Posts Tagged ‘NCAA’

Tech’s lost title might seem unfair but it’s not unexpected

This moment and Georgia Tech's ACC title win over Clemson officially never happened, according to the NCAA. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

This moment following the ACC title game officially never happened, according to the NCAA. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Eight months ago, the NCAA issued a report that suggested Georgia Tech had all the morals and scruples of SMU’s checkbook football program of the 1980s, or Barry Switzer’s outlaws at Oklahoma, and maybe just a dash of Snidely Whiplash.

NCAA investigators labeled Tech’s general counsel an “obstructionist.” They said officials “hindered efforts to get at the truth” and tried to “manipulate” information. They suggested players were tipped off to the investigation and therefore had time to orchestrate phony responses.

The report read like a Grisham novel. Of course, it was about that close to reality – which is to say, it wasn’t. Tech isn’t devious or corrupt. It just screwed up — bad enough to lose a conference championship.

When the Yellow Jackets reached closure with the NCAA on Friday, losing an appeal of their sanctions and therefore the 2009 ACC …

Continue reading Tech’s lost title might seem unfair but it’s not unexpected »

Georgia not giving any hints of another miracle run

Gerald Robinson goes up for an easy two points against Vanderbilt. If only every play was that easy for Georgia this season. (AP photo)

Gerald Robinson goes up for an easy two points against Vanderbilt. If only every play was that easy for Georgia this season. (AP photo)

ATHENS – The coach of a team that’s struggling to just stay out of last place is always looking for positives to disseminate, anything to keep players motivated and fans clinging to hopes of a miracle 180.

Mark Fox appears to be well-practiced in this art.

“We’ve played 12 league games and we’ve made more baskets than our opponent,” the Georgia coach accurately pointed out Sunday. “We’ve had fewer turnovers in league play. We have more offensive rebounds. We’re getting beaten at the foul line — we’re not physical enough to draw free throw attempts but we’re close. If we make free throws and finish better around the basket, this game comes down to the wire.”

So he’s saying they’ve got a chance . . .

Actually, maybe they do. After the tornado-dented SEC tournament of 2008, can anybody really state with certainty that …

Continue reading Georgia not giving any hints of another miracle run »

Georgia could be dead zone for NCAA’s March Madness

Mark Fox's team reached the NCAA tournament in his second season but the loss of Travis Leslie and Trey Thompkins pushed the reset button. (AP photo)

Georgia's Mark Fox reached NCAA tournament in year two but his third team is young and thin.

Brian Gregory inherited a down and vagabond program this year. (Johnny Crawford)

Brian Gregory inherited a down and vagabond program at Georgia Tech. (Johnny Crawford)

As a general rule, February is when the sports world morphs from rock to elevator music.

College football is over. The NFL is over. Baseball’s spring gates haven’t swung open. It’s too early to get excited about NBA playoff races (and, if you’re a Hawks fan, February isn’t providing a wonderful tease for March and April, anyway). The local NHL team – blown up by careless owners and an invertebrate of a league commissioner.

So in February, we turn to college basketball.

Help.

Here in the state of Georgia, which produces some of the finer high school talent in the country for seemingly every university in the other 49 states, college basketball is relatively off the landscape.

There is a chance that no team from the state will reach the NCAA tournament field, and that’s not even the most …

Continue reading Georgia could be dead zone for NCAA’s March Madness »

Tech’s signing party doused by another brain lapse (updated)

Paul Johnson would like a few months of peace, but no such luck. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Paul Johnson would like a few months of peace, but no such luck. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

(UPDATED: 7:45 p.m.)

On a day generally reserved for recruits having their hat-switching, Pepsodent-smiling, ESPN moment, when college football fans amusingly obsess over questions like, “Ooh-ooh, how many stars?” Georgia Tech added a hard-news element to the circus.

Seven months after getting hit by NCAA probation and being stripped of its 2009 ACC title (pending appeal), the Jackets finally officially confirmed that offensive line coach Todd Spencer had “resigned” (read: fired) over matters of excessive texting to recruits (read: stupid) and threw itself on the mercy of NCAA investigators (read: tea leaves?).

This shouldn’t take away from the 17 high school seniors who signed their letters of intent with Tech on Wednesday. It shouldn’t detract from the decisions of talented recruits such as Justin Thomas (quarterback), Marcus Allen (running back/linebacker) and Francis Kallon …

Continue reading Tech’s signing party doused by another brain lapse (updated) »

This wasn’t the time for Georgia to face No. 1 Kentucky

The Bulldogs had no answer for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points, 11 rebounds) and No. 1 Kentucky, losing 57-44. (AP photo)

The Bulldogs had no answer for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14 points, 11 rebounds) and No. 1 Kentucky, losing 57-44. (AP photo)

(UPDATED: 11:20 p.m.)

ATHENS – In his second season on the campus-that-doesn’t-hold-bonfires-for-basketball, Mark Fox led Georgia to a winning conference record, an NCAA tournament berth and its first 20-plus win season in nine years – or 15 years, depending on if you factor in the grease stain left by Jim Harrick (NCAA probation, vacated victories, shame).

Fox has been, by any measure, an immediate success. The fact that Georgia was struggling this season entering Tuesday night’s game against No. 1 Kentucky should not have led to some catastrophic conclusion. Like, say, “Agggh! Ron Jirsa!”

“I think the educated fans and media members can look at us and know what we’ve lost,” Fox said. “But I have no issues with the way we’re going about things on the court. We have no academic issues. We have no social [off court] issues. When I …

Continue reading This wasn’t the time for Georgia to face No. 1 Kentucky »

Scholarship guarantees, early signing would curb oversigning

An early-signing period would've prevented Justin Taylor's disappearing scholarship. (AP photo)

An early signing period would've prevented Justin Taylor's disappearing scholarship. (AP photo)

One week after leading Alabama to its second BCS title in three seasons, Nick Saban reaffirmed that his commitment to winning isn’t necessarily rooted in a commitment to doing things the right way.

Saban informed Justin Taylor,  a North Atlanta High School running back, that he was yanking his scholarship offer from 11 months ago. Eleven months ago. Never mind that Taylor was the seventh oral commitment for Alabama’s 2012 class. Nor that he was a good kid, a terrific player and hadn’t once screamed, “War Eagle!” This is the ugly side of college football that coaches hide between the disingenuous, “Don’t worry, momma, I’ll take care of your boy,” speeches.

The substance of a coach’s word morphs from oak to oatmeal when he finds a faster, stronger player.

This is a form of “oversigning” (or in this case overcommitting) in recruiting, a reprehensible practice we’ve banged on several …

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Finally, here’s the perfect college football playoff plan

The first objective: Get to the college football postseason without the acronym, BCS. (AP photo)

The first objective: Get to the college football postseason without the acronym, BCS. (AP photo)

While there is no actual data to back this statement, I’m almost certain my three greatest sources of email relate to unclaimed winnings in the Irish lottery (“This is your final notice!”), male enhancement pills (“See the desire in her eyes!”) and the perfect college football playoff format (“I have no life, no friends, I live on Pop-Tarts and ramen noodles and have been working on this for 17 months!”).

So it comes as great relief that college football finally appears to be moving close to some form of a playoff, with even NCAA president Mark Emmert saying Thursday that he might support a four-team format. We will get a champion. I will get less email.

But I’m kind of old school in many ways. I believe college football is better with debate. It partially fuels the passions and traditions of the sport. What we don’t need is an eight- or 16-team playoff format, which …

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Paterno’s statement’s not enough, Penn State dropped ball

Joe Paterno is retiring but will be allowed to coach the rest of the season

Joe Paterno is retiring, but he will be allowed to coach the rest of the season. (AP photo)

Joe Paterno will coach at least three more football games.

This is not going to be pretty.

Paterno confirmed this morning that he will retire at the end of the season. This follows ugly sexual abuse claims against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the belief by many that school officials, including Paterno, may have been complicit in covering up the matter and/or could have done more to push for an investigation.

Paterno released a statement in which he conceded, “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

They were the proper words. But they should have been spoken, not released via email, before anybody at Penn State even considered allowing him back on the sideline.

I can’t imagine any university, company or entity handling a situation worse than how Penn State has handled the past few days.

Paterno’s complete statement:

“I am absolutely …

Continue reading Paterno’s statement’s not enough, Penn State dropped ball »

Paterno morally obliged to answer questions on Sandusky

Joe Paterno needs to say more about what he knew regarding Jerry Sandusky and when he knew it.

Joe Paterno needs to say more about what he knew regarding Jerry Sandusky and when he knew it.

After reading the Pennsylvania grand jury’s presentation, the first thought is not that Jerry Sandusky needs to go to prison if the allegations are true – it’s that he should be tied to the bumper of a Chevy and pushed off a cliff. I say that not as a father of two but as any human being with a shred of decency, morality and a soul.

“Victim 2” (of eight listed in the document) was estimated to be 10 when he was seen in the locker room showers at Penn State being subjected to sexual intercourse by Sandusky, then 58, in 2002.

“Victim 4” was 12 or 13 in 1996 or 1997 when he was “repeatedly subjected to Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse and Indecent Assault at the hands of Sandusky.”

“Victim 5” was 8 or 10 and attended as many as 15 football games with Sandusky who said he felt uncomfortable about constantly being approached by Sandusky in the showers, and one …

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Falcons, Jackets, Dogs win (Lies! Lies, says Spurrier!)

chalkboard

We will commence with this week’s blue chip indicators immediately following Steve Spurrier’s testimony to his superiors regarding the stolen strawberries aboard the U.S.S. Caine. Ssssh. I think he’s losing it …

“Lies! I tried to run the ship properly by the book but they fought me at every turn! They encouraged the crew to go around scoffing at me and spreading wild rumors about steaming in circles! And then old yellow stain! I was to blame for Lt. Merrick’s incompetence and poor seamanship. Lt. Merrick was the perfect officer but not Captain Queeg. Ah, but the strawberries! That’s where I had them! They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist! I … I … I …”

I post this for no reason other than fact I stumbled upon a "50 dogs in Star Wars" costumes list at BestWeekEver.TV.

Darth Dawg! (I post this only because I stumbled on a "Dogs in Star Wars costumes" list at BWE.TV).

Come back to us, Steve.

I never really noticed the resemblance between Spurrier and Captain Queeg until …

Continue reading Falcons, Jackets, Dogs win (Lies! Lies, says Spurrier!) »