• All About Bob: Bob Toledo's likely farewell tour at Tulane is a bizarro exercise in a lot of ways, as described today by lengthy profile on the ex-UCLA coach's "bungee jump career drop" in the L.A. Times. For example:
• Hurricanes: Tulane, like every coastal institution, is still in widely recognized post-Katrina flux. But Toledo might have never lost his way at UCLA if not for another hurricane in 1998, Hurricane Georges, which postponed the Bruins' September visit to Miami for two and a half months, just long enough for Butch Davis' young, probation-addled 'Canes to find their Edgerrin James-fuelled mojo and knock Toledo's undefeated squad from the mythical championship game. Instead of L.A. making the step up it never took under Terry Donahue, the win catapulted Miami's resurgence and Davis' jump to the NFL. Instead of a shot at a championship, a "chasm" opens between the kick ass offense and generous defense (players in the locker room were "throwing chairs and kicking over garbage cans"), UCLA loses the Rose Bowl to Wisconsin, remains just another pretty good program and gets swallowed up by USC on Pete Carroll's arrival in 2001. Since, Toledo, 49-32 in seven years, has to listen to the athletic director who fired him describe 29-21 Karl Dorrell in terms like...
"He rebuilt the foundation that I felt needed to be fixed in a lot of ways."
"He came in and healed the program."
Before there was Pete, there was Georges.
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• 1998: The height of Toledo's career in L.A., obviously, but also in Tulane history. The Wave incredibly finished that year 12-0, with the only conference championship it has won or figures to win in many, many years given its disposition since.
• Quarterbacks: Specifically, J.P. Losman, originally a commit to Toledo's program in 1999 before transferring to Tulane, where he became a vastly overrated first round pick. The Times draws the line from losing Losman - whose commitment led the Bruins to back off another eventual vastly overrated first rounder, Kyle Boller, and into the frustrating cycle of Cory Paus, Ryan McCann and Scott McEwan - to eventual ruin.
• Quickly: Nine months before Signing Day, a Georgia commit changes his mind. So how about instituting an early signing period? ... What else could Texas possibly require from Kevin Durant? One more week of studying to boost its APR rating ... Alabama had zero fourth quarter comebacks in four years under Mike Shula. So meet the Tide's "hyped" new strength and conditioning coach ... Percy Harvin and Andre Caldwell are among four Florida football players hitting this weekend's SEC Outdoor Track-and-Field championships ... Rick Clausen's off to sell insurance, so Tennessee welcomes Jim Bob Cooter, graduate assistant ... Catching up with Mike Kudla ... The draft, revisted from a ocllege perspective ... $40,000-$50,000 gets you into one of Byrd Stadium's new luxury suites. But what about a beer? ... And Michael Griffin was not all that comfortable with his first Tennessee Titans jersey.
The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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Heard, an appeal to re-open the case of two women who claim they were gang raped at an off-campus Colorado recruiting party in 2001. Blaine Kerr, attorney for presumptively non-cartoonish accuser Lisa Simpson, was in front of the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal Monday, more than a year after a judge ruled the women didn't have enough evidence to proceed with charges, just as he had improperly done in 2005. That dismissal, with at least half a dozen other accusations that have failed to produce a single criminal charge for sexual assault, has been used as evidence by some of a "scandal that really wasn't," which ignores not only the long list of various sketchy behavior at Colorado throughout Gary Barnett's tenure, but the numerous, persistent allegations of sexual abuse specifically, and of official negligence therein:
"It shows the consequences of rape in this environment - nothing," attorney Baine Kerr said.
Kerr also listed the 1997 alleged sexual assault of a 17-year-old high school student by two recruits, which he said was discussed by high level school officials; the alleged repeated sexual harassment of former kicker Katie Hnida and of student trainers.
In their appeal, lawyers for the women argued that officials knew of sexual assaults and harassment four years before the 2001 party, and that the school concealed several prior assaults from them.
The recruiting scandal dominated headlines in Colorado in 2004 and beyond for months. Former Gov. Bill Owens at one point appointed the attorney general to lead a grand jury investigation, which resulted in an indictment against a former football recruiting aide for soliciting a prostitute and misusing a school cell phone.
A separate probe, backed by the CU Board of Regents, concluded that drugs, alcohol and sex were used to entice blue chip recruits to the Boulder campus, but said none of the activity was knowingly sanctioned by university officials.
No convictions, no foul, right?
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Resuming, this morning, hearings against ex-Illinois players Jody Ellis and Derrick McPhearson, accused of burglary when police found stolen wallets, cell phones, laptop computers and "other electronic devices" in Ellis' car in March. The "appropriate" sentence to accompany a guilty plea, according to his lawyer: four months in boot camp. Beats four years he could get with a burglary conviction.