February 01, 2011
Making the morning rounds.
• Don't come back now. A high school coach in Tampa, Fla., has barred Purdue from recruiting his players after Boilermaker coach Danny Hope pulled a scholarship offer to three-star receiver A.J. King in December, apparently over concerns about the type of surgery King had to repair ligaments in his knee in August. "They flew A.J. up there to Purdue [in early December], everybody wowed him, told him they loved him and all that," said Armwood High coach Sean Callahan, who's won two state championships sent dozens of Armwood players to Division I schools over the last decade. "Then, after he came home, they pulled him, without ever talking to our doctors, without ever talking to our trainers. It's completely unprofessional." [Tampa Tribune]
• I'm back. Texas coach Mack Brown admitted in his first offseason press conference Monday that he spent too much of last year "pouting" over the Longhorns' BCS championship loss to Alabama to close the 2009 season, and let an atmosphere of "arrogance" and "entitlement" infect the 2010 squad before its descent to 5-7 last fall. "At one point, I must have thought that, because we're Texas and we'd won so much, we're just going to win," Brown said. "On the bad years, we'll win 10. On the good years, we've got a chance to win it all. And you can't think that." [Dallas Morning News]
On the other hand, Brown also said he was "re-energized" by an overhauled coaching staff that skews significantly younger, and isn't sorry to see the "coach-in-waiting" label leave with defensive coordinator Will Muschamp for Muschamp's new gig at Florida. "The coach-in-waiting sends a message that I'm not in it for long,. That's a bad message. That's not what we did it for," said Brown, who turns 60 this year and has six more years on his contract. "I wouldn't be working this hard on recruiting and coaching if I wasn't in it for a long time. I basically told [his new assistants] that Texas fans are going to have to put up with me for a long time." Only if things get back to normal, coach. [Austin American-Statesman]
• Recurring Offseason Theme watch. Two SEC power brokers, Florida president Bernie Machen and Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity (a longtime employee at Florida), are now on the record opposing "oversigning," the practice of signing more prospects to letters of intent – and sometimes even enrolling them – than you have scholarships to give under NCAA limits. Machen told USA Today that the SEC's recent rule to limit schools to 28 letters of intent in a given year "isn't going to solve the problem," and suspects "the league and the NCAA are going to have to pass more stringent punishments for those who do oversign." McGarity, as part of a wide-ranging interview with a local paper, also put his foot down: "We will not sign more than 85 scholarship football players." [USA Today, AccessNorthGa.com]
• Fine, then, just do whatever you want. Rutgers coach Greg Schiano has oh-so-graciously granted outgoing quarterback Tom Savage permission to talk to Florida and Miami as potential transfer destinations, a reversal from Schiano's original decision to severely restrict Savage's options earlier this month. (Technically, Savage can enroll in any school he wants, but can't accept a scholarship for a year without a release from his old agreement with Rutgers.) Savage is leaving New Brunswick after ceding his "rising star" status and starting job to true freshman Chas Dodd during the Scarlet Knights' tumble to the bottom of the Big East in 2010, but he has an NFL frame and arm and might adapt well to the "pro-style" schemes planned by the new administrations at Florida and Miami. Either way, he has a redshirt to burn and two years to play. [Newark Star-Ledger]
• The rap sheet, Big 12 North edition. Iowa State linebacker Matt Tau'fo'ou has been suspended indefinitely following an early-morning drunken driving arrest by campus police last Saturday. Previously, Tau'fo'fou was charged with fifth-degree misdemeanor theft in 2009 for allegedly stealing a wireless computer adapter from the campus book store. [Des Moines Register]
In other legal news, Missouri defensive lineman Jimmy Burge was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession during a traffic stop on Jan. 17; he'll face internal discipline from the team. Previously, Burge was cited for drinking and driving last October, though his alcohol content was below the legal limit, earning him a two-game suspension. [Columbia Tribune]
Quickly… Kansas State still dominates the pursuit of JUCO players. … Norm Chow isn't sure yet what his first Utah offense is going to look like. … Some familiar faces are angling to return to Alabama. … Randy Shannon is "excited" to join Urban Meyer for ESPNU's signing day coverage, creating television's first black hole of charisma. … Art Kehoe is genuinely excited to be returning to Miami in his former capacity as offensive line coach. … Hawkeye great Brad Banks is returning to Iowa, to quarterback the Arena League's Barnstormers. … Some Auburn fans stick it to the Bear, again. … Ryan Mallett autographs a baby. … And another year, another Chi Omega Fall Woodser memory for Gene Chizik.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.