Ain’t Paid Nobody: Part I, The Problem

Now that football is over and we are comfortably distant from opening day, it’s time to get into my offseason project. I wrote the preamble a few weeks ago. I have embedded a navigation link at the bottom of this page. Given the complexity of this topic, embedding a table of contents seems the best way to organize the series. Without further ado, let’s talk about the problem.

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Sprint Option: Fire the Committee (Into the Sun)

The table is set for the playoff and other bowl games. The four teams going are Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington. If this sounds familiar, it’s because you heard it last week. As you likely ascertained from the title, I am irritated by the result. Now, I promise that I will adhere to logic here; and I will hold out as long as I can. But, today, I write angry. 

That said, let’s get to the Option.

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Player Control: How the NBA is Suffocating the College Game

I’m not sure where or when this notion began creeping into my head about college basketball and its relationship with the NBA, but the form of this idea has solidified over the course of this season. I have been watching college basketball as frequently as possible–in an earnest effort, mind you, to prove my theory wrong. Unfortunately, the data have shown me the opposite. The NBA and the NBAPA have dealt college basketball a mortal blow from which it will not recover on its own.

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Indefensible

12/21/16 Update: Over the past week, the video of Mixon’s savage and brutal assault of Amelia Molitor has finally cleared the Oklahoma court system after several notable machinations by OU graduate judges to suppress the video from the viewing public. The footage clearly shows an altercation that is escalated by Mixon that ultimately led to the shattering of Molitor’s orbital bones. 

The video marks the beginning of fallout management for Oklahoma and Stoops. Stoops pronounced today that he did not do enough and expressed remorse for the lack of severity in Mixon’s one year removal from football. I may write this up in more detail later. But the upshot is that Stoops failed both Mixon and Molitor by not dismissing him from school. Stoops should be fired for this. In no uncertain terms, his dealing with this situation is grossly negligent and he should not get to keep his cushy job after failing so egregiously. Stoops should not be pitied, he should be relieved of his duties without a buyout payment. 


2/23/16 Update: Oklahoma appellate court has ruled that the video, which has been seen by coaches and administrators, is a matter of public record and must be released immediately. Interestingly enough, the lower court has managed to misplace the evidence. You know, because this is a backwoods court in a Grisham novel apparently, and because justice isn’t served in Norman if it hurts the hometown team! OU and Mixon will be crucified if that video ever hits circulation. The way the culture of the world is today, it may be a career ender. 


Originally Appeared on Bench Points July 13, 2015

This article has taken days to write. It’s because I didn’t know where to start–I still don’t, but here goes. This week two athletes from Florida State received discipline for violence against women—the quarterback caught on camera has been dismissed, the running back has been suspended indefinitely pending investigation. Florida State players are banned from bars–which treats a symptom, but what exactly can Fisher do at this point? Earlier this summer, a football player from the University of Florida received an indefinite suspension and subsequent dismissal after being charged with armed robbery. Joe Mixon, an Oklahoma football player, was caught on camera in 2014 committing violence against a woman that objectively exceeds the severity of either of the reports out of Tallahassee. Mixon was suspended for the 2014 season for the assault and allowed to remain in school; the video, however, has yet to see the light of day–because OU knows that if it does, the pressure to dismiss him will be too much to ignore. These are the higher profile incidents, yes; but they only account for a fraction of the total off-field incidents endured by college athletes in the past year. Everyone’s favorite teams have had at least one idiot in trouble off the field–if not this year, at some point in the near past.

That said, we, as fans, can no longer be staunch apologists for moronic and criminal behavior solely because the guy in question wears our team colors.

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Cardinal Sin: The Ballad of Rick Pitino

The first ax dropped this week for Louisville basketball. The school has self-imposed a post-season ban for 2016. As I am to understand this ban, this includes certainly the NCAA tournament, NIT, or other postseason invitational tournament, as well as the ACC conference tournament. While this decision is not light or arbitrary from the school, it feels pretty toothless given the fact that Louisville is not the juggernaut they have been in the past. The real question is: how the hell did we get here? Specifically, what caused the Cardinals’ swing from the anti-bandwagon darlings to the epitome of everything that wrong and seedy about college athletics? Who’s to blame? The answers to those questions are not yet completely apparent. However, this albatross will be set about the neck of Rick Pitino before this is all over.

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Stop Comparing Will Grier to Jameis Winston

This graphic: so much no. Harsh truth time. 

As I made clear in my post earlier this week, Will Grier deserves his suspension if indeed his second sample also pops positive–I have no expectations that the result will be anything other than a confirmed positive test. Will Grier will miss a calendar year, but by all accounts will not be penalized with an extra lost year of eligibility. Obviously, if you are a Florida fan, as I am, you are upset by this news since Grier is the X Factor in Florida’s revitalized offense. You are permitted to be upset, what is not allowed is group stupidity. Hating the severity and lack of standardization in the NCAA drug model is an example of the former; comparing Winston and Grier on the sole basis of length of suspension is very much the latter.

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Keep Your Sorries

Today, the news broke that Florida QB standout Will Grier will miss at least the rest of the season after popping positive for an NCAA banned substance. As is predictable, people are crawling out of the woodwork to pat themselves on the back about “calling this when he put on all that weight.” Let’s ignore these idiots and gain some perspective, shall we? This will likely be a short post.

Editor’s Note: at the time of writing, limited details are available about the suspension, positive test, or supplement. I’ve included what I can find, but more will be known over the next few days.

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Complicit and Complacent: The Fallout from “Win at All Costs”

Guilty

I’d wager my mortgage that’s the only word Sam Ukwuachu heard last night as his verdict was handed down. Reports say that he was crying loudly as the judge polled the jury for their individual verdicts. 

Good. After the harrowing description of the rape and the events leading up to it, he deserves to bear the full brunt of the legal system for his crime. This crime, while savage and premeditated, was completely preventable by Baylor University. See, Ukwuachu is was a student-athlete at BU. He played football. 

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