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Morning Coffee Mourns Baseball's Conclusion

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Rick Barnes signs Alabama guard to '08 class. The Statesman is reporting that 6-2 combo guard Varez Ward (Montgomery, AL) signed with Texas on Sunday, joining J'Covan Brown as the second member of the '08 class. Ward became a big ticket late in the recruiting season after he backed out of his commitment to play for Cincinnati. UT Assistant Coach Rodney Terry helped secure Ward's signing over Kansas State, Marquette, Florida State, and others. Ward is known primarily as an elite defender.

Baseball season ends... Now what? Baseball's season officially ended with Sunday's 7-4 loss to Rice, making it three straight seasons Texas has failed to reach the super regionals. So... now what?

Really, all that's left now is waiting for football. Expect content to start drifting that way, with a 2009 recruiting round up, some depth chart projecting, and the like.

Saban Rule killing Pete Carroll. Interesting article in the LA Times on the new rule prohibiting coach contact with recruits in May and how much it's driving Pete Carroll crazy to stay off the road. If you're unfamiliar with the so-called "Saban Rule," college coaches used to be able to travel to watch high school players during May , so long as they didn't formally contact the player. The new rule disallows coach visits during May, in part because coaches like Carroll and Alabama's Nick Saban were so active during this period when many other coaches preferred not to be out on the road. As the AJC's Tony Barnhart wrote last week, the go-getter coaches hate the new rule.

Early signing period for football? Speaking of recruiting,'s Bruce Feldman weighs in on the early signing idea for football ($), concluding he doesn't think it would solve the issues its proponents say it would.

If a big portion of the recruiting process is shifted to the sophomore and junior years of a high school recruit, there is too much of a gray area for many, if not most recruits, not just in terms of the physical evaluation but also from a character and academic perspective.

The other point, and this is one of two big distinctions of why football recruiting and basketball recruiting are so different in regards to early-signing periods, is that most of the coaching turnover in college football happens between the proposed early window and Signing Day.