Note: This post was written before news started leaking that Sidell Corley's mother may have been a murder victim in the Mobile area. As of this writing, the reports remain unconfirmed, and I am allowing the post to stand more or less as-is, even though its tone may be seen as lacking an appropriate amount of solemnity under the circumstances. Suffice it to say that we are not trying to make light of tragedy or to suggest an equivalence between that incident and the issues listed and discussed here.
In this post, we talked about how there is really no news coming out of the football complex these days, and how this is good news indeed. All the news that can come out at this time of the year involves arrests, academic problems, or other various and sundry distractions or scandals. "Everything's A-OK" does not make for a compelling headline, so news is only made when it's bad. Let's review some of the stories from around the SEC right now and analyze just how there really is no good news to be made in the month of May (or June for that matter) in college football:
- Kentucky defensive tackle Jeremy Jarmon, one of Kentucky's best players, has been ruled ineligible to play this year because of a positive drug test. In this case, it appears that he bought a supplement that contained a banned substance and failed to clear it with his trainers beforehand.
- Tennessee's new strength and conditioning coach, only 5 months on the job, has decided to leave the program.
- Georgia's Bruce Figgins and Justin Houston, both expected to be important contributors to this Bulldog team, were suspended for 6 and 2 games respectively for violation of team rules.
- South Carolina signee Ben Axon, a well-regarded tailback from Tampa, has been arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. It's unclear exactly how much "23 baggies" really is, but it's safe to say it's more than one person can use in one day.
- To make things worse for the Gamecocks, cornerback CC Whitlock was arrested at a nightclub for refusing to leave, this only days after he had be reinstated to the team from a previous suspension.
- Rumors swirl of impending NCAA discipline for Bama with respect to the textbook scandal from two years ago. Not to mention, whispers about other matters that we aren't going to be putting much stock in unless it gets more serious.
- And oh yeah, Lane Kiffin got more headlines by committing a recruiting violation by mentioning a recruit's name on Twitter, a "secondary" violation, but one that is a violation of a very well-known and well-understood rule even among people who don't coach college football: don't mention a kid's name in public until he actually signs. The explanation is that it was a grad assistant in his first day on the job that was given the task of maintaining Lane Kiffin's twitter feed. Of course, this is the same sort of "failure to have procedures in place to ensure compliance" that is supposedly getting Bama in trouble. I would say that giving an untrained and ignorant grad assistant the job of speaking in the coach's name to be a spectacular error in judgment.
- Urban Meyer has gotten into an embarrassing public snit of his own devising, in which he seems to have publicly called out former quarterback (pre-Meyer) Shane Matthews, a radio talk show host.
- Ole Miss committed a minor recruiting violation by writing an article talking about potential signees without using their names, but giving enough information to identify them. Nothing serious here and there won't be any long term consequences, but again it's bad news.
Meanwhile, LSU just sort of quietly passes the time this Spring, at least so far. Or at least, it did until the Corley situation came to light, which again, is bad news.