Tag:Nick Saban
Posted on: February 24, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 2:08 pm

OU's Stoops earns $1 million raise

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

So ... how much would you think a Big 12 championship and not-entirely-convincing Fiesta Bowl win over UConn is worth in today's open coaching market?

The answer according to those holding the purse strings at Oklahoma: a cool $1 million. That's the amount of the raise given to Bob Stoops after his Sooners' successful 2010 season, bringing his annual salary to en eye-popping $4.875 million before incentives or media appearance compensation.

So how much is $4.875 million, really? In 2010, only two other coaches crossed the $4.5 million threshold: Nick Saban and Mack Brown. After Stoops' bonuses and other extras, he'll almost certainly join Saban and Brown as the only coaches in the FBS to have cracked the $5 million mark. That seems like a hefty price tag for a coach who (unlike Saban or Brown) hasn't been to the national title game since 2004, but with programs like Notre Dame and Florida reportedly sniffing around the last couple of offseasons to see if Stoops could have been lured away, it might have been necessary to keep Stoops in Norman all the same.

That said, we don't know if the faculty in Norman are working under the same kind of wage controls that helped lead to the coaching salary outrage at Texas Tech, but we're betting there's been some eyebrows raised regardless.  

Posted on: February 22, 2011 12:56 pm

Nobody wants to be Harvey Updyke's lawyer

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week, the most famous tree poisoner in the history of Alabama, Harvey Updyke, lost his court-appointed lawyer due to a conflict of interest. Phillip Tyler had been Updyke's lawyer but filed a motion to be let off the case due to the fact he's a professor at Auburn, and has "numerous personal and family ties" to the school. So the court appointed Updyke a new lawyer, and now that lawyer has filed another withdrawal motion.

Jerry Hauser was given the case after Tyler, but on Tuesday morning he asked to be taken off the case as well due to his ties to Auburn. It seems Hauser's wife is the head of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the school. So no doubt she'd use her communicating prowess to let her husband know that he should set Updyke up for the death penalty.

Seriously, are there no public defenders in the state of Alabama that went to Alabama? Can't they find a single lawyer in the state with "Roll Tide" on its business card?

I mean, Nick Saban signs 40 players a year to the football team, surely one of them has to have a law degree by now.
Posted on: February 21, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 11:11 am

Eye on CFB Recruiting Review, 2/21

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, Eye on College Football reader, are you also reading our sister blog, the excellent Eye on Recruiting as written by the excellent Bryan Fischer (who you can folllow on Twitter here )? If not, why not? Don't you like being well-informed about the myriad goings-on in the world of college football recruiting? Because if you read Eye on Recruiting, you will be.

But we also know that not everyone is a hardcore recruitnik. For those of you who aren't, we're providing a new weekly public service: the biggest headlines and most interesting stories to come out of recruiting this past week as reported at Eye on Recruiting , all collected in one easy post right here. Enjoy:

  • Alabama hasn't wasted any time putting together their next loaded recruiting class, already adding their seventh and eighth commitments for 2012. One of them, highly-regarded Powder Springs (Ga.) running back Kenyan Drake, shows that Nick Saban's efforts in Georgia aren't slowing down anytime soon. Their SEC rivals at Florida are off to a fast start as well , with three commitments in the past week and five total; with Stone Mountain (Ga.) RB Mike Davis and Seffner (Fla.) RB Matt Jones in the fold, the Gators may be done at tailback already.
  • Though they've decided to back off from their usual stragey of locking up half their class by spring break, Texas is nonetheless up to six commitments already after Mansfield (Texas) defensive end Hassan Ridgeway pledged to the 'Horns over multiple other in-state offers.
  • How did the final 2011 recruiting hauls stack up head-to-head, position-by-position, in the Iron Bowl rivalry? Fischer has your answer , with the Crimson Tide having the edge but Auburn having nothing to hang their head about. Also examined are hte more lopsided comparsions between Texas and Texas A&M and USC and UCLA .
  • Among the teams nabbing their first commitments for the class of 2012 are Colorado, with legacy recruit Clay Norgard, and Georgia Tech, with Lakeland (Ga.) linebacker Junior Gnonkonde. Gnonkonde is a native of Cote D'Ivoire who came to the U.S. only three years ago.
  • This weekend's Nike Combine and National UnderClassmen Combine, both in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, allowed some of the best talent from the state of Florida (and elsewhere) to shine; here's the names you need to know from the Nike event, and a full rundown of both events is available here . The headliner was 6'2", 207-pound Clermont (Fla.) linebacker Justin Horton, who currently carries offers from USF and Louisville but will likely see his recruiting heat up in a big way after running a 4.58 40.
One more reminder: if you don't want to wait for these Monday recaps, simply read Eye on Recruiting . You'll be glad you did.

Posted on: February 17, 2011 5:32 pm

JoePa's tie sells for $10,200

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Make no mistake about it, college football fans in the SEC own the lion's share of the market on crazy. We don't have to look past the events of the past few days in which an Alabama fan poisoned the trees at Auburn's Toomer's Corner to realize that. Even without such shenanigans, listen to 20 minutes of Paul Finebaum's show any weekday and the insanity will make it's presence known.

That being said, the SEC doesn't hold a monopoly in crazy. There are crazy college football fans all over the country. From the Washington State season-ticket holder, to the guy who pays over $10,000 for a tie that Joe Paterno once wore.
The necktie worn by Penn State coach Joe Paterno the night he won his 400th game has turned into one expensive article of clothing.
The brownish-red tie with paisley prints was auctioned off for $10,200 at a charity event last week for Penn State Public Broadcasting. JoePa wore the tie with a light blue dress shirt under a black Nittany Lions jacket on Nov. 6, when his team rallied from three touchdowns down to beat Northwestern 35-21 at Beaver Stadium.
See? People in the Big Ten are insane too. Even if they're only insane for charity.

Of course, had this been Nick Saban's tie, then an Auburn fan would have paid $40,000 for it, soaked it in gasoline and then lit Bryant-Denny Stadium on fire with it. 
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:40 am
Edited on: February 15, 2011 11:04 am

Nutt on oversigning: 'I've never ran anyone off'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When asked about signing a whopping 38 players in his 2009 recruiting class -- all-but singlehandedly embarrassing the rest of the SEC into adopting a limit of 28 in all future classes, the rule that now informally carries his name -- Houston Nutt famously (or infamously) joked that "there’s no rule that says that we can’t sign 80." But when asked over the weekend about the number of signees in his current class, and what that might have meant for the newly-departed players from the Rebel roster, Nutt wasn't in a laughing mood.

As reported by Kyle Veazey of the Clarion-Ledger , several observers (including Eye on College Football ) looked at Nutt inking several more players on Signing Day than he appeared to have room for under the 85-scholarship limit, and wondered if it was coincidence that six Rebels had just disappeared from the Ole Miss roster. Much like Nick Saban before him, Nutt shot back to the press that yes, that did happen to be coincidence:
"I've never ran anyone off in my career unless they broke multiple team rules or just committed a serious crime or something like that," Nutt said. "That's never happened."

Nutt said all the departing players came to him requesting to leave for reasons ranging from personal issues to a desire for more playing time.

Critics charged Nutt with cutting those players to get under 85, but Nutt said that's unfounded. "What's unfair is (critics) go number by number and they don't have all the facts and then they say, 'He has to be running kids off,' " Nutt said.
To be fair to Nutt, until one of the six players speaks out regarding his departure from the team -- Veazey reported that one player declined comment, with the other five unable to be reached -- he's correct that the "critics" are responding to numbers alone rather than hard evidence the players were forced out to make room on the roster. It's also worth pointing out that if Veazey's numbers are correct, Nutt would have had to "run off" only a couple of players to fit under the 85 cap, rather than six.

But if there's any coach that's not going to receive the benefit of the doubt when it comes to oversigning, it's one that's already had his own rule named after him, doesn't have his 2011 class down to the NCAA-mandated 25 yet, and switched one recruit's full offer to a grayshirt just days before this past Signing Day . No one should blame Nutt for protesting his innocence, but he also can't be surprised if it takes a lot more protesting before that message gets across.

Posted on: February 10, 2011 4:38 pm

Oversigning debate hits Connecticut legislature

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If we haven't yet, let's go ahead and call this the Offseason of Oversigning. No topic has proven to be a bigger hot button since Auburn polished Oregon off in Glendale, with everyone from Nick Saban to USA Today to Bernie Machen to Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples to compliance officials to (as of today) Jay Paterno weighing in on the subject ... and we're not even halfway through February.

Such has been the topic's rapid rise to critical mass that it's even being debated outside the world of college football--in this case, inside the halls of the Connecticut state legislature , where a bill called the "Connecticut Student-Athletes' Right to Know Act" would "require universities to spell out the details" on how and why their athletic scholarships could be revoked or unrenewed.

Appearing before legislative officials to argue for the bill were local professor (and former Notre Dame football player) Allen Sack and former UCLA Bruin Ramogi Huga:
While NCAA rules state that athletic aid cannot be reduced or cancelled during the one-year period of the award because of athletic ability or injury, Sack said, "the rules are murky when it comes to conditions for the renewal and non-renewal of the scholarships in the subsequent year."

"Some universities renew scholarships for four years as long as athletes continue playing and adhere to team rules," said Sack. "Others cancel scholarships for poor athletic performance or for injury" ...

Huma, a former UCLA football player and president of the National College Players Association — a California nonprofit made up of more than 14,000 Division 1 student athletes — also testified at the hearing and went one step further. He said the majority of high school recruits decide which college to attend based on "false information given to them by athletic recruiters."

Most recruits and their parents have no idea, Huma said, that colleges can "leave them with sports-related medical expenses, take away their scholarship for any reason, leave them with tens of thousands of dollars in educational-related expenses, and hold their eligibility and scholarship opportunities hostage when they try to transfer schools."
Though neither Sack nor Huga specifically refers to the practice of oversigning, the controversy over whether teams (in Sack's words) "cancel scholarships for poor athletic performance" in order to make room for new recruits nonetheless puts it at the heart of the bill. It's hardly coincidence it appears just as the debate over oversigning reaches its most heated point, just as it wasn't coincidence Saban prematurely echoed Sank's words by saying "We have never gotten rid of a player because of his physical ability" in his defense of his recruiting practices.

The bill still has many hurdles to clear before passing, including a check with the NCAA to make it sure it doesn't run afoul of (or further complicate) NCAA regulations. And, of course, there's a massive, massive gulf between one such bill passing in Connecticut (where UConn would be the only FBS program affected) and nationwide oversigning reform enacted by either the NCAA or the government.

But the point remains: more than ever it appears college football is sloping towards some kind of oversigning legislation, and that the only real question is how slippery that slope will be.

Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:09 am

Auburn plays nice with Tide on scheduling issue

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Auburn and Alabama, as you may already be aware, don't always get along. Or, more accurately, under no circumstances get along.

But it turns out that when their conference parents at the SEC ask (or demand), they can occasionally play nice. That's the lesson to learn from the Tigers' just-announced late-season 2011 schedule adjustment :
For the first time since 1963, the Tigers won't play Georgia and Alabama in back-to-back games; Auburn slipped in Samford to split them up.

Also, the change means AU's open date will fall before Georgia and not before Alabama. The SEC sought changes because six league teams enjoyed open dates before playing the Crimson Tide last season. Auburn agreed to work with the league, switching where Samford fell on the schedule.
The alteration will no doubt stick in the craw of Auburn fans who will see the league (and potentially the Auburn administration) as having caved to the Crimson Tide's demands. Not only had Alabama filed the grievance regarding the bye-week problem, but Nick Saban had specifically, vocally griped (or from the Auburn perspective, "whined") about the Tigers enjoying an off week before the Iron Bowl. (The Tide also countered in 2010 by scheduling first-year FCS program Georgia State for the week before, and moving the game to Thursday night ... giving them the closest thing to a bye without actually having one.) "If Alabama wanted the change, and Auburn didn't, why is the league taking their side?" is how the orange-and-blue argument will certainly go.

But there's also little doubt that something had to be done about Alabama's bye-week problem -- it didn't hurt their case that all three of their 2010 losses came to teams that had enjoyed the extra week of preparation -- and of the six teams that asked for a pre-Tide bye in 2010, clearly only a couple would get the same indulgence in 2011. The SEC decided Auburn wasn't one of those teams. In the end, there's not that much room for complaint, particularly since both teams (who'll square off against FCS competition the week before) will still enter the 2011 Iron Bowl on equal footing.

It's Auburn and Alabama, though. Whether it's fans, head coaches, administrators, whoever: there's going to be complaining.

Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:52 pm

Report: Mike Groh is 'Bama's new WR coach

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It would appear that Alabama's search for a new wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator is over, as according to a report on BamaOnline.com, Mike Groh is returning to Tuscaloosa to take the job.
A year after studying the Nick Saban way of coaching, Mike Groh is coming back to the University of Alabama to serve as his wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Sources tell BamaOnline that Alabama is expected to announce his hiring this week. 
Groh, who spent last season at Charlie Strong's quarterbacks coach at Louisville, will replace Curt Cignetti, who was named the new head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Groh spent 2009 as a grad assistant with Alabama after spending eight years as an assistant under his father, Al Groh, at Virginia. Al Groh coached alongside Nick Saban with the Cleveland Browns. Mike Groh gets the job over a number of other coaches who had been rumored for it, including former Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom, former Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster and former Clemson offensive coordinator Bill Napier just to name a few.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com