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Spring Time Pancakes With Cedric Mack

Before we get into Louisiana-Monroe week, let's take a little timeout to catch up with one of FIU's Cm big signees from the 2008 recruiting class: Cedric Mack.

As you well know, CM, who is currently enrolled at FIU and taking classes toward his criminal justice major, has not seen the field this season, because of some NCAA red tape. We'll let CM tell you more about that and why CM could be pitching IHOP when he is finished with college football.

GPP: You were a prized JUCO recruit out of El Camino JC that several major college programs were after. What made you decide to come play football at FIU?

CM: I wanted to come back home after being away in California for 2 years and obviously as you can tell by this season FIU is an up-and-coming program. I really like this place. My cousin [former FIU DB] Jermell Weaver played here. I know [El Monstruo] Antwan Barnes, [former FIU RB] Ben West all them boys. I'm a homeboy here. I wanted to come and be a part of starting a tradition here.

GPP: Besides FIU, what were some of the schools that pursued you the most?

CM: LSU, Kansas State, Arizona, Kentucky, South Florida. I had full offers and I could have signed, but I Fiuhelmet chose to come back home, because I wanted to give my parents an opportunity to see me play again. In high school they were at all of my games -- home or away. But we didn't really have the money for them to commute to California and back home again.

GPP: What has been holding you up from getting on the field with FIU?

CM: I have to get these 2 transcripts from these 2 schools that I went to in California and once I do the NCAA will clear me and I'll be ready for next season. I'm already an FIU student and I'm taking classes and everything. I should be ready to go for spring practice. The last I heard from the NCAA was that as long as I get the transcripts I'll be cleared. I'm working on that ASAP. I'm trying to get them in the next few weeks. Actually, they should be coming in next week. I definitely will be there for spring ball.

GPP: So will you have 1 or 2 years to play at FIU?

CM: I'll be a senior academically next year, but I'm working on making this year a redshirt year for me. So I could still be eligible for 2 years.

Fiufans_2 GPP: I've seen you at the 3 FIU home games this season at the new stadium. What do you think of the 2008 Golden Panthers and what do you think of FIU Stadium?

CM: There is so much improvement with the team. They are getting better as they go. They are a solid group. There is a little room for progress, but there's always room for progress. The stadium and the FIU fans are crazy. I love that energy. I picture myself being on that field and looking up at the crowd and seeing my homeboys cheering for me.

GPP: What are you at right now weight-wise and where do you want to be come spring practice?

CM: I'm 6-4 and 340 pounds right now, but I plan on getting to 300 by March, because I've been training even though I'm not playing. I run a 4.9, 40. I play left guard, but I can play left tackle, right guard, right tackle. I just want to play.

GPP: Out of the blue I've been calling you Mount Mack on my blog. What other names have you heard Pancakes Ihop people call you?

CM: Mount Mack is just another nickname added on to all the other nicknames that people have given me like Big Mac and Yum-Yum IHOP, because they say I eat up defensive linemen like pancakes.


Apaw In case you missed it when it was posted in the comments section of the last blog, FIU took up the GPP's suggestion to start an FIU fan experience site for all your accolades, comments or concerns regarding FIU sporting events. You can click: FIU Fan Experience Site and let the FIU athletic department know how they are doing.

Apaw_2 If you're a current FIU student you can get into the Don Shula Bowl FIU/FAU game for FREE. FIU is providing free tickets and bus rides to Dolphin Stadium to current FIU students.

Call 305-FIU-GAME for tickets and more information. The deadline is next Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 12 p.m.  NYCFIUFan: still waiting to hear about FIU alumni.

Apaw_3 We'll go LIVE BLOGGING again from FIU Stadium this Saturday for the FIU/ULM game. For our GPP out-of-towners and those in-towners with internet capabilities at the stadium or at home, we'll be on-line around 6:45 p.m.  Deadline for scores for the FIU/ULM game for the WIN A GPP BLOG or FIU football media guide contest is at 6:59 p.m. GPP Time this Saturday.

Apaw_4 The Hilton Heave has the lead in our name "The T.Y./Jr. Play" poll with 38% percent of the vote. The Money Ball is second with 29%. The voting continues as the poll is still open on the previous blog.


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FIU - 28
ULM - 20

CaymanFIU: Btw ive been hearing rumors that Jeb Bush is seriously interested in being FIU's next President...If there is any truth to this, do u think the students would accept him?

Yes, I've heard Bush along with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Marco Rubio. I think students would accept anyone that has FIU's best interests in mind.

FIU Fan For Life: Pete, is the Washington game on Panther Pass? Let us know

Since Washington's website is not JUMPTV like FIU's Panther Pass then it is not available.

Seems like a lot of politicians are interested in replacing Maidique. I find that interesting. And scary. I don't trust politicians in general, though I did get to interview Jeb Bush once and he seems like a nice enough guy to me. Can't comment on the others. Rosenberg seems nice, too, from the times I talked to him. I don't have an opinion on who should replace MM, but I do hope the new FIU president, whoever it is, will make the school more student-friendly.

I've always felt that many of the people who've been at FIU for a long time (especially the admin and bureaucrat types) don't give a damn about the students. Or worse, see them as impediments. The #1 complaint I and many others had as students (when I was there, at least) is that dealing with the school bureaucracy was like pulling teeth.

I can't count all the horror stories I heard from Registration... hell, it took me TWO YEARS to prove to them I took a spanish class in high school. Oh, and then there's the stupid parking tickets I had to pay because there weren't any parking spots and I was late for class, and never mind that a bunch of the parking spots were always taken for some sort of construction project. Should I even go into the semesterly rape the FIU bookstore gives everybody? And I'll leave it at that. I could keep going. Believe me.

And, please... because I know someone will say this... spare me the "every other school's like that" argument. No, they are not. And even if it was, that's still no excuse. FIU's customer service is straight-up horrid and has been for years. If there's ONE reason why FIU has a bad rep with many, especially alums, it's because many of them feel the school didn't give a damn about them when they were there. And things like giving parking tickets when there's no parking spots is precisely the kind of crap I'm talking about. My 3 older brothers all graduated from FIU, and none of them would ever give money now because of some of the bad stuff they experienced when they were students.

I don't know how FIU can expect alums to give money later on when many of them didn't like going to FIU. And, frankly, I don't know how FIU expects to have a healthy base of alumni donors if the future alums (i.e., students) don't enjoy going to FIU. Customer service and keeping students happy HAS to be a major priority for the next president. Otherwise, you won't see money from alums. Try building any kind of sports program without that.


Thanks for following up on whether members of the Alumni Assoc can get in for free, keep me posted. Another question, is the game vs. ULM on Panther Pass?

Clawing Cancer as for you I, again, agree with what you are saying. When I went to FIU the customer service definitely needed improvement, having said that I try to contribute to the University whenever I can (i.e. season tickets, scholarship foundation, alumni association, panther club, etc). Even though there were times when I was really frustrated with the University, overall, I had a positive experience. I guess what I am saying is that it is important to give to our institutions and FIU is one of the ones I give to whenever my discretionary spending allows it and other alumni who can afford it hopefully will do the same.

Man, Clawing, that sounds like a lot of crying over what, custmer service? Customer service? Really? College isn't a Ritz Carlton. That's a lame excuse that someone would categorize their whole college experience as poor because of parking tickets or ignorant cashiers or registrars. I experienced those same headaches but they play 0 role in my current feelings toward my alma mater. I feel bad for those that do. Just lame in my opinion. .

In defense of Clawing C., I will agree that historically FIU has NOT been customer centric. However, to rebuttal Clawing, NO university with over 30K students has GREAT customer service. My high school buds that went to UF complained about the EXACT things I complained about @ FIU, however they had been dreaming of being Gators since puberty. Those parking tickets, parking problems, closed classes, rude admissions people, etc. were somehow forgotten or forgiven in Gainesville. Because they were Gators! That’s where FIU has not reached in support due to a very limited history. History that is literally being created as we speak!

The history of tradition of FIU has a more traditional university truly really started maybe the last 15 years or so and has been experienced by those that witnessed the exponential growth of FIU. Along with that growth came a BUNCH of bumps and bruises that will need time to heal but believe it GPP Nation the healing will happen. There is more interest in FIU from high school students both locally and throughout the state. I was speaking to my friend in admissions and they are getting more and more request for admissions from other parts of the state, where before there were none.

What FIU has to do as a University, is do whatever necessary to create a sense of pride in FIU among student, employees and administrators. NOT EASY to do! However try they must, because now you're getting 2nd generation Panther/Sunblazers going to FIU and showing their folks that this isn't their daddy's FIU anymore! Winning football is a big plus! Hoops can also go a long way and continual accomplishments like the Law School being ACCREDITED in its FIRST shot, PLUS getting the 2nd best BAR passing results in Florida, etc.!!

All these things will take time, but FIU's time is coming soon!


Greg Cote is an . He writes about how the Dolphins and Miami are so great now. The TWO local teams according to him. Besides the fact that there are THREE local teams which are doing much better than expected. which I think FIU is doing much better considering we went like 1-23 and are now 4-5 and in contention for our conference title.

what a jerkoff. i bet he ignored FIU intentionally. Pete, can write about FIU that hints at the fact that there are actually THREE, not just two, local team. thanks.

MAN.... I cannot wait to see C.Mack out there beefing up our offensive line. I like his attitude also, he seems grounded and sounds like a competitor.

The future of FIU football is exciting!

Great interview Pete!!! Looking forward to seeing C-Mack play next year. Seems like this kid is determined to help FIU take it to the next level, especially turning down big programs. Just stay in shape Cedrick, we'll be rooting for you next year!!!

Pete did you hear anything about the lights for tailgaiting and safety purposed for Saturday? Thanks in advance


Am I the only won who laughed when I read this sentence in a previous post, "We are now 4-5 and in contention for our conference title." I mean how can you be sub .500 and talking about a conference title like it matters?

FIUJM - I got a response from the Associate AD who said they were in talks with Miami Dade parks about the lighting issue to see what could be done.

CANDY CANE - that is because there is such a thing as a conference record you half-wit partial birth abortion. Why do you subject us to expend brain capacity on this blog reading your manure? Every time I do I feel like I'm riding on the short yellow bus with you trying to hold a conversation.

C'Cane, I don't think we are in contention for the Sun Belt title. Not sure if it's mathmatically impossible but we would need both UL-L and Troy to finish with three conference losses as they hold tie-breakers against us.

But I'm sure that even you have to admit that going into the season you weren't expecting to see FIU at 4-5, esp. opening the season at #14 Kansas, at Iowa (they beat then #1 Penn St.) and v. #12 S. Fla. After those three games we are actually 4 - 2. Not bad.

And what a pleasent surprise T.Y. Hilton is, you know, #1 in the country in all-purpose yards and receiving Freshman of the Year and All-American consideration.

So Conference Championship? probably not. Great season with better things to come? u know it.

Go Panthers !!!

crazy cane....yes you are the only "WON". nice grammar.

Thanks FIUer, appreciate you answering the question for me. Just seems that it can be dangerous after 6pm. On top of it, doesn't hurt to have some beers before the game.

Guys don't pay attention to Candy Cane!!!


I don't know what your friends experienced, UFF. All I can tell you is what my little brother went through.

He passed up on FIU to go to UF... and it wasn't because he dreamed of being a Gator. Far from it. He just wanted to go away for school. (He got the Gator bug later... it's got to be in the water, because he never gave a damn about ANYTHING sports before going to UF.)

Anyway, after a year in G-Ville, he took a summer course at FIU (mostly to please the parents) and he told me dealing with FIU was one of the WORST experiences he's ever had, mostly for the reasons I cited above. I was like "every big school has these problems." He was like "I've never had these problems at UF. Nor have my friends." And I've heard similar stories from people who took summer classes at or transferred from UF, Miami and FSU to FIU.

Comparing schools is like apples and oranges, especially when you're talking about high-level universities versus a school that's in a big city and is only about 40 years old. But with that said, I think it's even more important for a place like FIU to do everything in its power to keep these kinds of stresses to a minimum. It's hard enough attracting students when you have to fight with the Big 3. Having a reputation as a school where many students complain about dealing with the school is a hurdle FIU doesn't need. The UF's and FSU's of the world can get away with that. FIU cannot. Not if they want to compete with the big dogs.

Don't misunderstand me... I LOVED going to FIU. I wouldn't have gone anywhere else. I had way too much fun there. And I'll be the first to defend the place, because I think it does get an unfair rap, especially from those FIU'ers who are bitter they didn't get into the school they wanted to go to. But that doesn't excuse having an administration that, for all intents and purposes, doesn't care about students. At least, according to many FIU students and alums. And how do you expect to get money from these people later on when they feel like that? Not everyone's like NYCFIUFAN, I'm sorry to say. Most people won't have that kind of patience, alma mater or not.

My point is, if FIU expects to ever get significant contributions from alums (and I don't know how you build a sports program without that), they need to make the FIU experience a positive one (or do the best they can to). And that doesn't mean making excuses for crappy customer service. You may think it's bullcrap, FIUet, but I guarantee that it's no small matter to most people. We all talk about not accepting excuses for when the sports teams do bad... how about not making excuses for a registration's office that seems to be staffed with incompetents? Or a bookstore that charges absolutely ridiculous prices for everything? That's something the FIU president can fix.

And besides, UFF, how do you expect there to be a 2nd generation of FIU kids whose parents went there if many of those parents didn't LIKE going to FIU to begin with? That's no small matter. And it's a problem that has to be solved if FIU ever expects alums to cough up dollars.

I'm not trying to be a negative nancy... just pointing out something I think the new Prez better be aware of.

Clawing C (notice I refuse to call you CC and get you confused with um’s CC!), you bring up many valid points and I too had my headache @ FIU believe me. I know how FIU can be! But you can't overlook growing pains of anything. Whether it’s a small company becoming big (i.e. big companies have ironed out many of their customer service problems in the past and have adapted a successful customer service program. While the up and comer company either benchmarks to that prog or tries some other innovation) or young university becoming a large institution, there will be problems. In both scenarios mentioned, it usually involves changing personnel and I think FIU needs to put in place the type of personnel who see the student’s point of view. In that area I have seen improvements, is it perfect yet? NO! Will it ever be perfect? NO! Unfortunately with so many students, there will be problems at time. But Hell yes FIU better be more focused on being student centric. My whole point in my prior post is that "Rome wasn't built in a day", BUT “the construction crew is hard at work”.

On the 2nd generation issue, I’m seeing it over and over again. I’m in my 40’s and know many alumni that NOW have kids @ the college years. With pre-paid college they are considering options. EVRY SINGLE parent / friend of mine who has attended the parents program during orientation @ FIU come away HIGHLY impressed. They even tell me about those horror stories you and I have mentioned and how difficult FIU made it on students back then, etc., but after spending the day @ their NEW & IMPROVED alma mater their perspective changes. They all tell me how they would of wished their FIU was like this new FIU, etc. Again given time, those problems will too pass.


I agree with both UFF and Clawing C. Great posts guys.

About the whole customer service thing, its nothing but growing pains. Even MM talked about improving it in what he calls FIU 3.0. Check out his website & click on FIU 3.0:


You'll also see what FIU will eventually look like when the medical school will be done...Its amazing to see how rapidly FIU is growing. From seeing a College of Law, college of medicine, new stadium, new greek housing, alumni center, possibly MLS soccer, and it will just get better and better. The best thing is that we all have a chance to get involved and transform FIU into a powerhouse. Trust me this is Miami's Real University, and its going to be special...Its going to take some time & patience, but when we get there it will be a whole lot more special, cause we made it happen. Kinda of just like how Obama brought us together and did something no one thought would be possible---First black president-- YES WE CAN FIU! Now lets go to the game on Sat and Woop some ULM butt! And for the record im a conservative republican, but i admire what Obama accomplished lol...Anyway thats the type of leadership we need from all FIU students & alumni...Dont ask what FIU can do for u, ask what U can do for FIU!! FIU is providing the foundation and WE the students/alumni will build the house! Only with that kind of menatality will we get to where we want to be!!

New recruits BEWARE of FIU promises !!!

No CrazyCane, you are not the only "won" that laughed. Other semi-retarded people probably laughed with you too.

Actually, the funniest thing I've heard this football season was last week when UM fans were saying the measly 2 point win AT HOME against UNRANKED VTech was their "SIGNATURE WIN" of the season!

I think I laughed for four days straight.

Oh, God. Don't mention Obama, Rage. I hear enough of him already working for a news-talk station. I gotta go somewhere to escape from politics! ;)

Seriously... I get your points, fellas. I know a lot of this is growing pains. I just think FIU hasn't made "making the student experience a good one" enough of a priority. I'm hoping the new person in charge will. Nothing against Maidique meant by that, for the record. One man can only do so much. He's gotta leave something for the new person to do, right?

UFF, has it occurred to you that many of those alums who are sending their kids to FIU are doing so because of economic reasons more than love of school? Nothing against saving a dollar or two, but I highly suspect that factor is the main reason why their kids go to FIU. When that's the main consideration, I kind of doubt they care a lot about the aggravations they went through. Especially since they're not the ones going through it this time around. They just want their kids in college and, hopefully, not get killed too badly financially.

I'm sure orientation will make a lot of them feel better about FIU, and there's no question FIU's a lot better now than 10, 20 or 30 years ago, but "love of school" just isn't a real big factor with lots of the earlier grads. Hopefully, the new generation will have a different tale. I sure did, and I went just 10 years after my eldest brother graduated.

I agree with Clawing, let's not get into talking about Obama or politics, tired of it...But i do agree with u Rage about how FIU is growing & how we should get more involved...But going back to sports, how about FIU basketball! Wow with a couple of starters injured, they are playing really good...Hopefully they can make something happen this season...

Clawing C., no doubt about your point about parents sending their kids to FIU for financial reasons. Because even though they had terrible experiences dealing with admissions, registrars' office, etc. they will mainly all admit to getting a high quality education, especially business and accounting grads! However you are correct, "love of the school" was never ingrained! Buds of mine have gone outside of the state to more traditional powerhouse schools and one of the first things that they HAVE to do as freshman is learn the school’s fight song and alma mater! There was NEVER a fight song @ FIU until football started. The alma mater was only played @ graduation, in other words the first time you heard the FIU alma mater song was when you were leaving FIU!

More importantly, GPP Nation lets fill up that stadium and create momentum for FIU against ULM!! Pete, any west coast regional TV for the upcoming games with Washington or UCLA? Something either Comcast or Direct TV can pick-up? Let us know.


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