Missouri Tigers News and Notes: Spring Practices Rapidly Approaching
Don't know about you, but I'm getting a little sick of battling the shakes as part of my war with college football withdrawal.
Alas, relief is on the horizon, as only three and half weeks separate us from the beginning of the Missouri Tigers' spring practices, which commence on Mar. 9th.
Here's a few links to chew on regarding the MU football program and other happenings around the athletics department:
- In the first of what figures to be a number of incidences of attrition within the program, No. 4 running back Gilbert Moye decided this week to leave the team and will reportedly transfer after the end of the current semester.
A redshirt sophomore, Moye began his career at safety but was converted to running back prior to the 2009 season. In very limited duty, he rushed for 35 yards on six carries, all of which came against Furman on Sept. 19th. He reportedly hopes to play his old high school position of quarterback at his new destination, likely a school from either the Southland Conference or Southwestern Athletic Conference, both FCS members.
With Moye's defection, assuming that each of the 23 newcomers who signed earlier this month qualify academically, MU now has 89 players on its roster. Per NCAA rules, 85 scholarships are allowed to be given out each season, which means the Tigers overshot their recruiting numbers purposely, perhaps under the assumption that Moye would be but one of a small handful of players who will either decide to transfer or have their scholarship stripped.
- Gabe DeArmond of Power Mizzou gets an early jump on spring ball by breaking down what stories will dominate the Tigers' early-season practice period. Among them is whether either of the two newly-minted quarterbacks — freshmen Tyler Gabbert and James Franklin (above) — will be able to land the backup role.
- DeArmond's father, Kansas City Star writer Mike DeArmond, spoke with MU head coach Gary Pinkel at a recent area function. When asked about the state of his team's defense, particularly the maligned secondary, Pinkel responded: "Coverage-wise, we’re looking at a couple of different options now. We’re talking to some people. We’ve got to get it fixed.”
- Missouri joining the Big Ten makes sense. Colorado defecting to the Pac-10 probably even more so. Texas to either of those conferences? Forget about it.
- In an attempt to zap even more emotion and enthusiasm from the game of college football, the NCAA is proposing a rule that would flag a player for taunting on his way to the end zone and assess the penalty at the spot of the foul, therefore negating the touchdown. If the incident occurs in the end zone, officials will apply the current rule, which imposes a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff.
If the NCAA were smart, it would not tinker with the ways things are now, which happen to be outrageously subjective to begin with, all because no official seems to have a clear grasp as to what actually constitutes taunting or unsportsmanlike conduct? Now they want to potentially rob a team of a game-winning score because of what one player may or may not have done?
- Onto college basketball, where the notion of increasing the NCAA Tournament field to include 96 teams has been meant with fervor, with much of the opposition residing within the media. Meanwhile, coaches don't seem to mind the idea, while one writer in particular interjects with a dose of reason.
- ESPN.com columnist Pat Forde recently polled writers from each of the six major conferences on the best and worst towns within their respective leagues, as well as which town was the best for basketball. Suffice it to say, I wasn't all that shocked that Columbia wasn't mentioned ahead of a place like Lawrence, albeit a hoops synagogue that resides in the "vast nothingness that is the middle of Kansas."
- In the same article, Forde — an MU alum — lists Kansas' Mar. 6 date with the Tigers in Columbia as the Jayhawks' "scariest" game from here on out.
- Believe it or not, the Missouri baseball team begins its season next week. The Tigers, which feature only three seniors, will play in the Collegiate Cactus Classic in Tuscon, Ariz., beginning on Feb. 17.
- One final note, and it has to do with a bit of shameless self-promotion. Be sure to read my article, "Five New Ways To Watch The Olympics," which was recently posted at Askmen.com.
Photo credit: HSgametime.com
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