Tuesday, July 6, 2010

At least they were Bulldog red, right?

When Georgia AD Damon Evans's DUI first came to light Thursday, I thought he might be able to survive the negative publicity if nothing else damaging came out and people had a three day weekend to cool off. Then came Friday afternoon's release of the police report, complete with details like Evans having the female passenger's panties sitting between his legs and his immortal quote "We go through life and we all drink and jump in a car". At that point it was clearly game over for Evans, the only question was how soon and at what price. The answer turns out to be Monday, for three months salary and a nearly earned 100 thousand dollar longevity bonus. As I assumed it would, UF associate AD Greg McGarity's name has already been floated for the Georgia AD job. McGarity has been brought up for Auburn and LSU in the past, and maybe this will prove to be his time. He's a good guy, but has had little opportunity to really show a public persona because Jeremy Foley is such a dominant figure on the UF and SEC landscape.

With the recent passing of John Wooden, I wondered who could ascend to the role of Grand Old Man of college basketball. Given Bobby Knight's abrasive nature, it's hard to imagine him as a revered senior statesman type of guy. Dean Smith, whose personality did seem a better fit, has been largely off the public stage since his retirement. I assumed it was his usual reticence to deal with the media, but it turns out Smith is apparently battling either Alzheimer's or other age related dementia. Both of my grandmothers have been affected by Alzheimer's, and it is a terrible feeling as a family member to see what it does to a loved one. I feel for Dean Smith's family that they have to witness his decline. It's a huge loss for the college hoops community that we've likely seen the last of him in any kind of public role.

On Friday, TMZ posted a story claiming the NCAA is looking hard at Kentucky basketball, with particular questions about two former players and two current ones dealing with agents. Four days later, neither they nor anyone else has done something to advance that story. Much as I'd like to dismiss this as silliness from a site that spends more time on what Lindsay Lohan had for lunch than sports, they clearly found something legit with their story on an Oklahoma basketball player receiving money from a financial planner in Tampa earlier this year. John Calipari got burned by agents giving Marcus Camby early benefits at UMass - could it be about to happen again? It's never going to be a dull moment in Lexington as long as he's there.

I mentioned previously that Football Outsiders does terrific work on the NFL and I'm looking forward to seeing their takes on college football. They've now posted a teaser preview from this year's guide, and fortunately it's of the SEC East race. Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina all being between 19 and 23 can't realistically happen, but it does show each has some positives in the numbers to fall back on as well as some potential trouble spots.

NBC shoved Conan O'Brien out the door to bring back Jay Leno on the Tonight show under the premise he would immediately regain all those viewers O'Brien's humor was supposedly too hip for. Whoops - looks like the people who watched Jay at ten and realized just how lame he was have decided to stay away. Now Leno's numbers are notably worse than Conan's were - even more remarkable since Leno doesn't have himself for a lead in. Couldn't happen to a more deserving network or guy.

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