Arkansas gives Bielema contract extension, puts him in $4m club

Arkansas has given head coach Bret Bielema a two-year contract extension through 2020, in a deal that will earn the coach at least $4m a year.

The Razorbacks will raise Bielema’s salary by $100,000 per year, and have also added incentives for athletic and academic success that could give ‘Bert’ an extra $1m a year.

ESPN.com noted that Bielema becomes the eighth SEC coach to earn at least $4m a year.

Jeff Long, Arkansas’ AD said: “Coach Bret Bielema is not only one of the best college football coaches in the nation, he is an outstanding leader. What Coach Bielema and his coaching staff have done for our young men, on and off the field, is something that has dramatically changed the course of our program and most importantly positively impacted the lives of our football student-athletes. He is building a championship program in a way that all Arkansans can be proud of. We look forward to his continued leadership of our football program and the many successes yet to come.

After a woeful 2013, Arkansas rebounded to have a 7-6 season, ending with smashing Texas 31-7 in the Alamo Bowl. Most impressively, they beat Ole Miss and LSU, and took Alabama and Texas A&M close.

South Carolina comes in with solid National Signing Day haul

With Jadeveon Clowney and three other juniors going to the pros – as well as talisman quarterback Connor Shaw- South Carolina needed to shore up their class with an excellent National Signing Day…..and did.

A lot of the big signings were on the defensive side.

Steve Spurrier picked up DE Dante Sawyer, LB Bryson Allen-Williams and defensive tackle Dexter Wideman – who had committed earlier to Florida State – and reports have said that they expect DE Jhaustin Thomas to make an impact, too.

Four-star Defensive back Chris Lammons came aboard, and DE Blake McClain, who was meant to be going to Nebraska, decided that he preferred the Palmetto State as well.

On the offensive side, the Head Ball Coach lost his battle for QB Drew Barker to Kentucky, but Barker wouldn’t have started anyway….that’ll be Dylan Thompson, who’s already installed as the pocket passer of this Spurrier generation.

Still, they added WRs Shaquille Davidson and Terry Googan to the fold to make things easier for Thompson.

But when everyone’s not leaving Columbia for the NFL in their junior year, things are a little easier year-on-year for Spurrier.

South Carolina rocketed up the rankings at the end of play, moving up 8 to 15 by the end of the day with 247.

 

Clowney has $5m insurance policy

South Carolina defensive end and All-American Jadeveon Clowney has a $5 million insurance policy should he get injured in the 2013 season, it has been reported.

The policy – which will be paid out via the NCAA should anything go awry next season – will be paid for by family members, and protect against future . The cost is $30,000.

Reply to Charleston Post-Courier writer Daryl Slater’s report, Paul Myerberg of USA Today noted that the policy was the largest available to players.

The insurance company offering the policy is HCC, based in Cincinnati.

On South Carolina’s website, they said: “Student athletes can receive up to $5m in coverage, up from $4.4m in basketball and $3m in football.”

The NCAA says on its site: “This program will provide the student-athlete with the opportunity to protect against future loss of earnings as a professional athlete, due to a disabling injury or sickness that may occur during the collegiate career.”

It adds: “The condition of disability can be determined when the following criteria have been met: * The student-athlete’s disability results from an injury or sickness, * The student-athlete’s injury or sickness occurs while the policy is in force, * The student-athlete is under the regular care of a qualified physician, * The student-athlete is unable to engage in sporting activity at the professional level, * The applicable elimination period has elapsed, and * The student-athlete’s total disability prevents him or her from signing any employment contract with any professional team as a professional athlete in his or her sporting activity.”

However, the NCAA’s catastrophic injury program (one can only assume that a ‘catastrophic injury’ is one where a player doesn’t walk again)- as set out by the NCAA on its website – has said that the maximum benefit amount per covered accident for all benefits combined is $20m.

Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M has taken out a similar policy.

Clowney created waves earlier this off-season when there was talk of him perhaps sitting out the 2013 season because of the fact that a potential injury could derail his Top 10 draft pick hopes (and let’s face it, he’s the best pass-rusher in college football right now).

 

Six reasons why Jadeveon Clowney WON’T to sit out 2013

Many congratulations, Tom Sorenson. You wrote an article about why Jadeveon Clowney should sit out the 2013 season, and you set yourself alight in the Twittersvere, the Facebookvere, and certainly, in the SEC.

In his article, Sorenson basically said that he should sit out South Carolina’s 2013 season, because a) if it was any other sport, he’d be professional by now, and b) if he gets injured, he’ll cheat himself out of a big-time NFL contract, that’s definitely going to come to him in the draft of 2014.

The reason why he’s got to play three years is the fact that the NFL’s rule “stipulates that a player must be at least three years removed from high school before he’s eligible for the draft.

Let’s be honest, I don’t expect Jadeveon Clowney to sit out the 2013 season because of ‘forward-thinking money issues’. Moreover,  I don’t expect Steve Spurrier to say: “Hey Jadeveon, you’ve done really well for the last two years. Please – as the lynchpin of our defense and our SEC Championship hopes – don’t play the next season.” And I don’t expect South Carolina fans say that, either.

Having said that, we can imagine Georgia and Florida fans certainly trying to direct Clowney that way! And don’t expect a lawyer Dawgs fan to be actively lobbying the NFL for a change to their three-year rule.

But shall we quickly get back to the point  – does anyone really expect Clowney not to play the 2013 SEC season? No. Here’s why:

1) Firstly, Clowney is still pretty raw. He’s not the perfect product. He still needs another year in the Lorenzo Ward system, and if you watch the LSU game, you’ll know that when more intelligent quarterbacks/ offensive schemers read his aggressiveness, they can pass it with screens and slants.

2) The pride thing. Clowney’s got more pride than to simply refuse to play a year.

3) The money thing. Does anyone honestly believe that NFL owners/GMs/head coaches will say: “Hey, don’t worry about the 2013 season. You were great for two years. Here’s $21m.” Or the marketing men who will make Clowney the face of the young NFL? Or the agents who will find it difficult to sell two years of Clowney rather than three.

4) The Carolina/SEC thing. South Carolina fans and boosters would be absolutely enraged with the decision. So would Steve Spurrier.

5)  The SEC thing. After all, Clowney’s become a bit of a poster boy for how the SEC dominates other conferences. I wish I was the marketing guy at the SEC. I would do a film of Clowney’s tackle against Michigan and then put out this script: “Welcome to SEC country, other conferences.” They certainly don’t want Clowney to be a poster boy for sitting out to save his money.

6) The precedent thing. Should Clowney sit out, this could well trigger a precedent in college football, where players who believe that they are good enough to only play two years in college and go to the pros sit out their third year with the line: “I just don’t want to get injured”. It would then become bad for college football – and the game itself.

 

Spurrier gets new contract extension from South Carolina

After a 10-2 season that included a victories over hated rivals Clemson and Georgia, the South Carolina Gamecocks have given a two-year contract extension to College Football’s greatest golfing football coach, Steve Spurrier through the 2017 season.

Unlike Les Miles’ deal with LSU, Spurrier’s deal with South Carolina did not see a salary raise – although he’s going to earn $3.3m in 2013, which is quite handy. He should be able to buy some drinks for Stephen Garcia with that…

We’re almost surprised that Spurrier won’t pass comment on the radio about his extension: “Well, if Les Miles agent hadn’t called that website, perhaps he wouldn’t have gotten a raise at all….”

There were some great stories/remarks doing the rounds about Spurrier at the SEC Championship Game, from Georgia fans.

Amongst them:

“He only became the Carolina coach because someone offered him a membership at Augusta and full use of the Gamecocks plane” – Georgia fan

“What happened to him in the real Death Valley?” – LSU fan

“Well, he’s got our number, and has done for years ” – Georgia fan

“We hate him” – SEC fans all over.

And Texas A&M/Missouri fans, you’ll learn to hate Spurrier too – especially if he has your number.