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Tuesday, December 13, 2011
3-point stance: Te'o's uncanny maturity

By Ivan Maisel

1. The reasons Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o gave Monday for returning for his senior year show an uncommon maturity. Te’o decided to chase happiness instead of money. It’s funny how the schools with tougher academic standards find players who think like Te’o. Of the 20 Fighting Irish players drafted since the 2005 season, only four came out early.

2. Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, the new coach at Colorado State, is the first Crimson Tide assistant under Nick Saban to become an FBS head coach and the seventh Saban assistant to do so dating back to his tenure at Michigan State. Mark Dantonio of Michigan State (10-3) and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State (8-4) are the most successful. The next likely Saban assistant to move up and out: defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, a former Broyles Award winner.

3. Ah, the wonder that is social media. The latest athletic figures to learn that grumbling via Twitter is louder than grumbling to someone in the dorm are the UCLA players who missed workouts last week and had their bowl expense checks withheld. The grumbling worked -- the players got their money Monday -- and they also generated a lot of miserable headlines for their team. The players learned the power of their voices. Here’s hoping they learned the responsibility that goes along with that power.