Notes from Day 3 of SEC Media Days

How the SEC has changed
Why is the SEC strong? Even UK and South Carolina are upgrading their talent. Kentucky in particular has improved in one easily measurable way: speed.

“When I got to Kentucky, the first year we had one player that could run under 4.5. Last year we had 17,” Brooks said.

Tuberville’s defensive compliment
You know Tommy Tuberville likes a guy when he says a player could play defense. After all coming from the defensive side, Tuberville is biased. Tuberville paid the high compliment to Lee Ziemba.

“Lee Ziemba is as natural an athlete; big, strong, smart, fast, probably could play defense,” Tuberville said.

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Newspapers in decline
Why are newspapers in decline? When I worked in print, we used Macs. Most sportswriters at SEC Media Days were using PCs. Like most every other societal ill—I now blame Microsoft for the decline of the newspaper.

Clock rule change draws criticism
On Wednesday Urban Meyer bashed the new clock rule, and today UK’s Rich Brooks did too.

“I’d just like to leave them alone for a while so you don’t have to go in and not only teach blocking and tackling and securing the ball and stripping the ball and all the football fundamentals, but every year now we’ve got to address new clock rules with the players,” Brooks said. “It’s just kind of foolish, in my mind, that you tinker with it in a three year cycle like we have with the clock rule.”

Spurrier’s heartbreaking losses
Steve Spurrier mentioned heartbreaking South Carolina losses to teams like Tennessee, Florida and Georgia. I was wondering how many more losses Spurrier can stomach before bolting for retirement or greener pastures.

Who is the offensive mastermind?
Steve Spurrier and Bobby Petrino were in Birmingham today. But which of the two is the SEC’s offensive mastermind? Has Petrino surpassed the Ol’ Ball Coach? Which would you want calling plays on your sideline?

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  1. 1
    tmc1

    spurrie.

    all those years of watching him roam the sideline in that visor looking like an aged Peter Pan and dispising his arrogance are gone behind. I like the ol’ ball coach now….he could have stayed at Florida and ruled the roost until he retired…Instead he chose to start all over again. Gutsy call.

  2. 2
    007

    I still can’t figure out why he can’t seem to get USC off the ground. Forgive me for not analyzing his every move to the core, but a coach of his caliber should have had that program up and running long ago.

  3. 3
    finebammer

    newspapers in decline.

    i started computing on mac. my next purchase, i’m going back. (wouldn’t that be a great ad slogan? once u try mac, you’ll never go back?) unfortunately, i don’t think swapping computers is going to help the newspaper business. but THE computer has a lot to do with their demise.

    i was raised to take everything you read with a grain of salt. these days it’s more like the salt mine. the new york times, la times, houston chronicle, usa today. just a few examples of papers in the tank for a political ideology.

    locally, i’ve stopped buying the b’ham news regularly. mike shula’s firing and how it was reported in the snooze was the beginning of the end for me. writers in the tank for coaches. no line between news and commentary. kevin scarbinsky’s got his head out of shula’s ass and firmly planted in mark gottfried’s. sickening. but all too common in the news biz today.

    thanx to the computer, (and thank you, cap)there are other avenues to get information now. MORE RELIABLE INFORMATION. still have that grain of salt in my back pocket, though.

    question: does south carolina still fly that flag over the capitol?

    spurrier’s not going to transform usc until he can compete in recruiting nationally……consistently. i’ve scratched my head a bit at all the grandiose predictions for nutt @ ole miss and petrino/arkansas. they’re good coaches i’m sure. but you’ve got to have the playas…..know what i mean? until spurrier can over come that flag or the school’s attitude about big time college athletics (or the combination of both) i don’t expect to see much change there.

  4. 4
    capstonereport

    I still read the News and the T”News is now going to be delivered in my area, so I’m subscribing to that too. How long I’ll continue reading print editions is up in the air.

    I’ll confess that I buy the NY Times and WSJ on newsstands. I enjoy newspapers. There was a time when I read six or more print editions per day.

    But online editions changed that—I always bought a copy of the Times of London or the Telegraph once a month or so. I used them for design ideas when I was running a newspaper. But with the rise of the Internet, I started reading more online. And with the newseum.org, I can see the front pages from most major newspapers everyday.

    Back to the B’ham News, I believe Ian Rapoport does the best job of any who cover Alabama right now. He asks the questions, and digs. Something refreshing for beat reporters covering Alabama.

    I also believe the B’ham News made many mistakes in its coverage of the Shula fiasco. But every major and minor paper in the state made the same mistakes. There were “sources” running around with a specific agenda leaking information. I think it was hard for people to correctly judge the veracity of that information because the counter information was highly limited, almost compartmentalized within the athletic department.

    I even asked via email the sports editor of the B’ham News about one commentary piece. He was very generous in his reponse, and explained he believed the sourcing was strong.

    I don’t doubt the person was of sufficient standing to be considered in-the-know; however, trusting these sources wrecked the credibility of many major newspapers in the state.

    And I’ll be honest, I’d have probably gone back to my sources and asked them some hard questions about WHY they told me what turned out to be false information. In fact, I might even run their names in print if I determined they gave manipulative information in an attempt to use the media for their own ends. I believe there probably was a good story about how some people around UA fight change for their own personal gains. I think the Shula situation was one of those times.

  5. 5
    IhateGeorgeW.

    No one can depend or rely on the tabloids these days. Each writer seems to share a bias toward every topic he/she writes about on a daily basis. I postponed reading the Atlanta Journal-Constitution years ago, and haven’t picked up or subscribed to an issue since.

    All Americans can rely on these days partially is CNN and the Internet. And when it comes to Alabama football for me, it’s either here or on the Tide Fans site.

  6. 6
    finebammer

    i was listening to scott griffin and matt coulter one morning several years ago interview then msu head basketball coach richard williams. (that was several years ago, huh?)

    william’s team had gotten bounced first round from the dance i think two years earlier and had missed the tournament all together the year before. the guys asked williams if that experience had taught him anything. he went ballistic. he went on a tirade that lasted at least a couple of minutes.

    i’ve always thought of coulter as a numbnut. but griffin i had a little respect for as a no-nonsense guy. both went into an butt-kissing routine that would have had herb winches green with envy. after apologizing about twenty times in twenty seconds williams finally calmed down and they parted amicably. i would have told that clown to kiss my ass. it was obvious they wanted to keep him around for some reason…….access.

    that’s the problem with a lot of columnists and writers. they need access. write things coaches don’t like, you don’t get it. then throw school allegiance on top of that and you get propaganda. throw in other motivations and you get downright deceit.

    cap, i don’t know what your connection to ian rappaport is but i still haven’t forgot that juwan simpson car wash fiasco. cecil hurt handed his head to him with one phone call. one call, cap. that kicked off the season of deceit in that sports news room. i haven’t read much since to change my mind about him. (or the birmingham snooze for that matter. brett blackledge and john archibald do good work there though)

    i could be wrong.

  7. 7
    Pluto

    Ian lost his credibility with me trying to cover Shula’s Ass. I am starting to wonder every time I read the Birmingham News – Why? The Agenda is obvious – hostility toward working people and advancing the Agenda of the Alabama Business Council.
    Might want to note in Saturday’s “Money” Section – The News is starting to lay off Staff.

  8. 8
    capstonereport

    A couple of things….

    Yes, Cecil Hurt is the best of all. I still read him, and parse every word he utters. He is the best connected of all. And I trust he is going to do the right thing.

    As for Rapoport, I don’t think he was trying to cover Shula’s ass. I believe he was misled by sources within the Athletic Department, and around the University. I can’t prove that, but I don’t think he had been around long enough to shill for Shula.

    I also think there were other newspapers in the state making the same types of errors in judging the reliability of the sources. Sources always have an agenda, sometimes it doesn’t matter…sometimes like during the Shula fiasco, the agenda really mattered.

    Right now, he is doing the best job of the beat writers. He got the tapes of the latest strip arrest at the club. I believe he was the only beat writer to make the open records request. He does that type of stuff on a routine basis—he works…works hard.

    I find that refreshing. Sometimes people get lazy on a beat.

    BTW, The News buyout plan isn’t a shock. All advertising is going in the toilet right now. Until two months ago, I made just enough from site advertising to cover some of the minor expenses (hosting, domain stuff, technology fees, etc.) Last month, traffic was up, but advertising was down over 40-percent.

    I’ve been told the situation is similar in print publications. Perhaps worse.

  9. 10
    julio

    Forgive my ignorance, guys. I didn’t read all the B’ham news reports at the time of Shula’s departure. What exactly was the News reporting that blew up in their face?

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