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LSU coach Brian Kelly speaks during an NCAA college football news conference at the SEC Media Days, Monday, July 18, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

SEC media days

So, the TFP tandem of Paschall and Hargis are in SEC media days.

Yes, it's Paschall in his element.

For me, the chatter is too much, be it the hypocrisy or the disingenuousness,  especially after the predetermined talking points of the coaches get blurred by questions and follow-ups.

We asked Monday which SEC coach would you choose to have to take a truth pill and answer at least three questions. The options are limitless.

And the duplicitous nature of the ask-and-deflect nature of these kinds of events is downright comical. How crazy is it? There is an argument to be made that Lane Kiffin is the least trustworthy coach in the league considering his history. There also is an argument to be made that Lane Kiffin is the most honest. Wrap your head around that.

From Hargis' column on Kiffin, "The keys to NIL and how you do well with that is to have really good boosters. It's like a payroll in baseball. What teams win over a long period of time? Teams that have high payrolls and can pay players a lot. We're in a situation not any different than that. I said day one, you legalized cheating, so get ready for the people that have the most money to get players. Now you have it. It is what it is. Coaches should be like general managers and help manage what the players make. That's what other professional sports do, which is what we are now."

But it's what college football has always been — or at least what's been for the better of the last three-plus decades — it's just been that in the shadows as we tried to convince ourselves that it was still amateur athletics.

And in truth, college football is not in a situation any different than the one it was in before. When have the power programs with all the money not gotten the picks of the recruiting litter year in and year out?

Plus, if there is a perfect oxymoron for the entire NIL overhaul, "Legalized cheating" has to have replaced "clean recruiting" for the appropriate way to describe college football.

That said, at least Kiffin's oxymoron was more tolerable than Eli Drinkwitz' moronic hypocrisy. From Paschall's story in today's TFP, the second-year Missouri coach said I do question what are the guiding principles for college football and athletics moving forward. I sure hope it's not about the almighty dollar. I hope it's bigger than TV deals being college football's guiding principles, because every action we take moving forward we lose sight of what we love about this game."

Uh, coach, you left App State after a 12-1 2019 — playing in one of the most beautiful and football-passionate places around — to go to Columbia, Missouri and a place that truly has zero chance to win big in the SEC.

And why did you go? The almighty dollar — Drinkwitz was making $750K at App and is making $4 million per at Mizzou — probably had a lot to do with it, huh?

LIV brings the next wave

So, we know the names already in the LIV. We know the names — like recently crowned champion golfer of the year Cam Smith and European Ryder Cup captain Henrik Stenson, among others — who have been rumored to be among the next crew the LIV-in' large backers of this Saudi-based golf league is looking to add. Also, names like Adam Scott and Bubba Watson are starting to be whispered for the first time too.

Now comes a couple of side names and a bit of clarity, at least for me.

First, for the matter of clarity. While the PGA had better realize that until the Saudi prince gets bored and decides to spend his billions on something else, this is a) not going away and b) serious.

And it may be the most serious to the Champions Tour, which is something that I had not considered until now. All of these dudes in their late 30s and 40s — and in Phil's case and Stenson's, their 50s — would have been the next round of big names on the Champions Tour.

Not any longer.

As for the side names, they bring a bit of clarity too, at least in terms of the LIV folks realizing that no matter the field and no matter the prize money, they need a TV deal. Plain and simple.

So they went and landed the best on-course analyst in golf, as David Feherty is LIV-bound according to multiple media reports. The other name I saw that will listen to the LIV pitch is none other than Charles Barkley, who told the New York Post he will meet with the LIV folks.

Of course early on in the LIV discussions, Chuck famously said for $200 million he'd kill a relative — and I concur, as long as a) I get to choose the relative and b) I am assured of getting away with it — so I guess the LIV crew knows Chuck's number, huh?

Seriously, this side of Mickelson, adding Barkley — and his love for the game and his on-air charisma — greatly adds to the value of any possible TV deal since Barkley is truly one of the three or four TV personalities across all sports that would cause you to tune in for their analysis and thoughts.

School board issues

So the Hamilton County school board will vote later this week on a couple of hot-topic items. OK, and we have discussed this more than once, and I believe for the most part, we all see the merits in that.

The first one is the policy on transgender athletes participating in Hamilton County sports. The board will vote on whether to update its policy to be more inline with the state policy, which was changed earlier this year to state that athletes will be classified by their sex at birth.

OK, and we have discussed this more than once, and I believe for the most part, we all see the merits in that.

And in truth, whether you agree or not, aligning with the state seems prudent because if you are competing outside the county — or in the state playoffs — think of the potential pitfalls of having different guidelines for different schools, regions, counties or areas?

The other issue will be a lot more impactful in terms of numbers.

Because, while the number of transgender athletes is exceedingly low by comparison, the debates that become arguments that become fights that become lawsuits about teaching materials (especially books) in classrooms feels like an annual occurrence in multiple districts around the area.

The school board will try to better define what can and can't be used in classroom teachings and tighten the parameters of what is offensive.

I hope this helps, because anything that threatens the use of "To Kill a Mockingbird," or "Huck Finn" or limits the discussions about the awfulness that was slavery in our checkered history is a disservice to our kids and all of our futures.

This and that

— OK, I'm now caught up on "Better Call Saul." Oh my sweet sultan of shock. We will discuss tomorrow. So if you are not up to date, you have been fairly advised.

— The online headline read "Stallone-Winkler 'Rocky' fight turns ugly on social media" and I thought, "Why are Rambo and the Fonz mad at each other?" Mercifully, different Winkler. All is well. Nothing to see here.

— So rapper Lil Uzi Vert has changed his preferred pronouns to "They/Them" which of course does not answer the question, "Who in the world is Lil Uzi Vert" and is there a Big Uzi Vert? And much to my surprise, Lil Uzi Vert has almost 9 million Twitter followers. Man, I'm old. "Blue blue hair. We all see it . We all see it."

— We can confirm Michael P as the winner of the British Open contest. Thanks for playing along, and if you felt like you were close but cigar less, well, I know a guy who had a sizable wager on "Viktor Hovland to win a 2022 major" at +650 and a fairly sizable wager on Rory to win the British Open at +800 before the week started. Yeah, he was feeling pretty glorious before Sunday's round got going. That is until Cam Dirt comes rolling in and finding more holes than a Swiss cheese inspector. Alas.

— Sorry. Complete pass on the Home Run Derby last night. Was at middle school football early then coached a 12u softball game later. Practice went fine, and the 12u Lightning prevailed 7-1 with a little blonde girl striking out 8 in three innings. She gets it from her momma.  
 
— Leonard Fournette, at the height of his powers, was one of the best running backs I've ever seen in person in college football. After reporting at close to 260 pounds for Bucs camp, he could change '7' for '97' and be an edge rusher. Dang, Leonard, mix in a salad. Oh wait, we can't do that these days can we? Sorry.

Today's questions

True or false, it's Tuesday. Morning Ernie. Morning Karen.

True or false, you are caught up on "Better Call Saul."

True or false, you can't help but like Lane Kiffin.

True or false, Eli Drinkwitz looks like the guy that tells you why you can't write off your Comcast bill on your taxes this year even though you worked from home.

True or false, you watched the Home Run Derby.

True or false, you will watch the All-Star Game tonight.

You know the drill, answer some T or Fs, leave some T or Fs.

As for today, July 19, let's review.

"Tom and Jerry" make their debut on this day in 1941.
 
The first Wimbledon champ — Spencer Gore — is crowned on this day in 1877. Amazingly, the first Tour de France winner was crowned on this day in 1903.

The original Goose — Anthony Edwards — is 60 today. Stuart Scott — who some of you mentioned earlier this month, would have been 57 today.

In honor of the All-Star Game tonight, Rushmore of all-time baseball All-Star game moments. Go.

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