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South Alabama Sports Round-Up 2009-07-06

July 6, 2009 · Filed Under Football, News · 1 Comment 

Summer is that time of year when college sports really slows down. Baseball season has ended, football camp is about a month away and most people are trying to find some way to beat the heat. But now that there is some news to write about and its a mere 60 days until kickoff of the inaugural South Alabama football season, we have another South Alabama Sports Round-Up to get out.

Athletic Director

With less than a month until Joe Gottfried hangs up his AD hat for retirement, South Alabama has not been forthcoming about potential replacements as of yet. However I would expect that to start to ramp up very soon with the committee set to reconvene sometime early this month to review candidates. President Moulton has gave the committee a target date of September 1st to have the job filled.

The Mobile Press-Register wrote not too long ago about some candidates that were interested in the position, two of them with previous ties to the university and Mobile itself. John Hartwell, who is the executive associate athletic director for Ole Miss and Joel Erdmann who is the Athletic Director at Southeastern Louisiana have both confirmed that they are interested in the position.

But Erdmann and Hartwell are not the only ones expressing interest in the position. Johnny Williams, former AD at Troy University, has expressed interest in the job. Plus people close to Birmingham-Southern AD Joe Dean Jr. has indicated that he might be interested in the position as well.

Dr. John Smith, vice president for student affairs and faculty athletics representative, is chairing the search committee and has stated that as of late June, there have been 23 applications received for the position with more expected to be received.

Erdmann and Hartwell speak highly of the potential that USA has since the addition of football to its sports program and likening the potential of South Alabama’s success to the quick rise of South Florida since the inception of football at their school.

Football

Speaking of football, coach Jones said that about 95% of USA’s scholarship players were on campus for the first summer session which started in May. Now with the second summer session starting in late June, Coach Jones now has 100% of his scholarship kids on campus as well as most of their walk-ons as well.

Most of the kids have already qualified with the exception of a couple kids they are waiting to see how well they do in summer classes. Matt Autry is expected to enroll in Jones County JC and hopefully will rejoin the Jaguars once he has gained eligibility.

In order to get down to the 30 scholarship limit for the 2009 class, there will be several players grayshirted. So far the grayshirts for this year will be Linebacker Mytez Madden, Saftey Zach Brownell, Defensive Lineman Will Thompson and ATH Mardavian Martin. Jared Palmer, WR from Tuscaloosa, will either be grayshirted or will attend JC depending on his academics. QB Early James and OL Chris Payne, who were mid-semester JC signees, have left the program.

August 2nd will be the first official team meetings and will becing practice on August 4th. Coach Jones anticipates a healthy roster to being practice with only a few players involved in minor rehab at this time. Receiver Christopher Pugh has a torn meniscus, but is currently working out and going to rehab and hopes to be ready once practice starts. Also it was overheard that Coach Turner (one of the brothers) had a staph infection on his hand. I don’t have any details about what type of infection he might have had, but its probably the a simple infection due to a cut.

Staph Infection from WebMD: “About 25% of people normally carry staph in the nose, mouth, genitals, and anal area. The foot is also very prone to pick up bacteria from the floor. The infection often begins with a little cut, which gets infected with bacteria. These staph infections range from a simple boil to antibiotic-resistant infections to flesh-eating infections. The difference between all these is how deep and how fast the infection spreads, and how treatable it is with antibiotics. The antibiotic-resistant infections are more common in North America, because of our overuse of antibiotics. The type of staph infection that involves skin is called cellulitis and affects the skin’s deeper layers. It is treatable with antibiotics. This type of infection is very common in the general population — and more common and more severe in people with weak immune systems. People who have diabetes or weakened immunity are particularly prone to developing cellulitis.”

Obviously lots of interest will be on the quarterback position starting in August. With the #1 guy in the spring, Matt Saucier, moving to safety, the position is really up for grabs. The most experienced should be Oregan State transfer Brennan Sim. But Nic Owens, Myles Gibbon and Kyle Stewart will definitely be battling for the starting position.

Coach Jones was quoted saying, “We have four good candidates coming in. The he hard part of that is that we’re going to have to give reps to someone and get them ready. People don’t realize that when you are starting a new program you have to make a decision on a quarterback fairly quick because if you fool around for two weeks and give four people all the reps than they won’t know many of the plays. We’re going to have to do a great job of evaluating those kids in the first week. I think at the end of the first week we need to decide who is one, two and three, not that it will be etched in stone.”

Like I have been saying, what is probably the best situation for the Jags is to have Brennan Sim (JR) to win the starting job with one of the freshmen as his backup. Then giving the other two a redshirt to give them an extra year of maturity and understanding of Coach Gregory’s system.

Season tickets sales are around 6.000 so far and USA has a goal of selling 10,000. With that many season ticket holders, the Jaguars would lead the Sun Belt before even playing their first season. If you haven’t purchased your season tickets yet, what are you waiting for? Saturday afternoons in Mobile will be a great answer to ‘what are we doing this weekend?’ and for $85 for seven games, you’re not going to get off that cheap anywhere else.