SEC, ACC are deepest. But who has best conference?

We just completed our next-to-last weekend before the season starts. So what did we learn?

1.  SEC, ACC are the deepest conferences: We can argue all day about who has the best conference in college football. Is it the SEC with six teams in the Top 25 and two in the Top 10? Or is it the Big 12 with three teams in the Top 10 but with nobody else ranked? There is no winner in that argument.

What I like to do is use the polls (in this case the AP poll) to break down the conferences by depth. How many teams were ranked plus how many teams actually got votes?

SEC (8): Six ranked (Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn, Georgia). Two more got votes (South Carolina, Ole Miss.)

ACC (7): Five ranked (Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech, UNC, FSU). Two more got votes (Clemson, BC).

Big 12 (7): Three ranked (Texas, OU, Nebraska). Four more got votes (Missouri, Texas Tech, Texas A&M), Oklahoma State).

Pac-10 (6): Three ranked (Oregon, USC, Oregon State). Three more got votes (Stanford, Arizona, Washington).

Big Ten (4): Four ranked (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State). No others got votes.

Big East (4): Two ranked (Pittsburgh, West Virginia). Two others go votes (Cincinnati, Connecticut).

2. Tennessee really had no choice on UNC game: Tennessee athletics director Mike Hamilton is getting hammered by his fans for trying to buy out a two-game series with North Carolina in 2011 and 2012 and replacing the Tar Heels with Buffalo. It’s easy to understand why the fans are mad. Such a decision makes it look like the Vols are ducking North Carolina (which they are) and it gives opponents, like Steve Spurrier, a free shot (which he gleefully took).

But when your program is down–and Tennessee’s is way down thanks to 14 months under the Boy Wonder–you have to make some tough, unpopular decisions. You can pretend that nothing is wrong and still keep the same schedule. Or you can swallow your pride and modify the non-conference schedule in the short term to give Derek Dooley a chance to rebuild the program.

And let’s face it. Hamilton is fighting for his professional life as well. He needs for Dooley to have some success sooner rather than later. It was a tough decision but the right decision. And the right decisions are not always popular.

3. The WAC is in trouble as a Division I football conference: I spoke to WAC Commissioner Karl Benson on Thursday. He is not having a good summer. Back in June Boise State, the flagship football program of the WAC, announced it was headed to the Mountain West Conference in 2011. On Thursday the Mountain West took two more of Benson’s schools, Fresno State and Nevada. And this was right after he met with the presidents of the league, who all agreed to the idea that each school must pay $5 million penalty to leave the conference. Then the MWC picked up the phone when BYU threatened to leave. Nevada and Fresno will pay the $5 million. They want to go in 2011. Benson will fight to keep them until 2012.

Bottom line: The WAC had better hope that Boise State has another magical run this season. Because its long-term future as a football conference at this level does not look good.

Just asking: If you’re WAC member Louisiana Tech, shouldn’t you be on the phone begging to get into Conference USA or the Sun Belt?

4. I hope Scott Stricklin has an extra $130,000 in the bank: Stricklin is Mississippi State’s new athletics director and back in the spring helped forge a compromise that will allow Bulldog fans to bring their beloved cowbells to home games in Starkville. But there is one stipulation: Fans cannot ring the bells at inappropriate times like, for example, when the visiting team is trying to run a play. Strickland and his staff have launched an education program hoping to get their fans to buy in and follow the rules of when to ring–and more importantly–when not to ring.

If they don’t, the conference rules that apply to artificial or electronically generated sound kick in: The first violation is a $5,000 fine. The second is $25,000. Every violation after that costs a cool $50,000.

Four SEC home games in Starkville. You do the math. Stricklin will probably have to write a check or have $130,000 deducted from Mississippi State’s revenue check next spring. Fans can’t help it. That is why they are fans. And that’s why we love them.

5. The NCAA Clearinghouse is broken: I understand that the NCAA Academic Clearinghouse is understaffed and overworked. I also understand that these situations are always more complicated than they appear. But there is something fundamentally wrong about a freshman who has gone through training camp being told in mid-to-late August that he is not academically eligible to play. Such was the case late last week when Alfy Hill, an Alabama signee from Shallotte, N.C., was suddenly declared ineligible.  The Clearinghouse ruled that a couple of online courses Hill took would not be counted towards his eligibility. So suddenly the kid is ripped out of Tuscaloosa and will apparently enroll at East Carolina instead. He’ll have to sit out this year and cannot be on scholarship.

Maybe these online courses raised a red flag. Maybe they should raise a red flag. Maybe this is part of  what seems to be a larger NCAA crackdown on just about everything from agents to living quarters. Whatever. Either the kid is eligible or he’s not. But he shouldn’t find out this late in the game.

Is it any wonder that kids take stuff from agents and others? They know the system is stacked against them. If the school signs too many players, they can get their scholarship yanked two weeks before class begins. Sorry kid. It’s a numbers game.

And what if the Clearinghouse drags its feet or is too understaffed to process the cases in a timely fashion? That’s just too bad for you, young man. Now you have to pack up and go home. I guess it’s tough being you right now.

Bottom line: All Clearinghouse cases involving football players must be resolved by August 1. No exceptions. Hire the staff. Other than rules enforcement and conducting championships, what does the NCAA do that is more important than this?

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440 comments Add your comment

LHardingDawg

August 23rd, 2010
11:42 am

The Tennessee buyout reminds me of the Auburn – Florida State buyout a number of years ago. Tuberville was new and did’nt want to get beat by a very good Florida State team. Auburn paid $300,000 to buy out the game in Tallahassee, which did’nt set well with the Auburn faithful. Why not just play the damn game, it’s a GAME with young men playing, not war, where people die. Shoot, Tennessee might even beat NC. Would’nt that be funny, a SEC beating a ACC team. It happens all the time.

Otto

August 23rd, 2010
11:44 am

Why should UGA play Clemson?

When was the last time Clemson won an ACC title?

It was about the time the Clemson UGA series ended. Dropping Clemson was a wise move for UGA. The series gave Clemson recruiting ties into the state of Georgia.

UGA has been doing well scheduling good OOC games. Az St., Ok St, Colorado (who knew they would be this bad) Oregon, and L’ville are coming up. Traditionally I would not consider UNC any stronger than the other teams UGA has schedules. UGA is recruiting NC realtively well and does not need to open a door for UNC to recruit Georgia. Schools closer to your campus are far mroe likely to move in on your local recruiting ground.

Also playing out west gives UGA more national exposure. The highest vote for UGA in the AP Poll came from a voter from The Albuquerque Journal, followed by 2 more from Oregon.

G8R GRAD

August 23rd, 2010
11:50 am

“SEC, ACC deepest. But who has best conference?”

Tony, you’re not baiting your readership are you? ! ! ! !

SECBEST

August 23rd, 2010
11:50 am

Hands Down, the SEC is the best conference. The speed, physical play and history show that. I wouldn’t even mention the SEC and ACC in the same paragraph.

DawginLex

August 23rd, 2010
11:52 am

Pretty sure the clemson series is about to restart. I love playing them. It is a great rivalry game and has always been so. Much rather play them than Louisiana or Idaho state.

4th down

August 23rd, 2010
11:54 am

The ACC is better than the SEC just as Tech is better than UGA. Riiiiiiiiight. You and Schultzie can write it, Tony. But NOBODY believes it.

Marble Rye

August 23rd, 2010
12:00 pm

Any mention of the ACC in this blog is either criticism or obligatory by its writer.

bob

August 23rd, 2010
12:03 pm

Seriously UT, it is better to fail than not even try.

Old Dawg

August 23rd, 2010
12:03 pm

Sarai: the incident with Jan Kemp occurred 28 years ago. Vince Dooley is now retired and the UGA Athletic Department has one of the highest GPA and graduation rates in the SEC and Division I of the NCAA. Perhaps you should shelve your history book and read about current events etc.

I’ve posted this several times and it’s just as true now as in the past: every school has problems, some bigger than others. As an adult, you need to realize this and find some other hobby … perhaps knitting, watching movies or, as I mentioned earlier, catching up on current events.

LHardingDawg

August 23rd, 2010
12:06 pm

SEC is much better. Just look at the bowl wins for the SEC vs. ACC last year. The cream definitely rises to the top.

Jan Kemp

August 23rd, 2010
12:06 pm

Nothing has changed in Athens. Nothing.

SecGuy

August 23rd, 2010
12:07 pm

Lies, Etc.
If it was against NCAA rules to over-recruit, SEC schools would not do it. They allow the practice with parameters so what’s the problem? You’re obviously one of those who are squeamish about gray-shirting. As long as this is all up front during the recruiting process, what’s wrong with it? A kid will still get a scholarship, just delayed. Recruits aren’t stupid. They know which schools use the practice and which don’t. If they don’t think it’s worth the risk to go to a particular program they can go somewhere else. College football has long been a business and some programs run it like a business more than others. It’s also a free market with the recruit. He can weight the pros and cons and make his decision.

reality

August 23rd, 2010
12:12 pm

Take bama and UF out of the SEC, you have an average conference. Top to bottom, the ACC Coastal is the best in college football.

CrackDaddy

August 23rd, 2010
12:12 pm

The fact is, that based on most pre-season polls, at least the perception is that UNC, in addition to Tech, has surpassed UGa. I believe that UNC will send more higher round picks to the pros this year than either UGa or Tech. We will see when UNC lines up against LSU in less than 2 weeks. Of course, if UNC plays LSU very close, the SEC’ers will use a close LSU victory to further lambast the ACC. If UNC wins, SEC’ers will either call the game a fluke, or characterize LSU as having a very weak team this year. Fortunately, the recruits lining up to go to UNC know the truth.

MARK RICHT'S A HYPOCRITE

August 23rd, 2010
12:13 pm

THEY DON’T CALL IT THE”ALL CUPCAKE CONFERENCE” FOR NOTHIN’!!!

Hobnailbooty

August 23rd, 2010
12:19 pm

You may laugh but UT may not beat Buffalo either!!

what?

August 23rd, 2010
12:21 pm

reality,

that is one asinine statement. Ever heard of the phrase, “what have you done for me lately?”. The A She She has done NOTHING to be relevant in the college football landscape and you spout off about the A She She Coastal being the best in America?Your handle shouldn’t be “reality”; it should be “fallicy” or “I’m an idiot”.

RxDawg

August 23rd, 2010
12:29 pm

“Take bama and UF out of the SEC, you have an average conference.”
Oh dear lord…reality…

Fair enough, now take the top two teams out of every other conference that your trying to compare. Hows that shake out for ya?

Cardinal Sin

August 23rd, 2010
12:34 pm

Hey DawginLex

Kinda like GA fans when it comes to keeping their mouth’s shut as well, right?

Gators win the East again in 2010!

Enough Said!

SEC, Lies and Videotape

August 23rd, 2010
12:35 pm

secguy:

grey-shirting?? Pffffttt.

Just keeeeeeeeeeeeep drinkin the kool-aid.

SecGuy

August 23rd, 2010
12:38 pm

Lies,
Where are the rules violations? Just asking.

reality

August 23rd, 2010
12:39 pm

what??? you are obviously an obsessed UGA fan. Don’t take the comments on this blog so personal. Everyone is entitled to his opinion.

athensdawg

August 23rd, 2010
12:39 pm

UT rescheduling is a joke. If Dooley is so fearful, why did he take the job in the first place.

I know, this comment is going to invite piling on by anti uga folks about the cupcake schedule we play….and rightfully so.

UGA should stick clempson and another legit opponent on the schedule instead of the sisters of the poor.

Go back to having Vandy and or UK be the homecoming opponent. We used to alternate between Vandy and ole miss at homecoming….before the divisions broke us in two.

This “protective” scheduling is for the birds. Classic example – FlaSt and Miami…thought joining the ACC was a sure fire in to winning the MNC. In the long haul, all it did was bring them down to the level of their competition.

jj

August 23rd, 2010
12:40 pm

what is a joke is bama putting ga state on their schedule…not tenn trading unc for buffalo…seriously bama, was parkview or brookwood or walton not available

DP

August 23rd, 2010
12:42 pm

Speaking of Lies, the article Lies describes as being on the SEC references a lot of schools outside the SEC, including Georgia Tech and Texas. The article focuses on the SEC because it was in the Birmingham News. Texas claims they use no special admissions for athletes yet somehow the average SAT score for incoming football players at Texas for 2003-05 was 945, or 320 points lower than the average for all entering freshmen.

Lies didn’t want to provide a link because it would show how he had cherry picked the article. Here’s a link to it:

http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-sports/2009/12/university_of_alabama_athletes.html

Come on Lies, tell us who your school is and how its football players must meet the admission standards of the overall student body.

Biff Condor and the Mid morning Raiders

August 23rd, 2010
12:44 pm

Which conference is stronger? UGA-30. ACC Champs-24. Any questions?

Ed

August 23rd, 2010
12:47 pm

Boy, I couldn’t agree less about Tennessee. If Dooley’s success depends on dropping North Carolina – a traditional basketball school that has had only moderate football success – then there are problems that scheduling a non-BCS school won’t solve.

Besides, Tennessee-Buffalo is a nothing game that interests no one. Tennessee and North Carolina are neighboring states and UT-UNC should be a natural rivalry that draws plenty of interest in the Southeast. Big mistake dropping that game. Makes about as much sense as Georgia playing La.-Lafayette instead of say, Clemson.

Fans could stop this nonsense by refusing to go to games against 1-AA or non-BCS patsies. Let Sanford Stadium and Death Valley be half-empty for a couple of patsy games and see how long it takes for UGA and Clemson officials to renew the old rivalry.

Atlanta Gator

August 23rd, 2010
12:47 pm

Seriously? Who is the strongest college football conference? Well, let’s see. Who has won the last four consecutive BCS championship games? Okay. Who has more teams ranked in the top 20 preseason polls? I’m seeing a pattern here. Who has won more BCS championships over the lifetime of the BCS, with more schools represented? Verdict is in . . . . all rise for the Judge.

what?

August 23rd, 2010
12:48 pm

“fallicy”

unfortunately, that is the problem with these blogs…..anyone (you) can hide behind a computer and spout off nonsense!!

aztec

August 23rd, 2010
12:49 pm

i gave up on the pros bull sh.. several years ago and quite frankly the last several years div 1 football is starting too make me sick to my stomach, so i have started going to div 11 and div 111 games and more high shcool games.

DP

August 23rd, 2010
12:49 pm

I’m surprised Tony would defend Tennessee buying out a 2 year series with UNC. I’ve looked at the main UT fans website and most of them are embarrassed. UNC is no world beater. They’re hyped for this year but will lose a lot of senior starters before Tennessee was to play them in 2011 and 2012. The worst that could happen is that Tennessee would lose both games, and that would just show potential recruits that they have a good chance to get immediate playing time at UT.

While I bow to nobody in my disdain for Boy Kiffin, it is disingenuous of Tony to lay all of UT’s problems at his feet based on a 14 month tenure. The relatively barren junior and senior classes on this year’s team are on Phil Fulmer, not Kiffin. I don’t see how anybody can dispute that UT football was on a downhill slide both on and off the field in the last few years of Fulmer’s tenure.

14TH--ON THE WAY

August 23rd, 2010
12:51 pm

Isn’t Tenn dropping UNC for the same reason that GA TECH (and Coach Johnson) politely requested that his AD drop the Alabama series?

volky

August 23rd, 2010
12:52 pm

Tony,

Good insights as always. As a Vol fan, I was also disappointed about dropping the series with UNC. I don’t know how many people realize it, but UT & UNC had a yearly game with each other from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. For this reason alone, I was looking forward to the renewal and was hoping this might lead to an occasional home & home.

As for the NCAA clearing house, why can’t they hire more people to ensure all paperwork is completed by a reasonable deadline such as August 1? You would think they would be awash in cash from all they take in from the men’s BB tourney.

what?

August 23rd, 2010
12:53 pm

For the LAST time:

Ed,

UGA and Clemson ARE scheduled to play each other in the very near future. No team can schedule strong OOC games against BCS conferences every year. There are always “holes” in your schedule that needs to be filled with teams that are perceived to be weak.

PLEASE DO NOT SPOUT OFF ABOUT UGA DUCKING CLEMSON OR VICE VERSA!!!!!

aztec

August 23rd, 2010
12:53 pm

the bcs crap and the money being paid too div 1 coaches makes no sense too me and i really am back to enjoying going too games now that i go to div 11 and 111 games, i even go over to the local park and watch the little kids play although at those games the parents get on my nerves.

what?

August 23rd, 2010
12:56 pm

aztec=pedophile?

DP

August 23rd, 2010
12:58 pm

As far as the ACC versus the SEC goes, presumably that was a rhetorical question. At the end of last season two middle of the pack SEC teams (Georgia and South Carolina) pretty much physically manhandled the two ACC teams (Georgia Tech and Clemson) that played in the ACC championship game the following week. And Florida slaughtered Florida State the same day. The ACC is 2-10 in BCS bowl games with one BCS championship over a decade ago, the SEC is 14-5 with 6 BCS championships including the last 4.

what?

August 23rd, 2010
1:02 pm

Hey SEC lies:

You got called out!!!! I saw GT mentioned in the article, but strangely, not UGA. Ummmmm…

jj

August 23rd, 2010
1:03 pm

i agree with DP cant blame this all on kiffin…no matter how much people want too. the tenn juniors, seniors were fulmers picks so this tenn thing has been brewing for a few years…i saw fulmer on cbssports crying about this…shut up dude, u and annoying tony because its partially your fault tenn is at where they are

Ed

August 23rd, 2010
1:03 pm

what?…

Don’t know how old you are, but Georgia and Clemson are traditional rivals that, up until the 90s, played each other every year. Now we are lucky to play one home-and-home a decade against a school that is practically in our backyard.

If you followed Georgia football in the 80s and early 90s, then you know that some of the most exciting games were against Clemson. Now, that thrill has been replaced by scintillating games against the likes of Ga. Southern and various directional schools.

If that suits you and you want to spend your money on that, then by all means proceed. I’ll pass.

rick

August 23rd, 2010
1:09 pm

sec has been real good of late , but let’s not forget they only got there through hiring big ten assistant coaches. les miles , born in ohio , coached at mich.. urban meyer , born in ohio , and coached at ohio state. nick saban , coached toledo , then coached mich. state , before being hired away . they have built nothing inside their own with their own .

Atlanta Gator

August 23rd, 2010
1:12 pm

@Ed:

I don’t attend Gators games when they play Division I-AA (FCS) opponents, nor do I watch them on television. I would rather watch Alabama-LSU, Alabama-Ole Miss, Alabama-Tennessee, Alabama-Auburn, Auburn-Georgia, Auburn-Ole Miss, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Georgia-South Carolina, Georgia-Tennessee, South Carolina-Tennessee . . . or even LSU vs. North Carolina.

With 100% certainty, I will not be watching Tennessee play Buffalo. There are plenty of other things in life to do.

what?

August 23rd, 2010
1:12 pm

Ed,
I know about the Clemson-Georgia rivalry, having attended most of the games in the 80’s bot home and away. It was a game in the 80’s that the whole country watched. I KNOW THIS. But, if you know about what happened in 1992 then you know why it is a game that CANNOT be played EVERY year. That is the year 2 teams were added to the SEC and it broke into 2 divisions. We have even played Clemson a few times since then (one was a 30 -0 beating of Clemson in Death Valley) and are scheduled to play them again in a home&home. This last home and home only came about because Clemson changed their mind about scheduling their home UGA game on a Thursday night. Any OOC team that schedules Georgia for a Thursday night game will NEVER play UGA again. Hey Bro, I’m all for a UGA-Clemson game!!!!

SEC, Lies and Videotape

August 23rd, 2010
1:13 pm

Sounds OK to me. Let’s just post the ENTIRE Article.

It only makes the SEC look EVEN WORSE.

University of Alabama athletes among nations
top beneficiaries of special admissions, records review finds

December 30, 2009

Alabama head coach Nick Saban defends the use of special admissions to UA for some of his players. “I am really pleased and happy with the job that we do and how we manage our students here, and the responsibility and accountability they have toward academics and the success that they’ve had in academics.” If grades make you a long shot for college, you’re much more likely to get a break if you can play ball.

An Associated Press review of admissions data submitted to the NCAA by most of the 120 schools in college football’s top tier shows that athletes enjoy strikingly better odds of having admission requirements bent on their behalf.

The notion that college athletes’ talents give them a leg up in the admissions game isn’t a surprise. But in what NCAA officials called the most extensive review to date, the AP found the practice is widespread and can be found in every major conference.

The review identified at least 27 schools where athletes were at least 10 times more likely to benefit from special admission programs than students in the general population.

That group includes 2009 Bowl Championship Series teams Oregon, Georgia Tech and Alabama, which is playing Texas for the national title Jan. 7.

At Alabama, 19 football players got in as part of a special admissions program from 2004 to 2006, the most recent years available in the NCAA report. The school tightened its standards for “special admits” in both 2004 and 2007, but from 2004 through 2006, Crimson Tide athletes were still more than likely to benefit from such exemptions.

Alabama coach Nick Saban offered no apologies.

“Some people have ability and they have work ethic and really never get an opportunity,” he said. “I am really pleased and happy with the job that we do and how we manage our students here, and the responsibility and accountability they have toward academics and the success that they’ve had in academics.”

The NCAA defines special admissions programs as those designed for students who don’t meet “standard or normal entrance requirements.” The NCAA says such exceptions are fine as long as schools offer the same opportunities to everyone from dancers, French horn players and underrepresented minorities as they do to fleet-footed wide receivers and 300-pound offensive linemen.

Texas was one of seven schools that reported no use of special admissions, instead describing “holistic” standards that consider each applicant individually rather than relying on minimum test scores and grade-point averages.

But the school also acknowledged in its NCAA report that athletic recruits overall are less prepared. At Texas, the average SAT score for a freshman football player from 2003 to 2005 was 945 — or 320 points lower than the typical first-year student’s score on the entrance exam.
School officials did not make coach Mack Brown or athletic director DeLoss Dodds available to comment.

In all, 77 of the 92 Football Bowl Subdivision schools that provided information to the AP reported using special admissions waivers to land athletes and other students with particular talents. The AP spent three months obtaining and reviewing the reports through state public records laws.

Ten schools did not respond to the AP’s request and 18 other schools, including Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Southern California, declined to release their reports. The reports do not identify specific students who benefited from admissions waivers, but they are identified by sport in many cases.

The NCAA sets minimum eligibility standards to compete once a student is in college, but leaves admissions decisions to individual schools and does not compare “special admits” across schools.

Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs, noted that NCAA schools face penalties, including losing scholarships, if athletes’ graduation rates are too low or if they fail to show adequate progress toward a degree.

“While it’s an institution’s decision on who they bring in, we’re most interested in what they do once they get there,” he said. “And if they’re not successful, there are consequences.”

At California, one of the country’s most selective public universities, Golden Bear football players were 43 times more likely to gain special admissions than non-athletes from 2002-04.

“It doesn’t matter to us if that student is a junior Olympian in taekwondo or the best oboe player in the United States or someone who can really run fast and jump high,” said Walter Robinson, admissions director at Cal. “We still look at that student with the same consideration: can that student be successful at Berkeley if admitted?”
While schools can tout the high graduation rates of athletes, they are not required to track the academic performance of special admits — and few do.

The AP review also found wide variance in how schools compile admissions data for NCAA review.

The NCAA asks schools to provide the annual percentages of special admits for all freshmen and all freshmen student-athletes on scholarship as well as a breakdown by individual sports.

But some schools only supply raw numbers, not percentages. Other schools, such as Florida, say they don’t track special admissions outside athletics.

And several schools report no special admissions but describe in great detail remedial efforts and other programs that adhere to the NCAA’s definition of special admissions.

Gerald Gurney, incoming president of the National Association of Academic Advisers for Athletics, favors a return by the NCAA to the minimum test score requirement abandoned several years ago. He said the NCAA’s “virtually open admissions standards” threaten academic integrity.

“Special admissions, in and of itself, isn’t something to be ashamed of. It does add value to a university,” said Gurney, senior associate athletic director for academics and student life at Oklahoma. “However, when you have students who need such a great deal of remediation, it jeopardizes the very essence of the university.”

Six schools besides Texas reported no use of special admissions on campus: Air Force, Connecticut, Kansas State, Purdue, Tennessee and Virginia.

The AP review also identified eight schools where athletes were no more likely than other students to get a break with special admissions: Arizona State, Arkansas State, Boise State, Iowa, Kent State, Mississippi State, New Mexico and West Virginia.

At South Carolina, All-American linebacker Eric Norwood recently graduated early with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Norwood was twice denied admission to South Carolina before being accepted as a special admit. The school softened special admission standards in 2007 after coach Steve Spurrier threatened to quit when two recruits who met NCAA eligibility requirements were turned down.
“When I got here I applied myself,” Norwood said. “I had great support from the academic staff, great support from the football staff. And my teammates, they held me accountable.”

South Carolina athletic director Eric Hyman dismissed critics who call special admissions simply a way to land athletes.

“It’s also a way to get better artists, better musicians,” he said. “It’s not all athletes. If you graduate, if your people are successful, there’s going to be more flexibility. And that’s what we’ve done.”

what?

August 23rd, 2010
1:18 pm

Oh Lies,

What a waste of time. Anyone who wanted to read the article could of just clicked on the link. I’m glad you have mastered cutting and pasting…..Makes you a big boy!!!! BTW, how does ot “make the SEC look even WORSE”? I think I saw GT mentioned in the article. Again, Alabama was mentioned the most because it was a BIRMINGHAM newspaper. Geez!!

Ron

August 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

Somebody tell Ash this is not the first time. This is common for a mistake prone NCAA (and NCAA enforcement).

Dawg Trainer

August 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

Go ahead and take your shots. We STILL want to play North Carolina, just wanted to move the games back. The Heels flat refused. So, here’s the REAL reason why Hamilton wants the buy-out:

Montana TBA
09/10/2011 Cincinnati TBA
09/17/2011 at Florida TBA
09/24/2011 at North Carolina TBA
10/08/2011 Georgia TBA
10/15/2011 LSU TBA
10/22/2011 at Alabama TBA
10/29/2011 South Carolina TBA
11/05/2011 Middle Tennessee TBA
11/12/2011 at Arkansas TBA
11/19/2011 Vanderbilt TBA
11/26/2011 at Kentucky

SEVEN straight games against good/decent teams. Of course, as a fan, I want to line ‘em up and play anyway. Looking thru Coach Dooley’s eyes, he needed one game to break up that stretch. Not that I like it one bit, but I do see the point. We sure as Saban weren’t going to reschedule a conference game.

Score Check

August 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

Hey “13 bama championships”. Everyone knows bama caught a hugh break with McCoy getting injured early on. Be honest with yourself and admit it.

Beast from the East

August 23rd, 2010
1:20 pm

Reality,
I have to echo RxDawg’s comments. Take Texas and Oklahoma out of the Big 12 and what do you have? Take Ohio State and Penn State out of the Big 10 and what do you have? See the pattern? The bottom line is that UF and Bama DO play in the SEC and are part of the conference’s overall strength/weeakness.

John

August 23rd, 2010
1:21 pm

I hardly think Alabama has room to talk about scheduling. I’m sure that Georgia State game will be tough. Give me a break. How are they not utterly embarrassed for scheduling that game? Shameful!