Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the return of Family Conversations

With the offseason dragging on like a Yankees-Red Sox game — seriously guys, go pound salt or something — it seems like the perfect time to bring back the ongoing blog gimmickfeature "Family Conversations," wherein I trade emails with cousin's husband (cousin-in-law?) Jamie, then post the results. Note that neither of us really has any inside sources; we're just two ordinary (mostly rational) fans airing our opinions because we can. As always, everyone is welcome to the conversation, either by commenting here or finding us on Twitter.
Also as always, please visit the Red Cross' website and donate, if you haven't done so already, before reading any further. Thanks.
will: Welcome to the long, slow dark of the offseason. I hope those 2010 national champ videos and a steady diet of scandal has kept your brain occupied to this point ... because there's still some time to go.
What I recall about the summer of 2010, for me, was how I secretly wasn't ready for the season to start when it did. I enjoy football — probably as much as anyone else on the planet, really — but there was something in me that just kind of wanted it to be 2009 forever. When the season finally did start, and the team took the field, my first thought was, "Well ... guess we're not the champs anymore." It was still my team; it just wasn't the same team that accomplished all that magic from the year before.

Jamie: What's funny about hanging the NC banner is that in a few months someone else will be crowned the champ and we will begin our quest for the next title. If scandal is what you want then you can find it on any local university corner if you really wanted to. As it relates to Auburn's side of scandal what I find interesting is anyone who says anything to me about Auburn and cheating, they say nothing other than "I know you did it". It would not shock me in the least if the NCAA came out tomorrow and said they found that Auburn, Bama or anyone were paying players. My problem comes when people who didn't investigate any part of out recruitment of *sigh* Cam Newton say they know what happened, while the NCAA investigated and found nothing:

"I said very loud and clear that I think it's absolutely a fundamentally wrong for a father to try to sell the services of his son or daughter to the highest bidder, to a university. We ought never to allow that to happen, but yet, having not anticipated that, we didn't have any rule or structure that said it was a violation of any of our rules. I found that grossly inappropriate that didn't have a structure in which we could say, 'No, you can't do that.'
"There was no evidence that money had changed hands and there was no evidence that Auburn University had anything to do with it. We would up making a decision that felt to many people morally objectionable, but that fit the facts and the circumstances.

One of the main players on the Mississippi State side says Auburn was not involved:

John Bond told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger on Thursday the latest round of accusations that Cam Newton's father sought money for his son to play college football "has nothing to do with Auburn. Absolutely nothing to do with Auburn."

Even Joe Schad says it's over.
(Sorry for that tangent, I will continue to be on the defensive as it relates to that whole deal, unless something else comes to light.)

will: What's your read on the Russell Wilson thing? Is he serious about considering Auburn? And if so, should Auburn be serious about him?
Jamie: According to everything I have heard, there is real mutual interest, and I have no problem with it. The coaches have their hands on the pulse of the program and if they feel that it would not effect team chemistry then I trust their decision. I talked to Eltoro Freeman the other day and he seems excited about the possibility so at least one player is cool with it. The only thing is, he would need to come in very soon in order to learn what he needs to, and he would have to pay a significant portion of his signing bonus ($250,000) for leaving baseball.

will: Is there one thing about the team this fall that concerns you more than anything else?
Jamie: 1) Defensive Tackle - This could get really ugly.
2) QB - Depends. The wildcard here is Malzahn
3) WR - One guy with significant PT returning. Hurts that 2 guys we were counting on thought it was a good idea to commit armed robbery.

will: Finally, what do we make of the eternal debate about oversigning? Is it, as Mark Richt would have us believe, one of the true evils in society that must be exorcised? A slew of baseless accusations from jealous a-holes? Somewhere in the middle?
Jamie: Somewhere in the middle. I doubt that Nick or any other coach who essentially cuts players tells these prospects that they will be evaluated on a yearly basis, and if they are not pulling their weight then they are getting shipped out. At the same time, what does the NCAA expect when they say the scholarships are year to year. This just seems to promote cutting players and is within the rules. If it is a big deal to people just go to 4 year scholarships and be done with it. If a player red shirts and has 5 years then the last year is a renewable scholly. At that point, you have fulfilled your obligation and can pull the scholly or offer it for another year. I personally do not have a problem with it. You are given a scholly for your ability to contribute to the athletic program. You don't see outrage when an academic scholarship is taken away for not making the grades agreed upon when the scholly was given.

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