• American Football Coaches Refuse To Tolerate Zero Tolerance: Debate! As in all aspects of life, debate and "moderation" are what we need before the NCAA approves its ban on text messaging from coaches later this week, according to AFCA head Grant Teaff.
After the management council's approval last week, outgoing chairwoman Kate Hickey said she expected the measure to pass unless there was an outcry from coaches.
Count Teaff among that group along with many of the coaches he represents.
"It's the most effective way to immediately communicate with prospects and their families without being intrusive," Texas coach Mack Brown said last week. "With the limitations on phone calls and in-person visits, a personal text is an efficient and convenient way to answer questions, have a quick discussion or just stay in touch."
Brown then neatly folded a check from Alltel into his jacket pocket and announced that annoying spiky-haired guy Chad would be joining the Longhorns on scholarship. Annoying spiky-haired blonde guys are en vogue, he hears. And also, anybody got a free couch? Big mistakes in choosing the "circle," man. You don't even want to know...What? Well, of course you were in it...
Do not let that running back escape! Seize him! Seize all of them!
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• Gators Invade L.A.! USC and Florida grabbed the consensus top recruiting classes over the winter and at the moments look like they're stocking up for a kind of intercoastal arms race that will no doubt decide the next dozen mythical championships. So the L.A. Daily News Scott Wolfe took notice Monday that Urban Meyer poached long-time L.A. area high school coach Troy Starr - whose program has turned out three recent Trojans, including possible first round pick Steve Smith - to guide "overall coordination of recruiting" as the Gators' director of football operations. I love that title, since clearly Meyer is Florida's director of football operations, but his message couldn't be more clear: we're coming for your talented children, Southern California.
• Cleveland Commits - Again: Ben Cleveland had a nice freshman season for Arkansas, but he could have easily bailed with the rest of the Razorbacks' short-lived Springdale contingent and nobody would have blamed him much amid the consistent and growing Ozarkan insanity. Instead, he stuck it out and might find a niche in the H-back/tight end role new offensive coordinator David Lee used with Jason Witten in Dallas.
In the same Commercial Appeal roundup: Seth Adams may have the edge on Brett Schaefer for Ole Miss' starting job, and Gary Crowton has to invent ways to get the ball to mini-back Trindon Holliday, who averaged 17 yards on his 20 total touches as a true freshman. Actually, he just wants to keep Holliday from transferring out of a crowded backfield to Air Force, which is what he does every time I sim a dynasty on NCAA Football.
• Peterson Stock Dropping?: Adrian Peterson chiseled college dominance has him in the "sure thing" category heading into Saturday's draft, but the Daily Oklahoman's John Rohde points out history is not on Peterson's side, if other awesome Sooner running backs cum NFL busts are any judge. Barry Switzer has his doubts, too:
Thanks, dude. Have fun in the NFL! No, really...go.
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Peterson missed seven games last year, and the Sooners won them all - OU was 4-3 with Peterson, and 0-3 against winning teams, as opposed to 5-0 against winning teams when he didn't play. Oklahoma was 3-1 in games Peterson had eight carries or fewer as a sophomore in 2005 (he had 20+ in every other game, when the Sooners were 5-3). So Oklahoma, frankly, did not miss Adrian Peterson and was arguably better without him. Not a ringing endorsement.
The Oklahoman also covers "a lot of flawed guys" hoping to go on Sunday from Oklahoma State.
• Where Have We Heard This Before? Last week, I mocked Washington's newfound 1960 "national championship" with the caption, "Husky Football: Now with twice the tradition!" John McGrath's better compensated take in the Tacoma News Tribune?
Sharp and insightful, that McGrath. I don't mean that sarcastically, just because he agrees with me. Anyway, not that he needs it, but a tip: Next time, challenge the systems that allows "champions" to be crowned by the fundamental arithmetic of defunct voting organizations. Always bring it back to the system.
• Wagerin' Cats! I was shocked, shocked!, to learn that gambling was going on at Kentucky's Blue and White Game, where Andre Woodson lost a $10 bet by throwing two interceptions to cornerback Trevard Lindley. Actually, Woodson is lucky he only made the bet with Lindley and not the entire Wildcat secondary: he threw four picks on the afternoon.
• Alabama and Saban, Sittin' In a Tree: Before a real, live snap in real, live game, this is getting a little creepy. Mike Shula will be proud to read not only that D.J. Hall "loves [Saban] to death," but also feels, as a player, it's good to have "somebody who knows what they're doing."
• Clemson Craves Korn: Everywhere he goes on the offseason booster junket, people are asking Tommy Bowden: "When is Willie Korn going to start?" When the incoming freshman makes up three years on Cullen Harper, apparently. Judging from Harper's status on the bench for the entirety of Will Proctor's off-again, off-again performance through the Tigers' 1-4 finish last season, that might say more about Korn's inability to absorb the offense in a single semester than it does Harper's grizzled tenure in the program. Clemson opens against Florida State on national TV on Labor Day, too, one of the worst possible settings for a true freshman quarterback.
• Quickly: Expectations of improvement in Washington may be getting slightly ahead of themselves...Meet upbeat Sammie Straughter, Oregon State football's answer to Ernie Banks...Ohio State's pendulum of internal strength swung from offense, to defense, back to offense, and now, it seems, back to defense again...The Jackson Clarion-Ledger's Rick Cleveland wants the Saints to trade up for Patrick Willis. But Reggie Nelson, Rick!...The Saints interviewed Paul Posluszny this weekend, but the Penn State star would really like to play for the Steelers...The SEC has developed into a year-round force of nature...An Indiana Spring roundup, but no news on the condition or pending return of Terry Hoeppner
The Rap Sheet
Crimes, misdemeanors and eligibility-crippling issues legal, academic, institutional and otherwise.
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All in the "alleged" category, since neither the athletic department nor Gainesville police have confirmed the involvement of any athlete, but Florida's student Alligator reports wild, wild keg-based brawling at a UF party, allegedly involving as many as five unidentified Gator players:
The other four players on the scene restrained the attacker, who then broke away and assaulted the student again, slamming him into his truck, according to the report.
After the second attack, the players forced the attacker into a red Ford Taurus and began to leave the scene, the report states.
While the car was still moving, the attacker again tried to run at the victim, but was stopped by his teammates, who likely prevented a third attack, according to the report.
Several more players were at the party, but were not involved in the incident, the report states.
Police should be on the hunt for the players, who are not named in the complaint. Actually, since the other four participated in a seemingly positive fashion to get the crazed, huge attacker away from the scene, only he may face charges. That is a dangerous dude, cutting necks and throwing people around into cars. For a keg? Something else is at play here, something...personal.
Gators on last year's roster listed in the vicinity of 6-4, 280 pounds, all defensive lineman:
• Branden Daniel (6-3, 290)
• Steven Harris (6-4, 285)
• Derrick Harvey (6-4, 260)
• Ray McDonald (6-3, 280)
• Marcus Thomas (6-3, 290)
Thomas, of course, was already booted from the team midseason. Harris and McDonald are also done, eligibility-wise. Curiously detailed description, that 6-4, 280 bit – wonder if the accuser knew the player and went back to look it up?
Accused, of "conduct unbecoming of a UConn football player," receiver Brandon McLean, who was suspended by Randy Edsall for the first three games ths fall. The Hartford Courant has specifics, of sorts:
UConn police charged McLean, 21, with one count each of threatening, criminal trespass and breach of peace after Wednesday's incident. He faces a second breach of peace charge for the Saturday incident.
According to an arrest report, officers responded Wednesday to a domestic dispute at Hilltop Suites. After a brief investigation, officers learned McLean was asked to leave a dorm room and refused. The report also said McLean threatened a guest of the resident and was engaged in "loud and tumultuous" behavior.
McLean was released after posting a $1,500 bond.
UConn football...threatening? Loud and tumultuous? Preposterous. McLean, a sometimes starter, will miss the first three games next season and is barred from all team activities through at least next month pending "further information gathering."