Posted on: May 31, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Florida's plan on O: Do what your players can do

DESTIN, Fla. – There's no questioning new Florida coach Will Muschamp’s defensive knowledge. But what - or how - the Gators will do on offense isn't as clear cut.

So what will be the Gators’ offensive philosophy under coordinator Charlie Weis?

“Be multiple and do what your players can do,” Muschamp said Tuesday at the SEC’s spring meetings. “I’ve said this before: I don’t believe whether you’re on offense or defense you take a scheme and throw it on your players and say ‘this is what we are.’

“You have to do a good job of evaluating your talent and see what you can do – don’t ask them to do something they can’t. Put them in a situation where they can be successful.

“That’s what we’ve done. We’ve identified playmakers offensively. We’ve identified things we think our strengths are. We’ve curtailed our offense to be what we can be based on those guys.”

Earlier this month speaking at a Gator booster club gathering in Tampa, Fla., Muschamp said SEC teams have to be able to run the football to consistently win in league play.  

“Granted I would love to be 50-50 balanced down the middle, running and passing,” Muschamp said. “When you become too one-dimensional – I’m just looking at it from a defensive perspective – it makes it pretty easy for you. When you’re a one dimensional team, you have to be balanced in what you do especially in this league.”

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: May 31, 2011 9:51 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 10:50 pm
 

Petrino: NCAA changed its rules for Sugar Bowl

DESTIN, Fla. – Ohio State 31, Arkansas 26.

Not many individuals outside of Arkansas and Ohio remember the score from last season’s Sugar Bowl, but nearly everyone remembers that six Buckeyes were allowed to play in the contest after the NCAA determined they received improper benefits. The NCAA permitted them to play and delayed the player’s suspensions until this fall.

Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino was asked at Tuesday's SEC spring meetings about the Ohio State game and “should you have been playing a different team or have you let it go?”

“We wanted to play their best players,” Petrino said. “When you have a year like we had … and get to a BCS bowl game, you want to play their best players. That’s what you want to do.

“There’s no question that I don’t understand how they were eligible to play in the game. I just don’t and I never will.”

SEC commissioner Mike Slive, when told about Petrino’s comments, responded: “I can understand his position.”

Slive also was asked if he had ever seen a situation before where ineligible players were allowed to play and their suspensions delayed.

"I don't remember one," Slive said.   

Petrino related a situation when he coaching Louisville. He said two of his players were suspended after spending more than their allotted per diem on food because they were stranded in Newport, R.I., following the Big East’s media days. The punishment for the Louisville players was immediate, while, obviously, the OSU players had theirs suspensions postponed allowing them to play in the Sugar Bowl.

“I think they [the NCAA] kind of changed the rules for that bowl game,” Petrino said.

Petrino said he wasn’t surprised by the resignation of Ohio State coach Jim Tressel

“I can’t say I was surprised but I feel for him,” Petrino said. “When something like that happens you never like to see it. I feel for him, his family. It affects a lot of other people in the state and the university, so you feel for all those people.

“There are lessons to be learned from that, no question. One of the talks I have with my players is football is a game of courage. One of the lessons we always talk about is take the arrow in the forehead – which means tell the truth.

“Don’t be trying to blame things on your teammate next you. You have to be able to tell the truth with all your relationships with your professors, your girlfriend. … when it came out [Tressel] was dishonest with the NCAA you kind of knew it was going to spin a lot more.”

Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 1:22 pm
 

Trangehese: Big East looked at Army, Navy before

About 15 years ago, then Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese was working with the league’s presidents as they looked into expansion. The presidents directed him to approach Navy and Army about their interest in joining the league, which was formed in 1979 as a basketball league.

The discussions did not get very far, said Tranghese, who was the league’s commissioner from 1990-2009.

“I would describe those conversations as not very extensive,” Tranghese said. “It was clear to me there wasn’t a lot of interest [from the academies]. It never got very far. I was directed by the people in the league to at least look into it. I did it honestly in my heart knowing they weren’t interested, but times were different then.”

On Wednesday, I reported the league is considering Army and Navy as football members only and a college industry source told me he thinks the league will approach them first before pursuing other options.

Tranghese said he will not speculate on any future Big East expansion moves.

“I’m not there anymore,” he said. “If they truly want my opinion, I’d give it to them. I want them to succeed. When [former commissioner] Dave [Gavitt] left, he never gave his opinion [about future decisions] and neither am I.”

Tranghese said when he approached Army and Navy in the mid to late 1990s about the Big East, Army was not interested. Navy, though, considered it a little bit more.

Tranghese said if the academies would have been fully committed in joining back then, he’s not sure how far it would have proceeded.

“I really don’t know when push came to shove what they [the Big East presidents] would have done,” he said.

Tranghese said at the time there was an agreement with the league that if UConn and Villanova could abide by their standards, the schools could join as football members. UConn did so, but Villanova made the decision not to do so, Tranghese said.

Now 15 years later, Villanova is hoping to join the league as a football member.     

Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:24 pm
 

AD: Holgorsen's actions 'inappropriate behavior'

Following reports that West Virginia offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen had been escorted from a Charleston-area casino by casino security last week, Mountaineer athletic director Oliver Luck released a statement Wednesday afternoon calling Holgorsen's actions "inappropriate."

"After looking into the details and thoroughly investigating what took place last week, I believe inappropriate behavior did occur," Luck said. [Current head] Coach [Bill] Stewart and I have made it clear, and will reiterate, that our coaches and staff are representing the University and the state at all times. We expect them to always display appropriate behavior.

"I take this matter very seriously, but I do not plan on commenting on it further.”

Holgorsen also released a statement through the school.

"I learned a valuable lesson from this incident," Holgorsen said. "As a football coach I am always in the public eye and I have to hold myself to a higher standard, which is what I ask our players to do.  I'm sorry that this incident has put the University and the football program in a difficult position. I will not put myself in that situation again."

Ironically, West Virginia's statements were released shortly before news broke of USC's denied appeal by the NCAA. I guess Holgorsen and USC learned that when dealing with a casino or the NCAA never forget: the house always wins.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: May 25, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Big East AD meeting update

PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. - Here’s an update from the Big East cancelled athletic director-gate, for those who care:

On Tuesday night after meeting with the league’s coaches and athletic directors all day, Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the attending media that the league’s athletic directors would reconvene Wednesday morning around 8 a.m. The Wednesday AD's meeting was scheduled to end by noon – as the AD’s Wednesday meeting has for the past several years that the spring meetings have been held at the Ponte Verda Inn.

On Wednesday morning, though, I was contacted by a Big East spokesperson, who told me that the athletic directors’ meeting had been cancelled because some of the ADs, including West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, had to return to their schools earlier than expected.

A West Virginia spokesman said that Luck had always been planning to return to Morgantown, WVa., early Wednesday to attend the school’s rifle team fund-raiser Wednesday night. The fact Luck was returning the night after news of the Dana Holgorsen casino incident broke was purely coincidental, the WVU spokesperson said.

Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson and Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti also left Ponte Verda Beach early Wednesday and apparently did not plan to attend Wednesday’s AD meeting.

So the athletic directors’ meeting was cancelled – unless, of course, perhaps there never was a meeting scheduled? But then why would Marinatto indicate Tuesday night the agenda the ADs would be discussing on Wednesday, including the league’s bowl payout situation, scheduling, television and BCS matters if there was no meeting?

So there you go: the only thing more confusing than the meeting/cancelled meeting is which football schools the league will add for expansion. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that one soon enough. As soon as I come down from the grassy knoll.

 

Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 11:38 am
 

No Luck, so Big East AD meeting cancelled

PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – Wednesday morning’s Big East athletic directors meeting at the league’s spring meetings was cancelled because some of the league’s ADs, including West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, had to return back to their schools earlier than expected.

Luck returned to Morgantown, WVa., to apparently deal with an incident at a casino involving Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia’s new offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting. Pittsburgh AD Steve Pederson and Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti also left early and were unable to attend the meeting.

On Tuesday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league ADs would address several subjects on Wednesday including the league’s bowl payout situation, scheduling, television and BCS matters.

“Routine stuff,” Marinatto said.

Those items have now been pushed back to be discussed at the league’s football media days in Newport, R.I., Aug. 1-2.

Posted on: May 24, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Big East coaches recommend for 17-team tournament

PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – The Big East Conference men's basketball coaches voted Tuesday to allow all 17 teams to compete in the league’s tournament starting in 2012. 

The coaches’ recommendations at the league’s spring meetings still must be approved by the athletic directors and then voted on by the league’s presidents before becoming official.

With TCU joining the league for the 2012-13 school year, the basketball membership will grow from 16 to 17 teams. There was some thought that the league might opt to only allow the top 12 teams to play in Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament. That’s how the tournament was restructured from 2006-08 until the league allowed all 16 teams to advance to New York beginning with the 2009 tournament.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun said if he was the Big East's commissioner he would want a 12-team tournament, but as a coach he preferred all 17 teams playing in the tournament.

Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:51 pm
 

Calhoun predicts Big East split in 4-5 years

PONTA VERDA BEACH, Fla. – UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun admits he likely won’t be coaching when it happens, but he still sees it coming. And it can’t be stopped.

Rapture? The end of the world? Not quite, but the end of the Big East Conference as we know it now.

“My own personal opinion – and I won't probably see this – in the next couple of years, four or five years down the road, I think you'll see a separation [of the football and non-football membership],” Calhoun said. “I think it's inevitable.”

The Big East currently has 16 members, including eight football members. Next season with the addition of TCU, that number inflates to 17 all-sport members and nine football members.

That number could increase even more in the next couple of years with the Big East looking to expand its football membership by as many as three teams, which conceivably could result in a behemoth 20 member conference, including 12 football members.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said the Big East’s 16-team basketball league could evolve into 20-teams, split into four pods of five teams or two 10-team divisions.

“If you go to 18 [members], oh boy,” Calhoun said. “We're talking about going to 17 [now and that] creates enough different issues.”

A split of the football and non-football schools has been speculated for some time, but league sources feel that would happen as only a last resort.

Calhoun, 68, said if the league split, the eight basketball members – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova – would pursue some additional teams from the Atlantic 10, such as Xavier and Dayton.

“That’s what I think could happen,” Calhoun said.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com