‘Multiple Schools’ Told NCAA Of Saban Violation?

On Feb. 15, 2009, Ron Higgins of the MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL accused Alabama football coach Nick Saban of committing an “apparent recruiting violation” after the coach showed up at the Memphis high school of junior football player Keiwone Malone just days before the Feb. 4, 2009, national signing day for high school seniors - which was a recruiting dead period.

Nick Saban Barry Sanders Jr Photo

The idea behind Saban’s appearance at Malone’s school was to persuade the high school junior recruit to verbally commit to Alabama soon after signing day for high school seniors - locking up the prospect for Saban as soon as possible. The applicable NCAA bylaw governing the Higgins-noted case involving Saban is called the “bump rule”. The rule states that a coach is allowed an incidental “greeting” with a player at his high school during the aforementioned recruiting dead period - but no more than that.

Relevant excerpt from NCAA Bylaw 13:

“Off-campus recruiting contacts shall not be made with an individual before July 1 following the completion of his junior year in high school. Any face-to-face encounter between a prospective student-athlete during which any dialogue occurs in excess of an exchange of a greeting (is prohibited). Such face-to-face encounter that is prearranged or that takes place on the grounds of the prospective student-athlete‚Äôs institution shall be considered a contact (violation).”

Following Saban’s reported “visit” with Malone at the Tennessee high school, the Memphis prospect verbally committed to Alabama just days after national signing day.


Just wondering when an SEC football coach is going to turn in Alabama coach Nick Saban on an apparent recruiting violation. Saban obtained a commitment from Mitchell receiver Keiwone Malone, a high school junior. The only problem is that other than a “bump” — which is an accidental “hello, how are ya?”– a coach can’t have direct contact with a junior at the time that Saban did (before signing day for seniors on Feb. 4). That’s a dead period (no contact) according to NCAA rules.

Judging from the quotes given by Malone to the CA’s Jason Smith, there was a face-to-face meeting and a selling job by Saban. Mitchell High didn’t have any seniors that were being recruited by Saban, so his visit wasn’t for that purpose. And it had to be more than a bump. When’s the last time you heard a kid receive a scholarship offer and commit on a bump? The SEC office had no comment on the matter, other than to explain the bump rule. This wasn’t a bump by the Sabanator. This was full-contact recruiting.

Surprising that Higgins also didn’t note that the “bump” rule was actually enacted in response to such past tactics by … wait for it … Nick Saban.

When the new NCAA rule was put in place in April, 2008, reporter Paul Gattis of the HUNTSVILLE TIMES referred to it as the “Saban Rule”:

Alabama football coach Nick Saban vehemently opposes the new recruiting restrictions that went into effect last week.

But Saban is in an overwhelmed minority

By a two-thirds majority, the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in January approved legislation proposed by the Southeastern Conference banning head coaches from making off-campus recruiting visits during the spring evaluation period.

That evaluation period started Tuesday and continues through May 31.

“I think it’s ridiculous that we’re doing what we’re doing,” Saban said last week.

Greg Sankey, associate SEC commissioner for NCAA compliance, said the vote favoring the new rule - dubbed the “Saban rule”by some - wasn’t close when the issue was raised by league coaches.

At the time, many credited the NCAA’s action to the Miami Herald reporting in 2007 that Saban had improper contact with three high school juniors in the Miami area: Etienne Sabino, Brandon Washington and Marcus Fortson.

Considering that it’s now largely accepted that the “bump” rule was put in place expressly to stop Saban from openly abusing NCAA rules, what happened this week between the coach and prized recruit Barry Sanders, Jr., in Oklahoma City is nothing short of stunning. Read more…

U. Getting Gruden Screw Like NFL Network Did?

Sunday speculation exploded in the Miami media that Jon Gruden was closing in on a deal to coach the Miami Hurricanes.

Jon Gruden leaking pseudo interest in Miami job?

Hurricanes beat writer Manny Navarro of the MIAMI HERALD Tweeted Sunday evening, “Hearing Jon Gruden has agreed to $3.4 mil deal to become #UM’s next coach. Trying hard to confirm it officially.

Earlier Sunday Steve Gorten of the SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL had reported, “According to a UM source, former NFL coach Jon Gruden initiated contact with the university to express his desire for the job and that the interest is mutual.

Gruden agreeing to coach the Hurricanes would be a shocker, but if you believe Peter King, there’s virtually no chance it will happen.

King Tweeted Sunday night:

I’m hearing the Gruden-to-Miami rumors are fraudulent. But will keep you informed if I hear differently. Jon Gruden is not going to the University of Miami. Period.

To that end, the man who first broke Randy Shannon’s firing late Saturday, ASSOCIATED PRESS reporter Tim Reynolds, Tweeted Sunday:

Doesn’t sound like Miami expects an imminent signing: Jeff Stoutland to meet with reporters Tuesday morning.

But after his Tweet, Reynolds reported:

A person with knowledge of Miami’s search told The Associated Press on Sunday night that Jon Gruden received “parameters” of an offer from the Hurricanes. Gruden, the former Tampa Bay coach who now an ESPN analyst, is atop Miami’s wish list, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because university officials did not authorize the release of search details.

Sources familiar with the UM coaching search told me Saturday night that the school had contracted the coach placement firm run by Chuck Neinas to assist with the hire. Neinas charges a standard fee of $50,000 for his services, and with Miami Athletic Director Kirby Hocutt now on the record about having hired Neinas, the insta-hire of Gruden would be hard to believe.

So why then has Gruden’s name exploded in its association with the Miami job? Read more…

Execution Video: Last Words Are ‘Boomer Sooner’

Convicted murderer James Landrigan was executed Tuesday night in Florence, Arizona.

(Wild guess: Grew up with Switzer?)


Landrigan, who acknowledged his home state of Oklahoma in his last words, had been on death row since his 1990 conviction for murdering Chester Dyer of Phoenix in a killing that prosecutors said was part of a robbery.

Landrigan’s last meal was steak, fried okra, French fries, strawberry ice cream and Dr Pepper. (No idea there was a Braum’s location in Arizona.)
Read more…

Longhorns Encouraged Not To Miss Postgame No

Headline from University of Texas student newspaper the DAILY TEXAN the day before the OU-Texas game in Dallas on Saturday:

Daily Texas Headline Predicts Sexual Assaults During OU-Texas Weekend

Student reporter Aziza Musa notes in the predictive piece that with the rise in sexual assault reports following the OU-Texas football game involving Texas students “the past nine years, the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center staff are again bracing for a jump in reports from this weekend.

Why the spike? Read more…

Think You Had Crappy Weekend? No, You Didn’t

Unless you’re Dan Hawkins or Rick Neuheisel.

Florida State Busted Oklahoma Bet

We might’ve capped Brent Musburger discoveries for now, ‘Noles fan. Read more…

$4M: Kiffin Making More Than Saban Did In 2009

HBO’s Real Sports profiles Lane Kiffin on Tuesday and in the piece reporter Andrea Kremer claims the 35-year-old’s new contract with the school will pay him $4 million annually. Kiffin’s decorated predecessor Pete Carroll made $4.4M his last year in L.A., qualifying the coach as the highest-paid employee of any private school in the America at the time.

Lane Kiffin making $4 million per season as USC coach


Of course, Carroll won seven consecutive Pac-10 titles and two BCS Championships before he reached that level of compensation. Lane’s claim to fame is having won the friendship of Carroll, who was largely responsible for getting him the NFL Oakland and Tennessee head coaching jobs.

The $4M number pegs Kiffin as the fourth-highest paid coach in the nation, behind Bob Stoops, Mack Brown and Nick Saban. Saban was raised to nearly $5m per season after winning the BCS Title at ‘Bama earlier this year. Brown also was bumped up to $5.1M after 2009. Urban Meyer currently draws $4M per season, equal to Kiffin’s compensation. Read more…

Gerald McCoy: Ndamukong Suh ‘Not Tough Enough’

Last Thursday Gerald McCoy guested on the Dan Patrick Show and was asked why he should be drafted ahead of Ndamukong Suh. (audio)

“Some people think that he’s too nice. He’s not tough enough. I turn into a different type of guy when it’s football time. As soon as I come out of the tunnel, I change. I don’t know what it is.

Gerald McCoy: Ndamukong Suh 'Not Tough Enough'

“I think my first step is faster. I’m a little more of a speedy guy and pass rusher. I’m a little more of an explosive guy, while he fills holes.” Read more…

Once Weis Is Axed, Will Bob Stoops Be ND’s Next?

Let’s operate with a premise that may or may not come true, but for the sake of an argument and speculation we’ll say is true: Notre Dame will fire Charlie Weis relatively soon. That much isn’t exactly a stretch, though it’s anybody’s guess how long it’ll be before Weis’ buyout becomes “worth it” to Notre Dame. Economy and all.

Charlie Weis
(You know it’s bad when Weis’ Invisibility Cloak isn’t even working for him anymore.)

Once that hypothetical situation hypothetically bears itself out (strictly hypothetically, we might add), obviously, the search for a replacement is on and it had better be fruitful. While Notre Dame fans are busy explaining to themselves why they’re too good for Urban Meyer (no, really), Bob Stoops may be busy explaining to himself why he’s just right for the Golden Domers.

Read more…

O (Say Can) U (See): Sooner Anthem Controversy

So the big controversy with the Oklahoma football program right now concerns the lyrics to the National Anthem, the song that commemorates our freedom by reminding us of the musical notes we can never hope to achieve. Ironic that when the typical person hits the most inspiring portion of the song –“and the rockets’ red glare …” — it’s at a pitch that only dogs can hear. Man’s best friend must be very patriotic by now.

OU President David Boren has asked fans to discontinue yelling “home of the Sooners” at the end of the anthem, in place of “home of the brave.” Because it’s unpatriotic, or whatever. It’s been a long-standing tradition at Oklahoma for fans to change the last four words of the anthem, and that’s not sitting well with some people. I would think that folks in Stoopsville would have other things to worry about, but this is evidently a big deal.

Mangling the last four words of the National Anthem: Acceptable?

View Results

Read more…

Shocking Restroom Violence At Red River Rivalry

It doesn’t take long before this disagreement between a Texas fan and an Oklahoma fan on Saturday in line for the women’s restroom erupts into senseless violence, complete with hair pulling and comical slap fighting. I’ve always said it: The Red River Rivalry always gets the most heated in the loo.

Warning: Language in the videos following the jump is extremely NSFW, unless you work in a New Orleans brothel.

Key quote in video No. 1: “Fatties up front!” Then, in video No. 2, all hell breaks loose, as a hapless male bystander tries to restore order. More unrestrained mayhem here than anything that occurred in the game; I’d rather poke Bevo with a sharp stick than get between these girls.

Videos following the jump. Read more…