Wednesday, February 17, 2010

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For whatever reason, a Houston blogger/radio host decided to do a blog post questioning the NFL draft worthiness of Florida players based on the past decade. It is true that UF has had prominent flops through the years, as many places have, but this exercise seems rather pointless to me. Unless you believe a player's success was system based (as was the case with Spurrier WRs or Osborne era Nebraska RBs for example) then what someone else did in the NFL is useless in weighing what a current college player will do. Everyone has different athletic ability, motivation, susceptibility to off field distractions, etc. Beyond that, no one prior to the 2006 draft worked with Urban Meyer's staff at all which makes their success or failure after receiving other coaching particularly irrelevant to considering what the current crop can achieve. Of the four picks cited for 2008 and 09, only Derrick Harvey has struggled while Andre Caldwell, Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy have delivered excellent value for where they were chosen. Does that mean it would be good strategy for teams to draft Riley Cooper but avoid Carlos Dunlap or Jermaine Cunningham? Of course not, which is why this piece is pointless.

Tomorrow will be USC's day of reckoning with NCAA Committee on Infractions. The organization has one last chance to prove they're no longer toothless when it comes to punishing prominent programs. FSU's penalty for academic fraud was a joke, and Indiana got to name its own punishment for the Kelvin Sampson phone fiasco. If USC, which has offered its basketball program up as a sacrificial lamb to try and minimize the football penalties, gets off with no major damage then why would anyone take the threat of NCAA justice seriously again?

Nolan Richardson, who went public daring Arkansas to buy him out of his contract and then got angry when they took him up on it, has a book out. In a CBS column, Richardson falls back on the predictable claim that he was blacklisted for being "uppity" and adds that Bob Knight and John Wooden would have been "nobodies" had they been black. That kind of garbage is only part of the reason Richardson never got a college gig again after he left Arkansas. He was 60 when he left - how many schools have hired coaches that old to start rebuilding their program in recent years? Couple that with a losing record in Richardson's final year (and no trips past the second round in the NCAAs in his final six seasons) and his actively pursuing a lawsuit against Arkansas. Would you have hired him?

Another former SEC coach who'll be looking to get back in this spring is Billy Gillispie. The ex-UK bench boss's PR push to convince people he's a new man has begun, with Gillispie telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he's given up drinking. He's even reading books now! (No, seriously, that's what he says.) I hope Gillispie has straightened himself out, but when a guy's claiming he didn't feel he had a problem with alcohol until after getting his THIRD DUI there's not a chance on Earth I'd give him control of my program if I was an AD looking to hire a coach. If Gillispie really wants back in, he'd be better off taking an assistant job to show he can stay on the straight and narrow amidst the excitement and pressure that comes with coaching. After a year or two of doing that without incident, it would be much easier to justify giving him a chance at the lead spot again.

If, like me, you are a male and enjoy the TV show Mad Men the odds are you also are a big fan of actress Christina Hendricks. Joan, the character she plays, smolders her way through the office on a regular basis. New York magazine has her on their cover as part of a fashion story this week - the photos are worth your attention.

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