Talking Points: Slaughtered by Association, Loopholing by Necessity

PIGS, HOGS, AND OVERSIGNING. Yeah, SEC coaches unanimously voted yesterday against changing the current cap on signing 28 players, but the SEC's presidents and chancellors wear suits more often and therefore have the final say on Friday and will get it wrong. Dooley is okay with closing some of the loopholes, though, and has a philosophical take on the matter:

"It's that old saying: Abuse brings control,'' Dooley noted. "When somebody does that, I don't get upset. I just say 'Here we go. At the next meeting there's going to be legislation against it.' Coaches always love to complain, but generally we're the ones who cause it.''

Well, yeah. Sorta. But it's also true that over-regulation creates a culture of permissible loophole exploitation. It's a well-known (but little observed) principle of contract (and legislation) drafting that the more things you enumerate with specificity, the more danger you're in of creating an inference that stuff you haven't specifically addressed is okay. Tell your kid he can't have any food, and he's got no argument to eat. Tell him he can't have any food and that includes Snickers, Twix, and Reese's, and you shouldn't be surprised when he asks if he can have a Pop Tart. Still, Dooley's right that pigs get fed, but hogs get slaughtered, and Houston Nutt is still a hog even though he moved to Mississippi.

HOW MUCH TROUBLE CAN PLAYERS REALLY GET INTO WITH $300 CASH ANYWAY? Steve Spurrier not only floated the idea of coaches paying each of their players $300 for "game money," he passed a sheet of paper around to the other coaches and told them that he would tell the media if they didn't sign it. I think he just wants to give Stephen Garcia some beer money.

A PAIR OF BERRIES. Eric Berry's younger brothers -- twins Evan and Elliott -- say that they are a package deal and will choose a school together. One of them reportedly committed to Tennessee during a Phineas & Ferb commercial break when he was something like six years old, but without checking Georgia state law, I don't think verbal contracts lacking consideration are enforceable against toddlers. Anyway, Tennessee is on their list, but it's certainly not a lock. They're still two years away from making a decision.

I'M SUFFERING FROM SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. Did you realize that the NCAA trouble UT is hoping will conclude this summer has been going on for nearly 24 months? That's a big ol' slow-moving storm cloud. Let's get it over with already. I need some sun.

AWWWWWW. Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp are friends. You know, that's like Facebook friends but in person where they can actually shake hands and stuff. It's a friendship forged in the fires of Nick Saban's a couple of other words that begin with "F" that I can't think of right now.

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