Arkansas AD latest to respond to Gee’s ‘unfounded’ and ‘slanderous’ remarks

24 Comments

Yeah, this could be considered beating a dead horse, but it’s an offseason weekend. Indulge us.

Then again, there are plenty of people unhappy with the comments made by Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee during a December Q&A. 

Either way, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long has feelings about the fact that Gee said that Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez thought former head coach Bret Bielema — now with the Razorbacks — was a “thug.” Alvarez has already denied such feelings and apologies to Alvarez and Bielema have been issued.

“I write to apologize for my comments about you, as well as remarks I made that were entirely unfounded and speculative about your relationship with Barry Alvarez and the University of Wisconsin,” Gee said in a message to Bielema. “My comments were unfair, inaccurate, and wholly wrongheaded.

“To be sure, you have a remarkable record of accomplishment with student-athletes both on the field and in the classroom. I am deeply sorry for my comments and for any and all pain they have caused.”

Still, that hasn’t stopped Long from issuing a statement, which you can read below:

“As a member of the higher education community, a director of athletics and a native of Ohio, I am deeply troubled by the unfounded and slanderous remarks the President of the state’s flagship institution, Dr. E. Gordon Gee, made about Coach Bret Bielema,. While I recognize Dr. Gee has issued an apology stating regret for his comments, it does not erase the unwarranted attack on Bret’s character.

“It is widely known Coach Bielema placed an emphasis on academics, character development and community outreach while serving at the University of Wisconsin,” Long said. “His 2010 and 2011 football teams won the Wisconsin Athletic Department’s community service and Champs Life Skills awards.

“Bret also had 131 academic all-conference selections in seven seasons and his team’s APR figures climbed each year with a most recent multiyear rate of 975 and a final single year rate of 1000. In his time here, Bret has demonstrated the qualities we sought when we brought him to the University of Arkansas and has supported our football student-athletes as reflected in one of our highest spring GPAs.”

Gee has been informed by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees that one more gaffe could result in his dismissal.

Former USC assistant coach Todd McNair loses defamation lawsuit vs. NCAA

Getty Images
Leave a comment

By a vote of 9-3, former USC running backs coach Todd McNair has lost his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA. Following six days of deliberation, the verdict brings to a close the Reggie Bush scandal that began more than a decade ago, a scandal that saw the Trojans lose their 2004 BCS national championship and Bush be stripped of his 2005 Heisman Trophy.

McNair sued the NCAA after it found him guilty of unethical conduct while Bush received impermissible benefits. He was given a 1-year show-cause penalty, and has not worked since his contract expired in the summer of 2010.

McNair sought $27 million in damages from the NCAA.

McNair’s attorney Bruce Broilett told ESPN his team was “very disappointed … disappointed in the result. Assessing the situation and considering our next steps.”

David Beaty releases statement on firing of KU AD Sheahon Zenger

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kansas fired athletics director Sheahon Zenger earlier today. If the move was immediately greeted as a vote of no-confidence in Zenger’s ability to find and hire the next Jayhawks football coach — and, thus, a vote of no-confidence in the David Beaty era — that’s because it pretty much is.

“But Athletics continues to face a number of challenges, and progress in key areas has been elusive. To achieve the level of success we need and expect, I have determined a change in leadership is necessary,” KU chancellor Douglas Girod said in his statement announcing Zenger’s firing.

The playbook is well documented by now: to replace the head coach, you must first replace the AD who hired the head coach, and the replacement will then hire the new head coach. We’ve seen it play out at a number of places, most recently Nebraska, where Bill Moos was brought in to replace Shawn Eichorst, and Moos promptly fired Mike Riley and hired Scott Frost.

Beaty is a well-liked coach, but college football is a results business and a 3-33 record speaks for itself. Beaty surely knows that score better than anyone.

Hours after the news went public, Beaty released a statement of his own on Monday afternoon.

As if the 3-33 mark wasn’t obvious enough, the beginning of the end of the Beaty era likely came on Monday.

Alabama (still) a massive favorite over Louisville, other Week 1 lines

Getty Images
Leave a comment

It’s been about four months since we checked in on the Week 1 betting lines in college football, highlighted by Alabama’s installation as a massive favorite for its date with Louisville in Orlando.

And in the four months since, the public has clearly lost faith in the Nick Saban Football Machine.

After starting as a 29.5-point favorite, Alabama has been downgraded… to a 28.5-point favorite, according to lines released by Bet Online.

Other lines of note:

  • UCF (-20.5) at Connecticut
  • Northwestern (+4.5) at Purdue
  • Colorado (-6) vs. Colorado State (at Denver)
  • San Diego State (+14.5) at Stanford
  • Florida Atlantic (+23) at Oklahoma
  • Oregon State (+38) at Ohio State
  • Texas (-10.5) at Maryland
  • Boise State (-10.5) at Troy
  • Arizona (-14) vs. BYU (at Phoenix)
  • Auburn (-3.5) vs. Washington (at Atlanta)
  • Ole Miss (-1.5) vs. Texas Tech (at Houston)
  • West Virginia (-7) vs. Tennessee (at Charlotte)
  • North Carolina (+6) at California
  • Michigan (+2) at Notre Dame
  • Alabama (-28.5) vs. Louisville (at Orlando)
  • Miami (-3) vs. LSU (at Dallas)
  • Virginia Tech (+6.5) at Florida State

Check out the entire list of lines here.

Royal Wedding barely beats CFP title game in TV ratings

Getty Images
1 Comment

In case you didn’t already know, allow me to be the first to tell you there was a Royal Wedding over the weekend. The audience interested in watching Prince Harry wed Meghan Markel had next to nothing in common with those interested in watching Alabama and Georgia play football, but it turns out the two groups are nearly the exact same size.

According to a tweet by Front Office Sports, the Royal Wedding stands as the eighth most popular viewing spectacle of 2018 to date at 29.2 million viewers, just edging out the College Football Playoff Championship’s 28.4 million viewers.

Another similar dynamic played out when This Is Us‘s finale (on NBC!) nudged out Georgia’ Rose Bowl comeback over Oklahoma — 27 million to 26.9 million — for the No. 12 spot to date.

The good news here is that there shouldn’t be another Royal Wedding for, oh, another 25 years or so, so the 2019 CFP title game should have less competition for the No. 8 spot moving forward.