SEC: Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney didn't have the monster season everyone expected in 2013. His final season at South Carolina raised questions about his drive and conditioning after he seemed too gassed during games and recorded a career-low three sacks.

It was clear there were times when Clowney didn't give it his all or took plays off, and the former SEC star admitted as much after last season. To his credit, Clowney did have to have foot surgery to help with bone spurs, meaning he played through pain pretty much the entire season.

But it sounds like there was even more pain for Clowney to do deal with during his final season with the Gamecocks. According to a report, Clowney, who was drafted first overall by the Houston Texans in this year's NFL draft, played with a sports hernia injury through the 2013 season. Clowney had sports hernia surgery two weeks ago, which forced him to miss the Texans' minicamp.

Now, the rub on Clowney last season was that he didn't give it 100 percent, leaving some to wonder if he would have the mental edge to compete at the next level. We all knew Clowney was the most physically gifted player the SEC had to offer when he stepped on the field, but his 2013 resume left so much to be desired. I'm not here to make excuses for Clowney, but playing with a sports hernia isn't exactly the most comfortable of things.

Especially for a player who has to constantly thrust his body into another behemoth of a man at a high rate of speed. And when you are Clowney, you probably had to deal with constant double-teams.

After further review, yes, Clowney had to deal with double-teams... over and over.

To ours and Clowney's standards, he didn't have a great final season in Columbia. He just wasn't the consistent force we had seen before. He didn't come close to living up to the hype, but maybe the injuries contributed to that. Honestly, it had to, and there is no denying he played through nagging pain all season, whether it was a sports hernia or his foot.

How much better would Clowney have been if he was healthy? Would Clowney have been more inclined to dial it back a notch at times if he knew he wasn't at risk for making his injuries more serious? We don't know, but we do know Clowney dealt with more complications than we originally thought.

Lunchtime links

June, 13, 2014
Jun 13
The World Cup is here. Really helps the summer go by before football season starts.
  • Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wonders why Florida didn't just tell the truth when it came to the sudden resignation of wide receivers coach Joker Phillips.
  • Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson thinks he has options if defensive end Carl Lawson has to miss time after offseason knee surgery.
  • Alabama defensive lineman Brandon Ivory ranks No. 21 on's list of the most important figures in and around Alabama's program.
  • Former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will get to practice and scrimmage against Peyton Manning.
  • Tennessee quarterback commit Quinten Dormady is eager to join a "growing" Tennessee football program.
  • Missouri athletic director Mike Alden talks about the future of the NCAA. Here's Part 1 and Part 2 of his Q&A with The Columbia Daily Tribune.
  • New Orleans Saints' Keenan Lewis thinks LSU wide receiver Malachi Dupre will be a top NFL receiver one day.
For the eighth consecutive year, the SEC led all conferences with the most NFL draft picks. When all was said and done on Saturday, the SEC had 49 former athletes selected. In 2013, the SEC had a league-record 63 players drafted, and after last year's draft, the league averaged 48.9 players drafted since 2006.

So I guess that whole run of seven straight BCS national championships had some real weight to it, huh?

The last time the SEC didn't lead the nation in draft picks was 2006, when the league had 37 players taken and the Big Ten had 41. This year, the SEC's only real competition in the draft was the ACC, which had 42 players taken.

[+] EnlargeJadeveon Clowney
Bob Levey/Getty ImagesJadeveon Clowney is the fourth SEC player to be taken first in the draft since 2006.
On Thursday, the SEC led the rest of the conferences with 11 first-round draft picks, including having Jadeveon Clowney selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Texans. Clowney became the fourth player from the SEC to be taken first in the draft since 2006. The SEC also had four players taken within the first 10 picks of the draft.

LSU led the SEC and the rest of the country with nine draft selections. Alabama was second with eight draft picks.

Every SEC team was represented in the draft, and here's a breakdown of how each school fared:

  • Alabama -- 8
  • Arkansas -- 4
  • Auburn -- 4
  • Florida -- 4
  • Georgia -- 2
  • Kentucky -- 1
  • LSU -- 9
  • Mississippi State -- 1
  • Missouri -- 4
  • Ole Miss -- 1
  • South Carolina -- 2
  • Tennessee -- 3
  • Texas A&M -- 3
  • Vanderbilt -- 3

After all the Johnny Manziel drama from the first night of the draft, the SEC had no shortage of intrigue during the next two days of the draft. Everyone waited for AJ McCarron to get drafted in the second round, but he didn't hear his name until the fifth round (No. 164 by the Cincinnati Bengals), and after Aaron Murray was taken a spot ahead by the Kansas City Chiefs. Zach Mettenberger, the quarterback many thought would go first from the SEC, was selected in the sixth round (No. 178) by the Tennessee Titans.

And perhaps the biggest news from the last two days was Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay player to be selected in the draft. The former Missouri defensive end -- and SEC defensive player of the year -- was selected in the seventh round (N0. 249) by the St. Louis Rams, and shared a powerful, historic and emotional scene on live television when he received the news.

It should come as no surprise that the SEC had yet another successful showing at the NFL draft. The league is absolutely stuffed with SEC talent. According to the SEC's official website, the SEC had 340 former players on active 53-man rosters on opening day of the 2013 season. Also, since 2006 the SEC has averaged nearly 280 players per year on NFL opening weekend rosters.

There were some surprising names not called during the three-day draft. Florida cornerback Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy, who were viewed as top cornerback prospects before the 2013 season, went undrafted, as did former top offensive line prospect Antonio Richardson from Tennessee. Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard and LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson also were left out.

Here's a look at the SEC players taken after Round 1:


42. Jordan Matthews, WR ,Vanderbilt -- Philadelphia Eagles
44. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama -- Buffalo Bills
51. Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU -- Chicago Bears
55. Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU -- Cincinnati Bengals
60. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri -- Carolina Panthers
63. Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU -- Miami Dolphins
64. Justin Britt, OT, Missouri -- Seattle Seahawks


75. Tre Mason, RB, Auburn -- St. Louis Rams
76. Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas -- Detroit Lions
81. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State -- Oakland Raiders
90. Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss -- Indianapolis Colts
92. Trai Turner, OG, LSU -- Carolina Panthers


101. Jaylen Watkins, DB, Florida -- Philadelphia Eagles
106. Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina -- San Francisco 49ers
123. Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama -- Seattle Seahawks


151. Avery Williamson, LB, Kentucky -- Tennessee Titans
155. Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia -- Miami Dolphins
156. Lamin Barrow, LB, LSU -- Denver Broncos
159. Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas -- Jacksonville Jaguars
160. Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama -- Arizona Cardinals
163. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia -- Kansas City Chiefs
164. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama -- Cincinnati Bengals
167. Vinnie Sunseri, S, Alabama -- New Orleans Saints
169. Ronald Powell, LB, Florida -- New Orleans Saints
173. Wesley Johnson, OT, Vanderbilt -- Pittsburgh Steelers


177. Jeoffrey Pagan, DE, Alabama -- Houston Texans
178. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU -- Tennessee Titans
179. Jon Halapio, OG, Florida -- New England Patriots
181. Alfred Blue, RB, LSU -- Houston Texans
188. E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri -- St. Louis Rams
193. Zach Fulton, OG, Tennessee -- Kansas City Chiefs
211. Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn -- Houston Texans
215. Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee -- Pittsburgh Steelers


216. Andre Hal, S, Vanderbilt -- Houston Texans
227. Kiero Small, FB, Arkansas -- Seattle Seahawks
228. Zach Hocker, K, Arkansas -- Washington Redskins
239. James Wright, WR, LSU -- Cincinnati Bengals
249. Michael Sam, DE, Missouri -- St. Louis Rams

SEC lunchtime links

May, 9, 2014
May 9
Thursday night's draft was pretty entertaining, but let's not forget that the real entertainment starts next week when the greatest superhero ever returns!
It was another successful first round of the NFL draft for the SEC, even if one star had to wait a lot longer than he expected.

By the time the night was over, Jadeveon Clowney was the first overall pick, Johnny Manziel was in Cleveland, and the SEC led all conferences with 11 picks in the first round.

[+] EnlargeJadeveon Clowney
Allen Kee/ESPN ImagesAs expected, Jadeveon Clowney was the top pick among the SEC's NFL draft prospects.
The first 10 picks were littered with SEC talent, as Clowney went first to the Houston Texans, Greg Robinson went second to the St. Louis Rams, Jake Matthews went sixth to the Atlanta Falcons, and Mike Evans went seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The real drama of the night came with Manziel Watch. The former Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner was at one point expected to go No. 1 overall. Then, there was no way he was getting out of the first five picks. Then, the Dallas Cowboys were thought to be the favorites to land him in the middle of the first round.

But Manziel tumbled all the way down to No. 22 when the Cleveland Browns traded with the Philadelphia Eagles to get college football's most exciting player. Many thought Cleveland would end up being the destination for Manziel, but dropping that far was a surprise. Something tells me Manziel will be pretty fired up to prove a lot of people wrong about passing on him.

There were a couple of other first-round surprises concerning the SEC, too. For starters, former Tennessee offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James went 19th to the Miami Dolphins after being projected as a second-rounder. Former Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who missed most of the 2013 season after suffering an ACL injury, was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 29th pick. And former Auburn defensive end Dee Ford was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 23 after being projected as a second-rounder.

Here's a complete look at how the SEC fared in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina -- Houston Texans

2. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn -- St. Louis Rams

6. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M -- Atlanta Falcons

7. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

12. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU -- New York Giants

17. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama -- Baltimore Ravens

19. Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee -- Miami Dolphins

21. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama -- Green Bay Packers

22. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M -- Cleveland Browns

23. Dee Ford, DE, Auburn -- Kansas City Chiefs

29. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida -- New England Patriots
ROCK HILL, S.C. -- For much of the football world, NFL draft day is nothing short of a national holiday.

But in this former textile and mill town of about 66,000 people, some 25 miles south of Charlotte, N.C., it's become just another day.

In these parts, they do a few things religiously.

They go to church on Sunday mornings and still say "yes sir" and "yes ma'am." The high school kids cruise up and down Cherry Road, and they produce world-class football players.

The latest is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who's projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, which begins Thursday night with the first round.

Clowney will become the third straight player from one of the three Rock Hill high schools to hear his name called in the first round, a distinction no other city or town in America can claim.

Not Miami. Not Los Angeles. Not Dallas. At least not during the past three years.

"When you're from Rock Hill, it's really sort of the expectation now," Clowney said. "I know a lot of kids who play football grow up dreaming about being drafted. But in our town, it's more than just a dream.

"A lot of great players have come before me, and a lot more are coming."

Clowney, who's in New York City for the first round, will become the 11th player to have played his high school football in Rock Hill to be drafted in the last 13 years.

Go here to read the rest of the story.

SEC NFL draft primer

May, 8, 2014
May 8
A year ago, the SEC produced 12 first-round NFL draft selections, which tied the record set by the ACC in 2006.

Most projections this year would seem to suggest that record is safe.

In his latest mock draft, ESPN's Todd McShay has 10 SEC players going in the first round, including four in the top seven picks. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is pegged as the No. 1 overall selection to the Houston Texans followed by Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson at No. 2 to the St. Louis Rams, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel at No. 4 to the Cleveland Browns, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews at No. 6 to the Atlanta Falcons and Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans at No. 7 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If all three of the Texas A&M players go in the top 10, it would mark the first time that's happened in the SEC since the 2005 draft when Auburn had three players go in the top 10 picks -- running back Ronnie Brown at No. 2, running back Carnell Williams at No. 5 and cornerback Carlos Rogers at No. 9.

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is projected to go in the top half of the first round and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley in the top 25 picks, which would make it six straight years that the Crimson Tide had produced a first-round pick. That's the longest active streak in the league. Clinton-Dix and Mosley would also make it 15 first-rounders for Alabama over the past five years.

If Clowney is drafted No. 1 overall, he would become the first defensive lineman from the SEC to be selected with the top pick. The previous six No. 1 overall picks from the SEC were all quarterbacks -- Auburn's Cam Newton in 2011, Georgia's Matthew Stafford in 2009, LSU's JaMarcus Russell in 2007, Ole Miss' Eli Manning in 2004, Kentucky's Tim Couch in 1999 and Tennessee's Peyton Manning in 1998.

The NFL invited 11 SEC players to attend the first-round festivities in New York City on Thursday night. In addition to Clowney, Robinson, Manziel, Matthews, Evans, Clinton-Dix and Mosley, also on that list were LSU receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy, Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio and Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews.

SEC lunchtime links

May, 7, 2014
May 7
With the NFL draft set to begin on Thursday, it should be another showcase weekend for the SEC. Let's take a look at what's happening with several SEC prospects -- as well as some other league headlines -- as the draft approaches.

SEC lunchtime links

May, 6, 2014
May 6
Lots more NFL draft talk and a bit from spring practice as we take a spin around the SEC with today's lunchtime links.

We are only a couple of days away from the 2014 NFL draft, which means it's crunch time for predictions.

Of course, that's where NFL draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay come in. They've been going back and forth with their projections for months, but with only days remaining until Thursday's first night of drafting, there's only so much more these guys can talk about it.

Recently, these two put their minds together to create a joint mock draft that runs for three rounds. They rotated picks and their calls are their own. They didn't draft based on what they think teams want.

Naturally, the SEC is well represented, with 25 players picked to go in the first three rounds.

McShay has Jadeveon Clowney going first to the Houston Texans, while Kiper has Johnny Manziel going fourth to the Cleveland Browns. Both combined to take six SEC players in the first 10 picks and had 10 SEC players taken in the first round.

A couple of third-round gems include Kiper having the Cincinnati Bengals taking AJ McCarron with the 88th pick and the Minnesota Vikings drafting Tre Mason with the 96th pick.

South Carolina spring wrap

April, 30, 2014
Apr 30
Three things we learned in the spring about the South Carolina Gamecocks:

1. Offense is deep: As long as fifth-year senior quarterback Dylan Thompson stays healthy, South Carolina shouldn’t have many issues on offense. The backfield is deep and talented with Mike Davis leading the way. The offensive line is loaded with future NFL players. Although Bruce Ellington turned pro, the receiving corps features plenty of explosive options. With Steve Spurrier at the controls, it should be an entertaining year to watch the Gamecocks move the ball in a wide variety of ways.

2. Linebacker will be a strength: South Carolina’s defense certainly has some holes to fill, but the linebackers are a proven commodity. Three of the Gamecocks’ top-five tacklers return in Skai Moore, Kaiwan Lewis and Marcquis Roberts. It's a deep group of playmakers who could carry the defense while some new faces finds their way early in the season.

3. Defense has a lot to prove: Losing one of the best defensive talents ever to don garnet and black, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, will obviously be a blow. Same with defensive linemen Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton and cornerbacks Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree. Those guys were the rocks of a solid South Carolina defense last season, and their absences were evident in the spring game when the defenses surrendered 6.5 yards per play and 16.8 yards per completion. The cupboard isn’t bare, but the Gamecocks still must fill a lot of holes.

Three questions for the fall:

1. Who takes over at cornerback? This seems to be the most likely position where a freshman might earn immediate playing time. The Gamecocks added a slew of talented cornerbacks -- including three of their four highest-rated signees in ESPN’s rankings, Chris Lammons, D.J. Smith and Wesley Green -- and struggled a bit at the position during the spring without Hampton and Legree. Safety Brison Williams and Rico McWilliams started at corner in the spring game, and Jamari Smith might be another name to watch. But it’s clear that nothing is settled at the position as of now.

2. Who backs up Thompson? Spring practice proved that Thompson is head and shoulders above the competition at quarterback. But who steps in if the senior suffers an injury? Connor Mitch is one option. Brendan Nosovitch and Perry Orth are others. Not yet on campus is a fourth option, signee Michael Scarnecchia. Thompson has already played a lot while sharing time with the departed Connor Shaw, but the reserves are a completely unproven bunch.

3. Might this be the SEC’s best backfield? The star power at Alabama and Georgia attracts more attention, but the talent in South Carolina’s backfield is nothing to sneeze at. Davis proved himself as a tough runner and home run threat last season, rushing for 1,183 yards and 11 touchdowns before fading late because of injury issues. In Brandon Wilds and Shon Carson, the Gamecocks have another two SEC-caliber backs, and the Gamecocks’ coaches seem excited about adding redshirt freshman David Williams to the mix. The depth here is excellent, and the backs will be running behind a stout offensive line. That should make for a highly productive running game in the fall.

One way-too-early prediction:

This is the golden age of South Carolina football, and Spurrier will add another impressive chapter this season. Namely, the Gamecocks’ streak of three straight seasons with at least 11 wins will grow to four. Although Lorenzo Ward’s defense has a lot to prove, the offense should be good enough to help the D hit its stride like it did as last season progressed. Plenty of preseason publications will name South Carolina as the favorite to win the SEC East, and that’s for good reason. Spurrier’s staff has built one of the league’s most consistent programs, and it should once again rank among the top contenders this season.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. predicts nine players from the SEC will go in the first round in his latest mock draft Insider.

That would be down from the 12 first-round picks the SEC produced a year ago, which tied the record for first-rounders set by the ACC in 2006.

Kiper's No. 1 pick overall is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney going to the Houston Texans. Six of the first 10 picks in the draft will be SEC players, according to Kiper. He has Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson going No. 2, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel going No. 4, Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans going No. 7, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews going No. 9 and Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix going No. 10.

If all three Texas A&M players end up going in the top 10, it would be the first time that's happened in the SEC since the 2005 draft when Auburn produced three top-10 picks -- running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams and cornerback Carlos Rogers.

Kiper has a total of 17 SEC players going in his first two rounds. He doesn't have Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron going in the top two rounds, but does have LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger going No. 42 overall to the Tennessee Titans.

ESPN insider Todd McShay revealed his latest 2014 NFL mock draft on Thursday, his fourth of the draft season so far, and there is plenty of SEC representation.

Six of the top 10 picks in McShay's latest mock draft hail from the SEC, including the top two picks: Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) and Greg Robinson (Auburn).

With less than a month away until the draft and prospects doing private workouts and meetings with teams across the country, there are plenty of shakeups in the Mock Draft 4.0.

See McShay's full mock draft here. Insider
All eyes were on Jadeveon Clowney as he participated in South Carolina’s pro day this week, but the impact of an event like that reaches far beyond Clowney’s draft stock. It affects the fans, coaches, current players, and even the recruits who are interested in the Gamecocks.

Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams, one of 10 ESPN 300 players to sign with South Carolina in 2014, was among those watching the pro day. We caught up with him to ask about Clowney’s performance and where he should go in the draft.

[+] EnlargeAllen-WIlliams
Miller Safrit/ESPNESPN 300 LB Bryson Allen-Williams enjoyed watched Jadeveon Clowney's pro day and can't wait to have an impact with the Gamecocks.
Q: What did you take away from Clowney’s pro day this week?

Allen-Williams: He should be the No. 1 overall pick. He’s a freak of nature. Just by talking to him and having conversations with him, he’s a humble guy, works hard, all that. So I think he should be the No. 1 pick, but it’s really up to the Texans.

Q: So you’ve talked to Clowney in the past?

Allen-Williams: Yeah, I’ve talked to him plenty of times. Every time I go up there, he makes sure he gets a chance to talk to me.

Q: Did he impact your decision, knowing that South Carolina can produce a top pick?

Allen-Williams: Yeah, it definitely did help. Last year around this time, I wasn’t really sold where I was going to school. By going up and talking to guys like Clowney, talking to guys like Mike Davis, guys that are potential first-rounders, that was a huge factor into why I ended up signing with South Carolina. They’re going to produce somebody every year, produce a couple guys every year, and that’s a huge thing.

Q: You looked around some late in the recruiting process. What made you want to stick with the Gamecocks?

Allen-Williams: Just my relationship with Coach [Lorenzo] Ward. He has a lot of things in store for this class, and I was one of the original pieces to the class. I was the second commitment. I helped get a lot of other guys to be a part of the class, so for me to go anywhere else, I would feel like I was disrespecting them. South Carolina is a great place. I just had to remember why I was telling other guys to come there. Once I remembered that, I just felt like South Carolina was the best place to be, and I feel like there’s a lot of big things we’re going to do this year.

Q: Looking back at all your visits, what’s the one thing that stood out?

Allen-Williams: On my official visit to South Carolina, having people come up to me and recognize who I was, that was pretty crazy to me. It was so surreal having people say ‘I can’t wait until you get up here next year. I can’t wait for you to do big things for the Gamecocks.’ That was pretty special.

Q: I know you’re big on Twitter. How’d you use that during the recruiting process?

Allen-Williams: Twitter is very good when you use it for the right reasons. For me, I just wanted to get my personality out there and build a brand. We had this all-star game, the Rising Seniors, and basically they told us to make sure you build a brand. I felt like Twitter was the best way to do that. I was able to develop a mini-fanbase of South Carolina fans, and I haven’t even stepped on campus. I was also able to connect with a lot of other guys that I wanted to help get to South Carolina next year. That was a huge thing because a lot of guys I wouldn’t have been able to talk to without social media, I was able to talk to, reach out to and let them know some things about South Carolina. It really paid off, and it’s one of the reasons why we’ve got another top-25 recruiting class.

Q: What’s your plan between now and when you enroll at the end of May?

Allen-Williams: Right now, I’m playing baseball. I’m doing a lot of conditioning, a lot of running, trying to trim some of the baby fat off before I go up to South Carolina this summer. It’s more mental than anything because I’ve been playing football my whole life. The football side of things, it’s going to take care of itself with the training and the hard work I’m going to put in. But I’m watching film on games last year, evaluating the way that the linebackers play, evaluating what type of schemes that we’re running. I’m just really trying to be a student of the game, especially this first year. I’ll probably get a couple of looks on third downs and stuff, but I’m really trying to become one of the top linebackers that ever came through South Carolina.

Q: Lastly, who you got winning it all in hoops this weekend?

Allen-Williams: I’m going to say Kentucky. I really like Kentucky. Julius Randle, the Harrison twins, those are some good ball players. I’m going to pick Kentucky.

SEC's lunchtime links

April, 3, 2014
Apr 3
It's not exactly like the fall, but at least we'll have some football (spring) games this weekend. Let's take a quick spin around the SEC and see what's happening as the final spring scrimmages approach at some of the league's schools.