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Member Since 28 Jun 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 08:04 PM

SC: 23 NCAA, SEC Infractions

23 August 2016 - 04:40 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's athletic department reported 23 violations of NCAA or Southeastern Conference rules in the past year, nine involving the football team.

All but one of the infractions were classified as Level III and outlined by the NCAA as violations isolated or limited in nature; provide no more than a minimal recruiting, competitive or other advantage; and do not include more than a minimal impermissible benefit.

South Carolina released its infractions report this week from an open records request by The Associated Press. The time period is from August 2015 through July.

Six of the nine violations involving football came since Will Muschamp took over in December. One, though, occurred when ex-coach Steve Spurrier told reporters that the daughter of a former NFL player was visiting campus.

The names of athletes or coaches involved were not included in the documents.

Most violations are far from those that bring splashy headlines and put schools on probation.

The violation of SEC guidelines was when a football quality control coordinator used a headset while in the press box to talk with coaches on the field. The school suspended the quality control coach for one game and the SEC took no additional action, according to the school's documents.

In February, a restaurateur classified as a Gamecocks booster was handed a phone by a prospect's uncle to leave a voicemail for the prospect's father. The next month, a former South Carolina player posed for pictures with two prospects on unofficial visits.

In both cases, the school provided those involved with additional education and the NCAA accepted those remedies without taking any additional action.

There are two football violations pending, one in May where a football player was found to have gotten impermissible transportation for three-and-a-half months and another in June where prospects got impermissible lodging on an unofficial visit.

In the first, South Carolina declared the player ineligible and made to pay restitution to charity. In the other, the school provided those staffers involved with addition rules' education and requested relief from NCAA penalties.

Three infractions were not classified to the football program yet involved the sport.

In October, a chapter of the Gamecock Club booster group posted an internet link to a story detailing a prospect's verbal commitment to South Carolina. In February, a football manager worked with the team while not enrolled as a full-time student. Also that month, an ex-Gamecocks player wrongly re-Tweeted a prospects post before he had signed a letter of intent.

All the school's corrective actions were accepted by the NCAA.

Among other sports, the three-time SEC women's basketball champions reported four infractions. One involved a player getting transportation, meals and lodging while not eligible to play. The school declared the player ineligible and made to donate costs of the impermissible benefit to charity.

The NCAA imposed additional penalties for one women's basketball violation after an assistant coach texted a 2019 prospect with the same first name as a current player they intended to text. The NCAA banned South Carolina from electronically corresponding with that prospect for two weeks.

U.S. Judge Grants Nationwide Injunction Blocking White House Transgender Policy

22 August 2016 - 10:13 AM

Months after the Obama administration advised school districts that transgender students should be given access to bathrooms based on their gender identity, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the guidance from going into effect — for now.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

As we've reported, the lawsuit argues that the guidance from the White House would turn schools "into laboratories for a massive social experiment."

The preliminary injunction would mean that, until that lawsuit works its way through the courts, the "status quo" would be maintained and the guidance could not be considered enforceable.

The guidance from the White House was issued in May, and addresses the Title IX requirement that schools receiving federal funding not discriminate against students on the basis of sex.

The administration says that, as the departments of Justice and Education interpret the law, transgender students must be allowed to use a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. Alternately, individual bathrooms can be made available to all students.

In their lawsuit, Texas and other states argue that references to "sex" in Title IX refer only to biological sex, and that the administration's interpretation is a "radical re-authoring" of the term.

The states also say that while the administration describes the documents as interpretation and guidance, they are "coercive" in practice.

In a ruling issued Sunday, O'Connor concluded that there is a strong likelihood the states will win their case, justifying an injunction in the meantime. He found that the administration didn't follow the proper notice and comment process for the guidelines.

He determined that the law is "not ambiguous," writing that "[i]t cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used ... following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth."

He also said that the guidelines are "compulsory in nature."

Under his injunction, O'Connor ordered all parties to "maintain the status quo." He says the administration can't enforce the guidelines — or make any sort of investigation based on the idea that "the definition of sex includes gender identity." The White House would also be barred from using the guidelines in any lawsuits, he wrote.

Florida names Luke Del Rio its starting quarterback

18 August 2016 - 08:00 PM

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Jim McElwain said last week he'd like to name a starter at quarterback in the near future, and he's seen enough to make the call.

Redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio will be the man for the Gators this fall, attempting to finally provide some stability and quality play at the position after six disappointing years following the departure of Tim Tebow. Long considered the heavy favorite to win the gig, Del Rio officially took the reins for the opener on Thursday.

"Luke is going to work as the starter the rest of camp and start in the season opener barring any unforeseen development,'' McElwain said in a press release. "Our other quarterbacks remain in the plans and are ready to move forward and help the Gators any way they can."

Del Rio beat out Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby for the job. A former walk-on at Alabama in 2013, Del Rio transferred to Oregon State for the 2014 season before coaching changes led him to transfer to Florida as a walk-on for the 2015 season. He has since been awarded a scholarship.

McElwain has always harped on his quarterback's ability to make everyone playing around him better as the most important attribute, and that's where Del Rio has really separated himself from the pack in Gainesville. With an extra year in the system, he has very good knowledge of the offense and how things are supposed to operate.

That knowledge allowed him to help the offense continue making progress this offseason when the coaches couldn't be around. As a result, the Gators have picked up right where they left off in the spring... well ahead of where they were a year ago.

"We really harped a lot on the passing game and the timing with the receivers and just how they are going to run their routes and where they want it," Del Rio said. "The summer is where you kind of form the chemistry and camp is where you get used to what your offense is going to be and honing in on what the team is good at."

Florida looks like it'll be a team that relies on its system to create favorable matchups with versatile playmakers surrounding a quarterback that may not make any Heisman Trophy watch lists but is perfectly capable of putting the ball into the hands of those playmakers.

That's the goal, anyway.

The Gators certainly believe they've found a guy that can help the offense start to move back toward respectability.

"It helps a lot because it put a lot of pressure on the run game last year knowing we didn’t have the best quarterback and the best throwing game," running back Jordan Scarlett said. "Defenses will stack the box and put a lot of pressure on the run game. Now that we have a quarterback they have to respect the pass. It will open up a lot more things."

Butch Get Cop Fired for Doing His Job

17 August 2016 - 08:45 PM

Report: Former UT security officer loses job over Butch Jones phone call

Connor Riley  CONNOR RILEY
SEC Country Staff

A Knoxville police officer claims he lost his job because of a brief phone call he made to Butch Jones.

Per Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Police officer Sam Brown will not be on the sidelines providing security for Tennessee football games after doing so for the past 19 seasons.

A Knoxville police officer claims he lost his job because of a brief phone call he made to Butch Jones.

Per Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Police officer Sam Brown will not be on the sidelines providing security for Tennessee football games after doing so for the past 19 seasons.

And Brown says it is due to a two-minute phone conversation he had with Butch Jones back in January.

“They relieved me of my duties because of a two-minute phone call I made to Butch Jones about the A.J. Johnson investigation,’’ Brown told WNML.

The phone call came in November of 2014 per the report, the same day that Johnson and Tennessee teammate Michael Williams were accused of rape. Brown claimed to have made at least 100 calls to over four different coaches in his 19 years on the job.

Johnson and Williams were both kicked off the team and set to stand trial for the rape. But the trial has been delayed and does not have a scheduled start date.

Nashville Advice

08 August 2016 - 03:06 PM

I'm looking for some things to do in Nashville.

A couple of buddies and myself are heading there for the Carolina vs Vandy game.  We are heading down gameday Thursday and coming back on Saturday.

Any suggestions on what to do or where to go?