Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Casey Clausen. …
- Another SEC Media Days is in the books, and what a human zoo it was.
A record crowd breaking 1,239 media, bowl representatives and who knows who gathered in search of inside information on the 14 football programs and marquee stars such at South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, Texas A&M's Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron just to name a few.
The mid-summer event has more than doubled in attendance since 2004 when attendance reached 500. There were 13 different stations coaches and players had to show up for, making for long, long days for everyone involved.
The main room for print media was filled to more than capacity. It was more cramped for space than I have ever seen and the same was true in the two rooms reserved for TV reporters, not counting CBS and ESPN, which reportedly sent 10 college football writers.
Radio Row continues to mushroom. It covers both sides of a long hallway leading from the Wynfrey Hotel's first floor to the Galleria mall. This year, with 37 radio stations represented, a number of radio tables had to be placed outside that hall and into the mall.
I can't imagine what it will look like when the SEC expands to 16 teams. Perhaps the new Nashville Convention Center should explore booking the event, as the current contract has one year remaining.
- Part of SEC Commissioner Mike Slive's job is to monitor those unflattering off-field incidents in which SEC athletes have been involved.
Topping this year's list were Alabama and Vanderbilt. Both teams released four football players. Alabama had four players allegedly involved in an on-campus robbery. More recently, Vanderbilt dismissed four players this summer after an alleged sex crime, one that has been reported as taking place in a Vanderbilt dorm room.
Slive knows it is virtually impossible to maintain a clean slate when college age athletes are involved.
“We are not naive enough to think we can end unacceptable behavior,'' Slive said in his Media Days address. “But that doesn't mean we will not try, try, try.''
- If you watched the ESPYs last week, the highlight was former Nashville TV reporter Robin Roberts' acceptance speech after she won the Arthur Ashe Award.
Roberts has been battling breast cancer, not once, but twice. It involved taking a bone marrow transplant from her sister.
As you can imagine, she was emotional and rightfully so. The woman has been through hell and back, but still fights. Every day.
Hers weren't the only tears shed at the ceremony and on those watching on television across the country. I confess my eyes weren't dry, having known her when she was just starting in TV here. At that time Robin did more soft news and entertainment reports than sports. When she moved to Atlanta, she was strictly a sports reporter and her career took off.
Born in a military family, Robin learned how to handle difficult situations and it has been her family that she has leaned on the most as she fought her battles.
- I know voting is a privilege, but a record 243 media votes were cast for All-SEC teams at SEC Media Days.
An astounding 20 voters omitted South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney from their ballots. First, if they are that uninformed, they need to have voting privileges revoked. Then, they need to line them up and let Clowney put these clowns in a headlock and give them a noogie.
- LSU Coach Les Miles has been hanging around former Tigers basketball coach Dale Brown a bit much. He's beginning to sound like Daddy Dale.
While pontificating in the print media room, the top Tiger mentioned the Harlem Shake, one of the strength and conditioning coaches researching benefits of using hyperbaric oxygen chambers, tried to imitate an Australian accent as the Tigers punter Jamie Keehn is first on LSU's depth chart. He is a 6-4, 220-pounder sophomore from Miners Rest, Australia.
Miles came out against coaches offering kids scholarships before they reach puberty. But the Wizard did make an exception.
“LeBron James? We would have recruited and offered him in the second grade.''
- Maybe it's me, but it seemed Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin is much more interesting when he can speak his mind, than he is when forbidden about talking about something negative about his football program.
It will be interesting to see how forthright he will be when the ongoing investigation is completed and Franklin can talk about it.
I asked Franklin at SEC Media Days how the incident has affected him personally. That had nothing to do with what the four suspended players are accused of. The ongoing police investigation doesn't include Franklin, so why was he not free to talk about how it changed his life?
- Nashville's Brandt Snedeker made a great comeback in Saturday's British Open after a disappointing 79 in the second round. The Vanderbilt graduate shot his way back in the game with a 69.
On Friday, he missed some putts he usually makes in his sleep. If he gets his putter going, he could finish top five today.
The drug Snedeker is using to increase bone mass is also a drug prescribed for women who have had breast cancer. One e-mailed me that she can identify with Snedeker having to give himself two shots in his stomach every day.
- I thought Tiger Woods was going to control his potty mouth when he started wearing a Buddhist bracelet that he claimed gave him serenity.
It wasn't serenity that was heard by several of my Facebook friends after Woods hit a bad shot. They said the microphones picked it up loud and clear when Woods let out a “GD…F-bomb''.
One announcer chastised him, but that was all. Woods needs to be aware at all times on the course. He has been around the game more than enough to know this. You think any young kids who are learning the game want to hear that from the No. 1 golfer in the world?
- Georgia's Mark Richt might be the nicest guy in the business. A true gentleman to the point that some Bulldogs fans accuse him of not being a fire-breathing motivator.
Bulldogs defensive end Garrison Smith shared a moment when asked about Richt's anger management “issues.''
“I've seen Coach Richt so mad before that he almost said a curse word.''
- Tennessee has a verbal commitment from Vols legacy Todd Kelly Jr., for the 2014 class.
The rising senior defensive back is considered to be one of the country's top five safeties.
He validated that during an invitation-only trip to TOP GUN Camp in Dublin, Ohio last weekend. Former NFL player and Kelly's coach at the camp, Kwamie Lassiter, was impressed.
“He's very seasoned to be such a young guy. Very astute, pays attention in the classroom, which is huge,” Lassiter said. “He takes the classroom and transcends it to the field and that's how he continues to get better everyday.''
Kelly is ranked 75th in the country and No. 5 among safeties by 247 Sports.
- Vanderbilt's football media guide includes the four players dismissed from the team and school for their alleged involvement in a recent sex crime.
The suspensions came after the media guide had gone to the printers and it was too late to make the changes. They would have had to print new media guides, a costly expense.
By the way, if you collect college football media guides, better get all of those you can get. This is the final season they will appear in print. From now on, they will only be available via digital Internet.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.