This mailbag is dedicated to Nick O'Leary. It is in honor of Jack Nicklaus' grandson because the Dwyer (Fla.) High tight end and his teammates were victims of one of the royal screw jobs in football history last week.
O'Leary was suspended for two games after a middle-finger salute to the stands following a 26-22 nationally-televised loss to Cleveland Glenville at Ohio Stadium. Nicklaus was in the stands watching O'Leary and Dwyer become a victim of the officials and the camera. The only reason the kid was penalized by the Florida state high school association is that his actions were televised.
Actions that were completely understandable.
I've never seen a team jobbed by the officials as much as Dwyer was in the closing moments of that game. Replays cleared showed that O'Leary's teammate caught a 25-yard touchdown pass inbounds. When Dwyer got near the goal line for the potential game-winning touchdown, there were clock issues. Dwyer quarterback Jacoby Brissett was ruled to have to been stopped on two quarterback sneaks. Folks, at least one of those was a touchdown.
O'Leary issued this statement apologizing, then adding, "We scored three times in the last two minutes and were never awarded a touchdown."
So, yeah, O'Leary deserves to be upset. What's this got to do with Showdown Saturday? Miami, take heart. Five days after that game, the Canes come to that same Ohio Stadium Saturday trying to right a seven-year wrong. In keeping with the spirit of the weekend we refer any other comment to the Dwyer coach.
No one has written the real story about BYU going independent and why it will work ... and that is the number of BYU alumni or fans who live outside of Utah. Having read many of your articles, I believe you would be the best for the research and delivery of the article.
It would be interesting to have research done on the top schools, or all FBS schools, on how many alumni live outside of their own state. For example, I am a BYU fan and I live in California, not Utah. There are many BYU fans like me not in Utah. It would be interesting to also see how many Texas Longhorn alumni live outside of Texas, how many Florida Gator alumni live outside of Florida, or how many Ohio State Buckeye alumni live outside of Ohio.
These schools can all get by with having local TV to reach its fan base. BYU needs national TV to reach its fan base. The only teams I think would parallel BYU's out-of-state alumni numbers are Notre Dame,
It is not uncommon for large schools to have hundreds of thousands of living alumni. I recall doing a story once where a school had 450,000 living alumni. (Timeout: I have no idea I always write 'living alumni'. It's assumed that all alumni are living, right? OK, maybe not some of those at Notre Dame judging from a walk through the tailgaters last week in South Bend.)
The alumni figure is basically in proportion to enrollment. I would suspect that BYU has a similar number of alumni as, say, UCLA which would have a lot more than USC. While having a large alumni base helps, it also helps to have winning teams. Donors are more likely to give when a team is winning.
It is easy to conclude that Notre Dame, then, has a lot of rich alumni. In its case, a lot of rich subway alumni too.
In-state or out-state really doesn't matter. BYU has always benefitted from its worldwide fan base. One of my favorite places to visit in the islands is BYU-Hawaii on Oahu. Independence makes sense for BYU because someone is will pay for it, notably ESPN. The school has partnered up with the Worldwide Leader. There is an executive there named Dave Brown who is known as a matchmaker, arranging attractive non-conference games for the network.
BYU has a scheduling agreement with Notre Dame and the WAC. What I'm wondering is how it will get games in October and November when everyone else is playing conference games. ESPN sees value in it because BYU enhances their image, little more. I can't imagine BYU bringing huge bucks to ESPN. Having BYU just means the next time the network goes to do a deal having the Cougars gives credibility to that Worldwide Leader label.
In short, if you're on ESPN you matter.
As for BYU TV, the school's network likely will only show one or two football games and a handful of basketball games each season. You lose me in your argument when you say " ... these schools can all get by with having local TV to reach its fan base." Every major conference, including the Mountain West, has a rightsholder that broadcasts its games nationwide.
It's not until you get down to the MAC, WAC and Sun Belt level that local television is involved. In short, BYU will succeed as an independent because ESPN believes it can sell enough advertising for its games to make the ratings work.
Dennis, I understand you enjoy seeing Miami being down. To say that that the (2003 Fiesta Bowl) call was correct is ridiculous and to also to say that there were three other offenses on the same play is even more ridiculous.
Nothing like opening up seven-year-old wounds. I'll say it again: The play in question was a judgment call. I reasonable person can disagree. The problem was with field judge Terry Porter waiting so long to throw the flag. It indicated indecisiveness.
Also, you misread the story. I didn't say there were three "other" infractions on the play. I said, there could have been two or three infractions total. If you look at the film, Miami's Glenn Sharpe can be called for illegal contact and defensive holding on Ohio State's Chris Gamble before the pass interference call.
If you really want to argue that Miami got screwed, I think another official in the end zone signaled incomplete pass. I think he has gone into hiding in Tibet.
You assume that every reader follows sports like it matters, say, as much as the economy or world peace. When you write an opinion piece consider leading the story with the simple facts. What exactly did Reggie Bush do? Aside from your references that he may have took money and that he was to be competing as a non-compensated student-athlete... was he a good running back or a great running back? Did the money make him faster ala steroids?
No, but it cheated the athletes who played by the rules and competed as amateurs. I've never believed that old saw about what happened on the field matters most. If that's the case, why didn't USC use Carson Palmer of the Bengals as its quarterback in '04 and '05?
I understand the hypocrisy of kids getting nothing while the NCAA makes billions. But you've got to start somewhere with the rules. Bush's "crimes" were so heinous that they could not be ignored. Wonder if Oklahoma cares about being beaten that night by a kid who was competing essentially as a pro? You already know Auburn's feelings from '04. It thinks it should be champion.
Steroids? Call what Reggie Bush took financial steroids.
Nice going on the political cheap shot at (George) Bush. Everyone, from the U.S. Congress, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, to the UN believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
Mission accomplished, big boy. You just made my argument for me. Why did everyone from Congress to the Senate to the U.N. believe there were WMD? Because they were fed a pack of lies by the Bush administration which sold us the second Iraq war like it was a breakfast cereal.
New, improved Baseless War Granola!
In the aftermath of 9/11, we needed to take out our frustration on somebody. Why did that frustration contained inside the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan. I seem to recall there were some Egyptians and Saudi Arabians involved in 9/11. Oh, but wait. They're our allies.
Ask yourself, where are we eight years later with Iraq. Withdrawn, having left a shell of a country that is going to descend into chaos now that we have left. Congratulations Mr. Bush.
Dennis, Why did you pick Air Force over BYU, and Army over Hawaii?
Don't tell Charles, but I'm patriotic.