At press time, Harbaugh had sent Michigan’s athletic department an envelope containing a heavily annotated seating chart, a list of the 63,000 seat views he had found unsatisfactory, and a glowing 70-page report on section 25, row 12, seat 9, which he claimed is “exactly what the great sport of football is all about.”
SIAP: I did a site search and found nothing.
Students who took part in the UNC Papergate scandal are now suing both UNC and the NCAA in a class action suit claiming that they were cheated out of an education.
I'm firmly in the camp that these athletes shoudl be ppaid something - mostly because what they are doing is their job - essentially an internship - many of which are paid. They don't develop the infrastructure, so no need to cut them in on a percentage - but some sort of pay for the work they put in. But this story confuses the hell out of me.
Certian parties valued football over education, and attempted to obviate rules in order to make football better - in large part, to try and generate revenues, sure. But both the school and the NCAA itself have strict anti-cheating policies and punishments. This will have to get thrown out, won't it? There is no evidence at all to show that the NCAA's structure is designed to do anything but prevent and discourage cheating.
It's an exciting day in the world of Performance Enhancing Drugs, as two bombs have been dropped on major athletes in major American sports.
In Baseball, investigation into a clinic in Florida has once again linked everybody's favorite multimillionaire Alex Rodriguez, among others, with a clinic distributing PEDs. This is much more recent than his allegedly "isolated" use of them from 2001-2003.
And, leading up to Super Bowl week, SI has printed a report suggesting that Ray Lewis took Deer-Antler Spray, of all things, to help his recovery from a triceps tear--a substance that includes a substance banned by the NFL. The Ravens have issued a denial that features this argument: "Ray Lewis has never tested positive for banned substances."
If that sounds familiar, that's because it is the same defense used by Lance Armstrong for 14 years prior to his confession to Oprah of rampant PED use.
Personally, I'm not surprised; I'm a cycling fan and to be one is to understand the effectiveness and elusiveness of cheating. Years of looking into it have left me with the conviction that PEDs are widespread and widely un-caught in many sports. It is simply too easy to get away with.
Ironically, if Ray Lewis were to be nailed for this, it would be roughly analagous to catching Al Capone for tax evasion--a punishable infraction, but only a small portion of what is a much larger web of drug use in the League. Not to say that Ray Lewis is in any way unusual in what he may or may not do, because I don't think he is.
Two years ago, we were fortunate enough to be in South Bend to watch Michigan defeat Notre Dame. It was a great college football atmosphere. We were sitting in the middle of ND established fan seating, as we were guests of friends whose child is on the ND band. Though we were dressed in maize and blue, the spirit of good sportsmanship and prevailing sense of a common love of the game (with deserved mutual respect for each other's programs) meant we had a good time among the ND faithful.
Fast forward to THIS year, and the atmosphere was different. We should have been tipped off by the abc.com article the Friday before about ND's efforts to make their home field louder and more advantageous. Still, we were surprised when the game commenced and the amount of pumped in music was DRAMATICALLY louder.
But, hey, we're used to noise in the Big House, right?
Yet we AREN'T used to piped in music being played CONSISTENTLY even AFTER the opposing QB had STARTED HIS SNAP COUNT. In fact, I had NEVER seen that happen consistently at any football game I had previously attended, on ANY level.
The shenanigans didn't stop there: our friend's child on the ND band told us after the game that, for the first time ever, their band was microphoned the week prior as a warmup to Michigan.
For the Michigan game, ND used DOUBLE the microphones from the week before. All for the sake of amplifying the crowd noise, and irresponsibly TIMING the amplification beyond decent sportsmanship.
Why am I (re)writing about this now? Because throughout that game, we heard repetitively fake ref whistles coming from the crowd. They were subtle enough that they were hard to precisely localize, but they seemed to come from the same part of the field. And occurred throughout the entire game. I had supposed that the whistle was too faint to effect gameplay, because the refs weren't commenting on it... ... until the second half, wherein Michigan fans will no doubt recall the refs threw a flag against Michigan on either a false start or offside, but took the unusual step of announcing that there would be no penalty assessed against Mich due to a whistle from the crowd causing undue/unfair confusion.
No formal penalty nor warning was issued to the fans in attendance by the refs as was their responsibility.
Now, I recognize as much as the next football fan that when you have six turnovers, well, you get what you get and to blame the refs for the loss is tacky. So I'm not doing that.
But after tonight's Stanford game in South Bend, wherein, ESPN writes, "The Irish got a stop on third down, though the Stanford players CONTENDED THEY HEARD A WHISTLE ON THE PLAY AND STOPPED PLAYING.. They settled for Williamson's field and a three-point lead," given how critical that stop turned out to be, well, it seems something stinks in South Bend.
Once again, the refs failed to act, and in so doing, merely encouraged fake whistles in the future.
I've never seen a PATTERN like this before of outrageous lack of integrity. Isolated episodes? Yes, of course. But repeated stuff like this? No.
Am I being naive, and this fake whistle / amped music during snap count / overamplifying home band-stuff happen ALL THE TIME, and I'm only noticing it now? Because I've been to a ton of games at multiple levels and not seen this repeated crap before.
Am I the only one seeing this?
Are there other (in)famous examples of habitual stretching of "home field advantage" to questionable limits?Is this cheating?
After a spectacular start--last year leading Harvard to its first NCAA appearance in 65 years---Tommy Amaker faces trouble. The co-captains of Amaker's BB team are among those implicated in a widespread academic cheating scandal. One of them--who could have become the Ivy player of the year--will leave the school (at least for now). Both of them are out for the year.
The scandal is widespread and includes more than a hundred students, mostly nonathletes. So, this scandal in no way resembles the kind of academic fraud that occurred at North Carolina. Also, I have seen no evidence that Amaker's players were driven to cheat because they were doing poorly or were underqualified for the classes. And I doubt that one can blame Amaker for his players' bad decisions. Nevertheless, it is a big blow to his team's hopes this year.
Recently saw this Omaha World-Herald interview with Nebraska's Director of Sports Nutrition, Lindsey Remmers. She discusses her team's role in getting Cornhusker athletes ready for competition. Nothing earth-shattering in the article; I just enjoy learning about different parts of athletic departments that don't get a lot of spotlight but have a big impact on what we see on the field.
I also think this article does a good job shining light on the positive aspects of collegiate athletics that numbskulls like Buzz Bissinger forget about when they write hackjob articles espousing the evils of division one football.
Lifeskills like learning to balance a diet and how to shop at the grocery are lessons that many of these students never received. My mom was somewhat of a hippie so I got the other end of the healthy diet spectrum but that's something I'd still enjoy learning more about from an expert.