South Alabama Sports Update 2009-10-04

October 4, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Soccer, Volleyball · Comment 

Football

The Jags next opponent, Georgia Military Junior College is 3-2 on the season with wins over Ellsworth Community College, Arkansas Baptist College and North Carolina Tech. They had an open date this weekend before traveling to Mobile for the game on October 10.

Also, starting this week, multi-year season ticket renewals begin. The USA Ticket Office announced on Friday that they will be offering Jags season ticket holders the chance to lock in their 2009 rates for the 2010 season over the course of the next month. Starting on Monday, renewal letters will be sent out to all fans who chose to sign up for the three-year season ticket plan. This plan allows fans to guarantee the same price for their seats next fall by paying 50% of their balance by November 2.

Fans with season tickets who have not yet signed up for this plan are still able to if they contact the ticket sales office before November 2.

The Jags will kickoff Saturday at 11:30am against NJCAA #17 ranked Georgia Military JC at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, October 10.

Sun Belt Football:

Arkansas State traveled to #13 Iowa and came close to having an upset. Scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter Arkansas State tried to rally, but a field goal by Iowa in the same quarter was the difference as the Hawkeyes stay undefeated 24-21.

In a high scoring game, Florida International traveled to UL-Monroe but could not get their first win of the season and lost 48-35.

Also winless Florida Atlantic hosted Wyoming but could not notch their first win either as Wyoming bested them in a close 30-28 game.

Currently the Sun Belt standings: UL-Monroe (3-2, 2-0), MTSU (3-1, 1-0), Troy (2-2, 1-0), UL-Lafayette (2-2, 0-0), Western Kentucky (0-4, 0-0), Arkansas State (1-3, 0-1), North Texas (1-3, 0-1), Florida Atlantic 0-4, 0-1) and Florida International (0-4, 0-0).

Soccer

On Friday the Jags played their first home conference game of the season when they hosted Western Kentucky in The Cage. However the Jags fell 2-0 to the lady Hilltoppers. The loss dropped the Jags to 2-8-1 on the season and are still winless in the Sun Belt at 0-2-1, while the Hilltoppers improve to 7-3-1 on the season and 2-1-0 in the Sun Belt.

Coach Vargas said the the team had problems with sickness this week. “We had eight players at practice this week, because of the flu and sickness. I told the team I didn’t want that to be an excuse or used as a crutch. We just didn’t do the little things we needed to do to be successful today.”

The Jaguars are scheduled to play Middle Tennessee at 1pm today. The Jags will be on the road next weekend to play North Texas at 7pm on Friday and Denver at noon on Sunday.

Volleyball

The Jags dropped three matches this week. On Monday the Jags dropped their match in Troy in straight sets (18-25, 23-25, 20-25). Then on Friday the Jags lost again in straight sets at Arkansas State (19-25, 14-25, 10-25). On Saturday the Jags lost 3-1 against University of Arkansas-Little Rock (16-25, 17-25, 25-16, 16-25).

With the three losses, the Jags fall to 9-9 overall but stay winless in the Sun Belt at 0-5.

Next weekend the Jags will host three opponents in three days. On Friday they play UL-Lafayette at 5pm, then University of New Orleans at 5pm on Saturday, then UL-Monroe at 1pm on Sunday.

Lagniappe Questions

September 23, 2009 · Filed Under Commentary, Football · Comment 

Lagniappe sportswriter Johnny Davis contacted us here at Thunderjags.com as well as several others with a couple questions about South Alabama’s first game. Since today the new issue is available on news stands, here is my complete answers to Mr. Davis’ questions.

Go out and grab yourself a copy of the new issue of the Laginappe, not just because there will be a couple quotes from my answers but because it is a great publication in its own right and its free.

1) What are your thoughts on the first game?
I thought the coaching staff and players did great in the first game. They performed better than most people expected, considering it was the programs first game. While about half of the team are still walk-ons, they had the benefit of practicing in the spring with the coaches and working out with the strength and conditioning coach. The first recruiting class seems to be pretty spot on in terms of what the coaching staff was looking for and the transfers they brought in gave them experience and maturity at key positions.

As for the game, they excuted their gameplan very well. They planned to run the ball more in the first game in order to take the pressure off of freshman quarterback Myles Gibbon which worked. There were a few times when Gibbon looked a bit nervous and it showed. But that is to be expected when he goes from Canadian football with a small number of spectators to over 26,000 for the Jags first game. Overall he played very well.

The offensive and defensive lines were outstanding considering they were outsized by Hargrave. Dunn and Higgenbotham are key for the Jags at linebacker with their experience and ability. However, the secondary seemed to be a bit shakey at times particularly in the second half. It will be interesting to see how they improve over the course of the season.

2) What do you see in the future for USA football?
The future of South Alabama football is a bright one. We are in a hotbed of talent here in Mobile. If you look at the quality of players that have come out of here in the last several years you can see what kind of advantage South Alabama has in the recruiting game. Then throw in the first class facilities they have on campus for the team and that just helps both preparing for games and recruiting players.

The measuring stick has been set pretty high by South Florida over the last several years since they started their program. Could South Alabama match or beat those levels? I don’t know. But I think Coach Jones has put together a great staff in a great area and their potential is through the roof.

3) How do you think USA football will affect the city of Mobile?
South Alabama football will be a huge plus for the city of Mobile. They already have Navy, Mississippi State and North Carolina State all scheduled to play at least one game in Mobile (with Navy coming here twice). MSU and NC State both have fans that will travel pretty well and will spend money whenever they travel to see their team play.

But beyond how well fans travel and how much they spend, its going to positively impact Mobile. People will look at Mobile in a different way. I think it will much easier to convince people and companies to invest in the area because they (the people of Mobile) can support a Division-I football team as well as the many other things we already do here on the gulf coast. One indication of that is while tailgating at the first game, I talked to a woman with two children who came all the way over to Mobile from Pensacola to “support their team.” This was for a team who had yet to play a single game. How exciting is that?

Thanks Johnny Davis and the Lagniappe for contacting us and mentioning our site in your article.

South Alabama Sports Update 2009-09-21

September 21, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Soccer, Volleyball · Comment 

Soccer

USA drops two games over the weekend. First the Jags traveled to Atlanta to play Georgia State. The weather forced a venue change and an early kickoff. At halftime, the Jags were only down 1-0 after a goal in the 41st minute. Then GSU added two goals in the second half to round out the final score of 3-0 to the Panthers.

From there the Jags traveled to Columbia, South Carolina for a match against the #12 ranked USC Gamecocks. The undefeated gamecocks took a 3-0 lead into halftime then scored another three goals in the second half. The Jags scored their lone goal of the weekend in the 85th minute of the match and was the first goal allowed by South Carolina this season. The final score was 6-1.

Volleyball

The Jags volleyball team traveled to Prairie View, Texas for a weekend tournament at Prairie View A&M. On Friday they had a rematch against Nicolls State that they won in straight sets 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20).

On Saturday the lady Jags first match was against Arkansas-Pine Bluff which they won in straight sets again 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-11). They then took on the tournament host for the tournament title and won in straight sets once again 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-23) to win the Lady Panther Invitational title.

Football

The Jaguars enjoyed another weekend off before beginning game-week preparation for this Saturday’s matchup against Army Prep at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

However the weekend was not very good to Sun Belt teams. North Texas traveled to Tuscaloosa to take on the #4 ranked Crimson Tide but were demolished 53-7. LSU hosted Louisiana-Lafayette but the Ragin’ Cajuns could only muster a field goal to lose 31-3. Western Kentucky hosted Central Arkansas but could only punch it into the end zone once in the first half and lost 28-7.

Louisiana-Monroe traveled to Arizona State and managed to score two touchdowns but still fell short against the Sun Devils 38-14. Florida International took on Rutgers and lost 23-15. Troy hosted in-state rival UAB and took a 10 point lead into halftime but ended up with a 27-14 win.

Then the most exciting game of the weekend saw Middle Tennessee State travel to Maryland. The game stayed close then with two seconds remaining, down 31-29 MTSU made a 32 yard field goal to win the game 32-31.

Other action: Arkansas State had an off week but are 0-2 to begin the season after losing to Mississippi Valley State and Nebraska. They will host Troy this Saturday. Florida Atlantic traveled to South Carolina but lost to the Gamecocks 38-16.

South Alabama Sports Update 2009-09-13

September 13, 2009 · Filed Under Football, Soccer, Volleyball · Comment 

Football

Coach Jones and his staff will continue with with preseason camp-like practice schedule this week before going into game week practice starting Monday, September 21. This weeks practice will continue preparing the offense for the rest of the season by continuing to add more passing plays to the playbook that will translate to more passing during game situations.

There were several upsets around the nation in week two of college football play. Several teams came off big opening week games to fall in their second game. With three weeks between the Jags first game against Hargrave Academy and their second game against Army Prep.

Army Prep lost to the JV team from West Point 21-14 but came back for a win in their second game of the season in a high scoring affair against Hudson Valley Community College 46-43. Army Prep will play Nassau Community College this weekend before their trip to Mobile to face the Jaguars.

Volleyball

The Jags opened the Jaguar Classic with a loss against Southern Mississippi on Friday but came back to win two matches on Saturday beating Nicholls State 3-1 (17-25, 28-26. 25-10, 25-13) and Jackson State 3-2 (25-12, 20-25, 25-18, 16-25, 15-8).

These two wins on Saturday improved the Jaguars record to 6-4. They will close out their non-conference tournament schedule next weekend in Prairie View, Texas for the Lady Panther Invitational. The Jags will take on Nicholls State again on Friday Sept. 18 in the opening day of the Lady Panther Invitational. Then Friday, September 25 the Jags will open their regular season SBC play at home when they host Florida Atlantic at 5pm in Jaguar Gym.

Soccer

The Jaguars match with Stetson that was scheduled for Sunday was postponed due to lightning and eventually cancelled due to an unplayable surface due to heavy rain. The Jags will next play Georgia State in Atlanta on Friday, September 18 at 6pm followed by a trip to Columbia, South Carolina for their final non-conference match of the season when they play South Carolina on Sunday, September 20.

The Jags will begin their SBC scheude in Jonesboro, Arkansas when they take on Arkansas State on Friday, September 25.

South Alabama Sports Round-Up 2009-05-28

May 28, 2009 · Filed Under Baseball, Basketball, Football, Men's, News · Comment 

Baseball

The Jaguars baseball teams season ended early in the Sun Belt Championship falling first to Troy 4-10 then again to Lousiana-Monroe 8-13. These two losses to end the season leaves the Jaguars with a 25-30 overall record for the season.

Head Coach Steve Kittrell said, “It was a tough loss, I hate for our seniors to go out like this. We’ve just got to regroup and get South Alabama back on top next year.”

However David Doss was named a Louisville Slugger third team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Doss hit .378 with 20 doubles, 12 homeruns and 59 RBI’s as a senior. He was a four-year letter winner.

Men’s Basketball

Head Basketball Coach Ronnie Arrow announced on Tuesday that DeAndrae Ross and C.J. Garner will leave the program and transfer to another school.

Ross is a shooting guard that played in 27 games last season with six starts. He averaged 3.8 points per game.

Garner started 16 times as a point guard and appeared in 28 games last season. He averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game as well as 37 assists for the season.

Coach Arrows’ comments about them were, “Both of these young men contributed significantly to our team development last year and helped us get to the finals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.” He further added, “But they both decided it would be in their best interest to transfer and we wish them the best.”

Football

Head Coach Joey Jones and his staff are teaming up with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers to help save lives in Mobile and Baldwin counties with the Community Champions Blood Drive.

On Saturday, from 10AM to 3PM, Jones and his staff will be at LifeSouth’s donor center at 967 Hillcrest Road to donate blood and to encourage others to do the same. Also they will be delivering a piece of history that one lucky Jaguar fan will get.

The entire coaching staff have signed a football that will be given away on June 27th. During the month of June, every donor has the opportunity to enter a drawing to win the ball in addition to a signed banner that will be displayed during the first ever USA Football game on September 5th, 2009.

Additionally, the incoming players are now on campus and taking summer courses and getting prepared for the Fall season.

The NCAA Makes Some Decisions On The Use Of Twitter

May 20, 2009 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Twitter has emerged to be a huge social networking tool that can be used to help make lasting connections in the community. We use the Twitter account USAThunderjags to help promote the website, pass on up-to-date information and chat with South Alabama fans who are following us. Personally, I have made lots of contacts in the Mobile area for many things. It was only a matter of time before someone picked it up for recruiting. While its not as prevalent in high school kids as Facebook, it is the new way to keep in touch.

A few high profile coaches have gotten on the twitter train. Pete Carroll, Tom Crean, John Calipari and Gary Williams namely. But since that has came out, there has been some debate about just what coaches are and are not allowed to do on the platform.

Tom Crean tweeted this a few weeks ago: “I appreciate how many people are following me on this. Please remember that I cannot read or respond to replies. NCAA rules.” Then Kathleen Hessert, who is the President of Sports Media Challenge and also the person responsible for teaching Shaquille O’neil how to use Twitter, responded with: “Really? Compliance pros differ significantly on this. It needs clarity!”

The NCAA said that Crean is correct, any type of twittering back and forth using @replies that can be viewed in the public domain is not allowed. However, direct messaging on Twitter, which can be only viewed by the two people involved in the communication is permissible because it is seen as being equivalent to email. The same can go for facebook too. A coach can use the messaging function (similar to email) but can’t write on anyones wall. This is according to the current electronic transmission guidelines that are in place by the NCAA.

Cameron Schuh who is an Associate Director of Public and Media Relations for the NCAA said that they view the direct message option in Twitter the same way they view emails. You cannot post those on your main page. Schuh goes on and says that they view Twitter as a blog. “As long as coaches are on there talking about what they’re doing with their day and how their practice went or things like that … not getting into specific terms, that’s fine. They can’t talk about a person they’re recruiting, or they can’t use it to talk about their whereabouts on a recruiting trip.”

All of this applies to Coaches and recruits. But you will rarely, if ever, see a coach talking back and forth with fans on Twitter because compliance officers have strongly recommended that coaches should not do that. Why? Because you just never know who is behind the keyboard. Tennessee and Lane Kiffin found this out that hard way this week. There is no way to monitor who is and who is not a recruit by the name on someone’s account.

Plus, the logistics of having to respond to hundreds of replies would be a nightmare for a coach, they could literally spend entire days replying to fans posts without getting anything else done and still not be able to reply to each message.

Additionally, Twitter only allows Direct Messages between mutually following friends. Thus unless a coach is following a recruit and vice versa, direct messaging would not be able to occur through their official accounts.

Later the NCAA changed what they said and stated this: “In Division I, there are no specific NCAA restrictions to what kind of interaction a coach can have with a fan (on Twitter),” said Cameron Schuh, Associate Director of Public and Media Relations for the NCAA. “With that being said, that kind of interaction would fall under institutional discretion and would hopefully be closely monitored by the school and the coach.” Which seems to be in line with what the compliance officer said.

Are any coaches actually replying to anyone? Yes. Pete Carroll exchanged tweets with the official Lakers twitter account, but that hardly counts I would say.

So what can you take away from this? It shows that these bylaws are still being sorted out as they apply to new mediums, such as Twitter, as they pop up. Most of the time the NCAA is unsure of just how to enact them and how they apply. It seems that everything is sorted out for now. But one thing I am sure of is that the compliance officers are trying to err on the side of caution to help keep their programs out of any problems with the NCAA.

The Lane Kiffin/Tennessee Twitter story. Lane Kiffin didn’t even write the twitter post that has thrust Tennessee back into the headlines this week. Bascially what came out about that is that Tennessee is going to self-report another secondary NCAA violation after a high school recruit was mentioned by name on Tuesday on Lane Kiffin’s Twitter page. It was not Kiffin himself that wrote the post, but rather it was an employee in the football office who was updating Kiffin’s Twitter page for him.

It was up for about an hour before it was removed by Tennessee officials, however and hour in Internet time can be equated to an eternity. The NCAA rules prohibits coaches and athletic department employees from commenting about or publicizing unsigned prospects in any way.

Apparently the post originated from one of Kiffin’s personal assistants, which just so happened to be their first day. He posted the message on the Twitter page without asking about compliance.

This is the second such error by Kiffin that Tennessee has had to self-report involving an unsigned prospect. Back in February, he mentioned a player by name on a radio talk show in Knoxville and referred to him as a great player. Brown was still allowed to sign with Tennessee after they self-reported the violation.

Alabama seems to be using Twitter wisely. They use their Twitter account RollWithTheTide to tweet out what their assistant coaches are doing. For instance, earlier today this tweet was posted “Williams: practices and scrimmages all day today”. Then on May 17th this was posted, “Mac: travel day so i can get an early start first thing in the morning”. Back on May 12th, “Crimson Caravan Tonight in Panama City, FL– anxious to see all the fans”. Nothing wrong with those, nothing directed at people and no recruits names being used, yet you get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Alabama staff.

If you have an account on Twitter, then please follow USAThunderjags to receive the latest news and postings from Thunderjags.com  You can also follow me on Twitter as well.

Go Jags!

Some links to help you understand what twitter is.

South Alabama Sports Round-Up 2009-05-18

May 18, 2009 · Filed Under Baseball, Football, Soccer · Comment 

Baseball

The Jaguars got into the Sun Belt Championship by taking two of three against Troy at Stanky Field. Winning the first two 6-5 and 13-6 but losing the third 7-12.

The Championship begins on Wednesday in Troy, Alabama. The first day will see #4 FIU take on #5 ULL at 9am, #1 MTSU vs #8 FAU at 12:30pm, #2 WKU vs #7 ULM at 4:00pm and a fourth consecutive matchup between #3 Troy and #6 USA at 6:30pm.

Soccer

The Jaguars Soccer team has released their 2009 schedule with notable matchups against University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Florida State, Auburn and the University of Alabama lined up. Their season will start August 22nd in Hattiesburg against USM. You can see their full schedule here.

Football

We have 109 days until kickoff of the University of South Alabama Jaguar Football’s inaugural season at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on September 5th.

Go Jags!

Sports Round-Up For 2009-05-14

May 14, 2009 · Filed Under Baseball, Basketball, Football, Men's, News, Softball, Tennis · Comment 

Football

Football keeps getting closer. With 113 days until kickoff of the first season in South Alabama history another small, yet historic mark creeps up upon us. Season ticket holders will begin choosing their seats at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Tuesday, May 19th. This process begins for 4,500 individuals who have already made the commitment for the 2009 season. The USA Ticket Sales Office is recommending that all season ticket holders select their seats over the phone. It can be done in person, however individuals who come to campus may experience a delay in choosing their location.

Baseball

Men’s Baseball has dropped their last four games, all at home. They dropped three over the weekend to FIU with scores of 1-9, 15-21 and 7-8. Then on Tuesday night they lost to Southern Miss at Stanky field, 5-7.

Starting tonight, the Jaguars, 11-15 in the SBC, have a three game home series against in state rival Troy to round out the regular season. These three games are crucial for the Jags because if they get swept then the Jags may not make it into the Sun Belt Conference Championship tournament in Troy.

So come out and help the Jags win some crucial games.

Softball

Unfortunately the Jaguars softball team were knocked out of the SBC tournament last week in Denton, Texas. The Jags beat #3 WKU in the first round but fell to #7 FAU in the second round to fall into the losers bracket where they lost the rematch with #3 WKU to be eliminated from the tournament. #1 seeded ULL lost their first round matchup with #8 ULM but ground out five consecutive wins to win the SBC Championship title.

USA Junior Beth Pilgrim became the first South Alabama softball player to be named to the Sun Belt Conference All-Tournament team for her performance at the SBC Championship last week. This is her third conference honor this year. She was previously named Pitcher of the Week on April 6th and second-team All-Conference on May 5th.

Basketball

Coach Arrow added two names to the list this week. USA announced Rob Phillips signed a national letter of intent to play at USA. He is a 6’2″ shooting guard who is currently attending Charis Prep School in Goldsboro, N.C. He averaged 23.1 points per game, 56.9% from 3-point range and 92% from the free throw line for Charis.

Also P.J. Reyes signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for USA. Reyes is a 6’4″ wing from Lamar Community College in Lamar, CO. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He started 33 games and averaged 20.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 47%.

Tennis

As reported yesterday, the Men’s Tennis program was hit with the news that they were found guilty of major infractions on Tuesday by the NCAA.

The violations as stated by the NCAA include unethical conduct by the former head coach Scott Novak, the University’s failure to monitor, impermissible financial aid and loans, improper student-athlete certification and an impermissible decrease in athletic scholarships.

The penalties include placing the program on probation for three years, including a postseason ban in 2010, the loss of scholarships and the forfeiture of past wins and championships. The number of scholarships have been reduced from 4.5 to 2.72 per year through 2011. The full write-up about this can be found here.

Jaguars Unveil New Uniform After Spring Game

April 12, 2009 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
helmet were all white with the Jaguar logo on both sides of the helmet and the hip of the pants. “I wanted to go with a traditional look,” Coach Jones said, “We came up with a uniform that we are very excited about.” Then after an opportunity for photos of the uniform, and a few words from Travis Toth, the fans were allowed to enter the field for autographs from the players and coaches.

Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-11-19

November 19, 2008 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · Comment 

Some technical glitches plagued the beginning of the show but everything got fixed and the Joey Jones Show aired the rest of the way without any problems.

One of the first things brought up was uniforms that the team will be sporting come football season 2009. After a couple of helmet designs were shown and voted on by the players and coaches they settled on silver helmets with the new Jaguar logo on the side and red bars for the facemask. The jersey will be solid red with large numbers on the front and back as well as numbers on the sleeves and possibly “Jaguars” written across the top, front. I suspect the numbers will be white trimmed in blue but I think two paw prints would be good on the front on either side of the “Jaguars”. The pants will be silver with red white and blue stripes down the side.

This uniform will be reminiscent of Ohio State University’s uniform. Coach Jones also wants to have a reward system similar to OSU and FSU which could be paw print stickers that would be put on the helmet.

On the scheduling front, Coach Jones said that they were getting quite close to finalizing next years schedule but also have been in contact with several other schools for future scheduling such as LSU, Texas A&M and another school I was unable to hear due to the glitches mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Lee Shirvanian asked about practices, if they are open to the public and what their schedule is since many people who talk to him has been asking the same questions. Coach Jones said that the Spring practice sessions would probably be Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with scrimmages held on Saturday and they would be open to the public. They will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They could be held on the intramural fields but they do not have a dressing facility and the administration at Ladd will allow them to have their sleds and other practice gear on the field there.

Lee’s questions about the number of student athletes who are still coming out for practice and Coach Jones most memorable Iron Bowl game were both cut off by the last of the technical glitches of the day.

But this led to a short talk about planning. Their plan was crumbling and so they had to improvise. That is paralleled from a coaching standpoint. Each week the coaches come up with a game plan to implement against an opponent. It is impossible to have both a fool proof plan and perfect execution in order to implement that plan without any improvisation on the part of the coaches. Its essential for coaches to be able to adapt a game plan on the fly and in the locker room at halftime. But great coaches have their players prepared to do the same. For example, the offensive line needs to know how to react in order to properly block a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense. But what about the other defenses that they may see? They could see a 4-4, a 5-2-4, a nickle or a dime defense (we’re not talking about money or nickle and diming a team to death). Good coaches have their players ready for improvisation.

This will be South Alabama’s first recruiting class. So starting on December 1st, the coaching staff can start to go out and meet with kids one time. All of the coaches will be involved in recruiting. Coach Jones talked with Athletic Director Joe Gottfried and they agreed that every coach needs to be out from day 1 until the last day they can be recruiting according to NCAA rules. Each coach will have an area they are recruiting and Coach Jones will be traveling to meet with and help each coach in their respective area.

Lee asked what is the mixture of home visits and school visits. Coach Jones answered that obviously both have advantages and disadvantages. With school visits you get to meet the principle and teachers to see how they are doing academically. Those people can be a big influence on their decision making and help them go where it will be best for them, which is hopefully USA. Other kids can see the presence of South Alabama and could start thinking about it as a place to go. But ultimately it good to visit in the home where the decisions are made with Mom and Dad.

Lee then asked Coach Jones if he knew how many verbal commitments are solid and how many are wavering. Coach Jones said that the assistant coaches are calling recruits weekly and they get to know the kids and can tell how they are feeling. They get a sense about their commitment levels based on talking with them. But you occasionally get a surprise and have to regroup.

The coaches have a list of positions to fill and then they have a list of kids for those position. Based on many factors the kids are rated and listed in order for those posisitons. Obviously they want to land the kid on the top of the list but it doesn’t alway happen. Larger schools are recruiting against other large schools and if they lose that recruit, then they can come in and get USA’s top recruit for a position. So they have the list of kids or positions and they are in contact with many of them at a time. If their top recruit is snatched up they continue working on the next in line. Its the food chain of college sports.

One thing that Lee Shirvanian pointed out was that we could participate in JV games. Coach Jones agreed but also said that he has talked to some schools about that many do not do that, they simply focus on the Varsity team and its games. It would be a good way for 3rd string or even lower kids to gain experience however.

The last bit on recruiting that I will talk about and was brought up in the radio show was how well Nick Saban recruits for Alabama. Part of it is how he stays up on the rules but how he can find legal ways around the rules. While a coach can not meet wtih recruits during certain parts of the season, he can video conference with them. This was talked about last year. He found an innovative way to talk to kids which is not explicitly forbidden in the scope of the NCAA rules.

For those Jaguar fans in Mobile area, keep your eyes and ears open. I would expect some event to show off the new uniform to the public in the near future. The timing will obviously depend on when all aspects of the uniform and finalized and when a complete uniform can be produced for public viewing. Until then get your season tickets for the 2009 season tickets now and come out to support the basketball teams.

Go Jags!

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