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May 18, 2007

About Paul Oliver's Departure

As you've probably heard by now, Paul Oliver's career at UGA is over. He is ineligible to play per NCAA rules. Dawgnoxious and I have no intention of piling on here. He blew it, and he knows it. It's a failure that may cost him millions of dollars. Why kick him when he's down?

All he's done for us UGA the past two seasons is make plays. His coverage of guys like Sidney Rice and Calvin Johnson is a big reason for their lack of success against us.

If you're wondering, "Is this a systemic problem at UGA?" or "Did the system fail him?" I don't know the specifics here. If I did, I wouldn't publish them. However, I challenge anyone to name five football players that have flunked out of UGA over the past 10 years.

I have Jessie Miller (LB) on my list. I think he flunked out in '99. As I understood it, Coach Garner all but drove him to class every morning. So I'm not sure that the system let Jessie down. I remember Michael Johnson losing a year due to a guidance counselor error in 2000, and he was declared ineligible before his senior bowl game. Otherwise, what enrolled football player has been declared ineligible?

We wish him the best of luck as he pursues his NFL dreams via the supplemental draft. As a way of saying thanks here are our two favorite Paul Oliver pictures.

By the AJC's Brant Sanderlin.

By Jim Hipple

Damn Good Dawg...with exceptionally bad timing.



Anonymous said...

double 'ugh,' *sigh* : (

Nathan said...

I love that fist pic ... did Reggie throw that ball within 10 feet of Calvin?

I think Oliver's ability to single handedly shut CJ down is pretty overrated by UGa fans (UGa's d-line + Reggie Ball had a lot to do with it) - but he's obviously a heck of a player and in that group of corners just below Aqib Talib duking it out for the second best in the country next year. That's a big loss for Georgia.

Who's going to replace him?

Anonymous said...

There is an "air gap" between any legitmate academic support system and the grades players need to stay eligible -- the players themselves. They have to absorb some portion of what's pounded into them in study halls, extended one-on-one tutoring, etc. and transport that information, via their brains, to a classroom in which a test is being administered.

The only way to have foolproof eligibility is to eliminate that gap, and just hook up the tutors, etc. up to the academic system. Let them write the papers, take the tests, etc. Which you can do, but it's, you know, wrong.

JasonC said...

If I remember correctly, he sat out the G-Day game, I wonder if this had anything to do with it. If there is one decent thing, it's that there appears to be a good amount of young talent in the secondary, but he will definitely be missed.

C. Paul said...

Well said. Best wishes to him in the pros.

The 31st Floor said...

I had orientation and a few classes with Jessie Miller. He was dumb as a brick and seemed really to care less about class.

Anonymous said...

ugh ugh ugh I think I just threw up in my mouth. I can't imagine the grief this kid is going through. Such a shame. DGD. I hope he can come back over the years and speak to the team about this experience. Maybe help some future dawg to avoid it.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, Nathan, Nathan, you wacky nerd.

Surely, you arent suggesting that the only reason CJ made less catches against UGA the last two years than Reggie Ball has championship ring-less fingers on one hand is because UGA's pash rush was so stifling.

Certainly, the rush helped. And, I must admit, the sight of Reggie BaLLLL back there in the pocket, as opposed to say, Tom Brady, or even Edward Scissorhands, was comforting to me as a Bulldog. But give Reggie his due, dog. Sure, he was inconsistent, but he did manage to beat Auburn twice, Miami twice, Virginia Tech, and a few other tough teams. Just not us....or Fresno State. Or Utah.

No, the main reason CJ only scored as many TDs in his career against UGA as Tony Taylor scored against GTU in the same time span is because Paul Oliver and Tra Battle beat him like a rented mule. He wasnt open much, and even when he was, he was hearing footsteps. Give credit where credit is due. PO did a superlative job on a guy who was deservedly recognized as the most talented player in the NFL draft this year. Sure, he had help from the rest of the D; it is, after all, a team game.

You may ask yourself why it's so easy for me, a diehard Bulldog, to acknowledge what a great, great player CJ was at GTU (and he honestly was). You'd expect me to downplay him, or accuse him of being soft, or timid, or whatever, but no. I wish we'd had him. The reason I can concede the obvious is simple: CJ got owned by UGA for 3 years (just like just about everyone else at GTU since the beginning of the LBJ Administration).


Anonymous said...

Take it from someone who went to high school with Jessie Miller - that kid was never going to make it anywhere that books were involved. People here almost fell over dead when he got his SAT score. To say that he was never in trouble of splitting atoms is a bit of an understatement.

He was, however, a really nice kid and a really good athlete - unfortunately he was also really, REALLY slow on the uptake.

Dan said...

I honestly wonder if Oliver wasn't regretting that he didn't declare for the draft this year and if that had some impact on his performance in the classroom. Hadn't he also been in school for a while due to a standard redshirt and a medical redshirt?

If the latter is true it doesn't surprise me that his head wasn't completely in the game academically. It's still a shame for the kid, but at his talent level he'll end up bouncing back in the league.

(Note how I've decided to lightly dance around the now completely tired Oliver vs. CJ arguments.)

Unknown said...

oliver had a standard redshirt. no medical redshirts. He came in injured, and recovered while slacking off. He didn't make the Capital One Bowl trip b/c of classroom issues, but otherwise no public grade problems.


Anonymous said...

While most of GA's experience and talent on defense lies in the secondary, this is still a big loss. We've lost a guy who, IMO, could start for any team in the country, and would likely have been 1st team all SEC next year. Oliver is a very good CB. Got to agree that maybe he was ready to leave and didn't have his head into his classes.

Anonymous said...

It's sad, it happens, but he'll probably make more money soon than I'll ever make.

Now, who will step up in his place? At least we've got some real depth, albeit youthful, at the cornerback position.

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