Ohio State Cheerleader Josh Springer Makes the Buckeyes Football Team

This is one of the more unusual stories I’ve heard lately. Josh Springer is a cheerleader at Ohio State, but he also played other sports in high school. Springer apparently decided to try out for the football team and made the squad, even though he’s a junior. Ordinarily you wouldn’t think a cheerleader could cross over into football, considering how tough the game is (especially at a monster program like Ohio State). But this Springer guy looks pretty stacked, and from what Busted Coverage said, he runs like a 4.4 40 or so. I guess this is like the new trend in the Big 10, considering what Indiana did allowing their team manager to play in a few basketball games this year.

I have no idea if Springer will ever play or see any action, but this is still a cool story for him. I can’t even imagine what they hazing will be like when he steps into that locker room, yikes. And this certainly will fuel some barbs by the rest of the conference. Are you getting your jokes prepared, Michigan?

Lane Kiffin Is Writing Checks His Team Better be Able to Cash

In the brief few months since Lane Kiffin became head coach at Tennessee, he’s managed to offend Urban Meyer and Florida football … twice, piss off Nick Saban at Alabama, and take a shot at Steve Spurrier and South Carolina. At first I thought Kiffin’s actions were kind of cool — he was trying to step into a down situation and re-energize it; he sought out the biggest dogs in the pack and picked a fight. I liked his moxie and his attitude. But now with this latest story on what he said to recruit Alshon Jeffrey, I’m starting to change my opinion of Lane. Here’s Jeffrey explaining his story from the time he decided on attending South Carolina over Southern California and Tennessee:

Kiffin was equally dogged. But when it was obvious that Jeffrey wasn’t going to Tennessee, Kiffin took off the gloves.

According to Jeffrey and Wilson, Kiffin told Jeffrey that if he chose the Gamecocks, he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina.

Jeffrey was doing his best to stay awake at that point, but that comment from Kiffin woke him up. He clearly hasn’t forgotten it, either.

Now that’s just an unnecessary low blow. It’s times like that where true colors and real character are revealed. I’m never one to use negative recruiting as part of my process; I’m all about showing off the positives of our place. Saying something like that can really touch a nerve considering how offensive it is to so many people. It also isn’t the smartest thing to say to a kid who’s already decided on a school. I’m starting to realize that maybe Kiffin doesn’t have a filter and that’s why he’s saying as much as he is. Like I pointed out, he’s writing some checks his team better be able to cash in the fall.

Tony Mandarich Explains How to Pass an NCAA Urine Test

So Tony Mandarich has come clean on his use of steroids back when he played for Michigan State. The use of the roids allowed him to beef up, become super-human, and get drafted second overall by the Green Bay Packers in ’89. Mandarich has written a tell-all book to explain his addiction to painkillers and alcohol. He also sat down with Sports Illustrated 20 years later to apologize for lying to them about his use of roids in a cover story. Probably the best part of the article is the blow-by-blow for how Mandarich passed his urine tests. Check it out, from Mandarich’s point of view:

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Maker’s Mark Billboard Pokes Fun at Michigan Football

Those chaps over at Maker’s Mark are probably patting themselves on the back for the extra publicity they’ve received from their ad. Maybe this will be a trend in the advertising field. Or not, considering mgoblog is considering a boycott on behalf of Michigan. Anyway, check out the large banner appearing in Columbus that has Michigan fans so upset, from mgoblog via Will Brinson at FanHouse.

Well, give them an “A” for creativity, and another prize for honesty considering Wolverine fans probably needed lots of liquid to get them through a 3-9 season last year. I guess the one downside to this sort of “attack ad” would be Michael Jordan’s famous quote on why he didn’t endorse Democrats in politics — “Republicans buy sneakers, too” he famously said. Maybe Maker’s never heard that one.

Arizona Football’s Recruiting Sales Pitch: We Have the Best Cheerleaders

Chalk this up as a first for Arizona football making it on LBS. With national signing day fresh in everyone’s mind, I feel there’s no better time to break out with this story. Some high school players were asked in the latest edition of Sporting News Magazine about the most creative recruiting tactic used by a school. Matt Barkley who committed to USC said it was a box full of fake money with the faces of the coaching staff on the bills, sent by Colorado. He says it was to show how much a four-year education costs. I have other ideas. Anyway, my favorite anecdote comes from OL John Martinez from Salt Lake City who committed to USC. Here’s what he had to say:

I think it was Arizona that sent me a letter about their cheerleaders, that they have the best cheerleaders. I don’t know — it was just crazy. It was a letter saying it, and then they had pictures of them, pictures of the cheerleaders during the game and stuff.”

To be truthful, if you sent me a box full fake bills with the mugs of a coaching staff on the faces or a letter with pictures of cheerleaders, I know where I’m going. We’ve all seen He Got Game or at least heard the stories of the way recruits get taken care of sexually on their visits, and this basically confirms it. I’d also like to add that I knew a bunch of chicks who worked as “student recruiters” for the athletic department when I was at UCLA. Now I know why Karl Dorrell never got any five-star recruits.

The Tim Tebow Effect: Homeschooling Now More Popular

Tim Tebow is so wonderful that spending five minutes around him will make you a better person. Take it from Thom Brennamanhe knows. Anyway, it’s become pretty common knowledge that Tebow was homeschooled prior to attending the University of Florida. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that the homeschooling rates are up dramatically since that time. An LBS reader who works in the field of education sent in this article citing a recent study that says homeschooling has grown 36% since 2003. Our Heisman winner set foot on the campus at Gainesville in 2006. Coincidence? I think not. Top reasons for homeschooling?

When the parents were asked which one of the selected reasons for homeschooling was the most important, religious or moral instruction was the highest with 36 percent. For 21 percent of parents, the most important reason was concern about the school environment, and for 17 percent, it was dissatisfaction with the academic instruction available at other schools. Other reasons, including family time, finances, travel and distance, were cited by 14 percent of parents.

What the study did not publish was that a whopping 38% of parents cited Tim Tebow as a reason for having their kids homeschooled. And why not? The guy won the Tour de France riding a unicycle, has counted to infinity twice, and Superman wears his pajamas. OK, I was kidding about that 38% thing, but I’ll bet he’s a factor in the proliferation of homeschooling lately; he’s gotta be their poster-child.

Doug Williams: Rooney Rule Wouldn’t Work in College Football, Still Need More Black Coaches

Doug Williams was in Tampa on Tuesday for Super Bowl week. Williams was the MVP of Super Bowl 22 with the Redskins and also was the first Black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. Additionally, Williams was a successful coach at Grambling State and was thought to be a strong candidate for the Kentucky opening back in ’02. The job went to Rich Brooks who turned out to be a good hire, but not getting the job obviously has left a strong impact on Williams. He gave his thoughts on the lack of Black coaches in college football and the Rooney Rule during an interview with the 2 Live Stews on Sporting News Radio:

“I certainly don’t think the Rooney Rule would be effective in college. If you look around at Auburn and everybody else, they interviewed some African-American coaches to say that at least we interviewed ‘em and it’s kind of like a token situation, which is unfair. I thought Turner Gill had the job — I think he would have been an awesome fit.

When you look at all the kids that are out there on the football field, 65-70% of them are African-American. Somewhere along the line, you have to put somebody out there that looks like them … get them an opportunity to say ‘After my playing career is over with, I might be able to coach at Auburn, Alabama, LSU, or Florida.’ But you’re telling them that you can play for me, but you can’t coach for me?”

Williams is so soured on the college game that he says the best option for a Black coach is to go to the NFL. He also says the main reason Black head coaches aren’t hired at major programs is because of the boosters:
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