Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saw Gruden at SC football practice today - arrrgh

Alabama tackle Andre Smith is out for the Sugar Bowl thanks to inappropriate dealings with an agent. We don't know the extent of this issue yet, but the stunner to me isn't that this happened. It's that it doesn't happen all the time. At the college football awards down at Disney earlier this month, there were literally agents lurking around every corner. I saw Drew Rosenhaus hiding behind a pole in a public spot waiting for a prospect to come along so he could "happen" to run into them and say hello. One guy tried to convince me to be at the players party trying to talk with kids on his behalf. As long as there are more agents then there are NFL draft picks every year - which there are almost three to one - there will alweays be guys looking to get an unscrupulous edge.

For the second time in as many years, Randy Shannon has made one of his coordinators a scapegoat for Miami's poor performance. This time it's offensive coordinator Patrick Nix paying the price. Shannon's seems to be out of people to put the blame for losing on next year, but you can bet he'll find someone. Perhaps it will be "negative recruiting" - that's another favorite complaint of his. Hard to demand accountability from players when you have zero of it yourself, Randy.

Congratulations to Jai Lucas on deciding to continue his basketball career at Texas. I'm kind of surprised that they felt he was a high enough quality player to commit a scholarship to considering the Longhorns typically recruit well. Maybe it will work out well for Lucas closer to home, but he didn't seem like a top ten team level player in the year I covered him.

The Pro Bowl is going to start going to the site of the Super Bowl during the off week beginning with Miami in 2010. This is a pretty good idea, but the fact the game is meaningless is still going to seriously limit the amount of interest anyone has in it. This also means none of the SB teams players will ever be in the game again, which some of them will likely regard as a special incentive to make the big game.

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