tortured Michigan two years ago with his quickness. Jones is less of a loss since Northwestern tends to plug and play at WR but he was still their best guy in yards per target by some distance. Looks like it's Prater time? Naw, man, it's never Prater time. Until it is. But probably not. Because a Rutgers transfer is the guy Inside NU is promoting for the job.

A man familiar with the situation. Michigan doesn't get much mention in CBS Sportsline's group preview of the Big Ten except for incessant Jabrill Peppers talk in the "best newcomer" category, but the one guy who singled out Michigan as an underrated team is an interesting one: Auburn fan Jerry Hinnen, who's seen both Al Borges and Doug Nussmeier up close and personal. His take on M:

Most underrated team: Michigan. The Wolverines have to visit both Michigan State and Ohio State, keeping their odds of winning the East low, but they might still be the third-best team in the league. A healthy Jake Ryan and a loaded secondary should give Greg Mattison his best defense yet, and going from Al Borges to Doug Nussmeier might be the biggest offensive coaching upgrade in the FBS. If the offensive line has a pulse, 10 wins will be in play.

That is Michigan's great hope.

Looking pretty good down the road. More high praise for a hockey commit:

Unfortunately, that is an addendum to an article running down the top prospects the OHL's Kitchener Rangers have. Luce checks in third after being drafted in the fifth round despite his NTDP commitment. Details:

Steady, instinctive blueliner with great size and poise. Textbook hitter and defender backed by solid positional sense. … Thrives in the dirty pockets of the ice, using his size and strength advantages to win battles and gain possession. Excellent one on one defender, keeps an active stick, extremely efficient at getting sticks on pucks. Difficult to drive the net or gain an outside lane on, manages gaps efficiently and takes advantage of his massive wingspan. … Projects as a tough, physical, stay at home defender who can contribute at both ends of the ice. …  Would be a top paring defender if he ever comes to the league.

Sounds like the kind of shutdown D Michigan hasn't had in a long time. I mean, Trouba, but Trouba was here and gone in a flash.

Kitchener does manage to snipe guys frequently, but in Luce's case Michigan should be okay. He's headed to NTDP and not currently projected to be a pick so high that he would get signed immediately and then reassigned. Also, his dad is the Panthers' director of scouting and played in the OHL himself—when they chose college it was an informed decision.

This is going to be a problem. The NCAA has just been hit with an injunction that says it cannot cap scholarship values below the federal government's full cost of attendance, so eventually those numbers are going to have to come up. The issue: those gaps vary widely between schools:

Michigan: $2,204
Ohio State: $3,346
Penn State: $4,000

Somehow it's more expensive to live in the middle of nowhere than an actual city or in Ann Arbor's notoriously expensive student housing market. Meanwhile, Tennessee has the biggest gap in the power five at 5,666.

It doesn't seem likely that Michigan's going to stand for a system where a kid going to Penn State gets 7k more over his four years, and there's no way in hell Georgia (1.8k) is going to go for a system where half the SEC is offering 10k+ more. So then what?

The power conferences have one way to normalize cost of attendance across all 65 schools: let every school go up to the highest cost of attendance figure, which in this case is Tennessee’s $5,666.

But that has its own set of problems. First, many schools would then be permitted to exceed cost of attendance, some by thousands of dollars. Not only is that philosophically troubling for the NCAA, it also complicates matters with financial aid offices. If a portion of an athletic scholarship exceeds cost of attendance and is not paid through the financial aid office, what is but payment for services rendered?

The shakiest part of the O'Bannon decision is definitely the proposed remedy, which forces the NCAA into a choice they don't want to make.

Etc.: You can see the Lego Movie at Michigan Stadium if you're a season ticket holder. The Pac-12 wants you to know it schedules hard and should be rewarded for it. Gopher blog predicts 31-13 M win over Minnesota. Fresno State tries to keep up with the Joneses.

Unverified Voracity Has Pipes

Unverified Voracity Has Pipes

Submitted by Brian on July 22nd, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Caris smash. Caris LeVert came to Michigan after a high school career spent as a mizzenmast. I'm saying he's thin, people. That's the joke. Or at least he was thin. This year's edition of Michigan basketball player is all swole now:

image

Yes yes, Irvin and Walton are also adding weight (Irvin's up to 215 from 200) but I be like dang Caris. Let's check in with his senior year of high school…

hsboys-pick-north-12-10-art0-glbf79mo-1hsboys-picknorth-01-jpg1[1]

…during which he probably ripped off and reattached his arms nightly. Caris is also a legit 6'7" in shoes, so he is tall and large and is hopefully poised to rip it up this fall. 

Freshman dimensions. Basketball has posted a roster. It lists:

  • Kam Chatman at 6'7", 210
  • DJ Wilson at 6'9", 210
  • Ricky Doyle at 6'10", 250
  • Aubery Dawkins at 6'6", 190
  • and MAAR at 6'4", 200.

Doyle's weight is a positive. Michigan's going to need him to bang, and he's now the heaviest guy available—Donnal added ten pounds but only got to 240. Meanwhile, uncertainty about Max Bielfeldt's status for next year is all but gone: they've ceased listing him as a redshirt junior and now have him as a senior.

Fireworks nyet. I'll have a column type thing about this tomorrow, but to recap the most important completely trivial news of the week: the Michigan regents shot down the athletic departments proposed fireworks for the Miami (NTM) and Penn State games despite separating the votes. Mark Bernstein's criticism was the most pointed:

“We are not Comerica Park, Disney World or a circus ... ” Bernstein said. “I love Michigan football for what it is ... and for what it is not. It remains and should be an experience, a place that resists the excesses of our culture; intentionally simple.

“The fireworks should be on the field, not above it.”

I probably wouldn't have gone with "resists the excesses of our culture" but the overall sentiment is one I can get behind. Mostly I just want Michigan to be like itself, to maintain a separation from other options. Not because those are necessarily worse*, but because a bright line between Them and Us is inherently valuable when you're trying to gin up some fake-ass tribalism.

This is the most fundamental divide between myself and Dave Brandon: he wants to copy the Best In Class Leaders because that's the only thing he's ever been able to do. He could no more start a business than I could be athletic director, because every attempt would be Chipotle 2 or Also Applebees or Pretty Much Still Ponderosa. His one strategy for success is to do the thing that everyone else is doing.

Anyway. The new president is being carefully neutral about the whole situation

“Personally, I didn’t have an opinion,” Dr. Mark Schlissel, who started his job this week, said Friday during a press conference with the media. “Having never attended a game there, I didn’t have a sense of the cultural aspects of it. The band marching out, I’ve never seen. I’ve never seen them at a halftime show. I don’t have context to really say whether fireworks matter or not. I didn’t really feel like I had a valid opinion.”

…but the message sent by the regents is clear. This is an organization that has just been sued because they decide things in private meetings and show up to vote things in unanimously. During the 116 votes previous to the fireworks there were eight instances of a regent voting no. Brandon just exceeded that in a single day.

The opportunity here was to provide a vote of no confidence without shooting something down that's actually important, like the budget. I mentioned that I thought a number of people towards the top were discontent but unlikely to do anything about it in the most recent mailbag; I must have underestimated the disdain.

Is this the beginning of the end? I'm not getting my hopes up just yet.

*[They are of course sometimes worse.]

Back on the market. Onetime Michigan target and temporary SMU commit Matt McQuaid, a shooting guard out of Texas, has reopened his recruitment.

For a second there it looked like McQuaid was very serious about Michigan, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the two parties reconnect. Everyone seems like a backup plan for Jalen Coleman at the moment, but if Coleman does do the weird thing and pick a Notre Dame program that hasn't really gotten off the ground under Mike Brey, Michigan wants to make sure they've got options. McQuaid is a pretty good one:

McQuaid is arguably the best shooter in the class of 2015 -- and he strengthened his case last week at the LeBron James Skills Academy, when he shot lights-out from 3-point range against the best high school players in the country. There were at least two games in Las Vegas where I didn't see McQuaid miss an outside shot. He can make shots from deep and is also capable of knocking down contested shots.

He's 6'5", so visions of Stauskas are dancing in various heads right now.

Old stuff. Wolverine Historian takes on 1986 Iowa:

Straight shooter. I may disagree with a lot of what Bob Bowlsby thinks but I can appreciate that he's not Bill Hancock:

"Enforcement is broken," he said. "The infractions committee hasn't had [an FBS] hearing in almost a year, and I think it's not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions."

He probably thinks it's possible to fix that, and that's where we differ. I do wish someone in attendance at Big 12 media days had heard this…

"It is hard to justify paying student-athletes in football and men's basketball and not recognizing the significant effort that swimmers and wrestlers and lacrosse players and track athletes all put in," he said. "Football and basketball players don't work any harder than anybody else; they just happen to have the blessing of an adoring public who is willing to pay for the tickets and willing to buy the products on television that come with the high visibility."

…and asked Bowlsby how much harder he was working than the assembled press corps.

Etc.: Scouting Tyus Battle, Jalen Coleman, and Prince Ali at the Peach Jam. The Game will not be at night, because frostbite. CJ Lee looks back at his time at Michigan after taking an assistant spot at Marist. A preview of the band programs this year. I'm not enthralled with the idea of trying the sing-along thing again. Peppers and Funchess feature amongst the most watchable players this year.

I like lists of sports memories that include bad stuff, because bad stuff happens. So props to the Daily Gopher for including Mike Legg (and Holy Cross) on their list of Gopher hockey moments.

College Soccer Should Change, But Probably Won't

College Soccer Should Change, But Probably Won't

Submitted by Brian on July 22nd, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Justin Meram Philadelphia Union v Columbus VvIeN6cIPeHl[1]

Would Michigan alum Justin Meram have been farther along in his development if he'd found a way to skip college entirely? Probably.

NCAA soccer coaches are proposing a radical restructuring of the way their sport works:

Top college soccer coaches are finalizing plans and canvassing support for changes that would extend the men’s season over the full academic year.

The proposals recommend a 25-game season split between the fall and spring semesters. Individual conference championships would be held early in May with the showpiece NCAA College Cup following in early June.

Proponents of the switch point to two significant benefits for student athletes – improved conditions to aid their development as players, and a lighter fall timetable allowing for greater participation in other facets of university life.

The motivation here is to exist at some point that makes sense—last year's championship game was played on December 15th. Champion Notre Dame played 27 games in a 4 month stretch. There were a ton of midweek games that were problematic for kids trying to go to class. Then as soon as the season was over ND coaches were limited to two hours of ball-work with their players for the rest of the year.

Those restrictions look ludicrous in the context of the global soccer development process, where the years from 18 to 22 are absolutely critical. A ton of players are getting first team playing time in fully professional environments by then, training year-round. Increasingly, top players are skipping college entirely in favor of youth contracts overseas. But there's only so many of those and only so many Generation Adidas contracts to go around. The middle tier is still in school, but for briefer periods.

If NCAA soccer is going to remain relevant at all it'll have to adapt, and there is an obvious success story they could seek to replicate: hockey. Both hockey and soccer are developing players in competition with development strategies (mostly) outside the country in a sport that you can break into the major leagues at 18, or even earlier. (Baseball is somewhat similar, but the nature of the game means you play older and there's no "we do it better" foreign option.) Hockey has one nemesis; soccer has a thousand.

Hockey competes directly with the CHL, and large parts of what make it weird in the context of the NCAA are seemingly because of it. Hockey has by far the longest playing season of any NCAA sport, which allows extensive coaching from October to April. Most others are crammed into a single semester—or one semester and a small part of another—even if that makes zero sense. Hi, February baseball.

Hockey also takes a number of older student athletes; it is common for middling teams to have guys who arrived in college as 20 year olds. While these guys are usually not NHL prospects themselves, they provide a challenge for the guys who are. The long season with plenty of skill work and challenging environment leads to a situation where NCAA players are actually better-equipped to enter the pro ranks than their competition. Don Cherry's mad about it, even.

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college hockey is even producing Canadian Olympians like undrafted(!) Chris Kunitz

This system hasn't made the NCAA the #1 choice for first-round picks, who generally don't care to play school. It has created an environment where 30% of the NHL comes from college—an all-time record—and the generally college-oriented USA hockey program is a major contender. And it hasn't impacted success in school at all: hockey's academic progress rate of 971 is way above baseball, basketball, football… and soccer.

The Catch

The NCAA has responded to the resounding success of the hockey model by occasionally trying to strangle it. Every few years there's chatter about, and the odd proposal to, reduce the length of the season. Hockey often has to scramble to carve out exceptions to NCAA legislation that makes no sense for them. It ends up being tough for hockey to pass things that make sense for their specific contact, like the ability to officially contact players before the CHL drafts them. That was on the table; it got shot down despite having the support of everyone in the hockey community.

Hockey started off long and snuck an extra week here and there to get to its current state. They've reached a compromise between professional development and degree acquirement only because the NCAA didn't notice they were doing the former.

Soccer trying to reconfigure itself all in one go is going to run into the usual pile of NCAA crap.

This is a reasonable and well-considered plan to improve college soccer’s ability to compete for talent and remain a valuable, even unique part of the American soccer development structure. It also has virtually zero chance of ever being enacted.

That's John Infante, former compliance officer and expert on the arcanity of the NCAA. The reason? The NCAA desires to knit some more of the emperor's new clothes.

…the last items on any agenda is adding games, in-season time, and hours to any sport’s schedule. Instead, it is more likely that all sports see in-season hours cut, voluntary workouts restricted, and significant student-athlete discretionary time added. College sports seems prepared to move rapidly away from an environment where soccer could even experiment with being a year-round sport, especially where the breaks are timed so that the best players can use them to go play more soccer.

In an effort to keep everything "amateur," the NCAA is willing to toss away proposals that promise to create something newly useful, and may even go so far as to further sabotage an already wonky development model. The idea that developing a player to go pro in something other than "something other than sports" is a problem. Even if there is a clear analogue that has succeeded as both a developer of talent and an NCAA sport.

Maybe autonomy can do something about it. At some point everyone and their network is going to look at the cavernous gulf in their programming that stretches from April to August and try to fill it with baseball, soccer, or both. Maybe lacrosse. Anything that looks like a potential spectator sport in the summer is going to appeal to the people with money, and since they're on the verge of running things for real instead of just mostly for real, you could see a compromise.

But as long as the NCAA is trying to pretend they're something they no longer are, sense will not be made.

Unverified Voracity Is The Sky And The Sun

Unverified Voracity Is The Sky And The Sun

Submitted by Brian on July 11th, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Art.

First, the mandatory comment about charge: good charge, Frank Clark. Way to keep on top of that.

Then: this is hilarious but it is also just, like, art, man. Yeah.

CLARK: coach you gotta point the phone at you
MATTISON: I am pointing it at me
CLARK: coach you are probably not a cloud or the sky or the rays of the sun
MATTISON: but I could be
CLARK: yeah but you're not, you're a bald guy, I've seen
MATTISON: but I could be the sky and the sun and a bald crown
CLARK: ok coach

crying-kid-brazil[1]

Welcome. Orson wrote a terrific thing about the Brazil kid weeping so hard he was trying to shove a cup through his face in case that would help:

I have nothing for you. Maybe it's worse when your team is good, and there is the hope of winning. If you'll notice, fans of desolate, perpetually forlorn carrion wagons like Kentucky football or tragedians like Ole Miss fans don't hold up cups to their faces, clutch their eyes, and try to literally vomit their sorrow into a Coke cup after losing by six goals on their home turf.  Brazil fans do, because shame has a prerequisite: the standard, or the notion that you will be somewhere that is not crying so hard you have to compress yourself into some kind of ball to keep from shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.

Intermittent reinforcement is apparently the way to get obedience: sometimes you get the thing. Other times you do not get the thing. Sports is very intermittent reinforcement. So congrats, kid! If you haven't sworn off soccer forever already, you are the proud recipient of a lifetime mania that will probably work out just fine because you're Brazilian.

Brutal! Mark Emmert showed for a congressional hearing that went even worse than the court thing did.

McCaskill offered some of the sharpest criticism of Emmert, questioning why his role exists if he can’t shape reform or prevent athletic departments from investigating sexual assaults.

“I can’t tell if you’re in charge or a minion” to the schools, McCaskill said. “If you’re merely a monetary pass-through, why should you exist?”

"I'm a good cartel," Emmert said under his breath. "A good one." New Jersey's Corey Booker:

"When they can lord over you the removal of your scholarship - because it does still happen, athletes are still exploited, that if they blow out their knee, if they somehow don't meet the mandates of a coach, they lose their scholarship, they don't get their degree -- to me, this is plain and simple the dark side of the NCAA, where athletes are being exploited," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) later said, noting that some issues he dealt with as a college athlete 20 years ago are still being dealt with by athletes today.

If the NCAA thinks they're going to get antitrust help from Congress, that hearing was some cold water. I know Democrats and Republicans and whatnot, but this may be an organization with a worse public image than Congress itself… not exactly baseball in 1910 or whatever.

Thornton tearing things up. Beilein and Calipari were jowl to jowl watching Derryck Thornton, and they were treated to a show:

(Thornton) picked up right where he left off after standing out at the Steph Curry Camp to start the month. Thornton was a true floor general, in complete control every time he stepped on the court and able to impact the game in a variety of different ways. He handles the ball on a string and excels at making a variety of different reads off the pick and roll. He holds his dribble going through the lane as well as anyone in the field, just waiting on the defense to break down and reveal open receivers. He even shot the ball well here, making a series of pull-ups as well as rhythm 3s. Thornton took unofficial visits to both Kentucky and Michigan last month and was followed by both Kentucky’s John Calipari and Michigan’s John Beilein here.

Thornton's done taking visits this summer after heading to Michigan and Kentucky, both of which he plans on visiting again this fall. It appears this is a head to head battle.

Adapting to reality. Mark Richt is adapting to life in the fast lane.

"One of the big things for us is football is now becoming a very high up-tempo game,” UGA coach Mark Richt explained recently. “It used to be 30, 40 seconds between a play. Now it could be as short as 10-to-18 seconds between plays. So you’re exerting and then resting for a short period of time. So now, even in the weight room, we want to go hard, rest a short time, then go ahead. A quicker recovery time. We’re not going to run the longer distances anymore. We’re going to run the shorter distance.”

After last year's Indiana game, I'm hoping there's some sort of similar soul searching within the Michigan program. You'd figure so, but… if anyone was going to not give it as much time as they should it would be Michigan. They've been just so, so bad with anything related to tempo under Hoke, whether it's defending it or trying to go fast themselves.

Etc.: Nebraska's photoshop squad is wack yo. Derrick Walton's freshman year reviewed. Strategery roundup, including an attempt to un-break bootleg passes.

Hokepoints Went to Market

Hokepoints Went to Market

Submitted by Seth on May 27th, 2014 at 1:27 PM

mixed-up-mother-goose_6

As a father, I suddenly find myself looking for ways to explain the world we live in and the rules that society has created. Nursery rhymes are of course a tried and true method of passing social mores on to the next generation. Since the NCAA's rulebook and enforcement practices are particularly difficult to comprehend for a young mind, I thought I would share some of these great old rhymes, each with an important lesson to teach, which have been passed down generation to generation, so our children may too come to understand what the hell the league is doing.

This kinda started on twitter.

Little Bunny Foo Foo

After several warnings to Little Bunny Foo Foo
regarding his repeated field mice violations,
the Big Fairy vacated his head bops
and put him on probation.

Kids need to learn that if you are really flaunting the rules the NCAA always has two things they can do to you: threaten to watch you really closely for any other violations you may report on yourself, and pretend things that happened didn't happen.

Also there's no conclusive evidence, despite precautionary efforts, that the head injuries sustained by the field mice will have any long-term effects.

From BiSB:

In related news, the doctor eventually tagged Mama with a Lack of Institutional Control after too many monkeys fell off the bed.

Mama of course could have avoided the LOIC if she had reported to the doctor that after an exhaustive investigation only a few isolated incidents of falling monkeys were discovered, and Dada had retired with honors for his role in covering it up.

From Zone Left:

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again because glue is an impermissible benefit.

Humpty may, however, be entitled to a medical hardship waiver.

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
his wife could eat no lean.
But Jack was on scholarship,
so sharing would be a secondary violation.

You see? Children learn the value of sharing, but also that it's important not to share things you get as a student-athlete. If the scholarship stipend is more than you need to live as the poorest student on campus, then the stipend can be reduced. In a similar vein:

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
Since her son's team had a deal with the shoe's manufacturer
the NCAA investigated this.

The value to a shoe company of having great student-athletes wear their apparel while performing great athletic feats is not generated by the athletes performing the feats in the apparel. Nay, the real value here was made by people in a board room who negotiated that deal. Anybody can split two defenders and take it to the house; it takes a truly special [company to hire a] guy who can wear a suit and shake hands with another guy in a suit over their mutual affinity for the word "branding."

Big man Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating a stale hotdog bun.
He thought "I'm so lucky for this year at Kentucky,
I should thank David Stern when I'm done."

Name another job besides NBA player that requires you to have 1/4th of an SEC education?

Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Don't miss Jack's team
at New Candlestick

Mistress_Mary,_Quite_Contrary_2_-_WW_Denslow_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_18546
That's not all Bo's lost.

Jack's sixth-place in the Pac 12 school will be charged $500/night for San Francisco hotel rooms in anticipation of the Diamond Walnut Kraft Emerald Fight Hunger Bowl game versus Navy or something.

Little Bo P. has lost his D.
And doesn't know where to find them.
Just bring down a guy, and play 'em one-high
And Borges will try to run by them.

Football is stupid.

This little piggy went to Fayettville
This little piggy should have stayed home
This little piggy crashed his bike
And that exposed the piggy's goomah
So the piggies hired the guy with warm whee-whee.

Whatever they say, John L. Smith is good for college football.

Old King Cole was a Maryland soul
And a building was name for he.
But they needed a new, so they offed swim and crew,
And sold the rest out to cable TV.

The Big Ten believes it can better fulfill its academic mission by adding the Comcast Center to its footprint.

Oh where oh where has my center gone?
Oh where oh where can he be?
With his back sewn up
And his tie once on
Oh where oh where can he be?

Some violations are absolutely inexcusable. Being that one guy who tested positive for pot during the latter half of March cannot be tolerated, even though 23% of NCAA athletes just told you they use it. With such numbers, and society's rapidly relaxing views on pot, there's never going to be another chance to really screw some kid over this, so you'd better find the nicest possible kid at the most model possible program, and absolutely duke him. Then they'll really know you're serious about enforcing the rule you were about to change.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How do your revenues yield?
With Title IX and creative fin- 
-ancing for football's new practice field.

In a move that totally makes how much the athletic department spends on women equal to how much it spends on men's teams, the women's basketball team recently unveiled a $140 million renovation to their arena, which the fellas will also have access to so long as they ask nicely.