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Double-T Nation Daily Diatribe :: 01.14.10

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Help Haiti:  Our very own redraidersax posted this information in a FanPost yesterday, that his father works for UMCOR and was in Haiti at the time of this horrible tragedy (he's okay).  Its amazing how much this community has grown over the last week, and my hope is that this increased exposure can assist some folks who really need help.  If you can, donate to the UMCOR right here. And this may be entirely out of line for me to write, but for those of you giving to the "team" of a former head coach at a university in Texas might think about making a donation in some form or fashion to those hundreds of thousands of people who may have lost their lives or no longer have a home in Haiti instead.

American Needle vs. NFL:  I've been following this from afar and Smartfootball's Chris Brown has a good recap of yesterday's arguments:

In other words, the NFL argues that basically all its decisions are immune from any antitrust scrutiny, and the reason for that is that everything the NFL does is worthless except as a part of the whole — including the value of the trademarks (as if the Dallas Cowboys logo at this point has no value of its own) and the very franchises themselves. Indeed, Levy says the trademarks have no value of their own, but earlier in the argument the Justices discussed how its disingenuous to say that the only reason the NFL says hats is to "promote the game," rather than make money selling hats. (If that was the case, they would give them away, or at least not sell them for as high of prices as they do.)

Time Machines:  EDSBS motivational poster of the day, asks if Tommy Tuberville wishes he had a time machine.

Willis Hired . . . Maybe and Staff Shakeup: It was reported yesterday and Tech92 posted it last night that Alabama linebackers and assistant head coach James Willis accepted the defensive coordinator job at Texas Tech.  FWST's Dwain Price writes that Willis will be defensive coordinator, although I did find this article this morning from BamaOnLine's Christoper Walsh that reports that Willis will travel back to Alabama and discuss this job opportunity with Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

The big news yesterday was that a number of staff members were fired, released and/or the new head coach "slammed the hammer down".  Sometimes words can paint a very different picture of what actually happened, which at this point, I'm not sure.  In any event, it was reported yesterday afternoon by ESPN's Bruce Feldman that these assistant coachess were fired.  LAJ's Don Williams writes that these assistant coaches were released.  DT's Adam Coleman writes that changes were made.  And finally, FWST's Dwain Price writes that Tuberville "slammed the hammer down" on these assistant coaches.

I'm not sure which version I need to believe since all three of these gentlemen are very reputable reporters.  Williams is the only person to have a statement from the beloved Lincoln Riley:

"I know many people are upset about many things that have happened, but that is the hand that we have all been dealt,’’ Riley wrote. "During this time it is important for all Texas Tech fans to pull together behind the new staff and, most importantly, the players. You have a special group of young men that represent you, and I encourage every Red Raider to never take that for granted.’’

And just in case your head is spinning as to who's coming and who's going, here's the nitty gritty:

In:  Offensive Graduate Assistant Sonny Cumbie, Offensive Line Coach Matt Moore, Defensive Ends Coach Charlie Sadler, Defensive Graduate Assistant Duane Price and Wide Receivers Coach Dennis Simmons (maybe not at this position).

Out:  Inside Receivers Coach Lincoln Riley, Running Backs Coach Clay McGuire, Cornerbacks Coach Brian Mitchell,  Safeties Coach Carlos Mainord (he actually retired) and Special Teams Coach Eric Russell.

I'm working on a couple of posts for next week on the two new coordinators.

Brown Excited:  Not sure who posted this in a comment, but a hat-tip to you, as Dothan Eagle's Drew Champlin talked with new offensive coordinator Neal Brown and he's excited about the future at Texas Tech:

"They’ve been good offensively," Brown said. "There’s two good quarterbacks, both who have won big games. They had a running back that’s really good and several good receivers. They’ve been well-coached. You don’t get that good on offense by accident."

Brown said the first priority when he gets to Lubbock will be to shore up the recruiting class. The Red Raiders have three offensive commits rated as four-star recruits by rivals.com.

"That’s the first order of business," Brown said. "We’re hosting some recruits this weekend, and they’ve done a great job recruiting, so hopefully we can keep them and bring in a few of our own."

Good to see that Brown is ready to get to work on some of these recruits.

Someone Pick Up the Phone:  Speaking of recruits, LAJ's Adam Zuvanich writes that WR commit Kadron Boone is still committed to Texas Tech and he is waiting for someone to give him a call:

Boone said he hasn’t had any contact with the new members of Tech’s coaching staff, including Tuberville and offensive coordinator Neal Brown, so he’s not sure what to think about the state of the program, the offense and his potential role on the team.

"Right now I’m just a little lost for words. I don’t know where I’m going to go from this," Boone said. "… They’ve got a lot going on, a lot’s going on in my mind, and there’s a lot of stuff to deal with between now and signing day. I’m just trying to take my time and put myself in a good situation."

Also still on the fence are the McRoy Brothers, who will visit this weekend:

"If coach Riley was there, it would be game, set, match, over, no doubt," Mandish said. "But with coach Riley not there and a whole new set of coaches other than coach Simmons, we need to meet with those guys and make sure they’re comfortable."

Mandish said the McRoy brothers – Ben is a 2010 commitment and Javares is a 2011 pledge – are glad Simmons is staying. Mandish said he’s also done some research on Brown, who served as Troy’s offensive coordinator the last two years, and he likes what he’s seen so far.

"We’re going to keep an open mind and talk to coach Tuberville and coach Brown and see what their plans are with the offense," Mandish said. "It appears they’ll run a wide-open offense, and that’s what we want. Hopefully, the boys will be comfortable and we’ll go from there. The boys aren’t going to de-commit or anything."

Contract Not Finalized:  LAJ's Don Williams and FWST's Dwain Price both write that Tuberville's contract has not yet been finalized.  

Why?  (And yes, I know why, it's all about details, but let's get this done.  Mmmm-kay?)

Loss in OT:  The Red Raiders lost in overtime to the Missouri Tigers, 89-94 (boxscore) and I'm going to try to get to some post game thoughts tonight, but this team just doesn't have enough juice for some teams.  For the most part, I think the Red Raiders are definitely an upgrade in athleticism and the JUCO players have certainly helped add immediate depth, but for teams like Missouri, who has had a number of years to get their system and players in place, Pat Knight and his team just do not have the players to keep pace. 

And to be honest, Texas Tech wins this game if the team can make more than 54% of their free throws.

LAJ's Courtney Linehan and DT's Mike Graham have the game stories from last night and head coach Pat Knight hopes that the students continue to support this team:

"I like this team," Knight said. "I think they’ve got a lot of wins left in them. I hope the fans appreciate how hard they’re working and don’t give up on us just because we’re not off to the start we like."

And PK acknowledges that free throws cost the Red Raiders:

"Sometimes it takes a situation like this where you actually lose a game because of free throws to make them take it more seriously, I guess," Knight said. "We just have to shoot more (in practice)."