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THE THREAD [06.04.08] :: Growing Pains

He's so young.
The Garcia mess might point to a wider problem, according to The State. These kids, they're just going to school to early.

Many coaches wonder if the benefits of early enrollment outweighs the growing pains. ...

As the trend of players graduating high school a semester early and putting their college careers on fast-forward continues to grow, coaches question whether 17- and 18-year-olds are socially ready to be thrust into college life in the middle of the academic year.

Others wonder whether the early arrivals actually benefit from the head start they get on recruits who stay in high school and begin practice in August. ...

NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the NCAA is aware of the practice but has no pending legislation on the issue.

Unless, of course, one of the early entrants dresses up as a Native American. That will not be tolerated.

TV: We heart Spurrier. That's about the only explanation for South Carolina's first three games being nationally televised. Sure, sure, N.C. State is a first-nighter and Georgia will be a championship contender facing its first test. But Vandy???

Aug. 28* N.C. State 8 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 4* at Vanderbilt 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Sept. 13 Georgia 3:30 p.m. CBS

*Thursday game

Not complaining. Just wondering what possessed ESPN to schedule Vanderbilt as a Thursday night game.

Executives: Just throw it, Steve. Just throw it.

Baseball 2009: Fewer home runs. Not exactly a revelation, but so sez The State:

The Gamecocks figure to lose at least five starters (the big four and senior Harley Lail) who accounted for 84 home runs this season. The top returning hitter will be Whit Merrifield, who hit in the No. 2 position this season and figures to slide into Havens’ leadoff role.

So next year’s team figures to rely more on a small-ball approach.

All things considered, the usually Five Questions roundup is worth the read.

Assault? No no no. A mistake. At least that's the (ahem) alibi provided by Miami (Ohio) offensive lineman Zachary Marshall's attorney for an incident in which Marshall allegedly tried to suffocate a female student.

The 289-pound offensive lineman is accused of going into two unlocked dormitory rooms on May 21 and holding a pillow over the face of a female student sleeping in one of the rooms.

His lawyer, Robert Peeler, says his client laid down on what he thought was his bed and then jumped up and left when he realized his mistake.

Yeah. Either that's BS or Miami (Ohio)'s APR score is way, way too high.

If at first you don't succeed... Don't try again. But when it comes to the 7th Inning Stretch at Wrigley, Ron Zook just can't help himself, leading to yet another train wreck.

Luckily for Zook and the Illini, Rashad Mendenhall carried the ball better last year than Zook carried a tune Sunday.