Unverified Voracity Is The Sky And The Sun

Unverified Voracity Is The Sky And The Sun Comment Count

Brian July 11th, 2014 at 12:45 PM


First, the mandatory comment about charge: good charge, Frank Clark. Way to keep on top of that.

Then: this is hilarious but it is also just, like, art, man. Yeah.

CLARK: coach you gotta point the phone at you
MATTISON: I am pointing it at me
CLARK: coach you are probably not a cloud or the sky or the rays of the sun
MATTISON: but I could be
CLARK: yeah but you're not, you're a bald guy, I've seen
MATTISON: but I could be the sky and the sun and a bald crown
CLARK: ok coach


Welcome. Orson wrote a terrific thing about the Brazil kid weeping so hard he was trying to shove a cup through his face in case that would help:

I have nothing for you. Maybe it's worse when your team is good, and there is the hope of winning. If you'll notice, fans of desolate, perpetually forlorn carrion wagons like Kentucky football or tragedians like Ole Miss fans don't hold up cups to their faces, clutch their eyes, and try to literally vomit their sorrow into a Coke cup after losing by six goals on their home turf.  Brazil fans do, because shame has a prerequisite: the standard, or the notion that you will be somewhere that is not crying so hard you have to compress yourself into some kind of ball to keep from shattering into a thousand tiny pieces.

Intermittent reinforcement is apparently the way to get obedience: sometimes you get the thing. Other times you do not get the thing. Sports is very intermittent reinforcement. So congrats, kid! If you haven't sworn off soccer forever already, you are the proud recipient of a lifetime mania that will probably work out just fine because you're Brazilian.

Brutal! Mark Emmert showed for a congressional hearing that went even worse than the court thing did.

McCaskill offered some of the sharpest criticism of Emmert, questioning why his role exists if he can’t shape reform or prevent athletic departments from investigating sexual assaults.

“I can’t tell if you’re in charge or a minion” to the schools, McCaskill said. “If you’re merely a monetary pass-through, why should you exist?”

"I'm a good cartel," Emmert said under his breath. "A good one." New Jersey's Corey Booker:

"When they can lord over you the removal of your scholarship - because it does still happen, athletes are still exploited, that if they blow out their knee, if they somehow don't meet the mandates of a coach, they lose their scholarship, they don't get their degree -- to me, this is plain and simple the dark side of the NCAA, where athletes are being exploited," Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) later said, noting that some issues he dealt with as a college athlete 20 years ago are still being dealt with by athletes today.

If the NCAA thinks they're going to get antitrust help from Congress, that hearing was some cold water. I know Democrats and Republicans and whatnot, but this may be an organization with a worse public image than Congress itself… not exactly baseball in 1910 or whatever.

Thornton tearing things up. Beilein and Calipari were jowl to jowl watching Derryck Thornton, and they were treated to a show:

(Thornton) picked up right where he left off after standing out at the Steph Curry Camp to start the month. Thornton was a true floor general, in complete control every time he stepped on the court and able to impact the game in a variety of different ways. He handles the ball on a string and excels at making a variety of different reads off the pick and roll. He holds his dribble going through the lane as well as anyone in the field, just waiting on the defense to break down and reveal open receivers. He even shot the ball well here, making a series of pull-ups as well as rhythm 3s. Thornton took unofficial visits to both Kentucky and Michigan last month and was followed by both Kentucky’s John Calipari and Michigan’s John Beilein here.

Thornton's done taking visits this summer after heading to Michigan and Kentucky, both of which he plans on visiting again this fall. It appears this is a head to head battle.

Adapting to reality. Mark Richt is adapting to life in the fast lane.

"One of the big things for us is football is now becoming a very high up-tempo game,” UGA coach Mark Richt explained recently. “It used to be 30, 40 seconds between a play. Now it could be as short as 10-to-18 seconds between plays. So you’re exerting and then resting for a short period of time. So now, even in the weight room, we want to go hard, rest a short time, then go ahead. A quicker recovery time. We’re not going to run the longer distances anymore. We’re going to run the shorter distance.”

After last year's Indiana game, I'm hoping there's some sort of similar soul searching within the Michigan program. You'd figure so, but… if anyone was going to not give it as much time as they should it would be Michigan. They've been just so, so bad with anything related to tempo under Hoke, whether it's defending it or trying to go fast themselves.

Etc.: Nebraska's photoshop squad is wack yo. Derrick Walton's freshman year reviewed. Strategery roundup, including an attempt to un-break bootleg passes.


Unverified Voracity Drops Mic On Foot

Unverified Voracity Drops Mic On Foot Comment Count

Brian April 22nd, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I suppose that it is in fact internally consistent that you would be dumb enough to say the things you are saying and also dumb enough to keep saying things. NCAA president Mark Emmert has escaped his holding pen and is making the most of it before he is tasered back into serene acceptance of fifty-dollar cucumber sandwich lunches. He's making the most of it by getting into rap battles with strawmen in front of microphones… and losing.

#AskEmmert would have descended into farce if there was anywhere to descend to, with one particularly stupid argument about CFL players getting the most attention.  Most recently, as part of an interview with Dan Patrick recently Emmert claimed that if he was on a football scholarship he wouldn't want anything on top of that:

He's just the kind of guy who doesn't need that much money, you see. He's barely aware that he made 1.7 million last year. Never asked for a raise in his life. Miracle of compound interest. Still drives the same 1978 Ford Pinto to and from the office. Weaves his own suits on a loom he built himself from plastic bags and floss. Has not eaten anything but multivitamins and rice since 1884.

Also from that interview:

Nonsense, obviously. As Andy Staples points out, it's lawyer nonsense—to escape anti-trust laws leagues have to demonstrate that their rules keep things balanced and thus increase the overall popularity of sport X and league X. So he has to make his nonsense arguments so the NCAA's lawyers can make their nonsense arguments that a judge will hopefully fart on.

The "people in charge of things are just in charge of them for no reason" tag is getting a workout these days. Speaking of, Texas's new AD is opening his mouth again.

Meanwhile. Michael Bird provides an excellent explanation of why the whole "you're getting a FREE EDUCATION" line of argument is flimsy: when you put people who wouldn't get into a school in it and give them a 40-50 hour a week job on top of that the free education is usually just an education in how to stay eligible to play. Like philosophy, the only thing you can do after is teach people how to do the thing you just did.

You've got a nice lack of union there. Wouldn't want anything to happen to it. While CAPA won their first round matchup with the NCAA at the regional NLRB level, they've only won the right to vote on union. First they've got to vote to form one. While that seems like it would be a slam dunk since Colter and company had to have overwhelming support to even take their case to the board, Northwestern is pushing back as hard as they can with all means at their disposal:

[Former NW player Kevin] Brown said he and others recently met with coach Pat Fitzgerald for two and a half hours to address some alumni concerns, such as the treatment of former quarterback Kain Colter and threats made to current players.

The former defensive back said former players have contacted current players, saying if they vote “yes” for the union on April 25 they will lose out on employment opportunities and other benefits of the football alumni network.

CBS has obtained a document from Northwestern itself with the usual scaremongering. If you vote for a union, you might miss out on your dying grandma's last hours, it says. Seriously.

Northwestern tells a player that the current benefit of going home for a family emergency might not be available after a majority vote because "that would be subject to negotiation with the union." "The union's agenda, which is set by the union leaders, may not take into account the specific things that are important to you as an individual," Northwestern states Fitzgerald later adds, "I don't think I have EVER denied or discouraged any player from taking the time they need for important personal matters."

Seems likely. Also likely:

Northwestern tells parents change will happen faster through NCAA reform than through unionizing, which could "take several years before the issue whether our players are employees entitled to unionize finally is resolved."

You desire changes, but let us make the changes without any input from you.

One thing's clear, anyway: Northwestern is terrified about CAPA.


Next year Michigan's promotional poster will read "WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THE SCHEDULE AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH IOWA"

Michigan: Rutgers: NIGHT: explosions: invasion: New York: money. Speaking of people just in charge of things, Michigan's game at Rutgers will be at 7 PM. Mark your calendars. Mine says "Michigan versus nonstop pursuit of dollars."

Number based awards. Beilein is the best in the country after a timeout, which probably just means Michigan has a real good offense. Boston College was next, which just goes to show that anyone making a big deal about performance after timeouts probably shouldn't. Also: Michigan unsurprisingly had the best offensive tourney.

That doesn't seem good. Another guy heads for the lifeboats at Indiana, and this one is kind of a big deal:

Assistant men's basketball coach Kenny Johnson has accepted a job offer from Louisville, leaving Indiana one coach short of a full staff. Whether Tom Crean can find another assistant capable of the same impact Johnson made in just two years in Bloomington remains to be seen.

Who is this guy you probably haven't even heard of? Well…

That is a lot of guys to bring in in two years, and now he will be attempting to get those guys to Louisville.

Dagnabit. Maryland was trying to get social momentum around a #hashtag promoting their November 15th night game against MSU…

…but someone caught on and Maryland deleted that tweet before I could replicate the image.

Why college kickers suck. According to Chris Kluwe, they don't get coached. Literally.

In my five years of college ball, and eight years in the NFL, I did not have a single special teams coach or head coach who had the faintest idea how it is that I did my job, and that is how it is EVERYWHERE. (I was lucky that early on in high school, I found a couple coaches who did know a thing or two so I could teach myself later).

Kluwe was a punter, but chances are that ignorance extends to the other kicky-footy guys around. I assume Dan Ferrigno is also in that boat and Matt Wile is going to sink or swim based on his own ability and what I assume are witheringly expensive visits to Chris Sailer and the like.

It's kind of weird that Michigan's going with that same setup at corner. Shhh, shhh, it looked good in the spring practice-like substance, I know.

Western Civilization died yesterday. I will miss it.

Do you now. Great Leader on Great Leader:

"I have a little experience with branding," Brandon said.


"In the world of branding, you build what's called brand equity. If you look at the Big Ten Conference, you've got brand equity that's been built over decades and decades. The Big Ten means something."

I love the image of Dave Brandon explaining the concept of the Big Ten meaning something other than the number of team in the conference like he is talking to a room full of five-year-olds. As he does this he's standing next to Jim Delany, and they're talking about the fact that they've just added Rutgers and Maryland.

Brandon saying "I have a little experience with branding" is like Walter White saying "I have a little experience with supporting my family."

Etc.: I do not regularly watch Craig Ferguson but I appreciate his bizzaro-world take on late night when I have occasion to. Jordan Morgan's throwing out the first pitch at tomorrow's Tiger's game. Kenpom is now trying to estimate weights, which sounds like an episode of Kenpom The Sitcom. This week: Kenpom comes up with a new zany stat!

It's been three years, time for more Izzo to the NBA rumors. Minnesota joins the Pistons amongst the ranks of NBA teams who will throw Izzo's name out but not hire him.

You probably shouldn't call Derrick Green fat. Or anything other than "sir." Jane on Jameis Winston and the total lack of investigation in re: the rape charges filed against him.

File under: I'll believe it when I see it.


Bust a CAPA

Bust a CAPA Comment Count

BiSB March 27th, 2014 at 10:34 AM


Colter pulled a hamstring during this press conference

If you hadn’t heard, Northwestern’s football players won a court thingy yesterday. NLRB Regional Director Peter Sung Ohr ruled that Northwestern’s players meet the definition of employees, and can therefore form a union if they wish. You can read the ruling here, but why do that when I can summarize it for you with amusing banter?

Bring in the inquisitive bolded alter-ego!

Hey, you can’t tell me what to do. You’re not my boss.

Well that’s the question, isn’t it?

God you are insufferable. Okay, fine. I’ll play your game. GEE WHIZ, WHAT HAPPENED?

Well, to understand fully, we need to go back to 1935…


…when Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act. Under the NLRA, private sector employees have the right to join unions and to collectively bargain for stuff like wages, salary, better candy in the vending machines, and for the boss to stop using words like “synergy” and “Tiger Team.” The catch is that it only applies to employees. The NLRA, for example, doesn’t give students the right to form a union. A person is an “employee” if they perform services in exchange for payment, and are under that person’s control. What the NLRB regional board ruled was that Northwestern’s players do football stuff for Northwestern, as directed by Northwestern* (in the form of the coaches), and in return are compensated with a scholarship and things. In short, Northwestern’s football players are employees of the University.

MIchigan Union
Kind of.

*other than the defensive secondary, which the NLRB noted “did not seem to understand what a ‘deep half’ was supposed to look like, and displayed an utter disregard for the coaches’ directions to, quote, ‘just look for the other color jersey and guard someone, anyone, goddammit.’”

But the players aren’t paid. They just got to go to school for free and eat some free food and stuff. How are they any different than a normal scholarship student who does biology things the way the biology department says?

That was the University’s main argument. They claimed that the players were more like Graduate Assistants, who aren’t considered employees under a previous NLRB decision (Brown University, 342 NLRB 483 (2004)). The court said that the difference was that GAs aren’t employees because their relationship to their various universities is primarily educational. In other words, your PoliSci GA is simultaneously teaching and studying PoliSci, so they don’t count him as an employee for the teaching part.

The ‘work’done by  football players, on the other hand, is completely unrelated to the educational mission of the school and to the athletes’ studies. The university doesn’t get any educational advancement from what football players do (though Northwestern seriously tried to make the argument that playing sports enriches the student experience, and sports are therefore educational, which is exactly as bad of an argument as it sounds).

Instead the school receives gigantic piles of money from what football players do. The school’s interest is economic, not educational. Moreover, they said that the players are not “primarily students,” as they spend up to 50-60 hours per week** on football duties.


Cool to see so many people excited about education

**Real hours. No one other than the NCAA gives a flying crap about the hilarious differentiation between “countable hours” and “non-countable hours.” Mike Rosenberg still sucks.

[AFTER THE JUMP: More union talk. Plus a Sad Pat Fitzgerald GIF]


Unverified Voracity Puts It Through

Unverified Voracity Puts It Through Comment Count

Brian July 26th, 2013 at 3:46 PM

The ghost of Lloyd Carr haunts everything. Oh yes.

Life advice, or just Lloyd Carr musing darkly on a life he perceives as a slate-gray expanse of clouds? Does Lloyd Carr show up at orientation, pick a bright-eyed pre-med student, and tell them "this doesn't make you an adult"? I hope so. It would be very Michigan if one of their former coaches became the Dark Oracle Of Ann Arbor.

Nine minutes of game winning field goals. Right here:

Glenn Robinson III throwing various things down. Also right here:

Kate. I wish you to see this picture. I think the basketball team has gotten their Final Four rings.


A handsome man, now handsomer.

Piling on Emmert. Mark Emmert is getting hammered from all sides these days, with the latest hits a unified front from the Big 5 conferences against the NCAA status quo and an extensive OTL article detailing the chaos inside the organization:

One source said that at least one major conference has gone so far as to send a directive to its representative on the NCAA Executive Committee -- which, among other duties, hires and fires the association's president -- to make it "crystal clear that they were not at all happy with the direction of the entire enterprise under Emmert."

He picked up the dread vote of confidence a while ago.

Meanwhile, with an obviously coordinated assault on the current state of the NCAA launched by the commissioners of the top five conferences, change is coming, and soon. Emmert himself is joining the chorus:

Emmert said he expects significant changes to how the NCAA operates to be adopted within the next year.

At issue is the ability of the richest athletic programs --- which attract the massive television rights fees --- to set policy without the smaller D-I programs stopping them because of financial concerns.

“There’s one thing that virtually everybody in Division I has in common right now, and that is they don’t like the governance model,” Emmert said. “Now, there’s not agreement on what the new model should be. But there’s very little support for continuing things in the governing process the way they are today.”

Emmert actually may have been at the forefront of this, but don't tell anyone that. He may gone about everything in the most ham-handed way possible, but given what he's been trying to do he's likely on board with Division Zero or whatever.

I am too, of course. The gap between programs that are net spenders and those that have to figure out what to do with their buckets of money is untenable, and the players should get some more of the money coming in. If this is the way to do it, great:

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday he wants lifetime scholarships for athletes to finish their educations and a non-athletic year for “at-risk” students followed by four years of eligibility.

“There’s no one talking about this being some incremental change,” Emmert said. “I think there’s an interest in some pretty fundamental change in the way decisions are made, both to accomodate those (financial) differences but also to deal with concerns people have about representation ... in the policy debates.”

Etc.: Ace points out that OSU has the best record against the spread in conference games over the past ten years, nationally. Michigan is barely below .500. Baseball brings in 16 kids, including the co-Mr. Baseballs in the state. They are 11 guys over their roster limit, though. That's just how baseball works, I guess?

Charlie Weis has an epiphany. Jordan Kovacs gets hazed. The randomness of turnovers is pretty much why Darrell Hazell got to Purdue. Bill Connolly previews State. Think he's way underrating LeVeon Bell and thus overrating MSU's line, FWIW. Connolly also does Iowa. Targeting is going to be a fiasco.


Unverified Voracity Lays It On The Table

Unverified Voracity Lays It On The Table Comment Count

Brian July 22nd, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Deal with it. Is this off topic? Yes.


my world cup future's so bright I've got to wear shades thrown at me by irate Salvadoreans

But it gives me a chance to mention that you guys who make college football topics—topics about OHIO STATE—and make them off topic are just as bad as a guy who makes a pokemon thread and declares it on-topic. This section has gone from off topic to META:.

Bombs away. Mike Slive took some soft shots at the NCAA during his SEC Media Days appearance, but he's got nothing on new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who just got off the podium at his conference's event. Choice quotes (or paraphrased quotes) from twitter:

  • "Realignment will never be considered one of our proudest moments."
  • Bowlsby says big conferences don't want to get rid of the NCAA altogether. That's true. They don't want to stage another softball tourney.
  • Bowlsby's remarks are measured but aggressive about the NCAA's lack of innovation. Echoing Slive, sans historical references.
  • "The time has come to think about federation by size and scope"
  • "I really think we need to reconfigure the leadership in the organization."
  • "It's time to reevaluate our core purpose."
  • I’m not critical of Mark Emmert. I’m critical of an organization that is just not very efficient.”

The glove has been removed, and used to slap.

Bowlsby's comments come on the heels of ACC comissioner John Swofford floating the idea of a "super division" that would separate the Indiana States from the big programs, allowing those larger programs to make changes that would make the enterprise somewhere between a bit and significantly less icky.

"That's a potential way of making a change that would basically retain the fundamental NCAA oversight and umbrella, if you will," Swofford said. "If the five conferences were to break off, I mean, that's a complicated move. You'd have to, in essence, duplicate the NCAA in some form or fashion, and then what does that mean for intercollegiate athletics? So if you've got another division, if that's the answer within the NCAA, you can maneuver and find an appropriate way, I think, to address those kinds of issues."

Dollars to donuts Scott and Delany follow up with agreement; these guys don't yawn without a focus group about it and if all three are taking potshots at Emmert and company, there was meeting. With cigars.

Next time read the wall? OSU starting RB Carlos Hyde is a person of interest in an assault that had twitter and message boards abuzz the last couple days. Not helping is Aaron Hernandez and the legion of guys itching to write COLUMNS about Urban's corrupting touch with youth, but the vibe I get is that it's pretty bad. "Sources" tell the Dispatch Hyde is gone, so… yeah. Bad.

Dude, next time read the wall.


I'll take "things you don't have to tell Brady Hoke recruits" for $1000, Alex

OSU is also looking into an incident with corner Bradley Roby in Bloomington over the weekend, the Dispatch says. He was arrested for "battery resulting in bodily injury." Not a good weekend for the Buckeyes.

If gone, Hyde will be replaced by Rod Smith, who's a lot like Hyde, and sophomore Brionte Dunn. The dropoff there would not be huge. Roby would be a different matter, since top-half-of-the-first-round cornerbacks don't grow on trees. Sounds like Roby's thing is more of a two-game suspension kind of thing, though:

Sources told The Dispatch he was asked to leave a bar after a disturbance, refused, and was subdued by bouncers at the bar before being taken into custody.

Unless that bodily injury is ripping a guy's heart out through his chest, he'll hang on.

Random old-ish thing. 1995 ad for M/OSU, amongst other things:

Tim Biakabutuka would go off for 313 yards in a 31-23 victory.

Well, maybe. Michigan and Ohio to face off in a high school all-star game, replacing both the intrastate Michigan game and the now-defunct Big 33 matchup. It's scheduled for June 14th, 2014, which is after the date when Michigan freshmen coming up for summer enroll, AFAIK. Apparently it can't be any earlier because the MHSAA, which remains as up-to-date as a Model T, will kibosh the eligibility of anyone who participates in such a thing before things like track end.

Michigan has always been a little iffy on letting their freshmen participate in such things, and I don't think they'll be fired up to put their recruits through a live-contact game six weeks before the season.

Etc.: John Beilein gets paid. More on the concussion flap. Wojo knocks OSU around a little. Come on, NCAA.


Unverified Voracity Knows A Girl Who Reminds It Of Cher

Unverified Voracity Knows A Girl Who Reminds It Of Cher Comment Count

Brian June 14th, 2013 at 1:16 PM

Sensible ideas. From the hockey committee even. USCHO reports that the hockey rules committee is looking at ways to make the infamous TUC cliff in the pairwise less of a cliff and more of a gradation:

“We’re looking to see if there’s a way to reduce the variability that seems to happen as people watch that at the end of the year,” said committee chair Tom Nevala, senior associate athletic director at Notre Dame.

“It’s going to happen a lot early, but by the end of the year it seems like it should be a little bit more cut-and-dried. So we’re going to see if there’s some options there.”

This is a crew that still uses RPI, so don't expect anything too clever. Maybe they'd have a tier in which games count for your TUC record at half-weight, that sort of thing. While that still has cliff issues that turns it into more of a large step than a cliff.

In other news, the committee is going to ask future regional sites not to ask for 90 dollars for three hockey games featuring teams from across the country, which is an insignificant step in the right direction. Tom Nevala, an associate AD at Notre Dame, is still sounding a call for sanity:

“The fans who come and support us all year are in and around our campuses,” Nevala said. “Whether it’s east or west, at least I’m not satisfied looking at the numbers that have generally appeared at regionals.

“Whether we’ve considered some of the eastern regionals well-attended or not, I think you could still do better. And hopefully the ticket pricing and the things that they’re going to attempt to do in the next cycle will help. But I’m convinced that we would be better off on campus in general.”

Unfortunately, this is the last year Nevala is going to be on the committee. At least there's one guy saying the most obvious thing that would help college hockey.

At least it won't die. Some terrible person broke a chunk off Howard's Rock, which Clemson touches before each football game. This is why we can't have nice things.


I just… I mean. People.

Jamarco comin'. Whatever prevented Jamarco Jones from taking his planned weekend swing through his three finalists has been resolved, so he'll be on campus Saturday. This is good for Michigan, which is generally regarded as trailing but in possession of a puncher's chance. Mom's apparently in Michigan's corner, because obviously.

FREDS ON FREDS ON FREDS. Filing this under Fred Jackson hyperbole and thus yoinking it from recruiting roundup deployment: Fred Jackson on 2015 FL RB Jacques Patrick.

"I talked to Coach Jackson for about 45 minutes, I was in there for a while. He was telling me he's watched around 50 running backs and I'm one of the best he's seen," he said. "That means a lot, because he's been doing this for a while."

Yes, for all possible definitions of "this." FWIW, Patrick held FSU and UF as leaders before trips to OSU and M. He now says he's going to open things up some, but the smart money still has him staying in Florida.

I know a guy who thinks of ghosts. Denard will make you breakfast. He'll make you toast. He don't use butter, he don't use cheese. He uses?

[Eddie] Lacy - who's about to get his first taste of cold weather football as a Green Bay Packer - then asked what Robinson's method was for staying warm "up there in the snow".

"What I did was put vasoline on, a lot of vasoline," Robinson said showing Lacy how he used to coat his arms with the petroleum jelly.

"So the vasoline keeps you warm?," Lacy asked cynically.

"It keeps the heat inside your body," Robinson told him. "It closes your pores up, that's what it does."

I know a guy who goes to shows. Tim Hardaway Jr has cracked Hated Chad Ford's Big Board, coming in #30. His game does transition neatly to an NBA environment, so there's that. Meanwhile, Ford is muttering about Michael Carter-Williams still, which screams smokescreen to me but hey if Burke slips to the Pistons I get a free pro sports team to care about again.

I know a guy who's going down in a flaming barge made of flames. His name is Mark Emmert, recently buffeted in an SI article that made him look like a clueless twit:

In many interviews with NCAA officials about enforcement, the topic quickly shifted back to the leadership of Emmert, who is known internally at the NCAA as the "King Of The Press Conference." That's not a compliment.

With high-profile members of the enforcement committee fleeing for individual schools as fast as they can, this is the state of NCAA enforcement.

One ex-enforcement official told SI, "The time is ripe to cheat. There's no policing going on."

So why hasn't this guy gotten fired?

"If you force him out, you're essentially telling everyone he has failed," one NCAA president told Sporting News. "When you're dealing with (litigation), it's not prudent to admit failure at the highest office."

Lovely. People in charge of things are just in charge of them, often for no reason.




Devin Gardner speaks, is spoken about. On Toussaint:

"I've been watching Fitzgerald Toussaint throughout his whole (leg) rehab and everything," Gardner said Tuesday during an appearance on SiriusXM radio. "He's running faster, he looks way stronger. Fitzgerald Toussaint is going to be our guy.

"But we have a young guy coming in (also)."

And an interesting listing of the receivers:

"Our receives are doing really well, catching the ball, running fast and they look stronger and bigger," Gardner said. "Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson and obviously Jeremy Gallon (Michigan's leading receiver in 2012).

"I feel like we're in really good shape."

Darboh and Chesson in front of potential mentions of Jackson and Dileo.

Gardner also says people are almost pissed off.

"The finish we had in the (Outback Bowl loss against South Carolina on Jan. 1) was really beneficial for us even though we lost," Gardner said. "Because you've got a lot of guys that are hungry, almost pissed off, that it ended that way."

Gardner also mentioned the offense will be "more of a pro-style deal" with spread elements to take advantage of his athleticism.

Meanwhile, Borges has been taking Fred Jackson pointers and compares Gardner to RG3:

Q: Who does Devin Gardner remind you of?
A: He’s not really like anybody I have had. I’ve had so many prototype drop-back passers. He isn’t like (former Auburn quarterback) Jason Campbell, who was athletic but he really wasn’t a runner. I haven’t had a lot of real runners. He’s different. He’s hard to compare to someone else. He’s more like an RG3 type of guy. He’s a little taller than RG3 but plays a lot like him.

He also suggests he wants a 50/50 run/pass split perhaps a little biased towards the run; he, too, mentions Darboh and Chesson first when wide receivers come up (though he later flat-out states Gallon is their #1), then amazingly refers to Dileo and Jackson as "our two slots." Jeremy Jackson, slot receiver, Rich Rodriguez's head explodes.

Etc.: Attempting to explain Kentucky's recruiting (which isn't like fourth as the sites have it since they're out in front, but they will finish top 20, so still). 83% of SEC fans say the average fan has been priced out from attending games.


Unverified Voracity Spikes The Football

Unverified Voracity Spikes The Football Comment Count

Brian April 26th, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Welcome to College Football Blood Bowl. Warhammer 40k is generally too dorky even for me, but if you're vaguely familiar with their science fiction orc-dwarf-elf-demon football spinoff "Blood Bowl"* something is probably nagging you about those CoFoPoff** logos. This is why:


Spikes coming out of a ball.

BONUS: is it bad that I wasn't sure which logo Seth was talking about when he said one of them looked like, er, the other end zone, if you know what I mean?

CONSPIRACY THEORY BONUS: all of their images are coming from ESPN's CDN.

*[Yeah, seriously. 40K is what happens when you put all science fiction and fantasy races/tropes into a blender. As I said: too dorky even for me.]

**[I can't call something "College Football Playoff" you guys.]

Surveyin'. Michael Rothstein annually polls the outgoing seniors about things both important and not so much*. Getting unvarnished opinions on breakout players and the like is always interesting. Your predicted breakout player is Gardner, with Gallon trailing some ways back. It sounds like they're doing everything possible to extend that insane 1300-yard pace($) Gallon was on with Gardner as his QB:

"I got two. Devin and Jeremy Gallon, by far. The way they came in during the offseason, they do things people probably wouldn't expect. The way Devin is throwing the ball now. I told Gallon, if you look at the stats, he [Gallon] had 100 [receiving yards] against Alabama, a hundred-something against South Carolina. Nobody in the Big Ten can stop you two next year."

"Jeremy Gallon and Devin Gardner. They are both hard workers. When we were sleeping during the summer on Saturdays, they were up, throwing the ball. They are a great combination together and both competitive and both smart players."

Meanwhile, Willie Henry is the surprise pick as your best redshirted freshmen, albeit more narrowly. Braden, Chesson, and Jeremy Clark follow. Henry also got a breakout player vote.

On Henry
"This is going just off observation, but Willie Henry. He's a guy I went up against every day in practice, didn't get to play this year but a really, really talented kid. I'd venture to say as talented as some of the guys I played against this year. There is huge potential there and I feel he can have a great career at Michigan."

He's called "strong an ox" and "an animal." Motor is brought up as an issue. Henry certainly looked the part at the spring game, albeit mostly on the sidelines.

Part II is also interesting($). Anon on Funk:

"He's extremely thorough and he watches a play and throughout that play, he can see what all five offensive linemen did. It's crazy and I don't know how he can do it but just watching a play live, he understands and has the vision to see what happened the entire play. I don't know if he would be the best coach to manage all the bureaucratic stuff that comes with being a head coach, but he knows football as well as anybody."

*[The annual bitching about the liberals in Ann Arbor is hilarious. You can probably figure out which offensive linemen are the ones carrying that grudge.]

Bad pun. No, this isn't about Moe Ways, it's about Adreian Payne, who is still on the fence about his NBA decision two days before the deadline. I think he should go if only because I'm sick of always thinking I've misspelled his name and being correct about that 75% of the time. Also, without Payne MSU's frontcourt next year looks like this: Alex Guana, Kenny Kaminski, Matt Costello. His departure would be kind of a big deal.

Survey says

The word from every source close to Payne is that it's "50-50" he returns to Michigan State.

MSU is amongst the favorites with him and in a second-tier pack without. I don't know, I look at a 6'10" guy who can jump as high as GRIII and has just found three point range and I'm taking him in the 20s. I mean, if Robinson was going to be #15 or whatever with an efficient 13% usage rate, Payne's at 20%, shoots 84/58/38 and boards extensively. Oh and he's four inches taller. GTFO! It's for your own good!

Mark Donnal talking. With UMHoops. Projected role:

What do the coaches have you working on this summer?

“I’ve been working on pick-and-pop. That’s one of the things they said me and Derrick would probably be doing — a lot of pick-and-roll, pick-and-pop sets like that. I’ve just been working on my mid-range jumpshot, my post moves, my hook shots both right and left. Those are the main things I’ve been working on.”

Donnal has some nice post skills and can shoot out to three point range. Athleticism is the main concern with him. Most people, including me, have been projecting a redshirt just because Michigan is pretty stocked at the 4 and 5 this season. Donnal is the sort of guy who probably won't be high on NBA radars no matter how good he is in college, so the idea of a fifth year there is appealing. But as we saw this year, if you've got a guy who can give you minutes as you go deep into the tournament you've got to play him.

Hello/goodbye Rutledge? Mike Spath reported that Jared Rutledge would take a year in the USHL for extra seasoning; Rutledge told the Daily he was sticking around; Spath said that was not the case. Yost Built has more details on an odd situation.

One guy who's not coming in for sure: Bryson Cianfrone. Spath reports($) he'll reclassify to 2014. Smart move for a guy who has talent but struggled with the level of competition in the USHL this year. Michigan has plenty of depth at forward this year, too.

Making friends. Winning hearts and minds. I actually agree with Mark Emmert when he says opposition to the recruiting deregulation he slammed through is the following:

“[The] counting of phone calls and text messages and emails … is frankly crazy,” Emmert told a group of bowl executives. “Literally, you have to hire someone to count your cell phone calls and to look at your phone records.”

… At least 75 Division I members had to weigh in by March 20 to force an override vote of the legislation. Emmert blamed football coaches for the pushback saying, “it's insane.”

It's just that maybe a guy invariably described as "embattled" should maybe seem a little less unhinged, is all. More hinges. Less waving around.

Etc.: Zak smack attack get back you don't want that. Pitt football players busted with 20 bags of heroin! That'll wrap up the Fulmer Cup in April. Dave Brandon says the idea he would run for Senate is "silly." SILLY LIKE A FOX.


NCAA Gets PSU Sanctions Right, But For Wrong Reasons

NCAA Gets PSU Sanctions Right, But For Wrong Reasons Comment Count

Ace July 24th, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Leave it to the NCAA to get the Penn State sanctions right, yet still find a way to screw it up.

The debate surrounding the—wait for it—unprecedented penalties handed down to the PSU football program has largely hinged on whether or not the NCAA had any jurisdiction at all over this issue, one that at face value went so far beyond football that it seemed inappropriate and insensitive to make it a football issue.* Criminal matters should be handled by criminal courts, so what basis does the governing body of college sports have to essentially decimate PSU football?

Yesterday, Mark Emmert decided to justify his swift and forceful actions by indicting the very culture that funnels billions into the pockets on his organization:

"The fundamental message here, the gut-check message is, do we have the right balance in our culture?" he said. "Do we have, first and foremost, the academic values of integrity and honesty and responsibility as the drivers of our university? Or are we in a position where hero worship and winning at all costs has subordinated those core values?"

In doing so, Emmert opened up the NCAA to—very fair—criticism about the sheer hypocrisy of the above statement, and that criticism extends to the penalties themselves**. Slamming "hero worship" when the NCAA extravagantly profits from—to take one small example—NCAA Football video games that advertise "a deeper game for a deeper devotion," is remarkably tone-deaf. The NCAA doesn't make their money from "academic values", but from fanatics (it's called March Madness, for chrissakes) who sanctify figures like JoePa and Coach K and Woody and Bo and the athletes upon whose backs this empire is built. The NCAA asking us to suddenly find perspective is like TMZ chastising their readers for caring too much about the lives of people they don't actually know; it's a nice sentiment coming from precisely the wrong source.

What I find more remarkable, however, is that the NCAA had the proper basis to levy these sanctions sitting right in front of them, and instead they took the hypocrisy route. It's simple: Penn State gained a massive, long-term competitive advantage by keeping Sandusky's heinous crimes quiet.

Why did Joe Paterno, when confronted with clear-cut evidence of Sandusky's sexual abuse of Victim 2, decide against alerting the Department of Child Welfare? It wasn't to cover for a friend; it's been well-documented that Paterno and Sandusky weren't exactly close off the field. No, this was a football decision, one that kept up Paterno and Penn State's untarnished image while avoiding a scandal that—even if Paterno did the right thing and reported Sandusky—would bring an enormous amount of negative attention to the program and potentially threaten Paterno's job status.

In March of 2002, when Mike McQueary reported what he had seen in the Penn State locker room to Paterno, Penn State was coming off back-to-back five-win seasons. Paterno was 75 years old, reaching the point where questions abound about his ability to run a successful football program, if he could retire with dignity before PSU would be forced to push him out the door. I can't claim to know the motivation behind the cover-up, but the timing of the 2002 allegations could not have been worse for Paterno from a football perspective.

Instead of facing the situation head-on, Paterno and Penn State kept quiet, and Penn State's program turned around; from 2002-2011, the Nittany Lions went 83-43 with two shared conference titles and two BCS bowl appearances. I have a hard time imagining that Penn State would have compiled such a lofty record while dealing with sexual abuse charges against their former defensive coordinator. I'm guessing JoePa thought much the same.

When looking at the issue from that perspective, the NCAA had little choice but to bring the hammer down on a Penn State program that gained an enormous, decade-long competitive advantage by covering up crimes of a most despicable nature. The scope of the penalties, which almost certainly doom PSU to a decade or more at the bottom of the college football barrel, are just given the severity of the crimes committed*** and their on-field consequences. While I commend the NCAA and Mark Emmert for coming through with these penalties, I have no earthly idea why they decided to base them on hypocrisy when there was such an obvious and justifiable alternative.

*The other point of contention was the potentially disconcerting precedent set by Emmert. To that, I'll say this: when do you expect something remotely close to the PSU situation to arise again? And, if we're unfortunate enough that something similar does occur, would it not merit the same level of action? I don't believe Emmert will exercise this executive power even for cheating as severe as Miami's or UNC's.
**Spencer Hall and Drew Magary, most notably, fell on the "scathing" end of the spectrum.
*** I'm referring to the cover-up, not Sandusky.


Unverified Voracity Roots For Ties

Unverified Voracity Roots For Ties Comment Count

Brian July 24th, 2012 at 12:14 PM

[Programming note: Ace is at a Big Day Prep Showdown event today and will be reporting from that. Recruiting roundup will be tomorrow.]

Jamie Morris breaks the record. Via WH, the 1987 Minnesota game:

Also Michigan gives up a 98-yard touchdown run.

FOOTBAW. Also from WH, the 1998 shutout of Penn State. Try to watch the first minute of this without punching something and thinking about FOOTBAW:

Keith Jackson, man.

UPDATE/BONUS: Fumble recoveries, man.


Luck be a lady tonight.

Your tears are so yummy, Scott. Run, don't walk, to ND Nation and imbibe the thread "An emo rant: I'm still not over the Michigan loss" if the suffering of other tribes stirs even the barest tremors of pleasure in you. You will not be disappointed:

I was there...
by mg73

and the worst part for me was the 45 min it took to wade through 100,000 rabid fans screaming and singing the entire time.

I had perfect seats right under the press box on the west side with my best friend who's a UM fan. There were so many head-banging letdowns during that game: The last drive, Denard continually throwing the ball up for grabs the entire game and having UM come down with it every time, Denard fumbling and then picking it up and running it in for a TD vs Rees having the ball just fall out of his hands in the Red Zone...

Fortunately my friend was very gracious in victory, as I would have been had we won. But it still makes me ill when I think about it.

My brother's response after the game summed it up perfectly
by jameszuro

"I don't know where to start cleaning up. Firs I sh*t myself I was so happy. Then I threw up all over the carpet."

Oh, man. I have to sit down after that.

He came with the power of LAW and gave unto newspaper reporters. Are you wondering what the only lawyer in America thinks about the Penn State sanctions? Wonder no longer:

On Sunday, Buckner filed a blog entry (read it here) stating that he is "extremely concerned about the possible NCAA sanctions and urge the organization to comply with its existing processes and procedures to address the Penn State sexual abuse scandal."

Further, he wrote that sanctions could "potentially violate federal and state notions of due and fair process" because, among other reasons, Penn State did not violate an existing NCAA rule, and the NCAA is not following existing procedures available to other schools.

He's got a blog now. Batten down the law-hatches.

Even more PENN STATE~! So the thing about the sanctions that is truly painful is that the roster restriction doesn't start for two years. The bowl ban is now, the scholarship reductions are now, but the roster cap of 65 does not come into effect until 2014. But since it's open season on PSU players and what's left of their 2012 recruiting class, PSU is likely to be way, way below their hypothetical maximum this fall, and then they've only got 15 slots to try to bring that up to par next year, and that's when the roster cap kicks in. Penn State has six years of extreme restrictions. Which… wow.

Q: assuming academic-fraud-laden and booster-runner-employing North Carolina gets charged with LOIC can Mark Emmert level a similar punishment? I think that's the test case for those theorizing about the New Era Of Enforcement. What went down at UNC seems as egregious a violation of NCAA principles as what happened at Penn State, though not the principles of basic human decency. If Emmert agitates for a similarly harsh, long-term punishment of the Tarheels, then I'll believe in the new era.

I'm on the fence as it is. Emmert is clearly trying to repair some of the things that suck about the NCAA. Under his watch they jammed through the ability to offer multi-year scholarships (barely) and were only thwarted by the Indiana States of the world when they tried to offer an additional stipend to the athletes. IIRC, both of these pieces of legislation took some arcane-but-direct route that got them through the legislative process without exposing it to votes involving the Indiana States until their only resort was the override process. That required a supermajority of 5/8ths to knock down the legislation and that is the only reason (THE OPTION TO OFFER!) multi-year scholarships got through. A majority was against it.

So, yeah, rail on the NCAA because you're Drew Magary or Charlie Pierce and railin' is your speciality, but really what we're railing at is the rickety structure trying to accommodate schools that spend millions of dollars annually on a bonfire called college athletics with the major schools that can build thousand-foot tall statues of Charles Woodson intercepting that pass against MSU*. When the big players try to lurch slowly towards a more equitable distribution of their massive revenues, the small schools cry "level playing field" with a straight face and knock it down. That's the real issue, and the only solution is to hack big football schools away from Indiana State.

Anyway, Emmert seems to be ramming things through the NCAA without regard to anything except how he can Get Things Done, and the things that he wants to get done are good changes. He can't help it that he's not a dictator.

*[Just sayin']

Paterno statue position paper. Should have left it up, but removed the "educator, coach, humanitarian" text under his name. Just let people look at as they would.

We've got a poll. The writers have taken it upon themselves to replicate the preseason polls the milquetoasty Big Ten has done away with. Results:

Leaders Division
1. Wisconsin (19 first-place votes)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. Purdue
4. Illinois
5. Penn State
6. Indiana

Legends Division
1. Michigan (16 first-place votes)
2. Michigan State (7)
3. Nebraska (1)
4. Iowa
5. Northwestern
6. Minnesota

Michigan wins the championship game on 11 out of 24 ballots. If only it was slightly under 50% for the Rose Bowl this year. The inexplicable Will Gholston Hype Train continues, as he's the pick for defensive player of the year. Kawaan Short and John Simon are like "WTF I have beaten many blocks in my career page me when Gholston does yes I still have a pager also Tamagotchi."

The Elite 11 is a ridiculous thing now. You may not be following this closely, but there are now 25(!) quarterbacks at the Elite 11, which is, like, too many quarterbacks. Not only is your name silly but it results in events like this:

The third day of 7v7 began at the Elite 11 in which each quarterback takes eight throws. The duration of the day spread across a seven hour time frame makes for some strikingly different conditions. The early afternoon groups contend with a stiff ocean breeze that typically dies down late afternoon and into the evening.

Even more ridiculous was a redzone event where the QBs threw four times. Take all Elite 11 rankings with a grain of salt, as they represent little data made big. Shane Morris did well according to all observers, but did not make the camp coaches' Elite 11 list.

Isn't he doing this whenever he walks down a street? Will Campbell's Dukes of Hazzard fail magically transmogrifies into

Michigan senior defensive tackle Will Campbell accepted responsibility for a civil infraction of blocking a sidewalk Monday morning in the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Be narrower or pay $300 in fines or court costs. Campbell also has a sentencing hearing for misdemeanor destruction of property coming up. My punishment spidey-sense suggests this is a stairs-type offense that shouldn't impact his availability for football games.

Nevermind. The "Valley of the Sun Bowl" is no more. In its place:

The bastard child of the Fiesta Bowl, the Insight Bowl, will now shed its technocratic shell and become known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Please insert immediately obvious jokes about a field rigged with sprinklers and booby traps designed to take games into overtime here.

I hope other people are driven as insane by the idea people would go to a sports bar and cheer for a tie, or that someone could be watching the Detroit Randoms try a last-ditch Hail Mary down a touchdown and say "the only thing that could make this better is… OVERTIME" instead of "the only thing that could make this better is winning 68-0 and being at a place where the food comes on, you know, plates." I hate the fake BWW people so, so much.

Yessssssss. EA has agreed to give up NCAA licensing exclusivity as part of an anti-trust class-action lawsuit. The contract lapses in 2014. Bizarrely, it stipulates that EA won't re-acquire an exclusive license for "at least five years." If your position now is so crappy you're paying out a class action lawsuit settlement why would it be better in five years? I don't know.

Anyway, this opens the door for football games from other people that may not suck and may get EA to actually fix its product. A lot of folks in the comment thread were skeptical about the economics of just putting out a college football game, but I figure someone's got to take a swing. Also one guy put out a call for a CFB game akin to Football Manager. Working title: "Brian was never heard from again."

Etc.: Bonus news that will depress Penn State fans: top basketball recruit Brandon Austin decommits. UNC stuff gets incrementally worse. Luke Winn on transferring up in college basketball. Former Penn State player twitter roundup. Penn State punishment comment fallout. BHGP podcast w/ the original BSD mafia (Chris Grovich, Kevin… uh… I don't know his last name) on the Penn State stuff. The city of Grambling is saucy, yo.