Wednesday, August 17, 2011

They should have told him....

Al Golden's star seemed to be rising very high after turning around an average...if not below average Temple program into a solid winner.
On Dec. 13, 2010, Golden was officially hired as the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes, a program far from the dynasty of Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson(problem child, problem coach) during the 1980s and early 1990s.
And before he can coach a game at the U, his star could go down with a sinking ship Yahoo! Sports dropped an atomic bomb-esque revelation of major scandal proportions surrounding booster and convicted felon Nevin Shapiro.
For a guy who had been a rising star, this was the worst possible type of scare he could get.
As many as a dozen current players and 60 former Hurricanes and seven different coaches, most of whom are no longer at Miami, were implicated in the Yahoo story.
That means that Golden will have to take time away from teaching his players his new system and instead play damage control.
Among the players Shapiro told Yahoo! that took illegal benefits include DT Marcus Forston, QB Jacory Harris, S Ray-Ray Armstrong and LB Sean Spence.
That could likely force Golden to bench those players until their names are cleared, if they get cleared, by the NCAA. (bad news for Jacory, who needs this year, a strong year to get an invite to the NFL)
It creates a super seriou problem for Golden because those are without a doubt some of his most talented players on the roster.
And that doesn't even start to scratch the surface of the implications that could come from this scandal., excuse me..."alleged" scandal
The infamous death penalty has been thrown around on message boards and Twitter in the past few hours, as this is arguably up there, if true with the Fab Five and the SMU slush fund scandals, as some the biggest scandals in recent NCAA history.
But the death penalty seems highly unlikely at the moment because the Hurricanes are currently not on probation, which is the primary basis in the NCAA rulebook and the real technical term in the rulebook, the repeat violator rule.
According to the letter of the rule, those guilty of being repeat violators are eligible for the death penalty, but only in the case of the most egregious violators such as SMU. The U are secondary violators.....
But make no mistake, Shapiro's testimony could put Miami in a position where they would get everything but the death penalty.
The testimony describes, in detail, around a thousand violations involving players and coaches, in addition to plenty cases of potential lack of institutional control, the four deadliest words in any NCAA investigation.
Getting back to Golden, it would be a shame for such a gifted up-and-comer to be stuck in this kind of situation.
Unfortunately, that is where the chips fell for Golden.
Like Lane Kiffin at USC, he is left to pick up the pieces of what look to be a program whose image is more shattered than ever in its history.
Perception is as important at times as the reality.
And it's a shame that a good coaching career like Golden's could soon go up in smoke.
Unfortunately, fate isn't always the perfect dream.
Al Golden's fate could forever be tied down to Nevin Shapiro, a man he probably never met, but a man who may have done more damage to his coaching career than any one game ever could.
And therein lies the biggest shame of the Miami scandal, as it could have claimed the career of a rising star that never saw it coming.

Ballers Still Practicing

Less than 24 hours after an 11-month investigation by Yahoo! unfurled a tsunami of allegations of improper benefits made by former booster Nevin Shapiro to players and former coaches at the University of Miami, Al Golden and his team returned to the practice Wednesday morning.
And the 12 current players who were implicated by Shapiro in the Yahoo! story were out there in uniform, too – albeit under a much more subdued setting.
Safeties Ray-Ray Armstrong and Vaughn Telemaque; linebacker Sean Spence; quarterback Jacory Harris; receivers Travis Benjamin and Aldarius Johnson; tight end Dyron Dye; defensive tackle Marcus Forston; defensive ends Adewale Ojomo, Marcus Robinson and Olivier Vernon; and cornerback JoJo Nicolas were all involved in practice Wednesday. The question now – as the team tries to move forward under a cloud of an NCAA investigation – is for how long.
“Right now, the only facts I’m going by are what we received from the NCAA and the university from a compliance standpoint. Until we hear an infraction or that we did break a rule, everybody is practicing,” said Golden, who also told reporters he has yet to read the Yahoo! article. “If it is determined that somebody broke rules, then certainly it will first be dealt with from a university standpoint, from an eligibility standpoint.”
Golden, the only person at UM to speak to the media since news of an NCAA investigation in Coral Gables broke Sunday night, said though the last 24 hours have been difficult he’s still focused on getting his team ready for its Sept. 5 opener at Maryland. By then, he hopes, the NCAA will have determined or let him and his staff know who might have to sit out.
“If there are guys that are going to have to sit out games, then we’ll adjust our practice accordingly,” Golden said.
“Whatever the number that is being interviewed right now or being named, that makes up less than 10 percent of our team. It’s really important to understand we have a lot of guys in that locker room that do things the right way and come from great families and have made good decisions and want to improve today and want to get better. We have to manage this team – not just the guys that if they did make a mistake [will be out].
Golden said his message to his team has been not to judge any of the 12 players potentially involved in the Shapiro allegations.
“I would hope they would learn from them,” Golden said. “We’re in an educational setting. It’s no different than if a student makes a mistake on campus. We don’t toss them out. We don’t turn our back on them. We try to educate them. And they’re all at an age right now if they were exposed to Mr. Shapiro, clearly we have to make sure we prevent that going forward.”
Golden, who already has one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in place with 24 commitments, said assistants began making calls to recruits Tuesday night. The message: Sit tight.
“I think their [high school] coaches obviously wanted to wage what the heck was going on. So our coaches got in contact with their coaches and ultimately with the recruits,” Golden sad. “Until I know what the facts are and I know what’s going on, it’s important we don’t rush to judgment and start saying things I’m not privy to. With us, we’re trying to move forward quickly.”
Golden, who took over for Randy Shannon in December, said Tuesday he had no knowledge that any investigation by the NCAA might be coming down the shoot. Asked Wednesday if he felt the university had the responsibility to inform him of it when they hired him, Golden said: “Only if they knew. If they knew this was percolating then I believe they did have a responsibility to tell me. I believe they had the responsibility to tell [athletic director] Shawn [Eichorst].”
Asked if he felt broadsided by what UM is facing, Golden said: “No. We’ll get through this.”

Read more:

All about the Swagger

So, let’s start with the good news….According to Coach Al Golden, the Quarterback competition is neck and neck, (I thought Jacory would have had the edge as a senior, he appears to be a bit more polished, but Morris, has the pedigree and he’s keeping Jacory on his toes) Now……the rest

Okay, it's not looking good....But let's be real we're only speaking about ALLEGATIONS...this cat Nevin Shapiro is throwing dirt, hella dirt, major dirt, I mean he's laid it out on over 70 student-athletes, I repeat, STUDENTS. 12 of the guys "alleged" to have received improper benefits from a booster, are current players, but....Coach Al Golden is allowing them to practice until the NCAA says or does otherwise. In fact, they're practicing right now. This guy Nevin, currently incarcerated for all types of financial frauds, pled guilty to running a 930 million ponzi scheme, but what’s with a older guy hanging out with 19 and 20 year olds, throwing them cash, providing access to top shelf restaurants and clubs, taking these guys out on his yacht?&** WTF? this ass-clown is talking about writing a tell all book, why? from Atlanta USP? come on man, the U is in danger of losing, and in the short tem, recruits, then scholarships, and maybe even the football program altogether....he (Nevin) claims he spent millions on the players, but why tell it....what about the University President Shalala...receiving that fat check from this clown.....
Or Basketball Coach Haith (now at Missouri) knowing what transpired….He’s dishing the dirt, and there are quite a few who may be affected, from the University President, to the future first rounder’s, Sean Spence, Ray Ray Armstrong, and a host of others….it doesn’t look good folks, and Coach Golden ran into a buzz saw Monday, with NCAA investigators on campus, and Golden accepting this job a few months ago after randy was fired, and No one whispered in his ear that …there might be a slight and I repeat, SLIGHT problem.
Al, keep the faith and let’s see what we pull out of the hat against Maryland, in just a few short weeks….
And by the way, who’s going to be the starting quarterback?....


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Proof of the NFL drug testing policies failures....

Rex Grossman, the soon to be named starter at Quarterback for the Washington Redskins, yesterday proclaimed, rather loudly that the Redskins will win the NFC East. This proves that the NFL's drug testing policy is not relavenat or not in force. He cant believe that statement, not with the Vaunted Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and The Football Giants of New York on the schedule twice each!
this guy should really lay off the narcotics. But maybe he had a tooth pulled recetnly and is still suffering a few effects of the painkillers.
Hey...Do coaches get tested as well? because Mike Shannahan appears to be staking his reputation on Grossman and "Journeyman" John Beck. Again, with the Schedule that the Skins have, these two moves are questionable-at best!

“We’re fine being the sleepers right now,” Grossman said, before doing his best to wake everyone up to the Redskins.  Or to provide comic relief to the rest of the league.
“We’re just waiting in the wings ready to take over the NFC East.  Nobody’s talking about us, it’s right where we wanna be.  You look at us from top to bottom out here, there’s a bunch of great players.   And we don’t need people saying we’re the best right now.  But when it’s all said and done, I really feel like this team’s gonna win the NFC East.”
It would be foolish to write off the Redskins or any other team right now.  But when the guy who’s at the top of the depth chart at the most important position on the field was a free agent for a full week and got zero sniffs, it’s hard to have much confidence in this team’s ability to leapfrog the Giants and the Cowboys and the Eagles.
Most NFL fans, including plenty of Redskins fans, would respond to that statement with this question:  In what year?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Sherrif In Town....ROB RYAN

I'm Really loving what I'm hearing, and very soon we all shall be seeing from the Dallas Cowboys new Defensive Coordinator. He's bringing the swagger and I know from his history, he will have that defense flying around. 
now he may offend some by dropping the "F" Bombs, the total opposite of Coach Jason Garret, laid back and button downed, but if he gets that D running and moving, and I'm sure he will, its all good. Hes gonna bring some looks to the defense that the NFC East ain't ready for.

If the Cowboys are to bounce back from a sub-par 2010 season that included Wade Phillips getting fired after eight games and Garrett moving from offensive coordinator to head coach, they will have to show marked improvement on defense.
That's why Ryan is such an important hire. He is Rex Ryan's twin brother. He's also Buddy Ryan's son. Like those two, Rob has that aggressive approach and doesn't care at all what people think about him.
Like those two, Rob is also considered a defensive wizard. This could be the spot that vaults him to his head-coaching job. Rex Ryan has become a media darling in leading the Jets to two AFC Championship Games in his first two seasons. He is fast with a quip and brings a refreshing change to a profession that can be staler than two-week-old bread.
Amazingly, Rob might be even edgier than Rex. When Rex was trying to get a top job, he lost weight and cut his hair. Rob isn't doing that.
"-------" he said. "If a haircut keeps me from becoming a head coach, I don't want to coach for that ------- team anyway."
No imagination needed to fill in the words. But you get the point. He doesn't care. All he wants to do is coach football. How he looks doesn't matter.
Yesterday he called out the Eagles and their new pretend Dream Team, we'll see soon, but I like our chances better than theirs.

"He's a big guy I need to listen to and see what he's talking about," Ware said. "I tell him, he has all that wisdom with that hair. He's the big Silverback."
Ryan will change the way the Cowboys play defense. They will be much more exotic with their fronts. You could see it in the work I watched over two days.
They will sometimes have one lineman down and six or seven other guys in the box. They will come from all angles, making it tough for a quarterback to call out protections, making it tough for the line to pick rushers up. Others will show rush but drop out.
I liken it to a stepped-on ant pile. They scatter quickly in all directions at the snap.
The player who should benefit most from this change is Ware. Under Phillips, he lined up on the right side all the time. It was easy to find him, which meant it was easy to double him, easy to slide protection his way.
Now he will line up on the right, the left, down, as a nose, as a linebacker standing up -- anyway you can imagine.
"He gets 20 sacks a year, but he gets doubled every play," Ryan said "If we can set some one-on-ones for him, it would be nice. We don't think he'll ever come complete free, but if he gets a one-on-one it's like coming free for him."
Ware has had 20 sacks just once in his career, that coming in 2008. But he has had at least 11 in each of the past five seasons, including 15½ last season to lead the NFL. I consider him the best pass rusher in the league.
Now that he is being moved around, he should be even better.
"It's a totally different philosophy," Ware said. "We have a coach who comes with tenacity and also has a system that utilizes the players and has multiplicity to it. You have guys dropping, rushing. You might have three responsibilities on one play. Sometimes I will be acting line I am rushing, but I won't. But I will still be coming a lot. You have to account for me. Only you won't know where I am coming from or what I am doing. It used to be I'd be on the right side, and you knew where I was."
Ware sniffed the single-season sack record with his 20. But this could be the year he takes it down. Michael Strahan had 22½ in 2001.
"I need it," Ware said.
Will you get it? "I hope so," he said. "I have a chance."
The Cowboys will need better play in the back end if they are to truly turn things around on defense. That means corners Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman have to play better. There is still a lot of uncertainty at safety, but they could add a player there in the next few days.
With Ryan, the rush might be able to cover up some of those problems.
"I used to say I was the most famous Ryan after my dad, but Rex has passed me," Rob said. "Ideally, I'd love to have my chance to do that. Right now, I want to be the best defensive coordinator in football. I want to prove it this year. That's why I am here."
If he can turn things around in Dallas, that time should come. Ryan, like his brother, is a good football coach -- even if he looks like he just walked in from a ride with a bunch of bikers.

now Yesterday....August First, 2011, Vince Young, came out and called the Eagles the "Dream Team"...Rob (and myself included) didn't appreciate that remark.

Speaking to reporters at Cowboys camp, Ryan said that he was happy with the Cowboys’ relative lack of big-name free-agent signings because he thinks the players the Cowboys already have are good enough. And then he said he’s looking forward to playing a certain other team that has received more attention in free agency.
“These are proven players, and that’s what we need,” Ryan said. “I don’t know if we win the all-hype team, I think that might have gone to somebody else, but we’re going to beat their ass when we play them.”
Ryan didn’t mention the Eagles by name, but I think it’s safe to say that’s who he was referencing. And with that, Rob Ryan has given us a brash statement that even his brother Rex will find it tough to top.