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09/11/2018 - 1:43pm That seems further…

That seems further illustration of the problem of name recognition he lays out (I think Paterno cam through the portion of Penn State's trustees voted on by alums).

That said, gubernatorial appointment has it's own issues of deep cronyism.

09/10/2018 - 6:31pm Climate change makes fire is…

Climate change makes fire a new seasonal reality for the West, though. Just depends which part of the West gets hit by drought in any one year. 

09/09/2018 - 1:05pm I have MUCH more trouble…

I have MUCH more trouble taking the top off some tupperware containers that Nico Collins had taking the top off that defense. Those kinds with four flanges you have to pop up? I'm just saying...

08/20/2018 - 4:07pm In some cases, the anonymous…

In some cases, the anonymous sources were speaking directly about the workout that led McNair to collapse into seizures and later die. 

"There's no way he finished on his own," one of the players at the workout told ESPN.

"There were multiple people that said, 'Wow, Jordan looks f---ed up, he doesn't look all right,'" the player said. "We knew he was really exhausted, but we didn't know he was in danger of his life. But that doesn't mean that a medical professional shouldn't know to put him in an ice tub."

Multiple sources said that after the 10th sprint finished, Wes Robinson, Maryland's longtime head football trainer, yelled, "Drag his ass across the field!"

A second player at the workout told ESPN: "Jordan was obviously not in control of his body. He was flopping all around. There were two trainers on either side of him bearing a lot of weight. They interlocked their legs with his in order to keep him standing."

In others, the surrounding stories gave context to illustrate that his death wasn't an anomaly, but part of a broader pattern of mistreatment that many stressed went beyond the expected norms of football programs in general. This use of anonymous sources seems entirely appropriate to give that context: 

A former Maryland staff member said: "I would never, ever, ever allow my child to be coached there."

A second former staffer said that while he has seen and heard coaches curse at players, he'd never been on another coaching staff with this kind of philosophy. "The language is profane, and it's demeaning at times," he said. "When you're characterizing people in such derogatory and demeaning terms, particularly if they don't have a skill level you think they need to aspire to, or they may never get, then it's rough to watch and see because if it was your son, you wouldn't want anybody talking to your son that way."

"The way they coach us at Maryland, tough love -- it's really more tough than it is love," one former player said.

08/20/2018 - 3:02pm In what way is the reporting…

In what way is the reporting shaky? The only thing I've heard criticized is the use of anonymous sources, but, as many people have pointed out, this is far more of a whistleblower situation than "sources close to the program" fluff, which are kept anonymous for nonsensical reasons.

After Stretchgate, you immediately had people challenging not only the accuracy of the reporting but the reporters understanding of the situation itself. The only challenge to the reporting I've come across is Will Muschamp's crazy shouting.

08/16/2018 - 4:26pm There's never been loads of…

There's never been loads of content in early to mid August. I'm sure that writing the preview takes up most of the month. It's a recruiting down time. And I'm sure the people who write for the site, when not fighting a debilitating illness, take a couple chances to get away for a few days (as Seth did before dropping about 3,000 words of camp news today) before the season starts with its much more intense writing requirements. 

08/16/2018 - 11:57am In the past, hasn't almost…

In the past, hasn't almost all of everything you mention appeared during "preview week"? I assume there's relatively little content now because Brian is writing the 30k+ words that come out in that single week.  

08/16/2018 - 11:00am I think if you went back to…

I think if you went back to previous years, early camp (particularly under Harbaugh) was fairly light on content, b/c there's little news (none of the daily update videos that used to come out under Hoke) and b/c the staff was working up the content for the preview week (which has run about 40,000 words, the length of a short novel). 

The pressers are the main things that are missing this year, along with some of the recruiting roundups that Ace wrote up and Draftageddon, but it's not like the first few weeks of camp were some kind of wave of content in years' past. If we see noticeably shorter previews, then we'll know there's been a decline in overall content.

08/16/2018 - 9:42am Quick question: Baumgardner…

Quick question: Baumgardner was pretty adamant on his most recent podcast that running RPOs requires mastery of zone blocking (he put it something like "if you can't block zone, you can't run RPOs.") Is this true? Can you only run RPOs out of zone concepts, or are there gap/power versions? 

08/15/2018 - 12:27pm I appreciate that this story…

I appreciate that this story generated an "Is it time to retire?" ad on the sidebar.

08/09/2018 - 2:20pm Yeah, the value added…

Yeah, the value added quotient on that one is highly negative.

08/07/2018 - 5:18pm This seems like peak early…

This seems like peak early camp, where there's no information and everyone is desperate for anything substantive (h/t to the OP for the "not substantive" warning).

08/02/2018 - 7:56pm If your knowledge of…

If your knowledge of domestic abuse comes through a work context, immediately find out if you are mandated to report and who you should report to. 

08/02/2018 - 3:14pm Urban didn't have a …

Urban didn't have a (employment) duty to confront Zach Smith upon having credible evidence of domestic violence. He had a duty to inform the OSU HR Office who would then investigate. So no, if he discussed the 2015 incident with Smith, he by no means fulfilled the obligation of his employment.

Asking head coaches (or even ADs) to investigate misconduct by their assistant coaches would be a terrible policy.

08/02/2018 - 3:04pm I don't think there's any…

I don't think there's any evidence Gene Smith knew about the domestic violence, aside from probably knowing the things that Ramzy laid out that "everyone knew," i.e., that Zach Smith was a mess personally and an asshole protected by an important grandfather. If he had known about the domestic violence incidents, I'd assume that it was widely known enough that it would have leaked.

08/02/2018 - 2:53pm If the Meyers did report at…

If the Meyers did report at some point, they're probably in the clear from the university HR standpoint, as they met their stated employment duties. But then there are huge questions about the OSU HR department and their actions.

It's also a good point about when the policy was revised and what those revisions were.

08/02/2018 - 2:49pm Universities have spent a…

Universities have spent a huge amount of money on employee training around sexual misconduct reporting to inform different classes of employees what their duties are. Generally, the impression that training gives is that, regardless of circumstances, if they're told directly of events that fall under the terms of the policy (and this is why Shelly Meyer is in more trouble from the university than Urban), even if the police have been involved, they have to report to the university.

Now, I can imagine a situation where Shelly Meyer is fired for failing to inform HR of a direct report, and Urban is suspended for some indefinite time with an official reprimand. Whether he would accept that, and the ensuing impression that he allowed his wife to take the fall, I don't think anyone has any idea.

08/02/2018 - 2:41pm It's clear from the…

It's clear from the university's policy on sexual misconduct that both Meyers had an obligation to report within five days and failed to meet their obligations (policy here: The policy makes no distinction between reporting duties for cases involving students and employees.

Now, what the sanctions are for failing to report is not clear, but given the Meyers' long running knowledge of the situation, and their failure to report repeated incidents (and the fact that they've certainly gone through sexual misconduct policy education modules as a condition of employment, as have almost all university employees in the US over the past decade), it will be hard to justify any innocent explanation. They could probably get by with giving Urban a significant suspension. Shelly will likely be fired. But they may choose to forego the whole thing and negotiate a settlement.

08/02/2018 - 2:28pm Here are OSU's HR guidelines…

Here are OSU's HR guidelines on sexual misconduct. It's entirely clear that both Meyers were required to report.


Here are the relevant sections:


On duty to report:

  1. In addition to the requirement of reporting incidents of sexual assault, the following members of the university community have an additional obligation to report all other incidents of sexual misconduct, when they receive a disclosure of sexual misconduct or become aware of information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that sexual misconduct may have occurred involving anyone covered under this policy. These individuals must report the incident within five work days of becoming aware of such information:

    1. Any human resource professional (HRP);

    2. Anyone who supervises faculty, staff, students, or volunteers;

    3. Chair/director; and

    4. Faculty member.

On domestic violence's inclusion in the policy:

Conduct that would meet the definition of a felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed by the complainant’s current or former spouse or intimate partner, a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, a person who is or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or individual similarly situated to a spouse under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else protected under the domestic or family violence law of the jurisdiction in which the offense occurred. An individual need not be charged with or convicted of a criminal offense to be found responsible for domestic violence pursuant to this policy.

All such acts of relationship violence are forms of sexual misconduct under this policy.

08/02/2018 - 2:12pm The university has people…

The university has people whose jobs are, for better or for worse, to determine what should be done in the case of employees who are involved in what is termed "intimate violence" in OSU's guidelines of sexual misconduct. Urban and Shelly Meyer should have, as employees of the university, informed the people in that office in 2015 that they had received a credible report of domestic abuse by an employee of OSU and let those people do their jobs.

08/02/2018 - 12:13pm The university's policy on…

The university's policy on sexual misconduct has answers to a lot of those questions. It was Meyer's obligation (and certainly his wife's) to report credible information of "intimate violence" involving employees of the university to the proper officials within the university. Both of them certainly had to fulfill some kind of sexual misconduct training, as have almost all university employees over the past decade. It's very clear from the training that I've done that not reporting is a serious matter that puts your job on the line.

08/02/2018 - 11:42am He already sued for wrongful…

He already sued for wrongful dismissal. The case was thrown out and he agreed to forego further legal action in exchange for OSU declining attempts to recoup their legal costs.

08/02/2018 - 11:32am FWIW, the standard the…

FWIW, the standard the relatively new (since 2014) president at OSU, Michael Drake, used when confronted with reports of sexual misconduct within the marching band was that the director "was aware or reasonably should have known about" it, which seems like a highly relevant standard here. 

Obviously, marching band director =/= national title winning football coach, but the guy was incredibly popular with widespread fan support, claimed that no one told him about it, and he was fired nonetheless.

08/01/2018 - 7:41pm Stoops’s Joe Mixon…

Stoops’s Joe Mixon issuesnwould seem disqualifying given the current circumstances 

08/01/2018 - 7:13pm Different institutions. MSU…

Different institutions. MSU's basically run by a board that has shown it cares first and foremost about athletic success. Football's obviously hugely important at OSU but it's still takes a backseat to the massive medical research facility that's the main engine of the university. Also, there's long been a desire among OSU's board and admins to be known as something more than a football school. There's probably something about the newness of MSU's football success versus the long term success of OSU football. Indeed, it's been so successful for so long, I'm sure there's some sense that it's self-sustaining (which, as we've seen, certainly isn't the case, but you can imagine that belief).

08/01/2018 - 7:01pm If Joe Moorhead has a good…

If Joe Moorhead has a good year at Miss St, he probably gets hired by OSU. 


08/01/2018 - 6:56pm It also creates time for…

It also creates time for Meyer's lawyers and the university to negotiate a settlement, such that OSU isn't on the hook for his entire salary and doesn't have to go through the inevitable lawsuit that firing him for cause would lead to.

08/01/2018 - 6:54pm Most accounts suggest it's…

Most accounts suggest it's because Smith is the grandson of Earle Bruce, who Meyer viewed as his mentor and almost as a second father. 

08/01/2018 - 6:51pm From the link. His standard…

From the link. His standard for firing the band director was that he "was aware or reasonably should have known about" the abuse and failed to act. That seems .... relevant.

08/01/2018 - 6:33pm FWIW, it was an associate…

FWIW, it was an associate vice president of the university, rather than Gene Smith or an AD employee that announced the leave, which suggests the investigation is not being run by the athletic department.

08/01/2018 - 6:30pm I'd guess they're going to…

I'd guess they're going to investigate if he (and his wife) met their mandatory reporting duties under Title IX and the university's broader policies on domestic abuse. If he's found to have not fulfilled them, they'll try to fire him for cause. If he did make a report of some sort (which seems doubtful, given his behavior to this point) they'll reinstate him. Big question is which department at OSU is leading the investigation. If it's all contained within the AD, he has a chance of surviving. If it's not, he's most likely cooked.

08/01/2018 - 12:09pm At universities they're…

At universities they're generally wider because the population that people are supervising are adults and because of Title IX. At most places they involve any revelations of sexual abuse and assault. Whether mandatory reporting of domestic violence is required varies, I believe, on a state by state basis.

08/01/2018 - 11:57am Further context is that Ohio…

Further context is that Ohio State's AD also harbored a doctor who engaged in long term sexual abuse of the wrestling team, a story that's gotten a fair amount of traction because it includes GOP Rep, Jim Jordan, who was a former wrestling coach accused of covering up the abuse, who also happens to be running for Speaker of the House. That this Meyer story comes out at the same time means that OSU's AD, and broader administration, is going to be facing questions from both sports media and the national political press about patterns of covering up abuse within the AD. Whether that leads to pressure for some kind of broad house cleaning is TBD, but it's a bad look for the institution.

07/20/2018 - 9:26am John Brooks getting hurt was…

John Brooks getting hurt was probably the biggest single reason that the US didn't qualify, as it exposed the extreme shallowness in the player pool at CB and led to lots of time for Gonzalez, who was clearly not up for it.

07/18/2018 - 12:09pm If Delta is still running…

If Delta is still running flights from OHare into the Marine Terminal at LGA, that's the way to go.  It's by far the best airport experience in NYC. It's a small terminal used only for commuter flights between NYC and Boston, Chicago, and DC, and has none of the enormous hassle of LGA's other terminals and none of Newark's occasional huge security lines (even with Pre-check).

06/14/2018 - 2:49pm Yeah, the 48 team WC is…

Yeah, the 48 team WC is going to have some ugly games. Saudi Arabia looked like a 3rd division team. Hard to play a possession game when you're incapable of possessing the ball.

06/13/2018 - 1:37pm A large number of employers…

A large number of employers want employees that have learned to think in particular ways (sorting and assembling diverse information to make original arguments) rather than being trained in discrete technical skills that are going to be specific to their industry. Most employers expect that recent college grads will need extensive training in the things specific to the particular job they are hiring them for.

05/25/2018 - 3:03pm It seems like MLS is

It seems like MLS is generally making a bet that smaller stadiums customized for soccer (both LA and Minnesota's new stadium have standing sections behind one goal, ie no seats, and the rest of the seats are close) where they control all revenues is both a better fan experience and business model than the kind of situation proposed at Ford Field. Atlanta's obviously the counterpoint, but it seems to have some particularities that don't apply (specifically, the relocation of MLB to the far northern suburbs).

FWIW, NYCFC almost never sells seats in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium and they rarely sell out the lower bowl. Given the issues they're having building their own facility, as well as Miami's, I doubt MLS ever green lights another expansion team that doesn't already have a stadium deal.

05/25/2018 - 2:36pm It has that rep, but it's

It has that rep, but it's based off WC qualifiers, not MLS attendance. They have the second  worst attendance in the league this year and were third from bottom last year. There are also modern stadium politics involved, where a new owner portrays a less 20 year old stadium as outdated in an attempt to extort local pols.

On Detroit's bid, the Ford Field proposal was never going to be accepted when there were competing proposals that were building their own facilities, nor should it have been. 

05/25/2018 - 2:35pm Yeah, a Detroit team should

Yeah, a Detroit team should be looking not to Atlanta, but to what LAFC did with their stadium, which seems awesome.

04/27/2018 - 2:24pm FWIW, here's what scouts told

FWIW, here's what scouts told former Packers beat reporter (and UM alum) Bob McGinn about Hurst, who he rated the #4 D lineman (after Vea, Payne, and Bryan).

4. MAURICE HURST, Michigan (6-1 ½, 291, 4.98, 1-2): Played extensive from 2014-’16 but didn’t become a starter until his senior season. “He’s more of the prototypical 3-technique than anybody in the draft,” one scout said. “Everybody wants that length at that inside position but I look at the Pro Bowl every year and everybody that gets voted to it is 6-1 or less. He’s a lot like Aaron Donald. Only thing where they’re not alike is Donald can just jolt your shoulders over your heels and rock you right back into the quarterback. I haven’t seen that quality in this guy. His plays were made on quickness.” Finished with 132 tackles (32 ½ for loss) and 12 ½ sacks. “He’s just got to fit your system,” a second scout said. “He has to continue playing hard. He’s a quick penetrator. He’ll get hammered if he plays two gaps.” Arms just 32, hands only 9 ½. Wonderlic of 26. “What you’ve got is a very small man,” a third scout said. “He’s not like Warren Sapp or Tommie Harris, any of those super 3-techniques. I just don’t see it. He’s a good rotational player.” Prevented from working out at the combine when doctors discovered an irregularity with his heart. Later was cleared by doctors and worked out fully at pro day. His father, Maurice, started at CB for the Patriots from 1989-’95. From Westwood, Mass.…

04/19/2018 - 5:58pm The TNT reporter told Lebron

The TNT reporter told Lebron about it off the air, and asked if he wanted to say anything. He said he wanted to. Completely respectful.

04/18/2018 - 10:23am Basic Economy

FWIW, I just flew on a basic economy ticket on Delta on Monday and Tuesday this week (purchased for me, I had no say). There was no constraint from using the overhead bin, aside from the potential that it would be full since you board in the newly created Zone 4. Anyone whose bag didn't fit was checked free of charge. Also, it was a regional jet with a 2-2 seat map, so there was no chance in ending up in the middle seat. If you're flying with someone, though, I imagine you'd face a near certainty of being separated on the plane.

03/30/2018 - 2:19pm That’s absolutely the best

That’s absolutely the best solution.

03/30/2018 - 2:05pm No doubt on the greater

No doubt on the greater exposure part. I watch a lot of basketball, both college and NBA, and can't imagine a situation where I'd watch a G-league game. Maybe I'd take my kids to one in a "we need to do something today" manner. And the greater importance of the college games themselves almost certainly allows players to make greater progress in the intangible parts of the game like playing under pressure, etc.

But I think the coaching in terms of the development of fundamentals is a wash, at best. Players play a lot more games in the G-league (about 50). They don't have limits on practice time. Coaches in the G-league aren't judged, largely on wins and losses, but on player development (those are the roles they mostly occupy when they move up to NBA benches). And I've seen enough Bill Self and Coach Cal players in the NBA who don't have a clue about how to play at that level, guys like Josh Jackson and the Morris twins who are amazing athletes but can't dribble and pass, who have no idea where to be on the floor, to think that the development of fundamentals in a lot of even high level college programs is any great shakes.

03/30/2018 - 1:54pm That's a really good

That's a really good question. Just from looking at the list, it seems that lots of the G-league coaches that move up go into "player development" roles on NBA benches. That suggests that the NBA teams that own G-league teams look particularly to coaches that specialize in player development, and particularly to develop players for the particular way basketball gets played in the NBA. 

There are lots of college coaches paid handsomely to coach players to be good at college basketball, some of whom (cough, Izzo, cough) emphasize the development of skills that aren't particularly important in the NBA. 

I think that college is still the preferable route for almost all players, particularly given the comically low pay of the G-league (and what happens to players that blow out a knee in the G-league). But I'm not convinced that they receive better coaching in college, particularly if the goal is to develop the particular skills valued in the NBA's version of basketball.

03/30/2018 - 1:42pm On the coaching, it really

On the coaching, it really depends which G-league team you end up on. There's a pretty solid pipeline of coaches from the G-league to NBA benches as assistants. This list has 12-14 guys who were coaching in the G-league last year who are now on NBA benches in various roles.

And if you get a good coach, you're getting coached in NBA-style offenses and defenses, which are substantially different than in many colleges, which, as we've seen in this tournament, are still playing a lot of 2 big systems that just don't get played much in the NBA. I'm assuming the G-league attempts to play the same way as the NBA, though I've never really watched a game. Boeheim's only an extreme example of the way that even super well-respected college coaches aren't really preparing players for the play to play elements of NBA basketball. How much did Coach K prepare Marvin Bagley for playing defense in the NBA? Not at all, I'd suggest.

The issue, beyond the money, which is so low to make the G-league route a virtual non-starter for almost everyone, is that you can't choose your coach. That's a huge advantage for college. I'm frankly surprised that more players haven't chosen Michigan in the past 5 years because Beilein's ball screen and spacing offense is so similar to the median NBA offense.

03/28/2018 - 3:29pm Unlimited substitution harms

Unlimited substitution harms the game in two distinct ways.

1. Unlimited substitution hurts college soccer players vis a vis players in other venues who don't play with it. This seems self-evident, but i'll spell out how it manifests itself. On of the common most criticism of US players is that they're tactically naive. College soccer players never learn how to maintain tactical shape while conserving energy (which isn't about standing around but about making choices about expending limited energy and still being in position to play). They also don't learn tactical adaptation, since coaches are more apt to substitute if a particular problem arises rather than teaching players to figure out what's going on and adapt on their own. 

2. It also hurts the game itself. College soccer is largely played (and those who go to games know this is true) using tactics that emphasize aggressive pressing and very direct play. On its face, this sounds exciting, but it's anything but. The hockey equivalent is dumping the puck and trying to win the puck in the corners. Certainly a part of the sport but not the most skillful or interesting. Hockey would be far less interesting if this was the primary strategy that teams used. But that's what unlimited subs do for college soccer. Studies have shown that NCAA soccer has worse passing stats than MLS (obviously, and one can only wonder what this would look like in comparison to a top 5 league) but, more importantly, the gap widens enormously in the second half. (see chart below) NCAA teams in the second half average 45 passes every 15 minutes, about one-third of what you'll see in a single build up at higher leagues. The passing stats goes down because unlimited substitution means that the most skillfull players (who stay on the field the longest) are playing with an energy deficit vs. the players who are frequently subsituted, therefore, there's much less space to play in, and teams are apt to just lump the ball forward into the mixer in the penalty box.


03/28/2018 - 1:31pm Add in that in response to

Add in that in response to the frequency of games, college soccer has instituted a rule (relatively unlimited substitutions) that negatively affects player development. It leads teams to play pressing styles that are unsustainable for players over a 90 minute game. Those strategies, in turn, lead most coaches to deemphasize possession for the type of long ball, Route 1 soccer that doesn't serve players at higher levels. 

Changing the sport to fall - spring would benefit all players, not just the future pros, because they'd be less prone to injury with a reduction of games to mostly one per week. The most shocking stat in that article is that studies have shown athletes playing 2-3 per week are six times more likely to be injured.

03/28/2018 - 1:07pm That article makes a very

That article makes a very good case that the NCAA can facilitate that process by changing the schedule so that soccer doesn't shoehorn 25 games into the fall, which seems to have really negative consequences on players' health and development. (It should also change the stupid substitution rules so that college soccer has the same rules as every other high level competition).