Posted on: November 9, 2011 4:16 pm

Penn State: Just Start Over Already

We hear more and more today about the ugly acts committed by Jerry Sandusky, and the equally ugly cover up by Penn State officials.  It's sad that money and self interest came before moreality and common decency and common sense.  It's even sadder to say, but it should not be in anyone's hands other than the Penn State Board of Trustees whether people stay or go.  Yes, that includes Joe Paterno.

As I noted yesterday, it's sad to hear about him being lumped in with a child molester.  He doesn't deserve that.  It's sad to lump him in with the higher level officials who were supposed to handle things and didn't.  He is among those guys.  It's sad but true that he let it go.  He stood by.  he actively participated in doing nothing. He didn't commit the act, and he didn't behave like the diseased scum who pull out their cell phones and film acts of violence, but he stood by nevertheless.

Joe Paterno doesn't deserve hate, but he does deserve our disappointment.  He had a chance to do the right thing, to be the stand up guy, and he took a pass (no pun intended).  He doesn't deserve the right to pick his exit startegy, and he shouldn't get to retire in honor.  He should leave carrying the sorrow and disappointment of an entire nation.  This is not football's loss.  This is bigger than football.  Bigger than sports.  Bigger than a university.  It's society's loss when children suffer, and people in positions to prevent the suffering stand idly on the sidelines.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 8, 2011 6:03 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2011 6:03 pm

Sad End to a Storied Career: Bye, Joe Paterno

There are many reasons to be angry about the recent Penn State scandal:
  1. Jerry Sandusky allegedly did something so horrible and unconscionable, that the allegations alone are enough to make you angry.
  2. Sandusky's cronies covered up the aforementioned child sexual abuse.
  3. Joe Paterno's noble effort to report an offense fell on deaf ears or was presented to people who had their own agenda that did not include basic human decency.
  4. Joe Paterno's career will end in scandal, when his only offense was a lack of follow-up.
True, he should have checked to make sure that his concerns were being addressed.  True, he relied too heavily on university officials when experience should have taught him that some people - when dealing with millions of dollars - will not do the right thing or the moral thing.

However, Paterno is being lumped in with people who had the access to facts and had the power to act where Paterno could not.  Having dealt in similar situations in corporate America, I can tell you that execs become very territorial, and the lawyers swoop in and say, "We'll handle it from here. Your work is done.  Don't ask any more about it or talk to anyone about it."  I'm not saying that Paterno couldn't have done more.  I'm only saying that he may have been disuaded from doing more, and may have even been told that it was being handled.  We don't know.  Paterno's not talking, and that's typical for him.

It's a real shame that a guy who's known for his decency should go down with people who - if the stories are true - are completely removed from even the concept of decency.  It's truly sad.

Posted on: April 4, 2011 7:02 pm

Butler & UConn Are Worthy Finalists. Get Over It

Due to insomnia, I was awake at 4am and listening to the radio.  Of course, the sports stations were talking NCAA Basketball, and one set of morons to remain nameless blasted UConn and Butler, along with the NCAA because - no joke - Butler is not a powerhouse [Really?  That's a disqualifying criterion?  Only in Fantasyland!] and UConn really doesn't deserve to be in the finals because Ohio and Kansas were so much better.  OK.  So, where are Ohio and Kansas?  Oh yeah!  They lost during the tourney.  Ohio lost to Kentucky State, and Kansas fell against VCU.  Great games.  Great performances.  Not what anyone expected.

Look anyone can lose on any given day, and those who are more motivated to win and have the Fates on their side on that day will win. Ask Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal.  Both know what it's like to be number 1 and fall.  It happens.

The NCAA tourney consists of teams who either meet the eligibility requirements or play to qualify for the last two spots.  Everybody has a pretty even shot to win each round and move on to the next one.  OK.  Some teams are just more talented than others.  However, some teams have more heart and play with more determination.  Whatever it takes, someone will win, and another goes home.  DO NOT say that VCU doesn't deserve to be in the tourney.  Their play proves you wrong.  Don't say Butler is boring.  Watch those games from this past weekend or during the Elite 8 and and Sweet 16.  Don't begrudge UConn the opportunity.  Kemba et al have shown fight, grit, will.

If Ohio and Kansas aren't there, that's their fault.  They had their chance.  Too bad they lost, but don't resent the winner his due.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 30, 2011 5:22 pm

Who's Ready for Baseball?

Tomorrow is opening day, and I can't wait.  Looking forward to seeing how the season shapes up.  Plus, the NCAA M BB season is winding down.  This tourney has been great, and it's making me excited about the next sport:  Baseball.  I thoroughly enjoyed last year, and the World Series was also memorable.  What does this year hold?

Let's not forget, too, that the tennis world is going  through some changes as well.  It's not a lock any more at the top. Federer has proven himself to be mortal, and Djokovic is finally living up to his potential.  OK, some of that was just a physical limitation, but he did use that excuse a bit too much and lost the respect of most of his peers.  (Federer considered him soft.)  Let's hope that this is not a passing phase, and that he pushes through his problems to produce.  No one likes playing, let alone watching, a wuss who cuts out before the finish when he starts losing.  Fortunately, we do have Federer and the always delightful Nadal.

Before all of that, though, we've got America's original pasttime....

Play ball!
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 27, 2011 10:36 am

Forget the Brackets. Dig These Games!

OK.  My bracket took some hits, but I might survive depending on the final outcome.  Regardless, who cares when you have games like the ones from Thursday, Friday and especially Saturday?  Butler played a great game, and I was happy to see them win, even though I wasn't sure that they could.  And what about UConn?  I had faith in that squad, but at times I thought they would screw up BIG TIME.  Yet, they pulled through.  Happy to see both teams in the Final Four.  I just know that the games will be some of the best - not only of the season, but in quite a long time.  Woo hoo!
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Butler, UConn
Posted on: March 22, 2011 1:43 pm

Bruce Pearl: TN had no choice

Was reading the article on and today (full story here ), and given the facts, TN was left with no choice.  He may have been a heck of a coach and a nice guy, but his off-court behavior is just as important as what he could accomplish on the court.  Let's face it:  Pearl failed on a basic level.  Even if what he did was harmless, his repeated transgressions pointed to someone who either didn't care or couldn't learn.  Is that the kind of guy you want representing your school or program? Is that the kind of guy you want mentoring your kids?

To make matters worse, there was not one lapse.  There were several.  Just when TN thought they had a handle on what went down, more lapses emerged.  You can forgive someone only so many times:   He admits he does something, they review, admonish and get a hearty promise not to do it again.  Anything else to know?  No?  OK.  Move on.  New violation.  "Oh yeah!  I forgot about that."  He admits he does something, they review, admonish and get a hearty promise not to do it again.  Anything else to know?  No?  OK.  Move on.   Then another appears.  Here we go again.  We're not talking instructions for using shampoo here (lather, rinse, repeat).  We're talking repeating behaviors until getting caught as if seeing what you can get away with.  Then, when caught, apologizing and waiting a small period before doing it again.  Give us a break.

What's worse, this is not the first time.  He was getting a second chance after doing the same thing elsewhere.  I'm not saying TN will be his last job, but you have to ask yourself, "Will this be the last big program he gets?"  He might get rehired, but it won't be with a such a big program.

The worst of it?  He'll probably lapse there, too.
Posted on: March 21, 2011 5:36 pm

March Madness and Indian Wells = I'm Beat

Well, this years's NCAA tourney may be frustrating to some, but games have proven to be exciting.  If not, they're always entertaining.  What it does point out, though, is that the NCAA committee needs some help in picking some teams.  Blowouts just should not happen at this level.  The solution is NOT to expand the number of teams who qualify.  Enough's enough there.  Rather, try to remember that this is the last big tourney of the year, and treat it that way.  Not everyone is going to get in. Sorry.  That's just the way it is.  If everyone gets some kind of pass, then it's not a competition; it's an exhibition.  Pick teams according to talent and performance.  The NCAA says it does, but look at the performance of those who got a pass, and look at the quality of talent that was left on the sidelines and should have been there instead of some who were chosen.

On the other hand, the ATP gets the idea of letting the talent speak for itself.  Even when there are upsets, rarely are they beatings.  A few years ago, Nadal had to pull out due to injury.  He knew it.  He was playing poorly.  If he didn't leave, he'd risk injury or worse thrashings.  Ultimately, the players righted themselves, adjusting to things the way they had transpired, and moved on.  Tennis hurt for while, but the quality of play did not suffer.  Indian Wells this year was exciting because players were healthy (for the most part - sorry Tommy R), very fit and ready to play.  Ultimately, the top three men ended up in the semis, and the top 2 were in the final.  Evenly matched, the two players played a good match.

Note to NCAA:  Pick quality.  Commit to performance and competition.  What makes the NCAA tourney great is that the year's great teams get to challenge each other and prove their mettle.  Don't lose that in favor of inclusion.  You dilute the pool, but - worse - you take away the value of the event.
Posted on: March 20, 2011 6:27 pm

March Madness Lives Up to Its Name

iOK. Not surprised about Ohio's performance, but a few others have really impressed and surprised.  I have to admit that Richmond and Morehead State were not ones I saw moving on, and I compliment Richmond on holding on.  While I like Butler, I thought Pitt was going to take them.  Happy for both.  Duke won, and I am happy since I have them going to the Final Four.  I didn't see Carolina getting passed Washington.  I also thought Kansas State would hold on until the Final Four, too.  Such is life.  My bracket may hurt a little, but it's worth it to watch such great basketball.
Category: NCAAB
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