Unverified Voracity Surveys Fallout (Not That Fallout, Nerds) Comment Count

Brian June 3rd, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Jalil Irvin's commitment post is here.


One of many softball-related activities that did not occur yesterday [Brian Fuller]

Severe weather delay. Most of the WCWS was rained out yesterday, so they'll try again tonight. This might be good for Michigan since starting pitcher Megan Betsa has a sore back. Michigan plays LSU at 9:30, or after the conclusion of an Alabama-Oklahoma game that was stopped in the middle of the second last night. On the other half of the bracket, Georgia continued its Cinderella run with a win over FSU; Auburn beat UCLA. Game's on ESPN2 tonight.

Harbaugh just likes it man. While nobody is denying that satellite camps are about recruiting, for Harbaugh it's also about football. Pick a report from one of these camps and you'll get some insight into Harbaugh's maniacal intensity:

During one exercise -- a one-cut drill with running backs in linebackers -- Harbaugh was so into things he completely lost track of time.

Another staffer shouted over toward him after taking a look at his watch: "Ready to rotate, coach?"

"No," he fired back with excitement. "OK, I guess so."

247's Keith Niebuhr is an Auburn reporter who was at the camp for his own Auburn-related reasons:

-The kids loved being around Harbaugh. He's very personable when he coaches these guys. It seems genuine. He speaks their language. Makes them all feel special -- even the kids that have no shot of being D-I guys.

Dude just likes football more than most people like anything. But he dislikes "soup sandwiches."



Sliiightly misplaced priorities. Let's recap events in the SEC since Greg Sankey went on his smarm offensive about satellite camps:

The comeuppance here is truly spectacular, not that any of the various mouthpieces down south have noticed. Here's Tony Barnhart setting the last vestiges of his dignity on fire:

Hooooooly shit. Turn around and show us Sankey's hand up your back, buddy. Barnhart's descent into the SEC's personal Iraqi minister of information has reached its climax. What an ass.

Oh right and also that. Baumgardner runs down why Saban's crocodile tears about compliance are particularly funny/enraging:

Harbaugh did more than that. He called him out -- a hypocrite, actually. And I'm not sure how anyone can find fault with it.

Saban -- who has, of course, won four national titles at Alabama -- is literally in the middle of a situation where recruiting violations within his program were found. An assistant coach has been forced to resign and the school currently is awaiting the result of that NCAA investigation.

And if that were the only thing going on here, it'd probably be enough. But it's not.

Like in 2009 when a businessman paid for stars Mark Ingram and Julio Jones to go on a fishing trip. Or in 2013 when a former Alabama player was caught giving Tide offensive lineman D.J. Fluker impermissible benefits. Or later that same year when Saban had to fire a staffer after he paid safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Anyone remember that whole deal about the disassociated Alabama booster who continued to sell signed Crimson Tide merchandise -- from players who still were on the team -- back in 2014?

Like Ole Miss this is just the tip of an iceberg. It should be interpreted as a glimpse into a sophisticated NCAA rule violation factory that occasionally screws up. Alabama does not care about NCAA rules one iota. Saban doesn't want to know. Bo Davis's mistake was knowing.

Further Baylor fallout. Baylor's 2017 recruiting class turned into a ghost town, as you might expect. They're down to one dude. More pressingly, seven players from Baylor's already-signed 2016 class did not enroll as planned and are asking out of their LOIs. One of them is already free to pick another school because Baylor treated his LOI like a sexual assault and didn't report it to the relevant authorities. Baylor isn't releasing them yet because they're holding onto a vague hope that Jim Grobe will be able to salvage some of these guys. Survey says not likely:

The elder Cobb said it was a "good visit, but we let them know my son wants to pursue other options. His mind is made up."

Not likely at all:

"We bought in completely, and we're crushed," JP's mother, Emily, said. "And it's more than Briles. The whole environment is toxic, and there is no way a kid should have to go there."

"We were shocked and appalled when we found out Thursday the severity and widespread extent of Baylor's wrongdoing in multiple instances," Julian said. "We had no idea. Now that we know, we will not be a part of that."

Baylor has 30 days before it has to make a decision and can force the various players who want to go elsewhere to either delay enrollment or pay their own way for a year. It's unlikely it comes to that—it seems like most of the Baylor defectors have no intention of going to Waco, so Baylor would be further killing its reputation for no benefit.

This is another example of why the NLI does little to nothing for players and should be avoided if at all possible. Players can sign financial aid paperwork that locks the school in without locking the player in.

Revisiting potential NCAA involvement. I do think the NCAA is going to do something here. There's a recent precedent in which a school violated its own policies and got hit because of it: Syracuse. Syracuse had a bunch of different things go down under scofflaw Jim Boeheim. One of them was ignoring their own drug testing policy:

"Like many of the other severe violations involved in this case, the institution's actions regarding its dismissal of the written drug testing policies and procedures were aimed at preserving student-athletes' ability to compete for the men's basketball program," the NCAA report said.

Baylor's internal justice-type substances are in violation of their written policies and should be similarly actionable, since it was also in the service of preserving eligibility. Hopefully it's far more actionable than Syracuse's issues.

Uh, yeah, poke around these guys maybe. At least two of the Baylor defectors should be of serious interest to Michigan: four star OL Patrick Hudson and JP Urquidez are both high-profile players who can play tackle. That spot is a sore one for Michigan after Logan Tuley-Tillman was booted and Devery Hamilton flipped to Stanford. Michigan was vaguely involved with Hudson; Urquidez went off the board just a few months after Harbaugh was hired and did not appear to have any relationship with M beforehand.

Michigan will undoubtedly ask both about their interest once that's permissible—schools can't contact any of these guys until they are released.

A balanced schedule. A desultory hooray for Big Ten Hockey, which finally managed to put together a second half of the season for Michigan without a month and a half between games at Yost. Michigan's back half has eight games, all of them in the Big Ten, and the longest stretch without a game at Yost is three weeks. I'm slightly nonplussed by the two bye weeks Michigan has in the second half—the weekends of January 6th and 28th are open. But this is much better than the previous two years.

Adam covered the nonconference portion of the schedule when it was released. In short, it's nice for fans to get BU at Yost but other than that it's a bunch of middling-to-bad teams that won't help Michigan make the tournament if their record isn't as shiny as it was a year ago. Which… yeah. Probably won't be.

A shootout solution worth backing. In the let's fix soccer post I derided shootouts, as do all persons of quality, but didn't have a slam-dunk solution. This from Dario Perkins might be one:

Play the penalties before extra time. If one team outscores the other in the subsequent 30 minutes of open play, then that result will trump the outcome of the penalty kicks. If extra time ends in a draw, then the game goes to the penalty winner.

That's brilliant. While the shootout does still have its unsatisfying place in the game, playing it early reduces its impact and guarantees that one team will always be frantically pressing for a goal. That change should be implemented immediately.

Etc.: Pay-to-play in US soccer is a necessity because the money has to come from somewhere. Ken Starr's personality is to the best of his ability. Seriously, can we not send him to jail? Are there not laws against this behavior? Michigan's not attending Baylor's camp anymore, it appears.



June 3rd, 2016 at 11:57 AM ^

As far as Coach Saban goes, he's a proven winner. Did so at LSU. Not so much in the NFL, but has proved a winner at Alabama. However, he has done a great job recruiting in the south- has had the top talent year in and year out and it has shown on the field, even further into the NFL. He has had free reign to recruiting in the best football recruiting field. That being said- is he really that good of a coach or simply in the right place at the right time? He hasn't had to go up against anyone like Coach Harbaugh in recruiting, and now, heaven forbid- he cannot just show up and say "come to Alabama" to whatever 5* around without competition. Now he may need to work a little harder against the likes of B1G and Pac12 coaches coming in and giving these southern recruits another option. Respect Coach Saban, and any school will have their issues, but really stop with the whole "it's going to ruin college football" whining. The only college football it will ruin is recruiting at Alabama. Coach Harbaugh is exposing truth.

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June 3rd, 2016 at 2:15 PM ^

I mean, it's a little bit of both. Saban is undeniably a great coach, but to say that half the SEC has similar talent is also bull. Alabama has finished #1 in the composite team rankings on 247 six years in a row.


June 3rd, 2016 at 5:48 PM ^

Uh... Alabama is dominating in recruiting. Every year. Trolling? Just looking at the obvious. Other SEC folks are not as up in arms as Saban is about this. Again, he's had free reign until now. Picking up the most 4-5* recruits every year. Calm yourself. Sticking up for SEC on a Michigan blog? Who's trolling now?

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June 3rd, 2016 at 3:08 PM ^

It's not a slam-dunk contast because goalies have a chance to make a save and influence the outcome. A penalty shootout has been a part of the game since the 1970s and purists are against changing a rule to appease some Americans (these are probably the same people who bitched about ties in the NHL). FIFA actually tried the silver/golden goal rule in extra time and it failed miserably. 


June 3rd, 2016 at 1:56 PM ^

Brian hit it on the head and I've been thinking the same thing watching the videos that come out; Harbaugh loves football more than I love anything. I love sports and played all through high school. My dads side of the family is full of athletes and very competitive so I definitely understand the Harbaugh mentality of competing at all times.

To me, he's a man living out his dream while working at his dream job. If I had the money and time I would dedicate my life to doing just what he is, but with basketball. Watching him speak with the enthusiasm he does about football and genuinely enjoy every second of coaching every kid, not just the D I guys, is an amazing thing to watch. What I wouldn't give to be in high school again and be coached for a day by someone the caliber of Harbaugh.


June 3rd, 2016 at 1:03 PM ^

Don't like that  PK solution at all.  Soccer sucks to watch when one team is packed in playing for a tie.  

I think reducing the number of players makes more sense.  The 4 on 4 and 3 on 3 hockey games seem to be universally liked for the wide open action.  It keeps it as close to a real game as possible.  It also does a better job of highlighting who has the best team than most of the other scenarios.  


June 3rd, 2016 at 1:51 PM ^

How does that square with the fact that once the first goal is scored in a soccer game, the scoring per minute rate goes up, not down? 

You would think that after scoring a goal, one team would have the advantage of knowing it can score zero goals and potentially win the game.  That must mean that the "advantage" of just playing defense isn't really that much of an advantage.



June 3rd, 2016 at 2:10 PM ^

It's an interesting idea that is at least worth trying over a few tournaments (like the Golden Goal was). It would force teams to send numbers forward and thereby open up counterattacking possibilities.

Far too often the extra-time thought process seems to be "if we can get a smash and grab goal by sending 3 guys into the attack, great, but let's at least make sure we get to the shoot-out by keeping 6-7 guys back." 


June 3rd, 2016 at 2:19 PM ^

Just because a team is up and playing more defense doesn't mean they aren't looking to score.  The team which is down 1-0, especially in the second half, knows they need to attack a bit more and probably move some people forward a bit.  This can leave them vulnerable to a quick well placed counter attack from the team that is up 1-0.


June 3rd, 2016 at 2:33 PM ^

So both teams will still play attacking soccer, even more aggressively than they do when the score is tied. 

So that makes this an optimal solution--what you are doing is essentially giving the shootout winner a half-goal.  That makes one team much more willing to attack, which also gives the other team additional opportunities to attack.  And it also makes the team who won the shootout a little bit less likely to go into a shell, because if they do that and give up a goal anyway, they are suddenly trailing.


June 3rd, 2016 at 1:03 PM ^

It's funny about the SEC.  Other that football, they aren't really relevant nationally in most discussions.  They are good in baseball I guess, but in basketball it's mostly been UK and Florida for a hot minute and nothing else.  Academically the conference is far behind the ACC the other "southern" conference, and has a member school (LSU) whose state might not be able to fund them anymore.  Sure, this is a bit of a generalization, but in few other contexts other than football do I hear people talk about Alabama, Ole Miss, or Auburn.  

It's just in football that anyone really gives a crap about them, and so it's weird to hear them rattle their sabers as if it really matters what they think.  


June 3rd, 2016 at 2:32 PM ^

In men's golf since 1999, an SEC team has either won or placed 2nd at the NCAA championships 11 times.

They are also good at men's and women's swimming.  From 1998-2009 Auburn won 8 men's titles and finished 2nd twice.  In women's swimming, the SEC totally dominates.  The SEC has won 12 of the last 17 women's swimming titles and over the same 17 yrs, they've had 10 second place finishes too.

The SEC pretty much dominates women's gymnastics too.  The NCAA record book only goes back to 1982 but the SEC has won 19 titles and finished runner up 15 times.


June 3rd, 2016 at 1:23 PM ^

"Baylor treated his LOI like a sexual assault and didn't report it to the relevant authorities"


SAVAGE. Need you to draft my texts to my exes from now on. 


June 3rd, 2016 at 2:03 PM ^

The NCAA is in bed with the SEC. You are crazy if you think the NCAA will hand down any punishment for these violations. However I guarantee you the NCAA is watching Harbaugh and these Satellite Camps like a hawk. Harbaugh is a threat to the NCAA's authority.