Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kempner wins over Pasadena Rayburn 34-14

Of course, before I start any of this, let me point out that Saturday night is not for high school football.  But that's beside the point.

The Kempner Cougars of Sugar Land came away with a 34-14 victory at Veteran's Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, and really, that final score actually makes the game appear closer than it actually was.  Kempner's defense was completely dominant, holding Sam Rayburn to only 100 yards of total offense and five first downs on the evening; the Rayburn offense didn't score at all, with both touchdowns coming off fumble recoveries.

About those fumbles: there were ten of them for Kempner, with the Cougars losing six.  And that's why the final score looked so close.  The new flexbone triple-option offense racked up 395 total yards, with 391 of those coming on the ground as Kempner almost completely abandoned the passing game.  I only remember five passing plays being called all night (two resulted in sacks, so there were only three pass attempts.)  Much of the fumbling looked like trouble with the new offense, so there still need to be some kinks worked out.  But the Cougars will have a short week with Clear Falls coming to town on Thursday night.

Still, it was a nice win to start the season.  In subvarsity games, the Kempner JV lost to Rayburn JV 25-0, while the freshmen beat Rayburn 25-6.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

What You Need To Know About Miranda

Cross-posted at

Do the police have to read the Miranda warnings when I'm arrested?

No. This is a common misconception, because on police shows on television, when a suspect is placed under arrest, the police read him the Miranda warnings. The truth is, though, that the police do not have to read the Miranda warnings when you are arrested. Miranda applies to custodial interrogations -- and frequently, the police won't read your Miranda warnings when they arrest you in the hopes that you might say something incriminating. If you make an incriminating statement and it's not in response to a question by a police officer, your statement can be used against you in court.
So then, what's a custodial interrogation?
It's any questioning by the police when you are in custody, i.e. under arrest. Now, what constitutes "in custody" can be hazy at times. If you have actually been placed under arrest and taken to jail, you're clearly in custody. But other situations can sometimes be confusing. The legal standard is whether a reasonable person would have believed that he was not free to leave. If you're in the interview room, you're not handcuffed, and the door to the interview room is left open, a judge reviewing the case is probably going to believe that you were free to leave. But what if you were escorted to the station in the back of a squad car? Maybe not. Or what if the police lock the door to the interview room and question you for eight hours, and don't tell you that you're free to leave at any time? That also is likely to sound to a judge like you were in custody.
So what happens if the police did violate my Miranda rights?
Another common misconception regarding the Miranda warnings, of course, is that you're entitled to have your case thrown out if the police didn't read the Miranda warnings. That's also not true. The only remedy available for a Miranda violation, in most cases, is to have your statements suppressed -- meaning that they can't be used against you at trial. But the police and prosecutors may have other evidence to use against you even if your statements are suppressed.
Really, what's your advice about all of this?
The simplest advice, of course, is not to talk to the police. In most cases, once the police have reached the stage where they want to ask you questions about a crime that you're accused of, they've already decided that they're going to arrest you (even if they haven't actually gotten an arrest warrant yet.) At that point, they really just want you to confess to the crime or make incriminating statements that they can use against you at trial. Talking to the police usually won't help your cause, and will only hurt. It's generally a safer bet to simply refuse to answer any questions, which you have the right to do under the Fifth Amendment. And if you absolutely insist on talking to the police, which I don't recommend, then have a lawyer present when you do.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

UIL Mock Realignment: 5A

5A Mock Realignment
*non-football school

District 1
El Paso
El Paso Andress
El Paso Austin
El Paso Bowie
El Paso Burges
El Paso Chapin
El Paso Irvin
El Paso Jefferson

District 2
Clint Horizon
El Paso Bel Air
El Paso Del Valle
El Paso Eastlake
El Paso Hanks
El Paso Harmony*
El Paso Parkland
El Paso Riverside
El Paso Ysleta

District 3
Amarillo Caprock
Amarillo Palo Duro
Canyon Randall

District 4
Abilene Cooper
San Angelo Lake View

District 5
Lake Dallas
Saginaw Boswell
Saginaw Chisholm Trail
Wichita Falls
Wichita Falls Rider

District 6
FW Carter-Riverside
FW Dunbar
FW Eastern Hills
FW North Side
FW Poly
FW Trimble Tech

District 7
FW Arlington Heights
FW South Hills
FW Southwest
FW Western Hills
FW Wyatt
White Settlement Brewer

District 8
Arlington Seguin
Burleson Centennial
Mansfield Lake Ridge
Mansfield Legacy
Mansfield Summit
Mansfield Timberview

District 9
Frisco Centennial
Frisco Heritage
Frisco Independence
Frisco Liberty
Frisco Lone Star
Frisco Wakeland
Little Elm
The Colony

District 10
Lucas Lovejoy
McKinney North
Wylie East

District 11
Carrollton Creekview
Carrollton Smith
Dallas Adams
Dallas Conrad
Dallas Hillcrest
Dallas Jefferson
Dallas Wilson
North Dallas

District 12
Dallas Adamson
Dallas Kimball
Dallas Molina
Dallas Samuell
Dallas South Oak Cliff
Dallas Spruce
Mesquite Poteet
West Mesquite

District 13
Mount Pleasant
Royse City
South Garland
Sulphur Springs
Texarkana Texas

District 14
John Tyler
Longview Pine Tree

District 15
North Forney
Red Oak

District 16
Georgetown East View
Waco University

District 17
Austin Vandegrift
Bastrop Cedar Creek
Cedar Park
Cedar Park Vista Ridge
Pflugerville Connally

District 18
A&M Consolidated
Bryan Rudder
College Station
Magnolia West

District 19
Conroe Caney Creek
New Caney
New Caney Porter

District 20
Barbers Hill
Beaumont Central
Beaumont Ozen
Port Neches-Groves

District 21
Houston Austin
Houston Davis
Houston Lee
Houston Madison
Houston North Forest
Houston Sharpstown
Houston Waltrip
Houston Yates

District 22
Fort Bend Bush
Fort Bend Elkins
Fort Bend Marshall
Fort Bend Ridge Point
Fort Bend Willowridge
Houston Spring Woods
Houston Stratford
Tomball Memorial

District 23
Baytown Goose Creek
Baytown Lee
Galena Park
Houston King
Humble Kingwood Park

District 24
Galveston Ball
Richmond Foster
Richmond George Ranch
Rosenberg Lamar
Rosenberg Terry
Santa Fe
Texas City

District 25
Austin Crockett
Austin Eastside Memorial*
Austin Lanier
Austin LBJ
Austin McCallum
Austin Reagan
Austin Travis

District 26
Alamo Heights
Dripping Springs
Kerrville Tivy
Marble Falls
San Marcos

District 27
SA Brackenridge
SA Burbank
SA Edison
SA Fox Tech*
SA Highlands
SA Houston
SA Jefferson
SA Lanier

District 28
Eagle Pass Winn
Laredo Cigarroa
Laredo Martin
Laredo Nixon
Medina Valley

District 29
SA Harlandale
SA Kennedy
SA McCollum
SA Memorial
SA Southside

District 30
CC Calallen
CC Flour Bluff
CC Miller
CC Moody
CC Tuloso-Midway
Port Lavaca Calhoun
Victoria East
Victoria West

District 31
Mission Veterans Memorial
Pharr Valley View
PSJA Southwest
Rio Grande City
Sharyland Pioneer

District 32
Brownsville Pace
Brownsville Porter
Donna North
Edinburg Vela

UIL Mock Realignment 2014: 6A

6A Mock Realignment

District 1
El Paso Americas
El Paso Coronado
El Paso Eastwood
El Paso El Dorado
El Paso Franklin
El Paso Montwood
El Paso Socorro

District 2
Amarillo Tascosa
Lubbock Coronado
Lubbock Monterey
Midland Lee
Odessa Permian
Wolfforth Frenship

District 3
Fort Worth Paschal
North Crowley
San Angelo Central

District 4
Denton Guyer
Denton Ryan
Keller Central
Keller Fossil Ridge
Keller Timber Creek
Northwest Nelson

District 5
Carrollton Turner
Colleyville Heritage
Euless Trinity
Hurst Bell
Southlake Carroll

District 6
Arlington Bowie
Arlington Lamar
Arlington Martin
Arlington Sam Houston
Grand Prairie
South Grand Prairie

District 7
Flower Mound
Flower Mound Marcus
Lewisville Hebron
Plano East
Plano West

District 8
Cedar Hill
Highland Park
Irving MacArthur
Irving Nimitz

District 9
Dallas Jesuit
McKinney Boyd
Richardson Berkner
Richardson Lake Highlands
Richardson Pearce

District 10
Garland Lakeview Centennial
Garland Naaman Forest
North Garland
Tyler Lee

District 11
Dallas Skyline
Dallas Sunset
Dallas White
Mesquite Horn
North Mesquite

District 12
Copperas Cove
Harker Heights
Killeen Ellison
Killeen Shoemaker
Waco Midway

District 13
Conroe Oak Ridge
Humble Atasocita
Humble Summer Creek
The Woodlands
The Woodlands College Park

District 14
Klein Collins
Klein Forest
Klein Oak
Spring Dekaney
Spring Westfield

District 15
Leander Rouse
Pflugerville Hendrickson
Round Rock
Round Rock Cedar Ridge
Round Rock McNeil
Round Rock Stony Point
Round Rock Westwood

District 16
Austin Akins
Austin Anderson
Austin Bowie
Austin Westlake
Buda Hays
Del Valle
Kyle Lehman
Lake Travis

District 17
Cypress Creek
Cypress Falls
Cypress Lakes
Cypress Ranch
Cypress Ridge
Cypress Springs
Cypress Woods
Jersey Village
Langham Creek

District 18
Aldine Davis
Aldine Eisenhower
Aldine MacArthur
Aldine Nimitz
Houston Memorial
Houston Northbrook
Houston Strake Jesuit

District 19
Katy Cinco Ranch
Katy Mayde Creek
Katy Morton Ranch
Katy Seven Lakes
Katy Taylor
Katy Tompkins

District 20
Houston Chavez
Houston Lamar
Houston Milby
Houston Reagan
Houston Sam Houston
Houston Westbury
Houston Westside

District 21
Alief Elsik
Alief Hastings
Alief Taylor
Fort Bend Austin
Fort Bend Clements
Fort Bend Dulles
Fort Bend Hightower
Fort Bend Kempner
Fort Bend Travis

District 22
Pasadena Dobie
Pasadena Memorial
Pasadena Rayburn
Pasadena South Houston
Pearland Dawson

District 23
Baytown Sterling
Beaumont West Brook
Deer Park
Galena Park North Shore
La Porte
Port Arthur Memorial

District 24
Clear Brook
Clear Creek
Clear Falls
Clear Lake
Clear Springs
Clute Brazoswood

District 25
Cibolo Steele
Converse Judson
Converse Wagner
New Braunfels
New Braunfels Canyon
Schertz Clemens
Smithson Valley

District 26
SA Churchill
SA Johnson
SA Lee
SA MacArthur
SA Madison
SA Reagan
SA Roosevelt

District 27
SA Brandeis
SA Brennan
SA Clark
SA Holmes
SA Jay
SA Marshall
SA O'Connor
SA Stevens
SA Taft
SA Warren

District 28
Corpus Christi Carroll
Corpus Christi King
Corpus Christi Ray
SA East Central
SA Southwest
South San Antonio

District 29
Del Rio
Eagle Pass
Laredo Alexander
Laredo LBJ
Laredo United
Laredo United South

District 30
La Joya
La Joya Juarez-Lincoln
La Joya Palmview
McAllen Memorial
McAllen Rowe

District 31
Edinburg Economedes
Edinburg North
PSJA Memorial
PSJA North
Weslaco East

District 32
Brownsville Hanna
Brownsville Lopez
Brownsville Rivera
Brownsville Veterans Memorial
Harlingen South
Los Fresnos
San Benito

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

SEC Hoops: Starting Conference Play

As conference play kicks off in the SEC tonight (at least, for those of us who care about basketball), the SEC already looks to be a bit improved on last season.

Last year, just three teams made it to the NCAA Tournament -- and one of those, Ole Miss, had to play its way in by winning the SEC Tournament.  This year, that number could go as high as six if everything breaks right.

As things stand right now, three teams are probably in the tournament unless they completely go in the tank.  Three more look to be in decent shape, and a couple of others could play their way in -- unlike last season, there's enough heft at the top of the SEC that tournament contenders can pick up some quality wins.  Here's how I think the SEC looks as we head into conference play.

1.  Florida (11-2)
RPI: 14
Pomeroy: 17
RPI Top 25 wins: 1 (Kansas)
RPI Top 50 wins: 2 (Kansas, Memphis)
Losses: at Wisconsin (1), at Connecticut (42)
With a couple of good wins and no bad losses, the Gators can already feel pretty secure about being in the NCAA Tournament.  The Gators do a good job at protecting the rim and hitting the glass, but as important, they don't really seem to have any glaring weaknesses (except maybe freethrow shooting.)  Depth could be a problem, though, particularly if star recruit Chris Walker doesn't get eligible; right now, Florida really only goes eight deep and doesn't really have much beyond that.  Still, this is a good, experienced team, and it's a program that has made the Elite Eight three straight years.

2.  Kentucky (10-3)
RPI: 25
Pomeroy: 12
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 2 (Boise State, Louisville)
Losses: vs. Michigan State (12), vs. Baylor (19), at North Carolina (36)
The ridiculous 40-0 talk was put to bed early with the Michigan State loss, but the Wildcats still look pretty good heading into SEC play.  The Wildcats protect the rim, hit the offensive glass and get to the line a lot.  They're not particularly good at shooting (either from the foul line or outside) but Julius Randle is difficult to handle inside and Willie Cauley-Stein is a beast on the defensive end.  The Louisville win gives them a quality win that they didn't have last year.

3.  Missouri (12-1)
RPI: 28
Pomeroy: 41
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 1 (UCLA)
Losses: vs. Illinois (11)
Consistency is the key here: the Tigers aren't a great team, but they don't have any inexplicable losses.  They're one point away from being undefeated on the season.  Point guard play could be a problem, though: the Tigers shoot the ball well, but don't take particularly good care of the ball and don't turn you over, though the defense is otherwise fine.  And there's very little depth here, particularly in the paint.

4.  Arkansas (11-2)
RPI: 54
Pomeroy: 37
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 2 (SMU, vs. Minnesota)
Losses: vs. Gonzaga (16), vs. California (46)
Two good wins so far, but we'll see how SMU and Minnesota hold up over the rest of the season, and no bad losses... but then, the three games in Maui were the full extent of the Razorbacks' games outside the state of Arkansas, and they lost two of those.  Will they have the same schizophrenia as last year?  If they can pick up a couple of good wins on the road (or at least avoid bad losses on the road), this could be an NCAA Tournament team.  Their coach is Mike Anderson, which means they will turn you over a lot, but having Bobby Portis down low also means they're pretty good at protecting the rim if they don't turn you over.

5.  Tennessee (9-4)
RPI: 66
Pomeroy: 23
RPI Top 25 wins: 1 (vs. Xavier)
RPI Top 50 wins: 2 (vs. Xavier, Virginia)
Losses: at Xavier (24), at Wichita State (17), NC State (80), vs. UTEP (151)
On their best nights, the Vols are capable of running a pretty good Virginia team out of the building.  And on their worst nights?  Well, there's that loss to UTEP... Still, none of the losses are eyesores, and the profile is good enough that assuming they can get it together in SEC play and avoid any further bad losses, they could very well make the NCAA Tournament.  But they start SEC play squarely on the bubble.

6.  LSU (9-3)
RPI: 68
Pomeroy: 50
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: at UMass (5), vs. Memphis (32), Rhode Island (166)
LSU has plenty of potential, but, uh, Rhode Island?  At home?  Really?  Certainly, the Bayou Bengals had their chances in the UMass and Memphis games, but at least as far as the selection committee is concerned, they got through the non-conference portion of the schedule with zero quality wins.  But there's enough potential that they can make amends for that in SEC play.  Another bubble team.

7.  Alabama (6-7)
RPI: 110
Pomeroy: 69
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: vs. Oklahoma (15), vs. Duke (38), Wichita State (17), Xavier (24), at UCLA (29), vs. Drexel (74), at South Florida (182)
Here is the problem with the RPI.  The RPI sees a bunch of losses and determines that Alabama is a mediocre team, whereas Pomeroy sees that Alabama was competitive with a bunch of teams that will probably be in the NCAA Tournament and says they're actually pretty decent.  The bad news, though, is that all the losses (even if they were to good teams) means that the Tide can't get in the tournament with a middling SEC finish.  The good news, though, is that the non-conference strength of schedule means that a good SEC finish -- say, 13-5 or better -- quite likely gets them in the tournament, and I think they're capable of doing that.

8.  Ole Miss (9-4)
RPI: 86
Pomeroy: 78
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: Oregon (9), Dayton (39), at Kansas State (55), Mercer (85)
Even the Mercer loss isn't really bad; Mercer is actually a pretty good team.  On the other hand, the Rebels' best win is over... Penn State?  Yeah, they have a lot of work to do in SEC play.  Marshall Henderson is Marshall Henderson, and Jarvis Summers is improved, but unlike last year, the Rebels have zero presence down low at the offensive end.  Aaron Jones, Demarco Cox, and Sebastian Saiz are all good at rebounding and contesting shots, but none of them offer the offensive presence that Murphy Holloway did, so Ole Miss isn't as good as last year's team.  This team looks to be on the wrong side of the bubble right now.

9.  Vanderbilt (8-4)
RPI: 99
Pomeroy: 90
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: St. Louis (47), at Butler (53), vs. Providence (69), at Texas (58)
Like Ole Miss, Vandy neither helped nor hurt themselves in non-conference play; no bad losses here, but the best wiu is over a middling Georgia Tech team.  Damian Jones is a budding star down low, but the Commodores have sketchy guard play and are unusually iffy at shooting behind the three-point line.  At this point, this doesn't look like an NCAA team, but there's enough potential here that that possibility can't be ruled out.

10.  South Carolina (7-6)
RPI: 97
Pomeroy: 107
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 1 (vs. St. Mary's)
Losses: at Baylor (19), at Oklahoma State (13), vs. Boise State (50), Manhattan (65), at Clemson (108), USC Upstate (207)
The Gamecocks actually went out and challenged themselves in non-conference play, and while the results weren't pretty at times (blowout losses to Oklahoma State and Boise State), this team actually looks to be improved quite a bit over last season.  Frank Martin knows what he's doing, and as is typical of Frank Martin teams, they're physical, they hit the offensive glass, they get to the freethrow line, and they also send you to the freethrow line a lot (by design.)  This probably isn't an NCAA team, but unlike last season, the good teams in the SEC can't count on coming out of Columbia with a win.

11.  Texas A&M (9-4)
RPI: 190
Pomeroy: 161
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: vs. SMU (37), vs. Oklahoma (15), vs. Missouri State (91), North Texas (171)
The Aggies combine a defense that's actually pretty good (thanks, Kourtney Roberson and Alex Caruso) with an offense that is, at times, horrendous (see: 41 points in a home loss to North Texas.)  This team looks like it will be playing on Wednesday night in the SEC Tournament again, and that's not good for Billy Kennedy's job security.

12.  Auburn (8-3)
RPI: 169
Pomeroy: 157
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: at Iowa State (2), vs. Illinois (11), Northwestern State (192)
There was that 19-point loss to Northwestern State, but other than that, Auburn hasn't looked terrible; home wins over Clemson and Boston College suggest that (at least at home) they're capable of beating mid-level power-conference teams.  The Tigers can score, but can't defend (see: 111 points in a home loss to Northwestern State), so they wind up being pretty limited and will probably be playing on Wednesday night in the SEC Tournament.  And, yeah, Tony Barbee will probably be unemployed if that happens.

13.  Mississippi State (10-3)
RPI: 157
Pomeroy: 205
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: at Utah State (77), vs. UNLV (113), TCU (162)
10-3 against a joke of a non-conference schedule (best win: a neutral-court win over South Florida, and they barely scraped by Jackson State), but they're at least improved over last season, not that that's saying a lot given how godawful they were last season.  The defense is actually pretty good at turning you over, and the offense is improved with Gavin Ware developing down low and Craig Sword shooting better than he did last season (and turning the ball over less.)  But this team is still probably a year away from really being competitive in the SEC.

14.  Georgia (6-6)
RPI: 239
Pomeroy: 170
RPI Top 25 wins: 0
RPI Top 50 wins: 0
Losses: vs. Nebraska (48), at Colorado (8), at George Washington (22), Georgia Tech (117), vs. Davidson (167), vs. Temple (156)
Georgia's best player is Charles Mann, a guy who shoots 47 percent on 2-pointers and turns it over 3 times a game.  There's really not a lot to like about this team: they're not particularly good at shooting, they turn it over too much, they don't turn you over, and while they protect the rim pretty well they can get hurt on the perimeter.  And the best team they've beaten this season is... Western Carolina.  By 2.  At home.  I would be very surprised if this team is not playing on Wednesday night at the SEC Tournament.

Hot Seat Index: Midseason

1.  Tony Barbee: He went 9-23 last year, player turnover has been an ongoing issue in the program, and this season's team -- while improved -- doesn't look like it will even get within sniffing distance of the NCAA Tournament.  In four years on the Plains, it's really hard to see how he's an improvement over Jeff Lebo, and he might actually be worse.  This serves as a word of caution to anyone thinking about hiring that hot mid-major coach, because remember, Barbee was considered a great hire when he came in.
2.  Mark Fox: Has one NCAA Tournament appearance in four years (which came primarily with Dennis Felton's players), probably won't make it this year, and will probably have four losing seasons in five years.  Fox is actually a pretty good coach, but other than landing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope he hasn't been able to recruit talent to Athens; UGA would be much better off with a coach who knows the recruiting trail in the South, particularly in the fertile Atlanta area.
3.  Anthony Grant: One NCAA appearance in four years, though in Grant's case the Tide has at least been coming fairly close; he has a 92-59 record in Tuscaloosa.  The problem, though, is that this season looked like one for the Crimson Tide to take a leap forward and it hasn't happened; player turnover has been a problem here as well.  And the difference between Grant and Barbee/Fox is that he has a team that's capable of getting things turned around in SEC play and making the tournament.
4.  Billy Kennedy: Had Kennedy followed Melvin Watkins or Tony Barone in College Station, his 41-37 record and no NCAA appearances wouldn't be a problem.  Unfortunately for him, that's coming on the heels of six straight NCAA appearances under Billy Gillispie and Mark Turgeon, and so Aggies fans actually have some expectations for the basketball program now.  He's only in his third year, so he should be back for another year, but a second straight year of playing in the first round of the SEC Tournament will probably increase the heat.
5.  Andy Kennedy: The wolves seem to have calmed down after Kennedy (finally) got Ole Miss to the NCAA Tournament for the first time last season.  He's 161-91 in his eighth season and, believe it or not, that actually makes him Ole Miss's winningest basketball coach -- which really says a lot more about the Ole Miss basketball program than it does about Kennedy.  Even with a bit of a down year, he looks fine right now, though I wouldn't rule out a firing if the team tanks in SEC play.
6.  Mike Anderson: He's 48-29 in his third season in Fayetteville, but hasn't made the NCAA Tournament.  If he doesn't get the Razorbacks there this year, the heat could go up, though given his long history with the Arkansas program (he was a top assistant coach under Nolan Richardson) he has a lot of good will built up and should be fine.
7.  Cuonzo Martin: Like Billy Kennedy, Martin had the misfortune of following the highly successful (though ultimately marred) Bruce Pearl era in Knoxville; if he had followed Buzz Peterson, his record would not be a problem.  His recruiting has also gotten Vols fans fired up, but so far the team has been inconsistent and hasn't made the NCAA Tournament.  Worth watching if the Vols miss the tournament again.
8.  Frank Haith: When hired, he was not Missouri's first choice, but has gotten the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament in both of his first two years.  On the other hand... he's also lost in the first round both years, and this isn't a program where merely getting to the NCAAs is good enough.  Should be fine so long as the program doesn't tank on his watch.
9.  Kevin Stallings: Some Vanderbilt fans might not like this placement, but Stallings -- who's in his 15th year at Vandy and is the school's all-time winningest coach -- seems to be fine as far as the athletic department (or whatever Vanderbilt calls it) is concerned.
10.  Johnny Jones: He's an alum and in his second year seems to be getting LSU turned around.  Should be fine for now, though LSU fans will expect NCAA appearances at some point soon.
11.  Rick Ray: Basically gets a mulligan for his first season, and he's already equaled his win total from year 1 in his second year.  Will get time to try to get Mississippi State turned around.
12.  Frank Martin: This is what happens when you follow an unsuccessful coach and have a good track record coming in.  South Carolina will probably be willing to give Martin plenty of time to get the program turned around, and there's already some improvement.
13.  John Calipari: Even after a disappointing 2013 season, nobody is calling for Calipari's head in Lexington.  Winning a national championship two years ago will do that.
14.  Billy Donovan: Um, no.

The Different Types of Pleas in Texas

You are charged with a criminal offense in Texas.  The judge asks you, on the spot, how you plead to the offense.  What are your options?

You might have discussed this with your attorney, or you might not have an attorney.  A quick primer to the three different types of pleas available:

Not Guilty
What it means: You don't admit to guilt, and you wish to contest the charges against you.

What it does: This is the plea you will enter if you wish to go to trial and make the state prove its case against you.  Keep in mind that you may change your plea later if you wish, or that you may still be found guilty if the state proves its case against you.

What it means: You admit to being guilty of the charged offense.

What it does: The judge may enter a finding of guilt, or he may not and defer a finding of guilt until after a probationary period (this is known as deferred adjudication.)  You may be sentenced in accordance with a plea bargain made with the prosecutor, or the judge may reject the plea bargain and sentence you according to his own wishes; or, you may plead guilty without a plea bargain in place and allow the judge to sentence you.

No Contest (or Nolo Contendre)
What it means: You don't admit to being guilty of the charged offense, but you elect not to contest the charges against you.

What it does: In most cases, a plea of nolo contendre is functionally the same as a guilty plea: you will be found guilty (or the judge will defer a finding of guilt) and sentenced.  The only difference between a plea of nolo contendre and a guilty plea is in a civil matter; in civil court, a guilty plea can be used against you as an admission of guilt, but a nolo contendre plea cannot since there is no admission of guilt.  This might be important if, for example, you were charged with intoxication manslaughter and the family of the victim filed a wrongful death suit against you; however, in most instances, a nolo contendre plea is no different than a guilty plea.


This is the blog of lawyer Thomas C. Stephenson.  I practice criminal defense in Sugar Land, Texas.

I blog about the law sometimes, but also blog about... well, pretty much whatever I feel like.

If you would like to contact me, I'm located at:

77 Sugar Creek Center Blvd., Suite 230
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Office number: (832) 586-8301