A Peace Offering To Big Al’s GMC Yukon® Armada

With its trip to Florida Saturday, the 2011 Alabama vacation season is officially underway.

Fitting then that Saturday is one of the two days - every 365 - this Georgia Dawg is behind The Tide. #rtr

Brooks is on Twitter, Facebook and at sportsbybrooks@gmail.com

Video: LSU Basketball Meets Jersey Shore. In Italy


LSU basketball players Garrett Green, Justin Hamilton, Matt Derenbecker, Andrew Del Piero and Eddie Ludwig had a chance encounter with cast members of the MTV reality show Jersey Shore last week in Florence, Italy. (The LSU hoops squad is midway through an 11-day tour of Italy while Jersey Shore is shooting its third season in the country.)

Paparazzi spotted the quintet of SEC ballers touring the ancient Italian city and encouraged them to go into a restaurant where Jersey Shore cast members Jenni “JWoWW” Farley and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi were having lunch. The LSU hoops players entered the establishment with the group soon moving outside for an obligatory photo-op.

Good thing that chance encounter didn’t involve student-athletes from a certain other SEC school - before May 19.

Last Thursday TMZ.com reported the University of Florida had previously threatened UF students studying in Italy with expulsion from the school-sponsored abroad studies program if they were seen on video with cast members of the same MTV reality show.

An email sent to applicable UF students stated that if those students, “agree to participate in the filming of the show, or who signs a waiver or legal agreement of any sort with MTV, will be dismissed from the program immediately.

Apparently embarrassed by the TMZ report, UF officials subsequently backed down from their threat, with a school spokeswoman later telling the website, “Generally speaking, students may participate in activities outside their Study Abroad program as long as they meet the academic and living requirements of that program. This is a reversal of the UF administrator’s position.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates.

“We’re Not In Gainesville, They Don’t Give a F—”

Last Sunday two University of Florida basketball players were charged with breaking into a car in St. Augustine, Florida.

(”They’re going to find you bro, you can’t be a f—ing fugitive!”)

Freshman Cody Larson, 19, and sophomore Erik Murphy, 20, both face felony burglary charges. A Florida basketball manager, Joshua Adel, was also charged with serving as a lookout for the alleged crime. All three have been suspended indefinitely from participating in basketball activities by coach Billy Donovan.

Jacksonville’s FirstCoastNews.com obtained an audio recording of a 33-minute conversation between the three in the back of a St. Augustine police cruiser after Murphy and Adel were arrested. Read more…

Pic: Huge Waste Spotted At Florida Spring Game

At the Florida spring game Saturday, the Gators served fans their first chance to size up UF’s new coaching staff. Like offensive coordinator Charlie Weis:

Charlie Weis

(Weis Coaching Profile Continues To Grow)

Though the most offensive moment of the game - at least for Gator fans - had nothing to do with Weis. (Or John Brantley, but you knew that already.)

That would be the flyover message (below) that was towed from a plane above Florida Field during the game, which noted Florida State’s 31-7 victory over Florida last season.

Read more…

UF Statue Honor: Spurrier In South Carolina Gear

It was an historic moment today in Gainesville as the University of Florida unveiled statues of its three Heisman Trophy winners, Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel and Steve Spurrier, at halftime of the Gators’ spring game.


Thanks to his South Carolina coaching duties, 1966 Heisman winner Spurrier was not able to attend the celebration, but the Ball Coach did thank the Gator Nation with a video message played on the Florida Field scoreboard.

While wearing South Carolina Gamecock gear.

As a respectful alumnus of the University of Georgia, I also took it upon myself to tape a message saluting the Gators’ grand occasion.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

Urban Meyer: Outlaw Coaches Not Afraid Of NCAA

Last Friday on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, Urban Meyer waylaid the Indy-based NCAA during an interview with host Dan Dakich.

Urban Meyer rips NCAA: Outlaw Coaches Taking Over

(Link to full interview on 1070 The Fan’s Dan Dakich Show)

Meyer ripped the NCAA from every possible angle, intimating that outlaw coaches have taken over the profession while the coaches who run clean programs are forced to be “politically correct” as they suffer a “competitive disadvantage” in silence.

Meyer also noted that he himself assembled recommendations for NCAA rules enforcement last year and sent out his plan to various college athletics administrators. Recommendations that apparently fell on deaf ears - at least from the NCAA rule enforcement perspective.

Along with the audio from 1070 The Fan below, I’ve transcribed the follow excerpted comments from Meyer’s interview with Dakich below:

Urban Meyer: Read more…

Ex-Gator: Urban Meyer “really had a heart attack”

Ali Peek of GatorBait.net has a fascinating interview with extremely candid former (2008-10) Florida Gator running back Emmanuel Moody. If you were wondering about why the Gators struggled last season, Moody provides some unvarnished, inside analysis of what happened.

(Moody was on the team when Meyer broke down physically)

Also notable was Moody’s repeated description of the health problems former head coach Urban Meyer endured in the past two years. Here’s an excerpt from Peek’s interview with Moody on the subject: Read more…

Player’s Parents ‘Outrage’ Illuminates Nutt’s Deceit

In a piece in today’s JACKSON (MS) CLARION-LEDGER by Kyle Veazey, Houston Nutt drove any credibility he had left in how he recruits and subsequently treats players off a cliff.

Houston Nutt reneged on scholarship offer to Dan Bailey

(Ask Bailey’s cash-strapped parents about Nutt’s “PEEPA HEPPEN BIDNEZ“)

Nutt, who was recently seen joking about the practice of oversigning in an ESPN expose on the subject - which University of Florida President Berne Machen recently called “despicable” and immoral - defended himself to Veazey thusly:

I’ve never ran anyone off in my career unless they broke multiple team rules or just committed a serious crime or something like that. That’s never happened.”

Thursday I noted an earlier piece by Veazey that documented seven Ole Miss players who had vanished from the team’s roster since signing day despite those players retaining eligibility.

Of those seven players Nutt claimed in Sunday’s Clarion-Ledger article that all had left the program voluntarily, with the coach going so far as to encourage Veazey to contact the departed to confirm the coach’s claim.

But Veazey reported today that he was unable to reach six of the seven players for comment. The player Veazey did reach, Lekenwic Haynes, refused to talk about his departure from Ole Miss.

And as I noted two days ago, it doesn’t appear the roster purge is over. From his piece today, Veazey wrote:

Just who will be members of the 25 new enrollees this fall remains in flux. Six mid-year transfers are already in school, leaving 19 spots for 22 players that UM signed on Feb. 2. Two players - Madison, Ala., wide receiver Collins Moore and Itawamba AHS quarterback Maikhail Miller - are grayshirt candidates. Eligibility casualties could also make the numbers work.

If you happen to know any of the incoming Ole Miss players, I suggest you point them to this DALLAS MORNING NEWS story about Nutt reneging on a scholarship offer to Dan Bailey in 2006.

Dan Bailey, who recently concluded a stellar four-year career as Oklahoma State’s kicker, was offered a full athletic scholarship in 2006 by Ohio University out of high school. But instead of taking a full ride at Ohio U., Bailey opted to walk-on to Arkansas because then-Coach Nutt promised him an initial academic scholarship that would cover tuition.

Bad move.

The DMN takes it from there: Read more…

Gator Baitor: Moralizing UF President Steps In It

By all accounts, University of Florida President Bernie Machen is a good dude.

Florida President Bernie Machen On Oversigning And Grayshirting

(As Machen’s a BCS-hater, cut Google-challenged dude a break)

But suffice to say today’s morality play by Machen in assailing the practice of oversigning and”grayshirting” will forever be a source of embarrassment for the school president.

Machen’s op-ed at SI.com, titled, “Grayshirting is morally reprehensible practice,” characterizes the practitioners of such activity as immoral, “nefarious” and  “disgusting.

From Machen’s perspective, such hyperbolic, accusatory language is more than unfortunate considering his own former football coach, ex-Florida Gator sideline boss Urban Meyer, employed the exact tactics Machen attacked today - on multiple occasions. Read more…

Video: ESPN Plague Infects 1 Of The Good Guys

I like Neil Everett. Nice guy.

Neil Everett

(Video: J-School Professor Discretion Is Advised)

So it pains me to report that, like the movie Aliens or Kurt Russell’s crappy remake of The Thing, it appears Everett’s now incubating ESPN’s detestable myth-making monster. Read more…