You asked for this
The biggest news today, somewhat on the field at least, revolves around reigning Biletnikoff-winner Jordan Addison. After a week of tampering allegations made against Lincoln Riley (and then his fatuous, smug half-denials), Jordan Addison finally entered the Portal on the May 1 deadline, and it was announced by Pitt on May 3rd — right up against the 48-hour clock to declare.
Texas is in the mix for the stellar wideout. And USC was believed to have been the leader for Addison’s services, but as Coach Corso would say, “not so fast my friends.” Since Addison announced his transfer, there has been one destination, and consistently one destination, that keeps popping up: The Alabama Crimson Tide.
You can toss a metric ton of diesel on that speculation now, because the DMV native and Pennsylvania resident, has been out in California the last several days working with reigning Heisman winner Bryce Young.
If this happens, expect the CFB world to meltslapthefuqdown. The USC bros are already losing their marbles. It’s not guaranteed, of course, but that would be a YUGE pickup. And the best part is that Nick Saban flat-out asked you if this is the sandbox you wanted to play in. And, as we know, a Nick Saban question is more of a threat than an earnest inquiry.
Leave your reaction below in gif or pictorial form. Here’s mine.
Hey, Jordan: Wanna’ come to Tuscaloosa and win a Heisman? Bryce isn’t stingy.
We unfortunately say goodbye to one of the genuinely good guys and competent figures in the Alabama Athletics Department administration (hey, that’s high praise in an industry marked by doofuses, lackwits, and incompetents). Alabama’s No. 2 man, Jeff Purinton, has accepted the AD position at Arkansas State, where he will oversee Butch Jones
and that disastrous defense.
The general consensus with my #sauces at Alabama are that everyone is happy for him of course, but also bereft. Jeff truly was very good at his job, got along well with Coach Saban (which is no mean feat), and is a no-nonsense and very approachable, good guy.
Best of luck, Jeff. See you in the Power 5 soon enough.
Despite his assurances to the contrary, Ohio State AD Gene Smith isn’t just “throwing things out there.” If he’s floating the idea of FBS football breaking off entirely from the NCAA structure, it’s because he has significant support both within the Big 10 and from others outside his orbit (cough, Greg Byrne, cough).
So why Gene Smith? He’s the best face to put on the idea: He heads up one of the handful of most influential athletics departments in the country; it’s the largest one; it’s the most lucrative; and he’s one of the longest-tenured administrators in the country with a decades-long track record of competence.
A break-up of big-time college football and the NCAA isn’t a new idea, but it continues to pick up mainstream support. One very influential athletic director, Ohio State’s Gene Smith, openly discussed the possibility while speaking to ESPN at the Big Ten’s spring meetings.
Telling Heather Dinich that he was “just throwing ideas out,” he proposed that the 10 FBS leagues move under the College Football Playoff banner, while having the NCAA continue to govern other sports, including basketball.
“We [can] create our own rules, create our own governance structure, have our own enforcement, we have our own requirements, whatever that might be,” Smith said in the ESPN interview. “…The reality is, those schools who offer 85 scholarships in football have made a different commitment and that needs to be addressed.”
Smith, who says he’d keep academic requirements in place, said that he’s received “mixed reviews” from his peers when discussing the proposal.
Smith was the messenger; Smith wasn’t the only one thinking it. And you can guess who absolutely hates this idea, without even making a show of hands: The Group of 5, for a start, and P5 poverty programs having problems competing as-is.
And, while Gene Smith is spitballing the bifurcation of major division college football, an unusual bicoastal alliance of Commissioners are meeting with the US Senate today to try and rein in the chaos that Alford created:
Amid unrest within college sports, two Power 5 commissioners are traveling to the nation’s capital to lobby lawmakers for the creation of federal legislation to regulate name, image and likeness (NIL), a U.S. Senate aide told Sports Illustrated on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and SEC commissioner Greg Sankey will meet with U.S. senators on Capitol Hill to fight for a congressional mandate to regulate what has evolved into the NCAA’s latest festering problem. Sankey and Kliavkoff, two of the industry’s most influential leaders, are teaming up to encourage lawmakers to pass an NIL statute. They are also expected to seek senators’ help in preventing what they believe is another potential issue looming for college sports: employment status for college athletes.
Seems a pretty shrewd move to have the Nerds and the Jocks present a unified front to Congress on this one. The P12/SEC is an alliance that almost never happens. The fear, of course, is that eventually the apple cart of the Gray case and its progeny will be overturned, making college athletes university employees.
Those who anticipated that Deion the Coach would be a disaster have found something surprising. In two seasons, the 3-win team he inherited has turned into an 11 game-winner, reeled in 5-star athletes, played in a bowl, and played for his conference title. Prime is garish, outrageous, outspoken — and Deion the Coach is actually more right than not. He plainly gets it.
“I like it [NIL]. I love for these guys to be able to be paid for their name, image and likeness, but it’s becoming free agency and if you don’t have it, you’re not going to be able to compete,” Sanders said. “It’s just another way to me to keep the schools that don’t have the proper funding down. First of all, I’m not giving a kid nothing like that. I want you to focus on the NFL not the NIL. If you ball out, you’ll prepare yourself for the NFL.
“If you get comfortable and you’ve already got a meal coming, man c’mon, how hungry are you going to be to go out there and work and go get it. We can’t lose the fact these are young men, they’ve got to stay hungry and invested. When a kid says (to me) coach, how about that paper, click.”
It’s no secret that the transfer portal has made the 25-man signing class a bit obsolete. With so much roster fluidity, and transfer deadlines occurring months after NSD, it has hamstrung a lot of coaches and teams (notably Kansas, who has been in “Roster Hell” for several years — not fielding a scholarship team with more than 57 athletes in four years).
The NCAA could do away with the 25-man scholarship limit (dubbed “initial counters”), possibly by as soon as the end of this month.
The 25-man limit is a relic of another era. Established in 2011, it was a response to Houston Nutt signing 37 players at Ole Miss in 2009. That practice, known as “oversigning,” inevitably led to players having the rug pulled out from under them — either recent signees who learned they weren’t wanted until the following spring, or current players who were told they no longer had a scholarship.
That’s not the only change being proposed. A consortium of coaches is pushing the NCAA to have two deadlines for Portal entry: a fall and a spring date.
The fall window would open on the final Sunday of November and go until the early signing period begins in December. The other window would span April 15 to May 1. Players wouldn’t have to choose a new school during those windows, but those would be the time frames to enter the transfer portal. Both windows align with contact periods in college football recruiting.
Having a date-certain that comports with recruiting, in tandem with eliminating the 25-man rule, would go a long way to fixing some of the Portal’s issues.
(Don’t) Stick To Sports!
One of Alabama’s more cerebral players of the last decade, and certainly its most outspoken, has done it again — wading into the controversial affray regarding Alito’s leaked draft that would overturn Roe.
I won’t spoil it by embedding it. But you can imagine how well it’s playing with Tawwwwmy in Quinzeeeee, and the generally conservative-leaning pro football audience. “Stick to sports, f’n commie, yadda yadda...”
The only part I will hit on here, is that telling athletes to “stick to sports” is the intellectually-bankrupt simpering of fools. You and I damn well know that “stick to sports” means “I don’t like your opinion.” I may not want to hear from athletes or celebrities (in fact, I usually don’t
especially you, Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore), and I certainly give them less than zero credence on issues outside their bailiwick. But you don’t forfeit your investment in your nation by mere dint of cashing a check for a pro sports league. There is a world of difference between politicizing sports, and a sports figure having a political opinion. Yet, these two very different things are often conflated — and often in bad faith.
We should not care as sports fans whether we agree with Damien Harris or not (and, truly, abortion is about the single most complicated issue in society), though we can and should care as Americans. That’s the whole purpose of a democracy. He’s entitled to speak as a private citizen, because at the end of the day the weight given to his words is solely up the listener. It’s not like he’s unfurling a big-ass “PROTECT ROE” banner at midfield, foisting that message upon others, and hijacking an NBC broadcast to intentionally politicize the apolitical. No, he’s speaking as an American, and he no more needs to “stick to sports” than you or I need to “stick to aquaculture” or “stick to reading automotive diagnostic codes” or “stick to playing Candy Crush.”
(BTW, if you’re curious about the state of the law, what underpins Roe, and what comes next, you should check out this wholly apolitical FindLaw article dissecting the draft opinion in mostly lay-friendly ways.)
Finally, we leave you with this very funny Nick Saban story about what happened after the ULM loss. It’s worth the payoff, promise.
Where is Jordan Addison going?
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