Archive for March, 2011

The Billions of dollars pouring into Collegiate Athletics has changed the face of sports forever. The rules that govern the Universities, athletes, coaches, media, boosters, fans and all other entities are antiquated. The organization that controls all these parts, with a tyrannical hand, needs to be disbanded.

In the Bible, the book of Revelation describes a “harlot riding a wild colored beast” and commits fornication with the “kings of the earth and the traveling merchants of the earth who became rich due to the power of her shameless luxury.”

Sound familiar?

College sports bring in an estimated $4 billion dollars annually, coaches get paid in the millions, sponsors PAY in the millions. Universities rake in the cash as well as the Head of everything, the NCAA. Who by the way gets $10billion for just college basketball.



The players see none of it.

Not now, not later, not while they’re playing, not after. While the NCAA continues to sell game footage to advertisers and commercials are filled with these “amateur” athletes,–video games are filled with the “likenesses” of these kids, now and from 20+ years ago–yet still never see a dime of it.

Meanwhile, BCS Bowl CEOs make $650,000+ for ONE GAME! The money funneled into these Bowls is being spent on assistants weddings, strip clubs, destination golfing trips and political fund raising events.

Coaches are covering up illegal activities by their players when they full well know that these star athletes would be suspended for the season, hence ending a run for a BCS Title game and costing the team $16 million+ for that one game.

Poor kids raised in bad neighborhoods are being handed money in “money shakes” by the hundreds and bags full of money by the thousands. Yet how can you blame them? They can use any dollar they can get and are now being handed way more than they could dream of. Selling used equipment, memorabilia just to earn a few dollars for themselves or family members. Including the whoring out of young women to these men to bring them to their schools.

Please don’t tell me about how they get a free education either, they don’t want it! They are there for one thing and one thing only, to play their sport and achieve a professional status. College is the perfect farm system and training program for the NBA and NFL–are funded by commercialism and advertising–and everyone at the programs make millions except the MAIN employees; the players.

How can you blame these kids for taking the handouts? They are poor and needy. It’s not even greed on their part. Their just getting chump change from the people handing it to them.

All this stems from the flaws of the rules, regulations and the organization that makes them and enforces them. And the enforcement of these rules is suspect at best by not punishing the transgressors evenly and equally.  The hypocrisy abounds.  It needs to be destroyed and rebuilt.

The rules are broke, the system defunct, and big time schools and universities are going to get tired of being punished for breaking these rules and continuously punishing their staff and students for doing certain things that are just a normal part of life: being compensated for the work you do.

The NCAA turns a blind eye to some, and comes down with an iron fist on others. Inadequacies and inconsistencies are rampant.

When does the time come where the institutions being governed say “enough is enough?” Why should we continue to ruled by this Fascist regime with unlimited power and wealth yet takes zero responsibility for the corruption it empowers?

Oh sure in light of all these new allegations the NCAA and president Mark Emmert will run around and levy heavy fines, sanctions and suspensions upon most implicated. Just like the Queen of Hearts yelling “Off with their head, Off with their head.” What happened to that Queen again?

What usually happens to every dictator that spends it’s time and efforts suppressing, crushing and punishing all of its subjects? Eventual anarchy.

Yes the NCAA will contest that they are no part of the cheating and illegal activities–by their laws and guidelines–and distance themselves from the perpetrators stating they are “policing” these ones. Yet as the money grows so does the correlation with law-breaking, all this is happening under their watch.

When a specific company is found to be involved in illegal activities or scandals, who is the main one to fall? The head of that company. When a team fails to perform and live up to higher standards who get the axe? The coach or even higher, the general managers.

Yes as the issues and problems escalate to untold heights each and every year, it’s all happening under the watch-care of the NCAA.

Will it take the U.S. Government to intervene and uproot this dysfunctional committee? Its been done before with major corporations, but usually when illegal activities are have been brought before the Federal Court.

Most likely though it will be time for the educational institutions to band together and retake control of their own destinies and dissolve the worthlessness of the NCAA. To create new laws and regulations that allow student-athletes to be compensated based upon their performance–during their tenure at school and after.

“The traveling merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of [their] fear of her torment and will weep and mourn saying, ‘Too bad, too bad–the great city richly adorned with gold and scarlet…because in one hour such great riches have been devastated!”

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The Bulldogs from Indiana have had a very solid history in NCAA college basketball.  Some high notes, some low.  Like the loss against Florida in 2000 at the buzzer by Mike Miller.

But now we have entered a new era, the Brad Stevens regime. 

He has elevated this program to an elite status only rivaled by the likes of Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA, Duke, UNLV, Florida and a small handful of others.

Going to back-to-back Final Fours is extremely difficult for any school or program and is usually done by only top national programs that recruit the BEST players in the country.  Then they are usually kids that stay around for their senior year.

Enter Brad Stevens taking the Butler Bulldogs back to the Final Four. 

Yes last year they lost by two to Duke in the National Title game.  Yes they lost their best player to the NBA.  Yes this team struggled during the middle of the season and looked like they were a one hit wonder.

But the young, jepoardy-looking “I’ll take Hoosier History for $400, Alex” Stevens has done the seemingly impossible.  Taking a mid-major school, mostly mid-level talent, and elevated them to the highest stages of college basketball.

Yes there are many great coaches that have done amazing things during specific times.  But they generally always come from the Big 6 conferences and/or are whisked away the next season by the big boys.

Not Stevens.  He has put his name in the hat with the likes of Calhoun, Coach K, Izzo, Calipari and others of our time.  With LESS talent!  The questions remain how long he can be this successful and where he continues his quest for championships.

But at this school, with these kids, Brad Stevens has done the greatest coaching job in two years ever, in the history of NCAA men’s college basketball.

So Jalen Rose goes on the ESPN documentary about the Fab Five and describes his feelings towards Duke, the type of black athletes they recruited and specifically mentioned Grant Hill. He called him a B!#$% and used the term “Uncle Tom.” BACK THEN.

He specifically mentioned how he felt towards Grant and that Duke only wanted those that came from wealthy, educated, mother-father families. That the Blue Devils would NEVER be interested in a young man from the hood or ghetto nor extend a helping or welcoming hand to the less fortunate. BACK THEN.

These were the comments of an 17 year old who emphatically stated that he was jealous of Grant because Jalen never even knew who his father was. BACK THEN.

Now Grant Hill has the gal and audacity to respond with a well-written, eloquently, Latin-laced, higher educated rhetoric diatribe. Really dude? Are you really that stuck on yourself and snobbish that still to this day 20 years later you can peer down your nose through Blue colored glasses and mock upon the comments of an 17 year old inner city raised child?

It just continues to add to the overwhelming profound opinion the majority of the public feels towards these Duke elitists. Hill repeatedly let everyone know what a wonderful and wealthy family he was raised by, with parents that were professional athletes and continue to be employed as educated professionals.

Rose was raised by a single mother in the low income areas near Detroit. Sorry Mr. Hill but you have no idea what it was like to be in shoes or how he felt, BACK THEN.

Jalen Rose entire narration of events, thoughts and feelings during the 1992 season of the Michigan basketball team was based upon what they did and felt, BACK THEN!

So I say once again, does it really make you feel that much better as a human being to argue with or debate the thoughts and feelings of an 17 year old inner city youth with your own feelings as a 38 year old grown man?

It’s always an exciting week of events leading to yet another fantastic finish of a weekend in Conference Tournament action. From the Princeton/Washington buzzer beaters, to the history-making U Conn five day-five game winning stretch, to the San Diego St/Kentucky championship beat downs.

Every game, shot and dribble of the basketball determining the post-season fates of these athletically gifted young men. As hopes and dreams are elevated or deflated based upon the success of a single shot or the inability to close out their opponent.

The goal?

A chance to play in the Big Dance. A chance to put your name in the hat with the best of the best and actually have a playoff to decide on the court, who is the number one team in the country. Some earned that right, others fell in backwards while yet some hopes were dashed by a 10 member committee where “everyone in the room has a different emphasis on different criteria. So when we go to vote, everyone selects the criteria they think is important to them and they ultimately vote.”

Says Gene Smith tourney committee president. What?! Are you kidding me?! This isn’t the Oscars where voting is subjective. It’s not a restaurant review where everyone’s taste is different.

It’s essentially black and white numbers, right in front you on the infamous blind resume. Loaded up with statistical information of wins, losses, strength of schedules, road games, conference games, RPI index ratings. It really is not that difficult. Sure when you get to the bottom of the 68 teams there might be a team or two that can be switched. That argument will never cease, even when there are 96 teams to choose from.

But get this: 13 teams with at least 11 losses, most since 1985.  7 teams with at least 13 losses, never been more than 3, and 5 teams with at least 14 losses and there was a total of SIX in the last 25 years.

What I find more appalling though is the seeding throughout the selected teams. By far the worst job I’ve ever seen!  Teams like a Kansas St. and Vanderbilt who had mediocre seasons at best wind up at #5 seeds.  The Wildcats lost 3 times to Colorado and the Buffaloes are not even in! The Commodore’s have an RPI ranking of 27 and in mid-20’s in the polls losing four of the last 7 games yet seeded as a TOP 20 team.

Then the Huskies of Connecticut that finished 9th in their conference, string together five consecutive wins, take the Big East crown, and are rewarded with a #3 seed meaning TOP 12 in the country. The Kentucky Wildcats follow a similar pattern by winning the SEC title yet are dropped to a #4 seed and the team they beat in Florida are rewarded a higher #2 seed.

The list seemingly goes on and on but the MOST egregious of all was Utah St. being ranked in the TOP 20 for quite a stretch and win their conference tournament with a record of 30-3 and are seeded 12th?! That’s an absolute joke!  That means had they lost that last game they wouldn’t even be IN the NCAA Tournament.  Just sickening, as were the players when we saw their faces when announced on CBS late Sunday afternoon.

Oh and by the way Clemson has ZERO wins against the TOP 50 teams, and they’re dancing.
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The HBO special that aired on Saturday evening about the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV found a special chord of emotion in my heart.  Growing up in Las Vegas from the 70’s onward and having a wonderful father who introduced me to sports and college basketball made me a diehard Rebel fan.

My memories of the grand opening of the Thomas and Mack Arena with Danny Tarkanian, Freddie Banks, Armon Gilliam lighting up the scoreboard in “The Shark Tank” are still vivid in my mind. As are the rolling out of the red carpet during player introductions and a dazzling display of fireworks and pyrotechnics INSIDE of the arena.

And never forgetting the ominous sound of the Jaws theme pulsating throughout the building and all 18,000+ fans opening and closing their arms in a gigantic great white shark CHOMP leading up to the tipoff.  I remember being hoarse from screaming before the game even started.

I can never forgot the eventual accumulation of the hard work and perseverance by Jerry Tarkanian and his fantastic coaching teams that took Greg Anthony, Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Anderson Hunt and Moses Scurry to winning the most fulfilling accomplishment in college basketball–the National Title.

The city of Las Vegas erupted in a cataclysmic chorus from one end of the Strip to the other.  People running down the street, yelling and screaming.  Cars honking and screeching with “National Champions, UNLV, Rebels” written in shoe polish across the windows.

Yes there is the dark side to all this success as handed out by the massive amounts of suspensions and scrutinizing from the NCAA infractions committee that surrounded the Shark like pilot fish his entire tenure in Vegas. Not saying everything Coach Tark did was all roses but the segment also showed how UCLA was filled with its own bevy of indiscretions with “Papa Sam” Gilbert who seemingly supplied players with any goods and services they needed as they drove in the most expensive cars.

Of course the NCAA and John Wooden never saw any such things happening.

The overall most depressing time was the historic tragic loss to Duke the following season after beating them by a record 30 points the previous year. Even Tark knew they were in trouble that day when he held an early morning-same day practice before the game and said, “we are gonna lose, they are not focused.”

Of course the bogus charge call near the end of the game against the team’s leader and quarterback Greg Anthony was a HUGE momentum swing in the game and caused his dismissal from it by incurring his 5th foul.

Ultimately I will always remember those days with extreme fondness and watery eyes, through the highs of the wins and the lows of the tournament losses.

Tokyo (CNN) — An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday, triggering tsunamis and sending a massive body of water filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward highways.
The epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) away from the capital, Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said. But residents there felt the tremors.
The quake rattled buildings and toppled cars off bridges and into waters underneath. Waves of debris flowed like lava across farmland, pushing boats, houses and trailers toward highways.
In Tokyo, crowds gathered in the streets and tried to reach relatives via cell phone.
Quake slams Japan Tsunami waves crash ashore Japan
Scenes inside office buildings showed papers strewn all over the floor and people clinging onto seats and desks.
Such a large earthquake at such a shallow depth creates a lot of energy, said Shenza Chen of the U.S. Geological Survey.
It caused a power outage in about 4 million homes in Tokyo and surrounding areas.
A tsunami in the Pacific was moving closer to other shorelines in other countries, said CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.
It triggered tsunami warnings for various countries, including Japan and Russia, the National Weather Service said.
“Earthquakes of this size are known to generate tsunamis potentially dangerous to coasts outside the source region,” it said.
“Based on all available data a tsunami may have been generated by this earthquake that could be destructive on coastal areas even far from the epicenter.”
The quake was the latest in a series in the region this week.
Early Thursday, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.3 struck off the coast of Honshu.
A day earlier, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off of Honshu, the country’s meteorological agency said.
The largest recorded quake took place in Chile on May 22, 1960, with a magnitude of 9.5, the USGS said.
CNN’s Kyung Lah contributed to this report.

There is absolutely no way Jim Tressel can stay as Head Coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes.  He has committed an egregious error in covering up a major violation committed by Terrell Pryor and five other football players.

Eight months before the violations surfaced Tressel was notified via email that someone had this information and eventually it was due to come out.  It always does.

Tressel had plenty of time to get this into the proper hands of either the NCAA or the schools compliance office.  He chose to sweep it under the rug.

Why?  Well most importantly its all about winning.  He knew his team was a preseason number one in the polls and had an excellent chance at winning a BCS National Title.  But as many coaches have done in the past, Tressel tried to dodge the news of the infractions and march his program to an elite championship.

Jim Tressel signed off on documentation by the NCAA that  he fully complied with the investigation.  A flat out lie!  Now these kids were punished and suspended for five games of the 2011 football season.  Ohio State self imposed sanctions against Tressel of a fine for $250,000 and a two game suspension.

You must be kidding right?!  Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State was suspended by the NCAA for an entire year for lying and failing to comply with an investigation.  USC was levied with major sanctions for a player who is no longer with the school.

But an even greater issue is how much backlash and scrutiny the NCAA received when they punished the Ohio State players the NEXT season and still allowing them to play in the BCS Sugar Bowl versus Arkansas. 

I’m sure this had a lot to do with Jim Tressel and the Ohio State athletic department convincing them to “hold off” on their suspensions.  Well now the shoes have changed feet and the ever so righteous one Jim Tressel has turned out to be the dirty one.

The NCAA committee must be fuming and steaming right now.  Incensed that how dare he know and cover this up whilst they tried to help the school and delay the punishments.  They will not take this lightly and after their own investigations are concluded they will hand down punishments and suspensions so long and severe, Ohio State will have no choice but to find themselves a new head coach.

 

Is this Coach Spoelstra first time in a locker room?  Well almost, first time as a Head Coach and he’s got two out of the top five talents in the league and a third overpaid, high profiled diva.  This guy is in way over his head! 

He looks more like a PR agent and what is he going to teach James and Wade?  Then after yet another collapsing loss against the Bulls and another missed game winning shot by Lebron, he comes out on an interview and says there are guys “crying in the locker room.” 

First off, crying for a regular season game by a pro is ridiculous and second how dare he say such an idiotic comment and out his team!  Now he’s backpedaling and saying the press is blowing it out of proportion and calling it “Crygate.” 

Are you serious dude?  Were you never a player yourself?  Sorry but you are NOT a Phil Jackson type with the experience and knowledge of how to handle these players in a higher mental capacity. This was and is by far one of the dumbest things a coach can say and I believe he has completely lost any respect he might have had left. 

I feel he is so overmatched that he should not continue in his role even through the end of this month.  Oh by the way, Wade carried this team to win a championship and carried the Olympic Team to win the Gold.  Give him the ball! 

Period.

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So now Yahoo! Sports reports that Jim “the Vest” Tressel knew eight months before that Pryor and gang were selling off memorabilia for services.  Yes the same Buckeyes that didn’t have to serve their punishment for the BCS game but got a reprieve until next season.  Of course he knew!  And as usual, he lied.   Lied to his team, school, NCAA, media, the WHOLE WORLD.  Coaches lie all the time.  So what’s new about that?  Urban Meyer said many coaches cheat and do unethical things in getting recruits and coaching their teams.  Well guess what?  Mr. Clean got caught and hammered with a two game suspension as well and $250,000 fine.  Welcome to the pen.