published Thursday, August 1st, 2013

5-at-10: The Supreme Sports Supervisor

Gang, remember Friday's mailbag — we need a couple more — and feel free to swing by Press Row today at 1 p.m. on 105.1 FM. We'll need some calls because co-host David Paschall will be checking in from media day in Athens, Ga. Give us a shout at 423-648-1051 and we'll kick around the topics of the day.

Today, we're going to assume an omnipotent position atop the universal sports platform. Today, the 5-at-10 is going to fix a few things that need to be handled.

From the "Talks too much" studio, as our boy Waylon told us, "We don't look the way average cowboy singers look; We admit we've taken of things we never should of took; You can read a different story in a lot of different books; Even then you won't really know, how it was a long time ago."

Hey A-Rod...

As the universal sports ruler this morning, and as the powers that be in baseball are looking to find a way to boot Alex Rodriguez from the sport for as long as possible, here's our plan.

There is no amount of suspension that will seem fair or warranted for the perpetual cheater and the modern face of baseball PEDs that has become A-Rod.

There also is no way that his rep could be damaged any more.

That said, baseball has to keep its eye on the bigger picture that is the fight against PEDs rather than just punishing A-Rod.

Negotiate a deal with A-Rod, be it 100 games or the same 65 games that Ryan Braun got, and continue to use the growing momentum within the players and the players' association to fight the bigger problem that is steroids. Also, make A-Rod admit to his misgivings and acts, a process that will be humiliating for a glass tiger like A-Rod, the king of the three-run homer in a 10-2 game.

If baseball overreaches and tries to boot A-Rod from the game for good, the players' union has not choice but to fight that. A measured response — with an agreement of an almost weekly drug test when A-Rod returns — continues the momentum of trying to clean up the sport, which should be the ultimate goal.

————

Hey Riley Cooper...

The NFL story that has swept our attention in the last 24 hours was Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper being caught on video using the queen mother of all racial slurs.

Cooper responded with a sincere apology. The Eagles acted quickly, fining Cooper a "substantial amount."

The story will develop more today as the reporters talk to Eagles teammates, but this is not going away anytime soon.

Hey, we've all said things we regret. Cooper's rant of wanting to "fight all the" N-words at a Kenny Chesney concert is more than that, however. It's about the grouping and the aggression.

So, as Sports Supreme Supervisor, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper would be easy during his two-game suspension. Hey, if players are going to be punished for contact He also would have to write an apology letter to the security guard toward whom he directed the slur.

Side note: Michael Vick handled the questions about Cooper's mistake like a true pro. Well-played Mike. Marcus Vick, Mike's punk brother, however, put a bounty on Cooper on Twitter before deleting it. You stay classy, Marcus.

————

Hey college football fans...

  • photo
    Riley Ferguson
    Photo by The Charlotte Observer/Diedra Laird

We're all excited. All of our teams are unbeaten right now and practice has started. Here's a gift for each of the local fan bases form the Sports Supreme Supervisor:

For Johnny Vols Fan, we give you a freshman quarterback who is up to the challenge. Be it Riley Ferguson or Josh Dobbs, we will grant one of them the power to compete right away and generate the type of excitement only a talented freshman quarterback can. Enjoy.

For Johnny Bulldogs Fan, we give you a fast start. If Georgia can get through the September gauntlet that includes Clemson, South Carolina and LSU, the Bulldogs will be in the national-title picture.

For Johnny Tide Fan, we give you a healthy season for McCarron and Yeldon. The rest will take care of itself.

For Johnny Tigers Fan, we give you enough gas in the Gus Bus to be competitive with the big boys in the league. After the whippings Auburn took against the upper-crust of the league last year, being in every game would be a welcomed sight this fall.

For Johnny Mocs Fan, we give you a year of Keon Williams delivering on the expectations we all had when he signed with the Mocs out of Red Bank. Williams and James Stovall are going to be real difference makers for UTC.

Enjoy.

————

This and that

— OK, we know that the college football season opens on Thursday, Aug. 29. The Mocs play that night and there is an interesting doubleheader with South Carolina-North Carolina followed by Vandy-Ole Miss on the ESPN family of networks. The Mothership of sports monoliths released its weeknight college football schedule and arguably the biggest non-SEC game in the chase for the national title is on a Thursday night. Yep, Oregon-Stanford play at Stanford on Thursday, Nov. 7. Wow.

— Hey we love the draft as much as anyone. OK, we love the draft more than anyone this side of Mel Kiper. And even we are tepid at the idea of the Pro Bowl roster being drafted by captains and reshuffled regardless of leagues. Maybe this will be more fun when the time comes, but it seems like a Hail Mary attempt to save a Pro Bowl game that seems to have run its course.

  • photo
    Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor works in the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Atlanta, Wednesday, July 31, 2013.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

— The Braves and Pirates are killing folks right now. How awesome would an Atlanta-Pittsburgh playoff series be? And if that happens, Sid Bream best throw out the first pitch at the Ted. Giddy-up.

————

Today's question

We're going to talk about this on Press Row, and we thank Spy for attaching this clip to the 5-at-10 yesterday. If you missed the photo gallery of the new Oregon football complex, check it here. Seriously, we'll wait.

OK, it's pretty fan-tabulous, right? The barber shop, the cafeteria, the whole nine yards is amazing.

It's roughly $60 million and looks like they got their money's worth.

You know what else it is? It's a metaphorical Gomorrah of the excess of big-time college sports. And with every building like this one — which likely has already generated new plans at a slew of other college football powerhouses — it becomes harder and harder for those of us who believe college athletics can't afford to pay the players.

Hey, we believe a scholarship should be enough. But with every one of these metroplexes of overindulgence, the thought that "they can't afford" to pay athletes is harder and harder to believe.

The question: Should college athletes be paid? Our answer is still no, but buildings like this make us re-examine.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
chas9 said...

Remember stud hoss Michael Dyer from the national championship 2010 Auburn team? He may enroll at Louisville, which would strengthen an already formidable UL squad. How come 2010 seems like it was 50 years ago?

August 1, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

A stipend sounds good, but we go back to the same question of what about the girls, what about the non-revenue sports. Lawsuits waiting to happen.

I have to ask, exactly how many African-Americans were at a Kenny Chesney concert, and how many wanted to fight even if they were there? Maybe a beverage of choice, or two, contributed to this incident.

I'd give the Pro Bowl another look if it was rookies vs veterans or something similar. I agree, this exhibition is on life support.

I'm still not convinced on Keon Williams, I hope I am wrong on that.

August 1, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

2010 does feel like 50 years ago — maybe because several SEC foes were whipping Auburn by 50 last year.

As for Dyer, well, he could be a huge addition — or a huge cancer. Buyer beware.

LB —

Yeah the girls argument is a hurdle, but if you're Oregon and you have $60 million on a football building, well, you can afford checks to the 10 volleyball players on scholarship.

We're on the Keon bandwagon. We could be wrong, but we've bought a ticket and buckled up.

August 1, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
TennFlyer said...

Can you dust off the SEC draft that you did in the middle of last season and do one before the season starts? Same rules, worst record first, alternate between east and west, no team can lose more than three players.

August 1, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.
chas9 said...

Always a good day when Sid Bream gets a mention.

Around here the Stanford-Oregon tilt isn't as big as certain SEC rivalries, but it matches up two of the nation's top sports schools.

Stanford won the 2012-13 Sports Directors' Trophy, its amazing 19th straight time. The trophy rewards all sports across the board. The SEC did well, with Florida #2, Texas A&M #5, Georgia #10, LSU #19, Arkansas #21, Kentucky #25 and Bama #26. Tennessee used to do well in the competition, finishing #7 in 2006-07.

The Southeast is all about the big-time schools, though. Not a single school from these parts has placed among the top 10 of Division II or Division III since the trophy began.

For you who don't really care about gymnastics, swimming, or track and field, CBS weights its Best in College Sports trophy toward football, baseball, men's basketball and women's basketball. Its top three for 2012-13 were Louisville (by a mile), Oregon and Florida, in that order.

Can Teddy Bridgewater win the Heisman?

For you who think sports consists only of football, spring football, and football recruiting, well, there's no competition any more for that trophy.

August 1, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.
Stewwie said...

I am all for Keon doing well this year, but I still don't get how/why you are so high on him at this point. I think Huitt has earned the starting job based on his performance last year. Maybe the coaches think Keon is a better fit for Durden's offense?

2-game suspension for a slur? As Sports Supreme Supervisor, how would you have handled Roddy White's tweet that the Zimmerman trial jurors should go kill themselves? (I haven't heard of any punishment being levied White's way for the comment. I'm surprised, but then again, I'm not, unfortunately.)

August 1, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.
MocTastic said...

RE: Keon Williams. Read an article today that said that Keon had been shifted to the Hback or fullback and was running second string to Tyson coming out of spring practice. I found that interesting in that in the Moc's spread offense last year that position was pretty much an afterthought, only getting the occasional handoff or pass, hard to make a huge splash there and he might be second team there. If so, and if the new OC doesn't involve that position a whole lot more in the offense, Keon Williams will not be an impact player for UTC. All that being said, who knows.....

August 1, 2013 at 11:09 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Call me paranoid Jay, but I would have not brought up the fact North Carolina/South Carolina and Vandy-Old Miss were playing the same night as the Mocs.

We're trying to "GET PEOPLE TO ACTUALLY ATTEND THE DAMN GAMES". Not provide an excuse for not wanting to go.

I know UT-Martin is not a sexy opponent but with no direct competition with Tennessee/Georgia/Alabama that night I would at least like to see 17,000+ butts on the benches when I'm watching this game on gomocs.com.

Hopefully the additional coverage Frierson was bragging about last night via Tweeter to Facebook will make this game a well-attended reality. Exact quote:

"#‎Mocs‬ dominating sports front in tomorrow’s @TimesFreePress @SportsChatt."

(Please note when I use all-caps it's not yelling but instead to emphasize a point. In this case, converting more people to the blue and gold).

August 1, 2013 at 11:15 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

That's a mighty big "if" for the Mutts, 5.

As for the Braves, sweeping the Cardinals (oh how I wish it was LaRussa they were smacking around) is one thing, and a good thing. You're starting to see signs of life from Heyward and Justin Upton. And Simmons is straight killin' the ball.

Some other good Thursday night college football games: that UNC-Spurriers opener ought to be interesting. Like the Va Tech-Ga Tech Thursday nighter under the lights at Historic Grant Field/Bobby Dodd Stadium in midtown Atlanta. How about the Rich Rods and Lane Kittens on a Thursday night, plus Tech at Clemson on a Thursday? Here's a sneaky one - Ole Miss vs Mississippi State. Probably not for the SEC West title. But oughta be a good'un.

Uggla just struck out again. And we're five hours away from BP.

August 1, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.
jgreeson said...

TennFlyer —

You bet. Could be mailbag material.

9er —

Concur on El Sid.

And yes, Stanford's all-around is quite impressive. In fact, Stanford, all things considered, looks like the nation's top university. It's the Auburn of the West Coast.

Stewwie —

Whether alcohol-induced or not, whether mistake or not, the anger and the image — video is way worse than twitter — makes this way worse,

The river of Twitter mistakes is bad. But White's seemed like he was mad; Cooper's was anger.

MT —

Hey, we may be way off and he may fade even before the season. Maybe it's wishful thinking.

JMC —

Mocs did dominate the front of today's TFP. It looked quite festive in fact.

We think there will be 15K there for the Mocs opener. (And here's saying that whether we mention the other games on that Thursday or not, those folks that want to watch them will know about them.)

— 5-at-10

August 1, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Mocs did dominate the front of today's TFP. It looked quite festive in fact.

We think there will be 15K there for the Mocs opener. (And here's saying that whether we mention the other games on that Thursday or not, those folks that want to watch them will know about them.)

::thumbs up::

August 1, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.
chas9 said...

Jay--Did you get an invite to the Michael Dyer, Eric Ainge, Johnny Football, Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan party? Me neither, but I may crash it.

Stanford and AU are nothing alike. The west coast school has a tree for a mascot and the loveliest school on the plains rolls its trees with toilet paper. Or used to.

August 1, 2013 at 12:03 p.m.
compspeed said...

When Keon got to touch the ball last year he was productive. Problem was he didn't get to touch the ball enough. As matter of fact, not nearly enough Mocs got to touch the ball last year. Huesman has said as much in the spring and again as practice has started this week. This team will be stronger than battery acid on defense. If the ball isn't shared enough on offense, as was the case last year, opposing teams will figure them out real quick.

August 1, 2013 at 12:41 p.m.
Stewwie said...

Compspeed, if I remember correctly, none of the RBs were productive last season until they gave Huitt a chance. Coach Huesman resorted to simply putting the ball in the hands of the playmakers, and that resulted in the Jacob and T-Rob show since the WRs didn't really step up either. This year, let's hope they not only develop a more balanced offensive attack, but when the going gets tough, they tweak it as needed but stay with it so the offense doesn't end up too predictable like it became last year.

Good riddance, Drew Johnson.

August 1, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Not to belabor the point, but I have no misconceptions about the ability of the big-timers in college football having the means to pay its athletes. The cash reserves are there. I even like the idea of a reasonable stipend for the athletes. The problem is an old one, and while I hate this phrase, it's a slippery slope. If you can within the bounds of the rules pay a guy $1,000 a month, why not $5,000...Maybe $10,000 per for that five-star stud out of Valdosta, with performance based incentives...He's probably going to need a car as well and he would rather live in an upscale condo as opposed to the dorms. The race is on.

In college football giving coaches and ADs carte blanche on financial incentives for players and recruits is like, to borrow a line from P.J. O'Rourke, giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. The money is there now, but cash has a tendency to get away fast during a prolonged spending spree.

August 1, 2013 at 2:54 p.m.
compspeed said...

Stewwie, ditto on your last comment and yes, let's hope the pigskin gets shared by the Mocs offense.

August 1, 2013 at 3:21 p.m.
MocTastic said...

GratefulDawg don't forget...you have to pay all the women athletes also if you pay the guys...TITLE IX

August 1, 2013 at 3:22 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Duly noted MocTastic. The average supporter will have no problem with increased compensation for Wincash Getchasome, the All American running back that runs a 4.3-forty and can bench press a Volkswagen. To your point, if Wincash gets more money, Bertha Shinsplint, a distance runner on the track team is legally entitled to more money. The average supporter is not going to be as stoked about paying Bertha.

I don't know if pay-for-play in college sports is a barrel of monkeys, a keg of fishhooks, or just a clusterscrew waiting to happen...The devil is definitely in the details.

August 1, 2013 at 4:01 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Even overlooking for a moment, the ability of an Alabama or Oregon to pay more athletes, more money, male or female-how do you give out the stipends for a baseball player or cross-country runner getting 25 percent in scholarships/aid, compared to football or basketball getting 100 percent? The easy answer, they get whatever the percentage of aid but calculate the percentage getting for academics in there and it can get fuzzy.

August 1, 2013 at 4:35 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - I'm conflicted. I love, Love, LOVE SEC football but I'm philosophically against paying players. If we do, the NFL should pick up the tab since they use college football as their minor league system. I don't have the answer but money will and probably already does corrupt the system. That being said I'll watch as many games as I can. In person and on broadcast. No question but you can discuss on Friday if you feel like it.

August 1, 2013 at 5:25 p.m.
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