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Plainslinks was fun while it lasted

We'll always have the shirts.

The NCAA: hating fun since 19-aught-suck. As you’ve probably heard by now, the NCAA moved last night to prohibit more than two coaches from visiting any one high school at any one time during the spring evaluation period. Effective immediately. Tiger Prowl–or, at least, the recruiting-intensive arm of the larger operation–is kaput. Good thing it wrapped up yesterday.

The NCAA’s reasoning?

“Multiple coaches are appearing at the high schools of the prospective student-athletes just as much to be seen as to actually conduct an evaluation. Many institutions are unnecessarily expending resources in order to have multiple assistant coaches attend these evaluations as a result of the perceived recruiting benefit.”

I … wha? Just as much to be seen as to evaluate? Blasphemy, sirs! Falsehood! Slander! Auburn will see you in court for this outrageous defamation of character!

That of course happens to be accurate. But still: so our coaches want to be seen rather than focus all-out on evaluation. So they have some fun with the evaluation process rather than making it all business, so the kids get a bit of a thrill when they show up, so the fanbase has a neat annual event to rally around, so the coaches get to show off their exceedingly keen sense of fashion … is this all really such an affront that it has to be stamped out of existence?

I don’t think so, but I can also admit that since it’s my school that’s being targeted by what will probably come to be known as the Auburn Rule, it’s me natural reaction to be opposed. And I’m more annoyed than outright angered by it, since, yeah, the Tiger Prowl was about recruiting first and evaluation second. I can’t help but ask, though: who’s really being hurt here?

Prowlin’ for the last time. It might be easier to list the places the final edition Tiger Prowl II didn’t hit up (in limos, after all) than the ones it did, but here we go anyway:

Sweet Water. Checking on linebacker Chris Landrum

Auburn and Opelika. Checking on Luper’s and Trooper’s sons (!), as well as potential prospects like NG JaMichael Payne and 2012 DE Torey Agee, son of (yes!) Tommie Agee.

Gadsen. Checking on safety commitment Anthony Swain. Gadsden HC Joe Billingsley: “It’s just an exceptional thing that they’re doing.”

Leeds. Checking on CB Jonathan Rose.

Adamsville. Checking on Minor High’s Christion Jones. (See below.)

Cullman. Checking on OL commitment Spencer Region.

Hope you enjoyed it, kiddos.

Awesome. An Auburn student in the Army Reserve and stationed in Kosovo has started a fund for cancer research at St Jude’s hospital in Shon Coleman’s name; ESPN’s Bruce Feldman exchanged e-mails with him and has the lowdown. He’s already raised more than $7,500 and you have to think the Feldman story will only help. Not to get treacly on you, but once again, see how horrible thing happens; see how incredible thing comes out of it.

Happy trails. Didn’t cover this yesterday in the Newton hubbub, but when Gene Chizik comes right out and says his “expectation” is that Tyrik Rollison will play football elsewhere this fall, it really is time to close the book on Rollison’s Auburn tenure. Even if Chizik’s admitting that he hasn’t met with Rollison just yet, you can already see how that meeting is going to unfold.

Here’s to hoping Rollison finds what he’s looking for at Sam Houston St. or wherever, and a reminder to Auburn fans that highly-ranked players with weird offer sheets may, in fact, not be able to shake off the off-field issues that resulted in said offer sheets.

Other team stuff. Andy Bitter takes a look at the linebackers; as with last year, it’s basically Bynes and Stevens and the Third Wheel, though this time there’s a lot more help waiting for them if Eltoro’s not getting it done. Maybe the best piece of insight at the post comes from the comments, though, where an Auburn fan points out that a Bates-like experiment has already worked for Chizik once before, when he moved Antarrious Williams from safety to LB in the mid-Aughts.

He’s also got a post on the defensive line.

Acid mentioned the other day that Jake Ricks has signed on with the Colts; the Colts do seem to need tackles, but it’s always going to be tough for an undrafted FA. Best of luck to him.

Beisbol. PPL’s got its weekly 5P preview up for the Arkansas series and another look at it at Track ‘Em. Getting just one from the Hogs would be big, but Auburn should be capable.

Krootin’. Not enough happening to justify its own post, but:

— 6-8 power forward recruit Luke Cothron will reportedly be on the Plains this weekend and Auburn could be “in line” to land his signature next week. I’ve seen whispers that Cothron might have academic troubles, but almost regardless his signing would be a huge coup for Barbee–when was the last time anyone with UConn, Tennessee, Louisville, Marquette, or Oklahoma offers gave Auburn a second glance much less a commitment?

— Big OL commitment Thomas O’Reilly was recently deciding which of the two major All-American games to attend next winter. This is where I remind you that of the three offensive linemen already committed to Auburn, O’Reilly–again, the guy picking between nationally-televised All-American games–is generally regarded by the recruiting gurus as the least impressive of the three. Yes, it’s been a hell of a start. (O’Reilly chose yesterday to join Spencer Region and Reese Dismukes at the Under Armour game.)

— Minor safety Christion Jones has picked up an offer from Notre Dame but still has Auburn as his leader.

Etc. Congrats to Fani Chifchieva, the Auburn women’s tennis team’s first-ever four-time All-SEC honoree … I speculated in the comments to the conference expansion post that the Big Ten may just be rattling its saber at the Big East in order to get them to shove Notre Dame’s non-football teams out of the league; Randy Edsall’s comments seem to support this hypothesis … Someone else is unhappy with the SEC’s deal with ESPN (via GTP).

Enjoy your weekend.

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