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Experimental Blog Format Wed July 19th
Posted: Wednesday, July 19th, 2006, 10:52 AM
Here is a new blog format for you. What I've done and cut and pasted a series of stories that I will discuss on todays show. The point of this is to bring you a synopsis of what's out there. All of what is below comes from various papers/publications around the country. Do you like this? Or is it too much. It seems more informational than a typical blog. Shoot me your thoughts and I will ignore them and do what I feel like doing anyway.

Congrats to a couple of Basilio School OF Broadcasting Grads.

Brandt Packer: 'Class of '97. (read account Below)

Dan Hellie: Class of '98 (Moves from Orlando to Washington as a TV sports anchor) That guy is big-time! Now, onto the blog!!!!

La.-Lafayette now on UT's schedule
Tennessee has replaced Central Florida with Louisiana-Lafayette on its 2007 football schedule.

The schedule change still gives the Vols seven 2007 home games, but eliminates a November open date. Tennessee and Louisiana-Lafayette will play on Knoxville on Nov. 3, 2007.

Tennessee's only open date that season will be Sept. 29, with the game at home against Georgia the following week.

Central Florida has paid UT $10,000 to cancel the game, scheduled for Sept. 29, 2007, in Knoxville.

Tennessee and Louisiana-Lafayette have played just once in football, with the Vols winning 38-3 in Knoxville in 1992.

Tennessee also announced its 2008 football schedule Tuesday.

It features seven home games, including games in Knoxville against Southeastern Conference opponents Florida and Alabama, as well as the team's first trip to Pasadena, Calif., since 1997 to play UCLA.


UCF volunteers for buyout

The Golden Knights pay $10,000 to erase a trip to Tennessee off the 2007 schedule.

Kyle Hightower | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted July 19, 2006

As expected, UCF exercised its buyout option Tuesday for a 2007 game at Tennessee.

The Golden Knights paid $10,000 to get out of the football game, which was scheduled for Sept. 29 and contracted to bring a $500,000 payday.

The buyout, confirmed by UCF Assistant Athletic Director John Marini, brings the Knights back to an even number of road and home games and officially clears the schedule room needed for the Sept. 15 home opener against Texas.

"We just had too many road games," Marini said of the buyout that has been anticipated since discussions with Texas began in late April. "It's an unfortunate situation, but it allows us to open the new stadium against Texas."

Currently, UCF's 2007 schedule features road games with Florida and the Big East's Pittsburgh and home games against Texas, Middle Tennessee State and Louisiana-Lafayette, along with eight Conference USA contests.

The game with Middle Tennessee is in limbo. MTSU owes the Knights a home game from 1999, though it is unclear whether the school will honor the game. MTSU's buyout is $20,000.

Tennessee announced that it would replace the lost game on its 2007 home schedule with Louisiana-Lafayette. The Volunteers will play ULL on Nov. 3. The move gives the Volunteers an extra week of practice to prepare for Southeastern Conference East rival Georgia, which is scheduled to visit Knoxville on Oct. 6.


Tuberville 'confident' in Auburn probe
Coach doesn't think NCAA will get involved in grading allegations

By BILL SANDERS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/19/06

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said Tuesday that he was confident that the university investigation into a sociology professor's classes that some football players attended would be over quickly and that the NCAA would not get involved.

Tuberville, until now, has been quiet about the allegations professor James Gundlach levied against colleague Thomas Petee. Gundlach claims that Petee gave easy A's to his students and that his class became a popular among football players. And while Tuberville didn't address the matter in front of the Atlanta Auburn Club meeting Tuesday night, he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had no worries about the matter.

"It hasn't bothered me at all," he said. "We're the winningest team in the SEC over the last five years and have graduated 98 players the last three years. We're doing some good things. I want it over with and I think it's realistic that it'll be over in a week or so, certainly before the season.

"What I've read about it, there's nothing that would involved NCAA sanctions. That's the least of my concerns."

Tuberville said he is cooperating fully with the university's probe.

"I've given them several players to talk to, and I know they are talking to others too," he said of the committee appointed to investigate. "Unless they just have a hard time finding some people during the summer, I think it'll get done quickly.

Gundlach has said that believes the athletic department carries too much weight with the Auburn administration, yet he makes no claims that Petee gave athletes preferential treatment.

He decided earlier this week to not cooperate with the investigating committee, with the committee because he thought it lacked integrity to fully look into his claims and that he believes it leaked misleading information about Gundlach's motivation.

The committee, through university spokeswoman Deedie Dowdle, said that was not true.

"No member of the committee conveyed anything publicly that Dr. Gundlach might have said during our interview with him. The members of the committee are dedicated to pursuing answers and, above all, to protecting the integrity of their investigation. The media report that Dr. Gundlach mentions as the reason for his refusal to provide further information says only that a university administrator said that he (Gundlach) was retaliating due to being passed over as department head. We have no idea who that might have been, but it did not come from someone on the committee, whose members are highly respected."

Brother of Rebel LB Willis drowns
Ole Miss All-American linebacker Patrick Willis has returned home to Bruceton, Tenn., after his younger brother, Detris, drowned Monday afternoon.
Detris Willis, 17, was swimming with some friends near the gravel pits in Camden when he developed leg cramps, Bruceton Central High School football coach Tim Gilmer told The Jackson (Tenn.) Sun. Willis had been swimming in very deep water for three or four hours.
According to Gilmer, people on the scene tried to pull the 6-foot, 218-pound Willis out of the water, but were unsuccessful. It is unknown how long he was in the water before paramedics finally retrieved him.
''Apparently there were a lot of kids there and he had been swimming for a while and cramped up,'' Gilmer said. ''I know there were people there who were trying to get him out of the water, but he was just too big.''

Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron said he talked to Patrick Willis on Tuesday and the senior was doing as well as could be expected. He is with his family making funeral arrangements.

''Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Patrick Willis family,'' Orgeron said. ''We know he's going through some hard times right now. We support him. I know the Ole Miss family will support him.''

Detris Willis was a rising senior linebacker at Bruceton Central, where he also played on offense. As a junior last season, he recorded 100 tackles with three sacks. He was an honorable mention member of The Jackson Sun's 2005 All-West Tennessee football team.


Next Weeks SEC Meetings Players appearing and Majors
For the record, Herring is majoring in exercise science and Taylor in business marketing.
Of the other 22 SEC players scheduled to attend Media Days, only one - Florida senior quarterback Chris Leak - is majoring in sociology.
The other Gator player in attendance, senior lineman Mark Thomas, majors in anthropology.
Huntsville natives Ken Darby and Ramzee Robinson, Alabama's two representatives, are majoring in communications and management, respectively.
The other players and their fields of study include: Arkansas - Marcus Monk (honors student in education) and Sam Olajubuto (kinesiology); Georgia - Nick Jones (risk management and insurance) and Quentin Moses (recreation and leisure Studies); Kentucky - Keenan Burton (agricultural communications) and Wesley Woodyard (social work); LSU - Dwayne Bowe (general studies) and LaRon Landry (communication studies); Ole Miss - Robert Lane (parks and recreation management) and Patrick Willis (criminal justice); Mississippi State - Michael Henig and Jeramie Johnson (both interdisciplinary studies); South Carolina - Fred Bennett (hotel, restaurant and tourism management) and Mike Davis (criminal justice); Tennessee - Justin Harrell (sports management) and Arron Sears (arts and aciences); and Vanderbilt - Jonathan Goff (mechanical engineering) and Brian Stamper (human and organizational development).
Why Is It Always The IRS?
IRS could be coming after Bonds
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO -- The easy money Barry Bonds made by aggressively selling his name, likeness and sports equipment through his Web site and autograph sessions in hotel rooms could prove to be the embattled slugger's legal undoing.
A federal grand jury is probing whether he paid taxes on some of that fortune, and key government witnesses include a scorned business partner and a jilted lover who profited from the name "Barry Bonds." He also is being investigated for allegedly lying to another federal grand jury about his steroid use.

Legal experts said proving the Giants star cheated the IRS out of its cut of memorabilia sales is easier to prove than perjury.
If so, Bonds wouldn't be the first professional athlete to run afoul of the IRS over sales of autographed jerseys, balls and baseball cards.

Pete Rose in 1990 served five months in prison for not reporting income from memorabilia. Several other prominent players -- including Darryl Strawberry and Hall of Famers Duke Snider and Willie McCovey -- were busted in the 1990s for not properly reporting such income.

Brian Hennigan, a Los Angeles lawyer who represented Strawberry when the baseball player pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995, said it's relatively easy to fall into tax trouble because the memorabilia business is largely cash-and-carry.

Sports memorabilia is a multimillion-dollar enterprise for professional athletes. Bonds sells his jerseys for as much as $1,900 on his Web site.

"The money is so easily accessible," Hennigan said. "There's going to be a lot of cash, and the promoter says 'Here is an envelope, it's full of cash' and it's just handed to you and you drive away and there aren't any forms to sign."

Strawberry was sentenced to six months of home confinement and ordered to pay $350,000 in back taxes. Other athletes have paid fines and back taxes to settle their tax problems.

"The sentence certainly depends on how much money is involved and how long it has been going on," Hennigan said. "If the athlete gets a lot of cash and never reports any of it, more likely than not the government is going to look at it harshly."

A Bonds indictment could come as soon as Thursday when the grand jury investigating his case is expected to end its service. But the grand jury's term could be extended or a new panel could be given the investigation, former prosecutors said.

Nonetheless, it's clear Bonds is in a legal pickle. Laura Enos, one of Bonds' attorneys, said the slugger's legal team would be "crazy" if it was not preparing a defense, although she says her client is innocent and should not be indicted.

Bonds' latest legal troubles began in 2003, after he told federal authorities that boyhood friend Steve Hoskins, who ran his memorabilia business, had forged his signature on contracts and sold his gear without permission.

But Hoskins countered that Bonds was giving tens of thousands of dollars in cash made from the sales to Bonds' then-girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, according to Hoskins' attorney, Michael Cardoza.

Bell didn't return telephone calls.

At times, Bonds sold autographed baseballs "as fast as he could" for $100 apiece, Cardoza said. Bonds would arrange the signing sessions when Bell complained that she needed cash, according to Aphrodite Jones, who spent six months with Bell in a failed bid to publish a book about Bell's affair with Bonds.

The perjury case against Bonds arose from his 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, a nutritional supplement company exposed as the steroid supplier to top athletes. Bonds testified that he didn't knowingly ingest steroids given to him by his personal trainer, according to grand jury transcripts.

Art Thiel Of Seattle Times Intelligencer On Pending Move Of Supersonics To Ok City
Flawed ownership. Flawed building. Flawed industry.
Alert to basketball fans in Oklahoma City: As of Tuesday, your arena is already on the fast track to becoming a crap can, your owner is a wild-eyed venture capitalist and your team next year will pay maybe $50 million to a pimply teenager who doesn't know a drop step from a drop kick.
At least it's not the Dust Bowl. But the taste is recognizable.



The slugfest continues for Braves
Fifth consecutive game with 10 or more runs last done by '30 Yanks

By DAVID O'BRIEN
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/19/06

St. Louis — Their June swoon has spawned an offensive juggernaut in July, and the Braves kept on slugging Tuesday night at a rate that can only be described as Babe Ruthian.

Andruw Jones went 5-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs as the Braves continued their offensive onslaught in a five-homer, 18-hit, 14-5 dismantling of St. Louis at Busch Stadium, extending their season-high winning streak to seven games and sending team officials and statistical services to pore through the record books.

"We're positively smashing people," said Peter Moylan, the Australian reliever who joined the fun by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. "It's ridiculous, unbelievable. I've never seen a team do this, no matter where I've played, in any country, at any level."

Atlanta, which has won 11 of 13 games to slice their wild-card deficit from 10 games to four, no longer seems content with mere wins. They've scored 10 or more runs in five consecutive games, the first team to accomplish the feat since the 1930 Yankees. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig combined for 90 homers and 327 RBIs for the that bunch over the season.

The 1897 Boston Beaneaters were the last in Braves' franchise history to do the five double-digit games feat.

"It's kind of strange to be talking about those kinds of records at all," said Braves manager Bobby Cox, a former Yankees third baseman. His smile indicated he was proud, and perhaps a bit embarrassed trying to explain how the Braves have pounded on San Diego and St. Louis since the All-Star break.

Their 20 home runs in the past five games is the most in franchise history and one shy of a major league record.

The Braves have won 17 of 21 since a 3-20 skid. They've hit .354 with 34 homers and 123 runs in their past 13 games, and .382 with 23 homers and 77 runs during their seven-game winning streak.

"We just wanted to go play the way we're supposed to be playing and just put that first half behind us," said Andruw Jones, who matched his career high with six RBIs. "That's what we've been doing, and it's been working."

Adam LaRoche, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann also homered for the Braves, who have amassed 65 runs, 20 homers and 81 hits in five games since the All-Star break, all road wins by three or more runs against the NL West-leading Padres and NL Central-leading Cardinals.

"I don't think anybody's sitting here thinking, what are we doing different now?" LaRoche said. "It's just fun baseball. This is how I remember last year being, when we were rolling."

The Braves' 15-3 rout Monday made them the first team in major league history to score 10 or more runs in four consecutive games against teams in sole possession of first place. Now, they've done it in five straight.

"This is record-breaking baseball," said Braves starter Tim Hudson (7-8), who snapped a six-start winless streak. "Hopefully we can keep it up. It's fun to watch."

McCann has seven consecutive two-hit games and a home run in each of the past four. The 22-year-old catcher from Duluth has 13 RBIs in five games since the break, and a .377 average in his past 55 games.

Seven Braves had at least two hits including Wilson Betemit, who went 2-for-5 with a double, a walk and two RBIs to give him 10 hits and 10 RBIs in four games filling in for injured second baseman Marcus Giles.

The Braves have outscored the Cardinals 43-12 in the past three games between the teams, including the series finale at Turner Field on July 5.

Atlanta won that series 2-1, and is already assured of a series win in this three-game set that ends tonight. The Braves have won six of their past seven series, after losing the previous seven in a row.

Hudson (6-9) didn't give up a hit until Albert Pujols' two-out single in the fourth inning, then allowed a Jim Edmonds homer in the fifth and began to unravel in the oppressive heat during a four-run, five-hit sixth.

Hudson was replaced after giving up a double and consecutive two-out triples. He's allowed five earned runs in five of his past six starts, and lasted fewer than six innings in four of those performances.

It could be a big concern, if and when the Braves stop scoring runs like a beer-league softball team.

I was This Guy’s Boss!!!!!!!!!!! A WQBB 1040 A Decade Ago. This Guy interned Under Me
Billy Packer influence at this week's British Open? Sort of
Brandt Packer has a standard reply when people bring up his father: "Yes, I am his son. But I had nothing to do with fill-in-the-blank."
He's filled plenty such blanks, given his father is longtime CBS college basketball analyst Billy Packer, who's able to incite viewers without really trying. Like this spring, when Billy's innocuous comments on whether enough power conference teams got in the NCAA tournament made him the betenoire of fans of long shots.

Off-air, Billy was an interesting parental role model. When he lived alongside a golf course, he regularly played holes backwards. He hired a psychic to look for clues in the O.J. Simpson murder. And going to work, he'd drop Brandt in TV production trucks outside arenas — starting when Brandt was just 5.

That produced an epiphany for Brandt, who now says Billy is "actually my best friend in the world." Says Brandt, in all seriousness: "I knew at age 5 exactly what I wanted to do. Some people are gym rats. I was a (production) truck rat."

It paid off. This week, at just 32, Brandt will be the lead producer on ABC's British Open — the first time he's overseen TV coverage of a golf major and "the biggest thing I've ever done in my lifetime."

Billy has always said he "never aspired" to be a broadcaster — he ended up as one sort of accidentally — and Brandt felt the same way about being on-air. The advantages of being in production, says Brandt, were clear even back when he was the only pre-kindergartener in the trucks: "I saw the producer was in charge, not my dad. I thought it would be cool to have that job." (And, says Brandt, it's not as if Billy wasn't keeping tabs on him: "My dad wouldn't let Al McGuire babysit me.")

Billy says by the time Brandt was 12, "he had a lot better handle on TV production than I ever did." Brandt, says Billy, would lie on the floor watching golf and predicting when TV coverage might miss some quick players' live putts because it was focusing on other players who took more time before putting. And, says Billy, "even at 10, Brandt would say, 'Dad, you missed this or that.' He and my wife Barbara have been my best critiquers."

Mark Packer, who is Brandt's older brother and hosts a syndicated sports talk radio show in Charlotte, doesn't remember Brandt being dropped off at TV trucks at age 5 — "but it wouldn't surprise me because Billy was probably too cheap to get a babysitter." But Mark does remember Brandt, early on, being precocious about TV production: "This is his calling."

After graduating from Tennessee, Brandt became a production assistant for graphics on CBS' golf coverage. He says Jim Nantz, CBS' lead golf announcer and Billy's on-air basketball partner, "was like a brother to me." And, says Brandt, colleagues felt he'd gotten a free pass: "Everybody thought I got hired because I'm Billy's son. So you had to work harder."

Brandt moved on to senior golf, covering the Champions Tour. (Now, he has a personal connection with that circuit: He's married to Erin Doyle Packer, who used to caddie for her father Allen — who won the U.S. Senior Open this month.) Brandt came to ABC/ESPN in 2004 and got the top golf job this spring by replacing Mark Loomis, who went to the NFL Network.

Brandt will also oversee TNT's coverage of the Open's first and second round, which ABC will largely produce. Brandt says ABC's Open coverage, which relies heavily on the BBC world feed that ABC supplements with seven of its own cameras, can make "you feel like you're handcuffed." But then again, he says he grew up "idolizing" golfers such as ABC analyst Nick Faldo "and here I am the guy's boss."


Dogs land another QB

By CARTER STRICKLAND
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 07/18/06

Just before Logan Gray stepped in front of the assembled crowd to take his first significant step toward his football future, he took just a moment to make sure of things.

Out came the cell phone and in went the text message:

I'm about to announce officially, Gray typed. I hope you're ready.

The recipient, Georgia quarterback coach Mike Bobo was. So too then was Gray. The heralded prep quarterback stepped to the podium and told the assembled crowd at his high school, Rock Bridge in Columbia, Missouri, he was committing to Georgia.

"It is the place I want to be," he said. "It was really between Auburn and Georgia. I just felt like I fit at Georgia. Coach (Mark) Richt and coach Bobo, they are just such great people down there. This is a dream come true for me."

Georgia fans have become accustomed to these pinch me moments under Richt. This is the fifth top-25 quarterback Richt has recruited to Georgia in his six recruiting seasons.

Gray, who is ranked 12th nationally by scout.com, will join Blake Barnes, Joe Cox and Matthew Stafford on campus. Barnes and Cox were ranked anywhere from 20-25 at their position by recruiting experts. Stafford was one of the top three quarterbacks of 2006, according to most recruiting experts.

The stockpiled talent doesn't worry Gray.

"I am competitor," he said. "(Who was there) didn't play into it all. It was where I wanted to be and we will see what happens when I get there."

What is intriguing about Gray are the skills he possess that other quarterbacks do not have, said Jeremy Crabtree, a recruiting expert for rivals.com

He posted a laser-time 4.45 40-yard dash and a 36-inch vertical.

"He's definitely a quarterback and he could be a dual threat quarterback," Crabtree said. "I know he is confident in his abilities and he believes when he goes there he is going to be the man."

But, if things don't work out at quarterback, Gray does have the skills to move to another position and excel, Crabtree said.

What will immediately happen for Gray at Georgia is a redshirt season. Gray is 185 pounds and the coaching staff has told him they would like to see him build more muscle onto his 6-foot-2 frame. A redshirt season will also allow for two years separation between Gray and Stafford, a true freshman and Cox, a redshirt freshman.

Gray is a two-year starter at Rock Bridge. Last season Gray threw for 2169 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He competed 135-of-233 pass attempts. He was recruited heavily throughout the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12.

Gray is the 10th commitment for Georgia. Oral commitments at non-binding. Signing day is Feb. 7, 2007.

Calhoun's Atop Bearden Hill
6515 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN
865.673.3377

Calhoun's on the River
400 Neyland Drive
Knoxville, TN
865.673.3355

Calhoun's at Pellissippi Parkway
10020 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN
865.673.3444



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