Posted on: June 7, 2009 11:53 am
Andrew Carter of the Orlando Sentinel asks why the NCAA's response to Florida State's appeal is not subject to open records laws.
Also, props to Central Florida coach George O'Leary who rips his peers for hiding their coaches poll ballots.
Posted on: June 2, 2009 4:24 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2009 4:46 pm
Bobby Bowden and Florida State still don't know the fate of the 14 victories in question regarding the celebrated academic fraud case.
The process is still ongoing -- and complicated -- judging from a cryptically worded release from Florida State on Tuesday. We were led to believe that a decision from the appeals committee might come down today. Turns out that even some at FSU were surprised that we are essentially still in the middle of the process.
"If that was the case, (we) probably would have heard something," said a person close to the process.
The school is doggedly fighting the NCAA penalties because of Bowden's legacy. The loss of 14 victories would stain the program and virtually end the neck-and-neck race between Bowden and Penn State's Joe Paterno for the all-time victories record. Paterno is currently No. 1 in Division I-A with 383 wins, one ahead of Bowden.
FSU retained the services of The Compliance Group in Lenexa, Kan. to guide it through the case. A letter from appeals committee chair Noel Ragsdale to The Compliance Group's Stacey Karpinnski on Tuesday acknowledged the committee's receipt of the infractions committee's response. FSU president T.K. Wetherell and athletic director Randy Spetman are among those copied on the letter.
Ragsdale is listed as a clinical professor of law at USC. Ironically, Karpinski is listed on The Compliance Group website as having a law degree from FSU. Neither could be reached for comment.
According to the NCAA website, the appeals committee's decision is final after the in-person hearing. That decision is reached by majority vote of the committee members attending the meetings. There are currently five members on the committee.
Also according to the website, the committee will "reverse or modify a ruling (by the infractions committee) only if the individual or institution can show one or more of the following grounds:
1. That the ruling was clearly contrary to the evidence;
In 2008, former infractions committee chairman Gene Marsh of Alabama said: "If folks really are interested in righting the wrong of winning games, because you won while you were cheating, vacation (of victories) seems to be a logical thing to do."
Earlier this year, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen told CBSSports.com he agreed with the original FSU penalties.
Posted on: May 28, 2009 2:43 pm
Don't think that Florida State's academic fraud case is going to be wrapped up on Tuesday.
The NCAA appeals committee has been given an extension until then. However, that figures to be only the next step. If FSU doesn't agree with the appeals committee's conclusion, then it has 15 days to respond. After that the committee would have 10 days to rebut FSU. If the school still isn't satisfied, expect it to request an in-person hearing with the committee.
I'm beginning to think that with vacations, etc., this process could drag out until shortly before the beginning of the football season. Nothing like the backdrop of NCAA penalties to add to the flavor of FSU-Miami.
Posted on: January 5, 2009 7:14 pm
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Just when you thought fingernails against a chalkboard were tolerable, a couple of hundred men and women gathered to talk to Gators and Sooners. Yes, there were more than a few stupid questions. Hopefully, none by me ...
Day 2 of the Dom Bomb brought the requisite reaction from Florida.
Oklahoma's Dominique Franks made trash talk news on Sunday when he said Tim Tebow would only be the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12. Florida receiver Louis Murphy said it would provide more motivation for Tebow. The quarterback himself gave a non-answer. "I'll just try to have fun out there Thursday night."
"I don't have a reaction," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "I've done this for a long time, and I'm sure that someone jammed a microphone in his face and he was having fun."
Not so much Urban. The kid brought it up on his own. Take my word for it. I was there.
• Bo Pelini didn't seem to be one of the central figures in this championship but he is, having helped both Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen.
Venables flew to Lincoln in mid-December to break down film and discuss how to beat Florida. Pelini, Nebraska's head coach, offered his help after getting a feel for the Gators during his time at LSU. Venables seemed surprised that I knew the two had met when I talked to him on Monday. He didn't admit to the skull session, saying the two are just "good friends."
Mullen talked to Pelini about juggling two jobs prior to a national championship game. Mullen is balancing his last days at Florida while taking over as head coach at Mississippi State. Pelini did a similar thing last year when he stayed for the BCS title game as defensive coordinator after taking the Nebraska job.
• Redshirt freshman quarterback John Brantley will be taking over for Tebow if the Heisman-winning quarterback leaves for the NFL after this season. Brantley is a five-star prospect from nearby Ocala. If Tebow does stay, Brantley wouldn't see the field as a starter until his fourth season as a redshirt junior in 2010.
"It doesn't bother me," Brantley said. "Me and Tim are such good friends. I don't have hate against him at all. It would be another year of learning, I guess."• Meyer was short with a reporter Monday who asked him about his controversial Notre Dame comment last month. Meyer said that Notre Dame remains his "dream job."
Why, the reporter asked, is Notre Dame so special?
"Next question," Meyer said.
Florida AD Jeremy Foley said that Meyer's ND comment didn't bother him. Meyer seems to be a long-timer at Florida, or least until his nine-year-old son Nate is in college. That would be 10 years. Would you take another decade, Gators?
"I don't think he'll leave," linebacker Brandon Spikes said. "If he goes, I'm pretty sure he'll turn the program around. He did it here at Florida."• One of the few connections between the two teams is Oklahoma defensive back Brett Bowers and Tebow.
Bowers was a junior at Trinity Catholic Academy in Jacksonville, Fla. when Tebow was a freshman. Bowers played with Tebow's older brothers at Trinity.
The redshirt junior "really didn't know who Oklahoma was" until seeing them play on TV against his favorite, Florida State, in 2000.
"I kind of followed Coach Stoops and his career, he beat my favorite team," Bowers said. "At the time, the Florida schools started rebuilding. Oklahoma was one of my offers. My mom is from Oklahoma City. I committed early."
"I learned the state butterfly is the Zebra Longwing," Murphy said.
So at least there's that.
Posted on: December 28, 2008 5:27 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2008 5:46 pm
I really want to believe that Miami and Florida State have turned the corner. I really do. After watching them back-to-back on Saturday in bowl games, though, that is clearly not the case.
Florida State's defense is worthy of its predecessors, but is probably losing that unit's best player Everette Brown. Offensively, the line still has to be game-planned around. Quarterback Christian Ponder is inconsistent. When he does get the ball out smoothly, Ponder has (had) one reliable receiver in Greg Carr.
There's a reason only one quarterback (West Virginia's Pat White) has started and won four bowl games. Did you see Miami freshman Jacory Harris against Cal in the Emerald Bowl? He did an admirable job until that killer fumble deep in his own territory. All it did was decide the game. Harris had to know that he either has to go down in that situation or throw the ball away. His struggle allowed the ball to come loose and Cal to win.
Coach Randy Shannon deserves a lot of the blame for mismangement of the clock in the final two minutes but Harris didn't do his team any favors either. The freshman had no urgency to his step. With a chance to run out of bounds near midfield, he elected to cut toward the middle of the field. That wasted more time and showed how much this raw talent has to learn.
In his second career college start, Harris lost for the first time in 32 starts dating back to high school. There are better days ahead. I think.• Please, someone, make Cal's Jahvid Best the 2009 Heisman frontrunner. I don't care if Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford come back. Best right now is the best tailback in the country. After rushing for 186 yards against the Canes, the sophomore ended No. 2 on Cal's single-season rushing list.
• More on White: It almost seemed like coach Bill Stewart was trying to showcase his quarterback for the pros in the Meineke Bowl. While White will go down as one of the Mountaineers' all-time great, he will not be a quarterback in the NFL. I like to compare him to the guy whose record he broke, Brad Smith of the New York Jets. White passed Smith on the all-time rushing list for quarterbacks. He will never be known as a passer.
Most likely, White will make an NFL roster as a slash-type player similar to Smith or Ted Ginn Jr. of Miami.
While you consider White's numbers from Saturday, don't forget these lines against Pittsburgh (15 of 28, 143 yards, two interceptions), South Florida (14 of 23, 141 yards) and Colorado (10 of 14, 43 yards).• After Wisconsin's pitiful showing against Florida State, is the Big Ten's rep on the line again or what? Going into Sunday the conference was already tied for the second-worst bowl record this season (0-1).
Posted on: December 8, 2008 7:38 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 11:22 am
Colt McCoy is the Heisman leader in the prestigious Rocky Mountain News poll. Yours truly voted in it this season.• Nagurski Award (best defensive player) went to a Big 12 player? Texas' Brian Orakpo was sixth in sacks and 11th in tackles for loss. Okaaay ....
CBSSports.com's All-America team (including our defensive player of the year) will be released on Friday.
--Oregon's Mike Bellotti voted for Cal (No. 25) but Cal coach Mike Tedford did not.
--North Carolina finished with six points in the coaches poll. Two of them came from coach Butch Davis who voted the Tar Heels No. 24.
--Mike Leach voted Oklahoma No. 1, Texas Tech No. 2 and Texas No. 5. No. 5? That at least equaled the lowest ranking of the Longhorns among the 61 voters.
--Nebraska got all of five points in the poll. Four of them came from coach Bo Pelini who slotted his Huskers No. 21.
--Most overrated team by a coach: Missouri. Gary Pinkel had his Tigers at No. 18. They barely stayed in both polls.
--Three five-loss teams finished with votes -- Kansas, Rutgers and Buffalo.• Here are the combined top five of the seven Big 12 coaches who voted in the coaches poll. This is an issue, of course, because Texas finished .01816 of a point out of the BCS title game.
1. Oklahoma (five first-place votes)
The seven are: Art Briles, Baylor; Mack Brown, Texas; Dan Hawkins, Colorado; Mike Leach, Texas Tech; Gary Pinkel, Missouri; Gene Chizik, Iowa State; Bo Pelini, Nebraska. Only Chizik and Mack Brown had Texas ahead of Oklahoma on their ballots. Briles, Hawkins, Leach, Pinkel and Pelini voted Oklahoma No. 1.
Four coaches voted Texas No. 1 in the coaches poll. Amazingly, one of them wasn't Mack Brown: Chizik, Todd Dodge, North Texas; Rick Neuhiesel, UCLA; Mike Price, Texas-El Paso.
Chizik worked for Brown. Dodge played at Texas. Price played Texas this year was grateful for the Horns coming and filling his stadium. Neuheisel is the head scratcher but a lot of stuff The Rickster does causes us to scratch our heads.• How my BIG playoff would have looked in 2006 and 2007:
Regular season national champion: Ohio State
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 8 West Virginia
Regular season national champion: Ohio State
No. 1 Florida vs. No. 8 Oklahoma
Friend Jack Scanlan and I somehow scored tickets in the bleachers at old Busch Stadium to what was then the biggest football game in The Loo's history. On a cold, cold day, Jackie Smith caught a touchdown pass and the Cardinals of Jim Hart, Terry Metcalf and Mel Gray beat the Giants 14-6.
It was a bigger deal then than it was today in Arizona. The Cardinals migrated from Chicago in 1960 and spent 27 mostly-frustrating seasons in my hometown. I still follow the Cards enough to know that the Bidwells are still the Bidwells. Cheap and clueless.
Good on ya to Arizona, though. The city deserves a team to fit that magnificent stadium.
And, no, take the old lady up on her offer. I was only 18, besides I'm a vodka man.
Tags: Alabama, Arizona Cardinals, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, Buffalo, Colorado, Florida, Florida state, Georgia, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York Giants, North Carolina, North Texas, Ohio State, Oregon, Rutgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas-El Paso, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Posted on: December 5, 2008 6:21 pm
ATLANTA -- Florida receiver Percy Harvin remains questionable for Saturday's SEC championship game.
While Florida coach Urban Meyer said the Gators' biggest home-run threat would be evaluated after a Friday afternoon practice.
Harvin suffered a high ankle sprain last week against Florida State. Harvin's health is the No. 1 subject around the SEC championship game which will determine one of the participants in the BCS title game. The often-injured star averages only 8.7 touches per game but leads the Gators in receiving and is second in rushing.
He was named to the American Football Coaches Association All-American team this week.
That's what happened to Steve Sarkisian who will be named the new Washington coach some time after Saturday's season ender at UCLA. It was just a short time ago when USC's offensive coordinator was Al Davis' No. 1 choice to become the Raiders coach.
I was sitting in his office shortly after his marathon interview. The crotchety Davis is thorough, if you consider thorough what the team is going to eat for lunch. That was one of the questions thrown at Sarkisian. It was at that point that he knew the NFL -- at least the Raiders -- was not for him.
His friend and fellow USC coach Lane Kiffin eventually got interested in the job. We know what happened from there.
Sarkisian's departure makes it four assistants that have left Pete Carroll's side in recent years.
Norm Chow -- left for the Titans in 2005 and was fired after last season. He will go against Carroll for the first time on Saturday.
Nick Holt -- left Louisville to join Carroll's original USC staff in 2001. Holt then left to become the Idaho head coach in 2004 and 2005 before returning as defensive coordinator in 2006.
Kiffin -- The son of Monte Kiffin left the staff in 2007 to take the Raiders' job. That unfortunate dalliance that ended earlier this season probably helped him get the Tennessee job last month.
By the way, the Sarkisian deal is done. Both Washington and Sark didn't want it to get out until after Saturday's game but, hey, we have to do our jobs.
Current receivers coach John Morton is reportedly a candidate to replace Sark. Great piece here by theL.A. Times Bill Plaschke regarding the situation.
1996 --Texas 37, Nebraska 27. James Brown (the one without the cape) hit Derek Lewis with a 61-yard pass on fourth-and-1 to help clinch it. The game allowed Florida to slip into the Sugar Bowl for a rematch with Florida State. Steve Spurrier won his, and the school's first national championship.
1998 --Texas A&M 36, Kansas State 33 (2OT). Purple people were on pay phones (10 years ago was before cellies) calling for tickets to the Fiesta Bowl at halftime. It looked even better when K-State was up by 15 with 12 minutes left. Sirr Parker's game-winning touchdown catch that his life story was made into a movie.
2003 -- Kansas State 35, Oklahoma 7. Who needs a Big 12 championship when you're this solid in the BCS? In one of the great BCS fumbles of all time, the Sooners still played in the national championship game despite losing by four touchdowns. USC got justice later with a split title.
2007 -- Oklahoma 38, Missouri 17 -- This one barely qualifies as an upset. Oklahoma was a three-point favorite but Missouri was No. 1 going in. The Tigers were coming off perhaps the biggest game in their history, beating rival Kansas. They had risen to the top spot but were underdogs in a game in which Oklahoma rolled. OU's was the first defense all season to hold Missouri to less than 31 points.• How does this happen? Texas quarterback Colt McCoy was named Associated Press' Big 12 player of the year. He was AP's second-team quarterback. Complicating matters further Heisman-wise: Sam Bradford was the first-team AP quarterback. Texas Tech's Graham Harrell was the AFCA first-team quarterback.
• The favorite at Auburn now seems to be Florida State's Jimbo Fisher. If the school can come up with the money to fund Fisher's multi-million dollar buyout it might work. Fisher has a background at Auburn as quarterbacks coach from 1993-98.
Posted on: December 2, 2008 11:17 pm
Nice move by Oregon to lock up Chip Kelly. Whether the move was accelerated by Syracuse's interest or not, it made sense. Kelly has been around only two seasons. It has been long enough to prove himself. In 2007, Oregon led the Pac-10 in scoring. This season, the Ducks lead the league in total offense. That's what you want out of your offensive coordinator.
Let's see, that makes five coaches in waiting: Kentucky, Purdue, Texas, Florida State and Oregon.• Sometimes all you have to do break the code in these coaching searches. Cincinnati's Brian Kelly announced Tuesday that he was staying at the school. His name had been most recently linked to Notre Dame.
Kelly's action signaled to me that Notre Dame had decided to keep Charlie Weis. Otherwise, Kelly wouldn't have made a grandstand move out of sticking around at Cincinnati. Sure enough, Tuesday night it was announced that Weis would be back for his sixth season.
The best option for Notre Dame might be to wait a year, suck it up, and see if it can shake loose Urban Meyer. It's going to be incredibly awkward to pursue Meyer anyway at this point. The former ND assistant has at least a BCS bowl and maybe a national championship game to prepare for in Gainesville.
ND might be wise to ride out a choppy 2009 if it allows easier access to Meyer. The coach has said on numerous occassions that Notre Dame was his dream job. That was <>before<> he found happiness in Gainesville.
One of ND's few advantages are Meyer's success, strangely enough. If he wins his second national championship in three years at Florida, what is there left to accomplish?• We have our first confirmation that Mike Leach has shown interest in the Washington job. The Seattle Times reported Tuesday that Leach had been in Seattle, ostensibly to interview. At the the same time, Texas Tech is readying a raise and extension offer. It better hurry. If U-Dub president Mark Emmert can get past Leach's quirky ways (and wardrobe), Washington just might have its next coach.
Leach had stoned potential suitors until after the season so he could concentrate on football.• Syracuse is all over the map according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. The 'Cuse has interviewed or will interview Temple coach Al Golden, Eagles assistant Mark Whipple, Bengals assistant Paul Alexander, Florida assistant Steve Addazio, Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone and Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley.
Buffalo's Turner Gill and East Carolina's Skip Holtz are also still in the mix.