A few thoughts to jump start your Thursday morning:
PERHAPS RUMORS OF O’SULLIVAN TO LSU ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED
Ever since LSU baseball coach Paul Maneiri announced he was retiring, in part due to health reasons, the Kevin O’Sullivan to LSU rumors have taken on a life of their own. Apparently, we can put the rumors that KOS has one foot out the door because Kendall Rogers of D1baseball.com, one of the better college baseball reporters in the country, has gone on record that retired Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey has emerged as LSU’s target. The interest apparently is mutual and if financial terms can be agreed upon, Casey will be the new head coach.
This is not the first nor will it be the last time that O’Sullivan’s name will be connected with a high profile opening. Texas made a run at him when Augie Garrido retired in 2016 but then UF athletic director Jeremy Foley gave O’Sullivan a 10-year, $12.5 million contract that made him the highest paid coach in the country with promises to upgrade McKethan Stadium. When Foley retired, Scott Stricklin went a step further and promised to build O’Sullivan the kind of ball park that would be conducive to outstanding recruiting. O’Sullivan has always been an outstanding recruiter but the new Florida Ballpark had something to do with the Gators signing the top recruiting class in the country for the 2022 season.
Despite winning the 2017 national championship, O’Sullivan has only received minimal salary increases. His current salary is listed at $1.389 million, which is dwarfed by the $2.317 salary Vanderbilt pays Tim Corbin and the expected $2.5 million per year deal Texas A&M is giving Jim Scholossnagle. Stricklin gave Dan Mullen a $1.6 million raise and a three-year extension last week. It’s probably a good idea to extend O’Sullivan’s deal two or three more years while bumping his salary to the $2-2.5 million range.
Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before someone offers O’Sullivan Godfather money with a deal he can’t refuse.
THOMAS MARDAL WINS NCAA HAMMER THROW CHAMPIONSHIP
The Gators wasted no time getting on the scoreboard at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Mardal won the event with a throw of 251-9, the sixth best score in NCAA history.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the Gators were in a fourth place tie with Tulsa, Arizona State and BYU. The championships will finish up Saturday.
Nine other UF men are scheduled to compete. Eight UF women will be competing. The women’s events begin this morning.
PETE ALONSO SAID IT …
When asked about Major League Baseball pitchers doctoring up the baseball, former Gator and New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso said, “For me, whether they are using pine tar, rosin, sunscreen or bullfrog or whatever they want to use to control the ball, let them use it because for me I go into the box and see guys throwing harder every day. And I don’t want 99 mph slipping out of someone’s hand because they didn’t have enough feel for it.”
THE SEC AND THE FOOTBALL TRANSFER PORTAL
Every SEC football team has taken advantage of the NCAA transfer portal. Here is a list of the transfers as of June 9 and potential impact players (likely starters):
Alabama (3): Jack Martin, P (Troy); Henry To’o To’o, LB (Tennessee); Jameson Williams, WR (Ohio State)
Impact: Martin, To’o To’o
Arkansas (6): Tre Williams, EDGE (Houston); John Ridgeway, DL (Illinois State); Markell Utsay, DL (Missouri); Kade Renfro, QB (Ole Miss); Tykieast Crawford, OT (Charlotte); Trent Gordon, CB (Penn State)
Auburn (8): Jordon Ingram, RB (Central Michigan); TJ Finley, QB (LSU); Marcus Harris, DT (Kansas); Donovan Kaufmann, CB (Vanderbilt); Bydarrius Knighten, S (Southeast Missouri State); Tony Fair, DL (UAB); Dreshun Miller, CB (West Virginia); Andrew Leota, EDGE (Northwestern)
Impact: Kaufmann, Knighten
FLORIDA (5): Jadarrius Perkins, CB (Missouri); Jace Christmann, PK (Mississippi State); Daquan Newkirk, DT (Auburn); Antonio Shelton, DT (Penn State); Demarkcus Bowman, RB (Clemson)
Impact: Perkins, Christmann, Newkick, Shelton, Bowman
Georgia (3): Arik Gilbert, TE (LSU); Derion Kendrick, CB (Clemson); Tykee Smith, S (West Virginia)
Impact: Gilbert, Kendrick, Smith
Kentucky (5): Tre’von Morgan, WR (Michigan State); Will Levis, QB (Penn State); Luke Fulton, LB (Michigan State); Wan’Dale Robinson, WR (Nebraska); Justice Dingle, DE (Georgia Tech)
Impact: Levis, Robinson, Fulton
LSU (2): Major Burns, S (Georgia); Mike Jones Jr., LB (Clemson)
Impact: Burns, Jones
Mississippi State (7): Jamire Calvin, WR (Washington State); Randy Charlton, DL (UCF); Makai Polk, WR (California); Jalen Green, CB (Texas); Chance Lovertich, QB (South Alabama); Jack Abraham, QB (Southern Miss); Jack Kristofek, QB (Sam Houston State)
Impact: Calvin, Polk, Charlton, Abraham
Missouri (3): Blaze Alldredge, LB (Rice); Mookie Cooper, WR (Ohio State); EJ Ndoma-Ogar, OL (Ohio State)
Impact: Alldredge, Cooper
Ole Miss (3): Nigel Knott, CB (East Carolina); Chance Campbell, LB (Maryland); Jahcour Pearson, WR (Western Kentucky)
South Carolina (8): Carlins Platel, CB; Ahmarean Brown, WR (Georgia Tech); David Spaulding, WR (Georgia Southern); Jordan Strachan, LB (Georgia State); Jason Brown, QB (Saint Francis); EJ Jenkins, WR (Saint Francis); Jahkeem Green, DT (Nebraska); Debo Williams, LB (Delaware)
Impact: Ahmarean Brown, Williams
Tennessee (9): William Mohon, LB (Michigan); Juwan Mitchell, LB (Texas); Da’Jon Terry, DL (Kansas); Caleb Tremblay, DL (Southern California); JaVonte Payton, WR (Mississippi State); Kamal Hadden, CB (Auburn); Joe Milton, QB (Michigan); Chase McGrath, PK (Southern California); Hendon Hooker, QB (Virginia Tech)
Impact: Hooker, McGrath, Tremblay, Payton, Mitchell
Texas A&M (1): Jahmir Johnson, OT (Tennessee)
Vanderbilt (3): Joseph Bulovas, PK (Alabama); Junior Uzebu, OT (West Virginia); Re’mahn Davis, RB (Temple)
Impact: Bulovas, Davis
OVER, UNDER, AROUND AND THROUGH THE SEC
Alabama: Alabama announced another home-and-home football series with a Power Five team Wednesday. The Crimson Tide will visit Boston College in 2031 with BC making the trip to Tuscaloosa in 2034.
Arkansas: Former Gator and last year’s Arkansas QB Feleipe Franks has been impressive in minicamp workouts with the Atlanta Falcons. He’s not going to unseat Matt Ryan as the starter and veteran AJ McCarron has been signed to be the backup, but Franks has a better than average shot at making the roster as the third team (practice squad) QB.
Georgia: Jamie Newman, the Wake Forest transfer quarterback who caused Poodle fans to have cataclysmic football orgasms in anticipation of their first national championship since Herschel Walker was a freshman back in 1980, didn’t even make it to preseason camp in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles waived the undrafted free agent QB Wednesday. Is it possible Newman might be second guessing (a) his decision to transfer to Georgia in the first place and (b) the decision to opt out of the 2020 season?
Kentucky: Kentucky is thought to be the team to beat for former Ole Miss linebacker Jacquez Jones, who led the Rebels in tackles with 75 last year and finished his career at Ole Miss with 175 tackles in 33 games.
LSU: Pat Casey, who won the College World Series three times at Oregon State (2006-07, 2018), has emerged as the top candidate to replace the retiring Paul Manieri. Casey has been retired since winning the 2018 national title. He is 62 years old … Coach O would like to occasionally line up cornerback Darryl Stingley Jr. at wide receiver.
Mississippi State: Putting their name in the NCAA baseball transfer portal are Bulldogs Jack Eagen, Jared Shemper, Landon Jordan, Steven Lewis, Austin Reed, Devin Sweeney, Davis Rokose and Jaxen Forrester … Former MSU interim baseball coach Gary Henderson, who took the Bulldogs to the 2018 College World Series, has been hired as the new head baseball coach at Utah.
Missouri: Defensive back Chris Milles, who played in six games last season, has placed his name in the NCAA transfer portal … Placing their names in the baseball transfer portal are Steven Sanchez, Cam Swanger, Cam Pferrer, Seth Halvorsen, Will Fricker, Paul Winland, Chad McDaniel, Gabe Nutter, Caden Griffen, Trey Dillard, Alex Peterson, Mark Vierling, Jackson Lancaster and Jared Simpson.
Ole Miss: Since tearing his ACL and electing to keep on playing without undergoing surgery, Tim Elko is hitting .302 with seven home runs, including a grand slam in the regional championship game against Southern Miss … Ben Gilbert, Luke Baker, Hudson Sapp and Jake Payne have placed their name in the baseball transfer portal.
South Carolina: Placing their names in the baseball transfer portal are Dylan Harley, Josh Shuler, Mag Cotto, Travis Luensmann, Brandon Fields, Sam Swygert and Nick Dagnello.
Tennessee: The Knoxville News-Sentinel reports that tickets for Tennessee’s super regional baseball series against LSU are being scalped for $500 … and that’s just the cheapies.
Texas A&M: The new baseball coach is Jim Schlossnagle, formerly of TCU where he won ten conference championships (seven Mountain West, three Big 12) and went to the College World Series five times. TCU made a strong financial push to keep Schlossnagle, who made $1.6 million last year. His salary is expected to top that of Vanderbilt’s Tim Corbin, who is paid $2.3 million.
Vanderbilt: Head football coach Clark Lea surprised three walk-ons Wednesday by putting them on scholarship. Senior defensive back Camden Coleman, senior punter Harrison Smith and sophomore linebacker Michael Spencer won’t have to pay for school next year.
ONE FINAL PITHY THOUGHT: For years we have been led to believe former Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler was this highly principled man of unquestioned integrity, but apparently legend and reality are not one and the same. At least that’s what some former Michigan football players and Schembechler’s son Matt will allege at a press conference today in which they will state Bo knew all about former team doctor Robert Anderson, allegedly a serial sexual abuser, and did nothing about it. Allen was the subject of a University of Michigan investigation carried out by the law firm WilmerHale. The firm interviewed more than 300 former patients and 200 UM employees during a 14-month investigation, concluding that Allen not only was an abuser but people in authority knew it and didn’t do anything about it.
Matt Schembechler says Anderson sexually molested him when he was 10 years old and shortly after Bo was hired to coach Michigan. Matt Schembechler says that Anderson fondled him and did “an anal probe” when he went to the doctor for a sports physical. When he told Bo of the incident, Matt says his father “closed-fist punched me. It knocked me all the way across the kitchen.”
During the WilmerHale investigation, many former Michigan athletes claim that Anderson assaulted them, fondled them and made inappropriate sexual comments about them. Several former football players told investigators that they spoke to Bo about Anderson during the time they were playing at Michigan.
There is a statue of Schembechler outside the Big House. I have to wonder if Michigan will elect to remove the statue and how long it will be before action is taken.