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Borges: "There's nothing like doing"

Al Borges sat down with AnnArbor.com to share his philosophy on player development during spring ball recently, and talked in depth about two key concepts that he calls "body learning" and "functional intelligence".

He explains that body learning is the actual action of going through what it takes to play your position within the specific playbook. A lot of coaches talk about mental reps, but Borges is a believer that nothing compares to the real thing. "There's nothing like doing, I'm a big believer in 'body learning.' Just physically going through the trial-and-error part of it so you can fix the problem yourself. Mental reps are great, and you have to take them, but the 'body learning' is really important."

Borges explains that getting additional practices for bowl preparation is vital to the development of young players because it allows valuable extra snaps not running plays off of the other teams scout cards. He compares those practices to an extra set of spring practices for the young guys.

The second concept, functional intelligence, is "the ability to transfer what you learn in the film room, on the chalkboard or in the walk-throughs and practically apply it to the game. It's irrelevant what your IQ is when you take a test if, when it comes time to execute the responsibility, you're not able to do it."

Borges says that he is happy with the functional intelligence in the second year under the same offense. The real test will be at noon on Saturday when the Wolverines will see how they measure up during their annual spring game at the  Big House.

New FCS program

Houston Baptist announced Vic Shealy as the first head football coach in the schools history at a press conference earlier today.

Shealy, who spent the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Kansas, will lead Houston Baptist into the FCS Southland Conference in 2014. The school has not ruled out playing an independent schedule in 2013. 

At the 1:30 press conference today, athletic director Steve Moniaci said that the search committee knew Shealy was their man because of three things you won't find in his bio; the fact that he is a great Christian man, a great family man, and a great coach...in that order.

The new head coach took the podium briefly and touched on a few a few objectives both short term and long term of the program. Shealy's focus to build the program starts with pursuing championships and understanding the process that it takes, spiritually, mentally, and physically to compete at that level. The goal for the first year of the program is to have a winning record, and will be followed by winning a conference title, earning and FCS playoff spot, and winning a national championship in the years to come.

Shealy explained that he considers the job at HBU a great opportunity in part because it allows him to work under Dr. Robert Sloan, an administrator that is very highly regarded from his time as the President and Chancellor at Baylor, and is someone that Shealy described as an administrator that "gets football". Sloan told reporters today that the University plans to build an on campus stadium in the near future.

The presser was very short, and it was evident that Moniaci and Dr. Sloan are confident that they poured through the pool of applicants (said to be at about 100), full of qualified Texas high school coaches, former Division 1 head coaches and assistants and a handful of NFL coaches to find the right man for the job.

When the live feed ended, the press convened to ask questions and Shealy noted that he hoped to have one position on his staff filled by the end of the week.

Weis: Fix the academics and football will follow

When Charlie Weis took over the Kansas program late in the academic year, the football team had reportedly accumulated around 50 "F's" is the classroom. Changing that has been a huge focus for Weis and his staff in the off season, along with making sure players were showing up to class.

“I can tell you with a smile on my face that coming into the Friday before spring break we had not missed five classes from the entire team, every time somebody missed, it was horrible. And I’m known to use peer pressure as well. So to have all your teammates there and be totally embarrassed for blowing off class, it’s a very good teaching tool.”

Weis has also used 6 a.m sessions with strength and conditioning coordinator Scott Holsopple as an extra form of motivation. “You really don’t want to do that, Holsopple, Saturday morning, 6 o’clock, that’s all I can say. You really don’t want that one. You really don’t. You don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be around Holsopple any time, but at 6 o’clock Saturday morning, when he doesn’t have to be here, it’s really not good.”

Weis explained that there are two things you have to do if you want to succeed as a student athlete in college. First of all you have to go to class, and secondly, you have to utilize the academic support that is offered. 

"Let me just say we don’t have a bunch of tin soldiers that everything is perfect. I’ve already had to get on them about this class, starting to drowse off and things like that. I get all those reports, and they’re all addressed. ... But I’m looking at a direct correlation, if we can get (academic performance) fixed, then we can get (football performance) fixed.”

No video department? No problem...

Deer Valley high school (CA) has been putting in some impressive work this offseason, and one of their players decided to put together this highlight video to capture it.

Very well done video at the high school level, and it ends with some impressive editing.

Kids competing in the Spring (good video)

College of Mount St. Joseph earns another shout out from FootballScoop for the video below showing their players competing this Spring. 

Watch the video and feel the enthusiasm and comraderie within this program. Looks like a team preparing for a great season ahead of them. 

This one starts with the players on the field competing, they then move into the weight room...and yes they finish up with some solid dodgeball.

Keep the videos coming!

"It doesn't do us any good to practice in here"

Last week Jim McElwain had his team practice in their indoor facility for the first time this Spring....and McElwain says he might never use it again.

The faciltiy is only 2 years old; but it's also only 70 yards long, and that's a problem for Mac. "I've got to really evaluate" whether they'll continue to use it. "And to be productive and successful, it doesn't do us any good to practice in here."

McElwain added, "Obviously it's disappointing that it's so small that you're not able to actually get a full day's work out of it. That's why we had to condition at the end, because we weren't able to actually run a practice." 

The timing of the revelation and the article strikes us as somewhat odd; but we do have to question the logic of building a 70 yard indoor in Colorado...although we don't think the University of Colorado even has an indoor. Perhaps a 50 yard addition might be in the works in the future.  

Petrino placed on administrative leave

At around 10pm tonight, University of Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long held a press conference at which he announced that he has placed Bobby Petrino on paid administrative leave. 

Long announced that this afternoon Coach Petrino called him to alert him to the fact that he wasn't alone on the motorcycle at the time of the accident and that they subsequently met to discuss the situation. After that meeting, Long said he informed Coach Petrino that he was placing him on administration leave until such time as he can complete his review of this matter. 

As the press conference was beginning, reporters there were handed a statement from Coach Petrino. The entirety of that statement is below.


“The state police report today provides an accurate description of my accident, which includes details that had not publicly come to light prior to the report being issued. I regret that I have not publicly acknowledged a passenger on the vehicle. I have been in constant pain, medicated and the circumstances involving the wreck have come out in bits and pieces. That said I certainly had a concern about Jessica Dorrell’s name being revealed. In my press conference, I referred to her simply as ‘a lady’. My concern was to protect my family and a previous inappropriate relationship from becoming public. In hindsight, I showed a serious mistake in judgment when I chose not to be more specific about those details. Today, I’ve acknowledged this previous inappropriate relationship with my family and those within the athletic department administration.

I apologize to my wife, Becky, and our four children, Chancellor (David) Gearhart, Jeff Long, the Board of Trustees, University administration, my coaching staff, student-athletes and the entire state of Arkansas. I have been humbled by the outpouring of concern and get-well wishes. I apologize to the Razorback Nation for the attention my actions have brought to the University of Arkansas and our program. I will fully cooperate with the University throughout this process and my hope is to repair my relationships with my family, my Athletic Director, the Razorback Nation and remain the head coach of the Razorbacks.”

At the press conference, Long gave the impression that he would decide the path forward fairly quickly but did not give a definitive timetable. Long announced that assistant head coach / linebackers Taver Johnson would serve as interim head coach. 

We'll keep you posted.

Saban explains his motivation

Nick Saban made it clear this week that he has zero interest in returning to the NFL. He learned a lot from his experience in the league but really enjoys coaching at the college level.

"I learned about myself by going to the NFL, why do I have to go do it again?" he explained to Mark Schlabach of ESPN.

Going into his sixth season with the Tide, and in pursuit of his fourth national title, Saban knows himself well enough to know he's happy where he's at. "I had my chances and I've had chances since. I think you have to know yourself well enough to know that if I'm happy doing what I'm doing now, why do I need something else? Before as a coach, even when I was at LSU, I went all those years and it was always work hard to get the next opportunity."

"From a job standpoint it's a great profession because you have a great opportunity to affect young people and help them be successful. If you go out and talk to anybody that's an athlete, almost every one of them will tell you about some coach they had somewhere that had a huge impact on their lives. That's kind of why I do this."

Saban says he understands the love he gets in Tuscaloosa is conditional on winning, but he has a bigger purpose. "If I didn't get positive self-gratification from helping kids and helping them graduate from school, being better people and being all they can be as football players, I wouldn't do this"

"It wouldn't be worth it to me. It wouldn't be worth the time, the sacrifice, and the family sacrifices I've had to make over the years with my own kids and wife. It's just not worth it. You can go make all the money in the world, but when you die, they bury it with you. There is no legacy to it. There won't be something they remember you for or talk about."