College Weekly Report
by Brent Beaird
2008-09 Directors' Cup Standings
(Rank - School - Total)
- Stanford 1,455.00
- North Carolina 1,184.25
- FLORIDA 1,172.75
- Southern California 1,137.75
- Michigan 1,131.80
- Texas 1,105.50
- California 1,072.00
- Virginia 1,059.00
- LSU 1,029.00
- Ohio State 1,015.80
Now that we know what players are scheduled to be at the SEC media days, it's time to take a look at who won't be there ... and probably should. It's glaring that two of the best players in the league (and the top two receivers) won't be coming. Alabama's Julio Jones and Georgia's A.J. Green are both sophomores, though, and will get their shot next year.
No Anthony Dixon at Mississippi State? What about Charles Scott at LSU or even Terrence Cody at Alabama?
South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia would have also been a nice addition to the list, especially with the Gamecocks' season hinging on how much improvement he makes from his freshman to sophomore season. But, then, he is just a sophomore. - (ESPN.com)
MISSISSIPPI STATE: As of Friday afternoon, Mississippi State had sold 25,216 football season tickets, associate athletic director Mike Nemeth said. It expects to sell 10,000 student tickets, too, in August. The combined number of 35,216 is close to what State sold in all of 2008.
MSU has self-reported a secondary NCAA violation by Coach Dan Mullen involving text messages sent to Cameron Newton, a quarterback at Blinn College in Texas, and Newton's father. Because of the violation, MSU did not actively recruit Newton for two weeks in March. The SEC office and the NCAA accepted MSU's account of the event and its action and imposed no further penalty beyond the two weeks of no contact.
ALABAMA: Senior center Evan Cardwell will take a medical scholarship this season. Cardwell has dealt with a recurring back injury during much of his collegiate career, though it's not clear if he will go on medical scholarship. He has already obtained his undergraduate degree from UA and is currently enrolled in graduate school with a sports management specialty. A product of Brooks High School in Killen, Ala., Cardwell played in 26 career games for Alabama. That included seven starts at center when injuries and suspensions hit the offensive line during the latter half of the 2007 season. Linebacker Charlie Kirschman, who is from Nease High in Ponte Vedra, Fla., will also not return according to BOL.com. Prince Hall transferred to Central Washington. Sophomore linebacker Jennings Hester is taking a medical scholarship for "chronic hamstring problems," according to his high school coach.
Receiver signee Michael Bowman has academically qualified and been approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse in time to enroll for second summer session classes at UA. Bowman will reportedly join Gadsden cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick as a late summer enrollee. Kirkpatrick, like Bowman, was held up by late academic hurdles. That leaves Louisiana signees Eddie Lacy (running back) and Darrington Sentimore (defensive lineman) as the Crimson Tide's known remaining academic question marks. Clay-Chalkville (Ala.) lineman Quinton Dial has already said he will attend junior college in the fall
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart told a booster group in Rome, Ga. that in the two minute drill quarterback Greg McElroy scored every time against the defense. He also said receiver Julio Jones is one of the toughest, most competitive wide receivers he has ever been around. Smart also said there is more depth on defense than last year because of freshmen signed two years ago. Smart also mentioned a possible scheduling note with ESPN scheduling a game in three years to play a Big 12 team in the new Cowboys stadium (bamamag.com)
Jarrick Williams (6-2, 205), a Rivals100 safety from Blount, Ala., from told BamaOnline.com that he phoned Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban with his commitment. Williams is a big addition for the Crimson Tide. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety is rated the state's No. 2 overall prospect and No. 4 safety overall by Rivals.com. Williams represents Alabama's 16th commitment to its expected 2010 signing class and the fourth defensive back. Millbrook's Demarcus Milliner, another defensive back, and the state's top prospect in most circles committed earlier.
Former Tide great Ozzie Newsome was in town recently for his golf tournament. When the conversation turned to Newsome's interest in one day becoming the Alabama athletic director, the three-time Pro Bowler said he doesn't know what his future holds. Newsome said he probably gets asked that question once a day. He said at some point he's coming back home. (Tuscaloosa News)
Alabama finished in the top 30 for the third time in the last five years in the Director's Cup, but fell five spots from last year's No. 25 overall ranking. The standings measure athletic department performance sport by sport, with a point system rewarding success in postseason play (and high rankings in the final USA Today poll in football). The system measures the top 10 men's and women's sports for each school to determine the final standings. The Directors' Cup awards in all divisions are presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Alabama moved up in the spring after being in 41st place at the conclusion of winter sports seasons. Alabama's spring sports surge included a third-place national finish in softball, an 11th-place finish in women's golf, a 15th-place finish in men's golf and a 17th-place finish by the men's tennis team. Alabama's highest finish for the academic year was second place in gymnastics. Football finished sixth and men's cross country was 10th..
Alabama ranked seventh among the 12 Southeastern Conference schools. Florida was third overall, with Stanford No. 1 and North Carolina ranked second. LSU was ninth, with Georgia 18th, Tennessee 23rd, Arkansas 25th and Auburn 26th. Kentucky finished 34th, followed by South Carolina at 39th, Ole Miss at No. 60, Vanderbilt at No. 67 and Mississippi State (Tuscaloosa News)
DIRECTORS' CUP RANKING
Here is Alabama's final ranking in the Sports Directors' Cup standings for each of the last 10 years:
GEORGIA: There was a report from the Michigan student newspaper that noted a rumored match-up with Georgia next season. In Bill King's Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog there are a couple of major reasons why a UGA-UM game next year to open the renovated Big House -- and another game the following year in Athens -- is seemingly a pipe dream. One, Georgia already has a season opener scheduled against Louisiana-Lafayette. Two, Georgia is looking for an additional home game as they currently set at five in '10. And, three, with a road game against Colorado and an always-rigorous conference slate already sitting on the '10 table, it's highly unlikely the school would want to add another road game against a BCS foe in the same season.
- 2008-9- 30th
- 2007-8- 25th
- 2006-07- 43rd
- 2005-06 -21st
- 2004-05 -38th
- 2003-04 -41st
- 2003-03 -29th
- 2001-02 -23rd
- 2000-01- 46th
- 1999-2000- 28th
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo told a booster group in Rome, Ga., that quarterback Joe Cox has earned the respect of his teammates and freshmen receivers Marlon Brown and Marlon Brown could have a chance to play early.
Receiver Tavarres King was on his way to being a big part of the rotation until he severely sprained his ankle, forcing the redshirt year. In the long run, he said it was probably for the best. The 6-foot-1 King only weighed 176 pounds as a freshman, but has bulked up to 184 without losing any of his speed. King said he gained virtually all extra pounds since the end of spring drills. With so much focus on Green, King said it's going to be up to the other receivers like himself to take up for some of the slack.
Alec Ogletree became the 11th commitment to the Georgia football team last Saturday, DawgPost.com reported. The safety from Newnan High (Ga.) School showed interest in Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Miami, but decided to stay close to home. Ogletree had 62 tackles and two interceptions in his senior season. He is listed as the 29th overall prospect by Rivals.com. Southwest (Ga.)
Dekalb running back Kendrun Malcome made the trip up to Athens to give the staff the good news of his committment. Malcome chose Georgia over Florida, Oklahoma, Clemson and West Virginia. He also had offers from schools like Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State, and Miami. Malcome had recently listed Oklahoma and later Florida as the schools he favored the most. He said in his final analysis the offensive scheme looked better in Athens. His top two were Florida and Georgia. (UGASports.com)
OLE MISS: The school has sold close to 35,000 season tickets as of Friday. It expects to sell an allotment of 7,500 student tickets in August. The Oct. 10 game against Alabama is nearing a sellout and is now only being sold through the school's season ticket package. A Sports Illustrated writer and photographer will be in Oxford Monday to visit with football coach Houston Nutt and several key players. The reporter is prepping an article for the magazine's annual college football preview. (Clarion Ledger)
SOUTH CAROLINA: Highly touted prospect Alshon Jeffery is poised to meet the qualifying requirements. According to a source close to Jeffery, the Calhoun (S.C.) County receiver had an improved SAT score and needs to maintain his current 'A' this week in an online course. Combined, the test score and online course are enough to meet eligibility requirements, the source said. Barring any unexpected hitches, Jeffery would enroll at USC this weekend. Jeffery was one of the gems of the Gamecocks' 29-player signing class - a 6-foot-3, 217-pounder who caught 35 passes for 740 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. He initially committed to Southern Cal - and donned a Trojans blanket during a Signing Day press conference before pulling out a Gamecocks cap. (The State)
Pleased with the path on which Eric Hyman has put South Carolina's athletic department, the university's board approved Friday a five-year extension for the director that will run through July 1, 2015. Since arriving in 2005, Hyman has set out to balance the financial books for the department. And he's brought about a vast facilities plan and vision, designed to make USC more attractive to prospective student-athletes.
The most recent addition in Hyman's so-called "master plan" is the $30-plus-million baseball stadium, heralded nationally as one of the country's finest college parks. The next project set for completion is the "Dodie," the school's state-of-the-art academic support center for athletes. That structure, near the location of the old baseball stadium, is to be the center of life for what Hyman has called an "athletics horseshoe" that will tie that part of the campus together.
Football coach Steve Spurrier's contract also saw a change, but not in the form of an extension. Spurrier's deal was amended to include an academic provision. It's an incentive clause, based on the NCAA's APR standards. The higher the team's academic performance determines the amount of the bonus for Spurrier. In the most APR results, released in May, the football team notched a 929. The APR is established through a formula that is primarily centered on graduation rates. Anything below 920 is considered substandard and might be grounds for the elimination of scholarships.
KENTUCKY: Tight end Ryan Wallace, who left the University of Colorado following the spring semester, will transfer to Kentucky, according to the Bowling Green Daily News. Wallace, a three-star recruit out of high school who played for his father, Kevin at Bowling Green, redshirted as a true freshman at Colorado. Wallace's father told the newspaper that his son will walk on at UK in 2009 and then go on scholarship the following year. He will have three years of eligibility remaining. (Lexington Herald)
ARKANSAS: Linebacker Kirhy Battle was arrested early Sunday and charged with a DUI. This is his second arrest since May (first was failing to appear in court) Coach Bob Petrino announced Monday that Battle has been dismissed from the team for violating team rules, ending the sophomore's short and unproductive stint with the Razorbacks. Battle, 20, faces charges of driving under the influence and violation of the city's noise ordinance.
FLORIDA: The transition is complete. Florida's 2009 football recruiting class is now the 2009 true freshman class. This happened on Monday, when all 16 members of the freshman class were officially enrolled for the Summer B semester. Although all the freshmen are in school, it does not signal that all have qualified yet academically. Some may still have to go through that process with the NCAA's academic clearing house. UF coach Urban Meyer said back in May that there could be an issue with one two of the signees, but he also stated there's a good chance all will be academically qualified.
Six members of the class were early enrollees who participated in spring drills - offensive lineman Nick Alajajian, linebacker Jon Bostic, safety Dee Finley, offensive lineman Jonotthan Harrison, defensive tackle Edwin Herbert and tight end Desmond Parks. The 10 newcomers, including All-America defensive tackle Gary Brown, have now joined their freshmen teammates at UF. Brown did not show up for orientation last week because he had to complete an online course, which he has since done.
AUBURN: The dismissal of three defensive players has led to a secondary shakeup at Auburn.
For Harry Adams, that meant a return move from receiver to cornerback. Adams admitted that he preferred offense to defense. Once Aairon Savage sustained an Achilles injury that will likely keep him sidelined all season. The move became more imminent once safety Christian Thompson was kicked off the team last week. As a result, cornerback T'Sharvan Bell moved to safety. Auburn desperately needed Adams back at cornerback. Adams spent the entire 2008 season at corner before moving to receiver during the middle of spring practice. Auburn could get two more cornerbacks - JUCO transfers Demond Washington and Taikwon Paige - within the next few weeks. They would also add immediate depth to the position. (Anniston Star)
FLORIDA STATE: Receiver Taiwan Easterling caught Strength & Conditioning Coach Todd Stroud's attention, as well as his FSU teammates this week. The red-shirt sophomore wide receiver ruptured his Achilles during offseason conditioning and underwent surgery to repair it Feb. 24. Slightly more than four months later, he was going through the rigorous paces of an afternoon workout on FSU's turf field.
USF has obtained an additional 1,000 tickets for its game at Florida State on Sept. 26. That brings the total number of tickets allocated to the visitors to 8,500. USF, by the way, is marketing its game in Tallahassee as a "stampede to Tallahassee."
North Alabama Coach Terry Bowden has added his brother and former FSU offensive coordinator Jeff Bowden to his staff as a volunteer coach. (He is being paid more than $107,500 annually by Seminole Boosters as part of an agreement made during the 2006 season to step down).. Former Seminoles Preston Parker and Will Furlong have joined the Bowden at UNA.
With the loss of Willie Downs and C.J. Mizell to academics, I doubt any media outlet would now rank FSU as high as they did on National Signing Day. What does matter for FSU is that it will be without two players who could have helped right away. That their FSU careers are on hold isn't really a surprise. (Tallahassee Democrat)
N.C. STATE: Linebacker Nate Irving was scheduled for surgery Sunday evening after suffering non-life-threatening injuries in a car crash early Sunday morning. Irving has a broken leg and collapsed lung and was taken to Wake Med Trauma Center according to a statement released by the school. He was cited with careless and reckless driving, according to a state highway patrol report, after a one-vehicle crash at 4:40 a.m. near the 314-mile marker on Interstate 40.. There is no indication in the police report that alcohol was involved, but the report indicates that being tired or sleepy may have contributed to the crash.
MIAMI: Newark (Del.) High School OL Malcolm Bunche told CaneSport.com last month that he was looking forward to the challenge of trying to get early playing time as a freshman at Miami. But now it is uncertain when Bunche will see the field as a Cane. The NCAA Clearinghouse has held up his admission to UM - freshmen are due to report to Miami June 30 for the second summer session. At issue: Bunche's core GPA, when combined with his ACT score, falls short of what he needs to qualify. Bunche is now making alternate plans to attend prep school in the event he isn't cleared by the first day of regular classes. Working against Bunche's chances of qualifying by August: He only recently learned of the problem and there are no ACT or SAT test dates remaining. If Bunche does wind up attending prep school, he should have no problem returning to UM for January enrollment.. Prince Kent is also unlikely to report June 30 and could be headed to prep school.
Washington (D.C.) Dunbar linebacker Javarie Johnson has made it official and become a Hurricane. At 6-foot-4 and 208 pounds, he says speculation he could play defensive end down the road is just that. The Rivals250 prospect chose UM over 16 other scholarship offers. In the end he chose Miami over Michigan, Maryland and Michigan State. Florida was another top program that dangled an offer. He had 90 tackles and 10 sacks as a junior. Miami first offered the four-star prospect at their summer camp.
A day after the University of Miami said it expected safety Joe Wylie to remain with the program, Wylie has decided to transfer to Tennessee State. Wylie, from Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson, played only one game during his freshman season and wanted to go to a school where he would get more playing time. UM defensive coordinator John Lovett said in the spring he was concerned about depth at safety behind projected starters Vaughn Telemaque and Randy Phillips. Chavez Grant, who played cornerback last season, might be used at safety. Jared Campbell and JoJo Nicholas also are in contention for playing time at safety, and ballyhooed freshmen Ray Ray Armstrong and Jamal Reid are expected to compete for immediate playing time at the position.
NEW BIG EAST COMMISH: John Marinatto has served as Big East senior associate commissioner since 2002 and has been friends with former Commissioner Mike Tranghese for 35 years. He was instrumental in helping to save the league from near-ruin after Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech decided to leave for the ACC in the summer of 2003. The Big East added Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida and stabilized itself.
The Big East also faces questions about the strength of its football teams, and the fact it gets one of the six automatic BCS spots. None of its teams is projected to be in the top 20 at the start of this college football season. The league also has challenges with its member institutions: it has 16 teams playing basketball, and only eight playing football. There has been tension on both sides, because the football-only teams would love to add another member. (Orlando Sentinel)
PAUL MCGUIRE DEMOTED: One of TV football's longest-running fixtures won't be regularly popping up on games this fall. Although not formally announced, ESPN's Mike Soltys confirmed Sunday that college football analyst Paul Maguire, 70, will have a "reduced role" this season. Rather than having a full slate of games, says Soltys, Maguire will work only "the occasional game and do some studio shows and radio." Other changes on ESPN's college football will include adding Matt Millen as a game analyst.
WASHINGTON - The Senate plans to hold a hearing next Tuesday looking into antitrust issues surrounding the Bowl Championship Series. It's the second time this year that Congress is shining a light on the polarizing system college football uses to crown its national champion.
Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the subcommittee's top Republican and the lawmaker, in an essay for Sports Illustrated being released Wednesday, wrote that the Sherman Antitrust Act prohibits contracts, combinations or conspiracies designed to reduce competition.
"I don't think a more accurate description of what the BCS does exists," Hatch wrote. He noted that six conferences get automatic bids to participate in series, while others do not. The system, he argued, "intentionally and explicitly favors certain participants."
Citing the money generated by the BCS, Hatch wrote, "If the government were to ignore a similar business arrangement of this magnitude in any other industry, it would be condemned for shirking its responsibility."
When asked about Hatch's comments, BCS coordinator John Swofford said the BCS' lawyers have "worked diligently to ensure that the BCS is in compliance with the law.."
Football fans in Hatch's state were furious that Utah was bypassed for the national championship despite going undefeated in the regular season. Hatch noted that President Barack Obama and others have called for the BCS to be replaced with a playoff system.
Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has introduced legislation that would prevent the NCAA from calling a game a national championship unless it's the outcome of a playoff. At a May hearing, Barton warned that the legislation would move forward "if we don't see some action in the next two months" from BCS on switching to a playoff system. (Gazette.com)
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that USC quarterback Mitch Mustain has been cleared to play football in the upcoming season. Last week, Pete Carroll confirmed rumors that Mustain was dealing with academic issues that put his athletic eligibility in doubt.
TENNESSEE: Men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl has signed a new six-year contract today, finalizing a deal that he agreed to in principle in April. A source close to the situation said Pearl's salary for the upcoming season will be around $1.9 million. The new deal will contain retention bonuses and the buyout money will increase. Pearl was due to make $1.7 million for the 2009-10 season and was due a retention bonus of $500,000. He is expected to maintain that retention bonus at the end of this season. His previous contract also contained a $100,000 escalator clause, meaning he would have made $1.8 million in 2010-11.
Both Pearl and athletic director Hamilton have indicated they are comfortable with Pearl being the third-highest-paid coach in the SEC. Kentucky coach John Calipari has a deal worth $3.7 million while Florida's Billy Donovan makes $3.5 million.
SEC teams will return 44 of their 60 starters, including six who withdrew from the NBA draft. League teams signed eight of the nation's top 30 recruits, according to Rivals.com. The SEC didn't have any first-round picks in last week's NBA draft for only the third time since 1975, but Draftexpress.com, in a mock 2010 draft, projects five SEC players to go in the first round: Kentucky's John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson, Vanderbilt's A.J. Ogilvy and Mississippi's Terrico White. Wall is projected as the No. 1 pick. (The State)
BRENT BEAIRD IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR MYCLAYSUN IN ORANGE PARK, FLA. HE ALSO WRITES FOR RIVALS.COM, SAMSPORTSLINE.COM AND GATOR BAIT MAGAZINE. HE CAN BE HEARD ON SPORTS RADIO 1010 XL.
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