Tag:Ole Miss
Posted on: September 15, 2010 5:32 pm
 

Jeremiah Masoli allowed to play because he 'quit'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Is Jeremiah Masoli playing fast and loose with the sequence of events that led him out of Oregon? You might recall that when Masoli was initially denied eligibility with Ole Miss until 2011, the NCAA cited the fact that Masoli had been kicked off his own team, and that the waiver wasn't designed to let players escape their pre-existing disciplinary woes. It seemed like pretty sound logic at the time.

And then upon appeal, Masoli was granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA shortly thereafter, and we were left to wonder whether the NCAA just made the mistake of not specifically mentioning pre-existing eligibility issues in their transfer waiver guidelines. It seemed rather un-NCAA to do so, but what other explanation could there have been?

But as it turns out, Masoli's successful waiver appeal happened because, as Masoli insists, he was never actually dismissed from the Oregon team. Sound weird? Indeed, but here's Masoli's argument to the NCAA during the appeal process (emphasis ours):

Masoli wrote that Oregon coach Chip Kelly suspended him in March 2010, and that he had the option at that point to transfer to another school. “I realized that other players had been suspended for a season and allowed to play after a few games,” Masoli wrote, likely referring to LeGarrette Blount, who was initially suspended for the 2009 season by Kelly but was reinstated by the end of the year. “Therefore in my mind, playing in the 2010 season was still a possibility.”

But Masoli then said he “was no longer comfortable at Oregon and believed it would be in my best interest to leave.” In late May, Masoli said he decided to transfer “without really knowing where I would go.” Masoli wrote that he notified Kelly of this and that Kelly said he would be given a release. Masoli said he received a release from Oregon on June 8 — and that on the next day, Kelly announced his dismissal from the team. “I was surprised about the announcement because we had already agreed that I was not returning and would be transferring,” Masoli wrote. “The announcement was made because I had been stopped for a driving infraction. However, I had already made my decision to transfer and had received my release prior to this announcement so the dismissal announcement was not really a factor in my leaving.”

It's slippery logic, but clever all the same. If Masoli was already gone, then the subsequent legal trouble was Houston Nutt's business, not the NCAA's. So the thinking goes.

Of course, as Dr. Saturday points out, Oregon disputed the timing of Masoli's account and said Masoli didn't quit first. In a rare fit of charity, Oregon supported Masoli's waiver claim anyway, because whatever.

Posted on: September 14, 2010 11:40 am
Edited on: September 14, 2010 11:44 am
 

Masoli will start against Vandy

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When the NCAA reversed their decision to force Jeremiah Masoli to sit out a season following the troubled player's transfer from Oregon to Ole Miss , it was only a matter of time until Masoli took over the starting job in Oxford.  Masoli got the start against Tulane this past weekend thanks to an injury to Nathan Stanley , and he played pretty well.

Masoli completed 14 of 20 passes for 281 yards while picking up another 27 yards on the ground, and most importantly, he didn't lose to Jacksonville State .  A huge step forward for Houston Nutt 's program.  So it's not surprising that Nutt named Masoli his starting quarterback for their SEC opener on Saturday against Vanderbilt .

“Right now we’re going to start Jeremiah,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. “In order to get the flow of things, and get that chemistry, it is probably best to have one quarterback.

“Jeremiah played very well (against Tulane),” Nutt said. “We have to continue to get better. We are playing a very good team in Vanderbilt. They played well against LSU and it was close all the way up until the fourth quarter.”


I don't know if I'd go as far as labeling Vanderbilt as a "very good" team.  I mean, yes, Vandy hung around with LSU until the fourth quarter but they did end up losing the game 27-3 and only managed to pick up 135 yards of total offense in the process.  But, hey, if I lost to Jacksonville State then Vanderbilt would probably look like a title contender to me too.

For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or Subscribe to our RSS Feed



Posted on: September 10, 2010 12:04 pm
 

Starting/Sitting: South Carolina, Ole Miss

Posted by Chip Patterson

- South Carolina senior cornerback Chris Culliver was cleared to play Thursday evening against Georiga on Saturday, according to multiple sources.  Culliver was held out of the Gamecocks opener against Southern Miss while the NCAA was investigating an insurance policy he had taken out to protect his draft status in the event of an injury.  Culliver and head coach Steve Spurrier both suggested earlier in the week the cornerback would be suiting up against the Bulldogs, and now it appears official.  This is great news for the Gamecocks especially on the heels of Georiga wide receiver A.J. Green receiving his suspension, which will keep him out three more games.  South Carolina is still missing tight end Weslye Saunders and left tackle Jarriel King as the NCAA continues to look at King's extended and discounted stay at The Whitney Hotel in downtown Columbia to determine if he still owes rent.  There have been no recent updates on Saunders' status.  

- Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt announced that one player has been dismissed from the team, and another has been suspended, both for "violation of team rules."  Junior offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson has been dismissed from the Rebels football team while sophomore linebacker Brandon Sanders has been suspended indefinitely.  Johnson started five games in his career, including in the Rebels season-opening loss to Jacksonville State.  Sanders recorded seven tackles in 11 games in 2009, and appeared in the opener but did not record a tackle.  

No specifics have been given regarding the cause of the suspension, but it is interesting that head coach Houston Nutt is so quick to dismiss and suspend players for violating team rules.  Nutt's tone is unbelievably forgiving when it comes to Oregon transfer Jeremiah Masoli, but he is quick to bring down punishment on other players.  This sentiment has been shared by many Rebels fans, who are questioning the double standard Nutt is holding to his football program.
Posted on: September 5, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2010 7:21 pm
 

GOATs and Goats, Week 1

Posted by Adam Jacobi

GOAT*: Denard Robinson. Michigan's electric quarterback Denard Robinson thrilled fans at the Big House, completing 19 of 22 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 197 more yards and another score. Robinson even shook off a third-quarter hip injury, returning after just one series. Robinson's performance was downright seismic: it likely drove backup Tate Forcier to transfer, and it's the type of on-field brilliance around which Heisman candidacies are built. Of course, it was against UConn, and Michigan will not play UConn for every game; if they did, Jim Delany would be fired immediately. But it's hardly a guarantee that Terrelle Pryor can outperform Robinson over the course of the season, and last we checked, Terrelle Pryor was basically the nation's best Heisman candidate coming into week 1.

Goat: Mike Pouncey. Florida's season debut against Miami University--the one that's in Ohio, mind you, and went 1-11 last year--was almost a disaster of the highest order. Yes, Florida won 34-12, but that was a rather deceptive final score--Florida converted a 4th and 21 touchdown near the end of the game to push the margin to 22, and Miami was within 9 points in the 4th quarter (and that's without scoring a single touchdown).

Don't let the 34-point tally fool you: Florida struggled mightily on offense, and the primary culprit was Mike Pouncey, who had moved from guard to center to take over for his brother Maurkice, a first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers this spring. Pouncey was an unmitigated disaster at center: ESPN announcers counted over a dozen botched snaps, usually out of the shotgun, and the dropped snaps usually killed whatever momentum Florida was trying to sustain against a young but aggressive defense.

Pouncey's unlikely to last more than one more game at center; if he even makes it to the South Florida game, it's because his inevitable replacement needs another week to work on his timing with QB John Brantley. But Pouncey's struggles were some of the worst we've ever seen from a center, and Urban Meyer has never been patient with ineptitude from his players.

GOAT: Jack Crowe. The Jacksonville State Gamecocks pulled one of the most unlikely upsets in years with a 49-48 comeback stunner at Ole Miss, and for head coach Jack Crowe, the irony must have been delicious. 18 years ago, Crowe was on the other end of the "I-AA team beats SEC team" when his Arkansas Razorbacks were upset by the Citadel, 10-3. Crowe was fired just the next day.

Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt probably won't suffer the same immediate indignity as Crowe did 18 years ago, mainly because I-AA teams are far more capable of beating their I-A opponents than 18 years ago, when these types of games were such mere formalities en route to 60-point margins that they didn't even count toward bowl eligibility. But this loss--especially after Jeremiah Masoli was granted eligibility the day prior--may prove fatal to Nutt's career in Oxford at season's end.

Goat: the Oklahoma secondary. Any talk of Oklahoma as a national title contender should be tabled indefinitely, if the Sooners's disturbing 31-24 victory over Utah State is any indication of how they'll perform this season. The USU Aggies--generally considered a middle-of-the-road WAC team--rode a 341-yard, 2 TD performance by quarterback Diondre Borel to rack up 421 yards of offense. The Aggies even had the ball in Oklahoma territory midway through the fourth quarter, but the Sooners defense stiffened and pushed USU back to the 33 before the Aggies missed a 50-yard field goal. Still, this is Utah State we're talking about here.

Oklahoma has Florida State coming to Norman next week, and while it's not like Christian Ponder's about to throw 4 TDs in a half again like he did to Samford this week, it sure seems like he's going to find a porous secondary to shred--not the stout defense that typifies a BCS champion. So, Sooners. It's either shut down Ponder or watch your title dreams get eaten by scorpions. No pressure.


*Greatest Of All Time, natch.

Posted on: September 4, 2010 7:21 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 7:23 pm
 

Jacksonville State rallies, stuns Ole Miss in OT

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It took a few hours, but with I-AA Jacksonville State's massive upset of Ole Miss in double overtime, the college football season has officially begun.

Jacksonville State trailed 31-13 in the fourth quarter before coming back to tie the game at 34 with 0:17 left in the game. Once in overtime, Ole Miss had little difficulty in converting touchdowns on their two possessions. Jacksonville State, however, found themselves down 48-41 with 4th and 15 at the 30 yard line. No matter, as Coty Blanchard found Kevyn Cooper for a touchdown at the back of the end zone to make it 48-47.

After the touchdown, JSU coach Jack Crowe called timeout, and took a cue from the Boise State-Oklahoma 2007 Fiesta Bowl by going for the win. Blanchard rolled out and, under duress, found his tailback for a shovel pass and the win. 49-48, David over Goliath.

It's safe to assume that massive cheers will go up when this score is announced in the stadia of the various SEC teams who are currently playing.

For more breaking news and analysis all game day follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: September 4, 2010 6:52 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 7:01 pm
 

Ole Miss and Jacksonville State in OT thriller

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Coming into today's action, most of the news about Ole Miss centered on the Jeremiah Masoli soap opera and Masoli's early playing time. When the game was 31-10 Ole Miss at the half and 31-13 after three quarters, few would have guessed there'd be any more drama.

But, uh, about that.

Jacksonville State charged back in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns to one Rebels field goal to tie the game at 34. The tying score came on a 71-yard drive that started with under 3 minutes left, and that was capped with an off-balance two-point conversion throw by Marques Ivory.

Ole Miss did nothing more in regulation, and now the game goes to overtime. Giddyup.

UPDATE: Both teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. Ole Miss now starts the second OT with the ball. 

For more breaking news and analysis all game day follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: September 3, 2010 3:58 pm
 

NCAA: Jeremiah Masoli can play immediately

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Reversing a decision made just two days ago, the NCAA just announced this afternoon that Jeremiah Masoli may, in fact, play for the Ole Miss Rebels, starting tomorrow. Here's the text of the NCAA's decision:

University of Mississippi football student-athlete Jeremiah Masoli may compete immediately, according to a decision today by the NCAA Division I Subcommittee for Legislative Relief. The subcommittee’s decision overturns the staff decision to grant the graduate student transfer waiver with the condition that Masoli could not compete until the 2011-12 academic year.

According to NCAA rules, created by member schools, football graduate student-athletes must receive a waiver in order to compete if they enroll at a university other than where they received their undergraduate degree.

Every NCAA waiver process includes a staff decision first and an opportunity for the school to appeal that decision to an independent committee. This group is comprised of representatives of NCAA member schools and conferences. Throughout both stages of the waiver process, the case is reviewed and evaluated based on the specific facts of that particular case, as disclosed during the review process. In this case, the staff, subcommittee and school all acknowledged the complexity of the waiver request.

The NCAA staff received the waiver request from Ole Miss on Aug. 13 and received the final piece of information from the school on the evening of Aug. 30. After considering that final piece of information, the NCAA staff issued its decision the morning of Aug. 31. The appeal decision was given three days later.

This largely procedural explanation is in relative contrast to the denial from earlier this week, which stated that the intent of the waiver was not to allow an opportunity for athletes to avoid disciplinary action at their initial school.

While that argument isn't inherently incorrect, it's a non sequitur, one that should have prompted an easy response from Ole Miss' lawyers, something like "Would you mind showing me where, in the waiver's guidelines, we might find that 'intent' or 'spirit'?" Clearly, it's not there, because Masoli's going to be playing tomorrow.

Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:55 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 8:59 am
 

Starting/Sitting: Ole Miss, Clemson

Posted by Chip Patterson

Yesterday we found out that the NCAA had denied Jeremiah Masoli's waiver request for immediate eligibility, leaving him sidelined for the 2010 season unless Ole Miss successfully appeals the decision.  The Rebels suffered another blow to their lineup on Tuesday, being forced to sit defensive end Kentrell Lockett for the season opener with a heart condition.

Lockett, the senior team captain, was sidelined from practice with an irregular heartbeat and after undergoing tests has been ruled out for the opener against Jacksonville State with no timetable of return.  There is no timetable for his return though he is in stable condition.
Head athletic trainer Tim Mullins said Lockett has a “rhythm problem” with his heart. He began experiencing it during Saturday’s scrimmage and was immediately cared for by local doctors. He has since seen heart rhythm specialists in Memphis and now in Cleveland, Ohio.Sophomore Gerald Rivers will start in Lockett's place and coach Houston Nutt mentioned that Jason Jones could expect to see some significant time as well.

"It’s all hands on deck," Nutt said. "You’ve got to work by committee now.”



In Ingram-esque knee surgery news, Clemson starting linebacker Brandon Maye will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday and miss the Tigers' season opener against North Texas on Saturday.  Maye participated fully in practice as recently as Monday, but head coach Dabo Swinney seems confident that he will return to the lineup, possibly in time for the Presbyterian game September 11.
"Brandon just finished the best camp of his career," said Swinney. "He had some swelling on Monday and Tuesday and after an MRI it was determined he needed arthroscopic surgery."Maye will be replaced by Tig Willard at weakside linebacker.  After redshirting the 2008 sesaon, Willard made 10 tackles in 32 special teams plays last season.  Willard also has a family tradition to uphold in Death Valley, being the nephew of former Clemson defensive tackle Richard McCullough. 



   

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