News, Notes & Quotes - June 1

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday June 01, 2016

- Add Nick Saban to the list of Jim Harbaugh’s Twitter targets.

Saban railed against satellite camps and third-part recruiting during Thursday’s SEC meetings. That night, Harbaugh tweeted, “’Amazing’ to me- Alabama broke NCAA rules & now their HC is lecturing us on the possibility of rules being broken at camps. Truly ‘amazing.’”

Harbaugh was referencing Bo Davis’ resignation last month. While on Finebaum Tuesday afternoon (before the tweet), Saban tried to explain himself some more.

“What we don’t want to see is third-party people getting involved in recruiting, which is going to expose us all in a negative way and how is the NCAA going to monitor al these places, when we’re not supposed to be recruiting, but yet everyone agrees these are recruiting camps?” Saban asked.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey later said the SEC is considering a league-sponsored satellite camp to include all 14 teams. My question is this: Since Saban’s not on Twitter, which Alabama staffer let Nick know about Harbaugh's tweet?

- Hugh Freeze says there’s a difference between breaking the rules and cheating, and he says his Ole Miss assistants weren’t cheating.

Speaking to reporters at SEC spring meetings, Freeze said he had to own that nine alleged NCAA violations occurred under his watch. But he also said he didn’t believe any of the allegations were worth dismissals.

“In my opinion, they haven’t done anything that rises to that level that I should walk in and terminate,” Freeze said. “I love my guys, I believe in them strongly.

“I don’t believe and have zero knowledge any of our coaches have ever paid a player. And if I get that knowledge, there will be problems. Our coaches know if they put in jeopardy our families, they’re not going to have a job. If it rises to that level where it was intent to go out and gain an advantage, I’m going to part ways.”

- In wake of the Baylor scandal, Bill O’Brien reflected on his experience at Penn State with the Houston Chronicle.

Taking over a program dealing with a scandal, O’Brien said he made sure to hold a lot of team meetings and bring in speakers, including several program alumni. They also had to realize there were things more important than football.

"We didn't try to distance ourselves from child sexual abuse," O'Brien told the Chronicle. "I think, most importantly, in any situation that involves some things that are hard to talk about, you have to face it and think about the victims. The first thing you have to do – in addition to putting your staff together and connecting with your players – is to make sure people know there are things a lot more important than football.

"Whenever I spoke to our team, especially that first year, you couldn't forget about what had happened. You have to express how important and how much bigger sexual violence is than football. That was an educational experience for me. Whether it was a media session or what, we never tried to distance ourselves from that.

"We went into the community and talked about it. We had a lot of meetings about how we'd handle it if it ever came up again. We had a blue ribbon game. Our players wore blue ribbons on their helmets to show our thoughts and feelings about victims of sexual abuse.

"To me, it's a big thing to say, 'This is football, but at the end of the day, we're talking about victims. We have to understand how to solve that problem before we get back to winning football games.'"

- The Ravens were penalized by losing a week of offseason workouts and John Harbaugh and the team were fined nearly $500,000 for putting in rookies in full pads during minicamp.

The whole situation was strange, and Harbaugh said he took responsibility. NFL writer Ross Tucker characterized it simply as “dumb,” and was confused by the whole thing.

“I've been associated with the NFL since my rookie season in 2001, and in 15 years I have never once heard of any player being in full pads before training camp. Never,” Tucker wrote. “… Everybody, and I mean everybody, knows you can't put pads on until training camp. Plus, the rules have gotten more restrictive since the 2011 CBA long after my playing days, not less so.

“Do you know how much has to happen for all of the rookies to be in full pads for a rookie minicamp?”

- We’ve got one final season of Uncle Verne doing SEC football on CBS.

Verne Lundquist will still call college basketball and golf for CBS, but he’ll be replaced by Brad Nessler for SEC football games in 2017. Nessler brings the pedigree to fill the big shoes, but we’ll certainly miss Verne’s expressions of disbelief and ability to make “no flags” sound like a big play in itself.

What’s your favorite Verne SEC call? Nothing can top the Kick Six, right?

- The daughter of Houston tight ends coach Corby Meekins wins the high school senior quote of the year.

Tom Herman tweeted a photo of the quote in the yearbook, which reads, “If I send you my Hudl link, will you send it to your dad?"

- As Clemson’s football building construction moves forward, they put out another funny video. This one involving Brent Venables, who wants the building to be ready ASAP.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 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