Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Catching up shakes its head at Ohio

Janzen Jackson re-enrolls at Tennessee: After leaving school in the the spring to deal with "personal problems" that (to my knowledge) never became public, safety Janzen Jackson re-enrolled at Tennessee for summer classes on Wednesday and is "expected to be a full participant when training camp begins." This is pretty fantastic news for Derek Dooley on two levels:
  1. Jackson is good (duh) -- probably the best player on the team, actually. He was named second-team All-SEC last year as a sophomore after finishing with five picks and 69 tackles.
  2. UT has zero depth. I'm not sure exactly what the count is currently, but when Dooley took over before last season, the Vols had something like 72 (or some similarly terrifying number) of scholarship players. A big part of that was the seemingly loaded '09 recruiting class, which had two five-stars -- Jackson and the legendary Bryce Brown -- and a bunch of other talent but has now been reduced to less than half its original size just two years later.
Assuming Jackson's "personal problems" haven't robbed him of some amount of on-field ability, he returns as probably the second-best safety in the SEC (Mark Barron at Alabama being the best) and represents a massive chip in Tennessee's bid for a second straight uninspiring bowl game that won't mean anything other than big-picture progress.

We celebrate our country's independence and our cheating coaches:

I find this both sad and not at all surprising. Just beat Michigan and we will honor you by dressing our children in your ridiculous attire despite your absurdly hypocritical lack of morality.


Michael McAdoo is pissed, yo: Former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo -- who was stripped of his remaining eligibility as part of the UNC academic shenanigans -- is suing the NCAA and the school because he claims "inaccurate information" was used in the decision to end his career.

The argument:
McAdoo's lawyers argue that the school's Honor Court found him guilty of only one infraction: representing another's work as his own after Wiley had formatted in-text citations and the "works cited" page for websites used to prepare his research paper.

The school's Honor Court decided to suspend him from school for the spring semester but allow him to re-enroll in the summer and then return to the football team this fall. It cleared him in a second case and the student attorney general decided there was insufficient evidence to pursue a third against him.

He had also received $110 in improper benefits. Most of that was connected to a trip to the Washington, D.C., area with teammates Marvin Austin and Greg Little, prompting the school to hold him out for the first three games of last season.
So the $110 in benefits (gasp) was the basis for the three-game suspension last year, and the school decided to suspend him from spring football this year after the "citation" issue (which does seem a little shady based on Jennifer Wiley's alleged let-me-help-you-with-that involvement with the rest of the team).

But if that's really all there was to it -- and the school Honor Court is probably as good a source as any when we're talking about academic misconduct -- it does seem a little ridiculous that he permanently lost his eligibility due to basically one allegation of cheating that the school basically wrote off as "meh, not that bad" and was officially determined to be an extra benefit worth $11 (srsly).

That said, I don't understand why the school is named in the lawsuit when it obviously wasn't UNC's decision to revoke his eligibility, and the NCAA is a third party specifically authorized by member schools to write and implement rules, so good luck in court -- especially when this is the goal:
The lawsuit seeks to compel chancellor Holden Thorp to reinstate McAdoo while also preventing the NCAA from interfering in the process or punishing the school if McAdoo returns.
Yeah ... probably not. Important disclaimer: I'm no law-talkin' guy.

Dee Hart's freshman season ends before it began: Ahhh, Demetrius Hart. The one-time gem of Rich Rodriguez's 2011 recruiting class who bolted for Alabama when it became pretty obvious that RichRod was dangling in the wind at Michigan, Hart tore it up in spring ball and seemed to be in line for some serious playing time behind Trent Richardson this year.

And then this happened:

Alabama running back Demetrius Hart will miss the 2011 season after the freshman injured his knee Tuesday night, sources confirmed Wednesday.

Hart, who enrolled early and was impressive in spring practice, is scheduled to undergo surgery later this week after suffering the injury during voluntary workouts, according to the sources.

Ouch. Given the typical impact of an ACL tear and Alabama's absurd talent pool, this probably means a lot more to Hart than it does to Bama. He'll take his redshirt year to rehab and presumably be in the mix for the starting job next year after Richardson leaves for first-round gold in the NFL draft.

Purdue running back Sean Matti found dead: The headline says it all. Matti was apparently at some sort of party on or around Lake Freeman (which isn't far from West Lafayette) when he was reported missing, and he was found dead in the water the next day.

Matti was a senior walk-on who had never touched the ball or done anything of note (other than probably bust his ass for a spot on the team), but that doesn't make it any less sad. He was 22.


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