Tag:Ole Miss
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 13, 2011 2:21 pm

Wazzu corner arrested for laptop theft

Posted by Tom Fornelli

I suppose college football players have received some mixed messages about stealing laptops over the last couple of years. In one case you had Jeremiah Masoli, who was then kicked out of Oregon and missed out on a national title shot while toiling at Ole Miss last season. Then there was Cam Newton, who had to leave Florida, but wound up winning a title at Auburn.

So I can see why there would be some confusion. Still, at the end of the day, stealing is wrong and the only thing we know for sure about pilfering somebody else's laptop is that it's going to get you booted from your team. The latest to possibly suffer such a fate is Washington State cornerback Tracy Clark.
A freshman Washington State University football player has been arrested and suspended from the Cougar football team for allegedly stealing a laptop on campus.
19-year-old Tracy Clark, originally of Pittsburg, California was arrested by WSU police this week. Officers say Clark stole an $1,100 laptop from an open dorm room in Streit Hall on January 29.
They were able to identify Clark as the suspect by tracking his internet use on the computer.
Clark redshirted in 2010, and depending on how this legal matter goes, he may not play a down of football for Washington State in 2011 either.
Posted on: February 11, 2011 5:42 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 5:47 pm

Phil Steele: Oklahoma will open at No. 1

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Each year, preseason magazine guru Phil Steele releases what he expects to be the preseason AP top 10 come August. And so even though it's mid-February (or rather, because it's mid-February, and what else is a college football diehard going to talk about?), it's already time for the 2011 version, now available here .

The headline? Steele expects Oklahoma to open next season at No. 1 after the Sooners thumped UConn in the Fiesta Bowl and saw Ryan Broyles elect to return for his senior season. He writes (in his usual unique fashion):
This year OU will be ranked #1 in the pre-season by nearly everyone as they return 15 starters on off/def including QB [Landry] Jones, WR Broyles and LB [Travis] Lewis. Their schedule sets up nicely with a bye before their road trip to Florida State (a team they dominated [last year] 47-17). In Big 12 play naturally there is the Red River Rivalry game vs Texas who is coming off a 5-7 season and the only other huge hurdle could be the season finale at Oklahoma State but the Sooners have won the Bedlam rivalry 8 straight times and have an overall mark of 82-16-7 vs their in-state rivals. With their key returning starters back and a favorable schedule, the Sooners should get the nod as the Preseason AP #1 team!
Following the Sooners are No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 7 Boise State, No. 8 Florida State, No. 9 Oklahoma State, and No. 10 South Carolina.

If Steele is accurate (and he predicted nine of 10 each of the past two seasons), that will be as about an outsider-dominated preseason top 10 as you could imagine, a fitting follow to a season that saw the lowest-ranked preseason team ever (Auburn) make the BCS title game. Sure, there's the Sooners, Tide, and LSU, but it's only been recently that teams like the Ducks and Broncos have become top-10 institutions, it's been years since Florida State or Texas A&M enjoyed that much hype, and it's more-or-less uncharted territory for the Cowboys, Cardinal, and Gamecocks.

Unfortunately, for the Cowboys, Cardinal, and Gamecocks, those kinds of expectations don't always pan out; just ask the Cowboys from two years ago, when the most heavily-hyped team in school history went a ho-hum 9-4, lost 27-0 to the Sooners, and fell to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl. For their sakes, the fans at those three schools (not to mention A&M, which, seriously, hasn't seen these kind of expectations in a while ) had maybe better hope Steele's got this one wrong.
Posted on: February 10, 2011 3:58 pm

Plenty of players leaving Ole Miss

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier this week Jesse Grandy announced that he was leaving Ole Miss to play football closer to home since a member of his family recently became ill. It seems Grandy has started a trend. According to the Clarion-Ledger, there are a few other players who are no longer on the Rebels' roster, and they've found new homes as well.
Later in that note, though, there are a couple of other names mentioned: Dele Junaid and Jared Mitchell. Both were scholarship players who are not on this roster that the school distributed Tuesday night, shortly after the news of Grandy’s departure broke.
But here are four more scholarship players from last year who were missing, as we noted early Wednesday afternoon on Twitter: RB Martez Eastland, OL Terrance Hackney, DE Lekenwic Haynes and DL Alan-Michael Thomas.
Junaid is transferring to a junior college in Texas, Eastland is on his way to Georgia Southern, and the others are all transferring, but haven't found a new destination just yet. So why is there suddenly an exodus from Houston Nutt and Oxford? Well, according to Oversigning.com, Ole Miss had 15 open spots on its roster going into 2011. On signing day the Rebels announced a freshman class of 27 newly signed players.

A quick check of the math shows that the Rebels added twelve more players than the team had spots for, and now suddenly a bunch of players are moving on. It's funny how that works, isn't it?
Posted on: February 8, 2011 6:45 pm

Jesse Grandy leaving Ole Miss

Posted by Tom Fornelli

According to The Clarion-Ledger's Kyle Veazey, Ole Miss WR/KR Jesse Grandy is leaving school to transfer closer to home. The reason that's given for Grandy's decision is that there is an illness in his family, which would explain why the Pine Bluff, Arkansas native would prefer to be closer to his family at the moment.

Grandy and Houston Nutt finalized the transfer on Tuesday afternoon.

The sophomore caught 20 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown for the Rebels in 2010, while also rushing 12 times for 88 yards. Grandy also played on special teams, where he made his biggest impact. He returned 45 punts and kicks for a total of 847 yards, and also returned one punt 73 yards for a touchdown.

His absence will hurt the Rebels, but it's not a crushing blow. While Markeith Summers is graduating, the school still returns three of its top four receivers in Melvin Harris, Ja-Mes Logan and Brandon Bolden.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:30 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 12:49 pm

"Colonel Reb Foundation" puts up billboard

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You've probably gotten the message by now: a certain noisy faction of Ole Miss fans are not happy about the removal of less-than-P.C. mascot Colonel Reb from the school's sidelines and logo, and they're going to make sure their voices are heard regardless of what their school's administration (and a likely majority of their fans) would want.

But just in case you haven't, the "Colonel Reb Foundation " (and their not-at-all hyperbolic URL saveolemiss.com ) is here to make certain you have. Once more, gents, with feeling:

In case you can't see the top billboard there (up now in Oxford), here's what it looks like up close:

So that's subtle. By visiting the Foundation's site, you can also download a Colonel Reb "Truth Kit " (PDF) and that the Colonel is (presumably) less racially insensitive for being a whitewashed version of an early-20th century African-American Oxford resident. (Yes, less.)

As for what the Foundation will actually accomplish, other than publicly continuing to rub the university's face in its racist past despite its desperate attempts to leave that past behind? Nothing. But as we're all learning, that's not going to stop this particular faction of Ole Miss fans anytime soon.

HT: Red Cup Rebellion .

Posted on: January 28, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 12:10 pm

Ole Miss to be hit with $10 million lawsuit

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last offseason, Bennie Abram walked on to the Ole Miss football team. Tragically, on February 19, Abram died after running through some agility drills. Coaches noticed Abrams struggling through the drills, and then pulled him out and called 911. Abram was taken to the hospital, but died a few hours later from what the doctors said were problems stemming from sickle cell traits, exertion and an enlarged heart.

Now a lawyer hired on behalf of the Abram family has sent a five-page letter to Ole Miss to let them know that they will be filing a $10 million lawsuit against the school. Mississippi law states that a 90-day notice has to be sent before filing any suit. Gene Egdorf, a lawyer from Lanier Law Firm, had this to say in a press release.

“Student-athletes shouldn’t be dying because of sickle cell,” Egdorf said. “The only reason that it turns fatal is because someone along the way made mistakes or intentionally disregarded the well-established guidelines for training, monitoring, and treating these student-athletes.”

Egdorf alleges that Ole Miss held "recklessly intense" workouts on the morning of Abram's death.

Ole Miss did not release a comment on the lawsuit.
Posted on: January 25, 2011 11:57 am

Ole Miss search for QB leads to transfer Brunetti

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When one-time hyped quarterback recruit Raymond Cotton left Oxford in a huff last offseason, Houston Nutt decided to shore up his signal-calling depth in the most high-profile way possible: by bringing in banished Oregon quarterback and alleged Heisman candidate Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli (as expected) won the starting job from sophomore Nathan Stanley, but struggled with the rapid (lack of) transition as the Rebels finished a disappointing 4-8.

But that hasn't stopped Nutt from returning to the transfer well again, as Ole Miss has confirmed to Clarion-Ledger reporter Kyle Veazey that they will be officially accepting the transfer of former West Virginia quarterback Barry Brunetti. Brunetti spent just one season in Morgantown, attempting nine passes and completing four without an interception or touchdown.

But Brunetti will arrive at Ole Miss with some measure of hype, ranking as one of the more highly-regarded "dual-threat" quarterbacks in the class of 2010, with offers from the likes of Tennessee, Penn State and in-state rival Mississippi State. It's even possible he could play this season, as the Memphis Commerical-Appeal reported in mid-January ; he'll be applying for a hardship waiver from the NCAA based on his mother's health issues and Oxford's proximity to his hometown of Memphis.

If the NCAA does grant the waiver -- not a sure thing, but certainly a possibility, as the almost-similar travails of Masoli proved -- Stanley will have yet another battle on his hands for a starting position that seemed to be all his both in 2010 and 2011. Whether or not he wins it, it seems clear by this point that his head coach just isn't comfortable handing the job over to him without Stanley having to fight for it.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com