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24 days to National Signing Day

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Talking Points for 1/11/10:

  • Now that the 2009 football season is officially over, we now turn our full attention to basketball and recruiting. Okay, well, half to each. There are 24 days remaining until National Signing Day, a time period the Times Free Press says "can be an eternity with a sea of indecisive 18-year-olds." And 50-year-old coaches making promises they might not keep to those 18-year-olds.
  • Speaking of recruiting, UT commit Michael Palardy had a rough outing at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, having a field goal blocked (sound familiar?) and returned for a touchdown and having an extra point blocked and returned for a two-point conversion. I saw these, though, and really, unless he had some electronic guidance system, he wasn't going to get those past the herd of rushing linemen who had broken through the line each time.
  • Best headline for yesterday's win over Kansas? GVX: Rock! Shock! Jayhawk!
  • Glory Johnson led the Lady Vols to a 75-48 win over Mississippi State yesterday, too.
  • Highlights for the men's win over Kansas can be found here (Bertlekamp's enthusiasm for McBee's money at the end of the game was at an all-time high), and highlights of the women's win over Mississippi State can be found here.
  • So the two recent gun and drug cases at UT have led to questions about whether coaching contracts should include punitive provisions relating to off-the-field behavior of student athletes. Thoughts? Apparently, "[m]ultiple sources in the UT administration said adding a punitive financial clause for off-field problems could cause a serious snag -- possibly an irreparable snag -- in the negotiating process." Uh, yeah. Certainly the coach has something to do with creating the environment, setting the example and the expectations, and giving the student-athletes the tools to abide by the rules, but ultimately, it's up to the kid.