Originally created 07/25/99

SEC coaches come together



South Carolina's Lou Holtz will share the stage at this week's Southeastern Conference Media Days in Birmingham, Ala.

It'll be a far cry from June's gathering of conference coaches at the spring meetings in Destin, Fla., where Florida coach Steve Spurrier and Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer didn't attend.

Spurrier was playing golf at Pebble Beach in California. Fulmer was also in California attending a function sponsored by adidas, the shoe company his program endorses.

The absence of two of the league's luminaries drew Holtz's playful ire.

"I was under the impression there were 12 coaches in this league, not 10," the 62-year-old Holtz quipped to reporters at the time.

Holtz canceled an expedition of his own to attend the meetings -- a more sizable jaunt to monitor the upcoming elections in Indonesia.

Representatives of the U.S. government asked Holtz to make the trip, but SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer "told me to be here, and I am here," Holtz said.

Fulmer and Spurrier were the only two of SEC football and men's and women's basketball coaches to skip the event.

The media days are scheduled Tuesday through Thursday. Holtz will accompany the rest of the Gamecocks coaching staff to Birmingham on Monday for meetings with the other rookie SEC coaches.

NO SURPRISE HERE:

It shouldn't come as a shock that South Carolina running back Troy Hambrick was kicked off the football team again.

Despite recent glowing reports of his supposed renaissance, Hambrick's was a cautionary story. He and fullback Jacob Bush were kicked off the team at the beginning of spring drills because of poor academics, then they were reinstated recently for progress that proved fleeting.

Reports from Columbia on Saturday said the two were kicked off the team again, this time permanently.

In an interview with reporters in June, Hambrick made it clear his disdain for academics was still strong.

"In life, you've got different ambitions," said the 6-foot, 230-pound senior. "Some things will do good for some people, and some things won't ... I always gave football everything and I always left school behind. That's how it's always been."

Hambrick, the Gamecocks' leading rusher the past two seasons, intimated that he was treated unfairly by Holtz in the spring.

"It was one of the worst experiences I've been in, with a guy just coming in, not really knowing me, and shooting me down like that," he said of Holtz, who replaced Brad Scott last December.

WHERE'S QUINCY:

What constitutes an "all-purpose" quarterback? You'd assume it describes a signal-caller who can pass and run with equal effectiveness.

Evidently, the term carries questionable meaning in The Sporting News college football preview.

The magazine listed Georgia Tech's Joe Hamilton as its No. 1 all-purpose quarterback, while Georgia's Quincy Carter didn't make the top 12 in that category.

But from a 1998 statistics standpoint, the two are equal. Hamilton passed for 2,166 yards and rushed for 317 yards over 12 games last season; in the same span, Carter threw for 2,706 and rushed for 317 yards.

LOFTY PERCH:

The Bulldogs got their highest ranking of the preseason mags when the Street and Smith preview issue placed them No. 11. Georgia Tech was No. 8.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW:

Further perusal of the preseason publications shows that their recruiting rankings mean next to nothing.

A common theme had Georgia's class among the best nationally, with signees Reggie Brown and Durell Robinson cited as the reasons. But both Brown and Robinson fell short of NCAA requirements and won't don Bulldogs' uniforms this fall.

With those losses, a top-five haul becomes a top 20 class, at best.

YOUNG A RAZORBACK?:

A highly touted linemen from Georgia might be leaning toward Arkansas.

Sean Young of Northwest Whitfield High in Tunnel Hill, Ga., attended a seniors camp at Arkansas recently and met with the Razorbacks' coaches. The 6-foot-7, 288-pound Young agreed to a visit for Nov. 13, when Arkansas will play host to Tennessee.

Young is reportedly considering the Razorbacks, Tennessee, Florida State and Georgia. His older brother, Chad Young, is a redshirt freshman offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, but he said that won't be a factor when he decides which school to attend.

"Wherever I go, I want to make my own name," Sean Young recently told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "I don't want to be known as Chad Young's little brother or Chad Young, Jr. I want to be known as Sean Young."

SAY WHAT?:

Vanderbilt University, the perennial butt of many a football joke across the SEC, recently unveiled its new logo, whose inception was lauded by coach Woody Widenhofer.

The three words the Commodores' coach associated with the logo were "character, manliness and violence."

In a more profound comment, Widenhofer offered: "Maybe it's time for a change. But I know the new logo won't win you games."

Larry Williams covers college sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3645 or at larrywill7@yahoo.com.