Report: Texas would pay athletes $10,000

Update: Appears to be some confusion over when this would start. See tweet.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the University of Texas will start paying its athletes a $10,000 stipend per year for cost of attendance and the use of likenesses and image.

The Morning News says the cost will total $6 million per year and will be produced by revenue from football and men’s basketball.

Texas has the biggest budget in all of college athletics, so the school an afford the $6 million per year.

It will be interesting to see how this affects recruiting, not to mention the reaction it will generate from other schools.

Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman tweeted that the school will not start paying a stipend until after the court cases conclude.


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Investigation finds UNC scandal had athletic motive

The independent investigation into the academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina, which involved athletes on both the football and basketball teams, has been completed.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the results of the investigation show an 18-year scheme in which academic counselors pushed pushed athletes into bogus classes.


The system of no-show classes at UNC-Chapel Hill was pushed by academic counselors for athletes, hatched and enabled by two sympathetic officials in a key department and employed by coaches eager to keep players eligible, a new report into the long-running scandal has found.

The 18-year scheme generated inflated grades through lecture-style classes that had been quietly converted into bogus independent studies. The report, released Wednesday afternoon, found a new culprit: the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes.

Though the report states that the scheme was “hatched” by the counselors it was employed by coaches. Basketball coach Roy Williams admitted that he knew Rashad McCants was taking four questionable classes during the team’s 2005 national title run.

“The report is in many respects a reversal from what two previous investigations concluded – that the academic fraud lacked an athletic motive,” reports the Observer.

Related links:

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Big Blue hue to SEC Basketball media voting

Jerry Tipton reports the following from SEC Basketball Media Days:

  • Kentucky was picked by the media to win the league.
  • Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison, Arkansas’ Bobby Portis, Florida’s Michael Frazier II, LSU’s Jodan Mickey and Ole Miss’ Jarvis Summers were selected first-team All-SEC by the media.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison, Alex Poythress and Karl-Anthony Towns, all of Kentucky, joined Georgia’s Charles Mann as second-team All-SEC selections by the media.
  • Media voted Aaron Harrison as the SEC’s Pre-season Player of the Year.

Here’s the pre-season media poll

  • 1.  Kentucky (20)   280
  • 2.  Florida     258
  • 3.  Arkansas   226
  • 4.  LSU    223
  • 5.  Georgia   204
  • 6.  Ole Miss    168
  • 7.  Missouri     123
  • 8.  Auburn    113
  • 9.  Texas A&M   111
  • 10.  Alabama 109
  • 11.  Vanderbilt   89
  • 12.  South Carolina   86
  • 13.  Tennessee   75
  • 14.  Mississippi State 35

Follow Jerry for more updates from Charlotte

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Tim Couch, Art Still on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Former Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch and former UK defensive end Art Still are  among those candidates on the College Football Hall of Fame 2015 Ballot, released Wednesday morning.

There are 75 former players and six coaches on the ballot from the Football Bowl Subdivision and another 87 players and 25 coaches from the divisional ranks.

Here are the bios for Couch and Still on the ballot:

Tim Couch, Kentucky-Quarterback-1998 consensus First Team All-American who finished fourth in Heisman voting in 1998 and ninth in 1997…1998 SEC Player of the Year who led Cats to first win over Alabama in 75 years…Set seven NCAA, 14 SEC, and 26 school records.

Art Still, Kentucky-Defensive End-1977 unanimous First Team All-American… Two-time First Team All-SEC performer who led Cats to 1976 SEC Championship…1977 SEC Defensive Player of the Year who set school record for 22 TFL in 1977 (still standing).

Former Eastern Kentucky running back Markus Thomas and former WKU coach Jimmy Feix are also on the ballot.

Markus Thomas, Eastern Kentucky-Tailback-Finished career ranked third all-time in FCS history in rushing (5,149)…Two-time Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year who led team to two conference titles…52 career rushing TDs.

Jim Feix-Western Kentucky (1968-83)-Named Kodak College Coach of the Year for Division IV in 1973 and 1975…Won or shared six conference titles…Three-time conference Coach of the Year (1973, 1978, 1980)…The winningest coach in school history…Charter member of the school Athletic Hall of Fame.

The official class will be announced January 9.

Click here to see bios on all the candidates.

Related link: Roy Kidd fondly remembers his coaching archrival, Jimmy Feix

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Georgia applies for Todd Gurley’s reinstatement

Georgia announced that it will apply for reinstatement of star running back Todd Gurley this morning, reports Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph.

Gurley has been suspended from the Bulldogs’ last two games while the school investigated whether the junior from Tarobor, North Carolina received money for signing autographs and memorabilia.

Here is the full statement released by Georgia:

Since completing its initial review of the eligibility matter involving UGA student-athlete Todd Gurley on October 9, the University has been supporting Todd and cooperating with his legal counsel as they review the matter.

Todd has confirmed his desire to seek reinstatement, and the University fully supports Todd’s request. The University plans to file the necessary paperwork with the NCAA later today.

“I want to thank the University, coaches, teammates, and the Bulldog Nation for their patience and support,” Gurley said. “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made, and I can’t thank the University, my coaches, and teammates enough for supporting me throughout this process. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field with my teammates.”

Gurley’s attorney, William King, said, “Todd has taken responsibility for his actions and is ready to rejoin his teammates. The University has been great throughout the past two weeks and has done everything it can to support Todd. I would especially like to thank President Morehead, Greg McGarity, and Coach Richt for standing by Todd.”

The University hopes for and expects a prompt ruling by the NCAA so that Todd, his coaches, and teammates can adequately prepare for our next game.

Georgia is off this week before playing Florida on November 1 in Jacksonville.

Before his suspension, Gurley had rushed for 208 yards against Tennessee, 198 against Clemson, 169 against Vanderbilt and 131 against South Carolina. In his absence, freshman Nick Chubb rushed for 169 yards against Missouri and 202 last Saturday in the Bulldogs’ win at Arkansas.

Kentucky plays host to Georgia on November 8.

Related link: SEC standings and schedule

Update: Georgia statement on Gurley indicates confidence suspension is over

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Eli Carter cleared to practice at Florida

Florida basketball got some good news Tuesday as guard Eli Carter was cleared to start practicing full-time, reports Chris Harry of Gatorzone.

A transfer from Rutgers, Carter played in seven games last season but was still bothered by the effects of a broken right leg he suffered while playing at Rutgers. Carter averaged 14.3 points over two seasons before transferring to Gainesville.

Carter should help a Gators backcourt that includes junior Michael Frazier and sophomore Kasey Hill.

Florida was ranked No. 7 in the USA Today coaches’ pre-season poll. Kentucky plays at the Gators on February 7, with Florida coming to Rupp Arena to finish the regular season on March 7.

Related link: Kentucky basketball 2014-15 schedule

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BBL: Kentucky trying to leave Baton Rouge behind


Big Blue Links for Wednesday:

Look who stopped by to watch us practice today. Great young man with a tremendous head on his shoulders. #LaFamilia

A photo posted by John Calipari (@ukcoachcalipari) on

Posted in UK basketball, UK football, UK hoops | Comments

Videos: SEC Women’s Basketball Media Days

Jerry Tipton is in Charlotte covering the SEC Basketball Media Days. The women got things started Tuesday and Jerry filed these videos.

Related link: UK women want be most disruptive in America

Posted in UK hoops | Tagged , , , | Comments

SEC: Jamal Adams gaining attention at LSU

SEC links for Wednesday:

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Dan Mullen: Kentucky game will be ‘very challenging’


Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen met with the media Monday to preview the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs’ game Saturday at Kentucky. Here’s the transcript:

Opening statement

“We had a good bye week. We were able to get some guys rested and work on some things. Obviously, there are a lot of things we can improve on as a team. Bye weeks really offer a training-camp mentality because we focus on fundamentals.”

“Today is a very, very important day. I always think the Monday practice after a bye week is huge. We had a great Monday practice after the last bye week. We were not sluggish, which can happen when guys haven’t been out on the field in a few days. We have to hit the field 100 miles per hour and ready to go. We have to have a great week of practice and be a much better team than we were before the bye week or when we got off of the field against Auburn.”

Mississippi State’s football website

“The Kentucky game this week is going to be very challenging. There are a lot of similarities with both teams. In our game against them last year, it came right down to the final play. They have a lot of star players back from last year, and we have a lot of guys back too. So I know they are going to have a lot of confidence. Anytime you are on the road in the SEC, it is going to be a huge challenge.”

“I don’t know if you can judge any team by how they perform on a Saturday night in ‘Death Valley’ (LSU’s home stadium). They had a tough game last week, and some things went wrong for them, but if you look at their overall body of work on the season, they have very talented players. [Patrick] Towles really throws the ball well and has the size to be able to stand in the pocket and throw it. He is very deceptively athletic. He is a much better runner than he gets credit for. They rotate their running backs through and they all bring something different to the table. They have some explosive wide receivers. They certainly have a lot of big-time players on their team. Our focus is to get a fourth SEC win this week, and that is really what it is all about.”

On keeping players motivated during the open week:

“If we are going to be successful, it doesn’t need to be me doing that. That comes from within. I think our guys understand how much we have to improve and that we have to get better. They also understand that the only way to do that is through hard work. That has to come from within the team. If I have to be a cheerleader at practice, we are going to have problems. We are last in the SEC in total defense and passing defense. We are last in the SEC in our red zone offense, so there are a lot of little things we have to improve on as a football team moving forward. I think, especially for our older guys, it is important to see that. To see that and also to look beyond the statistics. They have to realize that we might not be as bad as some statistics say we are and aren’t as good as some statistics say we are. I think our guys look at that and can really see the areas we need to improve. If you go through the motions you certainly are not going to improve.”

On Kentucky’s improvement:

“I think Mark Stoops has done a great job. The first thing you start with is getting guys to play hard. You can get the talent, but the guys have to play hard. They are playing hard and with a lot of energy. There are guys stepping up and making big plays for them when they need them. That is a sign that they have bought in to what Coach Stoops is trying to build. I think you are seeing those steps pay off on the field for them this year. They are 5-2, with both losses coming on the road in the SEC. One was a triple-overtime game. When you look at the improvement that they have made, they can compete with anyone.”

How Kentucky and Mississippi State rank in the SEC

On staying focused week to week:

“Playing in the SEC gives you a bigger game every week. This is the biggest game we have played of the season. I said the Auburn game was the biggest game ever played in the state of Mississippi. This game is bigger now. Now we are a team that has a target on our back. We have to go on the road in a hostile environment and play one of the hottest and most improved teams in college football. Our guys better learn how to handle that and realize how big of a game this really is.”

On the timing of the open week after facing three top-10 opponents:

“I always say that in the SEC, it is not about one game. It is the cumulative effect of playing in this conference. Four of the top five teams in the country are in the SEC. There are probably a couple of teams in every conference that, if they played one game, could beat any one of those four teams. What our league is about, and what our guys have to understand, is that it is not just one week. It is every single week. I think our guys took advantage of the bye week, because they know now we have to play six straight to end the season. They know what that grind is going to be like, so they made sure they were physically and mentally rested enough to be able to handle that. In this league, you have to bring your A game every single week.”

On the similarities between Bulldogs linebacker [Benardrick] McKinney and Kentucky defensive end [Bud] Dupree:

“I think they both play very different games. They have similar physical characteristics. I think [Benardrick] is more of a physical force on the inside, and [Bud] Dupree is more of an edge player and is explosive off the edge. They are both future NFL players. They are both going to make plays that will impact the outcome of the game.”

On Mississippi State wide receiver Jameon Lewis:

“We expect to have him back. We will probably ease him in today, and build a little bit at practice each day. It is going to be great to have him and his experience back on the field playing for us.”

On being the ‘hunted’ vs. being the ‘hunter’

“I just enjoy the hunt itself. I like being out there and going to play. The bye week was great, but I am starting to get antsy. I am ready to get going again. I had fun playing backyard football with my kids and getting to spend quality time with my wife, but I am ready to get out there and go play. I just want our team to be out there ready to play.”

On freshmen filling in for [Jameon] Lewis:

“I think that is huge. It shows that everyone in our program has to be ready when their number is called. When someone has gone down, someone else stepped up. I think that gets contagious around a team. When guys see someone get an opportunity, seize that opportunity, and be successful while helping the team, I think that helps everyone. That motivates everyone to be ready when their number is called.”

On what having [Jameon] Lewis back means for the team:

“We have our most explosive player coming back. That just adds another weapon that the defense has to be concerned about. I think that is going to cause more concern for the defense to know exactly where he is because they know what he can do with the ball in his hands.”

On the offensive line’s depth:

“I think they have done a very good job. Everyone wonders why we mix and match guys throughout the season, but we try to get as many of them developed as we can for different situations. That is a position where you do not want to deal with injuries. You want to give guys the opportunity to develop before they are thrown into the fire. With all the injuries we suffered last year, there are a lot of guys who have more experience this year than they otherwise would have.”

On players getting used to more attention:

“I think it has actually calmed down a little bit more each week since the Texas A&M game. That was the busiest week we have had. I think our guys now have really adjusted to it well.”

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