ATLANTA — Several weeks ago, the NCAA released its findings from the annual academic progress report (APR). The report ranks college coaches and programs on the eligibility and retention of their scholarship student-athletes.
But AOL FanHouse took the report a step further, and Wednesday published a story ranking college coaches based on their personal APR rankings from the last six seasons. After compiling data from the average APR results from 2003-09 of 107 of the current 120 FBS coaches, FanHouse found that Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson was among the best in the nation at enrolling and keeping academically sound players.
“We try to take academics seriously,” Johnson said. “When you go into a home and you promise parents that you’re going to treat their kids like you would their own, if it’s mine, I want them to go to school. So we try to make sure they go to school.”
Using averages from Johnson’s time at Navy, as well as his first two seasons at Georgia Tech, his APR numbers were fifth-best nationally. His 980 (out of a possible 1,000) score was bested only by Rutgers’ Greg Schiano (981), Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (982) and Troy Calhoun (Air Force) and Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) who tied for first with a 985 score.
Of the five, Johnson has a longer head-coaching tenure, with Swinney, Calhoun and Fitzgerald claiming their first jobs within the past four years.
The FanHouse report found that according to the NCAA, the average APR the past six years was 933.8. ACC coaches were also the best, the report said, with six of the conference’s 12 coaches ranked in the top 11 APR scores over that stretch. The conference’s average ranking was 964.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt made the top 25, as well, registering a 966 average for 22nd place. He also led all SEC coaches with score.
Bedford addresses cramps
In Wednesday’s Telegraph, Johnson addressed the team’s concerns over Yellow Jackets center Sean Bedford’s habitual cramping. It is a problem the program has tried to fix this offseason, and has even taken such measures before and during games.
Still, none of it seems to be working.
“It’s incredibly frustrating,” Bedford said. “I drank three bottles of Pedialyte before (last Saturday’s) game, took a bunch of salt tablets, ate a couple bananas. I drank a lot of water and Powerade, as much as I could get in my system.”
Apparently, the 275-pound lineman sweated all of it out.
Bedford had to be taken out of the North Carolina game at halftime after cramps popped up following Georgia Tech’s 10-minute, 32-second drive that ended the second quarter. The grinding possession spanned 20 plays and brought the Yellow Jackets deep into Tar Heels territory before they kicked a field goal to tie the contest.
“I guess it means I’m playing hard? I don’t know,” Bedford said. “The conventional wisdom is that the defense tires more quickly on long drives like that, and a lot of that’s true, because it is mental when you’re getting beat like that.
“Having played that side of the ball, I can attest to the fact that you do get tired very quickly. But that said, with the aggressive nature of our offense, it does wear down on the offensive line and the backs, and I’m sure the receivers, too. I just have to make sure I’m doing everything I can to be in shape and ready to go.”
That means that instead of the halftime I.V. trainers have been giving Bedford, he may get one before games now to help ward off the cramps.
Allen on harsh tweets
Following Miami’s loss two weeks ago to Ohio State, Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris — a previous prolific tweeter before head coach Randy Shannon pulled the plug on player tweeting last week — reportedly received a few disturbing messages on Twitter, including one from a fan who said other Miami fans “don’t want a black quarterback” at the school.
Harris said this to The Miami Herald: “I told myself right after the game, I was like, ‘Don’t look at it.’ But you see some things and you get kind of hurt because sometimes it’s your fans that say the things and they’ll be the ones that probably just before the game wrote you some encouraging message, and then after the game say that they don’t want a black quarterback here.”
Yellow Jackets B-back Anthony Allen, a habitual twitter, implored other players to ignore such messages when they come across; racially motivated or not.
“You have to realize that yeah, we’re playing college football, and yeah, we have a lot of people telling us how good we are and how we’re lucky for having all this,” Allen said. “But we still have to realize, this is the real world out here and we still have those real world problems.
“It’s not something you can dwell on, though. You just have to look at and overlook it and realize that some people are still ignorant in this world. You have to take some things in stride and forget about them and move on.”
“I sure hope our quarterback has more rushing yards than theirs. If we don’t, then we’re in trouble.” –Johnson on Wednesday’s ACC coaches’ teleconference comparing North Carolina State’s pass-happy Russell Wilson to his run-first signal-caller Joshua Nesbitt.