Sunday’s charity Pro-Am golfing event The Match 2 was a hit in terms of viewership and in money raised — and for the record, I did not watch a second of it. I don’t miss sports that much. The golf was apparently top shelf, but one particular pairing stole the show with their smack-talking and natural chemistry: Charles Barkley and Justin Thomas:
Thomas consistently made the event more fun, more personable. When the trash talk was lacking with the four competitors on the course, Thomas would interject something, almost becoming a fifth member of the party.
And delightfully, Thomas found real chemistry with Barkley, who he razzed throughout the match. Their beef gave us one of the best moments of the entire broadcast, when JT told Barkley “Chuck, I’d love to see your fat ass try to dunk a basketball right now.”
Chuck paused, and you weren’t sure if he was offended … then said: “Hey JT. You can’t call me fat on TV, that’s bullying,” as the rest of the broadcast booth broke into laughter.
With the ‘Rona still uncontrolled in 24 states (largely Southern and Midwestern ones), the fate of 2020 Fall academic sports is still very much up in the air. We’ll see how the summer progresses, but one option that may be looking more attractive to highly talented underclassmen in a time of uncertainty is the supplemental draft.
Because of the uncertainty with regard to the college football season, there could be a record number of college players who declare for this year’s supplementary draft.
CBS Sports recently ranked the top 20 eligible players for the supplemental draft—-and this is a handsome, star-studded list (with their notes for each player):
1. DeVonta Smith, Alabama, WR: With Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III gone, Smith becomes the alpha in the wide receiver room for 2020. It could be Mac Jones or Bryce Young, but no matter who starts at quarterback we should expect Smith to lead the team in most major receiving categories.
The emphasis above on the Southern and Midwestern states is important — seeing as those areas comprise most of the Big 12, Big 10, and SEC. And the regional nature of outbreaks may see USC or Clemson undergrads flock to the draft, while Virginia Tech players stick around.
The deadline for entry has not yet been declared (though it was the second week of July the past two years), and the NFL has no plans to change who is eligible or the draft process.
Keep an eye on it. And, if you’re interested in the process, CBS did a good story on the Supplemental mechanics.
Reggie Bush stirred a hornet’s nest over the weekend by being brutally honest about the pitfalls that await players as more outside money is injected into the system.
“Guidance is the one thing that young athletes coming through the college system miss on so much,” Bush told Playboy. “I missed on it. They’re about to start paying college athletes. This is something that has never been experienced before, and it’s going to destroy some people if their foundation is not in the right place.”
God forbid Bush undertake the revolutionary act of speaking the truth. The hangers-on, the street agents, the cousin with his hand out — there are too many folks already exploiting the players as it is and giving them bad advice. More dollars and more people looking for easy paydays, without additional guidance or advice, will destroy some lives...or at the least, negatively impact careers.
We’ve already seen it.
Over the holiday, two Tide targets narrowed down their selections, with Alabama being finalists for both:
Top 100 WR Brian Thomas Jr.
And the nation’s No. 1 center prospect, James Brockmeyer
Of all the many bummers which arose from cancelling Spring & Summer sports, perhaps none was as depressing as the Tide’s promising baseball season being scuttled:
Good stuff here from Coach Bo.
“I do think the NCAA did the right thing giving the seniors an extra year,” Bohannon said. “But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some challenges.”
He also talked about the advantages Alabama does have in bringing players to Tuscaloosa, baseball prospects committing early in the recruiting process, patience in player progression and what he looks for in certain positions.
“I’m a big defense guy,” Bohannon said. “You know, I think when you put a team together you want to have balance. You can be a great defensive team, but if you can’t score you’re going to have tough time winning, and you can have a bunch of donkeys out there who can’t defend but can really hit, that’s probably not going to work out too well either.”
As expected, Friday’s vote was ratified by the SEC, with student athletes expected to return on June 8.
The SEC was the first major conference to ratify a lift on the moratorium, but this will still be very much a state-by-state effort. Apparently Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer was not the only one who had misgivings about a June return:
Though it was reported that Tennessee AD Phillip Fulmer was an outlier against an early return date, several programs held a similar thought, according to those with knowledge of the discussion. Administrators were debating among several dates, most notably June 1, June 8 and June 15. According to guidelines the league released, the SEC will only require virus testing for those showing symptoms. However, schools may have stricter policies. Florida announced that it will test athletes at the start of workouts.
When we recapped the NFL Draft selections, we pegged Terrell Lewis as the most explosively boom-or-bust player (alongside Tua Tagovailoa.) The Rams were not alone in that thinking, actually ranking Lewis the Tide’s most talented player on the entire roster:
“Amongst all those five-stars and all the draftees they’ve had over the last few years,” Snead said, “ there was one sentence where, either (scout) Billy (Johnson) or Ted (Monago) wrote, the staff ranked Alabama players one through 125 or however many they have out there on that practice field, they ranked Terrell one and (quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa) second. I remember ad nauseum of really trying to figure out this player and work through him, that sentence and that piece of data definitely resonated. A very astute staff that’s won a lot of games and has seen a lot of talent put this five-star as their most talented player on the team.”
If he’s healthy, and if he’s in right system, and if he lives up to his formidable physical skills, Lewis will be a star.