published Thursday, January 16th, 2014

5-at-10: NCAA change, Manning-Brady, Mocs dismissed, classic sneakers

Morning folks. Remember Friday's mailbag and to listen to Press Row with David Paschall and the boneheaded TFP sports editor on ESPN 105.1 FM and here on from 3-6 today.

From the "Talks too much" studios, my Adidas, walk through concert doors and roam all over coliseum floors.

NCAA meetings

There is a change on the horizon, and it will make the new College Football Playoff look like a speed bump by comparison.

The NCAA meetings are going on in San Diego, and want to know what could change?

How about anything and everything? As TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer tells us here.

The first wave of change will be "full cost of attendance" and it will be the catch phrase for the big five conferences to dictate what the terms or the options the rest of college athletics will have to chase.

The SEC, the ACC, the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Pac-12 have made it clear that if they are not allowed to explore options to provide more money to student-athletes they will explore other options, up to and including breaking off from the NCAA and forming their own college sports organization. Without those 65 or so teams, the other 280-plus Division I teams would struggle to survive. But can the unfunded majority, who most likely will not be able to afford "the full cost of attendance" or a stipend and surely will not be able to match the numbers the Big Five conference schools can offer, be able to survive on a playing field made even more uneven by different rules for different members?

And yes, football has always been a slanted field, but are we ready for a day in the NCAA tournament when the UK point guard gets an extra $5K a year compared to his counterpart from Butler when those teams meet in the Sweet 16?

Add to that the entire wave of change that likeness and autograph rights may allow schools with high-profile stars and even higher-profile boosters. (And if you think Big State U. is not going to find a way to make sure a slew of its more accomplished players are not doing regularly scheduled autograph shows, and to make doubly sure that the crew of five-star high school seniors know about said perks, well, then, we don't know what to tell you.)

Yes, the NCAA needs an overhaul, a fact made apparently clear by the total debacle that has been a consistently mismanaged organization that is slow react and obtuse to the core and to its surroundings. It needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt.

But the proposed changes of compensating athletes is not an overhaul, it's a distraction. It's a sleight of hand that is not the NCAA's idea or in its best interest. It's an opportunistic and well-timed strike by those that can afford it to get what they want and make sure they will continue to get the best TV deals, players and donations no matter what the future may hold.

Maybe it's time that athletes share in the pot of gold that TV dollars have delivered? Maybe not? Who knows, and those options should be explored under a new leadership model that is based on fairness and equality across college sports.

This is not that model or that scenario.

This is the big conferences continuing to strengthen their hold on the eyes and the wallets of college sports. This is an NCAA too weak to do anything but acquiesce and rather than be doomed to a complete reconstruction, Mark Emmert and the NCAA powers that be are willing to let the powerful rule as long as the NCAA gets to pretend its ruling the powerful.

It may be time to share with the players, and for those of us who have always believed and stated that they do pay players and college scholarships are worth the effort, well, that argument becomes a little watered-down when Nick Saban's making roughly $600,000 a month.

But if you are waving the banner of paying players out of fairness and agree with this direction, why should there only be select sharing and why is the NCAA protecting the power leagues?

This is no more about sharing or rewarding players than the NFL's new concussion rules are about safety. This is about plausible deniability and contract insulation. this about the NCAA — and more importantly the power leagues — protecting themselves from future lawsuits not unlike the one Ed O'Bannon is leading against the NCAA and EA Sports. This is keeping the revenue stream safe, not sharing the wealth.

Who knows? But we know this — change is coming and the radical change that may happen will forever change college football.

Will it be for the good or the bad?


NFL playoffs

The questions are endless about this year's NFL Final Four.

Does the quarterback make the team or does the team make the quarterback?

Will 20 points be plenty to win the fight that will be the Seahawks-49ers? And how much jawing will Richard Sherman and Anquan Boldin do through the game?

Is there a more fitting matchup that Manning-Brady in the AFC title game?

  • photo
    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning smiles following an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Let's expand on this last one.

Manning has authored a Hall of Fame career and has one Super Bowl title. He could — if his health and want allow — stick around for another three years and break almost every meaningful career passing number. Brady has authored a Hall of Fame career and has three Super Bowl titles. His numbers are not as overwhelming, but they never had to be. We can say that since he became the starting quarterback, Brady and the Pats have been more than a four-point underdog seven times — and one of those was being a 7.5-point 'dog against Houston last year in the regular-season finale in a game the Texans needed and was meaningless to the Pats. (New England is 5-2 straight-up and 6-1 against the number in those games, and are a 4.5-underdog Sunday.)

If Manning could get to and win another Super Bowl, he likely will be viewed as the best ever — two titles and his stats are going to win a lot of arguments. If Brady gets to another Super Bowl that would be a record sixth Super Bowl start, and if he wins his fourth, well, he would only strengthen an already strong argument as the best ever.

It's simply the best individual rivalry in sports today, and there's a lot on the line here. There always is.

Manning is 4-10 against Brady and the Pats overall and 1-2 against them in the AFC playoffs and 1-1 in AFC title games. Say what you want about "Most of those games were in New England" the numbers are the numbers.

Add to these singular stakes that Manning will have a neck examine in March, and while he has posted a season for the ages on his surgically-repaired neck, if the doctors come back and say, "Yeah, about that..." Dude, it's a neck injury and those are scary. This could be the last time we see this glorious match-up and this could be the final time Manning has a chance to become a multiple Super Bowl winner.

This one's going to be good.


UTC trio dismissed

Three UTC football players were dismissed last week for a violation of athletic department policy. TFP all-around ace Stephen Hargis has the story here.

The most notable name on that list is wide receiver Terrell Robinson, who has run the gamut of experiences at UTC. Running back Kenny Huitt and reserve Will Sharpton are the other two.

Know what this means in the grand scheme of things? Very little. There are 63-plus (the number of scholarships plus walk-ons) students involved in the football program, which would be roughly the size of a medium-to-big fraternity on most campuses, and after being part of a large fraternity in college, we can say with ZERO hesitation, there is way more trouble with the law and rules at non-athletic groups than with the sports teams.

That's the way it goes. And when that trouble finds a familiar name off one of the more popular teams, the story escalates. Does that mean this is nothing? Of course not. But it also does not mean that there is trouble in the UTC football house either.

How many dumb mistakes did you make in your late teens and early-20s? We made too many to count (and made most of them in a state that we could not remember anyway).

This is not a sign of trouble or a vendetta or any subertfuge tactic on anyone's part. This is not a precursor or a warning light.

This is life, and life happens. And how you deal with it is a measure of character.

Here's hoping Terrell, Kenny and Will find the next best path for them, and we continue to believe the Mocs program in general is on the upward track.

So it goes.


This and that

— The Vols beat Auburn 78-67, showing that the speed mismatch from November did not carry over to the hardwood. Make no mistake, we are still very leery of these Vols and beating Auburn is far from a good win. But "far from a good win" is way better than a bad home loss — like last Saturday.

  • photo
    UTC men's head basketball coach Will Wade.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter.
    enlarge photo

— Mr. Wade (if you please) and the Mocs go to App State tonight for a college basketball game. You can follow TFP hoops beat David Uchiyama on Twitter (@UchiyamaCTFP) for live updates throughout and read complete coverage in Friday's TFP. Also, JR Reynolds will have the game live on the radio at ESPN 105.1 FM

— Clayton Kershaw aggreed to a seven-year, $215 million contract with the Dodgers. Wow that's a lot of cabbage, and Kershaw reportedly joins Michael Jordan as the only team-sport athlete to average more than $30 per year in salary. As Darren Rovell tweeted Wednesday, Kershaw will make about $147,000 per inning pitched for the next seven years; Sandy Koufax made $130,000 in his final season in the big leagues.

— But in regard to crazy salaries, former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden, who returned to action for the Miami Heat last night with six points and two rebounds, has made a shade less than $24 million playing basketball. After last night, the injury-plagued Oden has played 83 games.

— Word is that Georgia has lost another defensive coach as linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti has headed to the NFL. Does this mean that new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt could bring former UT DC Sal Sunseri, who coached linebackers under Pruitt at FSU last year, back to the SEC. Please say yes, please say yes... SAAALLLLL!!!

— Jashon Robertson, a stud lineman from MBA in Nashville has decommitted from Vandy and is now pledged to the Vols. Wow, the 'Dores class is getting slammed.


Today's question

Apparently Adidas is bring back the old-school Stan Smith tennis shoe (the basic white shoe with the green trim).

What is your Rushmore of old-school sneakers? The white Nike with the red swoosh and the blue line on the side of the sole was a classic. So were Converse Weapons (we had an orange pair back in the day). The first line of Air Jordans of course. What are we missing?

Plainly, do you think college athletes should be paid a stipend or get revenue from their likenesses/jersey sales or autographs?

Discuss and release the hounds.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
MocTastic said...

Old school shoes: Number one of all time is Converse Chuck Taylors, high top or low top, but prefer high top. Also, a very popular shoe in the 70s that has been periodically reintroduced, Adidas Rom, the white version with three blue stripes. Don't forget the PF Flyers also!

With respect to Terrell Robinson, I am reminded what Crash Davis said to Nuke LaLoosh: "Come on, Rook. Show us that million-dollar arm, 'cause I got a good idea about that five-cent head of yours." I think of that scene when I think of TRob, a million dollars of talent with a five cent head on top. But if a team can't count on a player to be there when you need them, time to part ways.

With respect to paying college athletes, don't forget you have to pay every woman in every sport also, can you say Title IX? The slowest woman runner on the cross country team has to get the same amount as your star quarterback does or you will be in court so quick. So, when doing your math on how much it might cost, don't forget to include everybody into your equation.

If you buy the idea of letting the atheletes sell their autographs, what is to stop the T Boone Pickens of the world letting it be known that a star high school kid who signs with his favorite school will get a million dollars from T Boone for his autograph? This would open the door wide open to rampant corruption of the game. You say limit the amount to say $50 an autograph, okay...I am T Boone and I will take 20,000 of your autographs, start signing while I write this check for a million.

January 16, 2014 at 10:07 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

The favorite old school shoe was the Starsky blue Adidas SL76. Blue with white stripes. Bad show good shoe.

January 16, 2014 at 10:15 a.m.
jomo11 said...

Just disappointed these players choose to be selfish and take a temporary level of fun to destroy their career and damage their teammates. . . . but that is life's lessons

January 16, 2014 at 10:15 a.m.
ordinaryguy said... said all you need to say about Brady vs Manning...Manning has a horrific record when pitted again chance in hades that the Bevis lookalike (Manning) pulls out the win...and BTW can the people of Noogaville please drop the Omaha stuff! However, the day is coming (so let it be written, so let it be done) when audibles will be tied into advertising, such as Omaha Steaks...The NFL is genius with marketing and bet your last dollar it will happen in our lifetime...FYI, the TFP did miss the first true appearance of the future WWE star, Gunner Miller a couple of weeks ago...

January 16, 2014 at 10:17 a.m.
chas9 said...

Converse Chuck Taylors are the all-time classics.

I'm not sure Ryan Harrow or Andrew Harrison is worth $5K more than Butler's PG.

Speaking of PG's, Antonio Barton got 2 assists in the big win, which is a 10% increase over his season average of 1.8 APG, so things are looking up for The Vols. Seriously, though, Auburn is beyond turrible (that pronunciation is a tribute to AU's favorite basketball son).

Believe me, I'm NOT trying to start anything, but could you give an objective comparison/contrast of T-Rob vs. the coach's son with regards to specific QB skills, as you see it? Just curious.

A 5@10 request: Please run the story about the rental car customer who discovered the previous user of her car (Ryan Tannehill's wife Lauren) had left behind an AR-15 in the trunk. (Don't they clean those cars between rentals?) And most of all, be sure to run a photo of the winsome Ms. Tannehill with your story.

January 16, 2014 at 10:17 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

The old-school sneaker Rushmore would have to include Clyde Frazier's Pumas.


January 16, 2014 at 10:43 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Want my take on the TRobb vs Jacob Huesman with respect to skills? Breaking them down. Running: both are talented, Jacob is more of a north south runner while TRobb is more elusive, both can get it done in different ways. Passing: Huesman is good not great, could use some work on accuracy and needs to learn to throw it out of bounds to avoid sacks rather than trying to escape the rush by running out of it. TRobb throws a pretty spiral, but his balls seem to float and take longer to get to the receiver. Its like he needs to lower the trajectory and increase the speed of his throws.

Remember Gerald Wilkins being the face of Nike Air Flights?

January 16, 2014 at 10:44 a.m.
dawg747 said...

Ten Cup: Kudos to you and Paschall on Press Row being great. Only problem I have listening is from time to time to many idiots caling but the two of you do a great job. I know everyone has their on opinion on sports.

My Dawgs made a great, Great, GREAT hire for Defensive Coordinator. The defense will be greatly improved. Pruitt is supposed to also be a great person and has a lot of football sense.

Shoe of choice Converse All Stars low or high tops.

Keep up the great job you are doing.

January 16, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.
chas9 said...

MT--Thanks for the QB breakdown. And thanks for the Gerald clip. Good memories.

Didya read that Bongo has escaped from the Atlanta zoo? No word yet on whether the Falcons will try to suit him up and use him at WR.

January 16, 2014 at 10:56 a.m.
Stewwie said...

I guess T-Rob has "tweaked his hamstring" for the last time under Huesman. Lol. Some guys don't get it, even after getting second (or more) chances to improve. Time to move on, and I am already interested in seeing how the QB depth chart shakes out. Jacob is the presumed starter of course, but I am curious to see how good these freshmen will be (Tyler and A.B.).

Agreed with MT on the T-Rob vs. Jacob assessment. They are different types of runners, but they are both effective. To me, Jacob has always had the edge in throwing, but he does need more improvement this offseason with that. Ever since seeing both of them compete in the 2012 spring game, I have felt that Jacob was the better overall QB of the two.

January 16, 2014 at 11:13 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

An adidas reference and no note of "My Adidas"? Come on, 5, you're better than that.

And didn't Georgia lose two defensive coaches yesterday, the aforementioned Mr. Olivadotti and the defensive line coach? With no secondary coach inherited either, looks like Georgia's going to be able to afford young Mr. Pruitt after all, simply by not having any other assistants to pay.

January 16, 2014 at 11:16 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

Easy with the Cosell-like comments. Remember this is a family-oriented, interweb-based sports column.

And we'll see what we can get done on the Tannehill story.

Our first hoops shoes were low-cut Chuckie T's, for what it's worth.

As for the QB comparison, we're going to be brief: T-Robb had skills — elusive if not as fast as Jacob; strong arm that delivered a pretty ball — and could create and make something special, but not unlike, his entire body of work, his high ceiling was matched by his extremely low basement. Jacob had better speed and more accuracy on a consistent basis, and that is only augmented by his ability in the huddle and in the practice room to lead. We said this a few weeks ago and you guys thought we were being sarcastic, but we contend that as the NFL will need more quarterbacks who are more athletic, Jacob will get a look from the guys who play on Sundays.

747 —

Thanks for the kind words, and for listening. Yes, Pruitt is a Game-7-walk-off-Grand Slam by comparison, and in truth the best thing he may bring is an inspiration to Bobo that he has not really needed since he was the preferred coordinator du jour since Grantham's arrival.

MT —

Thanks for the Gerald clip — wow that was a long time ago. And to think, if memory serves GW's older bro Dominique was the face of Brooks sneakers if memory serves.

BiB —

Pumas? You went there didn't you. The Pumas were not complete without the Puma jumpsuit. Money.

OG —

We'll see if we can backtrack the GMiller story, but it will have to be elsewhere in the TFP — pro raslin' is not a sport my man.

TennFlyer —

Starsky and Hutch had shoes, jewelry and a boss Gran Torino. Good times. (And for what it's worth, the S&H movie is extremely underrated.)

Jomo —

Amen and pass the biscuits.

January 16, 2014 at 11:21 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Stewwie —

Concur, across the board.

And the race for the No. 2 spot in the Mocs QB race just got a little more interesting. It also creates a higher premium on WR recruiting (Hi Coach Healy, thanks for reading, now get back to work) and a QB of the future.

Spy —

My man, read the intro... "From the "Talks too much" studios, my Adidas, walk through concert doors and roam all over coliseum floors."

We are better than that because we are that good. And in truth, while we know where you rank the UGA Bulldogs, we think Pruitt getting to craft the entire staff of guys he wants is the best of things.

No previous hangovers. No hurt feelings about being skipped over for the DC gig. None of that.

It's a full and complete reset with a much, Much, MUCH better guy calling the defensive shots. Win-Win-Win.

January 16, 2014 at 11:27 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

My bad, 5, my bad. Late night, early morning and you were talking too much so there was a lot to get through.

January 16, 2014 at 12:09 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...


I'm going to simply write my takes in regards to the topics at hand.

NCAA: Not that I do appreciate your continual communtaries on "the State of NCAA", I'm not ready to write off the UTC's of the nation in the same sentence as JCPenney in Northgate but you can analyze all you want to (it's your column, we're just the sideshow commentators), but I'd rather see what will happen before deciding to hold a wake for Moc Nation.

The topic at hand: Didn't take long for the brothers on Facebook to play the Yu-Gi-Oh Race Card and combine it with the Nepotism card. I liked T-Rob a lot but as others have pointed out, this was not his first brush with "violation of team rules". I do hope wherever he lands he's able to carve a name for himself although part of me can't help but see too many Marcus Dupree factors in this.

Being silly: ::Big Voice:: One the next 30 on 30: The Greatest That Never Was II: T-Rob.

Compared to the countless scandels that rocked the Allison-era, this is literally about as close to a drop in the bucket as you can imagine. It's obvious Huesman has his house way in order given both the commitments coming in and the fact those that once screwed up (see Keon Williams) but have gone on to be top contributors goes to show this is really nothing more then a scratch on steel.

OG- When was Gunner Williams on Raw?

Lastly, 'Ras'lin an't a sport BUT Gunner is a local from the ground up and any chance of seeing a "real" local in the national spotlight whose not known as Mr. Belding deserves coverage. Just saying.

January 16, 2014 at 12:16 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Doubtful in the extreme #1 commits north of the Donna Dickson Line, even for Coach Franklin. Truth be told, Auburn's looking a bit better to me, since my buddy's hunting and fishing plantation is close by. Ran your comments yesterday by the patriarch. He responded, "Hell, I'm open to a 10 Ring phone call to his Alma Mater any old time."

January 16, 2014 at 12:46 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

JMC...not on Raw...he appeared at an area indy show...he did make a brief run in during a match to save the "rassler" that he was in the corner of...I will refrain from comment on the T-Rob situation although some of the facebook posts are asinine, as it would only ruffle some feathers of those that think SPitt is the be all and end all of area high school football...but you are spot on with your thoughts...Keon has bounced back quite well from his early days in the dog house...when you receive muliple chances from your high school and college days sometimes you just have to cut your losses and do what is necessary...the team will be better for it

January 16, 2014 at 12:48 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

Are you saying we can get a bit wordy? Hmmm. Hmmm. How about a Fresca?


Always encourage the bouncing ideas from the 5-at-10 alley (Yes, Spy, that would Tin Alley to some).

And we do not know if it would be the death blow to small school athletics, but it would greatly change them. Greatly, especially in the NCAA tournament.

And if you were a 4-star hoops guy, would you go to Gonzaga and be a star for a good team a scholarship only or would you ride the bench at Power Program A or go to a school with zero tradition like Auburn for a schollie and $5K. Where would Steph Curry choose? Where would a Johnny Taylor have picked back in the day?

FE to the C —

Smart fella to stay in the South. (And any line on Donna Dickson is fine by us.)

OG —

Thanks again for the GM update.

January 16, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.
MocTastic said...

Very good chance that Steph Curry and Johnny Taylor might have ended up where they did. Remember, Curry wanted to go to VA Tech but was only promised a walkon, he was deemed too skinny and frail. JT was not a four or even three star type when signed by Chattanooga.

Question, if you pay them do they not become employees? That would bring a whole new kettle of worms, such as workman's compensation, unemployment insurance. You don't resign a kid, could he draw unemployment? Labor lawyers will enjoy this if it ever happens.

January 16, 2014 at 2 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Yes, but they are all good words.

January 16, 2014 at 2:23 p.m.
JonathanMCook said...

OG- thanks for the clarity. Regarding Gunner's occupation, I knew he stated he was going to be trying out for the WWE this year but didn't think he would even be in the minors as of yet. At least it's not like the "old days" (See Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake during their regional circuit years in Florida aka "Day 1"). The way I comprehended your post I was like "Gunner is on TV already?"

January 16, 2014 at 2:43 p.m.
ordinaryguy said...

No prob JMC...I have a few photos from the show...was too dark to do video...check out the fcs stadium rankings finley rates least the reviewer gave the PA announcer (cough cough) a nice little blurb lol

January 16, 2014 at 2:47 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Sal Sunseri has had a good run as a positions coach. Comparing Pruitt possibly hiring Sunseri to coach the linebackers to Derek Dooley hiring Sunseri as defensive coordinator is like comparing apples to big oranges. Spy referenced UGA not inheriting a secondary coach. Jeremy Pruitt will serve as defensive coordinator and coach the secondary at UGA just as he did at FSU last season. Spy also put forth that UGA will "be able to pay young Mr. Pruitt after all, simply by not having any other assistants to pay." Even if UGA simply pays Pruitt the same amount we paid Grantham last season, it would result in a $350,000 pay raise for Pruitt from his salary in Tallahassee and leave more than enough money on the table to hire assistants to fill all the temporary voids.

January 16, 2014 at 3:16 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - just heard the professor from Gilligan's Island passed away. Reminded me of all those old sitcoms from the 60's and 70's. I'm older than I look. Gilligan, Partridge Family, Beverly Hillbillies, Hogan's Heroes, etc. What's your Rushmore of early sitcom characters?

January 16, 2014 at 7:26 p.m.
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