THE RAP SHEET - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - The week in eligibility-crippling issues - legal, academic, institutional and otherwise...
Opening this week in South Bend, where "a Florida man," Andrew French, pled guilty to "interfering with Tyrone Willingham's ability to enjoy his employment because of threats of harm related to his race or color" for leaving a drunken "4 a.m. rant that lasted a couple of minutes" on Willingham's office phone in November 2003, one that included racial epithets and a threat - really - to burn a cross in the coach's yard. The guilty plea saved a him a felony charge.
Accounts don't specify, but presumably this followed Notre Dame's 37-0 home loss to Florida State, the Irish's sixth in seven games but its only defeat in November 2003 (Navy, BYU and Stanford in subsequent weeks were three of ND's five wins that season). French, 26 now so probably about 23 at the time, cited "peer pressure" along with alcohol as a reason for this incredibly stupid call, from which can surmise that it was the result of endless ribbing from his FSU fan frat buddies - possibly following a week or two of bragging of an eminent Irish upset? A wager or two? That is only conjecture.
What we do know: French, like everyone else, could use one of these.
- - - - - Cell phone rule number one, Andy French: friends don't let friends don't drink and dial.
BANNED, by the NCAA, academic transcripts from 16 more "schools" labeled "diploma mills." This on the heels of nine other institutions already called out in the wake of a New York Times story on University High School last November.
All of the newly blackballed schools are from California or the East Coast; this is also the case of 22 schools and academies cleared pending future review, save two in Texas, one down the road from SMQ in Mississippi ("Genesis One" is no powerhouse in the state in any sport, as SMQ's never heard of it), one in Arkansas and a baseball academy in Puerto Rico. Included in the latter group were notables Bridgton Academy in Maine, Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts, Patterson School in North Carolina, St. Thomas More in Connecticut and noted basketball factory Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
ARRESTED, on misdemeanor marijuana charages, once-projected South Florida starting quarterback Carlton Hill, who was caught with five other people in an epic dorm room smoke out. That's once-projected starter, because, combined with Hill's missing half of Spring practice to remain eligible, playing like a corpse the rest of the session (a very talented corpse! Who chose USF over Miami!) and returning two-year starter Pat Julmiste's sudden, stunning Spring competency, Hill is hereby banished to reserve wide receiver and Jim Leavitt's could-have-been fantasies. (HT: EDSBS)
REACHED, a plea deal, by Nebraska recruit Major Culbert, who accepted misdemeanor charges of trespassing and harassment Wednesday along with five years probation and 30 days in prison rather than face much stiffer penalties on a sexual battery charge for allegedly accosting a couple girls in their off-campus apartment with eventual Oregon signee Marvin Johnson during a recruiting trip to Eugene in January (the girls reportedly backed the lesser charges because "They didn't want these guys to be (ruled as) sex offenders," according to Lane County deputy D.A. Bob Gorham). Culbert's scholarship was initally revoked because of the more serious charge, but apparently now could be reinstated:
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And don't let the name fool ya - second guessing the phenomenal athletic feats and split-second decisions of college kids under extreme physical duress is for every day of the week.
AWWW!! The totally nicest people, like, ever!...
How much football does he watch? Dude's got insights on -everybody-, and by everybody, I mean everybody. Throw in some of the best writing in the blogosphere, and we're talking about a daily must-read.
- Burnt Orange Nation
SMQ starts to sound more and more like the Gregg Easterbrook of our ideal memories every day - whip-smart, systematic, omnivorous in his intellectual tastes and yet unafraid of the cheap joke.
- Every Day Should Be Saturday
Sunday Morning Quarterback is one of our favorite football blogs on the internet.
- State Fans Nation
Sunday Morning Quarterback is a killer football blog if you are a college football junkie. It is run by one of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical writers in the college football blogosphere...The guy is thorough and detailed and provides a level of analysis you are not going to find anywhere else .
- Bruins Nation
Just another hack writer who hasn't done one lick of research...
...the pride of Southern Mississippi ever since Brett Favre turned into an ESPN soap opera, has the sort of prose knack that can keep you riveted to a preview about any one of D-IA's scrubbier members ... should be given gifts.