Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been selected as the Most Outstanding Overall Player during Reese’s Senior Bowl practices, the top honor in the Alabama Power Practice Awards.
“Donald is a very explosive defensive tackle,” said Mike Smith, the coach of the Atlanta Falcons who is guiding the North team this week. “I’ve been very impressed with him. He’s short in stature by NFL standards and doesn’t maybe have all the measurables, but he’s one of the more explosive guys we have on the North squad. He’s done a very nice job both in the running and the pass game.”
Last year, Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher was selected by NFL scouts as the Most Outstanding Overall Player during practices for the Senior Bowl, and he went on to be the first player selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.
As I have said, Donald will take a hit on his draft status at the NFL Combine as teams get hung up on measurables, but I believe he won’t get past the second round.
VT blog, The Key Play has a great post detailing the money race in college athletics. As the post notes, the numbers for Pitt are based on the Big East days, so Pitt should see a nice bounce in their numbers, but it also puts a really good perspective on how far behind Pitt is from a lot of other programs with the money. Something that is very much institutional. Also worth a look is their discussion in the comments about just how much should be on the backs of students via fees that are essentially a subsidy for the athletic department.
At Pitt, I’m not sure what sort of subsidy — if any — comes from student fees. There is apparently no line item for athletic fees in Pitt’s tuition bill. I have trouble believing the athletic department doesn’t get some money from student fees, but it may be rolled right into the general tuition costs. Got to love the insanely loophole filled disclosure requirements in the Commonwealth for public universities.
Speaking of arms races, this article from the end of the summer on Temple dreaming of their own on-campus football stadium would be a funny, distorted mirror of delusions.
“Every university wants an on-campus stadium,” [Temple President Neil] Theobald said in a recent interview in his office. “That’s five years out. We probably won’t make a decision for a year or two. If we had a stadium now, we couldn’t use it, because we’ve got five years left with the Eagles.”
But Theobald uses the words “certainly under consideration.”
In this present climate where state and city funding aren’t going to build a stadium, is this at all realistic?
Theobald put it this way: “Several million dollars a year in TV revenue generates a bonding capability. I think if we were going to move forward – and, again, this is way out there – it would need to have a community aspect. We would love to have the high schools play there. It would certainly have an academic piece.”
He talked of the possibility of classrooms inside the stadium.
“This wouldn’t just be a football stadium that gets used six times a year and just sits there the rest of the time,” the president said.
That if it wasn’t so tragically sad when juxtaposed with what Temple did to their athletic programs barely 3 months later:
The petitions are starting – the gymnastics community out of the gate first, trying to resurrect a sport that’s been on Temple’s campus since 1926 – with more outrage arriving from places you would expect, and can respect.
The Schuylkill Navy, in charge of rowing on the river, distributed an open letter expressing how it was “shocked and saddened” Temple had gone from trying to build a new boathouse to dropping the sport completely, and how it supports all efforts to get the school to reconsider.
Temple’s administration prepared for all that with military precision before it rolled out its announcement Friday that seven sports would be cut.
Men’s track and field, gymnastics, men’s and women’s rowing, baseball, and softball all got the axe. Temple runs an annual deficit in their athletic department. Their recent attempts to return to better football levels have only deepened the mess as the athletic department apparently loses $7 million annually.
Finally my very belated #HotSprotsTake on Penn State hiring a new football coach. It was a good hire. James Franklin was probably the best guy out there, and they got him. I give them kudos for going out and getting the best guy they could — even if he leaves for a NFL job in 2-3 years — rather than overreacting and going for the safe pick of someone “who wants to be there” or is a “Penn State guy.”
As for its impact on Pitt and recruiting. I’m not convinced it will have too much of an impact. Yes, Franklin paid lip service to owning Pennsylvania, but the real emphasis for PSU has and will be more in Maryland and New Jersey. Now the Terrapins and Rutgers, should be stressed. Not only with Franklin coming back to haunt them. But also with Larry Johnson leaving PSU for Ohio State. There should be some fireworks.