Sunday, June 13, 2010

Catching up: Non-expansion stuff is still happening

* Masoli done at Oregon: This was a mere blip on the radar last week amid all the crazy expansion talk and the USC penalty-palooza, but Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli was dismissed from the team for "failing to adhere to obligations" that were set this spring when he was suspended for the upcoming season. In case you're wondering what "failing to adhere to obligations" means, here ya go:
Masoli was stopped by Springfield police at 9:17 p.m. local time on Monday after exiting a driveway without stopping. At that time, the officer cited the former Ducks quarterback for driving with a suspended license and possession of one ounce or less of marijuana.
Brilliant. We're talking about a guy who just led Oregon to the Pac-10 title, was second-team All-Pac-10 and would have been a legitimate Heisman candidate next season. He fucked up once (stealing laptops from a frat house with teammate Garrett Embry)? OK. People make mistakes. I have no problem with him getting a conditional opportunity to work his way back. But to take that chance -- as well as any chance he had at the NFL -- and just smoke it away? What an idiot.

* The AP lets USC off the hook: Of all the stories and columns emanating from the USC punishment, the most confusing might have been the announcement by The Associated Press that the Trojans will get to keep their 2004 title. This part makes sense ...
"It would be impractical to (name a different champion)" AP sports editor Terry Taylor said. "It's been six years. Memories have faded and the poll board from that year is no longer intact."
... but why not leave the title vacant, which is what the BCS is expected to do? According to the official record books, USC didn't win its final regular-season game or the national championship game (because Reggie Bush was ineligible), so how can the AP still declare them the national champion? I don't get it. For once, the BCS has it right.

And I feel the same way about Bush's Heisman. If he was ineligible to play, how can you NOT strip him of the award? This is from the Heisman voting instructions:
"The (Heisman Trophy) recipient must be in compliance with the bylaws defining an NCAA student athlete."
He was breaking the most basic NCAA rule for the entire season in which he won the Heisman. What more would a player have to do to lose his award (as well as his future voting rights and seat at the ceremony)? You don't have to go back and name a winner or change your vote; just don't let him keep the honor he doesn't deserve.

* Anybody wanna transfer? It's open season at USC for juniors and seniors, who are free to be contacted by any program and free to transfer without sitting out a season due to the two-year postseason ban. But will anyone actually leave? Ehhhh ...

Here's the thing: Any upperclassman starter at USC is still in better shape in terms of exposure and NFL readiness than he would be by transferring. Bowl games don't matter that much. Guys who are platooning or sitting behind five other high school All-Americans, though, might look elsewhere. Any shot of college glory is gone now that USC can't play for a national title (or even play in a Rose Bowl) for the next two years, so if there's a starting job available at some other solid program, those guys might as well take it. It'll just be a matter of how sure a backup might be that he can win a starting job at a new program in a new system with only fall camp to prove himself.

The Orange County Register did a little asking around and got a "don't have plans to leave" response from backup QB Mitch Mustain and an "I am not leaving SC" tweet from sometimes-good/sometimes-benched running back C.J. Gable. Those would be (presumably) the two most coveted backups on the roster. So as much as most people would love to see a mass exodus, it ain't happenin'.

* Clemson loses a quarterback (probably): When the Colorado Rockies took Kyle Parker in the first round of last week's MLB draft, it probably spelled the end of his career at Clemson. Remember Drew Henson? Guys with a few million bucks on the table don't go back to college very often.

I was skeptical about Parker beating our former uber-recruit Willy Korn for the starting job last fall, but he did it -- and he turned out to be pretty good. He completed 55.5% of his passes and had 20 touchdown passes and just 12 interceptions, impressive numbers for a redshirt freshman who was spending half his time on another sport.

Assuming he won't be back, the starting job likely falls to athletic redshirt freshman Tajh Boyd, a one-time Tennessee commit who inexplicably had his scholarship offer pulled when Lane Kiffin took over at UT. Talent is what he has; experience is what he doesn't. With no C.J. Spiller and a completely unprepared QB taking over at the start of fall camp, Clemson's offense could be a little ugly early in the season (those games against North Texas and Presbyterian probably look like a blessing now). After that, it'll all depend on Boyd's development and whether he plays up to his recruiting hype or just plays like a freshman.

* Dorsey isn't coming to Michigan: Probably the most hyped recruit in Michigan's 2010 recruiting class was cornerback Demar Dorsey, ESPN's 12th-ranked player in the country. Note that I use the word "was." Naturally, since the RichRod era at UM seems to be cursed, Dorsey won't ever make it to Ann Arbor:
Michigan defensive back recruit Demar Dorsey has been released from his letter of intent after not being admitted to the school, his father said Wednesday, according to The Detroit News.
D'oh. The worst part is that he was technically qualified according to NCAA standards, but Michigan wouldn't admit him. This would normally cause me great irritation. However, two reports (at least one from an extremely reliable source) make it clear that Dorsey's transcripts were, ummm, questionable. Basically, his grades were in such poor shape heading into his senior year that the fact that he qualified automatically raised suspicion. That's not good -- just ask Derrick Rose.

As much as I'd love to add a five-star corner to UM's depleted secondary, I accept that there are some academic standards that simply have to be upheld. We're not talking about Florida State (which, coincidentally, is on Dorsey's short list of potential destinations). But I'm not gonna lie: It hurts to have a top recruit at a position of need yanked out of the class four months after Signing Day, especially knowing that it's probably bowl game or bust this season for Rodriguez.

* And that'll do it: Back to your regularly scheduled expansion talk ...

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