published Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

5-at-10: NCAA's sad state, 91 proof bullying, Series situation

Gang, we're sprinting through October at a break-neck pace. Our arm, it's broken.

We have some space in the mailbag, so shoot us a question.

From the "Talks too much" studios, we still believe children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way.

NCAA

After almost three years in purgatory — and not knowing what to tell the dozens of recruits that were hearing phrases like 'death penalty' and 'bowl bans' on every trip — Miami was slapped on the wrist by the NCAA for the dirty river of allegations brought by Yahoo Sports in a thorough investigation that made Nevin Shapiro the hero of rats everywhere. (Rat Rushmore: Sammy the Bull, who turned on Gotti, Fredo Corleone, Benedict Arnold and who? Does Shapiro make that list?)

In truth, we are OK with the NCAA punishments, if you can actually call them that, against Miami. Miami spent three years not knowing its fate. It self-imposed a two-year bowl ban and decided to withdraw from last year's ACC title game because of the impending sanctions. Plus, unlike most of the recent high-profile NCAA-related incidents, Miami appears to have told the truth.

Did Miami do those things knowing this season — the Hurricanes are ranked No. 7 in the first BCS poll — could be supremely special? Maybe, but that's not a crime, that's smart. Heck, UT already has asked for a quick ruling on the allegations that current player Mo Couch took money from agents so they can continue building for the future.

And let's not forget that the NCAA horribly bungled the Miami investigation, including paying some lawyers for information. In fact, there have been far more serious criminal allegations that have been dismissed for half the malfeasance the NCAA committed.

No, our problem is not with Miami's result on this, it's more with the NCAA in general. And not necessarily with the uneven and arbitrary nature of the punishment handed out, as TFP ace columnist Mark Wiedmer accurately pointed out here.

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    Tennessee head basketball coach Bruce Pearl no longer has a job at the school.

(Although pinning the 'victim' tags on Bruce Pearl and USC and Jim Tressel, well, good luck with that. Saying Pearl's only infraction with the NCAA was lying about a Bar-B-Q is like saying Capone only was a tax evader. That's what got him caught, hardly what got the authorities interested. But to be fair, since the complete and total neutering of the NCAA, Pearl's most penalized sin was bad timing.)

The NCAA's collective slap on the wrist — or was it a kiss on the hand — to Miami on Tuesday resulted in nine lost scholarships over the next three years. That's nothing. (And in all likelihood means for the next three years, those left over scholarships that big-time college football programs normally have left over and are presented to walk-on seniors will have to be axed. Way to go NCAA. Way to show those kids that have worked for four years paying their way to play who is boss.)

That nothing is a direct reflection of the current NCAA. And while there are some out there that may be rooting for the NCAA's demise — a position that is not without its talking points — our love for college sports is too great and our educated guess on what will happen to those college sports without an independent governing body is too true to want that.

We want an NCAA that has a presence without being omnipresent. We want an NCAA that rules quickly and fairly on claims and issues, rather than one that is strangled by secondary clauses and loopholes and a a rules and regulation book that makes Tolstoy look like a Hallmark copywriter.

And if you are rooting for the big-boy schools to break off, you are rooting for the end of college sports as we know it.

So we can be hacked off at the NCAA. We can bellyache and bemoan the NCAA. We can all agree its as broken Theismann's leg and Shapiro's moral compass.

But can we also agree that we need the NCAA to be fixed? Quickly.

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    Chris Williams paints a logo on the field at Fenway Park for baseball's World Series on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, in Boston. The St. Louis Cardinals face the Boston Red Sox in Game 1 on Wednesday.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

World Series

The World Series starts tonight with the Red Sox hosting the Cardinals.

It's two of baseball's true blue bloods regardless of their uniform color.

It's an interesting match-up that features good pitching and potential October legends.

We could ask who will win? (Sox in 6.) We could ask who you think the MVP will be (Victorino.)

Instead, we'll ask, how much will you watch? We'll give Game 1 a listen on the radio tonight while we drive. Game 2 is Thursday against a bad SEC football game. Game 3 is Saturday night against college football — we'll be in Jordan-Hare watching Auburn vs. Florida Atlantic — and Game 4 is Sunday night (NFL Sunday night game is Packers-Vikings) and Game 5 is Monday opposite Rams-Seahawks. And yes, Monday night could have St. Louis hosting Monday football and Game 5 of the series.

So what say you, how much will you watch of a series that is pretty strong? (Yes, Spy we know you'll crack open a few Co-Colas and watch almost every pitch.)

————

Running it up? Bullying?

The Fort Worth Star-Telegraph reported this week that a Texas high school football coach was formally charged with bullying by a opposing parent after a 91-0 win over an obviously overmatched team.

The opposing coach said he did not believe top-ranked Aledo ran up the score and said the Aledo players were fine sportsman. Looking at the numbers — Aledo ran just 32 offensive plays and called a fair catch on every punt after halftime against Western Hills; Aledo is 7-0 and ranked No. 1 in 4A; Aledo averages 69 points per game and has an average margin of victory of 77 points per game against district foes — it's hard to justify a charge of running up the score in this game. Aledo's coach told ESPN that he made sure to clear its bench, even replacing its starting offensive and defensive lines with third-stringers early in the third quarter and several starters played roughly 16-18 plays in the game.

Aledo is a dominant team in a dormant division, but to call this bullying is ludicrous and downright shameful to those who are actually bullied to associate this with a very real and serious charge that now must be followed through by the Aledo principle and the school system.

At some point, it's the job of the opposition to actually stop some one, and as the Aledo coach told reporters this week, how can he ask his third- and fourth-string kids not to play hard.

Which would be more humiliating to Western Hills, losing 91-0 or Aledo taking three straight knees and punting from the middle of the third quarter on?

The real answer to the most humiliated question, though, is the kid on Western Hills whose parents thought this was bullying.

———

This and that

— If Johnny Football can't play Saturday against Vandy, how big a swing can the Commodores take at a Texas A&M bunch that is a one-man show with a no-show defense? Anchors down.

— Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee insinuated that Tiger Woods is a cheater in an online column late last week. Strong words indeed. Chamblee stood by his column before recently apologizing over Twitter to Woods. "Golf is a gentleman's game and I'm not proud of this debate. I want to apologize to Tiger for this incited discourse," Chamblee wrote on Twitter.This is cracked on so many levels. First, who apologizes on the Twitter? Seriously? Was his second choice to pass him a note between homeroom and first period? Second, he did not apologize for the column or calling Woods a cheater. When did we get to the point that every apology is now, "Sorry if this offended you," or "Sorry if my words were misinterpreted." Finally, Chamblee used the red-letter word in golf circles, and if you are prepared to even hint that a professional golfer a cheater, it best be something you believe to your core. Maybe Chamblee does. Maybe we'll learn more by reading his Twitter. Pour us a Co-Cola for crying out loud.

— Alan Grayson just passed Dick Grayson — Batman's sidekick, the boy wonder Robin — in internet searches after comparing the Tea Party to the KKK. Sweet Jimeny. Pour us another Co-Cola, that first one went down mighty fine.

— How crazy are baseball salaries today? Tim Lincecum got two years and $35 million. Sure for 2010 Lincecum that would be a great deal considering Lincecum won Cy Youngs in 2008 and '09. But the last two years, Timmy Mullet is 20-29 with a 4.76 ERA. That's worth $17.5 million a year? Side note: Lincecum's two-year contract is about $9.275 million more than Nolan Ryan made combined in his 25-year career.

———

Today's question(s)

Feel free to weigh in on any of the above.

If you need a talking point, well, here you go:

What's the toughest job in sports? NCAA president — if done properly — could be on that list.

Is this a playoff game for the Mocs on Saturday, meaning they need a win or the postseason becomes a pipe dream? Discuss.

What do you think happens Saturday between Tennessee and Alabama in the Third Saturday in October that is happening on the fourth Saturday in October?

Discuss. And remember the mailbag.

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.
MocTastic said...

Saturday's Mocs game a must win? Might be, might not be. Samford and Wofford still play each other and other teams that might beat them. But to control their own destiny, it is a must win game for the Mocs.

October 23, 2013 at 10:05 a.m.
chas9 said...

As for the 91-0 bullying story, shouldn't you count to ten and sleep on it before doing anything official like filing a formal complaint?

Back when Whitey Ford and Sandy Koufax were pitching, I loved opening day of the World Series. Listened to it on a hidden transistor radio in English class. Now I just plain don't care. Are you excited?

Frank Deford says studies show conclusively that there's no such thing as a clutch hitter. (Take that, Mr. October.) Question for Friday: Is there such a thing as a clutch hitter? Is hitting a baseball different from hitting a last-seconds free throw? Or kicking a game winning field goal?

Andrew Harrison, Bruce Pearl recruit Aaron Craft, and Trevor Releford are on the watchlist for the Cousy award for college basketball's best point guard. Strangely, they left off the Memphis transfer Whatshisname who'll lead The Vols on to glory.

Who believes that the Soddy-Daisy genius who fell out of a tree was chasing a mountain lion 70 feet up?

October 23, 2013 at 10:12 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Another question: Who has the more Country-Club elite name, Brandel Chamblee or Blaine Gabbert?

Discuss

October 23, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
Stewwie said...

The Mocs need to be thinking that their next 3 games (Citadel, Appy, Wofford) are must-win. I'm not confident that we'll beat Samford and the Bama game is a definite loss. So to make sure we don't end with more than 4 losses, we need to win these next 3.

Bama over the Vols 91-0; Butch's wife then complains that Saban is bullying. Just kidding...Bama 31-13.

October 23, 2013 at 10:40 a.m.
jomo11 said...

The Citadel game is very important, maybe the first game that the loss of Derrick Lott will be heavily felt. With the Mocs running game of Jacob, Keon, Marquis Green and Kenny Huitt ( who combined have been rolling up 250+yards a game ) the Mocs will need to control as much of the clock as possible. El Cid is always a tough deal with the option offense.

Its funny how the media has now taken to say that some NCAA cheaters are being punished unfairly ? Break the rules you get punished, end of story. Judges and a jury never make punishment equal. The only way is mandatory sentences for NCAA cheaters. Pearl cheated, deal with it. Miami cheated, deal with it. Stop using cheaters as an excuse to say the NCAA is a broken model.

I know it was for yesterday, but Tiger Woods would probably be on BOTH most liked and most hated Mount Rushmore

October 23, 2013 at 10:47 a.m.
WilliamRscott said...

Dr. Scott concurs with Dr. Stew + Dr. Jomo regarding the Mocs, so 3 doctors concur.

Regarding UT-bammer, the Vols will cover. Even with an open week prior, Saban will not show LSU anything new. And didn't Saban's daughter bully a sorority sister a year or so ago?

Call me a redneck [you would be correct], but when I hear country club, I think malt liquor. I think that brand is no longer in our area, so I will settle for the Bull.

Billy-In-Brainerd

October 23, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Before you ask Jay (or anyone else), I am aware of said football game but have not followed the story. Also, I've been recovering for an apparent 24 hour virus since 2:00 yesterday afternoon. I still need to mail you those DNM articles regarding Nolen's rather "akward" press conference as he steps down from CEO of the Rangers.

All the games for the Mocs are must wins. Especially with the numerous "close but no cigar" moments of the past two seasons. Citadel is good, but not top 25 good. And Appy State is confirmed beyond weak. Ironically the two "new" powerhouses will be played at the end of the season. However, those two will actually play each other before playing the Mocs. So once we get wins against Citadel and Appy, it should all come down to the Wofford game November 9th which will be interesting indeed and I'll tell you why.

Assuming Wofford beats Samford, they're sitting on top of the SoCon standings, which means the Mocs would literally for the first time be playing for the championship...AT home. Obviously, that is going to draw a LOT of attention to this game. However, that same weekend we got Tennessee playing Auburn and Alabama against LSU. The kick-off is 2:00 which means depending on what time the games are scheduled for television purposes will depend on whether we get 12,000 or 18,000. I grant you Wofford is not ranked and not a sexy name that's going to draw well, but it's still an important game that would need a blitz of community support to say the least.

October 23, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
Walden said...

Blaine Gabbert? That sounds more like a bad Nascar name than a country club name. You want country club? Try any first name that ends with the letter 's'. Think it through.

By the way, how the heck do you cheat in professional Golf, when everyone and their mother is watching your every move?

October 23, 2013 at 11:17 a.m.
MocTastic said...

Blaine was the first name of the preppie that Molly Ringwald was in love with in Pretty in Pink for you people old enough to remember. I am guessing that is JG's point of reference with respect to the name "Blaine" and preppy, aka country club name.

October 23, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.
chas9 said...

We talk mostly about the SEC, but outside our league, who's the best comeback coach, Cutcliffe, O'Leary, or Mack Brown?

Steve Smith says Janoris Jenkins should wear more condoms. My favorites are mustard and pickle relish.

BiB--Do you go for the 40 oz. size? My fingers are too short to hold 'em securely.

October 23, 2013 at 11:48 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

We believe it to be a must-win in the standings. And we believe it to be a must-win in the growth of the program.

9er —

Not sure about the counting to 10 — although that seems prudent. We do try to follow the wise words of the Mrs. and not e-mail or text after 10 p.m. since this was sent after a high school football game, it likely was a highly volatile late-night message.

You're in the bag.

Stewwie —

Concur.

And if it ends up being 31-13, is Johnny Vols Fan happy with that?

Jomo —

Excellent post. We concur that Lott's absent will be felt more Saturday. We also concur on the running machine that the Mocs are trotting out there right now.

Interesting twist on the hubbub about the NCAA. Regardless of how you few the punishment, the future is a murky unknown for college sports, and we for one do not believe the big-boy schools breaking off and having minor league football and basketball on campus is a good alternative.

Spot on about Tiger, and Mr. Chamblee has stepped in it in our view.

BiB —

Wow, three out of three? Well it's in the books then.

Redneck. And when we got blitzed enough to get a tattoo back in college, it was because of ENTIRELY too much Mickey's Malt Liquor.

Less than good times.

JMC —

Concur about the meaning in the standings and the standing of the meaning of this game for UTC as a whole.

As for those other kickoffs, we know that LSU-Bama is at 8 p.m. UT-Auburn mostly likely will be the 3:30 game.

Walden —

No doubt. Especially if your Tiger and every move you make and every word you say is caught on camera and viewed and reviewed by everyone.

As for the country club, what about former AU hoops star Marquis Daniels? Or Carlos Beltran?

Discuss.

October 23, 2013 at 11:54 a.m.
jgreeson said...

MT —

You bet that's the reference — nice call.

Also anyone with two last names makes the list. We're talking about you Johnson Wagner.

9er —

All good choices. Pickle relish — as long as it's not sweet — is underrated.

October 23, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

5,

I have an event to go tonight and an event tomorrow night as well. Plus, if the Series goes to Wednesday, I have my fantasy re-draft that night (8 weeks, then redraft for second half and then do a draft for the playoffs).

Sox in six. MVP is Ellsbury. Much to Scott Boras' delight.

If those Texas parents thought that was bullying, then why not the parents at Beach High whose Bulldogs lost 91-6 to Camden County (they dress 134 varsity players. Seriously) or the Windsor Forest parents whose Knights fell to Lowndes 87-0. And both of those were with the mercy rule in effect. Not from the start but after three quarters. Really kinda need one for halftime too.

October 23, 2013 at 1:39 p.m.
WilliamRscott said...

C-Niner: Sometimes, it takes 2 hands to handle a 40, especially after the 2nd one. Another option...use a Mickey Ds sweet tea cup. So next time you see some white-haired guy in Mocs gear with a beer gut + a McDonalds cup, you have spotted the not-so-famous Billy-In-Brainerd.

October 23, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.
Stewwie said...

[And if it ends up being 31-13, is Johnny Vols Fan happy with that?]

If not, he ought to be. In fact, I'm not sure what would yield more happiness...scoring 13 against that D at their place or holding McCarron and Co. to only 31.

October 23, 2013 at 2 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

For the record, Bama will hammer Tennessee on Saturday. The Vols should just be happy if they survive the first quarter. I'm not joking.

October 23, 2013 at 2:51 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

Speaking of running it up...Did you see where Oregon Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti went off on Mike Leach for leaving his starters in and throwing the ball late in a losing effort? Aliotti is on the coaching staff of a team that is averaging over 55 points-per-game and suddenly he thinks it "trashy" to chase stats. C'mon man. And upon hearing that Mike Leach might be upset, Adam James instinctively locked himself in a shed.

Did you know that Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia is named after boy wonder Dick Grayson? Now that's not true, but you can tell your friends that you read it on the internet.

As for the toughest job in sports...The guy responsible for cleaning and replacing the sneeze guards necessary to protect the electronics at ESPN from the spittle of Lou Holtz has a tough gig. Sufferin' succotash!

October 23, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

2-2-1-1-1! NBA goes back to it for the Finals! Finally! The spell is broken!

From the show

The new phone books are here. The new phone books are here.

October 23, 2013 at 3:33 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Spy —

At some point your kids need to tackle the other kids. That's the nature of the game if we recall.

Scott Boras may be on our sports Rushmore of hate.

BiB —

Chick-Fil-A cups also work well, and the juxtaposition is quite enjoyable in some ways.

Stewwie —

Concur that a 31-13 game that is pretty competitive throughout would be a fine showing. Bama is rolling right now.

Big Time.

Stuck —

Bout time.

GD —

That's good stuff.

Craig James could be on the dolt Rushmore.

And who ever is on spittle patrol for Holtz, they better get some hazard pay and a boss raincoat.

Egad.

October 23, 2013 at 4:39 p.m.
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