Tag:Jerry Hinnen
Posted on: February 21, 2012 5:17 pm
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Mizzou increases ticket prices for SEC move

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The biggest change for Missouri's athletics programs and its football team can be summed simply: they're moving from the Big 12 to the SEC. But there's a ton of other smaller changes that go along with that big change, and Tiger fans and boosters are going to feel several of them in the wallet.

That's the takeaway from this open letter from Missouri athletic director Mike Alden to "Tiger Nation" addressing the "5 basic areas on which we see those challenges" arising in the SEC. Among those are "Facilities," "Operational Costs," and other areas which will require an increase in the athletic budget.

Towards that end, Alden announced that the Tigers would implement "an increase in ticket prices in football across the board," faculty and students excepted. Those prices will fall in the "middle of the pack" for the SEC.

Missouri will also add seating to their south end zone -- including moving the band into the "southeast corner of the student section" -- and increasing the level of "minimum donations" to the Tiger Scholarship Fund. Season ticket holders grandfathered in from before required donations will also now have to make some level of donation to keep those tickets, beginning in 2013.

In short: SEC membership doesn't come with a free bumper sticker, but if it did, it would be "Expensive but worth it."

The financial effort might be the most immediate fallout from the SEC decision, but Alden's letter also announced several more:

  • The Tigers will debut their "re-branding" of their Nike-produced uniforms, which will "focus much more on our [Tiger] logo than the 'block M.'" We are both excited and afraid.
  • Faurot Field will undergo some major changes, including a new artificial turf surface (at a cost of $1.5 million) and a shift from "Missouri" to "Mizzou" in each end zone. And of course, the SEC logo will adorn the field as well.
  • Tickets allotted for visiting fans will be increased from approximately 3,800 to 6,000, because, well, to put it simply, Georgia is going to want more than 3,800 tickets.
HT: TeamSpeedKills.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:02 pm
 

VIDEO: Barnhart on Arkansas-LSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

From a national perspective, the big news to come out of Arkansas's final 2012 schedule was the home-and-home series with Rutgers, the first time an SEC team has ever agreed to visit the Piscataway, N.J. school. But closer to home, the key development was the Razorbacks moving their annual "Battle for the Boot" rivalry game against LSU from its traditional home at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium to their on-campus stadium on Fayetteville.

In this video, CBS Sports' Tony Barnhart visits the Tim Brando Show to discuss the twin reasons -- more seating, and better recruiting --that "the LSU-Arkansas game will never go back to Little Rock," despite the near-20 years' worth of tradition there between the Hogs and Tigers:

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Kiffin blames youth for conflict with Meyer

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Urban Meyer isn't making a lot of friends in his new digs in the Big Ten, which makes it all the more ironic that he's on better terms than ever with his old SEC archenemy, Lane Kiffin.

Meyer told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd recently that he and Kiffin "have conversations" and that each has apologized to the other over their conduct while at Florida and Tennessee, respectively. Those conversations were confirmed by Kiffin in a Tuesday interview with the Atlanta Jornal-Constitutionin which Kiffin blamed his behavior -- including smack talk aimed in Meyer's direction over the recruitment of Nu'Keese Richardson -- on the impetuousness of youth (emphasis added):

“Yeah, I’m glad Urban and I are where we are in our relationship. When you’re young, you make some mistakes. We’ve moved forward from that. Who would’ve guessed we are back at battling each other for recruits even though we’re a long ways away? I have tremendous respect for what Urban Meyer does.”

We'll take this opportunity to remind readers that Kiffin made his remarks about Richardson ("I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him") three whole years ago, when Kiffin was a mere 33 years of age--far from the grizzled, world-weary 36-year old he is now. 

But snark aside, even if Kiffin isn't actually that much older than he was during his Volunteer tenure, his relationship with Meyer seems to show that he has gotten more mature. Which is not to say he's lost any of his talent for clever remarks in front of a microphone, saying of the Vols' notorious loss to Kentucky (and his reputation among Vol fans),  "I’m sure somebody somewhere blamed me for that."

A Lane Kiffin with all of his old coaching acumen and overall shrewdness, but without the petty childish distractions and torrent of secondary violations? Maybe that doesn't have a lot to do with USC's likely preseason No. 2 ranking ... but it's sure not hurting, either.

Kiffin's Trojans will start spring practice March 6. See when your team starts their camp or plays their spring game with our handy database of spring dates 

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:04 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 7:05 pm
 

PHOTO: Buckeye poster lists Michigan's majors

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We've already learned that Urban Meyer has reclaimed the "Team Up North" euphemism for his Buckeyes' hated rivals at Michigan, possibly in response to Brady Hoke's "Ohio" euphemism for the school and team its alumni will be quick to tell you is the Ohio State University. But it turns out Meyer is interested in getting in his jabs at the Wolverines in more ways than just avoiding the name.

This is a sign that appeared in the front of OSU's Woody Hayes Athletic Center last week:

Yes, that's a list of majors for Ohio State's football players on the left, and those for the "Team Up North" on the right, with the (alleged) number of Wolverines in General Studies (and Engineering, Biology, and Business at the bottom) having been highlighted. 

We are not going to wade into the merits of Meyer's argument, one we have zero doubt is already being waged by both Ohio State and Michigan fans in various corners of the Internet as we speak. More important from our perspective is that this is an argument Meyer wants to wage, too--that he is willing to tell visitors to the WHAC (which notably include both recruits and their parents) that the "Team Up North" isn't challenging its players academically. (Incidentally, Meyer wouldn't be the first coach to make this exact argument; former Wolverine great Jim Harbaugh did the same during his tenure at Stanford.) 

It's one thing to talk about a rival as the biggest game of the year, call them by a different name, or even talk a little smack about a winning streak. But to essentially call out another school's academic handling of its players in semi-public fashion is something else. We're neither condemning nor condoning the poster; as we said, we'll leave to that to the partisans on either side.

What we can say is that whether it's Meyer, Hoke, new Michigan signee Ondre Pipkins or anyone else on either side of the rivalry, the heat between the Wolverines and Buckeyes is rapidly approaching that of the Hayes-Schembecler glory years ... and as fans of spicy college football, that much, at least, we can endorse wholeheartedly.

Photo by Kevin Noon. HT: Eleven Warriors.

It's been a busy couple of days around Columbus and Ann Arbor; Gordon Gee and his magic mouth are at it again, the Wolverines just scored the biggest single recruiting weekend in the country this year, and Meyer's Gainesville home is for sale.    

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 2:08 pm
 

Arkansas, A&M to meet on campus next two years



Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In something of a surprise, the Arkansas-Texas A&M series will continue to be played as a neutral-site contest at Arlington's Cowboys Stadium--but only after a two-year on-campus hiatus.

The Razorbacks and Aggies had previously agreed to a 10-year nonconference series to be played at Jerry Jones' space palace, and after three meetings still had seven contests left on the contract. But with A&M joining the SEC and turning the series into an annual conference rivalry game, the Aggies were reportedly less excited about keeping the game off campus. But A&M athletic director Bill Byrne nonetheless announced Saturday that the 2012 meeting would be played at the Aggies' Kyle Field, with the 2013 matchup moving to Arkansas and the game returning to Cowboys Stadium in 2014.

The arrangement would appear to represent a compromise, with one Aggie official having said in December that A&M would "never" want to play the Razorbacks in Arlington again, thanks to an SEC regulation that prevents teams from hosting recruits at off-campus sites. But with Arkansas preferring to maintain an annual recruiting foothold in the Lone Star State, Bobby Petrino made no secret of his desire to keep the game at the neutral site.  

With a full three years still between Saturday's announcement and the two teams' return to Arlington -- and the issues that led to the move on campus for 2012 and 2013 not going way -- it's possible that some other hurdle might be thrown in the way of continuing the series at Cowboys Stadium. But for now, it looks like those remaining seven games will be played as originally planned.

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Posted on: February 20, 2012 11:56 am
 

PHOTOS: Mardi Gras float mocks LSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If you're an LSU fan, which is worse: losing the national title in a 21-0 humiliation at the hands of an Alabama team that's already probably your most hated rival, or showing up at a Friday night Mardi Gras parade for some good-natured fun and frivolity ... only to have a float roll by dedicated to rubbing that loss in your purple-and-gold face?

That was the dilemma posed by the brilliantly named "Le Krewe d'Etat" Friday, where they rolled past parade-goers in a float dedicated to the Tide's victory over the Tigers, complete with larger-than-life Bobby Hebert at the prow of the float and representations of Les Miles, Jarrett Lee and others surrounding the float. Photos of the float surfaced at the site MardiGrasParadeSchedule.comand they do not disappoint:





We'll be honest: losing the game was worse. But for LSU diehards in attendance Friday, this probably stung quite a bit all the same.

HT: Throw the Flag. More photos there.

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Posted on: February 18, 2012 5:20 pm
 

Buckeyes' Sheridan leaves to become Buc DC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Paul Chryst and the Pitt Panthers aren't the only team looking for a new assistant coach thanks to Greg Schiano's raid on the college ranks to fill out his Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff, as Ohio State defensive assistant Bill Sheridan has been tabbed as the new Buc defensive coordinator.

Sheridan's tenure with Urban Meyer's new Buckeye staff lasted just 19 days after he was hired to a non-specific defensive coaching position January 30. An Ohio State spokesperson confirmed to OSU student newspaper The Lantern (which first reported the story) that as of Friday Sheridan was no longer a member of the Buckeye staff.

Though Sheridan has a long track record of assistant coaching at schools across the Midwest, he had also spent the previous seven seasons working in the NFL, first with the New York Giants and then the Miami Dolphins. Sheridan was promoted to the Giants' defensive coordinator post in 2009 before being fired at the end of the season.

That being the case, it's hard to fault Sheridan for his decision, even given the short turnaround from his Ohio State stint--for an NFL coach given a second chance at coordinating an NFL defense, Schiano's offer had to have been far, far more appealing (and likely more lucrative) than coaching, say, safeties for the Buckeyes.

Still, Meyer will no doubt be less than thrilled to have to start searching for another new defensive assistant this close to spring practice.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Arrested Gator TE A.C. Leonard suspended

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The latest Florida Gator to be arrested has also become the latest Gator to be suspended.

Rising sophomore tight end A.C. Leonard was suspended indefinitely by Florida head coach Will Muschamp Thursday, following Leonard's Wednesday evening arrest on charges of simple domestic battery.

"This behavior will not will be tolerated and A.C. has been suspended from team activities at this time," Muschamp said in a statement. "I certainly don't condone this type of behavior - it is not what we expect from the University of Florida football program."

That may be the case, but it's only fair to say that arrests of one kind or another are precisely what many other people expect from the University of Florida football program--Leonard's was the 10th arrest of a Gator since Muschamp's hire 14 months ago. And the details of this one are uglier than most: according to the account given to police by Leonard's girlfriend, Leonard knocked her over with a two-handed shove, attempted to drag her out of their apartment by her hair, did pull her out by grabbing both feet, then locked the door. She reportedly suffered abrasions on both arms.

Leonard was jailed overnight Wednesday and released on his own recognizance Thursday. A blue-chip prospect in Muschamp's inaugural 2011 recruiting class, he caught eight passes for 99 yards his freshman season.

In Muschamp's defense, of the nine Gators arrested during his tenure (former corner Janoris Jenkins was arrested twice in early 2011 before being dismissed), eight of them were either signed or recruited by his predecessor Urban Meyer, Leonard included. But it was also Muschamp who vowed when he was hired that the Gators would adhere to a higher standard of behavior he dubbed the "Florida Way"; as of yet, those words seem to have fallen on deaf ears where his roster is concerned.

And judging by this picture of an (as of yet officially) unidentified Florida player riding his scooter inside the Gator football complex, tweeted early Friday morning by safety Matt Elam, those ears haven't gone un-deaf yet:

Photo HT: Throw the Flag.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com