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"It doesn't do us any good to practice in here"

Last week Jim McElwain had his team practice in their indoor facility for the first time this Spring....and McElwain says he might never use it again.

The faciltiy is only 2 years old; but it's also only 70 yards long, and that's a problem for Mac. "I've got to really evaluate" whether they'll continue to use it. "And to be productive and successful, it doesn't do us any good to practice in here."

McElwain added, "Obviously it's disappointing that it's so small that you're not able to actually get a full day's work out of it. That's why we had to condition at the end, because we weren't able to actually run a practice." 

The timing of the revelation and the article strikes us as somewhat odd; but we do have to question the logic of building a 70 yard indoor in Colorado...although we don't think the University of Colorado even has an indoor. Perhaps a 50 yard addition might be in the works in the future.  




Petrino placed on administrative leave

At around 10pm tonight, University of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long held a press conference at which he announced that he has placed Bobby Petrino on paid administrative leave. 

Long announced that this afternoon Coach Petrino called him to alert him to the fact that he wasn't alone on the motorcycle at the time of the accident and that they subsequently met to discuss the situation. After that meeting, Long said he informed Coach Petrino that he was placing him on administration leave until such time as he can complete his review of this matter. 

As the press conference was beginning, reporters there were handed a statement from Coach Petrino. The entirety of that statement is below.

 

“The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publicly come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publicly acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell’s name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as ‘a lady’. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.

I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”

At the press conference, Long gave the impression that he would decide the path forward fairly quickly but did not give a definitive timetable. Long announced that assistant head coach / linebackers Taver Johnson would serve as interim head coach. 

We'll keep you posted.




Saban explains his motivation

Nick Saban made it clear this week that he has zero interest in returning to the NFL. He learned a lot from his experience in the league but really enjoys coaching at the college level.

"I learned about myself by going to the NFL, why do I have to go do it again?" he explained to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.

Going into his sixth season with the Tide, and in pursuit of his fourth national title, Saban knows himself well enough to know he's happy where he's at. "I had my chances and I've had chances since. I think you have to know yourself well enough to know that if I'm happy doing what I'm doing now, why do I need something else? Before as a coach, even when I was at LSU, I went all those years and it was always work hard to get the next opportunity."

"From a job standpoint it's a great profession because you have a great opportunity to affect young people and help them be successful. If you go out and talk to anybody that's an athlete, almost every one of them will tell you about some coach they had somewhere that had a huge impact on their lives. That's kind of why I do this."

Saban says he understands the love he gets in Tuscaloosa is conditional on winning, but he has a bigger purpose. "If I didn't get positive self-gratification from helping kids and helping them graduate from school, being better people and being all they can be as football players, I wouldn't do this"

"It wouldn't be worth it to me. It wouldn't be worth the time, the sacrifice, and the family sacrifices I've had to make over the years with my own kids and wife. It's just not worth it. You can go make all the money in the world, but when you die, they bury it with you. There is no legacy to it. There won't be something they remember you for or talk about."

 




NAIA training circuit

Hastings College, an NAIA program in Nebraska, put together a highlight of their off season training circuit that looks very taxing.

The video is matched up with the popular message that conveys that you will be successful when you want success as bad as you want to breathe.

Very well done video, and you can tell the workout circuit takes everything the players got.




Akron coaches note promising progress

This morning Akron hit the field to begin the second half of their spring practices, and head coach Terry Bowden and associate head coach / defensive coordinator Chuck Amato have noticed some promising progress.

Bowden says that they are about where he had hoped they would be at this point through spring with the offensive and defensive installation, and players are starting to understand the coaching staff's expectations. Bowden explains that their focus has now shifted to identifying their top 22 players that will help them out come fall.

Amato added that leaders have yet to emerge, but guys are starting to figure out "how to play harder than they can". 




Illinois defense meshing ideas and schemes

Illini Productions shadowed linebackers coach Mike Ward at practice the other day, and also got a few thoughts from the players on the adjustments they've had to make to the new coaching staff.

Ward says that they aren't trying to overhaul the whole defensive structure, but are instead focusing on trying to bridge the gap between what they did last season and some schemes and things that the new staff wants to install. The end goal is to successfully mesh the two philosophies and terminologies.




Vandy planning creative seating option

Vanderbilt is planning some exciting new additions and renovations at the stadium after the spring Black and Gold scrimmage next Saturday.

One of the additions will be a large hill, or "berm", at the open end of the stadium outfitted with a large JumboTron. The hill was inspired by Wake Forest's "Deacon Hill". Vice Chancellor of Athletics David Williams said he wouldn't call it a hill, "...but it certainly won’t look like it’s looking now”.

Williams, further explaining the difference between the two, said "Ours is on the line of, but not to the same effect, as Wake’s. Wake’s is a natural hill. Ours is something we’re creating. With Wake’s, I think you enter from the top. Ours won’t be like that. I don’t think there’s any place that has it like this because ours is not going to be that huge.” The new hill will sport the grass from the playing field when the field switches to FieldTurf and improved lighting will also be added to the stadium as part of the renovations.

Steve Walsh, Vandy's director of sales and marketing points out that their goal is to make it a more family friendly environment. “We want to appeal to fans with young kids, where their kids can run around and they can still watch the game and keep an eye on the kids. We want to make it more of a ‘blanket in the park’ thing.” Blankets will be allowed in the area, but coolers and lounge chairs will not.

James Franklin is a fan of the change, partly due to the fact that it's not a permanent fixture. 

“There have been discussions of building a football complex there, there have been discussions of closing the stadium in (with permanent seating). But until we prove we have a demand for those things, it’s hard to justify. This is a way to do something inexpensive, relatively speaking, that isn’t permanent. It can be bulldozed if we decide.”




Great way to kick off a practice

Navy started off practice yesterday with "The Ring Drill".

Coach Niumatalolo calls two guys out to go head to head. This is good stuff...mano a mano.

Great way to kick off a practice.