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Jumbo Package: Uiagalelei’s father raves about Alabama visit

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And, we should seriously consider legalizing most baseball cheating.

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14-year-old DE/TE, Matayo Uiagalelei, kid brother of Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei. has been on a tour through schools that are on the serious early radar. As we’ll see later in this JP, it is a familiar cast — Clemson, Georgia, and Alabama.

The unofficial drew rave reviews from Matayo’s dad...and from his uncle Mua.

Bryce Young even got in on the action — shouting out the Uiagalelei brothers.

What exactly would Alabama be getting with Matayo? How about a big, big boy — Not old enough to shave, and a healthy 6’6”, 250.

I suppose in that package also comes a very competent blocker and pass-catcher, a kid with a good motor, backside pursuit, and tons of upside.

Inshallah.

More hardware on the mantle for Smitty

The Slim Reaper, Davonta Smith, picked up another award yesterday, being named the ASWSA Athlete of the Year.

Just recap those gaudy stats, fellas.

Smith was the best player in the entire country this past season.

Smith hauled in 117 passes and turned them into 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. All three categories led the nation. The senior established new single-season records for the Crimson Tide and finished his career as the Alabama and SEC’s leader in receiving yards (3,965) and receiving touchdowns (46). He had nine 100-yard games in 2020 and three 200-yard games. Smith’s 237 punt return yards were also the most in the SEC for eligible returners.

Softball Takes a Quitter-Hole Hit.

Softball’s Roster is all over the place following Alabama’s bow-out of the WCWS this past weekend. I don’t wish to discuss it, frankly. This is a family site, and my language is apt to be both uncharitable and unchristian towards Mr. Patrick Murphy.

It feels like the shameful exit with Alabama’s best team in almost a decade has soured many attitudes too. Yesterday, the roster took a huge hit to the Transfer Portal.

Early this season, the senior suffered a minor leg injury in the Easton Bama bash. She was out for about two weeks before returning from her injury for the rest of the season.

Sides enters the transfer portal holding the fifth-highest batting average (.314) on the team this season as well as the fourth-highest slugging percentage (.409).

She was a member of the SEC All-Defensive team in 2021 and was on the SEC All-Tournament team in 2019.

The West Coast Connection

The West Coasts has become a bit of a quarterback pipeline of late for the Tide. Aside from Bryce, Tua and Taulia, and Barnett (just to name a few), Alabama is now hot and bothered for fast-rising 2023 QB target Nicholaus Iamaleava

Downey (Calif.) Warren sophomore quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava spent a week in the South, checking out Alabama, Clemson and Georgia.

There haven’t been too many players who have seen their stock rise more in the last few months then Iamaleava. His ranking in the 247Sports Top247 shot up from No. 77 to No. 22 overall last month and he’s only scratching the surface of how good we think he can be.

A week ago, he visited Ohio State and picked up an offer from the Buckeyes. He threw for Clemson on Sunday, visited Georgia unofficially on Monday and camped with Alabama on Tuesday.

More on his visits here.

The 6’6” Glorious Hair-Haver will definitely need to put on some weight, as he grows into his lanky frame. But he has lightning quick release and a compact throwing motion for a tall QB, good ball placement moving the pocket, is a true threat to run, but — like Bryce and Tua before him — keeps his eyes downfield looking to make the play with his arm. And, no, he is not hurting for confidence either.

Mark Emmert’s Balls Have Evaporated

As expected, in the wake of the somewhat disastrous NIL hearings before Congress yesterday, the NCAA begged Congress for a solution, even as they were being chastised for not acting — almost two years after NIL rights were tossed around by the NCAA.

“The Autonomy Five Conferences thank Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Roger Wicker for today’s hearing and their determination to set a fair and enforceable national standard on NIL,” the statement read. “Only Congress can pass a national solution for student-athlete NIL rights. The patchwork of state laws that begins on July 1 will disadvantage student-athletes in some states and create an unworkable system for others.

Put me in the skeptic camp here that this was a good faith plea for help. The NCAA doesn’t want to take the political heat for proposing its own NIL rules. And, more to the point, it doesn’t want to be sued anymore. Federal preemption will cut off 50 potential lawsuits. Further, any solution proposed by Congress is apt to have a much lighter touch than conflicted state legislators in Ohio or Georgia or Alabama.

Just because I think the statement was made in cowardice doesn’t mean that the NCAA can’t also be correct: because they are. State-by-State patchwork legislation is a competitive (and compliance) disaster.

Finally

Not at all football, but definitely worth your read.

MLB is a trapped in hellscape of cheating, where pitchers are gumming up their hands with glue that can literally lift cement blocks. It’s rampant, and Baseball isn’t too keen on cracking down either. This, despite that fact that managers are “planning on 12 strikeouts a game”, that BA is below .250 (in fact the lowest its been in the StatTrak era), and that you have 31-year-old pitchers who have improved their spin rate up to 35% in one season.

Nope. Not fishy at all.

You know what I say? Legalize on-field performance enhancing cheating — Corked bats, Surf Wax, Cream and Clear in every locker room, a needle hanging out of a guy’s ass during at-bats, pitchers the size of defensive tackles. Just no computerized sign-stealing. That shit’s bush league.

Why legalize most cheating? Because not only has cheating always been part of the game, but the Steroid Era was the most fun baseball I’ve seen in my life — and it was some of the most-watched baseball of the last half century. Everyone was juiced, everyone was on edge, ballparks were launching pads, and the Sosa / McGwire homerun Derby of 1998 alone very likely saved baseball.

Make Baseball Fun Again

I know that Piper will yell in the comments if I don’t say something, but all this weekend Alabama is in Eugene competing in the T&F NCAA Nationals. The team started competition yesterday in the four-day event.

And, Alabama is already having some success.

Alabama pole vaulter Ryan Lipe got the Crimson Tide on the board after day one of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships being held at the newly renovated Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus this week.

Lipe took sixth place in the pole vault with a clearance of 5.45 meters. His finish gave the Tide three points, good for 26th place after day one.

The Crimson Tide also advanced two runners to Friday’s finals, including Eliud Kipsang (1,500 meters) and Robert Dunning (110-meter hurdles).

That’s about it for the day. Have a great one, and feel free to chime in on anything in particular. And, take today’s poll. I’m legitimately curious how this will pan out.

Poll

What to do about cheating in baseball?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Strictly enforce the rules; make new ones if necessary.
    (154 votes)
  • 22%
    A little cheating here and there is to be expected; just don’t get caught
    (136 votes)
  • 4%
    Turn a blind eye to the most blatant cheating. BALCO and Surf Wax for everyone!
    (29 votes)
  • 9%
    Anything on-field should be legal, but digital cheating is too far.
    (57 votes)
  • 37%
    Baseball? What? Do I look like I’m your grandpa?
    (221 votes)
597 votes total Vote Now