OK, that’s the last time I ever solicit submissions for The Mailbag.
I’d been a little disappointed in the quantity and quality of Mailbag questions I’d been getting lately. So I wrote up a quick shout-out earlier this week and — WHAM! – I was buried under your queries.
So, first of all, thanks for your responsiveness. And thanks also for all the remarks and well wishes as me and my family as we inch our way back into a routine.
I got so many responses that I broke them down into categories since many of the questions were essentially the same. But I tried to select one questioner who boiled down the subject matter best. So let’s get to it.
RxDawg asks: So I have a question, has it yet been discovered just who was the “source” that prompted the “news” spreading that James Wilder Jr.would commit to UGA? Or in other words, has it been explained how this false story got out in the first place?
Chip: Virtually all of us in this business have been burned at least once getting bad information from what’s thought to be a good source. That’s why you have to be careful about using them. But Brett McMurphy is a 22-year veteran sportswriter from Tampa, so you’d think he knows what he was doing. And maybe he did. Maybe he was just trying to drive web traffic to his FanHouse.com website. And maybe Wilder was his co-conspirator. Did you see him wearing that red sweater vest over a black polo? Hmmmm. Makes one wonder.
RAWdawg: Do you think Wilder NOT choosing Georgia helps the Bulldogs with Carver-Columbus star Isaiah Crowell?
Chip: Well, it can’t hurt. Actually I think Georgia was in pretty good shape with Crowell regardless of the Wilder outcome. There were reports that the two talked about the possibility of playing together not just at Georgia (and, who knows, maybe also Alabama). But I think Wilder being out the mix sharpens the Bulldogs’ focus on Crowell and solidifies him as their No. 1 target, as he has always been.
JayDawg asks: Did Mr. LeMay let some inside information slip with his Chris Conley and Ray Drew comment the other day?
Chip: In this particular case I think LeMay’s reference to those to guys had more to do with religion than anything. Pastor Stacy LeMay referred to Conley and Drew merely as “recruits,” which they are. Now if he had said “future members of Georgia’s 2011 class,” then that would have meant something. The LeMays are outspoken Christians. So are Conley and Drew (who is actually a licensed minister). I think that reference was more about thanking them for their support in prayer. Meanwhile, Christian LeMay has said ever since he named Georgia “his leader” on April 30 that he intended to recruit hard for the Bulldogs. Clearly he has been doing that. These troubles aside, LeMay and his father have been back to Athens every time the gates have opened.
Anonymous asks: I have been hearing rumors LeMay might be rethinking his commitment to UGA and leaning toward. Have you heard anything?
Chip: I heard LeMay hasn’t had much time for rethinking.
PointBlank asks: Does the triple option offense run by coach Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech have a negative effect on recruiting players who want to one day play in the NFL?
Chip: I’m going to say not much beyond the quarterback position. But that’s not my opinion. That’s the opinion of Coach Johnson, who actually answered that very question in a recent interview with our Georgia Tech beat writer Doug Roberson. Said Johnson: “That’s a myth everyone wants to perpetuate. . . . If you’ll look, we’ve had people drafted and play in the NFL at every position, except for quarterback. And through the years we’ve had guys [like Tracy Ham]. . . . We’ve not had a NFL quarterback, but other than that there’s not a position we haven’t had in the NFL.” CLICK HERE to read more of Johnson’s thoughts on recruiting.
Glory, Glorys asks: Do you think this is one of the ‘nerdiest’ videos you have ever seen?
Chip: Yes, I do, Glory, Glory, just inching past THIS ONE recently uploaded to the YouTube universe by UGA’s orientation leaders.
But I also know that nerds eventually get rich and run the world. So I’m first compelled to make friends with them.
BuzzKill asks: Can you offer feedback as how to there are athletes almost 20 years old when they come to Georgia like Washaun Ealey and A.J. Green?
Chip: First of all, Buzz, I’m impressed you know the birth dates of Georgia football players. That’s studying up on the enemy! But as I’m sure you also know there is no age limit in college, as long as one’s eligibility is intact. Meanwhile, high school rules stipulate how old students can be to play. In Georgia I think a player can’t turn 19 past a certain date or he’s ineligible. And while I agree that it probably makes a difference on that level — your best players are often your most physically mature — I don’t think it does in college. How many times have you seen failed baseball draftees and retired servicemen try to come back to college to compete. Not many all-stars out of that bunch. Their ages is not what makes Ealey and Green good.
Jeff asks: As I am sure you aware by now, Florida had media present at their “Friday Night Gators. If anything, their “offense” would seem to be even more egregious coming on the heels of the publicity garnered by UGA within the last week over this violation.Lights” event. If UGA is going to make headlines out of this common practice, then I would expect similar stories run on the
Chip: Apparently these things are only violations when I’m the photographer, Jeff. If you wanted Florida to get in trouble you needed to send me down there. . . . Based on the interpretation Georgia was given by the SEC office, I think the format and/or access for all these “camps” is going to change. Mike Slive just hasn’t gotten around to sending out the memo yet.
Chris Hine asks: Have you checked with the AJC’s attorneys about this? I’m a UGA law grad but I practice in California. California Supreme Court decision). This is not only a dumb rule, it is probably illegal.I don’t believe that a public school can regulate the press at an event where members of the general public are invited. Neither the recruits or their parents are students, they are members of the public. Absent some compelling government interest I don’t think that they can stop you from taking pictures. The NCAA is bound by the same rules as its institutions (see Hill v. NCAA, a
Chip: Yes, we did look into that but found out that the NCAA is actually above the U.S. Supreme Court in rank and power. But seriously, I think there are a lot of Constitutionality issues that are routinely ignored by college football programs for the sake of controlling information and access.