It's still early and there is plenty of time for Sheriron Jones (6-2, 180, Moreno Valley, CA Rancho Moreno) to change his mind before National Signing Day, but his commitment to Florida Monday makes a statement that the nation's best recruits have plenty of confidence in head coach Will Muschamp. If Jeff Driskel elects to return for his senior season (he's a fourth year junior this year), the Gators will have four elite quarterbacks on the roster for 2015 and all four are dual threats. Jones, who will be competing at the Elite 11 Nike event in July, doesn't seem to mind that there might be a logjam at quarterback. He says he's so satisfied with Muschamp and the opportunity at Florida that he won't take any more visits. A lot can change between now and signing day, but for the moment, at least, this is a statement recruit.
Probably the best summary of what's going on is the exceptional column written by Matt Hayes of The Sporting News, who says both the NCAA and Ed O'Bannon are hypocrites trying to sell a dog that just won't hunt. Hayes says he's sick of O'Bannon whining that he was so much an athlete that he didn't have time to go to class. Hayes notes that Andrew Luck graduated in three years and that Myron Rolle had a Rhodes Scholarship interview and still played in a game that night. Hayes also whacks the NCAA at the kneecaps for putting money and greed ahead of doing the right thing for athletes.
Hayes' best line about O'Bannon: "O'Bannon should be embarrassed that he declared himself an athlete first; should be ashamed that he used the excuse that he ‘was only 17' when he was signing up for his major at UCLA, and didn't know better when he claimed advisors were steering him into an easier major."
Hayes' best line about the NCAA: "And that leads us to the NCAA's mortal sin: allowing players who wouldn't otherwise qualify academically for higher education into their systems because those same players will help them win games and make money — all under the guise of ‘giving young men a chance to succeed.'"
Hayes best lines about the NFL and NBA: "The NFL and NBA use the NCAA as a minor league system, a process so detailed, young men are told in college what to eat and drink and how to lift weights to make them physically elite. They're then coached by some of the greatest football and basketball minds in their respective sports; taught the intricacies and nuances of the game to prepare them for the professional game. Guess how much the NFL and NBA pay for this service. Nothing."
Hayes' best lines about both the NCAA and the players: "Member universities know damn well young men who aren't academically ready for college can be plopped into bogus majors, then pushed along — sometimes, by breaking NCAA rules — to keep them eligible to play. Don't feel too sorry for the players; they know the game and play it well."
As for the actual trial, Stanford economist Roger Noll spent the day on the witness stand claiming once again that the NCAA is a cartel that violates anti-trust laws by exploiting players who get no money while the universities rake in millions upon millions on the backs of free labor. The trial will continue Wednesday with former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro taking the stand. Prothro is the receiver who suffered that horrible leg fracture trying to catch a pass in the end zone against Florida in 2005 when Alabama beat the Gators, 31-3. He never played football again after that game.
Right now, the Big 12 Conference is quite happy with its 10-team alignment which, paid its member schools $22 million each last month. While there is no indication that the league will expand any time in the next year or two, the league is going to be watching while the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 rake in bigger bucks with their network arrangements and expansion that opened up new markets. Meanwhile, the Big 12 remains a largely Midwest conglomeration with the exception of West Virginia, which really doesn't add a whole lot to the conference except to give it ten teams. At some point the Big 12 is going to feel the revenue heat and the pressure to add a conference championship game. The other four power conferences will argue that it's not fair that their champions have to play the extra game while the Big 12 gets that extra week without a game. More important, the Big 12 is going to start realizing that it's missing out on more revenue without the conference championship game and that will create the need to expand. If the Big 12 is smart, it will invite South Florida and UCF, expanding the league into the lucrative Florida TV market and giving it the 12 teams necessary to have a conference championship game.
The importance of San Antonio's blowout win over the Miami Heat Tuesday night can't be underestimated. Not only does the win shift home court advantage back in the Spurs' favor, but it exposed Miami's lack of defense from anyone not named LeBron James. James is arguably the best player on the court although he had a very quiet 22 Tuesday, but the Spurs have the best top to bottom roster and they have a serious coaching advantage with Greg Popovich on the bench. Pop was at his best Tuesday. His use of the bench was about as good as you're ever going to see and his switching defenses turned Miami very ordinary.
Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Mark Brunell is a happy guy today. His daughter, Caitlin, won the Miss Alabama pageant last weekend and will compete in the Miss America pageant in September ... The Red River Shootout will stay in Dallas through 2025. Texas-Oklahoma will keep their game at the Cotton Bowl where it has been played since 1932 ... BYU continues to lobby for conference membership. The league would love to join the Big 12, but really, what does BYU bring to that league? The smart move would be to rejoin the Mountain West and schedule teams with whom it actually has a common history ... Former Tennessee Titans running back and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George tweeted that former Texas A&M Heisman Trophy quarterback Johnny Manziel is "more wrapped up in being a celebrity than being in his playbook" ... ESPN.com rates Florida's running backs eighth best as a unit in the SEC. Alabama, with T.J. Yeldon, Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake, rates #1 while Georgia, with Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall and freshmen Sony Michel and Nick Chubb ranks #2 ... ESPN.com also ranks Florida's quarterbacks #6 as a unit in the SEC. Auburn, Mississippi State and Ole Miss rank 1-2-3 ... Bret Bielema just got the kiss of death. The Arkansas coach was endorsed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ... Tickets for the LSU-Texas A&M game in College Station will set you back $195.30.
Are you in favor of college scholarship athletes getting extra cash to cover incidentals or do you think a scholarship is enough? If you're in favor of giving them some cash, how much per month do you think is fair?
Jarekus Singleton has become one of the most talked about young blues performers in recent memory. His 2014 album "Refuse to Lose" is what Singleton says is his life story in music. A native of the Mississippi Delta, Singleton seems destined to become the next great blues legend to come out of that area. He's a brilliant guitarist and when he sings he tells a story. This is "I Refuse to Lose" from his first album.