Programming note: due to election-related whatever, UFR will be delayed. Not that you were particularly looking forward to it anyway. Thursday-Friday is most likely.
With all due respect to Lie Bot, he is not quite right. This is the saddest thing:
This is "a schlubby sportswriter travelling about the country taking pictures of himself with chicks he has no chance with, and/or talking constantly about hot chicks he has no chance with." See also: Gregg Easterbrook, Stewart Mandel, Pat Forde. Forde's creepy "Dashette" obsession was exploded by BHGP; the others are just sad.
My God, people: if you write for a job keep the pictures of you with hot babes out of it. You are emphasizing the fact that you spend your days inside eating donuts and losing your hair and only serve to make yourself look pathetic by comparison. EXCEPTION:
If you are that guy and you are (or were, as it were) married to that, by all means. Play on, playa. If you are not schtupping the person in the picture with you, do not post it on the internet. It is the saddest thing.
Number one ankle injury check. Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker is dinged up but will play against Michigan:
Gophers coach Tim Brewster said Tuesday Decker will be limited in practice this week by a sprained left ankle suffered in last week's loss to Northwestern, but he fully expects the Big Ten's leading receiver to be in uniform Saturday against Michigan.
"Eric Decker is as tough, as hard-nosed, as committed an athlete as there is in college football today. Period," Brewster said. "He takes tremendous pride in playing and he'll be ready to go."
At least they're not moving a third-string offensive lineman over to replace him. That hypothetical guy would be guaranteed 200 yards.
Meanwhile, Steven Threet, Sam McGuffie, and Michael Williams are all expected back for the Minnesota game. Threet apparently sustained a mild concussion, FWIW, but did not come out.
File under things that seem like good ideas but will never happen. The NCAA wants to track academic performance on a head coach basis:
The Division I Board of Directors, made up of university presidents and chancellors, asked an academic committee Thursday to draw up a formula for the first-of-their-kind individual APRs, which would become part of a coach's career record. They'd be available for recruits, their parents and prospective employers to evaluate along with wins and other competitive and personal criteria.
Problematic. I'm not sure how much this is going to differ from a school's APR, since most coaches only get one or two shots at head coaching jobs, and I'm definitely sure that graduating players is more a function of the school than the coach. You could install Barry Switzer at Stanford and those guys are still going to graduate.
Meanwhile, the NCAA also wishes to stiffen penalties for rules violators:
"The committee feels that, over the years, the penalties really have gotten out of synch with the magnitude of violations," Potuto said Wednesday.
"Increasingly, there were people on campus saying, 'There's no teeth here. Did they lose any scholarships? Were they taken out of the postseason? Were wins vacated? And if not, it couldn't have been a big case.' … Only certain penalties really signal seriousness to anybody."
Proposed remedies include the return of TV bans, stiffer scholarship cuts and fines, and more postseason bans when academic fraud is involved. TV bans seem like a bad idea. How would you like it if Michigan had a game blacked out because the opponent got caught doing naughty things?
The NCAA should, IMO, extend scholarship penalties significantly. Don't ding one scholarship for two years. Take three for ten. Force schools to work short-handed for long periods of time, and stick to the periods dictated. Honestly, when Michigan got hit with scholarship penalties for the Ed Martin thing they scammed their way out of it by saying they'd take three of them the first year when those spots weren't going to be filled anyway. Michigan should probably be a year or two away from getting their 13th spot back.
This, at least, seems good:
Schools have learned to come clean and cooperate in investigations, most anticipating it will help their case and ultimately minimize sanctions. Notably, Potuto's committee also is asking the NCAA board to eliminate that tack as a damage-control strategy.
A proposed rules change would stipulate: "Full and complete cooperation in investigations and in disclosure of violations is an obligation of membership and does not mitigate sanctions imposed on either institutions or their staff members." Failure to cooperate would represent an "independent violation."
Of course, the first article is actually chronologically second and mentions the Division I board:
Held off immediate action on a proposed toughening of penalties for major rules violations.
Even if you stiffen penalties, the major problem facing the NCAA is a lack of investigative power.
Here's the thing I don't get: why aren't there rich Auburn and Tennessee and UCLA fans and Michigan fans out there sponsoring private investigations into Hated Rival? Let's say you're Steven Ross. You have more money than God and an affection for Michigan football. Why not dump a couple million into an investigation of Ohio State? Why not offer some sort of prize for anyone willing to come forward with information that leads to a major infractions case? Surely there must be some turkey magnate in the South who hates some other school with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns; why hasn't he tried to drop the hammer?
I mean, it's not like the NCAA has any subpoena power or anything a private citizen lacks. The best way to step up NCAA enforcement of Hated Rival is to sponsor investigation of Hated Rival. And yet… no one has stepped forth.
Etc.: BSD fisks a dumb Weztel article.