Tag:Son of Weekend Watch List
Posted on: November 11, 2011 3:41 pm

Son of Weekend Watch List 11/11

Things move slowly at Ohio State.

The Olentangy River, the offense, the administration, justice.

On those last two items the football scandal at the school seems to be moving toward some sort of closure. Slowly. On the eve of Saturday’s game at Purdue, the school announced Friday it had received an amended notice of allegations stemming from the dealings of infamous booster Bobby DeGeronimo. Ohio State is now looking squarely at a “failure to monitor” charge from the NCAA.

That revelation was slow enough for the NCAA arrive at. It needed DeGeronimo’s largesse – he reportedly doled out cash and overpaid players for jobs – to determine that the program really had serious issues. Never mind a Big Ten title was won with the aid of ineligible players.

It seems also that Ohio State president Gordon Gee finally got it after dragging his feet in cement all these months. On Friday he boldly stated that it was “unacceptable” that AD Gene Smith didn’t keep tabs on DeGeronimo. Really? It is almost 11 months to the date that Tattoogate broke. Since then Gee has hoped Jim Tressel wouldn’t fire him, defended the compliance department and been in charge during arguably the largest NCAA scandal in the school’s history.

It took Gee this long to realize that Smith’s actions were unacceptable. Really? We, and others, were writing that months ago. The school’s reaction to the scandal has resembled the slow drip of molasses out of a Vermont sugar maple tree.

It took Ohio State a couple of false starts before it finally got rid of Tressel – although with a $50,000 going-away gift and full benefits for life. It took until August to offer some give-back to the NCAA – its $338,000 take from January’s Sugar Bowl. Along the way it vacated the 2010 season, one lowlighted by the still incomprehensible Buckeye Five’s eligibility to play in the Sugar.

(By the way, those “vacations” are like mosquito bites you get on vacation. You may feel them at first, but if you ignore them they quickly go away.)

Also Friday, the school docked itself five scholarships over three years. That’s another laughable self-imposed penalty. Subtracting an average of 1.66 scholarships over the next three seasons is like, well, a mosquito bite.

Now, Gee finds his AD’s actions unacceptable. Wow, swift action there. It’s clear that Gee now has thrown Smith under the bus. The once-distinguished AD’s days have to be number in Columbus. The football program is in line, officially, for major sanctions. Anything less than a postseason bowl ban(s) Ohio State can handle but that’s another discussion.

Who now stands in judgment of Gee? It has to be the Ohio State trustees who have to realize blame for this mishandled investigation of relatively minor NCAA crimes that turned into a cover-up has to end up at the president’s office.

Gee has done so much good for such a long time for so many schools, his accomplishments cannot be ignored. Similar words were uttered and spoken this week for another collegiate old-timer. While no one is comparing the Ohio State situation to that at Penn State, the time has come for Gee to suffer the same fate as Joe Paterno.

He must go.


Game-time decisions

TCU is 3-1 in its last four games against top five teams … Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart is finding inspiration from his former boss in playing LSU. Taggart was on the Stanford staff when the Cardinal beat USC 24-23 in 2007. After the game Jim Harbaugh famously commented, “We bow down to no man.” A sign reading the same can be found in the Toppers’ lockerroom this week. Taggart was a Western Kentucky quarterback in the mid-1990s. Harbaugh was an unpaid assistant on the staff … While New Mexico continues to look for a new coach, it sports two of the nation’s longest losing streaks: overall, 12 games and road games, 20 … In 1986 TCU’s Gary Patterson was the linebackers coach at Cal-Davis that featured Boise’s Chris Petersen at quarterback … Texas (heading to Missouri) has rushed for 400 yards in back-to-back games for the first time since 1977 … Of the last three Cincinnati coaches, Butch Jones currently is having the best season (7-1). The past two Bearcats coaches are Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly … Boston College’s Luke Kuechly continues to amaze. He has had at least 10 tackles in 31 consecutive games.



Category: NCAAF
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:14 pm

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

Admit it, you couldn't get enough of Weekend Watch List so here's Son of ... comin' right at ya. 

No matter what conference West Virginia lands in, Ken Kendrick will be consulted.

The 68-year-old managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks is an alum. Let's just say he has given a few bucks to the university. He is a member of the school's governing board, the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.

Kendrick is a power broker who doesn't flaunt it. Not even when his school is one of those being held hostage in the Missouri-SEC-Big East crisis situation. West Virginia has been mentioned as a prime candidate to join the SEC at the same time the Big East considers it a cornerstone moving forward.

So when there were rumblings this week that West Virginia had received an invitation from the SEC -- turned out to be a false alarm, for now -- it seemed like it was time to pick Kendrick's brain.

His wife Randy is an Auburn grad. They were "front and center" for the Tigers' national championship win in Glendale, AZ. Kendrick believes that given a few years with access to SEC recruits, West Virginia could be on a par with Auburn.

You have to respect his opinion. Kendrick is a close friend of former coach Rich Rodriguez. The Mountaineers, as you might have noticed, haven't been the same since. Since Kendrick took over for Jerry Colangelo in 2004, the franchise has both bottomed out and soared. It went from last in the NL West n 2010 to a division title this year under Kirk Gibson, a likely manager of the year winner.

But his university is near and dear to Kendrick's heart. Here he talks about the various conference realignment issues that face his school



SOWWL: What is your reaction to this latest round of conference shuffling?

Kendrick: "There are a lot of rivalries that are at the cornerstone of sports that are kind of going away. It's part of the revenue streams that can be created.

"I'm in professional sports and revenue streams are what it's all about but something is getting lost in what the college experience should be.

"As a student back at West Virginia, the teams that we played -- Pitt and Penn State, the Syracuses and Virginia Tech -- all of that has kind of gone by the wayside and I'm sad about it."


SOWWL: Will the Big East survive?

Kendrick: "It's hard thing for me to even know other than just from afar. As it loses more and more teams, there is some chance that could happen and that would be sad .

"While they wouldn't be the SEC as it relates to football, which seems to be the driver, they've been pretty darn successful. For it to go away would be very sad for me."



SOWWL: What is the attractiveness of West Virginia to another conference?

Kendrick: "That's a really good question. I think West Virginia is attractive because it's had great success across the sports landscape. Success on the field should be appealing to any conference. We have a very rabid fan base. If you're a Mountaineer fan it's a real, real commitment.

"There isn't any professional sport in the state. West Virginia is the leading institution in the state. There are some downsides. It doesn't have that big city or large population that is more attractive to the media world and the purchasers of media rights.

"That's somewhat of a deficiency for the university ... We're maybe not as desired as some of these schools would be by larger conferences. If results on the field mattered, and they should be, we're a player in many sports."


SOWWL: You were talking about your knowledge of Auburn ...

Kendrick: "If you and I were to make a bet on it, and took all sports and all records, I would bet West Virginia's results would be ahead of theirs.

"I'd think we'd be very competitive [in the SEC]. When we went into the Big East in basketball, we had an era where we weren't as competitive. Once they got into the Big East in basketball, it allowed them to recruit better. The kids were looking at, 'OK, we're going to be playing the best competition.'

"We attracted [Bob] Huggins back, ... I think the potential, not on Day 1, but if you were an SEC team, it will enhance their recruiting opportunity. I think they'd be very competitive in the SEC. But the SEC is clearly the most elite football conference by far. If West Virginia right now today were playing in the SEC, I wouldn't predict them to win the championship.

"But given a few years of competing and recruiting and playing those schools, I think they'll do fine. Why not upgrade the competition if you have the opportunity?"


SOWWL: So what is your preference for West Virginia conference-wise?

Kendrick: "I think I don't have a preference. What I clearly don't want to see is West Virginia in a place where you're not playing top level competition. More likely, we're going to be in a good place no matter how this ends. I think it's unsettling to the whole world of college athletics that this is going on right now."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com