September 17, 2010
Making the morning rounds.
• Pretty please?, part one. Georgia will plead its case in front of the NCAA today to reduce star receiver A.J. Green's standing four-game suspension to two games – i.e. the two he's already served for selling a used Independence Bowl jersey to a former North Carolina player, Chris Hawkins, who qualifies as an agent by NCAA standards and also happens to be facing cocaine-trafficking charges from an April 2009 traffic stop. Either way, the response isn't going to come in time for Green to suit up for Saturday's visit from Arkansas, against whom he could be of some use, if last week's touchdown-free effort by the UGA offense at South Carolina is any indication. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
• The rap sheet. Following up on last year's database of Florida arrests, the Orlando Sentinel's running tally of Gators in legal trouble since Urban Meyer took over in 2005 now stands at 30 in the wake of running back/receiver Chris Rainey's arrest on stalking charges earlier this week. That's a rate of five arrests per year, all but three of which have been handled by the local defender to the stars, Huntley Johnson, who's been able to get a significant chunk of those charges dropped: "[30 arrests] sounds high but the reality of what they've been charged with, I don't think there's been that many serious incidents." Meyer sligtly disagrees, telling reporters Thursday, "Enough's enough." [Orlando Sentinel, Palm Beach Post]
• Don't worry, boss: There will be a flag. There's always a flag. In what seems like an elaborate commentary on the inherent fallibility of the human condition, Liberty Mutual Insurance has promised to donate $1 million to charity in the name of any two schools in any NCAA division (I, II and III) that complete an entire game without committing a penalty. If it happens, the loot will be split among both schools; if it happens more than once, it will be split among all of them. But it's not going to happen more than once: The closest thing to a penalty-free game in the I-A/FBS ranks in 2009 was Navy's Texas Bowl win over Missouri, where the Midshipmen were only dinged twice, for 10 yards, and Mizzou wasn't flagged at all. [Liberty Mutual]
• Pretty please?, part two. Middle Tennessee State quarterback Dwight Dasher, reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year, has been dealt a four-game suspension by the NCAA and ordered to repay $1,500 he allegedly borrowed from an 80-year-old nursing home patient earlier this year. (Regular readers may remember that as the same loan Dasher apparently attempted to repay with a check stolen from a teammate, offensive lineman Kevin Boss, on which Dasher (seriously) crossed out Boss' name and wrote in his own. Boss isn't pressing charges.) Speaking for the first time Thursday, Dasher denied the octogenarian vet's claim that he used the money for gambling, and MTSU is planning an appeal to get its star back after just three games, in time to begin Sun Belt play at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 25. [Associated Press, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal]
• Win one for the Reesing. If you were wondering what changed between Kansas' opening-week flop against South Dakota State and last weekends' upset over Georgia Tech, Turner Gill's pregame speech may be a good place to start:
Quickly... Florida Atlantic has finally approved plans for an on-campus stadium, just in time for Mike Leach's arrival as head coach next year. ... Gary Patterson apologizes for running up the score on Tennessee Tech. ... Justin Boren is an unusually effective star for the token "We're not overlooking anyone" story ahead of Ohio State's game with Ohio U. ... Former Louisville player Daniel Covington was shot and killed outside a Louisville club Thursday morning. ... Syracuse receiver Aaron Weaver is out for the season with a torn ACL. ... Clearing up Texas Tech's "Silent Scare" plan against Texas. ... West Virginians have their priorities straight. ... And all the ACC needs to get out of its early season doldrums is a little solidarity, brother.
- - -
Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.