Mizzou making plenty of changes prior to joining SEC
Missouri Athletic Director Mike Alden published a letter today addressing Tiger Nation where he talked about the big move to the SEC and some additional changes coming next season.
Alden explained the five challenges that they are going to face with their new conference, including keeping up and building upon their rich academic tradition, continuing to progress their facilities, and maintaining their excitement of the conference move through all sports for years to come.
The letter also addresses a lot of changes for next season, including unifying the gold on their uniforms and the font that's used for the numbers (changes will be revealed for the spring game), changing the field surface, as well as the midfield Tiger logo getting enlarged, and the end zone words changing from "Missouri" to "Mizzou".
The full letter can be read below.
Since November 6, 2011, we have had an entire team of folks that have worked every day transitioning Mizzou for our move to the Southeastern Conference. There was certainly a lot of work which led up to the announcement in the Fall, but the pace and inclusiveness "ramped up" significantly after that time. Tim Hickman has been orchestrating all aspects of the SEC transition and is doing a terrific job.
We have not yet completed our 2012 Football Schedule, needing one additional game to fill that 12-game slate. With the number of institutions moving conferences, and possibly continuing to move, it has been challenging to complete. Mark Alnutt, our Senior Associate Athletics Director, is responsible for all scheduling and he is working tirelessly to finalize that last game. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this process. We know that many of us set our plans for football season well in advance, and we're hopeful the schedule will be finalized soon so you can complete your calendar getting ready for Tiger Football!
When we made the decision as a University to apply and then be accepted to the SEC, we communicated very publicly how there was no question that all of us would have to "step up." Academically, socially, competitively, financially, facilities, recruiting, etc. ... all of these issues and more would challenge us to evaluate what we were doing and to keep improving in all areas. As competitors, that's what we do: seize the opportunities, challenge ourselves and commit to achieving success.
There are 5 basic areas on which we see those challenges centering:
Some of the results of these considerations will give all of us the opportunity to work toward further success. It will impact all of us ... there is no doubt. We do recognize that there are costs associated with academic, social and competitive success, and it's our hope that all of us will see those costs as an investment in our future success. Changes that you will see in the next two months (there is much more information to follow!):
Much more detailed information will be sent (via mail) to all of our Tiger Scholarship Fund donors and Football Season ticket holders regarding the changes listed above.
We know this is a LOT of information that we are delivering. We also know that changes are challenging for all of us. We have great students, faculty, staff, alumni, fans and friends at the University of Missouri. We appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for Mizzou ... the future looks very bright for the Tigers. All of us working together are investing in a tremendous brand focusing on our core values of academic integrity, social responsibility and competitive excellence. The University of Missouri is truly committed to respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence in all that we do. THANK YOU ... Go Tigers!
Saban gets creative recruiting
Nick Saban and his staff are accustomed to pulling in one of the nations top recruiting classes year in and year out. His targets for the 2013 class know when they're a priority for Alabama, and one recruit in particular got that message loud and clear.
Georgia high school running back, Alvin Kamara, made headlines after coming home to a mailbox literally overflowing with letters..105 to be exact, each one of them coming from the Crimson Tide. Normally, Saban puts stamps on 4-6 letters per day for Kamara, but he thought he'd let him know how serious he was by sending a crystal clear message.
Kamara still hasn't opened all of the letters, but one thing that he did notice is that there are no duplicates in the pile, each one has a different message about what sets Alabama and their football traditions apart from every other school on his radar.
You can bet Saban had more than one member of the staff stuffing envelopes to send that message.
Tuberville makes his case for indoor facility
Tommy Tuberville and Texas Tech kicked off their spring practices late last week, with Saturday marking their second time out on the field.
The weather for Saturday's practice was not very Texas-like, with temperatures hovering in the 30's and 40's, with a drizzling rain and slight breeze.
Tuberville addressed the weather at the post practice media session saying, "It doesn't bother the players, they were running full speed so they weren't cool at all. It's just all of us standing around and watching that is affects more than anybody. This was not too bad, it could be a lot worse. The wind has been good and yesterday we didn't have any wind at all. I'd rather have this with no wind than 65 degrees and the wind blowing 35 miles per hour."
He then made his case for an indoor practice facility. "That's why we need an indoor workout area. That's why we've started (spring practice) so early, the wind blows a lot harder once we get into March and hopefully we get some good practice in throwing the ball before the wind picks up."
Vikings reach tentative deal for new stadium
The Minnesota Vikings, Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota have reached a tentative agreement on a new $975 million dollar stadium.
The price tag will be split between the state (who would cover $398 million), the city of Minneapolis ($150 million) and the Vikings ($427 million). The city would also pick up the operating cost of $180 million over a 30 year span. The new site of the stadium would be at, or near the current Metrodome location.
The preliminary deal must still get approval through the Legislature and Minneapolis City Council, as well as the NFL before anything is finalized.
Brent Venables coachin'em up
It's just conditioning work; but watch this video and you'll see Brent Venables is already teaching his new guys at Clemson.
Good video coming out of Clemson.
Mickey Marotti: "It's all about effort"
Urban Meyer's "most important hire", strength coach Mickey Marotti sat down with ESPN to talk about the off season strength program.
The Buckeye strength staff are firm believers that effort has nothing to do with ability. "It has nothing to do with talent, it has nothing to do with genetics, it has nothing to do with how many stars you have next to your name, whether you're a five-star or a four-star or a three-star, all of that doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if you're a scholarship player, a walk-on player, a kicker, a starting linebacker. It's all about effort."
Marotti talked about how they specifically motivate players, including the use of lavender shirts for guys that aren't performing well. "We like to let everybody know who isn't working as hard as they need to work. And it works. Because the next time, they won't have it on."
The strength staff also charts everything from competitive wins in the weight room, to loafs and particularly good lifts. "Everything's charted where everybody can see. We push the accountability aspect, and here's the deal and if you're not doing well, why aren't you doing well? All those things motivate you. Putting them in competitive situations motivates them as well."
Norm Parker shares coaching memories
Norm Parker was in Des Moines yesterday for what is usually a February recruiting recap event, but this year turned into a retirement well wishing event where he spent some time sharing stories from his coaching career.
Parker said that during his time as an assistant at Michigan State when they were playing Iowa, the Hawkeyes ran a sweep toward the Spartan sideline and he was at the line of scrimmage. As the play got closer to the sideline and he tried to move back, he felt pressure from the people behind him trying to push the people in front out of the way. The ball carrier ended up running into Parker and knocking him out, "I never stood on the line of scrimmage-extended, ever again.” Parker said.
When Parker was asked about Iowans and the bond that Hawkeye fans share, Parker said "We don’t have any oceans here in Iowa, we don’t really have things that stand out. But I think that is a strength because it just means we have each other. So the people and what they have in common is what stands out.”
Parker also admitted that Iowa football "isn't sexy". He expanded by saying, "You don’t come here to ski; you go to Colorado. You don’t come here to sit on the beach; you go to Miami. If you want to play football, you come to Iowa.” You can bet he shared that with recruits over the years.
Parker shared a ton of stories over the years at the event, and says that he still plans to go to the football complex each day to do some work, but doesn't envision himself being the type of guy to sit in on coaching meetings. "I don’t want to be one of those guys who overshadows other people. This is Phil Parker’s defense now, it’s not mine.”
Gary Patterson's statement about drug arrests
This morning, a number of TCU students were arrested in connection with drug use. 4 of those students were also at some point in their career's part of the TCU football program. Needless to say, they are no longer part of the program.
Rather than letting the story fester as some do, Gary Patterson took the more forward approach of addressing the tough situation. We believe this is the proper course and commend him for coming out publicly like this.
Patterson's statement is as follows:
"There are days people want to be a head football coach, but today is not one of those days. As I heard the news this morning, I was first shocked, then hurt and now I’m mad.
"Under my watch, drugs and drug use by TCU’s student-athletes will not be tolerated by me or any member of my coaching staff. Period. Our program is respected nationally for its strong ethics and for that reason the players arrested today were separated from TCU by the University. I believe strongly that young people’s lives are more important than wins or losses.
"This situation isn’t unique to TCU—it is a global issue that we all have to address. This isn’t just about bad decisions made by a small percentage of my team. It is about a bigger issue across this country and world.
"As a coach, I do the best I can to educate members of my team. We have programs in place that teach student-athletes about what they should and shouldn’t do and how to be successful in life. I talk to them about how to be students and upstanding men that uphold the TCU name and its traditions.
"At the end of the day, though, sometimes young people make poor choices. The Horned Frogs are bigger and stronger than those involved."