Monthly Archives: March 2007

English izz hard.

So the University of Oklahoma tells the NCAA it’s FOS about its conclusion that the school didn’t adequately monitor Rhett Bomar’s employment. Rather strongly, as a matter of fact:

“We … assert that the University met, if not exceeded, industry standards regarding our student-athlete employment monitoring,” University President David Boren said in a letter dated March 7…

I might be more impressed with Boren’s stand if his command of the mother tongue were a little better when he writes:

“The University of Oklahoma stands for principal (sic), and all the actions we took in this matter illustrate that character.”

Dude, you’re the President of a state university. The least you can do is carefully read what goes out over your signature – assuming you do know the difference between “principal” and “principle”.  If you don’t, you’ve got  problems besides a car dealership’s payment arrangements.


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Filed under Crime and Punishment, General Idiocy, The NCAA

Psst… wanna make some easy money?

After you read this, see if you have the same two questions I do:

  • Are there really people that are jonesing so bad for some gambling action that they have to resort to betting on Toledo football games?
  • Does Toledo have a player on its roster that could affect the outcome of a game by sitting out?

I’m just trying to figure out what kind of return “Gary” got for his investment. On the surface, he doesn’t strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed, so to speak…


UPDATE:  “Gary” is “reached by phone Friday at King Cole Foods, a grocery store in Detroit.”

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Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment, General Idiocy

Son, fat, drunk and stupid…

is no way to go through death:

… A University of Maryland researcher reported last fall that the number of male patients who turn up at emergency rooms drops markedly just before a televised sports event and surges immediately after. Dr. David Jerrard found such visits jumped 30 to 40 percent after a Major League Baseball game, 50 percent after an NFL game and 75 percent after a Division I college football broadcast. [Emphasis added.] His theory: Men who need medical attention during a big game often try to gut it out until they know the final score. And when are most big games televised? On the weekend.

Talk about a perfect storm: adrenaline, stress, procrastination, testosterone and, more often than not, alcohol conspire to make you sick and stupid at the same time. You get to the emergency room later than you should, only to find there aren’t enough doctors on duty to deal with the post-game emergency room rush. Uh oh…

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Filed under General Idiocy, The Body Is A Temple

Miles to go

The AJ-C‘s Tony Barnhart interviews NCAA head honcho Miles Brand on a variety of topics. Some of Brand’s responses aren’t as clear as one might hope, so I thought it would be useful to translate bureaucrat-speak into everyday English.

Q. What are chances that the field for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will be expanded?

A. The last thing we want to do is significantly increase the size of the tournament to 96 or 128 teams. I think that would take a very good tournament and weaken it in the eyes of the public and the selectivity involved in it.

Having said that, there are probably things you could do moderately that may not have that effect and may even improve the tournament. For example, we have one play-in game on Tuesday. What if we had four play-in games? Last year we asked that question; [the men’s basketball committee] said no. But it’s not off the table. I think in the future it may happen.

“Are you nuts? We just spent $50 million buying the NIT to put down an antitrust claim and you expect us to flush that money down the toilet by expanding March Madness? Get real, man.”

Q. What do you think of the NBA rule barring players from jumping directly from high school to the pros and the likelihood it will create “one-and-done” athletes who may or may not do the academic work before they leave college?

A. If there are individuals who are just looking at this as one and out, not taking care of business in the second semester, we have to deal with that. There may well be some of those.

There’s another, I would say, unintended consequence of the rule which actually has a beneficial effect. It sends a very clear message to young men, their families, third parties that if you think you can play in the NBA … you’re going to have to go to college for a year. That means you better prepare for the admission standards, and you have to be prepared to do the academic work.

“Hey, don’t blame us because the NBA is tired of paying millions to babysit kids. Besides, how tough is it to pass “History of Rock ‘n Roll”, anyway?”

Q. Do contracts like Nick Saban’s $4 million-a-year deal at Alabama make you concerned about the money being thrown around to coaches?

A. I thought that a million dollars was a lot. But when we moved away from that and moved, in one case, to a $4 million contract, I think we have to ask some very hard questions. Whether you can justify it in terms of rate of return, it raises the question of propriety for colleges and universities. Is this the appropriate thing to do within the context of college sports?

“There’s something very wrong with a system that pays college coaches four and five times worth more than it pays me. But until we can get Congress to grant us an antitrust exemption, we can’t fix coaches salaries. And yes, Mal Moore is an idiot.”

Q. Florida President Bernie Machen has said he wants a playoff in Division I-A football. Have you seen his plan? And what are your thoughts?

A. I haven’t seen it. I haven’t talked to President Machen about it. The reason we don’t have a Division I playoff right now is because the presidents don’t want a Division I playoff. If they change their minds, and President Machen may be successful in changing their minds, and the [conference] commissioners serve at the pleasure of the presidents, we may well move in that direction. At least right now I don’t see a groundswell [in favor of a playoff].

“Bernie has a plan? You know, it would be a lot easier if these presidents would just turn the football postseason over to the NCAA. We care about the student-athlete.”

Q. What is the level of concern about parents of players becoming agents while their child is still competing?

A. That is a complex set of issues, and I do have concerns about that. In basketball, especially, I have concerns about agents in one form or another directing their sons’ careers very early on as if they are only interested in professional athletics. I’m not sure it’s reached the level at this point of a dramatic problem, but it is something we’ll need to watch carefully.

“Great, just great – another group of folks seeking to enrich themselves. They should leave exploiting student-athletes to the experts.”

Q. Given the relatively small number of African-American head coaches in Division I football, does that sport need a version of the NFL’s “Rooney rule” requiring at least one minority coach be interviewed for each opening?

A. The reason the college football community doesn’t need the Rooney Rule is it has something in place frankly that’s more powerful … and that’s public exposure through the Black Coaches Association report card. In fact, 30 percent of the final candidates last year for [I-A] football jobs were African-American and were interviewed. So it’s not a question of getting people in the door to be interviewed. It’s a question of how does the process work so they can be hired.

“Hey, the NFL has its fig leaf, we have ours. The real problem is that most college athletic directors think the most enlightened move they can make is to hire a recycled hack like Dennis Erickson. We’re waiting for the day when Dennis Green is given the same consideration as Dennis Erickson.”

Feel free to review and discuss.


Filed under The NCAA

The continuing playoff adventures of Bernie Machen

He says he’s got the big mo’ on his side:

Florida president Bernie Machen said Wednesday that he is gaining increased support among leaders of Southeastern Conference schools in his push for a playoff for college football in the former Division I-A.

But he’s worried that time is short:

Machen said the SEC needs to lead the way and that time is a factor.

“We need to have these considerations now,” Machen said. “Fox wants now to extend our existing BCS deal and if we do that, we’re going to be stuck in the same place for the next six to eight years…

And that would be really, really bad, because we’d be stuck

with a system that could obviously be better.

Obviously. Better.

It’s the relentless logic of playoff proponents that I have the hardest time refuting…


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

CFN looks at 2007 SEC schedules.

Pete Fiutak of College Football News has an analysis of the 2007 SEC schedules up today that’s definitely worth a look.

First off, here’s how he rates the schedule difficulties for the twelve schools:

Toughest schedules
Based on home games as well as who the teams play. when

1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. Tennessee
4. South Carolina
5. Kentucky
6. Vanderbilt

1. Auburn
2. Mississippi State
3. LSU
4. Alabama
5. Arkansas
6. Ole Miss

The only thing I’d really quibble with on that list is his judgment that any school in the conference has a weaker schedule than that of Arkansas, which, barring a plane crash, will be bowl eligible just by showing up on time for its games.

If I’m reading the rest of his story correctly, he’s predicting that it’s likely that no team in the SEC East will have a losing record in 2007. Whoa.

Oh yeah – I can already tell that I’m weary of “Georgia fans know how good Vanderbilt can be” type comments. Let’s not give anyone a reason to write that kind of stuff again for a long time, guys…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

An early peek at the men of Troy

No, not those Trojans.

I’m talking about Troy University, a November 2007 opponent on Georgia’s schedule. Sunday Morning Quarterback has an early assessment of Troy in this post, which, given the fact that the reigning Sun Belt Conference champ ain’t exactly the most high profile program going, is worth a look simply because there won’t be too many more opportunities to learn much about them.

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Filed under Georgia Football

The return of envy and jealousy: from the “I wish I’d written that” department

Confession time:  I went through a stretch in my life when I couldn’t stand college football.

My undergraduate degree is from the University of Virginia.  One thing I learned there, during the Sonny Randle era, was how truly wretched a D-1 football program could be.  The low points were so low – how do you choose between a 40+ point blow out by what was up to then the worst D-1 team in the country or beating frickin’ VMI by one point because the Keydets elected to go for two at the end of the game and didn’t make it? – that I gave up on college football and didn’t get my mojo back until I got to Athens.

Believe me, I was but one of many.  I had a friend who referred to the regime of the coach who got fired before Randle was hired (his best season was something like 4-7, I think) as the “glory years”.  So it should go without saying that most Wahoo football fans are longsuffering.  Al Groh is just our latest cross to bear.

Which brings me to the subject of this post:  Ian Cohen is a blogger who has written about Virginia football and in so doing has done a consistent and entertaining job of describing the ups and downs in Charlottesville (more of the latter than the former lately, unfortunately).  His post from yesterday about the Hoos’ top returning WR’s season ending injury (can you have a season ending injury before the season starts?) is a classic.

If you’re a Dawg fan, you can certainly feel his pain about the Virginia receiving corps, which, to put it kindly, hasn’t made its mark to date.   For example, here’s what he has to say about the now leading returning wideout for ’07:

… Maurice Covington is promising, if sparingly used, and figures to be the key target. He also leads the returning receivers in yardage from 2006…45. 135 feet in one season. God.

But the best lines are directed at some of the dearly departed from last year.  He characterizes a couple:

  • Deyon Williams: 75% injury-plagued, 25% indifference-plagued
  • Fontel Mines: speed of a tight end, hands of a lineman

Fair warning:  I’m gonna have to steal that “injury-plagued, indifference-plagued” tag at some point in time.  It’s too tempting not to use.

Read the whole thing.  If you’ve ever tried to figure out how to use a snuff film or the Washington Nationals’ pitching staff as an analogy for football futility,  he can show you the way.  Good stuff.

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Filed under Envy and Jealousy

More Georgia spring practice info

As always, David Ching roolz:

  • defensive tackle and linebacker notes here (click on links to his Columbus Ledger-Enquirer articles, too)
  • Mark Richt’s comments on developments to date here

The big story to me so far is Sturdivant taking over at left offensive tackle. I know that someone untested is likely to start there, protecting Stafford’s blind side – that’s just what the current situation all but dictates – however, I thought it unlikely to be a true freshman, heralded or not.  I’ve got to believe, though, that when Richt says things about Sturdivant like “(t)he value of midyear is gonna be huge in this thing”, the coach is pretty convinced he can make a go of it.


Filed under Georgia Football

What America needs is more brackets.

Who knows?  Maybe this guy is on to something.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, The Blogosphere