News, Notes & Quotes - July 5

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday July 05, 2016


- With Kevin Durant off to the Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti didn’t write a spiteful letter in comic sans font. He held a press conference that was respectful and professional. When asked how Oklahomans should feel about Durant, Presti responded thusly:

"Listen, I'm not going to tell people how to feel or not to judge or what have you. I just think that what he represented for the city was something larger than basketball. I think that he arrived at a time where the city was also on an upward trajectory, a 20-year-old young man in an aspirational city. People kind of snicker and kind of sneer when we talk about that kind of stuff, but my guess is you're probably not doing that right now.

“… They should feel thankful, grateful. They should not — I can't tell them not to be disappointed, but the one thing I would also say is the city should be incredibly proud of what they've helped create for the Thunder. It's not possible without that. They need to carry that on. They need to carry on the spirit and the fight and the grit, because that was here before the Thunder. That was here before the Thunder, that spirit, that ability to continue to press forward. That's in the water here. I think all of us, Kevin included, was a beneficiary of that approach and what's in Oklahoma. So my message would be, carry on. Carry on and continue to be proud of what it is that you represent. It's much bigger than the Thunder."

- BYU still wants to join a Power 5 conference, but doesn’t know if its policy against playing on Sunday is a deal-breaker, especially with the non-football teams.

"I really would love to see our football play at that level, be playing in a P5 conference," athletic director Tom Holmoe said at BYU media day. "I want our players … in all of our sports to be able to play at the highest level. I don't know (if the policy is a deal-breaker). That's up to the P5 conferences.

“But I do know that it's something that we hold very sacred. We have never played on a Sunday and we're not going to play on a Sunday."

- Alabama dropped some self-reported violations on Sunday night. As secondary violations, they’re not very serious, and one was incredibly minor.

Among the violations, a coach called a prospect twice in a week, a coach sent a recruiting text and an incorrect time, and a former player provided personal training to a current player.

But one violation was that "A trophy was temporarily placed in an area where prospects taking an official visit would be, which resulted in an impermissible recruiting decoration of that area."

Alabama says it suspended the involved coaches from some recruiting, provided rules education and paid some restitution to a charity for the personal training violation.

- Hugh Freeze says the Egg Bowl rivalry has gone to a bad place among fans. 

Clarion-Ledger columnist Hugh Kellenberger wrote about the vitriol and said, “My personal theory for what has changed: both programs got good. Really good. And instead of delighting in the respective rises of Mississippi State and Ole Miss football, there’s a worry that there’s only room for one at the inn and your program’s survival depends on the other’s demise. It’s the crab mentality — the moment one rises to the top of the barrel, the others will do everything they can to pull him down.”

Hugh Freeze tweeted the column over the weekend and said, “Totally agree. It has gone too far. Both sides should rejoice that we are relevant in college football.”

- LSU will require athletes and coaches to take sexual harassment classes amid sexual assault scandals at several schools.

That involves about 400 male and female athletes and 250 coaches and support staff, according to The Advocate.

“There’s only two other schools doing this at the moment,” school president F. King Alexander said at a Board of Supervisors meeting. “They’re doing it in a reactive mode due to problems they’ve had. We’re implementing this in a proactive mode.”

- With the Elite 11 this week, CBS Sports took a look at how former Elite 11 quarterbacks have fared since it began in 1999.

Of note, 54 percent have started at least one year in college, 37 percent ended up transferring in college, and 33 percent were selected in the NFL Draft.

- Baylor released its 11th signee from its 2016 recruiting class.

Three-star defensive end Brandon Bowen is No. 11, meaning the class Baylor signed in February has been split in half from 22 to players down to 11. And its 2017 class has just one player.

- Vanderbilt provided a quick look at summer workouts.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.