Friday ponderings

It has been a long week. Here are a few sports and other ponderings as we head toward the weekend.

Saban knows the rules
Nick Saban used video teleconferencing to circumvent the ban on coaches visiting schools during the spring evaluation period. Kevin Scarbinsky’s column today explains why its legal, and how shrewd Saban is…he’s actually read the rules.

Alabama assistant coach Curt Cignetti visited Athens High, which has a Distance Learning Lab that allows Athens students to take online classes by using a live webcam.

Cignetti left behind a web address that Ming used to log on later that day and spend 15-20 minutes talking, through the webcam, with Saban, who was in his office in Tuscaloosa.

Athens High Coach Allen Creasy, who witnessed the conversation, called it “a first from a recruiting standpoint” for his school.

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Since this isn’t against NCAA rules, could we expect the lazy Tommy Tuberville to lobby the Public Service Commission to regulate the state telephone lines? Maybe he’ll write his congressman or senator? I hear the government likes to hold hearings about the BCS. Maybe they’ll hold hearings into how bad Saban is for using video teleconferencing.

Alabama players prep for draft
As the draft nears, players are trying to improve their NFL appeal. First off, earlier this week Wallace Gilberry was named a Draft Gem by USA Today. One other quick item about USA Today. According to the Nation’s Newspaper, since 1988, Alabama has produced 164 draft picks. Georgia has produced 281, Mississippi 133, Tennessee 91, Arkansas 48, Florida 541, and Texas 568. Of course California has produced the most with 699. Check out the interactive map.

Ian Rapoport provided an insight in the background of the NFL draft—a background where players try to show they aren’t Pac Man-like.

That’s especially true for players like DJ Hall, who faced discipline issues while in college.

“It every case, these guys know chapter and verse of everything every guy has ever done,” coach Nick Saban said. “That’s their job. These guys have the kind of competitor character that you need to make an NFL team.”

Speaking of the draft
How big is the NFL draft? Even the Wall Street Journal provides some coverage. Here’s a video of OSU’s Vernon Gholston and Arkansas’ Darren McFadden—from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.


Propst hires defensive coordinator
Jack Hines, the former Clemson assistant who started Ola’s football program in 2006, has resigned to become the defensive coordinator at Colquitt County under Rush Propst, the AJC reported.

Riley’s tax grab
Investor’s Business Daily published a stinging rebuke for Alabama’s governor Bob Riley. While Riley appears business friendly, there are blemishes to his record. Once such blemish was his support of massive tax increases during his first term. That was defeated, and he recast himself in conservative tones. Today, Riley and Alabama’s idiotic legislature are trying to tax oil companies. This op-ed from IBD puts it bluntly: “Riley & Co. have borrowed the economically illiterate rhetoric of the left.” Trust me. This is worth reading. It explains how small policy decisions can reak havoc on the larger economy.