Tag:Houston Nutt
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.

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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 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: August 31, 2010 5:20 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 2:34 pm
 

Jeremiah Masoli's football waiver denied by NCAA

Earlier today, we mentioned that Houston Nutt and Ole Miss were still awaiting word on the eligibility of embattled Oregon transfer QB Jeremiah Masoli; Masoli had filed a waiver with the NCAA that would allow him to play football right away, on account of his new graduate school major being unavailable at Oregon.

The good news is that the ruling on Masoli came well in advance of Ole Miss's first game. The bad news--well, you've seen the headline, you already know the bad news:
Jeremiah Masoli has had his waiver to play football for #olemiss in 2010 denied. Ole Miss will appeal
That's from Oxford Enterprise sports editor Ty Allushuski, and that's also bad, bad news for Masoli; he doesn't have a year of eligibility left, so unless Ole Miss's appeal is successful (unlikely), Masoli's college football career is now over.

No word yet from the NCAA as to what, specifically, they objected to with Masoli's waiver; while the entire situation seemed to be a pretty naked attempt to get back on the football field, it looked as if Masoli had jumped through all the requisite hoops. Hence, we suppose, the impending appeal.
Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:13 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 2:40 pm
 

Nutt, Masoli still await official word from NCAA

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Rebels fans file into the Grove on Saturday to prepare for the season opener against Jacksonville State, there is one thing they can expect at quarterback: Nathan Stanley.  

The 6-5 sophomore from Sequoyah, OK is listed as the starter on Ole Miss' depth chart heading into the game, and will likely be the first man to take the reigns of the Rebels' offense since the departure of Jevan Snead.
But it's one of his backups that has been getting all the attention since his arrival in Oxford.  
Oregon transfer Jeremiah Masoli awaits word from the NCAA on whether he will be granted a waiver to bypass the NCAA's one year requirement for transfer students.  Head coach Houston Nutt is trying his best to be optimistic.

"I wish I could feel as good as [Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe] does about it," said the Rebels coach. "I truly don't know."

"I'm expecting (a decision) either today, tomorrow or the next day at the latest," said Nutt, whose team hosts Jacksonville State on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Masoli is expected to be granted the waiver because the graduate program he has enrolled in was not available at Oregon.  if he is made available, there is no doubt he will have a chance to make an impact right away.  Say what you will about his off-field troubles, but Houston Nutt would be more than happy to have Masoli's 15 passing and 13 rushing touchdowns from 2009 on this years' squad.  

Nutt currently has Masoli and junior Randall Mackey both listed as second on the depth chart.  All three quarterbacks have been sharing snaps during camp, but most of the snaps this week will be split between Stanley and Snead.

"I just know the clock is ticking and it's game week," said Nutt. "I have a guy who has played (Masoli) and two guys that haven't, so I have to get them ready."

If Masoli suits up, I expect Nutt will utilize the quarterback tandem that is becoming more and more popular in today's game.  If so, fans in Oxford should get ready when they see No. 8 on the field.



 
 
 
 
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