Archive for March, 2015

Alabama RB dismissed after drug arrest while on suspension

Alabama has dismissed running back Tyren Jones after he was arrested in Tuscaloosa on Monday, continuing a horrible streak of arrests for the Crimson Tide.

Jones – who was already on suspension from the Alabama team for “conduct not the standard of the Alabama football program” -was arrested for possession of marijuana after his car was stopped for speeding just before midday on Monday. The officer found the marijuana – as well as digital scales belonged to the man in the car with Jones, Brandon Lee Hansberry.

Jones was charged with possession of marijuana second degree.

This is the third arrest for Nick Saban’s team in four days, following the arrest of Jonathan Taylor on domestic violence charges and Geno Smith for drink-driving.

Tyren Jones had 224 yards and 2 touchdowns on 36 carries for the Tide last year. He was a four-star recruit out of Marietta, GA, enrolling in 2013 .

Nick Saban: Sorry not Sorry

Nick Saban has apologized to the press for the way the Jonathan Taylor situation has worked out, but not for actually bringing the player to the school in the first place.

I’m not sorry for giving him an opportunity. I’m sorry for the way things worked out,” Saban said at a press conference. “I’m not apologizing for the opportunity that we gave him. I wanted to try to help the guy make it work. It didn’t work. So we’re sorry that it didn’t work and we’re sorry there was an incident and we’re sorry for the people that were involved in the incident. But we’re not apologizing for what we did and we’re going to continue to create opportunities for people in the future and we’ll very, very closely evaluate anyone’s character that we allow in the program.

Saban added: “He did everything we asked him to do here. He had a lot of psychological profiling, a lot of psychological counseling. He never missed a session. He did everything he was supposed to do. We’re sorry there was an incident. We levied the consequences. I think that’s all there is to talk about when it comes to that. We have 125 other players on our team that are doing really well. There’s really nothing else to talk about. Jonathan Taylor came here, we gave him an opportunity, it didn’t work out, he failed, we’re sorry, it’s time to move on.

He added about Taylor himself: “I still think he’s a good person. I think he has a problem and a circumstance and a situation that is not acceptable, and that is his problem. And he has been certainly dealt with relative to this problem.

Taylor was thrown out of Alabama after being arrested for domestic assault of his girlfriend. He was thrown out of Georgia previously for…domestic asssault of his girlfriend.

Pull No Punches: Nick Saban owes Alabama fans an apology over Taylor debacle

Nick Saban likes to tell people that he loves to give out second chances. He was passionate in the pre-SEC Championship Game press conference about letting DJ Pettway back after booting him for getting arrested for robbery.

He said at the press conference: “There’s always a lot of criticism out there when somebody does something wrong, everybody wants to know how you’re going to punish the guy. There’s not enough for 19 and 20-year-old kids, people out there saying, ‘Why don’t you give them another chance?

He added: “Where do you want them to be? Guy makes a mistake. Where do you want them to be? You want him to be in the street or do you want them to be here graduating?

Then the news came out a few weeks later that ‘Second Chance U’ (and there’s me thinking that school was either Kansas State or Auburn) had just signed Jonathan Taylor, the Georgia defensive tackle booted out of Athens by Mark Richt after being arrested for domestic violence, where he choked and hit his girlfriend.

Was Saban’s impassioned speech simply setting up the media because he knew that he was bringing in a guy who had been thrown out of a SEC rival for domestic violence, and he figured a speech would soften them up for what could have been cascade of nasty media attention? Probably. Taylor’s arrival in January – to Saban’s tune of “He’s the type of guy who deserves a second chance” (Actually, it was three if you count the double-cashing of reimbursement checks while he was at UGA) – wasn’t lauded. And it didn’t really hit home. The news media now crying foul of Saban’s decision to pull in a 6-4 guy who beat the crap out of his 5-11 girlfriend didn’t really remark about Saban’s taking Taylor on, and would they have really done so if Taylor had had 10 sacks and be starting for the Crimson Tide? Probably not.

Right now, Nick Saban owes Alabama fans an apology. He might claim that due diligence wasn’t done on Taylor (deflecting blame from him to the athletic department, although we all know that the decision to bring Taylor in came from Saban himself). He might claim that Taylor had convinced him he was worth the second chance, and it backfired. But really, the words that should be coming out of Saban’s mouth are this: “I screwed up. I should never have taken him on. Sorry.

Why should Saban apologise? Simple. It was a screw-up. But it made Alabama look bad, Alabama students look bad, Alabama fans look bad, the SEC look bad, and himself look very, very bad. Of course, people might not be forgiving, but at least he can say: “I apologised.”

Then, he can never do it again.

 

No Third Chances: Alabama dismisses Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan Taylor, the former Georgia DT booted from Athens after domestic violence charges who then enrolled at Alabama, has been booted by the Crimson Tide after being arrested for domestic violence charges.

According to ESPN: “Police officers responded to a call near Alabama’s campus to speak with a woman who told police she was assaulted by her boyfriend at approximately 6 p.m. Saturday.

After speaking to the woman about an altercation that took place at her residence, officers located the suspect at the residence and spoke to him about the incident. Officers found probable cause to arrest the suspect.

The 24-year-old woman had minor injuries to her neck from the assault, according to the police report. The officer also noted in the report damage to a bedroom closet door with a hole punched in it.

Taylor was arrested, and put on a $1,000 bail. And then was summarily booted by the University of Alabama. Nick Saban’s decision to take Taylor on in the first place was a truly terrible one.

Being successful in that second chance requires responsibility and accountability,” said Alabama AD Bill Battle. “In Jonathan’s situation, the University and the Department of Athletics set forth very clear standards of accountability and expectations of conduct. Jonathan was afforded a chance to successfully overcome the difficulties that resulted in his departure from the University of Georgia. Unfortunately, it appears that he was unable to do so, in spite of extensive efforts to assist him.”

It’s strange, because Taylor’s an incredibly talented DT who could well have gone to the NFL. But now, there seems to be only team Taylor’s heading for now, and it’s a jail team.

Top Ten Florida Gators In History

To celebrate Gator Day with the Florida Gators Alumni Association (OK, this writer didn’t attend the University of Florida, but we thought it might be fun, anyhow), we’re putting out 10 of the most famous Florida Gators.

Now, you might say that Aaron Hernandez is one of the most famous Florida Gators in history thanks to his murder trial, but we’re thinking ON the field (and maybe one off it), rather than OFF it. And by the way, Jeff Driskel’s not making the list. Sorry, Driskelians.

 

1. Tim Tebow (QB)

Won a Heisman Trophy, two National Championships, two SEC Championships, and went super-iconic with his speech after the Gators lost to Ole Miss at home in 2008. Later that season he brought them a National Championship. Simply didn’t know how to give up, and was as happy beating defenses with his arm as well as his legs. It helped that he had some great playmakers around him, but he was THE playmaker on those Urban Meyer offenses. His 9,285 yards passing and 88 TDs, coupled with 2,947 yards rushing and 57 TDs would indicate that.

2. Steve Spurrier (QB/Coach)

Oh, and as a quarterback, Spurrier wasn’t bad either, winning a Heisman Trophy and passing for 2,000 yards and 16 TDs in his successful 1966 season. Not bad for a Johnson City, Tennessee native. As a coach, Steve Spurrier is a grumpy ole pain in the ass, and we love him for it. Without him, the world of SEC head coaches becomes incredibly dull. As a coach at Florida, Steve Spurrier never lost against Peyton Manning (“I know why Peyton came back for his senior year: he wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP!”), which helped to increasingly ignite rivalries between Georgia and Tennessee. Actually, in his time against Georgia, he was 11-1 in the Cocktail Party. That’s not really a rivalry, unless you’re on The Landing. Seriously, if it wasn’t for Spurrier, we wonder where Florida football would be right now. His ‘Fun ‘N’ Gun’ offenses were awesome, bringing home a National Championship in 1996, and six SEC Championships.

3. Emmitt Smith (RB)

This wasn’t debatable. Smith might not have won a Heisman Trophy when he was in Gainseville, but he broke records for rushing yards in a season (1,599), the single game rushing record (316), career rushing yards (3,928), career TDs (36), and career yards per game (126.3), as well as a bunch of others. All in 3 years. And he had injury issues. He didn’t have a bad career as a running back in the NFL, too. Who drafted him again?

4. Danny Wuerffel (QB)

If there’s one “Fun ‘N’ Gun” offense that sticks out, it’s the 1996 National Championship with Danny Wuerffel as a QB. During his career, he threw for a quiet 10,875 yards and 39 TDs (most in SEC history, second-most in college football history) in his four years as a Gator, including back-to-back 3,000 yards seasons in his junior and senior year. Oh, and he won a Heisman Trophy in 1996, too. The NFL Scouts still didn’t like him much, drafting him in the fourth round, where he did precious little at the New Orleans Saints. He won the World Bowl with the Rhein Fire though!!

5. Jack Youngblood (DE)

The Pro Football Hall of Fame DE was pretty good in college, too. He didn’t even come into UF as a defensive end, either. He played as a linebacker at high school. His 14 sacks in 1969 was a school record, and he led the team in tackles with 66. In his freshman year, he did a touch of kicking, too. In 1970, he was an All-American and had 58 tackles and 10 sacks. He went in the first round to the LA Rams, where played for 13 years.

6. Wilber Marshall (LB)

The greatest linebacker to play in the orange and blue, he won three straight all-SEC honors (1981-83) and two straight all-American picks (1981-2). He was ferocious, recording 343 tackles – 58 of them for a loss – and 23 sacks, and was a Lombardi Award finalist in 1982 and 1983, losing out to Kenneth Sims (Texas) and Dave Rimington (Nebraska) respectively. A dominant force in the SEC, it was hardly surprising when he was the 11th pick of the 1984 NFL Draft. He had 11 years in the league, earning 2 All-Pro Spots and more importantly, two Super Bowls. Sadly, his injuries as a player have caught up with him as a retiree.

7. Percy Harvin (WR)

When Urban Meyer needed a game-changing play or someone to scare the life out of defenses, he called on Harvin, and Harvin answered the call. In three glittering Gator years (2006-8), Harvin helped the Gators to two National Championships, as well as 1,852 yards rushing and 1,929 yards receiving, and totalling 32 touchdowns. He was, in short, a freak. We still wonder why he can’t replicate his skills in the NFL, where he’s- if we’re honest – struggled. Maybe it’s because he’s not a God in Gainseville.

8. Carlos Alvarez (WR)

Considered by some as the greatest wide receiver to play at the school, Alvarez’s coming out party was in 1969, where he led the SEC in receptions (88), yards receiving (1,329), receiving TDs (12), yards from scrimmage (1,329). This was one of the greatest seasons by a player in school history – and probably will be for a long, long time. Alvarez finished his career with 2,563 yards receiving and 19 TDs, but everyone’s still talking about his 1969.

9. Wes Chandler (WR)

It was weird, but Chandler’s career as a Gator really didn’t take off until his junior year. But when it did, he was magnificent, posting 2,350 yards and 28 TDs from scrimmage. He also handled punt and kick-off returns. He led the SEC in receiving touchdowns in 1975 and 1976, and receptions (1976). Oh, and Chandler was a first-team All-American and All-SEC receivers in 1976 and 1977. And while he hasn’t been named to the College Football Hall of Fame (yet), he’s recognised one of the Gators best-ever players.

10. Rex Grossman (QB)

Although Rex’s  quarterbacking career in the NFL has been somewhat of a failure considering the numbers he put up in college, Grossman played for Steve Spurrier and Ron Zook, and flourished under both coaches. In 2000 he took the job as a redshirt freshman, throwing for 1,866 yards and 21 TDs, but in 2001 and 2002 he simply got better. In 2001 he earned second place in the Heisman Trophy voting to Nebraska’s Eric Crouch after posting 3,896 yards passing and 34 TDs. In 2002 he threw for 3,402 yards and 22 TDs in a slightly less successful season and declared for the NFL Draft in his junior year.

Alabama, Auburn talking to FSU about match-up

Alabama and Auburn is talking to Florida State about possible future match-ups, Florida State website Tomahawk Nation has said.

According to the site, which quotes sources, Alabama vs FSU is the most likely of match-ups, taking in place in Atlanta in the new Falcons Stadium in 2017. Auburn’s game against FSU would take place in Jacksonville in 2019.

An Alabama-FSU game would see the reunion of Alabama coach Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, who was his former defensive co-ordinator at LSU.

Georgia and South Carolina, the site noted, had been talked about possible future games for the Seminoles, but contracts could not be signed up.

Florida State already plays one SEC game every year when it plays Florida around Thanksgiving.

It would be pretty incredible for college football if Alabama, Auburn and Florida State tie up deals.

SEC names new Commissioner

The SEC has named former COO Greg Sankey as the league’s new Commissioner after Mike Slive had to resign due to treatments for cancer.

Sankey, who has been at the SEC for 12 years and was the league’s Executive Associate Commissioner, was announced by head of SEC presidents and chancellors Nick Zeppos.

He will take over Slive’s job when he formally retires on end-July this year.

The institutions of the Southeastern Conference searched for a commissioner who would carry forward the momentum of success enjoyed by the SEC over the last decade while also possessing a vision for change in the modern era of college athletics,” said Zeppos.  “Greg Sankey’s experience with our institutions, his respect on the national landscape, his understanding of the balance of athletics and academics, and his passion for the welfare of student-athletes make him the perfect leader for the SEC,” he added in a statement.  “Greg Sankey’s experience with our institutions, his respect on the national landscape, his understanding of the balance of athletics and academics, and his passion for the welfare of student-athletes make him the perfect leader for the SEC.”

Sankey said: “The universities of the SEC represent the greatest combination of academic and athletic excellence and I am honored to be selected to follow Mike Slive as commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. The SEC is poised to make a difference in the lives of student-athletes for generations to come.  We must ensure that the lessons they learn from their achievements in competition and in the classroom translate into success in life after college.”

 

Dak Prescott attacked on Spring Break

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has been attacked while on Spring Break in Panama City.

This video recently surfaced on Facebook. You can see Prescott- in the rainbow shorts- being surrounded by 3 or 4 guys and  – unsurprisingly – not looking certain on his feet moments after the attack.

Pictures have emerged of his bloody face and body after the attack, although he is not thought to be badly injured.

Prescott was on Spring Break with some Mississippi State players when the incident happened. There are rumors that it was Tennessee fans who attacked Prescott, although MSU blog Maroon and White Nation have said that “It was probably Southern Miss fans.”

Other players involved were back-up defensive end Torrey Dale and Prescott’s back-up QB Damian Williams.