Welcome to the first edition of, “News and Views,” which will be an occasional feature on AJC.com that will look at news items that have some connection to Atlanta sports fans. Two pretty good ones this Wednesday morning.
♦ NEWS: Tim Floyd resigns as Southern Cal basketball coach.
♦ WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because he wasn’t hired as Georgia’s coach in 2003.
♦ VIEWS: Maybe you forgot. When Jim Harrick was fired as Bulldogs coach, leaving behind probation and a grease spot, Vince Dooley and Damon Evans held a national search and narrowed their list of candidates down to two: Dennis Felton and Tim Floyd.
Now, I know things didn’t exactly work out great for Felton. But at least he didn’t get Georgia on probation (again), which is exactly what may happen at USC. Floyd’s resignation follows allegations that he gave $1,000 to a man who helped steer former star O.J. Mayo to the Trojans. Fact is, I wouldn’t want to be USC athletic director Mike Garrett right now. Rumors have swirled around the program ever since Yahoo! Sports wrote a series of stories about Reggie Bush’s family living in a home rent free and receiving other benefits while at the school and the Trojans football team is under NCAA investigation.
Interesting side note: Last month, Floyd and Carroll appeared together at a function for USC boosters. Both coaches were asked about pending NCAA investigations. Floyd never responded. Carroll said when he got to the school, he wanted to build a program where “everyone was coming after us. Be careful what you wish for.”
Now, Felton and Floyd both are available in the job market again. Something tells me Felton will get a job first.
♦ NEWS: A fed-up judge tells Michael Vick’s attorney’s to revise his bankruptcy plans — again.
♦ WHY SHOULD YOU CARE: Because it has become clear that one of Vick’s greatest flaws is his inability to choose a competent attorney and until this mess is resolved, he’ll never straighten his life out. And, well, it’s Michael Vick.
♦ VIEWS: I’ve seen smart people fail because they have dumb people around them. I’ve seen dumb people succeed because they surround themselves with brilliance. Vick is the worse combination. Talented but sometimes dumb and gullible — and almost always surrounded by advisers and attorneys who leave you wondering how they ever passed the bar exam and got hired to begin with.
Trust me when I tell you that Falcons’ officials were astounded when nobody in Vick’s camp advised and/or convinced the quarterback to deal with a woman who charged Vick with giving him an STD. That story never had to become public. Many similar stories never do. But when nobody cut a deal and she finally filed a lawsuit in 2005, it was an embarrassment for Vick, the organization and the NFL. As it turned out, that was only the beginning.
Vick’s long-time attorney Lawrence Woodward failed to act swiftly or do anything of consequence when the dog-fighting story first broke in Surry County, Va. Remember, for the longest time, this was a little local story. I’m not excusing Vick of anything he did. (You should know that by now.) But something could have been negotiated with local authorities long before the story grew legs and the feds stepped in.
Once the FBI took over, Vick was sunk. But even then, there seemed to be no rush to get to the negotiating table. Consequently, every other member of the Bad Newz Kennelz brain trust got deals. “Ookie” got the max.
I”m also assuming nobody advised Vick to avoid doing something really stupid, like going on a shopping spree on the way to prison, basically emptying your checking account of cash that could’ve been used to pay off creditors. Remember that one? If not, click here.
Now there’s this: U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank J. Santoro said Tuesday that Vick’s reorganization plan “left something to be desired.” Of course, it’s actually his attorneys plans. They keep coming to the table with fabricated numbers pointing to potential future NFL income, when any clear-thinking person realizes that such numbers have no guarantees. Vick has been slow to sell some of his possessions that could pay down $25 million in debt.
Vick will go before the judge again Aug. 27. Santoro said if he’s not satisfied with the next proposal, he’ll appoint a trustee to liquidate Vick’s holdings. Think: Craigslist, only at a higher level. Of course, by Aug. 27, NFL training camps will be over and done.
Nice job guys.