Fri Jul 23 07:09am EDT
Making the morning rounds.
• Diving board confidential. NCAA probes at North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have already ensured the Memorial Day weekend party involving a horde of potential draft prospects at South Beach's Fontainebleau Hotel will live in infamy. But the Sports Business Journal reported Thursday that a second Miami bash around the same time, a pool party hosted by former Miami/current San Francisco 49er running back Frank Gore, is also on the NCAA's radar. (Note that Gore is a teammate of former North Carolina lineman Kentwan Balmer, who was initially connected to the investigation of current UNC lineman Marvin Austin, alleged Fontainebleau ringleader.) For his part, Gore said he didn't know who all was in his house, and they certainly weren't there because of agents: "I don’t even know those guys. There were a lot of people there; it was crazy. ... I paid for my own party." [Sports Business Journal]
Meanwhile, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said tight end Weslye Saunders was echoing the "naive" defense employed by Alabama's Marcell Dareus: Saunders admitted he was at the Fontainebleau, but insists he didn't do anything wrong. [Associated Press]
• Henry Fonda would be proud. The Big 12 announced Nebraska as the unanimous media favorite to take the North Division, as expected. But it wasn't quite unanimous: The Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond says he cast his ballot for Missouri, even if he concedes now it may have been a foolish choice with the Tigers playing in Lincoln in October. Make sure the hometown crowd absorbs the Tiger love, Mike, but what's with picking consistent winner Texas Tech dead last in the South? [Lincoln Journal-Star, Kansas City Star]
• Fake 40 watch. A Seattle Times profile of Washington's offseason strength and conditioning program reveals an impressive fake 40 time for 6-3, 225-pound quarterback Jake Locker: 4.39. That was the second-fastest time on the team, and faster than all but four players at February's NFL Combine. (Those four: Jacoby Ford, Trindon Holliday, Jahvid Best and C.J. Spiller, all sub-200-pound NCAA track stars.) That's not quite as fake as Terrelle Pryor's alleged 4.33 or the hordes of future Olympians at Florida and LSU, but as always, disregard all sub-4.4 40 times that aren't a) Verified on camera by an electronic clock, a la the combine, or b) Attached to a known sprinting champion. [Seattle Times]
• We accept misdemeanors. In more verifiable Husky news, Washington has added former UCLA signee Josh Shirley, one of the trio of incoming Bruins booted following a shoplifting arrest last month. All three were released from their letters of intent to UCLA, meaning Shirley – a legitimately blue-chip linebacker prospect with a better grade from Rivals than all but one member of Washington's 2010 class – will be eligible to play immediately in Seattle. [Seattle Times]
Back at UCLA, the Bruins lost another promising but troubled young 'un Thursday when sophomore offensive lineman Stan Hasiak was declared academically ineligible for the upcoming season. Coach Rick Neuheisel said Hasiak will practice with the scout team and may be back full-time in 2011, but given his track record (he was suspended indefinitely before last year's EagleBank Bowl), Bruin partisans can't be very optimistic. [L.A. Daily News]
• Fresh start for Scott. Former Colorado bust Darrell Scott told a reporter via text message that he "had a great trip to Tampa" last week, fueling speculation that one of the most massively hyped recruits of 2008 is bound for South Florida. Scott posted on his Facebook page last month that he planned to transfer to USF, in an effort to get closer to his Florida roots. (Though he was recruited out of California, he also grew up in Tallahassee and is reportedly "more of a Florida guy than a California guy.") USF coach Skip Holtz plans to announce roster decisions on Monday. [St. Petersburg Times]
• He'll bring the corn. Nebraska won't be a full-fledged member of the Big Ten until next year, but athletic director Tom Osborne will attend Big Ten meetings next week to represent the 'Huskers in talks over scheduling, how to divide the conferences into divisions, how to implement a championship game, etc. He will not, however, have an official vote in anything. [Associated Press]
Quickly... Florida receiver Frankie Hammond loses his scholarship after a DUI arrest, but can remain on the team if he can pay his own way. ... South Carolina lineman Nick Allison, who turns 19 Friday, has quit the team. ... A Texas fan comes to terms with the 2001 Big 12 Championship Game. ... A field guide to Ohio State fans in their natural habitat. ... Buckeye players, meanwhile, have already been up for hours. ... And my god, hasn't T. Boone Pickens done enough?
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.