With his future at Texas Tech potentially hinging on a special teleconference call, current Red Raider head coach Mike Leach is seemingly incredulous to the swirling rumors that his head could be ticketed for a messy meeting with the coaching guillotine.Based on comments Leach made to the Fort Worth Star-telegram, the coach would be surprised if he were fired before the start of the 2009 season. Especially given the fact that he has two years remaining on his current deal.”I don’t know if that’s rumor or not, but think about how ridiculous it is,” Leach told the paper. “You’ve got two years left on your contract, you’re offered a sub-par deal based on the outside provisions, and then it’s like, ‘Take this deal.'”And then you say, ‘Nah, I’m going to go ahead and stick with my current deal.’ And they say, ‘All right, well, fine, I’ll fire you.’… We all agreed to the two years I have left, and just because I turned down [the three-year extension], how in the hell can they just fire me?”Oh, the answer to that last question is very easy, coach.Take one part asinine, mix with a liberal helping of both stubbornness and misguided righteous indignation, add a pinch of arrogance, and you have the perfect recipe for a school firing the best thing that’s happened to their football program.Ever.And, based on the reading of the tea leaves, it seems as though head chef Gerald Myers is about to make a colossal mess in his own kitchen.The question is, after this debacle, who’d want to come in and help the athletic director clean up the mess?Come Friday and the outcome of the teleconference between university officials, the whole of college football may begin to find out the answer to that question.
Guns and SEC football are back in the news yet again this offseason. And this one has the ACC riding shotgun as well.
In late March, the state of Arkansas legislature passed a law (House Bill 1249) that would allow concealed-carry handguns on publicly-owned property, which would’ve include college sporting events. A day later, and after realizing, amidst considerable controversy, the potential for alcohol-fueled fans attending an SEC football game armed, the state’s senate voted to amend the law to exclude college sporting events.
Fast-forward to this month, and the state of Georgia legislature has passed a law (House Bill 280) that would allow the carrying of concealed handguns on college campuses, with exceptions that include on-campus stadiums, arenas, gymnasiums and the like hosting intercollegiate sporting events. That bill is scheduled to become law in the state July 1.
In clarifying the language of the law, the university confirmed in an extensive press release Wednesday that individuals with valid weapons licenses will be permitted to conceal-carry outside of college football stadiums. In other words, licensed individuals would be permitted to carry concealed weapons outside of Sanford Stadium as well as Bobby Dodd Stadium as part of the game-day tailgating experience.
Only handguns are allowed under this law, and only when concealed. Long guns, obviously, are not permitted under any circumstance.
“I understand that many of you have strong feelings about this bill,” UGA Chancellor Steve Wrigley began his letter to the university community. “Yet, whether you opposed or supported the legislation, it will soon be state law, and I respectfully ask everyone to exercise patience, understanding and respect as we implement it.
“We all share the same goal of ensuring a safe campus environment. We should work together to implement the law as written and thoughtfully address any complications that may arise.”
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement amidst the Arkansas gun-law controversy that may or may not have had an impact on that state’s legislature tweaking of the bill. It bears watching whether the commish follows a similar public tack when it comes to this piece of legislation.
The Georgia Bulldogs will open their 2017 season at home against Appalachian State Sept. 2, while Georgia Tech’s home opener is Sept. 9 against Jacksonville State.
Illinois head coach Lovie Smith has dismissed three players charged with home invasion and robbery. Offensive linemen Darta Lee and Howard Watkins and tight end Zarrian Holcombe have all been dismissed from the program, according to a statement.
Lee and Holcombe were previously suspended by Smith for violations of team rules. Watkins had also been indefinitely suspended following the initial allegations. All three players claimed the incident that led to the charges was nothing more than an innocent prank, but the authorities and Smith didn’t seem willing to buy that claim.
Each player faces a mandatory prison sentence of 4-15 years on each count against them if found guilty.
Conference USA is in a position where it needs to think outside the box and look to stay ahead of the curve in a changing TV landscape. It appears to be ready to air games on Twitter in 2017.
A report from The Virginian-Pilot says broadcast company STADIUM will air at least 15 football games involving Conference USA teams this fall. STADIUM is the result of a recent merger between the American Sports Network, 120 Sports and Silver Chalice (which also owns Campus Insiders and the online ACC Digital Network). The ASN had owned the broadcast rights to Conference USA games through the end of the 2017-2018 sports season that will carry over to the STADIUM deal (allowing for Conference USA basketball games to be aired on Twitter as well). It was announced earlier this month STADIUM intended to broadcast Conference USA games on Twitter, but it was unknown how many games might make it to the networking service. STADIUM reportedly has an interest in continuing to air Conference USA contests beyond the next athletic season.
Conference USA still has broadcast deals with ESPN and CBS Sports in effect as well, so don’t expect the premiere matchups in the conference to be aired on Twitter. However, by sharing the games online, Conference USA is hoping to reach a wide-spread audience and have the opportunity to be a trending topic. It could work, as Twitter would make sure the game is given a steady feed to allow for a pleasant viewing experience and fan interaction in real time.
Conference USA saw TV revenue take a big hit over the last year. Last summer, Conference USA’s television revenue reportedly dropped to just $2.8 million for the entire conference following realignment changes. Finding a home on a streaming platform now would be key for the conference’s future stability.
It is not at all uncommon for children born in the state of Alabama to be named after Alabama football legends, but it is not every day you see a child of an Alabama coach receives a name inspired by former Alabama football players.
Defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt announced the birth of his new son, Flynt Anderson-Foster Pruitt, on Twitter. Alabama fans will likely already know the connection to the new child’s name, as used the last names of two former Alabama football players to create the middle name of Anderson-Foster; Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster.
Maybe this is more common than I’m aware of, but regardless of how often a coach names a child after former players, this is a testament to the relationship the Pruitt family established with both former Alabama linebackers. And now there will be a bond for years to come between the coach and his family and Anderson and Foster.
Helmet sticker to Al.com.