Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:24 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 9:28 pm
 

Terrelle Pryor: Please don't boo LeBron, OSU fans

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This might come as a bit of a shock, but LeBron James is not the most well-liked man in the state of Ohio these days. Sure, he's still doing the occasional fundraiser here or there up in his home state, but once the NBA season comes, Ohioans would much rather he just go down to Miami and stay there--probably on penalty of things being thrown at him and/or his car. Messy breakups: they happen.

So when word came last week that LeBron was planning to come to the Shoe for the Ohio State-Miami game this Saturday, Cavs-loyal OSU fans were understandably perturbed. LeBron's announcement that he was cheering for the Buckeyes only muddled the issue further; how can Ohio's Greatest Monster be a Buckeye fan? Should they boo him anyway and exile him from the scarlet and grey, just to be safe? 

Terrelle Pryor has the answer for these fans: please no booing LBJ; he's with me:

Pryor said he has exchanged text messages with James this week and hopes to see him at Saturday's home game against the Miami Hurricanes, believing James plans to attend. If he does, Pryor has a message for fans.

"If LeBron does come, just treat him with respect and respect his decision," Pryor said. "Please, no name calling or booing or anything like that. Please. That's my mentor, and I've got a lot of respect for him and a lot of love for him."

That's all fine and good, and perhaps OSU fans can learn to keep the NBA stuff to the NBA and enjoy the company of a very famous fellow Buckeye fan. Perhaps.

But at the same time, Pryor did call LeBron his "mentor," and if that statement's to be believed, watch out; OSU fans should at least steel themselves for the possibility that the Buckeyes lose to the 'Canes... at which point Pryor transfers--or, excuse me, "takes his talents" to Miami. Hey, what are mentors for?

Posted on: September 8, 2010 8:04 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 9:28 pm
 

Joe Montana: 'Rudy' was exaggeration

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Let's face it, few gridiron fans can name a more inspirational college football movie than "Rudy," the story of undersized Notre Dame walk-on Daniel Ruettiger. SPOILER ALERTS AHOY: he gets the hell beaten out of him for four years, perseveres, gets into the game in the last game of his career, and records a sack on the final play before being carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates. Anyone who's ever kind of sucked at football but tried really hard anyway (raising hand) can relate to Rudy's story and draw inspiration from it.

But to the jocks to whom everything comes easy, including football and stealing girlfriends, Rudy's story isn't actually all that inspirational, and wouldn't you know it, here's heartthrob and Super Bowl champion Joe Montana to throw cold water on the whole party decades after the fact:

After a dismissive sigh, Montana undermined some of the main storylines in the movie saying, "The crowd wasn’t chanting … nobody threw in their jerseys."

Montana acknowledged that the real Rudy did play in the final home game ... and did get a sack -- but stated that when the players carried Rudy off the field, they were "kinda playin' around ... I won't say as a joke, but playing around."

Technically, this is much more plausible than the team all rallying around a player who's just, y'know, short and slow of foot. And hey, Ruettinger has parlayed the experience into lasting fame and a movie deal, so it's not like he's the big loser all of a sudden. But still, what exactly was Montana majoring in at Notre Dame, "killjoy studies"? Let the people believe, man.

Posted on: September 8, 2010 5:59 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 6:01 pm
 

Yes, Ohio Stadium is actually loud

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The No. 12 Miami Hurricanes are about to head up to Columbus to face the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. And while there's plenty of aspects to the game that might play into one side's favor over the other, "insufficient crowd noise" is a highly unlikely candidate to work in Miami's favor. Lo and behold, though, that's precisely what the Sun Sentinel's Steve Gorten suggests:

Let’s be bluntly honest: The Horseshoe is over glamorized.

It isn’t intimidating. Nor is it much of a hostile environment.

Yes, it’s an impressively large stadium. And yes, it’s full of rich tradition — the dotting of the “I” is pretty cool.

But it’s not exactly a daunting place to play. The only reason ‘Canes players kept getting asked about it Tuesday, I suspect, is because it seats more than 105,000 (so yeah, there are more available voices to yell). But the Big House in Ann Arbor seats six digits, too. And that’s no house of horrors for opponents either.

The dismissive comparison to the Big House is probably the most heinously ill-informed aspect of this argument--the two stadiums are designed in significantly different ways, and OSU's two-tiered horseshoe system puts the upper crowds right on top of the players, rather than far away like in the "bowl" type stadiums, such as the Big House. As stadiums go, few are built to be as oppressively loud as the Horseshoe. 

Thus, the unfavorable comparisons to the SEC stadiums that followed can really only be a thinly-veiled shot at Ohio State fans in comparison to their SEC counterparts. But here's the thing: OSU fans are every bit as "SEC" as the real thing down south: they're loud, obnoxious, loud, highly "lubricated," and loud. Opposing fans have many things they find wrong with OSU fans. I assure you: timidity is not one of them.

And look. There are plenty of reasons to think No. 12 Miami could pull an upset at No. 2 Ohio State this weekend. Matter of fact, I'm calling that upset in our Expert Picks. But I'm calling it because OSU almost always drops one home game a year, even when they're very good, and athletic defenses like Miami's have traditionally given Terrelle Pryor fits. But if Miami does pull the upset, it's not going to be because the Ohio State crowd was too gentle.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:49 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 5:02 pm
 

UGA's A.J. Green will receive 4 game suspension

Posted by Chip Patterson

We figured that Georgia would hear an official word from the NCAA as soon as today regarding wide receiver A.J. Green's eligibility.  They did, and unfortunately it means that the star will miss even more playing time.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday afternoon that the NCAA's ruling was for junior wide receiver A.J. Green to miss four games before being eligible to play again.

According to the facts of the case submitted by Georgia, Green sold his Independence Bowl game jersey to an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent.  Green has repaid the $1,000 he received for the jersey to charity.

Georgia plans to appeal in hopes of having Green’s suspension reduced. He sat out last week’s season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette and also must sit out the next three games if the NCAA ruling stands.


Head coach Mark Richt told reporters on Tuesday that he figured the ruling would come by the end of the week.  Green has been practicing regularly with the team, though his status on the depth chart was listed as "TBD."  A report earlier today included new details that Green had cooperated with investigators and the sale of a jersey was involved.  It is unknown whether Georgia was surprised at all by the ruling, the news of an appeal is not surprising and is almost routine at this point.

READ MORE: Dennis Dodd breaks down the NCAA's rules regarding the importance of monetary figures in suspensions.  A must-read for better understanding of the punishments.

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Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:26 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 3:28 pm
 

Vince Young's mom: leave Reggie Bush alone

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Dallas Morning News caught up with Vince Young's mother recently, and despite (refuted) reports that Reggie Bush is set to lose his 2005 Heisman Trophy, neither she nor her son are interested in Young receiving the award ex post facto:

"We're not interested in having no honor and no glory out of somebody else they are trying to tear down, no," Felicia Young said. "They did not give Vincent the Heisman when he was there, even though I know that my son, he was the one who should have had the Heisman, but God didn't see it that way. He gave it to Reggie Bush."

"I know that my son is not thinking about the Heisman because God blessed him with even more than just that piece of wood," Felicia Young said. "He blessed him with the National Championship."

"Leave (Reggie Bush) alone because his stats and his ability and everything that he did as a human being in playing football he did wonderful.

"I say to Reggie Bush today 'you keep your head up.' "

This is a wise stance for the Young family to take. Whether Young deserved the award or not, awarding it to Young five years after the fact on account of shady off-field business is the absolute wrong way to go about it. The ceremony happened, it's done, and reversing the decision would be just as unseemly as whatever Bush did to provide for his family.

Further, taking away Heisman Trophies is a road the Heisman Trust probably doesn't want to go down. After all, the probability that none of the previously named Heisman winners received improper gifts is, frankly, disturbingly slim. And the last thing the most hallowed trophy in collegiate athletics needs is a history littered with revocations.

Posted on: September 8, 2010 2:25 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 2:30 pm
 

Pryor and Harris have off-field friendship

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Saturday, Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and Miami's Jacory Harris will be dueling on the field as opponents in what is arguably the biggest game of the weekend.  But off the field, they will likely go back to being friends.

Miami's Harris revealed to the Sun-Sentinel on Wednesday that the two have been friends ever since Hurricanes DT Marcus Fortson introduced Pryor to Harris over the phone.  Fortson and Pryor were teammates in the high school Army All-American game in 2008.  “Off the field, [Pryor] reminds me somewhat of Jacory Harris — outgoing, likes to have fun,” Forston said.

Harris told the reporter that although the two have never hung out, they "have always kept in contact" since their freshman year, talking and texting regularly.

What are the conversations about?

“Anything but football,” Harris noted. “We talked one time about this game and that was in the spring. Since then we haven’t talked about this game. We talk about regular things that friends, boys talk about.”

Of their conversation in the spring, Harris said, “We were just excited to play each other, go out there and represent for our schools and just have a good game.”


It is not surprising the two are able to find so much in common.  Both juniors stand at least 6-4 (Pryor is listed at 6-6), they both are threats to throw deep as well as burn a defense on the ground, and they both had to split time in-season before being given the keys to the offense.  Odd enough, last week both quarterbacks threw for 3 touchdowns, put up at least 200 yards, and their teams' scored 45 points.

But the friendship between the two Heisman hopefuls will have to be suspended momentarily on the field.  Because if either team expects to be in contention for the National Championship, they cannot afford an early season loss.  

“I don’t look at it as a challenge between me and him,” Harris said. “It is a game between two teams and not individuals. We just want to go out there and have a good showdown between the two teams, and then that is what we will settle from there.” (Photo credit: AP/Naples News)

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Posted on: September 8, 2010 11:43 am
Edited on: September 8, 2010 11:48 am
 

Source: UGA's Green sold game jersey

Posted by Chip Patterson

Head coach Mark Richt and the University of Georgia have stayed fairly quiet regarding the eligibility of star wide receiver A.J. Green.  He has been practicing with the team and participating in activities, but his official status on the depth chart is "TBD."  On Tuesday, Richt said he hoped to hear an official word from the NCAA by the end of the week.  

The nature of his investigation was rumored to be agent-related, but Green has repeatedly denied attending an alleged agent-sponsored party in South Florida.  A report from ESPN.com on Wednesday seems to confirm that the issue does not deal with agents, but instead with the sale of game-worn jersey.
A person familiar with the NCAA investigation told ESPN.com that Green did not sell his jersey on e-Bay and received less than $1,000 for it. The source said Green has been forthcoming and honest with NCAA investigators, but added there were "some twists and turns" involved with the case.
There is little precedent for such a case, as there were not any rules regarding the sale of memorabilia until 2003.  Interestingly enough, it was a case of Georgia football players selling 2002 SEC Championship rings which prompted the institution of such rules.  

If Green were cleared, he would be able to make an impact immediately for the Bulldogs, changing the face of the offense against division rival South Carolina on Saturday.  Reports say that Georgia could hear official word from the NCAA regarding Green's status as soon as Wednesday, but the suspension (if any) is yet to be determined.


Posted on: September 8, 2010 10:36 am
Edited on: September 8, 2010 11:10 am
 

Report: UNC assistant frequently called agent

Posted by Chip Patterson

As the NCAA continues it's investigation into the North Carolina football program, college football fans are left to stand on the outside only hearing rumors and murmurs of possible allegations and "insider" information.

That is until a local paper steps in with some good old fashioned investigative reporting.  The News & Observer released a report late Tuesday night that detailed the extensive communication between former assistant coach John Blake and sports agent Gary Whichard.  Blake's connections with Whichard have been the center of scrutiny since news broke of the NCAA's investigation of North Carolina in July.

The university announced Blake's resignation on Sunday evening.  According to the release, Blake stepped down "in the best interest" of the program.  Blake has hired legal representation, suggesting that his involvement in the investigation will not end with his resignation.   

The report details 61 calls from Blake's university-issued cell phone to Whichard in the 61 days between November 5 and January 4.  That date in January happens to be the day that six North Carolina juniors announced they would return for their senior season rather than enter the NFL draft.  Of those six players (Marvin Austin, Greg Little, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Bruce Carter, and Quan Sturdivant), only Carter and Sturdivant were cleared to play in the season opener against LSU.

As for the response from the university?
Asked if it is ever acceptable to have that level of communication between a coach and an agent, UNC chancellor Holden Thorp said in an e-mail: “Whether the level of contact is acceptable or unacceptable depends on what they talked about, and I have no idea what they were discussing. Clearly, Mr. Wichard and Coach Blake have a very close relationship. All things being equal, it’s probably better not to have a close personal relationship with a sports agent if you’re an NCAA coach.”Obviously, with the nature of the investigations in Chapel Hill covering both agent-related issues as well as possible academic improprieties, it is difficult to distinguish which of the allegations are tied to which players.  But with a possible subpoena for Marvin Austin coming from the North Carolina Secretary of State's office, it is hard not to think that this could get messy.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall already announced her investigation into possible violations of the Uniform Athlete Agent Act.  North Carolina is one of 42 states that govern contact between amateurs and agents.  The laws prohibit agents from offering gifts before a contract is signed, and the punishment can be civil or criminal.     

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