THE THREAD [07.03.08] :: Contractors

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Ko finding his way back. After an injury sidelined him last year, Ko Simpson is getting back on the field for the Buffalo Bills.

All Simpson ever has asked for is a chance, but he has had to prove himself at every level.

"I wish somebody would give me an answer why," he said. "I'm not trying to be arrogant, but I know I'm good, and everywhere I go, I have to prove it." ...

Simpson finished his rookie season with 92 tackles (fifth on the team), two interceptions, five passes defended, one sack and one forced fumble. ...

This is an important season for Simpson. It's his third year and he will be re-negotiating his contract, looking for more money and job security.

There's some good stuff in the story about a pair of decisions that now look a tad unwise: the Holtz staff's decision to ask Ko to grayshirt and Simpson's decision to jump to the NFL when he did. C&F still blames this on the agents that are allowed to get to players like Ko -- whose best interests are not always the primary concern of the agents.

Ultimately, of course, the responsibility lies with the player. But it's easy to cloud the judgement of a 21-year-old when money is involved.

In any case, best of luck to Simpson.

'You have my word' The legal fight between Rich "Hatfield" Rodriguez and West "McCoy" Virginia has officially become the fun offseason diversion for 2008, with the latest batch of depositions making everyone look bad.

"He first told me, 'I don't want a $4 million buyout and you don't need it, Steve, because you have my word, I'm staying here for life.' I said, 'Well, then if I have your word and you're going to stay here then you don't need to be concerned about it."'

Rodriguez, who signed in August 2007, then resigned Dec. 15, now refuses to pay.

Life ended up being pretty short for Rodriguez, who is now apparently coaching Michigan as a zombie. Either that, or "having his word" means not a bloody lot.

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I resemble that remark.

And in this ring, watch as an assistant athletics director tries to dance around the lingering sense of unease over a new (and widely doubted) head coach.

Stewart "does not have the successful track record that Coach Rodriguez had in place over the last three or four years," Parsons said, but was hired because he was "the best fit."

"So, isn't it true that your choosing of a replacement could have a significant impact on ticket sales?" attorney Marv Robon asked. "And if you picked the wrong replacement it could have an adverse impact right?"

Parsons agreed.

"Right," Robon said. "And you expect Rodriguez to pay for your mistake in choosing a coach?"

This is a maneuver referred to by lawyers as an "Ooooh! Smack!"

Obviously, C&F is not well-positioned to analyze the legal claims in this case, seeing as how he's the only non-lawyer blogger in all of SB Nation. But it would seem that Rodriguez's case -- I shouldn't have to pay the buyout because they hurt my feelings -- is pretty weak.

That won't make watching the rest of the lawsuit any less fun.

Media days. Jay at Track Em Tigers is keeping an eye on the media landscape of the SEC, including the move of several SEC programs from Sirius to XM, which will soon merge with...

...Sirius.

This is one of several reasons C&F did not major in business.

Jay also sees the possible SEC Network (the fastestest network ANYWHERE!!!!) as the death knell for the Raycom early broadcast -- sniff -- and bad for some fans.

Because much of the South remains rural, there are viewers who will lose out if the SEC creates its own network.  Many cable companies simply will not have the type of customers who will support it. As hard as it is to believe, there are still many fans that rely on over-the-air broadcasts using antennas to receive coverage - estimates range anywhere from 10 to 15 percent.

Mike Slive is really concerned about rural viewers. In fact, he'll shed a tear for them as he cashes the multibillion check the conference gets for creating the network. (This is, of course, better than Big Ten Commish Jim Delany, who stole a homeless man's hamburger on the way to cash his check.)

That's a lot of donuts. Phil Fulmer gets a new deal averaging $3 million per through 2014. Of course, since ADs hand out contract extension like candy, we'll have to wait to see how significant this actually is.

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Did someone say 'candy'?

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