In February of 2013, four Alabama football players, including D.J. Pettway, were arrested in connection with a pair of robberies and, following an initial suspension, dismissed from the football program. Only Pettway, in December of last year, was ultimately permitted to return to the Tide.
The second chance caused enough of a controversy — Pettway had initially been charged with a pair of felonies that involved beating a UA student— the the university took the somewhat unusual step of releasing a statement from the school’s athletic director addressing the reinstatement.
Fast-forward almost exactly a year, and Alabama is one win away from an appearance in the national championship game, and Pettway has played a role in the Tide’s success as a rush defensive end. Not only that, but Pettway has earned his degree in just three and a half years. He’s obviously done well with his second chance, regardless of whether some people think he deserved it at the time based on the serious nature of the crime.
It’s those people, though, for whom Nick Saban had some very choice words as he stepped up to the pulpit following Saturday’s practice and delivered a passionate sermon on second chances. From al.com‘s account of Saban’s speech:
“Where do you want them to be? Guy makes a mistake. Where do you want them to be? You want him to be [on] the street or do you want them to be here graduating?”
He made reference to Muhsin Muhammad, who got in trouble while playing for Saban at Michigan State but turned into a success story after his second chance.
“Everybody in the school, every newspaper guy, everybody was killing [Muhammad] because he got in trouble and they said there’s no way he should be on our team,” Saban said. “I didn’t kick him off the team. I suspended him. I made him do some stuff.”
The receiver enjoyed a 15-year career in the NFL. He created a charity foundation called “The M2 Foundation for Kids.” Saban noted that he has seven children, and his oldest daughter is at Princeton.
“So who was right? I feel strong about this now, really strong, about all the criticism out there of every guy that’s 19 years old that makes a mistake and you all kill them,” Saban said.
“Some people won’t stand up for him. My question to you is, ‘Where do you want him to be?’ You want to condemn him to a life sentence? Or do you want the guy to have his children going to Princeton?”
Regardless of where you stand on football players and second chances, that’s some powerful stuff right there from Coach Saban.
The Florida Gators football program is the latest to benefit from Ye Olde Transfer Portal.
In late November, Justin Shorter took the initial step in transferring from Penn State by entering the NCAA database. Two months to the day later, the wide receiver took to Twitter to announce that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career as part of the Florida Gators football team.
As of yet, UF has not announced Shorter’s addition to the roster.
A five-star member of the Nittany Lions’ 2018 recruiting class, Shorter was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of New Jersey; and the No. 8 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only defensive end Micah Parsons was rated higher than Shorter in Franklin’s class that year.
Limited to four games as a true freshman in large part because of injuries, Shorter caught three passes for 20 yards in 2018. In 11 games this season, Shorter caught 12 passes for 137 yards.
Barring the unexpected, Shorter will have to sit out the 2020 season to satisfy NCAA transfer bylaws. He would then have two seasons of eligibility beginning in 2021.
As is the case across the entire world of sports, college football is reacting to the devastating news involving Kobe Bryant.
Sunday morning, Bryant was one of nine people killed — initial reports had the number at five — in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, on his way to a travel basketball event. The former NBA superstar, who retired from the sport following the 2015-16 season, was 41.
Adding to the devastation, one of Bryant’s daughters, who was also a player on her father’s travel basketball team, 13-year-old Gianna Maria Bryant, was killed in the crash as well.
Kobe and Gianna are survived by wife/mother Vanessa and three daughters/sisters. The oldest is 17, the youngest will turn one in June.
In the hours after the heartbreaking news was confirmed, the world of college football mourned the passing of Kobe Bryant. Below is just a sampling.
Ever since California’s SB 206 passed last September, more than a dozen states followed with their own versions of the Golden State’s Fair Pay to Play Act, to go along with a number of concurrent pushes in Washington. No matter your stance on the pay-for-play issue or what side of the political aisle you sit on, it seems we can all agree that politicians are not the people to solve this issue, and yet the NCAA kept dragging its feet, and dragging its feet, and draaaaggging its feeetttt and, well, here we are. And Sandra Scott‘s bill a large reason why.
Scott, a state representative in Georgia (D-Rex) has introduced HB 766, a type of compromise bill that will make no one happy.
The appeal, at least from the outside, of California’s SB 206, is that it would allow college athletes to capitalize on their popularity during the lifetime of that popularity while costing the school very little money, since the money would come from third-parties.
Scott’s bill does neither. In fact, it goes out of its way to do the opposite.
According to HB 766, Georgia would require its schools to set aside a third of all monies earned in postseason play into an escrow account, which would then be given to players upon graduation.
Read for yourself below.
To recap, Scott’s bill would cost the schools millions of dollars and also shut out a lot of the players who generate those millions. Why should, say, Jake Fromm be barred from having a hand in the money he produced for Georgia just because he went pro?
In short, Scott’s (well-meaning) bill would anger both schools and athletes while continuing the overly paternalistic attitudes adults have adopted toward college athletes that applies to no other demographic in college sports.
Coaching is the family business for the Holtz family, and now two of them will work under the same roof.
As first reported by Bleed Tech Blue, Louis Leo Holtz, Jr., better known as Skip Holtz, has hired Louis Leo Holtz III, better known as Trey Holtz. The younger Holtz will serve as Louisiana Tech’s wide receivers coach.
Trey Holtz played his college ball at Texas under Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. A reserve quarterback, Holtz appeared in 23 games as a holder in 2015-16.
He then moved into the family business at Ohio State, where he worked as a graduate assistant for the past three years. Holtz worked with the Buckeyes’ running backs and tight ends, but will now coach receivers for his father’s staff. He replaces Todd Fitch, who left to become the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt.
For the Holtz family, Skip hiring Trey is an act of history repeating itself. After serving as a GA at Florida State and Colorado State, Skip’s first full-time job came on his father Lou Holtz‘s staff as Notre Dame’s wide receivers coach in 1990. Skip was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1992 and became Connecticut’s head coach in 1994.