Miami Hurricanes News and Notes: Baseball Travels to Gainesville, Recruiting Promotions – State Of The U
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Arkansas 6, USC 3 - Middle 8th Inning. USC center fielder Matthew Acosta robbed Casey Martin on a one-out extra-base hit with a diving catch into left field.
A monster road win for the Cats with the regular season winding down.
Matthew Mitchell and his No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats just picked up a huge road win.
It came Thursday night as the Cats went into Columbia and came away with a win over the No. 13 South Carolina Gamecocks, 65-57.
Rhyne Howard and Taylor Murray led the way with 17 points apiece. Murray also chipped in eight boards, four steals and five assists.
Maci Morris scored 12, including six-straight points to help push UK into the lead for good.
The Cats’ defense forced 21 Gamecocks turnovers and held them to 18/52 shooting from the field. UK hit 13/14 free throws and 6/12 three-pointers while recording 14 steals.
South Carolina actually won the first matchup in Memorial Coliseum, 75-70. The Gameoccks entered tonight 11-1 in SEC play and 19-6 overall with just two home losses to No. 4 Baylor and No. 9 Maryland.
Here is the final box score:
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The one-and-done is in jeopardy, but will it affect John Calipari and Kentucky Basketball?
This has been a debating topic for the last several years. The NBA and the NBPA (players association) must come together on an agreement on whether or not to allow high-schoolers to make the jump straight to the league, much like it was just 15 years ago.
This comes just one day after Zion Williamson tore through his shoe and suffered a knee injury on national television, which in turn, got the debate started back up about whether high-schoolers should make the jump straight to the NBA.
So what would this mean for the Kentucky Wildcats and their recruiting success?
Well, in my opinion it wouldn’t mean anything. If the NBA were to allow kids to go to the league if they’re 18 years of age, then that would be only a handful of prospects who are: A) of actual age, and B) actually ready to make the jump.
That would be about three to four, maybe five prospects from each class who could actually handle the NBA at that very moment. Take away those five players from the recruiting rankings and a new one will fill their place. Kentucky and John Calipari are going to get the best players in the class regardless if the one-and-done rule is in place or not.
That being said, this won’t be coming to fruition for a few years, as the date the NBA is aiming for is the 2022 NBA Draft. This gives the players and organizations the time to adjust to the new rules, as well as college coaches to adjust. The NBA the NBPA still need to agree on a deal, but it is looking more and more likely to happen by the 2022 draft.
DeMarcus Cousins: “Knowing what I know now, college basketball is bullshit.” Advises Zion Williamson to get ready for the NBA. pic.twitter.com/k3B1JA0E42— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 21, 2019
He’s really upset with how the NCAA
ruins runs the sport.
“Knowing what I know now? College is bullsh**t. College basketball, the NCAA is bulls**t. My advice to him is do what’s best for you and your family. Obviously, college isn’t it. It does nothing for you at this point. You’ve proved you’re the No. 1 pick coming out. You’ve proven your talent. Get ready for the next level because it’s happening.”
Cousins’ comments came after Duke star and likely No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson suffered a knee injury on Wednesday. It thankfully wasn’t serious, but had it been something major like an ACL tear, it could have cost Zion millions of dollars and delayed the start of his pro career.
But don’t mistake Cousins’ comments for him not enjoying his time at Kentucky. He loved his time in Lexington.
“I loved my experience in college. That was some of the best years of my life playing basketball. That being said, just how crooked the whole NCAA business is. I saw a post the other day where it was I think the highest ticket for that UNC-Duke game was $2,500, $3,500.
“How much does Zion Williamson get? That’s who they’re coming to see. So how much does he get? Actually, who does it go to? How does it benefit any player on that team? But if they were to get $20 and a free meal, they’re this bad kid. They get a bad rep. ‘Uncoachable.’ They’re ‘thugs.’
“Whatever the case may be. It’s bulls**t.”
Hard to disagree with those remarks.
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California and San Diego State reportedly agree to a 2024–2025 home-and-home series – California Golden Blogs
According to fbsschedules.com, the California Golden Bears and the San Diego State Aztecs have agreed to a home-and-home set of games in 2024 and 2025.
Deciding to bring this back during baseball season was probably a mistake. Oh well. Quick and dirty again this week.
- The eternal struggle that is life as a Memphis Express fan continues as the boys head down to UCF’s Bounce House to face probably the best team in the AAF, Steve Spurrier’s Orlando Apollos. Injury reports have our hero Zach Mettenberger out with “illness”. He’s as sick as the rest of us are with seeing Christian Hackenberg CONTINUE TO DESTROY THIS TEAM BENCH HIM SINGLETARY WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!? After Week 1 games on CBS and Week 2 on TNT, the AAF settles into it’s regular TV rotation for the remainder of the season: 1 game on CBS-SN, 1 game on Turner’s B/R Live service, and 2 games on the NFL Network. And please, don’t be fooled by lazy reporting like I was. The AAF is doing just fine.
- Women’s Aussie Rule continues this weekend, but the AFL has a special event on Friday morning: The AFL-X Tournament. It’s almost impossible to explain in a few words, but imagine if the NFL had an all-star game where the field was shrunk to fit on a playground, scoring rules were exponentially increased, and 4 teams drafted by all-star captains played six 20-minute games and a tournament final over the course of 5 1⁄2 hours on one night. Aussie Rules is insane and I love it.
- A galaxy of Rugby from all 4 corners of the globe, though your LEAGUE LEADING NEW ORLEANS GOLD is on a bye this weekend. The highlight of the weekend has to be the next round of Six Nations Rugby, carried on NBC-SN.
- Your big story of the weekend is the return of arena football (little a, little f) with Week 1 of the Indoor Football League. If you were unaware, arena football has had a few years of turmoil this last decade that resulted in a geographic split, with the East Coast teams remaining in the Arena Football League (big a, big f) and the teams in the Midwest and Western states, including stalwarts of the sport like the Iowa Barnstormers, breaking off to join the formerly lower-level Indoor Football League. Both leagues are still in the regrowing pains of that split, but seem on stable ground today. AFL doesn’t start play until late spring, but the IFL returns to the indoor gridiron this weekend. All of their games stream free on YouTube.
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The Tennessee basketball team travels to Baton Rouge on Saturday to take on another top-15 team in LSU. This will mark the second Saturday in a row.
The Tennessee basketball team travels to Baton Rouge on Saturday to take on another top-15 team in LSU. This will mark the second Saturday in a row.
Price has found his new home.
Price later announced the news on twitter:
As many of you may remember, E.J. sent out a series of controversial tweets saying that he was going to leave the University, along with criticizing some of the Kentucky coaching staff in March of 2018. Clearly, that didn’t happen as he started 11 of 13 games this season for the Cats, after sitting the entire 2017 season per the transfer rules.
He was a highly touted recruit as he was ranked 69th overall and was the 9th best player at his position coming out of 2016. He had a really good season for Kentucky, so it is unfortunate to see them lose a good talent.
Landon Young, who tore his ACL last season before it started, is expected to regain his starting spot back at left tackle. The Cats are fortunate to have Landon, but losing a talented lineman hurts any team.
This also gives Sophomores Naasir Watkins and Darian Kinnard an opportunity to likely compete for the starting right tackle position. Both of these young guys are big and talented, so it should create for an interesting story this spring to see which one gets more time.
With that being said, we wish E.J. the best of luck with his future endeavors. Continuing to play the game you love is a blessing, no matter where the destination is. Hopefully E.J. can figure things out and find his way to the NFL one day.
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Breaking down Wildcats vs. Tigers and what the Reid Travis injury means moving forward.
The last time these two teams met up it came down to a missed floater from Jared Harper with six seconds left, a made and missed free throw from Immanuel Quickley, and then a missed prayer from Samir Doughty that ended with Kentucky winning by a score of 82-80.
Needless to say, it was a wild game where both teams were heavily involved on both ends of the floor. Since then, the Tigers haven’t been playing as great as they were to start the season.
This game is big for both teams, but more so for Auburn. They don’t have any great wins on their resume and if they want to get a favorable seed for the tournament, they need this one against Kentucky.
The biggest thing to look for with Kentucky is that they will be without their senior Reid Travis. Obviously, this is a big blow to a team that has been on fire as of late, and Reid has played a big part in it. Now, it’s time for Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery to step up in his absence.
Our writers here at A Sea of Blue have come together to offer their analysis and prediction of the outcome:
Two preseason top-10 teams will face off on Saturday. But the two have gone in different directions this year. Kentucky started out slow, but has since lived up to expectations. Auburn started out fast, but has quickly faded. The Tigers can still be a dangerous basketball team, especially if they’re hitting their threes, but they haven’t lived up to the lofty expectations.
However, the Tigers have been better since the last time these two teams met. Auburn was without starting center Austin Wiley last time around, and his return has been a positive. His minutes have been limited, but Bruce Pearl has said the minutes cap will be lifted. And unfortunately, this time Kentucky will be without their starting center, Reid Travis.
It’s hard to predict how the team will fare without Travis. While he’s not the team’s best player, he does all the little things and is important to their success. UK is lucky to have EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards to slot in, but neither provides a similar presence in the paint.
His absence will hurt, there’s no doubt about that. UK’s biggest advantage against Auburn is their size down low. They lose a bit of their ability to punish teams physically. Travis’ defensive acumen is so underrated, and he does so much more than just rebound. No one on the team can per se replace him.
I can guarantee this team will be quite a bit different without him. UK needs decent production from Montgomery and Richards, and they need their other stars to step up. I think PJ Washington will slow down without Travis because the attention will be solely on him. If PJ can dump it off to Richards or Montgomery, then it might open things up. But Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro have to come ready to play.
As far as Auburn goes, they jack a lot of threes. They make a lot, too, but they shoot at a much lower rate away from home. The Cats were able to shut the Tigers down for 35 minutes last time they played before Auburn went on a crazy shooting streak. Honestly, I was leaning towards this game being a blowout had Travis played. I’m not as confident now because there are so many unknowns with the loss of Travis.
I think UK will win, but they have to guard the three-point line. Auburn’s going to make shots, but Kentucky can withstand it.
And as far as the rest of the season goes, I’m not worried about Arkansas. The Cats could struggle on the road at Ole Miss, but I think they can pull out a win similar to Mississippi State. And I actually think UK will match up better with Florida after slotting in Montgomery or Richards.
The biggest problem the Cats will face will be at Tennessee. What was a great matchup a week ago is now a tough one for the Cats. I have a feeling that game will be for the SEC regular season title, and, sadly, I think Tennessee will dominate Kentucky in the paint and come out on top.
In the end, I see Kentucky winning Saturday and going 4-1 in the rest of the regular season.
Prediction: Kentucky 77 Auburn 69
This will be a very interesting game due to the fact that Reid Travis will miss his first game of the season. It’s unfortunate because of how well these guys have gelled during conference play.
With that being said, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards need to play big, and I think EJ will have more of an impact, so keep an eye on that. If they can improve their games, then Kentucky becomes an even bigger threat to win it all once Travis returns.
The Auburn Tigers will be desperate for a win as they’re trying to improve their seed for the tournament. Despite this, I think the Cats will get this victory, primarily because it is in Lexington.
Prediction: Kentucky 73 Auburn 66
Despite an up and down year, Kentucky should not expect a walk in the park when the Auburn Tigers come into town Saturday. Kentucky hardly escaped the plains back in January as Tyler Herro led them to a two-point road win.
However, despite having home court, it may be even more difficult this time. Reid Travis will be out with a knee injury. When the two teams met last month, Travis dropped 17 points and was a big factor in the end result. The two players who will replace him, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards, combined for one point that game.
In addition, big man Austin Wiley, who missed the first Kentucky Auburn matchup, will be a go for the Tigers this time around. With all this said, it’s a different Richards and Montgomery set to take the floor Saturday than a month ago. Both have made great strides at both ends of the floor and, by tag-teaming Travis’s minutes, should be just fine.
The Tigers haven’t proved they can win a big game on the road and Kentucky doesn’t seem like the place they’re going to do that. Richards and Montgomery need to step up, and I genuinely believe they’re both capable.
Thankfully, it’s not PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson or even Herro we’re talking about being injured. Losing Travis is a bummer, but Kentucky can survive. It may be closer than if Travis were a go, but the Cats should still get a home win.
I’ll also go on a limb and predict Montgomery and Richards combine for exactly 17 points, the same total Reid Travis scored against Auburn earlier this season.
Prediction: Kentucky 70 Auburn 60
The loss of Reid Travis is a pretty significant loss to the Cats in the short term. Travis is without question their enforcer in the post, grabbing rebounds and scoring consistently on the block. Losing him for a couple of weeks is a blow but not a death blow.
However, the load in the post falls squarely on Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery for an extended time. Montgomery has made great strides over the last two months, so an extended run for him should give him ample opportunity to produce at a high level. I’m most curious about Richards, though.
We’ve been waiting for him to produce for more than flashes for nearly two years. I think if he is going to be the producer and enforcer at the rim the Cats need it’s got to happen now. He has his moment. He must finally deliver.
As for the game, we all know Auburn has the ability to stroke it from three and wants to play fast through their guards, so the matchup favors the Cats still. No doubt it will be different without Travis, but if the Kentucky bigs can produce and PJ Washington continues his march toward All-American and SEC Player of the Year, the Cats should be able to fend off the Tigers in a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Cats 84 Tigers 72
Before I get into the game, allow me to send my best wishes to Reid Travis. Suffering a knee injury late in your final collegiate season is rough, especially since it had the potential to cost him his first and only trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Thankfully it appears he avoided a major injury and will be back with the team soon. However, in the interim, some of UK’s bigs are going to have to step up, namely Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery. Both players have talent, but have been terribly inconsistent all year.
Richards is more of a rim protector, while Montgomery’s game seems to be more of a stretch-4. That’s not what the Wildcats need. Reid Travis did the dirty work down low and I firmly believe that PJ Washington’s recent success was not just of his own making. Having Travis on the low block opened up so many more opportunities for Washington and the sophomore forward took advantage.
Having said all of that, I think the player that needs to step up more than anyone in Travis’ absence is Tyler Herro. I know, you’re thinking I’m off my rocker, but I’m serious. Even though Herro doesn’t play down low, his ability to stretch the defense with his shot making will continue to open up the lane for PJ Washington.
Kentucky’s guards, namely Herro, must bring the defense away from the basket so they can’t collapse on Washington. Now, it is up to Richards and Montgomery to pick up the slack on the boards, as well as Keldon Johnson.
Onto the game. UK escaped Auburn by 2 points earlier this season, but that was with Reid Travis. However, that was also away from the friendly confines of Rupp Arena. Travis had 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the previous game against the Tigers. He also had 7 rebounds. Those numbers will be missed.
I expect Kentucky to struggle early while they try to find an identity without their grad transfer. It would not shock me if UK were down double-digits early in the first half. I believe UK will close the gap and pull away late. This will be a tough test, but Kentucky is so dominant at home.
If this game were on the road, I’d pick against the Cats. But with the Rupp Arena crowd rocking, I think UK pulls out a victory.
Prediction: Kentucky 74 Auburn 68
Following an eight-point win against Missouri where Reid Travis went down, Kentucky has a quick turnaround against Auburn on Saturday. The first game was a battle and came down to the wire WITH Travis, but it will be all hands on deck against the Tigers who are lethal even through their struggles since their last loss to the Wildcats.
Losing Reid Travis for two weeks is a huge blow to Kentucky. You could see that this team didn’t look anywhere near the same with him out down the stretch on either side of the ball. The Tigers were able to double PJ on the post and were scoring the ball very effectively down the stretch.
Zion’s knee injury is the talk of the sports world, but Reid Travis’ is just as impactful. It will take an effort from the entire team to fill the void without him, but this falls squarely on the shoulders of EJ Montgomery and especially Nick Richards.
Nick started all 37 games of his freshman year and with Reid gone, he will not only have to play big minutes he hasn’t gotten this season but be productive on offense and definitely on defense. EJ will have to take some of the load, but this is Richards time to shine and breakout for John Calipari.
Auburn may have gone 5-4 since their last meeting with Kentucky, but they are just as potent offensively as Bryce Brown and Jared Harper can get going quick. They will also have the services of Austin Wiley that they didn’t have last time, putting even more pressure on a UK frontcourt that will only go three deep for the next few games. Auburn hit 17 threes while shooting 51.5% from deep in their last game against Arkansas so if UK wants to get a win, they will have to step up defensively again.
An injury to an important piece of a team can either take a team apart or motivate them to stay the course until their teammate returns. This will be a difficult stretch for Kentucky with Reid, but I think this can only make them better. This will force Nick Richards to be the player we all thought he was going to be after the Bahamas.
Even with the potential to drop one against a good Auburn team, I think Rupp Arena helps motivate Richards and push Kentucky over the edge in this one.
Prediction: Kentucky 79-70
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LSU’s first great coach recruits LSU’s first great player: Doc Fenton
“I saw Jim Thorpe, but Doc Fenton was better.” – Troy Middleton
LSU fired coach Dan Killian after a dismal 1906 season. It’s not that the team was terrible, LSU was a respectable 2-2-2, but the style of play was dreadful. Still trapped in the thrall of the flying wedge which had killed 20 people in 1905, LSU won by scores of 5-0 and 17-0 and the two ties? Both scoreless draws.
Change came in the form of Edgar Wingard, a “notorious hell raiser”, who quickly installed a fast-paced offense which relied on deception, speed, and the newly invented forward pass. He had his charges play soccer in practice to learn footwork and agility. But for all of his forward-thinking ingenuity as a strategist, LSU truly hired Wingard for his skill as a recruiter.
Wingard immediately went to work on recruiting his fellow Pennsylvanian, Doc Fenton. In 1904, Fenton starred on the rugby team of St. Michael’s College in Canada. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1906 to play football at Mansfield State Normal School. Fenton was eyeing a move South and had been in contact with Mississippi A&M coach Fred Furman.
Wingard made up for lost time, bringing Doc on a recruiting trip to Baton Rouge, sealing the deal with the promise of nickel beers and a reminder of Starkville’s blue laws. That was enough for Fenton, who signed with LSU and immediately transformed the team.
Furman would take issue with Wingard’s recruiting tactics and fumed about possible payments made to Fenton. However, Fenton kept all of his letters from Furman, which detailed the promises he made for Fenton to attend A&M. The matter was quickly dropped.
The Bacardi Bowl
A team that had scored just 34 points in six games in 1906 scored 28 points in its season opener in 1907. After some midseason struggles, the Tigers finished up their campaign with a 48-0 blowout win over Baylor and an invitation to play the University of Havana in the Bacardi Bowl, becoming the first American college team to play on foreign soil. It was a bold trip, given that nerves in Cuba were still raw over the Spanish-American War.
Fearing the game would be a financial disaster, the promoter tried to back out of the game, but the Havana locals ensured the game would be played. Speculators sold tickets for as high as $10, and nearly 10,000 fans, including Cuban high society and local American servicemen, witnessed Fenton and LSU whip the hometown team 56-0.
Havana had recruited a mammoth 300-pounder to play, but Fenton observed the player drinking more than his share of wine before the game. He instructed a teammate to hit him in the stomach on the game’s first play, and according to Fenton, “the big guy spouted wine like an artesian well. We nearly had to swim out of there.” LSU dominated from this point on, and Cuban fans lauded Fenton as “El Rubio Vaselino,” the “Vaselined Redhead” for his amazing play and slippery moves in the open field.
The story of the game is not all rainbows and unicorns, though. The contract LSU signed for the game stipulated that Havana could not field a team with any players of African descent, strictly enforcing the policy of American segregation on foreign soil. Furthermore, the American servicemen raucously cheered on the LSU squad with the cheer of “Lick the Spics! Kill the Spics!”
However, the game was such a success that Cuban officials attempted to schedule a second game before the players returned home. According to Marshall Gandy, the players received $25 to play a second game a few days later, even loaning some players to the Cuban side to even up the rosters. LSU won that game as well, but now, technically, every single player on LSU’s roster was now a professional. This will be important.
Two Seasons: 1908 and Next Year
Only one player graduated from the 1907 team (we’ll get to him later), and Wingard replaced the loss by recruiting the Smith brothers of Tulane protest fame back into the fold. Wingard grabbed another player out of Pennsylvania, Mike Lally, and then moved his star, Doc Fenton, to quarterback so he could handle the ball on nearly every play. The roster moves worked.
LSU became a point-a-minute team. LSU outscored its opponents 442 to 11 on the season. That is not a misprint. Mike Lally scored 14 touchdowns and 81 points. Not to be outdone, Doc Fenton scored 13 touchdowns, 6 field goals, and 125 points. By modern scoring rules, Doc Fenton would have scored 144 points. The National Football Foundation recognized Fenton as the retroactive Heisman winner.
Going back to that Vaselined Redhead nickname, this is because Wingard soaked Fenton’s shirt in a mild acid solution before each game, causing the fabric to weaken and tear when defenders tried to grab a hold of him. Wingard essentially invented the tear-away jersey a half century before its time.
On Halloween, LSU traveled to Drill Field to play SIAA preseason favorites Auburn. Trailing 5-0 in the first half, Auburn blocked an LSU punt, recovered by Doc Fenton in the end zone. A fan then hit Fenton over the head with his cane, knocking Fenton unconscious before he could get out of the end zone. It would be Auburn’s only points of the game, and LSU held on for 10-2 win without the services of Fenton in the second half.
Auburn responded the way you would expect Auburn to respond: the local paper asked “Who are these LSU people?” and steadfastly refused to admit the game was lost, that instead LSU had cheated. It was the same charge they lobbed at Alabama in 1907 without any proof. Auburn would claim their 1908 team went undefeated as Dan Reynolds claimed, “We won every game that fall but LSU. But LSU had a pro team.”
The story picked up steam when famed sportswriter Grantland Rice picked up the mantle, accusing LSU of employing ringers and that he had the proof. Of course, he never produced the proof. It’s also important to note he was a Vanderbilt grad and wrote for The Nashville Tennessean, and Vanderbilt was the southern football power of this era. Its coach, Dan McGugin, wielded considerable power in the SIAA. LSU spent all of 1908 trying to schedule a game with Vanderbilt to no avail. Rice’s article gave McGugin cover to avoid the LSU behemoth. It is also notable that McGugin never publicly accused LSU of cheating.
It all came about this way. The night that Chez Clarke, Rose Poly’s coach, was in The Tennessean office, he offered this statement: “So they say L.S.U. is going to have a crack team. Well, I guess she ought to have.” And then picking up the 1907 guide he picked out at least two men whom he said were playing under assumed names, one of them the team’s captain - adding that he had been offered a good monthly salary to come down this fall - the only requirement being that he switch the title by which he was christened.
If L. S. U. can show that she has been done an injustice we will be more than pleased to present her side of the case.
You can guess correctly if he ever presented LSU’s case. Also, Doc Fenton was the team captain, and charging that he was playing under an assumed name is too ridiculous a claim to even rebut. He was one of the most well-known college players in the country.
However, the charges stuck. Doc Fenton would long tell the story about how Edgard Winard gave him $70 for some new clothes so he would consider changing position to quarterback after the 1907 season. And the players of the 1907 team did receive $25 to play in a second exhibition after the Bacardi Bowl. But this was small potatoes, and not the sums, even back in 1908, that would lure top tier football talent. Walter Camp’s slush fund for “tutoring” was $100,000 per season, to give you an idea. Charging that Doc Fenton should be ineligible over $70 is absurd.
Auburn coach Mike Donahue, committed to “clean sports”, lodged a formal complaint with the SIAA. The charges simply enraged LSU, and they proceeded to take their frustrations out on the competition. LSU beat Mississippi A&M 50-0 and Baylor 89-0 in the next two games. LSU wouldn’t give up another point until its final game, a 36-4 thrashing of Arkansas.
Both Edgar Wingard and Thomas Boyd provided affidavits to the SIAA, swearing to their players’ eligibility, and Fred Furman of Mississippi A&M came to LSU’s defense in The Daily State-Times:
The charges being made against Louisiana are serious indeed, but if they are not better founded than appear on the surface, they are fated to fall flat. Fenton and Lally came to L. S. U. from Mansfield State Normal, Pennsylvania, where their strict amateur status was never questioned. Assistant Coach Bobson, of Georgia Tech, is quoted as calling them ex-Peddle Institute [NJ] men. That is a mistake, as I remember Lally was there during the fall of 1906, his second year at Mansfield, for about three days. Fenton never was there. They are playing under their own names, and I don’t think that they receive any remuneration.
The explanation of their presence in the South looks simple to me. They are from the school that sent Davis to Princeton; ... and other stars to other colleges.
Now these boys wanted to play football, too, and probably found that they could enter L. S. U. with less preparation than is required at the great Eastern Universities. At any rate, my knowledge of them is too great to permit me to believe an unsupported charge of professionalism against them.
If Vanderbilt refuses to play them, the South will miss a grand exhibition of the best game ever devised.
But the SIAA refused to honor a team as champions while it was under investigation. The title passed to, shock of all shocks, Auburn. Grantland Rice leveraged his considerable influence to block all LSU players from the postseason All-South team. Walter Camp, hilariously, followed suit, and refused to place any LSU players on the national Walter Camp All-American team. It was an epic screw job, and the SIAA investigation would eventually clear LSU.
Two irregularities were found: Martin Lally took money to play baseball in 1908, so was ruled ineligible, and Charles Bauer was a ringer playing under an assumed name. He was the sole player who graduated in 1907 and wasn’t even on the 1908 team. LSU would still fire Edgard Wingard in the offseason.
To this day, LSU does not claim the 1908 national championship. It absolutely should. The SIAA cleared the team of using ringers and even if they did, so what? Professionalism was so rampant in the 1900s that if we excluded a team from title consideration for it, there literally wouldn’t be any national champions from this era.
The evidence against the team is circumstantial and its primary accusers both reaped benefits by pushing aside LSU’s claims to the title. Auburn got the SIAA title and mythical Champions of the South honor, while Vanderbilt avoided playing the best team in the South. Yes, LSU played a weak schedule, as the South was the weaker region, but they also bludgeoned that schedule by a margin over 400 points. There’s also no undisputed candidate from the North. Think of 1908 LSU like 1983 BYU.
Do it, LSU. Do it for Doc Fenton. Claim the 1908 title.
Before Edgar Wingard and LSU parted ways, Wingard became LSU’s first basketball coach. LSU would win its first hoops game and finish the season 5-2. LSU would bring in Joe Pritchard for Doc Fenton’s senior season. It did not go well. As Fenton would later claim, Pritchard spent the entire year trying to prove he was a better halfback than Fenton, taking away Doc’s touches. Spoiler alert: he wasn’t.
Pritchard wouldn’t even last a season, as John Mayhew took over after LSU lost to Sewanee, the eventual SIAA champion. Things got worse in 1910. Without Doc Fenton or almost any of the players Wingard recruited, LSU would lose its final five games of the year, only scoring a single touchdown in all of the losses combined. The Wingard Era ended almost as suddenly as it had begun.
Program Overview 1907-1909
Athletic Director: Edgar Wingard, sort of
National Titles: Football 1908 (unclaimed)
Conference Titles: Football 1908 (SIAA)
Programs Added: Basketball (1909)
Facilities Added: None
I don’t want to get bogged down in individual years, as I’m trying to do an overview of the AD’s first and foremost, but the seasons of 1907 and 1908 are too important in Tiger Lore to gloss over. Also, the tumultuous three-year tenure of Edgar Wingard cast a long shadow over the program. The program would spend a long time trying to recapture the lightning he bottled. After the SIAA cleared LSU of wrongdoing, it awarded LSU the conference title, though Grantland Rice and company never got around to amending The Spalding Guide to reflect LSU as Champions of the South. Funny, how that worked out.
Wingard lived to see the 1958 national champions team and legend has it that he was asked whether Billy Cannon was the best player he ever saw play for LSU. He replied that Cannon has to be pretty damn good to be better than Doc Fenton. His 1908 team could play a little, too.
In 1958, Next Year finally came. But there will never be another Doc Fenton.
The Florida Gators have already hosted several top prospects on campus this offseason, and are set to host another big time name next... ">247Sports.
It was unbelievable how Mississippi State defeated Georgia.
Good afternoon, Stark Vegas! If you haven’t heard, men’s basketball defeated Georgia in the weirdest way. I’ve seen some wild endings, but this one is for sure near the top of the “weird endings to games” rankings
Men’s Basketball escapes Georgia 68-67
After a Georgia three-pointer tied things at 67, Quinndary Weatherspoon went down the court and was fouled with 0.5 seconds left. After missing the first free throw, a Georgia fan launched an object onto the court. A technical foul was called on Georgia, giving Weatherspoon an extra shot. He sank the next one and missed his final one, but UGA couldn’t get a full-court shot off, helping State win by one.
(Side note: My ESPN notifications were confusing. It’d say “Halftime: Bulldogs lead the Bulldogs 36-24. They can’t pick that up and put “MSU” or something?)
Softball defeats Alabama State
Two home runs from the Lady Bulldogs lifted them to a 3-1 win over Alabama State. Candace Denis had five strikeouts on the day.
Baseball escapes UAB
A three-run seventh inning helped Mississippi State escape an upset. Dustin Skelton and Jake Mangum had RBIs to complete the comeback and move No. 9 MSU to 4-0 on the season.
Women’s basketball has a big one tonight against Ole Miss. Tune in to the SEC Network at 7 p.m. to watch. Have a good day and Hail State!
When the Razorbacks head to Los Angeles to take on USC in a three game series starting Thursday at 9 p.m. (CST), Arkansas center fielder Dominic Fletcher ...