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There was a brief point Wednesday evening when Dawg fans were waiting on the other shoe to drop. Word had spread that the NCAA was coming to town and that Marvin Austin had sent them...maybe. I personally felt at ease after some investigative twittering. And a little Mike Moore never hurts either.
And it's certainly too soon to say we're completely out of the woods since the official comment yesterday was No Comment. But in the mean time, this is as good a chance as any to meet the guy the brass in Butts-Mehre trusts to educate our athletes and their families.
He's Joe Mendes, and he's here to help.
Of course, Mendes is just the second line of defense (so to speak). The first line is:
- Eric Baumgartner, Asst. Athletic Director for Compliance. Baumgartner's been in Athens since 2005 and came from a position with the NCAA
- Glada Horvat, Asst. Athletic Director for Academics/Eligibility. Horvat's been there since before most of us matriculated.
Good people, great experience. But it's nice that UGA brings in someone with plenty of experience from the other side of things. Joe Mendes and his Cornerstone Sports Consulting bring just that to Athens and many other schools.
Here's an excerpt from their website:
The success that a student-athlete will enjoy during his college career relates directly to his ability to thoroughly and honestly identify his needs in order to make the BEST decisions for his future. Cornerstone Sports Consulting will work with the school in assisting the student- athlete and his family through this important process.
The Cornerstone Education and Preparation Outline includes a series of steps to ensure that the student-athlete is focused on the all the right things during his college experience. Distractions are a liability that no player can afford through this important period.
College football fans can connect the dots and surmise that Marvin Austin hasn't recently made the best decisions for his future. Compare that to AJs statement yesterday about his circle:
I have my circle, and I know who to trust and who not to trust. I’m at the point of my life right now that I don’t need to make any new friends. I’ve got to keep that same circle I’ve had since Day 1 and not let anybody in that.
AJ Green may still be an amateur, officially. And he may have never been to a party in South Beach. But he's one of the coolest Dawgs I know.