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Skull Session: Gene Smith Talks FBS Leaving the NCAA, Gee Scott Jr. Discusses His New Homeless Friend, and Nick Saban Flames Texas A&M

In case y’all ever wondered how many moving parts went into an elite college football program…

250 job changes because one guy decided to move to LA from Norman, Oklahoma. Nuts.

Word of the Day: Dour.

DO WE REALLY NEED THE NCAA? One thing I love and respect about Gene Smith is that he is absolutely completely unafraid to say some wild shit in any press conference or media availability he does.

When the vast, vast majority of people in similar positions take to the podium or sit down for an interview, their goal is to say as many words with as little substance as possible. But that ain’t Gene’s game.

He’s going to say what he wants to say for a purpose – even if that purpose is just to get folks talking and stir the pot. Just like he did when he just casually dropped the “I think that maybe the FBS should split off from the NCAA” a couple of weeks ago.

“When I did that first interview with CFP and 130 and the FBS being separate, I wanted to put it out there so people would begin to talk about it,” Smith said this week. “And it may not be the model that we should go to, but I really felt like it needed to be talked about.”

“My assumption is you will hear more people talk about it publicly, and that might allow us to get presidents who ultimately make these decisions to move,” Smith said. “And then we’ve got to have conversations with our presidents, because I’ve had one with mine, just conceptually, but we’ve got to go beyond that. And so maybe have a recommendation.

“So anyway, we’ve got to do something different. That’s for doggone sure. Because the model that we’ve had for whatever the case has been (in terms of years), it’s not going to work. We have 358 Division I schools. God bless it. We’re different than a lot of them. That recognition has to be accounted for. And I love the basketball tournament. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great. But those schools who have committed the 85 scholarships and more, in the FBS in football underneath the CFP umbrella, are different. And that difference needs to be recognized.”

If his goal was to simply get people talking, mission accomplished!

Also, “So anyway, we’ve got to do something different. That’s for doggone sure.” should probably just be the motto for the past year of college sports.

SPICY NICK SABAN. If you went back in time 15 years and told me that I’d have a fondness for Nick Saban, I would have laughed my ass off and felt you right back through that Time Traveling Arby’s.

And yet, here we are.

But yesterday, he went on an absolute tirade which included an outright, blatant accusation that Texas A&M bought their entire recruiting class.

“I know the consequence is going to be difficult for the people who are spending tons of money to get players,” Saban said, according to Rodak. “You read about it, you know who they are. We were second in recruiting last year. A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team. Made a deal for name, image and likeness.

“We didn’t buy one player. Aight? But I don’t know if we’re going to be able to sustain that in the future, because more and more people are doing it. It’s tough.”

And it wasn’t just the Aggies in his crosshairs!

The absolute best part is that he said all of this with Nate Oats sitting right next to him. Which… Well, if you know, you know.

SIGN ALL THE PLAYERS YOU WANT! Hey, speaking of Nick Saban, the NCAA basically just legalized over-signing yesterday. So I’m sure he’s doing himself a little happy dance.

This move kills the 25-man recruiting class size limit for the next two academic years, but not the 85-man scholarship limit. So basically, you can sign as many players as you want in a single recruiting cycle, but you can’t award more than 85 total scholarships.

The rule change is in response to the one-time transfer exception when some teams have suddenly found themselves with sweep rosters after everyone left. That’s all totally fair and reasonable, but there’s also nothing stopping a team from participating in the time-honored tradition of signing way too many players and simply pushing other players out to make room.

It feels like there were some schools somehow signing like 30 players every year anyway (looking your way, Nick), but I guess it’s now just easier.

GEE’S NEW FRIEND. Earlier this week, I shared a video of noted good human Gee Scott Jr. befriending a homeless man named Eugene (and taking him to the finest restaurant on the planet, I might add).

Well, Gee caught up with The Columbus Dispatch yesterday to talk about his new friend a little bit more. And if he wasn’t your new favorite Buckeye already, there’s a solid chance he will be now.

“This is something I’ve always been interested in doing,” Scott told The Dispatch on Wednesday. “I saw a similar video in sixth grade. I always wanted to do something like this. So I decided to do it last week. And he came to my car and asked for money.”

“I don’t think he knows I played football for Ohio State,” Scott said. “I didn’t tell him. It wasn’t about football or Ohio State. It’s about genuinely being nice to others.”

“I’ve gone back to try to find him twice in the past week,” Scott said. “This is only the beginning of what I want to do to help Eugene. My plan is to eventually get him employed.”

I don’t have enough good things to say about Gee, man. I hope nothing but the best for him, and if he ever needs a third wheel for his next Arby’s date, hit a blogger up.

Also, if you’re someone who could be able to help Eugene out with employment, I’m sure Gee would gladly take your E-mail or Tweets.

SONG OF THE DAY. “Forest Green” by Big Red Machine

NOT STICKING TO SPORTS. New York now has more Airbnb listings than available apartments… Frogs keep mating with the wrong things… The accidental discovery that scallops love ‘disco’ lights leads to a new fishing technique… Why Mastercard and Visa rarely shut down scammers who are ripping off consumers… The link between imposter syndrome and burnout… No one wants to work in restaurants anymore…

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