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  1. Guess who is coming to Cal-Berkely this weekend...

    Is Robert Lee slated to do their ESPN broadcast?
  2. Rate your disdain

    Solid 3.
  3. FWIW.

    Keyboard warning - I felt like throwing up when I read the original post, and completed the act on pages 3-6. Please watch your step back there, I had beans.
  4. Florida State 2013 allegations

    Yep - REC doing work.
  5. Florida State 2013 allegations

    Wow! If Florida State has to vacate the 2013 title.... 2013 FSU allegations Football Favoritism at F.S.U.: The Price One Teacher Paid By MIKE McINTIRESEPT. 1, 2017 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story Share Tweet Email More Save Photo Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin catches the winning touchdown for Florida State during the BCS national championship game at the Rose Bowl in 2014. Credit Harry How/Getty Images TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — As the Florida State University football team was marching to a national title in the fall of 2013, the school was investigating allegations of academic favoritism involving a half-dozen of its leading players, including one who scored the winning touchdown in the championship game. The inquiry, previously unreported, stemmed from a complaint by a teaching assistant who said she felt pressured to give special breaks to athletes in online hospitality courses on coffee, tea and wine, where some handed in plagiarized work and disregarded assignments and quizzes. The assistant, a 47-year-old doctoral student named Christina Suggs, provided emails and other evidence in late August 2013 to the Florida State inspector general, an independent office. But her case was soon taken over by the university’s attorney. The allegations were especially sensitive for Florida State, which had been stripped of 12 football victories four years earlier because of improper assistance to athletes in an online music course. The university was also at the time facing a scandal involving its star quarterback, Jameis Winston, who was accused of rape but never charged. Photo Christina Suggs was a teaching assistant at Florida State who said she felt pressured to give special breaks to athletes. It is unclear if any of the conduct Ms. Suggs complained about resulted in athletes being improperly eligible to play. In a statement, the university said an outside consultant it hired to investigate found no wrongdoing. It refused to release any more information, saying that to do so would jeopardize the privacy of the students involved. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage At Florida State, Football Clouds Justice OCT. 10, 2014 Florida State Settles Suit Over Jameis Winston Rape Inquiry JAN. 25, 2016 Advertisement Continue reading the main story Even so, two things are certain: By the end of 2013, Florida State had tightened standards for the online hospitality courses. And Ms. Suggs had lost her job and left the school. Advertisement Continue reading the main story The story of Ms. Suggs’s experience trying to hold athletes to the same standards as other students, pieced together from emails, other documents and interviews, came to light during research for a forthcoming book, “Champions Way: Football, Florida, and the Lost Soul of College Sports” (W. W. Norton). It offers a case study of how academic and legal imperatives often collide with the pressures of big-time college sports, at a time when academic fraud and sexual assault scandals are roiling campuses across the country, from Baylor University in Texas to the University of Mississippi. Florida State was the focus of reporting by The New York Times in 2014 that examined the mishandling of criminal allegations against members of the championship football team, including Mr. Winston. One of the players involved in Ms. Suggs’s complaint was James Wilder Jr., who had been arrested three times in the previous year and was on track to get, at best, a grade of D in one course. He emailed his professor as the summer semester was ending to say he needed a B “to keep myself in good academic place with the school.” The professor, Mark Bonn, who ran the hospitality courses, instructed Ms. Suggs to work with Mr. Wilder — he referred to him as “a starting star running back,” before noting that all students should be treated equally — and give him a chance to make up past assignments and submit missing portions of his final project, even though it had already been graded. Ms. Suggs wrote that Mr. Wilder “should have done the work like everyone else” and objected to granting him special treatment, telling a colleague, “I am not offering this opportunity to other students.” The colleague agreed, summing up their mutual concern about Professor Bonn: “Trying to put a stop to his favoritism for athletes once and for all.” Photo Former Florida State players Chris Casher, left, and James Wilder Jr. Credit From left: Joe Robbins/Getty Images; Don Juan Moore, via Associated Press Friends of Ms. Suggs said she was painfully aware of the stakes involved in filing her complaint, including the possibility that athletes found in violation of academic standards might be ineligible to play under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. All but one of the players identified in her emails went on to the National Football League. “It was a huge heartache for her,” said Barbara Davis, a fellow doctoral student and close friend of Ms. Suggs. “She told me how there had been tremendous pressure on her to pass these football players, even though they didn’t deserve it.” Plagiarized Work In June 2013, administrators at Florida State’s Dedman School of Hospitality circulated a memo to teaching assistants. The school’s online courses in “beverage management,” the memo noted, were popular with “a large number of student athletes” who needed to be tracked closely. “Like the on-ground classes, we’re asked to review athletes’ progress on a regular basis and report how they’re doing to their academic advisers,” the memo said. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Professor Bonn was familiar with Florida State athletics, having done studies on the economic impact of Seminoles games. He also helped conduct a hospitality school fund-raiser with the former football coach Bobby Bowden and the Seminole Boosters, a private group that supports the sports program. Email exchanges show that football players liked dealing with Professor Bonn, who seemed attuned to their roles on the team, telling one to “keep in top shape!” and referring to Mr. Wilder as the “star running back.” He also shared a Tallahassee defense lawyer with Mr. Wilder and other football players in trouble; the lawyer, R. Timothy Jansen, represented the professor when his second wife filed for divorce in December 2012 and obtained a restraining order, which was later lifted with no admission of wrongdoing by Professor Bonn. Photo Professor Mark Bonn, pictured in the center panel holding a wine glass, appeared in a photograph taken of a web page from the Florida State booster club called Old School. The top panel shows the former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden, in sunglasses holding a helmet. Professor Bonn’s interactions with Ms. Suggs initially were positive; he praised her work incorporating the concept of sustainability into a course on coffee and tea, according to emails among staff members at Dedman in May 2013. Ms. Suggs, a single mother working from home so she could raise her young son, also received good reviews from Dedman’s director, Jane Ohlin, who called her “absolutely fabulous” and said her “work ethic is above reproach.” By midsummer, though, Ms. Suggs was growing frustrated. She said she felt pressure “to pad grades for the football players, and I told her I thought that was common practice,” said Phil Suggs, her estranged husband. “But she said, ‘Not with me. If they don’t make it, they don’t make it,’” he said. After a defensive end on the team, Chris Casher, handed in plagiarized work, Ms. Suggs alerted a program associate in the office, Aiden Sizemore, who sent an email to Professor Bonn saying the player had “copied every portion of his project” with no citations or sources listed. Professor Bonn allowed Mr. Casher to redo the work, explaining to him the meaning of paraphrase, that copied text needed quotation marks “before the first word and after the last word,” and that sources had to be listed at the end. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Copied text in Kelvin Benjamin’s project An identical block of text appears in both Mr. Benjamin’s project and this web page. #g-graphic { display: -webkit-box; display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -webkit-box-orient: vertical; -webkit-box-direction: normal; -ms-flex-direction: column; flex-direction: column; -ms-flex-item-align: start; align-self: flex-start; -webkit-box-pack: start; -ms-flex-pack: start; justify-content: flex-start; padding-top: 10px; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic { -webkit-box-orient: horizontal; -webkit-box-direction: normal; -ms-flex-direction: row; flex-direction: row; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document { width: 50%; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document:nth-child(odd) { padding-right: 10px; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document:nth-child(even) { padding-left: 10px; } #g-graphic h2 { font-family: 'nyt-franklin', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 5px; font-size: 16px; } #g-graphic img { width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; border: 1px solid #e5e5e5; } #g-graphic { font-family: 'nyt-franklin', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; margin-bottom: 15px; } #g-graphic a { text-decoration: none; } #g-graphic a:hover { text-decoration: underline; } Mr. Benjamin’s presentation Source page with identical text The work of other players listed sources at the end, but they contained page after page of text lifted verbatim from websites, without quotation marks or citations. Those projects — by Mr. Wilder, Timmy Jernigan, Tre’ Jackson, Nick Waisome and Kelvin Benjamin, the wide receiver who caught the winning pass in the championship game — appear to have been accepted without question. Another player turned in writing of his own that was barely grade-school level. “Brazilian coffee is one of few places that has a carnival and the coffee place a major role just as much as the dancing and the food,” he wrote. Several players were allowed to make up missed assignments and quizzes long past the deadlines, even though course policy said it was “unacceptable to wait until the last week of class” to request it; on a couple of occasions, Professor Bonn deducted points for lateness. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Neither Professor Bonn nor any of the players responded to requests for comment for this article. Photo Tre’ Jackson of Florida State in 2014. Credit Joe Robbins/Getty Images Special Treatment It was Mr. Wilder’s insistence that he should get a grade of B that seemed to have caused the most consternation. In his email to Professor Bonn, he claimed he had submitted work that he had not been credited for, while also acknowledging missing a handful of assignments and quizzes. In response to the professor’s query, Ms. Suggs wrote that she “carefully reviewed James Wilder’s grades and can assure you that the work he missed is because he did not do it or did not turn it in.” She added, ”It is my opinion that he should have done the work like everyone else.” Ms. Suggs had already graded Mr. Wilder’s final project, a PowerPoint presentation comparing coffee in Argentina and Kenya, which was incomplete. But Professor Bonn instructed her to allow him to submit missing sections and set a new deadline, prompting her to seek guidance from Mr. Sizemore, her colleague who had expressed concern about Professor Bonn’s “favoritism for athletes.” Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Copied text in players’ joint project An identical block of text appears in Tre’ Jackson, Timmy Jernigan Nick Waisome’s work and this web page. #g-graphic { display: -webkit-box; display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -webkit-box-orient: vertical; -webkit-box-direction: normal; -ms-flex-direction: column; flex-direction: column; -ms-flex-item-align: start; align-self: flex-start; -webkit-box-pack: start; -ms-flex-pack: start; justify-content: flex-start; padding-top: 10px; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic { -webkit-box-orient: horizontal; -webkit-box-direction: normal; -ms-flex-direction: row; flex-direction: row; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document { width: 50%; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document:nth-child(odd) { padding-right: 10px; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document:nth-child(even) { padding-left: 10px; } #g-graphic h2 { font-family: 'nyt-franklin', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 5px; font-size: 16px; } #g-graphic img { width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; border: 1px solid #e5e5e5; } #g-graphic { font-family: 'nyt-franklin', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; margin-bottom: 15px; } #g-graphic a { text-decoration: none; } #g-graphic a:hover { text-decoration: underline; } The players' presentation Source page with identical text One issue was that students were not allowed to make up missed assignments without a documented excuse, such as a medical problem, approved by the university. Mr. Sizemore replied that he would consult Ms. Ohlin, the school’s director, “as this is above both of our pay grades LOL.” When Ms. Suggs had not heard back later that evening, she reached out to Mr. Sizemore again. “I don’t want Dr. Bonn to get mad at me for not responding to him. I also don’t want him mad at me for not doing what he says,” she wrote. “I really want to keep my job.” “Go ahead with what Dr. Bonn wants to do,” Mr. Sizemore replied, “and just let me know if he tries to have anything else opened without documentation.” Ms. Suggs gave Mr. Wilder the new deadline, but he missed that one, too, and another, before eventually turning in the material several days later. It is unclear if Mr. Wilder got his B. But Professor Bonn forwarded his work to Ms. Suggs, saying, “It looks great.” Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Copied text in James Wilder’s project An identical block of text appears in both Mr. Wilder’s project and this web page. #g-graphic { display: -webkit-box; display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -webkit-box-orient: vertical; -webkit-box-direction: normal; -ms-flex-direction: column; flex-direction: column; -ms-flex-item-align: start; align-self: flex-start; -webkit-box-pack: start; -ms-flex-pack: start; justify-content: flex-start; padding-top: 10px; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic { -webkit-box-orient: horizontal; -webkit-box-direction: normal; -ms-flex-direction: row; flex-direction: row; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document { width: 50%; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document:nth-child(odd) { padding-right: 10px; } .viewport-small-20 #g-graphic .document:nth-child(even) { padding-left: 10px; } #g-graphic h2 { font-family: 'nyt-franklin', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; margin-bottom: 5px; font-size: 16px; } #g-graphic img { width: 100%; box-sizing: border-box; border: 1px solid #e5e5e5; } #g-graphic { font-family: 'nyt-franklin', Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; margin-bottom: 15px; } #g-graphic a { text-decoration: none; } #g-graphic a:hover { text-decoration: underline; } Mr. Wilder’s presentation Source page with identical text Corrective Measures Although the university maintained that Ms. Suggs’s complaint was without merit, it clearly believed there were problems with the online classes at Dedman. It canceled some of them in the fall of 2013 and revamped the distance learning program, in the face of concern about “academic dishonesty” and other matters, according to emails among university administrators. In addition, Professor Bonn, who had run the distance learning program since 2009, stepped aside from that role. Advertisement Continue reading the main story “The one thing I desperately need is for there not to be any ‘drama’ around these online classes,” Ms. Ohlin, the director of Dedman, emailed a colleague in October 2013. “We have problems with plagiarism. Problems with the answers to tests” being accessible. As for the complaint about Professor Bonn and the football players, the university said, “The decision to rework the online courses to ensure they were academically rigorous enough to support the College of Business degree had nothing to do with Ms. Suggs or her report.” Under intercollegiate rules, schools can investigate academic cases themselves and decide if they warrant a report to the N.C.A.A. The main criterion for whether a violation occurred is if any misconduct resulted in an athlete being wrongly certified to play, said Gerald Gurney, a senior associate athletic director for academics at the University of Oklahoma and past president of the Drake Group, which advocates for academic integrity in college sports. “Clearly, there are academic integrity issues here that apply to N.C.A.A. rules, but the key is whether it affected certification of eligibility,” Mr. Gurney said, regarding the concerns raised by Ms. Suggs. “I would suspect that it is an impermissible academic assistance problem, but I’d need more information.” As the 2013 fall semester came to a close and the Seminoles were preparing for the championship game, Ms. Suggs — who already had two master’s degrees — was informed that her job as a teaching assistant would not be renewed because she did not have enough business school credits. In an email to the inspector general, Ms. Suggs said that she believed she had lost her job “due to this unfortunate circumstance with Dr. Bonn and the investigation into the football players.” Photo Timmy Jernigan, left, and Nick Waisome, center right. Credit From left: Joe Robbins/Getty Images; Tomasso Derosa, via Associated Press Ms. Suggs decided to leave Florida State, after five years, with an education specialist degree — one step short of her doctorate. In her email to the inspector general, she added that she was “hoping just to put all of Florida State University behind me as I move forward with my life.” Friends said her decision to leave took an enormous toll. “I can’t stress enough how important this Ph.D. was to her,” said Melissa Isaak, another of her close friends, adding that next to raising her son, obtaining the advanced degree “was the single most important thing in her life.” In the months that followed, in deteriorating health and deeply in debt with student loans, Ms. Suggs struggled to cobble together a steady income from online teaching jobs. She had back surgery in October 2014 and returned to her tiny rented condo in Panama City Beach, Fla., to recuperate. Got a confidential news tip? The New York Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists. .has-top-ad .story.theme-interactive, .has-ribbon .story.theme-interactive { margin-top: 10px; } .story.theme-interactive .comments-button.theme-kicker { margin-top: 0; } .page-interactive-default .story.theme-main .story-header { border-bottom: none; } .story.theme-interactive .story-meta .kicker { margin-bottom: 22px; } .viewport-medium-10 .story.theme-interactive .story-meta .kicker { margin-bottom: 24px; } .story.theme-interactive .story-header .story-meta .kicker-container .sharetools { position: relative; left: auto; bottom: auto; width: auto; margin-top: -6px; float: right; clear: none; } .story.theme-interactive .story-header .story-meta .interactive-kicker { float: left; width: 65%; display: inline-block; } .page-interactive-default .story.theme-main .story-header { margin-bottom: 0; } .page-interactive-default .story.theme-main .story-header .story-meta { margin-bottom: 10px; } .story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal{ width:auto; margin-top:11px; } .story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool { display: inline-block; border-top: 0; } .story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool:first-child a { margin-left: 0; padding-left: 0; border-left: none; } .story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool a { padding-left: 15px; padding-right: 5px; height: 20px; border-left: 1px solid #e2e2e2; } .story.theme-minimal .sharetools.layout-horizontal .sharetool a:hover { background-color: transparent; } .tips-promo { font-family: "nyt-franklin", helvetica, arial, sans-serif; display: block; width: 84px; border-style: none; border-color: transparent; font-weight: 700; font-size: 13px; padding: 7px; border-radius: 3px; background: #333; color: whitesmoke; -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; } .tips-promo a, .tips-promo a:hover { text-decoration: none; } Learn More Not long after, Ms. Suggs lay down for a nap while her mother took her son out to a restaurant. They returned to find her unresponsive, a trickle of blood seeping from her nose. Advertisement Continue reading the main story The medical examiner determined that she had died accidentally from a toxic combination of prescription medicines for pain, anxiety and depression. ______________________________________________ Mike McIntire is the author of Champions Way: Football, Florida, and the Lost Soul of College Sports published by W. W. Norton. Follow him on Twitter. Continue reading the main story
  6. Hurricane Irma - Clemson game

    I really, really hope and pray that far westward track doesn't come to fruition. Hovers around SE Texas.
  7. Good article on our new QB's history.

    Happily, al.bammer has decided to revamp their own headline after even some bammer fans were offended by it. The headline now reads: Can Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham escape Art Briles' shadow?
  8. Good article on our new QB's history.

    I tried to edit out the title here, but it won't let me for some reason.
  9. Good article on our new QB's history.

    It should be noted, I strongly disagree with the wording of the headline (that's for you), but the article itself is a good read.
  10. Stidham's journey Legacy of disgraced coach Art Briles survives at Auburn in Jarrett Stidham By Joseph Goodman Art Briles is out of football, but the best of his tainted legacy now survives at Auburn University. When Auburn opens the season on Saturday, quarterback Jarrett Stidham will appear on a college football field for the first time since playing for Briles and Baylor in 2015. A player Briles once called the best quarterback he had ever coached, Stidham will be representing more than just his new team in the Tigers' season opener. The former five-star prospect with the potential to transform Auburn into a national contender also will be a visible reminder of Briles, who is now one of the most disgraced coaches in college football history. For those in football who remain close to Briles -- and there are many -- Stidham signifies what could be the last in a long line of elite quarterbacks developed by a coach once revered in Central Texas as a deity. For some, including his family, Stidham's moves from Baylor to a junior college and then to Auburn were made with competing emotions. Stidham isn't simply one of Briles' former players. The connection between the player and his former coach dates back over a decade, and continued after Stidham left Baylor. "We just know that he really liked Baylor," said Rochelle Stidham, Jarrett's mother and a longtime journalist. "He liked going to school there, and he really liked the coaching that was there, and what they were about. ADVERTISING "So, for his sake, it was disheartening what happened. But I don't really know what to think about all that. I don't know what to say about all that. I felt like it was sad, and sad for Jarrett. I was disappointed that all came out, but I knew in the outcome of it all that Jarrett would be OK either way." Stidham's relationship with Briles wasn't a distraction for Auburn during the preseason, and it isn't expected to become one, but the quarterback's development under Briles will be central to Auburn's success this season. Briles' expansive coaching tree began molding Stidham at a young age, and Stidham would be a different player today without that guidance. Baylor's sexual abuse scandal forced Stidham to leave the school, and led to the quarterback's transfer to Auburn. During the prolonged controversy, Briles played a part in steering Stidham to Auburn, and the Stidham family remains emotionally connected with their son's former coach. Last season, there was a rumor linking Briles to Auburn, but Auburn coach Gus Malzahn instead hired Chip Lindsey from Arizona State to be the Tigers' new offensive coordinator. Briles' reputation remains radioactive. He was hired by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL on Monday, but, after public outcry, the league announced less than 24 hours later that Briles would not be coaching with Hamilton this season. What Chip Lindsey said about Stidham, WRs, Ga. Southern Follow along with live updates of Chip Lindsey's press conference On Aug. 17, Briles' name formerly was removed from a lawsuit by a former Baylor student who was raped by a football player in 2012. That suit, filed in the spring of 2016, came two months before Baylor fired Briles. Two months after Briles' firing, Stidham left the school as well. But Stidham didn't leave Briles' sphere behind when he left Baylor. From fifth grade until the day he transferred to Auburn from a junior college in Waco, Texas, Stidham was surrounded and cultivated by men who learned quarterbacking and coaching from Briles. Briles' coaching tree spreads throughout Central Texas, a high school football hotbed, and when Stidham transferred from Baylor to a local junior college in Waco, he practiced at a local high school whose head coach, Jeff Hulme, played for Briles. Kelan Luker, Stidham's first personal quarterback coach as a fifth-grader in Stephenville, Texas, was a former state champion passer for Briles at the local high school. Briles made a name for himself in Stephenville, and so did Stidham. After blossoming into one of the nation's best quarterback recruits in 2014, Stidham was steered to Baylor by a football culture in Stephenville loyal to Briles. At the time, Stidham's mother was the publisher of the local Stephenville newspaper, the Stephenville Empire-Tribune. A rabid college-football fan and native Texan, Rochelle Stidham appreciated and understood Briles' influence on the town. Before Briles, Stephenville's football team was a perennial loser. Briles then won four state titles there, and changed the town in the process. Stidham's father, Juder Stidham III, who is originally from Kentucky, said "Briles was kind of like God" to the people of Stephenville long after the coach left for the college game. "A lot of people that stayed in that community whether they were attorneys or business people or people at the college or whatever, they were very devoted with Briles and with Baylor," Juder said. "Jarrett had a lot of pressure from the get-go just to go to Baylor." ADVERTISING If nothing else, Stidham's association with Briles is one of the coach's remaining positive connections to college football. Briles' legacy is one of shame and corruption after overseeing a football program accused of covering up sexaual assaults by its players, but before the coach's fall he was regarded as one of the game's most innovative offensive minds. His speciality was developing quarterbacks, and Stidham was groomed from an early age to be an acolyte of Briles' system. Jarrett Stidham becomes the most important personnel decision of Gus Malzahn's career The Auburn coach struck gold with Cam Newton and Nick Marshall as transfers, but there's a greater sense of necessity and urgency that Stidham deliver as well. Stidham is a gifted all-around athlete who grew up playing basketball, baseball, football and soccer in Kentucky. His mother says Jarrett's overall athleticism comes from her side of the family, which is from San Antonio, but Jarrett inherited his height (6-foot-3) and, apparently, his arm strength from his father. "I can throw a baseball a mile," said Juder, who is 6-foot-4. One of Briles' most successful high school quarterbacks in Stephenville, Texas, would later hone Jarrett's skills as a natural passer, but those early years in Kentucky playing four sports formed Jarrett's athletic ability. Being from outside Lexington, Kentucky, Juder wanted his athletic son to be a basketball player, but Jarrett's first love was always football. He could "sling a football" 20 yards as a six-year-old, according to his father. Soccer helped develop Jarrett's footwork as a passer, says Juder. Jarrett's youth football teams dominated the area, and when Stidham's mother took a job at the Stephenville, Texas, newspaper, it was already apparent her 12-year-old son had the tools to develop into an elite quarterback. In Stephenville, Stidham began training with quarterbacks coach Kelan Luker, who set national high school passing records playing for Briles. Luker taught Stidham the science of quarterbacking, and coached Stidham in seven-on-seven. As for throwing, that always came naturally. "The crazy thing about him is that he hardly ever missed," Luker said. "He was very, very accurate, so that was never an issue. I remember I went and watched him his freshman year, and he rolled left, stopped and chunked it 50 yards in the air for a touchdown pass. "It was 50 yards in the air as a ninth grader, which is phenomenal. He was better than the varsity guy as a freshman, and without a doubt. He could probably throw it as good as anyone in the country as a freshman, to be honest." When it came time to pick a college, Baylor had a built in advantage. Stidham's high school coach at the time, Joseph Gillispie, was a former assistant for Briles, and Stidham's quarterback coach was one of Briles' former star quarterbacks. "People around him, including me, all played for Art in the late 90s," Luker said. "We all love Art, so we didn't see anything wrong with him going to Baylor. Art was going to make him successful. "He could go anywhere in the country, but Baylor's Art Briles can help you succeed because he does it every year. That was the advice I gave him." Stidham 'raised his level' since being named starter In the five practices since being officially named Auburn's starting quarterback, Jarrett Stidham has been everywhere on and off the field. Briles knew he had something special in Stidham, and affectionately referred to his star recruit as "Studham." Stidham played as a freshman after starting quarterback Seth Russell injured his neck, but Stidham's season also ended in pain when he broke an ankle against Oklahoma State. When Baylor's football program began to collapse under the weight of controversy, Stidham first pledged his loyalty to the school. "Can't wait to get back on that grind tomorrow with my brothers," Stidham wrote on Instagram in late May of 2016. "This year is going to be different than the rest in many ways, but either way we will make a statement to everyone. Excited for the opportunity God has presented this team with to overcome adversity and become even closer as a family. Stick with us Baylor nation, we got this." Stidham decided to transfer two months later. His decision to sit out a season was a smart one, according to his family and former coaches, because it allowed him to build his strength for the SEC. A connection with Briles helped Stidham train during that year away from collegiate football. While taking classes at a junior college in Waco, Stidham was a scout-team quarterback for a local high school coached by one of Briles' former players. "Jarrett played for him in college and I played for him in high school, so we sort of had kind of a connection there," said Midway coach Jeff Hulme. "We got to talking and he asked if he could come out and throw against our secondary some days, and I said sure, yeah, come on." That first day of high school practice, Stidham stretched and warmed up with his helmet on. No one knew who he was, and players on the team whispered to one another that Stidham had moved into the district to be the new quarterback. They soon discovered Stidham was just there to be the best high school scout team quarterback in the country. "And he didn't have a locker," Hulme said. "He just showed up in his truck and when practice was over he'd put his helmet and shoulder pads back in the truck and he'd leave. It was good for him because he got to go against live competition, and obviously it was good for our guys because they were seeing it zip out at them a little bit faster than normal." When it came time to pick a new college team, Briles helped direct Stidham to Auburn. Baylor's former coach respected Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. Stidham wanted to play for a winner, and he thought Auburn, when matched with his skills learned from years of training in Central Texas, had the best chance. "Jarrett wanted to be in a situation where whatever team he was going to could potentially contend for a national championship," Juder Stidham III said, "and Auburn, with the defense that they always have, when they have the right quarterback plugged into their system -- they got the running game, they just got to develop the quarterback-receiver relationship. "It was a bad situation with Baylor, and it is one that I'm glad he got away from. It seems like it just kept going and kept going. We're glad that he's found a new home." What can Auburn fans expect from starting QB Jarrett Stidham? Joseph Goodman is a columnist for Alabama Media Group. He's on Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr. View Comments (6) S
  11. Getting to know Jarrett Stidham

    We're on a mission from God.... (i.e. no SEC four-peat).
  12. There should be a nice shot of cool air mid-day today (highly unusual for mid-late August in Alabama), and what better way to ring in The Nip than a total solar eclipse? Hope WarTim is taking notice of the conditions out there....
  13. Malzhan Growth

    I for one would like for Gus to be more creative and unpredictable in the red zone. It seems like every time we got there the last couple of years he went ultra conservative on us. It just hasn't worked against the better teams.
  14. Former AU QBs weigh in on Stidham

    Agreed - much like Cam in 2010. It took him a few games too.
  15. Stan White on WJOX (8/10/17)

    I was a bouncer there in the mid-80's. Drove the slush bus too, hence my sign-in name. Man, the Krystal people hated to see me coming at 3am....