Friday, June 29, 2007

GARCIA GETS PTI

South Carolina fans' favorite ruffian, Stephen Garcia, has decided to submit to PTI as punishment for a life of crime.


No, not that PTI punishment.

Garcia will go the the special, USC section of the pretrial program, home to such distinguished alumni as Derek Watson and Syvelle Newton.

Stephen Garcia received good news Friday, even as he deals with a new, minor obstacle to playing quarterback for the South Carolina football team.
The freshman was accepted into a diversion program that would clear two misdemeanor charges from Garcia’s record once he completes the program. ...
The charges stemmed from a pair of arrests in a two-week span in February and March. The first charge was public drunkenness, and the second was malicious injury to personal property. Police dropped a second charge in the first incident, failure to stop on a police command. In the second incident, Garcia admitted keying the car of a visiting professor from Claflin University.
Garcia’s lawyer, Neal Lourie, expects the player’s PTI program to include community service and counseling. ...
Meanwhile, Garcia is suffering from a sprained right knee, his father and a team spokesman confirmed. The injury is not serious, and he is expected to be ready before fall practice in August.


C&F doesn't know how much Neal Lourie, who's also handling things for Quintin Richardson, has contributed to the Gamecocks scholarship fund, but it was an investment worth every penny.


Ah, remember this great good fair TBD day in Gamecock history?

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

FIRING AWAY, 06.29.07

Why was Quintin Richardson stabbed? Self-defense, according to the alleged knife-wielder.

No one disputes that South Carolina football recruit Quintin Richardson was stabbed seven times Saturday. Now the case will turn on whether Ross Grant acted in self-defense.
Police said Richardson was holding Grant on the ground in an apartment complex parking lot when Grant pulled a knife and stabbed the football player.
During a bond hearing Thursday, Grant's lawyer, Byron E. Gipson, did not deny his client stabbed Richardson. Grant later released a statement, through Gipson, in which he claimed self-defense:
"I regret that this incident took place; however, please know that I acted as I did in defense of my life," Grant said. "I look forward to having this matter resolved through the legal process. I also pray for Quintin's family and for his full recovery."
Richardson's lawyer, Neal Lourie, rejected the self-defense argument.
"We understand the defense is making a claim of self-defense," Lourie said. "We don't want to get into the facts of that at this time. We dispute that. That's all I'll say of that issue."

Well, Lourie doesn't give C&F much to work with. But suffice is to say that stabbing someone seven times in self-defense seems a tad ... excessive. It does work well if you're looking for a plea bargain, though.


Was this self-defense, too?

That said, let's hear this out and see what happens.

What else is in the news for South Carolina?

--Ah, BurnLounge, we hardly new you. The story appears to be winding to an end.

Online music retailer BurnLounge said Thursday it has come to an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding allegations it operates as a pyramid scheme.
An FTC spokeswoman said the commission declined comment until a judge issues an order that is expected early next week.
BurnLounge claimed the agreement allows it to continue operating, though without some of the cash rewards investors received for recruiting others to buy online franchises.

But, again, it's not a pyramid scheme or anything.

--The battle over the broadcast rights for USC games is set to begin.

AS THE UNIVERSITY of South Carolina enters the final year of its contract with Learfield Communications and ISP Sports, athletics director Eric Hyman is preparing to send notices that the rights to Gamecocks sports properties (radio broadcasts, TV shows, etc.) are up for bid.
"We'll send them out in July or August," Hyman said this week. "We'll wait for the responses and then review the bids and go from there."
The group that can offer a combination of the most money and best exposure for the USC program will be the winner.
Hyman said he expects a number of companies to show interest in the Gamecocks, including Learfield and ISP as well as the former rights holder, Host Communications. ...
It's difficult to believe Clear Channel, which owns four FM stations in the area, won't go after USC sports, especially since it likes to boast of having "the best Gamecocks coverage" in the Midlands. Such Clear Channel stations as WVOC and WCOS-AM 1400 have offered extensive pregame and postgame coverage during the past several football seasons. But not having the game broadcasts themselves would make "the best Gamecocks coverage" claim sound hollow.

It hasn't stopped them so far.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

34 SCHOOLS: 'IMO, TXT RULZ SUK'

Apparently, Urban Meyer isn't the only one unhappy with the NCAA tax message ban.

Nearly three dozen schools are throwing a roadblock at the NCAA's efforts to ban text messaging in college recruiting.
Thirty-four schools have asked for an override of a decision by the rules-making Board of Directors to prohibit the practice, limiting electronically transmitted correspondence to recruits to e-mail and faxes. The measure, approved in April and effective Aug..1, is designed to end a text-messaging proliferation that a number of athletes complain costs them time and — because of cellphone charges — money.
Coaches have acknowledged the need for regulation, but many argue against an outright ban on a high-tech means of communication that's convenient and, they say, is now a part of high school- and college-age culture. ...
Thirty requests were needed to throw the rules change back to the board, which meets Aug..9. If it doesn't rescind or amend its decision, all 326 Division I schools will vote on the issue during the NCAA's annual convention in January. A five-eighths majority is needed to override.

If the five-eighths majority cannot be obtained, Myles Brand will sacrifice a cat and look toward Mt. Vesuvius for a sign from the volcano's latent spirit.


At least it gets a last meal.

Tom Cruise will help Brand interpret the signs, though it is believed that white smoke means the ban should remain and black smoke means it should be repealed.

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RICHARDSON RELEASED

It looks like Quintin Richardson is going to be okay.
South Carolina football recruit Quintin Richardson was released from the hospital Tuesday, two days after being stabbed at a friend’s apartment.
Richardson, an offensive lineman who played at Spring Valley High School, is expected to enroll for summer school at USC next week. He is considered one of the top players in the Gamecocks' incoming freshman class.
Richardson was not available for comment. But he told radio station WCOS 1400-AM he felt "excellent, like this weekend never happened." ...
Richardson, 18, suffered seven stab wounds, in the lower back and arm. The police incident report states that Richardson was holding down former Spring Valley student Ross Grant, 19, when Richardson felt like he was being poked.
He was then taken to the hospital.
A relief to Richardson's friends and families, we're sure. And probably a bit of a relief to Blake Mitchell, too.
Released from the hospital.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

PRAYERS FOR QUINTIN RICHARDSON, PLEASE

Okay, so we're not going to do any analysis on this. It's just news about the South Carolina football team, because going any further would seem just a tad inappropriate at this point.

The State has the story:


A USC football recruit was stabbed at a Richland County apartment complex early Sunday morning.
Quintin Richardson, 18, was stabbed during the fight in the courtyard of Hunter's Green Apartments at 1013 N. Kings St., according to a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Lt. Chris Cowan said an argument between Richardson and 19-year-old Ross Grant escalated into a "physical altercation."
Deputies learned of the incident when Richardson showed up for treatment at Providence Hospital Northeast at about 2:25 a.m. Cowan declined to detail Richardson's injuries but said he had been stabbed in the upper body.
No charges have yet been filed as a result of the incident. ...
Richardson was in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries at Palmetto Health Richland, said Cowan and family members.
Listed at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 270 pounds, Richardson is one of the top recruits in South Carolina's nationally ranked incoming freshman class. He was set to compete for playing time on the Gamecocks' offensive line.


Godspeed to Richardson, and let's hope he gets to compete for that playing time. Not because of what it would mean to the Gamecocks, but because it would mean to a guy who's facing an obstacle a lot more important than a defensive tackle.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

THE STANDARDS DEPARTMENT

There are those who argue that blogs have no standards. Nothing could be further from the truth. Blogs do, for the most part, have standards. The difference is we simply don't follow "the rules" about avoiding sacred cows, implying rumors with a wink and a nod rather than just stating them or marching lockstep with conventional wisdom whether we agree with it or not.
Ohio State will beat Florida. Ohio State will beat Florida.
So C&F lays out his standards and general code of ethics below -- something he has done only in fits and starts so far.
First, everything below should be regarded as an addendum to the excellent ground rules laid out by EDSBS and Burnt Orange Nation.
A few points on that:
1. We will not participate in the Conference Wars.
Okay, fine. But the SEC is still the best.
2. We will actively abstain from 1=1 thinking/writing.
There go half of C&F's posts.
5. When referring to a team's ranking, we will use the BlogPoll.
Since USA Today and the AP use their own polls -- and C&F sees nothing more inherently valuable in these polls than the BlogPoll, and in fact some reasons the BlogPoll might be better -- this seems to only make sense.
7. We will tirelessly promote the work of Sunday Morning Quarterback until he is rightly crowned College Football Blog King.
Amen.
9. We will kneecap the weak-brained, starting with ourselves. And in the spirit of the rule, we'll admit our errors freely. Even proudly.
This should help C&F even out the loss of posts from the "1=1" rule.
15. We will limit our complete ad hominem hatred of a coach to one man and one man only. Orson drafts Bobby Bowden. Peter selects Bob Stoops. You may grab your own Free Parking pass on one and one coach only.
Tommy Bowden. Was there ever any doubt?
17. We are fans of the game, above all else. This is s'posed to be fun, y'hear? Those who try to ruin our sport will be brutalized. Amen.
This includes the authors of last year's whacked clock rules, right?
That dispensed with, it's time for the in-house rules. C&F has made an effort to lay out some of his rules before, but it has been in fits and starts. Now, he presents them in all of their glory and likely irrelevance to what he is actually doing by Week 3.
1. Conventional wisdom will be challenged. If you want to find out what everyone in the MSM is thinking, C&F can suggest several news sources and columnists.
2. Dissent is welcome. As long as you're willing to hear back from C&F, C&F is willing to hear from you. If you come with points that require clarification/correction/mea culpa (such as with the Ray Ray debacle last season), C&F is happy to do so. If you come with a different point of view that is supported by the facts, he will gladly respond in kind as part of a great discussion.
3. The good and the bad will be covered. Again, if you want an all-happy, all-the-time view of the Gamecocks, there are message boards and Web sites made for you. That won't happen here. C&F will criticize, mock and praise without fear or favor. Except resident crush Scarlett Johansson.
The only untouchable one -- in the criticism sense.
4. Recruiting coverage will be minimal. This is in part because of the general creepiness of talking about a 17-year-old's thighs, but also because C&F finds the whole thing presumptuous. Just because a kid throws more TDs than anyone else IN STATE HISTORY!!11! doesn't mean that success is automatic in the college ranks. This should give us all pause.
5. Speed is important. So is getting it right. C&F will take all reasonable efforts to make sure that the former does not interfere witht he latter.
6. No link whoring. Did some of this in the past, have apologized, will move on. Similar courtesy is requested.
7. Rumors will be reported, but skepticism will ensue. This got to be a problem during the great Spurrier-to-Bama uproar, and all for naught. But if you ever want to drive your hit count up, right about something related to Alabama. It will soar. Trust C&F.
8. Short when appropriate, long when necessary. There will be lengthy posts on C&F from time to time. This will be when analysis is the order of the day or -- in cases like this post -- when it seems inevitable. Otherwise, C&F will fight his instinct and try to be brief.
9. Calls for the end of employment will be rare and justified. Not every offense someone commits is a fireable one. C&F will only call for removal if/when someone has proven themselves completely incompetent and capable of carrying out only the simplest of tasks.
10. A lot of what C&F says on this site is a joke. Hopefully, you get this already. But a friendly reminder, just in case.
[C&F reserves the right to extend or revise rules as required, with proper notification.]

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FAREWELL, SHOOTER

Appropos to nothing college football, but Rod Beck died Saturday at the age of 38.

"Shooter" Beck was the closer for the Cubs in the 1998 wild-card race, the kind of guy who would pitch until his arm fell off and then ask for the arm to be surgically re-attached so he could throw another inning.

He saved 51 games in '98, equaling the number of games that had been saved in the history of the Cubs. (Sadly, probably only a slight exaggeration.) And he might have been the scariest looking player in the history of baseball.


One of his less intimidating looks.

More personally, he will always be remembered by C&F as part of one of the most magical, and at times downright odd, seasons in Cubs history.

Condolences, of course, to family and friends.

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'ROUND AND 'ROUND RON CLEARS ELLIS. UNTIL NEXT WEEK.

'Round and 'Round Ron weighs in on Tommy Ellis' role in the BurnLounge affair, and finds him "guilty of nothing but poor judgement." At least, that's what Ron says until he changes his mind.

THERE ARE A few misconceptions that need to be cleared up by Todd Ellis, the former South Carolina quarterback who, for the past four seasons, has served as radio play-by-play announcer for the Gamecocks football team.
First, Ellis says is no scam artist. ...

Which really is proof of his innocence, because scam artists regularly, you know, fess up.

Based on the fact that BurnLounge CEO Grant Johnson resigned this past week, and that the company on Thursday modified the "network marketing" part of its business model, it appears that BurnLounge is conceding that it operated as an illegal business.
Ellis on Friday said he is considering pulling out of the business. If the court case goes as it appears to be going, that decision will be made for Ellis. When the business folds, Ellis still will have made in excess of $200,000 over a three-year period, an estimate based on the number of clients Ellis involved in the business. ...

So the CEO has resigned, the whole company is redoing its operations, the FTC has labeled it a pyramid scheme, and Ellis "is considering pulling out of the business"? But, remember, he's not a scam artist. [UPDATE 11:39 p.m., 6/25/07 -- An anonymous poster has indicated that Morris got the name and/or position of the resigning figure wrong. I leave the error in because it is Morris'.]

When Ellis was first told of BurnLounge in November 2005, he immediately was intrigued with the possibility of supplementing his income as a Columbia attorney. He saw BurnLounge as a possible billion-dollar business that was on the cutting edge of the distribution of music via the Internet.
Ellis said he also had serious doubts about the BurnLounge business concept. He obtained a copy of the company's 31-page policies and procedures and pored over them on five occasions. He met with corporate executives and went through each provision, gaining assurance from a BurnLounge lawyer that all was on the up and up.
Ellis said he also found a database of cases involving possible pyramid schemes and, after reading those, continued to believe BurnLounge was a legitimate operation. He saw BurnLounge as another Papa John's Pizza, where the success of that company depended not on selling pizzas at one location but by expanding franchises across the country. ... [EMPHASIS, AS ALWAYS, C&F's]

So the poor attorney -- I just needed some money -- looked thoroughly into BurnLounge's business model and saw all was well. At least until the FTC publicly disagreed with him. And then he wasn't so sure.

What Ellis might have exploited are his friendships and family ties. However, it is not as if he swindled friends and family out of tens of thousands of dollars. The most any individual could have lost in one year is $850. Ellis said any new "store" owner or member could have dropped out at any time and received a full refund, and he said that happened occasionally. ...

Well. As long as he was only swindling friends and family out of $850 a pop, then that makes the whole thing OK.

If we learned anything from the Duke University lacrosse case it is that we should not rush to judge before all facts are presented. So far at least, Ellis is guilty of nothing but poor judgment. The price for that is likely to be his reputation.

Ah, remember those poor Duke guys. They were just degrading to women and ended up charged with rape. That's all it is with Ellis.

At least until Morris writes the column calling him the greatest scam artist of all time and calling for a 20-year prison term.

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