September 22, 2008
• And to think, Mike was such an angel in college. Among at least 41 kids working through Notre Dame's loss to Michigan State with a couple glasses of wine and an unusually somber round of "Scene It" when the South Bend cops came knocking early Sunday were two Irish football players, Will Yeatman and Mike Golic Jr., who were cited accordingly for corrupting their fragile adolescent minds with the poison of drink. ND lacrosse and soccer players were hit with misdemeanor charges, as well, so this was a swanky scene.
Golic is who you think he is, freshman son of ex-Irish/Philadelphia Eagles lineman and current ESPN radio host/prolific shill Mike Golic. Irony, thy name is Worldwide Leader:
That's my boy!
Actually it's Yeatman, also the lacrosse team's leading scorer in 2007, who could face the boot thanks to an arrest for driving on a sidewalk last January. That cost him spring football and all of the 2008 lacrosse season, and in tandem with Saturday's arrest, maybe his athletic career at Notre Dame. No official word yet, but Charlie Weis' best men are on the case.
• Winning is walking away. One week after Brad Lester's head-first dive against Mississippi State, three different players in the span of about two hours Saturday night were carted off with scary-looking neck injuries, at least one of them every bit as devastating as the backboard-and-golf cart routine suggested: Ball State's Dante Love was moving his arms and legs, thankfully, after a five-hour surgery to repair a cervical spinal fracture and other damage to the spinal cord. His injury came on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the second quarter, when Love fumbled and lay motionless as Indiana ran the loose ball in for a touchdown. If the Hoosiers had won on that, instead of playing no defense whatsoever at any other point of a 42-20 loss, they'd probably feel pretty guilty. I would. They should send a card, anyway.
The scariest sequence on its face was over South Florida's exquisitely-named Brouce Mompremier (above), who was actually air-lifted to a Miami hospital after crumpling to the ground in USF's win at Florida International. This isn't exactly the christening FIU hoped for its new stadium -- though, in a pinch, the angry ghost of Mompremier's spine would be one hell of a tradition for a struggling program -- but the linebacker returned home Sunday and as of now has only been ruled out for the next two games. Washington State backup quarterback Gary Rogers was able to walk out of the hospital Sunday, but isn't so lucky, career-wise: he suffered a small spinal fracture on a late hit in the Cougars' obliteration of Portland State, and even if he could manage to get back on a field, physically, he's out of eligibility.
• With Garcia follows courage. Chris Smelley committed three very predictable turnovers in South Carolina's lackluster win over Wofford, prompting Steve Spurrier to "think long and hard" about starting Stephen Garcia at quarterback against UAB in hopes that he won't leave the Ball Coach curled up in a little ball:
"Hopefully we can drop back and throw the ball 30 yards down the field someday. Right now, we're just afraid to do it -- just scared to get sacked, or scared to throw an interception," Spurrier said. "We've got to keep trying people to see if we can start to throw the ball down the field."
Garcia will get the ball down the field, coach. Down the field, across the oceans, over the moon. Wherever the ball needs to go, Garcia will get it there, man, on a perfect arc made of rainbows, Skynyrd and the memory of his shorn locks.
Texas tight end Blaine Irby is out for the season with a dislocated knee and will probably take a medical redshirt. . . . Penn State's Navorro Bowman drew high comparisons for a dominant first career start. . . . Colorado's Aric Goodman hit the game winner Thursday night, and suddenly he's on scholarship. . . . Javarris James is still likely to miss Miami's next two games. . . . Tony Franklin wishes he'd called even more passes against LSU, maybe up to 50. . . . GameDay will be in Athens for Alabama-Georgia, and UGA will break out the black jerseys. . . . And this isn't college, but a fascinating article anyway on Andy Reid breaking down the 1958 NFL Championship game.
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Photo of Mompremier via Getty Images.