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Rebel Roundup - July 23, 2012

Charles Sawyer at last week's SEC Media Days
Charles Sawyer at last week's SEC Media Days

Successful Sunday |
Robert Nkemdiche, along with several other highly sought after recruits, visited Ole Miss this past weekend and were said to have had a good time in doing so. Nkemdiche, in particular, said:

It’s a great campus, man. It’s so big. Great coaches...My brother’s here. I love my brother to death, and (Ole Miss safety) Chief (Brown). Those are my boys. I like it a lot, man.

Nkemdiche also was seen wearing a gray #1 Ole Miss jersey (scroll down the page to see it), something which, when tweeted out by his older brother Denzel, caused a bit of an Internet brouhaha. I'm not sure that the current Clemson commitment is looking to change his mind with regards to his football future, but I do think that, if he is, he's looking at Ole Miss.

Freeze stays same person in SEC as he was in NAIA | The Jackson Sun
For two years, while Lambuth University still existed, Hugh Freeze lived and worked in Jackson, Tennessee coaching the Lambuth [NOUN]s to some remarkable success in the NAIA. San Jose State and Arkansas State jobs later, Freeze is coaching college football at its highest level. He assures us, though, that he's "the same guy that [he] was when [he] was at Lambuth...the same guy [he] was when [he] coached high school ball."

Freeze At ESPN Car Wash |
Heck, Hugh Freeze is so homespun and folksy that he's going to be at the "ESPN Car Wash" - whatever the hell that is - this week. He'll be in Bristol hanging out at the worldwide leader, doing things like appearing on College Football Live, hosting a "Twitter chat", and making Tyler Perry references to Rece Davis. The full schedule of events at the ESPN Car Wash as they relate to Coach Freeze are beyond this link.

Josh Pastner not sold on Ole Miss series | College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN
When it was announced that Ole Miss would be playing Memphis again in football and basketball, Tigers head basketball coach Josh Pastner expressed his disapproval of the series. Last year, he said the same sort of things about playing the Tennessee Volunteers. Why is it that Pastner openly expresses his desire to avoid playing SEC foes?'s Eamonn Brennan says it's:

Because both schools would love greater access to the high-flying Memphis recruiting scene. Pastner wants to ensure that no one has access to said scene before him. He doesn't want to offer those schools any opportunities to play in front of local crowds, to tell players they can still play in the FedEx Forum without signing with Memphis, to reassure mothers their kids will be back in town for a game at least once a year. Pastner wants Memphis to be the only destination for elite Memphis players. He's already awful close; tactics like this are among the reasons why.

Well, yeah. That, and Josh Pastner's a brat.

Penn State to Receive ‘Punitive Measures’ From N.C.A.A. |
Thankfully not Ole Miss related, but still quite relevant in the college football world at large, are the upcoming NCAA sanctions to be levied against Penn State's football program for the systemic cover up of former Nittany Lions coordinator Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children at the school's football facilities and elsewhere. The punishments are said to be both "unprecedented" and "crippling", but will not entail the infamous football "Death Penalty", or the complete removal of the football program for at least a season. Rumors of fines up to $50M, significant scholarship reductions, and television bans have been floating around - all of which would certainly hinder a program which, of late, hasn't been living up to the potential it has.

I bring all of this up because I think it serves as a catalyst for an interesting discussion about the NCAA, its power, its authority, and its role in promoting good behavior out of its member institutions. I certainly don't think punishment for something only tangentially related to the game being played (I suppose you could argue that the cover-up was largely in place to keep Joe Pa safe, which would have an impact on the football program.) is precedented, but I'm okay with their decision to act on this, precedent or not.