Friday, March 31, 2006
Just as an FYI, the Ticket is doing some Quarterback Bowl charity flag football tournament thing with Aikman and Staubach. They are letting some non-athlete and not-ticket people play. How is that relevant to SMU? Well, tryouts were yesterday and the main evaluator of talent was the great Ramon Flanigan. Pictures are here.
Friday, March 24, 2006
What's not so good:
Let’s get the bad out of the way, first. I had my list of two favorites and was going to add a third: Orsini. Orsini, however, probably would not have been first on the list.
Why? I went on a personal crusade against Tulane’s Rick Dickson when I learned he was being considered. The reason I did was that in fifteen years, I didn’t think he had done anything to make the athletic programs he ran better than when he got there. He wasn’t hiring good coaches and he never hired a football coach.
OK. So what does that have to do with Orsini. Orsini has never hired a basketball coach. The one notable coach he did hire, George O’Leary, Orsini has a long relationship with, dating back to when they were both at Georgia Tech. In an ideal world, I want to see that an AD has done an extensive search and considered a number of factors and picked the guy and have that coach be the right guy at the right time. And while O’Leary has certainly been successful, as one UCF fan told me, how many George O’Leary’s does Orsini know?
Second, have you seen UCF’s basketball attendance figures lately? To be fair, UCF plays in a dump.
Third … there isn’t a third. How about, his name isn’t “Chet.” “Chet” is just a cool name.
Yeah. That’s all I got. That is all I can think of to rip the guy. Sorry.
First, he wanted to come to SMU. And UCF wanted him to stay. I can’t say how much that means to me. For years, rumors abound that Copeland came to SMU because he was going to get canned at Virginia. And when you think about it, why would Copeland leave Virginia, a fine school in a good situation and his alma mater, for SMU. Orsini is leaving UCF, a school in a pretty good situation, unquestionably because he wants to.
Second, SMU stepped up to the plate. UCF was actively renegotiating Orsini’s contract. SMU outbid and outworked UCF and that is why Orsini is here.
Third, of my other favorites for this job, making an argument that they have a connection to Dallas or SMU was impossible. Not so with Orsini, who lived in Dallas for eleven years and spent ten years with the Dallas Cowboys. Orsini knows where SMU is in the Dallas community and knows where it can be. During his time in Dallas, he saw SMU at its best and he saw SMU at its worst.
Fourth, no one can argue that Orsini doesn’t know what he is getting into or doesn’t understand SMU’s situation. Orsini comes from within the conference. Orsini comes from the athletic departments of Notre Dame and Navy. He knows about getting kids into school and he knows about SMU.
Fifth, Orsini’s only major hire was a good one. That is a lot better than your only major hire being a bad one.
Sixth, look for quotes by Orsini. I once commented that I wish SMU had an athletic director that spoke like UH’s Dave Maggard. Maggard talks about Houston only in terms that can be described as “onward and upward,” getting UH in the Big XII. Put aside for the moment that Maggard might be crazy. In contrast, with Copeland it seemed like the goal of SMU was to tread water. Orsini, and I hope he doesn’t disappoint me, reminds me of Maggard. When he took the UCF job, he openly talked about the ACC and the SEC and the BCS. Those were his goals for that program. When he talked about building an on campus football stadium at UCF, he was glib, he was straightforward and he was optimistic (btw, that stadium is getting built).
Seventh, Orsini can raise money. The UCF athletic budget is up 70%. He is known as a financial whiz. At UCF, at Navy and Georgia Tech. He raised millions for Ga. Tech to help get Atlanta two Final Fours and he did it ahead of schedule. He was a Wall Street accountant before going into athletics; he will fit in well with the HP-UP crowd in the suites.
Eighth, new construction is a hallmark of Orsini’s time at UCF. New facilities for basketball, football and softball.
Ninth, academics improved under Orsini, which should appease the faculty.
Tenth, SMU had a great pool of candidates and better than anyone on the message boards could have imagined. I think most people were expecting a I-AA athletic director or the senior associate at some BCS school. The fact that SMU got a number of inquiries from ADs of successful programs is reason for optimism.
Eleventh ("this one goes to eleven"), without a doubt, UCF is better at the end of Orsini's tenure than at the beginning on nearly every measurable level.
Twelth, uhhhh…hiring Orsini is like giving the finger to one of our conference-mates, which has its own, unique, intrinsic value. Nevermind the finger, tonight, give them the shocker!
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Sigh. My quest for validation from the SMU message board geeks ends in failure. I really hoped to at least have the name up before it became clear. The best I can do are e-mails asking about Orsini. Well, at least my mom thinks I am cool. My wife and kids, on the other hand, think I am a dork.
And, unfortunately, I will never get to pimp Orsini before the deal is done the way I did with Hartzell and Gladchuk. Orsini is, of course, a solid choice.
Now that Calvin Watkins is back from covering the Vince Young love fest for the Morning News, maybe he can drag more than 125 words out of SMU athletic director search. I kid, I kid. I think Calvin does a great job covering SMU. And I think the SMU fan underappreciates him.
Let's assume that we are in the middle of the process. When would SMU announce a hire? Not today and not tomorrow and not over the weekend. The NCAA tournament drowns everything else out, particularly with Texas still in it. So that leaves you with window of Monday through Thursday of next week to announce anything, assuming SMU were going to. That, or you have to wait until Tuesday, April 4th, or later, when the tournament concludes.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
If there will be any news today, it is likely to come from the UNI press conference today to announce their new basketball coach, but I consider that unlikely.
About that press conference, it says a lot about Hartzell. He recognized he hired a real good basketball coach in McDermott three years ago and that the coach would be in demand and eventually leave. According to one article, he started working on a succession plan two years ago. And once McDermott left, Hartzell executed his plan without hesitation. Based on a radio interview yesterday, Hartzell has a lot of fight in him.
I spent a little time surfing the forums of the four schools where the names came from. The opinions of the news ran the gamut. At Tulane, there was widespread panic, followed by relief. At Wyoming, there was righteous indignation and namecalling. At Navy, there is very little discussion, but they want Gladchuk to stay. At UNI, well, they have apparently never heard of Google News in Iowa because noone knows a thing about it. They love Hartzell over there. I was going to post something over there, but thought better of it (shhhhh!).
So, don't expect much today. Of course, I could be wrong.
Update: Well, someone in Iowa finally found out that there is a state called Texas and school called SMU. Still, odd that it took this long. And you can't convince me the press at that press conference didn't know about the Morning News article.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
press conference for tomorrow at 11:00. Don't get excited. In all likelihood, it is to announce that assistant basketball coach Ben Jacobson is Northern Iowa's new basketball coach after Greg McDermott was announced as the new Iowa State coach today.
What is interesting is there is no mention that Hartzell was named as a candidate for the SMU AD job. It isn't even brought up. The article even quotes Hartzell on Jacobson. So, either the reporter is the least informed and incompetent sports reporter in the history of man or it was deliberately left out. On the flipside isn't it weird that Hartzell could make a coaching decision while looking for another job? You be the judge.
Look, as soon as names got out there, pressure started getting put on those people to make a decision. That pressure builds over time. The pressure is really going to be on Hartzell. Northern Iowa's basketball coach Greg McDermott is going to be named the coach at Iowa State within days. The pressure is going to be on Hartzell to do something, and saying he wants to put it off a few weeks while he waits and see if he gets the SMU job will not be an acceptable response. Fortunately, speculation is that UNI will name an assistant to replace McDermott.
Get Gladchuk and Hartzell on campus and in front of the committee pronto.
Right. They just plucked your name out of a hat.
Anyway down to two. As I predicted, there would be a withdrawl quickly. And now there have been two (unless one is lying, which is possible). Fine with me because my two favorites are still out there.
Update: DMN Article.
I think this is for the best. For one, I think his leaving Tulane would have been a PR disaster for him considering the state of Tulane today. For another, he would have ranked no better than third on my list.
On March 2, 2006, Chet Gladchuk was named Athletic Director of the Year.
Gladchuk took the Navy job in 2001. He hired Paul Johnson as football coach and all Johnson has done is go to three straight bowl games. Some knock Johnson because he runs the outdated triple option (think Rice), but how can you argue with 8-5, 10-2 and 8-4? Gladchuk has also undertaken a $40M renovation project of the football stadium.
Before Navy, Gladchuk was the AD of Houston from 1997-2001. Before Houston, Gladchuk was the AD of Boston College and before that Tulane.
Gladchuk is an interesting candidate. I am really surprised he is interested. I would consider Navy to be a prestegious job. The guy is AD of the Year. How can you argue with his qualifications? Plus, his name is "Chet."
Update: While at Boston College, Gladchuk had three football hires. The first was a guy named Tom Caughlin. Coughlin went 21-13-1 and left for Jacksonville Jaguars. His second hire was Dan Henning, a former NFL coach. Henning wasn't that good. He went 16-19-1, but Henning is now the OC of the Carolina Panthers. His third hire was Tom O'Brien. O'Brien is still at Boston College with a record of 75-39.
Gladchuk's one basketball hire was Al Skinner. Skinner is still at Boston College and Boston College is in the Sweet 16 this year.
Gladchuk last year at Boston College was temultuous, whcih explains how he ended up in Houston. Football Coach Henning was fired after a gambling scandal, where players were found to have bet against their own team. Basketball Coach Jim O'Brien left for Ohio State over "recruiting," charging the BC administration (not Gladchuk) of, among other things,racism. Gladchuk got burned out and left for Houston.
I am having an impossible time finding Gladchuk's hires at UofH, due to problems with their website. That being said, I lived in Houston most of that time and Houston was terrible in both football and basketball. I think Clyde Drexler was a basketball hire of his. Drexler, while an emotional choice, was terrible. It was a swing for the fences that struck out big time.
Gladchuk's hires at UofH were less than stellar. He hired Clyde Drexler, which as I mentioned, was a bold choice, but ultimately a bad one. He then hired Ray McCallum from Ball State. McCallum had one NIT appearance in four years. Ray McCallum is now an assistant at OU.
In football, Gladchuk's fired coach Kim Helton after winning seven games in 1999. He replaced him with Dana Dimmel who coached UofH to three losing seasons. Dimmel is now the Tight Ends coach at Arizona State. It should also be pointed out that Gladchuk was instrumental in getting football back on campus and out of the Astrodome. He also got the Hofheinz Pavilion (basketball) renovated. Academics improved during his tenure there.
The Article: Report: Barta a finalist for SMU job
Per the article, Barta was a finalist for the Arizona State AD position a year ago.
Barta has had the job since 2003. This is his first AD position. He's young-early 40's. Barta has not hired a football or basketball coach at Wyoming. He strength lies in fundraising, it appears. Raised $10M for capital improvements which was matched by state funds.
Before this position, he was Senior Associate AD at Washington, where he directed its "Campaign for the Student-Athlete" which included a $100 million upgrade of five athletics facilities.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Sources: SMU focusing on four AD candidates
07:16 PM CST on Monday, March 20, 2006
By CALVIN WATKINS / The Dallas Morning News
SMU officials are centering on several candidates for its athletic directors job.
The position becomes vacant on May 31 when Jim Copeland retires.
SMU is looking at Rick Dickson of Tulane, Rick Hartzell from Northern Iowa, Chet Gladchuk from Navy and Gary Barta of Wyoming according to sources.
Tulane officials confirmed Monday that SMU president Gerald Turner spoke with Tulane president Scott Cowen about Dickson.
The two presidents are close friends and served on various NCAA committees.
“We are aware that SMU has spoken to Rick Dickson,” Tulane spokesperson Michael Strecker said.
SMU officials were also interested in Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart. But Barnhart said through a spokesperson he wasn’t interested in the position.
Earlier this month, during the Conference USA men’s basketball tournament in Memphis, Turner said he’s pleased with the progress of the search.
“We have a number of people interested,” Turner said. “We’re very encouraged by it, and we have some very good candidates. All things being equal, you sort of target a sitting AD.”
Turner is also leaning toward finding an athletic director from one of the power conferences.
Tom Barry, the chairman of SMU’s search committee, said he’s not sure when they will meet but was hopeful it would be soon.
I've discussed Hartzell and Dickson at length. I will now start looking at Gladchuk and Barta.
There is also some of the usual Turner quote weirdness I will go into later.
Also, I would note that WWL-TV is a Belo station, along with WFAA-TV here and also the Dallas Morning News. Should not be hard for the DMN to get to the bottom of this quickly.
Here is Rich's Bio. I am going to have to look into this, Dickson has not picked a football coach at Tulane, he has selected a basketball coach, but that coach hasn't done much. Nor did he select a football coach at Washington State; Mike Price was there before and after. Before, Washington State, he was the AD at Tulsa; his claim to fame is that he selected Tubby Smith.
I am chasing it down, but I was told he previously was offered AD jobs at other BCS universities. Truth be told, if not for Katrina, he probably would not have much interest in leaving Tulane for SMU.
This guy is a fundraiser and that is all. Whooptie doo. This guy is a big yawner to me. Give me UNI's Hartzell over this guy.
Update:I am sorry, but with the exception of Tubby Smith who he hired at Tulsa fifteen years ago, I can't find one coach that he picked that has done anything. He is on Men's BBall coach no. 2 at Tulane; the first went 60-86.
Unless someone shows me something on this guy that I don't know and can't find, I have to conclude he's an empty suit. He seems good at all the things the faculty and administration care about: grades, money, gender-equity. Blah blah blah. How about a track record of finding coaches that win friggin' games?!?!?!
If this guy is going to come in and sell a few more tickets, raise a little more money and build one pretty building, and then see everything dry up because the programs keep losing, I am sorry but I have no interest in it. We already saw that with Copeland. We got enamored with Copeland because he came from Virginia; let's not be enamored with this guy just because he is the AD at Tulane and he is interested.
Update II:While at Washington State, the Cougars went to the Rose Bowl in 1997. Did he hire that coach (Mike Price)? No. To Dickson's credit, he didn't fire Mike Price after three sub-.500 seasons after that Rose Bowl appearance; at some point that was a good decision.
When Dickson went to Washington State, Kelvin Sampson was the basketball coach. Samson left shortly thereafter. Dickson hired Kevin Eastman who took Samson's returning Big Dance team and went to the nit (twice) and never the postseasona again, fired after going 69-78. Dickson then hired Paul Graham who went 31-79. Dickson was at Tulane when Graham was let go.
At Tulsa, Dickson hired Tubby Smith, a great hire. He never hired a football coach and Tubbs left after Dickson left for Washington State.
So, in the "revenue" sports, Dickson has made five hires. One worked out-Tubby Smith. The others didn't.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
The only other AD opening is the one at Bowling Green. That job has been open about a week as their AD left for the University of New Mexico. It looks like that may be filled internally.
On a side note, Wichita State upset Tennessee. As for why that interests me, see below.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Wichita State won yesterday by beating, er, shocking (!) Seton Hall, 86-66. Wichita State's HC is Mark Turgeon, who Schaus hired less than nine months after taking the Wichita State AD job.
Northern Iowa lost today to Georgetown, 54-49. This was Greg McDermott's Northern Iowa team's third consecutive trip to the Big Dance (did you know this?).
Now, you might think this means advantage Schaus in the "Who can pick the better coach?" department.
But not so fast! Hartzell was AD of Bucknell from 1988-1999. Bucknell beat Arkansas 59-55 here in Dallas. While AD at Bucknell, Hartzell hired Bucknell HC Pat Flannery. This is Bucknell's second consecutive NCAA appearance. Last year, remember, Bucknell beat Kansas. Also, Hartzell is a NCAA basketball referee. Do you think he knows how to identify a coach? Would anybody mind if Hartzell was picking coaches for SMU?
Thursday, March 16, 2006
1) accuses SMU of killing old people;
2) accuses SMU intentionally moving devil worshipers into the University Gardens;
3) accuses SMU of creating an arson site;
4) compares the effort to get the Bush Library to the Kennedy assasination.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Before I go on, please tell me we called Krebs. Krebs, years ago hired a guy named Urban Meyer to coach Bowling Green. If Krebs was looking for a better gig, surely SMU knew that and surely SMU inquired. If it didn’t, what is going on? Honestly, I would have thought a guy of Krebs’ caliber to move from Bowling Green to a BCS school, not New Mexico. Is New Mexico that much better a job than SMU?
Interestingly, New Mexico publicly listed a formula that it used to help them evaluate candidates applying for the position. That formula is below. I would suggest that SMU could rely on a similar formula. The points listed indicate the maximum each candidate could receive in that area.
16: Current AD experience at a comparable Division 1A school.
16: Fund-raising experience and a history of creative marketing.
12: Observance of NCAA rules, Title IX and diversity issues. Proven ability to hire and work with coaches who maintain high academic standards.
10: Proven administrative and leadership abilities.
10: Strategic planning.
10: Ability to interact with academic community.
8: Ability to work well with legislators, government officials, media.
8: Fiscal responsibility.
5: Highly regarded with national reputation.
5: Strong commitment to UNM and knowledge of state.
You either think SMU is a better or worse job than New Mexico, or about the same. Regardless, I think you ought to consider the caliber of candidates for the New Mexico job as comparable to what SMU should hope to expect. Anyway, let’s take a look at the finalists for the New Mexico job: Krebs (I would love to have had a shot at Krebs), Northern Iowa’s Rick Hartzell and Wichita State’s Jim Schaus. Since Krebs is gone, let’s look at the other finalists as possible names.
Northern Iowa Athletics Director Rick Hartzell
Academics* Northern Iowa student-athletes combined for 3.08 grade-point-average following the 2004 spring semester and the department’s most recent graduation rate is the best in the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)...Hartzell helped guide the university through a successful NCAA certification process
Fundraising/Facilities* Construction is near completion on the McLeod Center, a new arena that will house the men's and women's basketball, volleyball and wrestling teams...the UNI-Dome and future McLeod Center will also be venues for concerts and special events to help generate revenue for the program
* Construction begins April 15 on a $9 million Human Performance Center
* Constructed a new football locker room and weight room, plus enhancements to the Mark Messersmith Outdoor track and field complex
Sports / Competition* The Northern Iowa football team has claimed three conference titles in the past five years
* The UNI men's basketball team was ranked in the top 25 at times in 2--5-06 ...UNI is 22-7 overall and 11-6 in the MVC...the Panthers qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and ‘05
* The women's volleyball team has won six of the past eight MVC titles, and advanced to the Sweet 16 three times since 2000...the men's indoor track team has won six straight league championships
General* Current vice-president of the Missouri Valley Conference administrators and chair of the MVC Sportsmanship and Officiating Committee
* NCAA men's basketball official since 1986
* Director of Athletics, Bucknell, 1988-99
* Director of Athletics and Chairman of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1985-88
* A 1974 graduate of Northern Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and English, and a member of the football and baseball teams...master's degree from UNI in 1977 in Educational Administration...completed all but his doctoral dissertation in Higher Education Administration from the University of Iowa
Wichita State Athletics Director Jim Schaus
Academics* An 88% graduation rate in the latest NCAA report...this rate is based on student-athletes that have completed their eligibility at WSU...student-athletes at WSU have combined for a 3.0 grade-point-average every semester of his tenure there
Fundraising/Facilities* Secured private funding for the $25 million Roundhouse Renaissance project, addressing the primary facility needs for the WSU athletics department...the facility includes an arena for basketball and volleyball, locker rooms, weight room, training room, student services building, academic center and athletic department offices
* WSU has established all-time records in all revenue areas, including $2.2 million in annual giving...Schaus orchestrated nearly $35 million in new facilities construction and secured the largest outright gift in university history ($6 million)
Sports / Competition* Wichita State won the Missouri Valley Conference all-sports trophy in 2003-04 and 2004-05...WSU was 7th in Schaus' first season
* The men's basketball team is currently 22-7 overall and leading the MVC with a 13-4 record...the team has had 14 sellouts this year
* Four programs are nationally ranked in attendance
General* A member of the NCAA Committee for Academic Performance
* Previous athletic administration positions at Oregon, Cincinnati, UTEP and Northern Illinois
* Director of Marketing, Washington Redskins, 1983-86
* A 1983 graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and Public Relations
* Master's degree in Athletic Administration from West Virginia University in 1987
* Son of Fred Schaus, former head men's basketball coach at Purdue and West Virginia, and former head coach and vice-president of the Los Angeles Lakers...was also athletics director at West Virginia
Are either of these guys candidates for the SMU job? I have no idea. Should they be? I dunno, but since we don't have any idea of the caliber of candidates so far, I will go out on a limb and say, "Yes." SMU should be considering these two candidates as well. The sitting AD of a successful I-AA program should get a serious look.
I will also be making some format changes in the coming weeks. Pretty minor stuff really, but I hope it improves the look of the place.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Talked to SMU president Gerald Turner who told me he expects athletic director Jim Copeland to return to school in April. Copeland is recovering from kidney surgery.
Turner said the search to replace Copeland, who is retiring May 31, is a slow process.
Regardless of what I said below,I don't care how long it takes to hire a new AD as long as you hire the RIGHT FUCKING GUY!!!
But if you are hoping Tubbs gets the boot, you will be disappointed. They are not going to fire him without a new AD to run a search and that doesn't look like it is going to happen soon. Probably for the best . . . I guess.
Seriously, whys is Copeland bothering to come back?
You know what? I don’t care. I didn’t want Tubbs to get the job; I didn’t think he could deliver what we promised-a pipeline into DISD. I try to be a very rational person about this. I know the rational thing to do is give Tubbs more time, at least one more year. But I just don’t care. I always thought Bennett would turn football around and we are a year away from proving whether I am right about that or not. I have never thought Tubbs would turn basketball around. I haven’t seen anything to change my mind.
The fact of the matter is that Tubbs was not the no. 1 assistant at Oklahoma; why on earth did we hire a guy that was not even the assistant that would pick up the clipboard when the head coach got tossed from a game?
To be clear, it isn’t because Tubbs is black. There are lots of great coaches that are black. I was ecstatic when Avery Johnson replaced Don Nelson for much the same reasons-I never thought Don Nelson was going to get it done. I do think Avery Johnson can and will. Hell, if I were Cuban, I would give Avery Johnson a 10 year deal.
The greatest thing in the world to me is if SMU announces a new AD on Monday afternoon. With one defiant sentence, the new AD says clearly and unequivocally, "The losing stops now." And following that, he says he will sit down with Tubbs the following morning and Tubbs is let go by Tuesday afternoon. With that statement and with that act, everyone who even passively follows SMU sports, would know he was serious and that SMU was serious.
I. Am. Dreaming.
Anyway, end of basketball talk. Go ahead and tell me I don't know what I am talking about. That is fine. Maybe I don't.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Let me start by saying, I would love to have TCU's problems, but this is a real problem for them. How many I-A teams have open dates right now? Probably one or two others, tops. Seriously doubt any are BCS schools. So any chance of ratcheting up the strength of schedule are gone. With the rule changes, can they make a run at the BCS? Sure, but if it is close, they have a problem. Again, nice problem to have.
For an organization that has lately been run as well as TCU has, I am kind of surprised it got to this point. They are going to be stuck with the South Dakota State's of the world.
5. Trouble in Texas: Two of the state's worst programs, SMU and TCU, are thinking of firing their coaches. Jimmy Tubbs has been at SMU for just two seasons, but SMU soon will have a new athletics director, and SMU basketball is worse now than it was under Mike Dement -- and Dement was fired in 2004. At TCU, fourth-year coach Neil Dougherty has run the Horned Frogs into the ground at 5-23. Both schools have apathy and economic issues. Football controls their budgets, but neither football program makes enough money to buy out one basketball coach and hire another. And the basketball boosters at both schools just don't care anymore.
Wow. It is like he is challenging SMU and TCU to fire their coaches. "Your basketball coaches stink, but I know you won't do anything about it! I double-dog dare you to!"
Interesting to note that Doyel doesn't mention the investigation into violations of NCAA rules in the basketball program.
Anyway, I seriously doubt SMU fires the basketball coach without an AD in place. And I seriously doubt SMU has its shit together to hire an AD in the next week, assuming SMU is one and done in the C-USA basketball tournament on March 8th or 9th. Is it possible? Sure. But I doubt it.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Final grade: C+
Why?: SMU did a nice job of keeping some talented local players at home. Garland's Tim Crosby, Scurry-Rosser's Phillip Burley and Denton's Anthony Sowe are all top-100 area caliber players. And Crosby and Burley in particular bring something very important -- skill players with the ability to make big plays.
Best prospect: Of all the recruits I met out of the 2006 class, none impressed me more than Phillip Burley. And I'm not talking about on the football field. His 6-5, 205-pound frame and 4.5 40-yard dash speed speak for themselves. But I'm talking about the way Burley carried himself during an interview. While it was a short amount of time, his frankness and positive demeanor were very impressive.
Sleeper: Kingwood linebacker Taylor Bon is a player the SMU coaching staff raves about. He has the size -- 6-3, 207 -- and the athletic ability to be a huge playmaker at linebacker. Put it this way, there is no player the SMU coaches are more excited about than Bon.
Pressure is on: Oklahoma City Putnam City athlete Bryan McCann is one of two 3-star recruits -- Burley is the other. McCann, who missed significant playing time because of a knee injury last fall, will be counted on to play cornerback and return punts and kicks.
Edit: And less than four hours later, they finally have the Spring Football site up.
SMU gets another big chunk of change. $33,000,000.00 for Meadows.
Spring ball cranks up next week.