SEC notes and links:
VANDERBILT MAKES RECRUITING WAVES — David Climer of Tennessean:
I guess we should stop rolling our eyes now. The events of last week prove that there is much, much more to James Franklin than a firm handshake and effervescent personality. He not only talks a good game; he also recruits a good game.
HAS SEC OUTGROWN THE NCAA? — John Adams of Knoxville News-Sentinel:
SEC commissioner Mike Slive indicated there wasn’t so much as a whisper about expansion at the conference’s spring meetings last month. I get sad just thinking about it. I’ve been following the SEC long enough to qualify as a traditionalist, but I’m also a realist. The nation’s best conference could become even better – and wealthier – by expanding. And its tradition wouldn’t have to be destroyed in the process.
LSU ALSO PAID WILL LYLES — Scott Rabalais of The Advocate:
But enjoying a chuckle at Oregon’s expense may be whistling past a graveyard. LSU also paid Lyles $6,000 for recruiting services. While this is not to imply that LSU is guilty of any wrongdoing along the lines of what happened at Oregon, at the very least Lyles is one of the last people whose name you want associated with your program.
MOTHER OF AUBURN PLAYER KILLED — Evan Woodbery of Birmingham News:
Tonya Bray, the mother of Auburn freshman football player Quan Bray, was shot and killed Sunday morning in LaGrange, Ga., police said. Jeff Jones, who is listed as Quan’s father in his official Auburn biography, turned himself in to police about an hour after the shooting.
IS CHEEK PART OF UT’S PROBLEM? — Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga Times:
Cheek hasn’t been around long enough for anyone to get a firm read on him – except, perhaps, Hill – since he didn’t arrive from the University of Florida until 2008. But that also means he was on board for Fulmer’s messy departure, the unsatisfying hire of Lane Kiffin and, most recently, the Bruce Pearl debacle, which had Cheek’s fingerprints all over it.
SCHOOLS LEARNING TWITTER ON THE GO — NE Mississippi Daily Journal reports:
The rush to join Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites could possibly include trampling on First Amendment rights. That’s why most college coaches and administrators proceed cautiously in setting boundaries – if any – as their athletes join in the very public conversation.
AUBURN LOOKS INWARD FOR QB — Tommy Hicks of the Mobile Press-Register:
Auburn now moves back to Plan A in looking for a new quarterback. Plan B was the possibility that former North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson would join the Tigers, bringing his three seasons of college experience and 76 passing touchdowns with him. Instead, the baseball minor-leaguer, who is ready to give football a second chance, decided to cast his lot with Wisconsin.
ESPN TIMING OFF FOR CWS — Ron Morris of The State:
With the use of energy-sapped bats this season, the college game became real baseball again. For the first time since the advent of aluminum bats, pitching and defense returned to being the cornerstones of the game, replacing the pop-fly home run and off-the-fists double to the gap. Finally, ESPN has a product worth selling to a national audience. Now the TV sports network needs to shorten the length of College World Series games to better appeal to a broader viewership.
MIKE ANDERSON REMODELING — Robbie Neiswanger of the Arkansas News:
The walls in Mike Anderson’s Bud Walton Arena office are bare. So, too, are the shelves that sit just behind his desk. It has been three months since Anderson was named Arkansas’ coach, accepting the task of rejuvenating a program that has experienced a decade of frustration since he was a Razorbacks assistant under Nolan Richardson. The empty office is an obvious sign the work of making the program relevant once again has just begun.