Overheard in Destin …
Where’s Les? What SEC coach would you pick as most likely to turn up missing? The whereabouts of LSU’s Les Miles was an actual work room question.
Are we in Destin or Sandestin? Remember, we are the people bringing you the news. Actually it’s a good group of folks. The fact that someone could even ask that question is a tribute to the powerful marketing machine of the Sandestin Resort. The answer to the question is neither. The resort is in Miramar Beach, Fla., the next community east down the beach from Destin.
Do you think Spurrier threw his clubs in the bathroom? Hugh Freeze was on the winning golf team I’m told. Specifics stopped there. We didn’t hear anything about scores, who shot well, etc. The Florida writers, though, describe Spurrier as fanatical about his golf.
What if you were recruiting a kid from Massachusetts? This was an honest to goodness hypothetical situation presented to Freeze during the satellite camp discussion. I guess it could happen. 247’s composite rankings for 2015 listed no Massachusetts prospect rated higher than three stars. Probably not going to launch one of those satellite camps for that.
You look the same: That’s what new Florida basketball coach Michael White told me, and he said it three or four times. I’ve analyzed the comment, and I’m taking it as a compliment since the effects of aging typically are not flattering.
Just happy to be indoors: “I grew up in Montana. I’m just glad to have a roof over my head.” – new Florida coach Jim McElwaine’s response to a facilities question. The Gators have been without an indoor practice facility since those became the next big thing. Now they’re about to get one. They announced in January a project for an indoor football building that is expected to cost $15 million. Here’s the link. My initial thought was what are you getting for $15 million? The Ole Miss facility opened in 2004 at a cost of $18 million. It’s aged well through the years and has recently had a $12 million upgrade.
Seeking a level playing field: “The cost of attendance thing is going to be above us,” Freeze said. “Do we wish it was equitable. Sure. We wish every rule we had was equitable among the Power Five.” Indeed, the COA number comes from the federal government, not the athletics department. That opens up a Pandora’s Box of possibilities, equity the last among them.
COA Transparency: This from LSU athletics director Joe Alleva on that Cost of Attendance number. “Right now there are various costs of attendance at every school. The basic components should be the same. For example, proving a laptop for an athlete or number of trips you provide home for an athlete. The more things we can define or agree upon, it would narrow the scope of cost of attendance. There wouldn’t be such a great difference among schools.”
Last train from Brooklyn: Kentucky coach John Calipari has landed on his feet, but he was once fired. That was when he was with the Nets in the spring of 1999: “You’re humbled as a coach when you get fired. Again, we had an ownership change. New owners come in and say ‘We don’t want you here.’ How much did you pay for the team. Well, $150 million. I guess you can tell me to beat it.”
What have you guys talked about today? Heavy sigh, “Whew, there are a lot of tabs in that book,” Andy Kennedy said.
Only the boss can go: Arkansas coach Bret Bielema was the first coach to address media here this week.
He was hopeful then that the SEC would take some action on satellite camps. He told an interesting story about moving Wisconsin, in the Big 10, to Arkansas.
“Three years ago when it was brought to my attention it was new to me. I had been in the Big 10 where there were not a lot of restrictions, not just satellite camps.”
Bielema used his upcoming schedule as an example. He’ll be in Houston later this summer at a clinic. It’s an amazingly fertile recruiting ground for Arkansas and lots of other folks. Bielema, though, will not be able to take Razorbacks’ staff with him under the current guidelines.
“I’ve love to take five or six of my coaches with me and let them glad hand and hang out, but I can’t do that by our rules.”
Either by the SEC successfully banning satellite camps or by it lifting its own internal ban, Bielema and other league coaches won’t have to deal with that next summer.