Unverified Voracity Finds Out How Low JoePa Can Go

Submitted by Brian on December 21st, 2010 at 1:10 PM

RC Slocum, man about town. This doesn't have anything to do with anything but here's Joe Paterno doing the limbo:

 paterno-limbo

Sort of, anyway. I don't think you're supposed to go that way. Paterno probably thinks going backwards is a Hun affectation. Also prepare for the OBC to burn himself into your retinas:

rc-slocum-steve-spurirer

These are from a recently unearthed cache of photos of former Texas A&M coach RC Slocum that features both Gorbachev and Mathew McConaughey, although not in the same picture. Barking Carnival theorizes that Slocum is the most interesting man in the world, and it's hard to disagree. Gorby!

OTL on oversigning. ESPN's put out what's hopefully part one of an extensive series of interviews with college athletes who have been screwed out of scholarships and swept under the rug. It's LSU again:

So Les Miles…

  1. Runs a program that oversigns and cuts players who don't seem useful.
  2. Doesn't bother to tell players they've been cut in a face to face meeting.
  3. Relies on someone else to send a letter to the kid.
  4. Refuses to meet with the kid after he's received the bad news.
  5. Baldly lies about the kid at media day.

Then Elliot Porter shows up and says he had to be a man about getting cut by Miles, demonstrating more maturity than his erstwhile head coach. Unfortunately for those of us making huge "Please Be Our DC, Randy" signs for the bowl game, Randy Shannon's rep as an awesome dude also takes a huge hit.

Not to beat this dead horse for the thousandth time, but this is some bullshit right here and should be a major target for reform. ESPN's doing the Lord's work, and I hope they continue.

The inevitable redshirt. To reiterate something from Tim's presser recap, Devin Gardner's back problems held him out of the last eight games and have set him up to take a (surprise!) redshirt this season:

“His back has been better, and he’s been able to do most of the stuff today,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Saturday.

Should a medical redshirt be granted, Gardner would, in theory, have two years to hold the starting quarterback job. Denard Robinson is penciled in as the starter through the 2012 season.

Yes, the nature and timing of Gardner's injury is unbelievably convenient, but if they've got documentation they've got it and the NCAA will have to grant Gardner his redshirt. We should all go back and undo the Great Gardner Non-Redshirt Infighting, since it looks like Michigan's going to have its cake and eat it too… unless Rodriguez gets fired and everyone transfers and we're starting Jack Kennedy next year.

Gwaltney in repose. A Bruce Feldman article on well-travelled former blue chip recruit Jason Gwaltney, who I remember openly campaigning for Rivals to raise his ranking as just another message board plebe, has a random quote about Rich Rodriguez($):

He says he did learn how to practice full-speed from his days at WVU. "They chiseled that into my brain," he said. "Coach [Rich] Rodriguez instilled something in me. I still owe that man a lot."

Gwaltney ended up at a D-III HBCU in New Jersey and is in an upcoming all-star game with fellow spectacular flameout Fred Rouse. His brother Scooter Berry was an afterthought throw-in but developed into an All Big East defensive lineman as Gwaltney toured the lower divisions of college football, so he's got an obvious what-could-have-been in his own family.

Hello Georgia? After UGA's athletic director was pulled over for DUI with a girl in the passenger seat and her panties in is lap, UGA has a new athletic director. His first scheduling actions were cancelling games against actual opponents that the old guy had put in place, so it seemed like Georgia's brief glastnost period wherein they were prepared to end their infamous policy of never leaving the South was over. This, then, is a surprise:

Preliminary discussions have taken place with Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State about the prospect of one or more of them scheduling a home-and-home series with Georgia in the future, UGA athletics director Greg McGarity confirmed to Dawgs247.

“We’d love to do a home-and-home with a Big Ten or Midwestern school that has a rich tradition,” McGarity said. “We’re going to work as hard as we can to make that happen.

“Hopefully, within the next year, we’ll be able to have something in writing.”

Georgia and Clemson have a series that extends until 2014, so any series would have to wait until at least then. McGarity says the series would be "way down the road" so one school or the other would have plenty of time to cancel it.

Would Michigan be interested? I'd hope so. Dave Brandon's already set up a neutral site matchup with Alabama that's slightly cool but also thousands of miles from either campus in a generic, if swanky, corporate stadium. From a fan's perspective having a home and home with Georgia is way cooler than a one-off in Dallas. From a financial perspective not so much—Michigan's getting a home game's worth of revenue from the Jerryworld game—but money isn't everything and Michigan needs something to spruce up the schedule in years when Nebraska, Ohio State, and Notre Dame are all road games. Of course, "sprucing up" the schedule in those years means "making it brutal," so maybe not.

Would they be more interested than the other three schools listed? Probably not. I'd bet Michigan is the least likely of the four to actually land a series with Georgia. Because of their Notre Dame series they have to work in games against actual opponents where they can; Penn State and Ohio State don't have any annual commitments and Notre Dame has to fill twelve games every year.

Limbo update, or backdate, or whatever. Yesterday Tom's recruiting post quoted Darian Cooper saying Tony Dews told him Michigan coaches would "know January first" whether they'd be around next year. Recent commitment Desmond Morgan was told something similar with more confidence but something less than rock-hard certainty:

“I’ve talked with coach Rodriguez and the rest of the coaches and they’re pretty confident he’s going to be there after the season,” Morgan said. “I’m pretty confident as well. No matter what happens, Michigan’s a great football program.”

So that's Morgan and Countess in the boat no matter what. Picking up two commits during this time of uncertainty is a nice insurance policy against the uphill battle a January coaching change would see the new guy fight.

Bang-bang. Soony Saad's been called in to the U20 team, whereupon he scored in a dismantling of Canada and essentially announced he'd be back for 2011:

Philadelphia Union striker McInerney scored in the 50th minute while Saad also notched an impressive 25-yard half-volley score in the 34th.

It's nothing new for Saad, one of the top strikers of the ball in the country, who helped lead unsung Michigan to the College Cup as he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. "It was nice being in camp. It was kind of a tough adjustment coming off the college season," he said.

When the subject turned to the College Cup, where the Wolverines suffered a semifinal loss to eventual champion Akron, Saad declined to comment.

"Not until we win the College Cup next season," he said.

The usual disclaimers apply.

Etc.: Zac Ciullo comes in for an extensive profile in the News. Random New Yorker poem about Michigan. Jason King drops some positive fluff about the basketball team along the same lines as my column but with far fewer references to the DOS command line. Might want to update that photo, though.

Comments

wolverinehusker

December 21st, 2010 at 3:12 PM ^

So, I'll be the first to admit I'm often all fire, no substance, but I'm sure there must be some rule against what Les Miles' is doing. And I'm sure there's no way the NCAA can't do something about it. Well, I guess that last point might be off, because I thought the same about Cam Newton, and here we are.

This isn't like signing a pro player and then letting him or her go...this is taking a kid and basically snatching his football (and, likely, college) opportunities away. THAT, to me, is inexcusable, notwithstanding the whole not telling them himself. What a dickbox. I hate him.

Enjoy Life

December 21st, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

This is bullshit. Instead of worrying about how many minutes a player spends stretching, the NCAA should immediately fix the oversigning. Oversigning directly hurts individual student-athletes.

What a crock!

champswest

December 21st, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

Here in the BT you have to watch your stretching time and make sure noone works your camp that might know one of your recruiting targets, you know, all of that critical stuff.

funkywolve

December 21st, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

OSU might not have an annual series with an opponent like UM does with ND, but I want to see that for the next 10 yrs or so OSU already has a fairly marquee matchup scheduled out of conference (Oklahoma, VaTech, Tennessee and Cal off the top of my head).

Notre Dame might be tricky for Georgia too.  I'm guessing Georgia would prefer this game is played early in the year so they don't have a decent to tough opponent in the middle of their SEC slate.  With ND probably having MSU and UM and possibly Purdue locked in for a while ND might want the game later in the year.

zlionsfan

December 21st, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

shows the series extending through 2021, with dates for all games except in 2016 and 2017. (Side note: the Boilers also have two home-and-homes with Cincinnati, 2013-14 and 2015-16. The other two games through 2016 are local I-AA teams and MAC schools.)

So that does seem to limit the available options for a Notre Dame-Georgia series, unless ND opened up the 2016 and 2017 dates just for that. (I'd guess the Irish wouldn't mind playing Purdue whenever if it means they also play Georgia, and Purdue isn't about to complain if the games are moved to October or whenever.)

wolverine1987

December 21st, 2010 at 2:03 PM ^

If it is in fact true that the coaches will know their fate "Jan 1"as Dews tells the recruit, IMO there is no way possible that they will not be fired. Again, if true, there is no benefit at all to wait until that date if you are retaining RR.

michgoblue

December 21st, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

Jan 1 makes no sense at all.  I have been one of the loudest of the critics of the DB timeframe, but I have also said that I would admit that my criticism was unfounded if the whole timeframe was based around getting JH (i.e. by avoiding forcing JH to have a Les Miles "damn strong team" type press conference).

But making the decision on 1/1 wouldn't accomplish this goal.  If RR is fired, there will be an immediate and strong speculation about JH, casting a shadow over his BCS game. 

If, on the other hand, he is going to keep RR on 1/1, then in my view, DB is an ass for dragging the team, coaching staff, recruits and yes, the fans, through this past month and a half for no discernable benefit.

Finally, if the 1/1 is accurate, then DB's whole professed reason for making everyone wait - a desire to do a FULL AND COMPLETE evaluation after the season - is BS.  How full and complete can his evaluation be if it is going to be concluded on the day of the Bowl game. 

And a second finally - I would hope that Dews' statements do not mean that they will know on 1/1 because their jobs are based upon the outcome of the Bowl game.  If DB is making this decision based upon the outcome of a single game - a middle-tiered bowl game - then he really a fool.  (Not saying that this is the case - in fact it seems so absurd, it likely isn't).

In the end, I would hope that Dews said "we will know right after New Years, and the quote was mistakenly interpreted as 1/1.

michgoblue

December 21st, 2010 at 4:25 PM ^

How can you say that DB's decision to wait until 1/1 has avoided useless media/blog chatter?  To the contrary, all he has done is stoke the fires of chatter, speculation, rumor mongering and outrage.  Have you seen the MGoBoard?

Also, do you really thing that DB really cares about media/blog chatter in making his decision?  He would put our recruiting at a disadvantage just to avoid having people be pissed off that he didn't fire RR?

I am still undecided on DB - he may turn out to be the best AD in our history, but I think that all of the adoration and talk of a pimp hand are a but premature - but I think that he is way too smart to make his time frame on avoiding blog chatter.

M-Wolverine

December 21st, 2010 at 6:51 PM ^

"Coach maybe is going to get fired" than "why is this guy going to continue to be our coach?"...? By that logic, we might as well wait till kickoff of the first game next year.  I mean, they have game time starter announcements at QB, why not head coach?

But in any regard, announcing the DAY OF January 1st would be the odd part, that makes no sense.  Even if your reasoning is right, is makes more sense to wait to say, January 2nd.

UMAmaizinBlue

December 21st, 2010 at 2:04 PM ^

To see that the Big Ten has taken the initiative over other big conferences in limiting oversigning. No matter what anyone says about our conference, we can at least point to that as a moral high ground.

 

Also surprising is ESPN doing actual journalism for once. I'm surprised that they had enough time between talking about Favre's ended streak, Favre's injury, and Favre's inevitable/potential/improbable retirement after this season. [Okay maybe I'm being too harsh. I'm actually impressed by ESPN in this case.]

esipp

December 21st, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

You're talking about two totally different aspects here. Gardner's redshirt is after a season of him dressing for every game to get him an extra year of eligibility (his scholarship was still paid for this year and he occupied one of our 85 spots).

Whereas Saban, et al. use it to cram extra players onto their roster before the season where they have no hope of playing this year. That is, if he offers them a medical scholarship and doesn't ask them to grayshirt, which is even worse.

JeepinBen

December 21st, 2010 at 7:30 PM ^

What we are doing with Gardner is getting him a Medical Redshirt. 

A Medical Redshirt exists for the student athlete. If he gets hurt and can't play, he gets another year of eligibility to play college football and be on scholarship. 

Good M Example: A linebacker (Herron?) broke his leg in the UConn game. Even though he played he got a medical redshirt and didnt lose a year of eligibility due to his injury.

What Saban has done a ton of is get kids Medical Exemptions

A Medical exemption exists for a kid who has a career ending injury - but he can stay on scholarship at the university. He (or she) can no longer play sports, but their tuition is covered for however many years of eligibility they have left. 

Good M Example: Antonio Bass - destoryed his knee and couldn't play football again. He was granted a Medical Exemption and kept his scholarship and got to graduate from Michigan even though he was "no longer providing a service to the university by which he originally got his scholarship" (quotes mine... not trying to be a dick, just explain)

Does anyone know if Cronin got one due to his back? 

 

The problem with what Saban is doing is he is giving kids Medical Exemptions who don't necessarily need them. Kids who had injuries, but not career ending ones. Saban is using it to say "I'm cutting you from the football team, but if you're good about it you'll still get your tuition check". 

Saban's rates for exemptions are so much higher than anyone elses (9x?). Do you really think Saban has that many more players get career ending injuries ever year? He's abusing the system at the expense of the player, not for that player's benefit. 

El Jeffe

December 21st, 2010 at 2:16 PM ^

Three thoughts:

  1. Les Miles is a lying sack of shit. Anyone who thinks he should be M's coach should be duct taped to an uncomfortable chair and forced to watch that video until that opinion is changed.
  2. The SEC is a festering swamp of scumbaggery because the leadership of the SEC allows it to be. So as much as we like to shit on Delany and previous B1G leadership, they are the only thing that allows us to hold our heads up high.
  3. Les Miles is a grass eating prevaricating immoral fuckhead.

wolverinehusker

December 21st, 2010 at 3:06 PM ^

I remember how mad I was that Herbstreit "blew" our chance at Les Miles three years ago. I was furious he wouldn't be coming to Ann Arbor and through Herbstreit melted the whole thing down on purpose.

I ain't saying Rich Rod is a saint, but I'd take him over Miles any day. Thanks, Herbstreit! (though I know you probably weren't even really involved, my sad, angry mind says otherwise)

michgoblue

December 21st, 2010 at 3:50 PM ^

you have to realize that Yahoo appeals to a mass market of sports fans, and not real avid fans of a particular team.  So, the whole "well, Miles is a Michigan Man, so he would be a perfect fit" storyline works for them because it skims the very surface without getting into any real detail or actual facts.  For their readership, this is about the level of detail that they are looking for.  And, the story gets readers because it sounds good if you don't know much.

M-Wolverine

December 21st, 2010 at 2:40 PM ^

After UGA's athletic director was pulled over for DUI with a girl in the passenger seat and her panties in is lap, UGA has a new athletic director.

 

I thought that was cause for a raise in the SEC.