Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:50 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 2:51 pm

A small victory for player welfare

Ereck Plancher may be gone but his story is still alive. Thank goodness, because we are not soon going to forget it.

Plancher died three years ago this month due to complications from sickle cell trait while involved in offseason drills at Central Florida. A former teammate says coach George O'Leary banned water and banished trainers prior to Plancher's collapse. Based on that information, a Florida judge said the family could go ahead with a punitive damages lawsuit against the school. Florida law typically caps compensation in such wrongful death cases. This means the suit can go forward.

At stake are a lot of reputations. Certainly, the NCAA's rep is out there again. It was only last year it began recommending that programs test for sickle cell trait. In this case, and the case of several other athletes since the beginning of this century, they were a little late. Central Florida AD Keith Tribble's future could be impacted. Tribble's name has come up for the Miami AD vacancy. Tribble, a former Orange Bowl executive director, has extensive ties to South Florida. 

I would mention coach George O'Leary but he appears to be coated with Teflon. Not only did Plancher die but another one of his players, Brandon Davis, collapsed nine months later. I asked the coach of a Knights' recruit if he had been told by Central Florida recruiters what happened to Davis

Davis was "dehydrated," the high school coach was told. 

"[They] think he was at a late-night party beforehand," the coach added.

That about sums it up, right? Kid was partying. It was his fault. That's not enough for the Florida judicial system in the Plancher case.

"It's not about compensating the Plancher family, it's about stopping football programs from disregarding the safety of student athletes," said Steven Yerrid, the Plancher's attorney. "That's the message. Punitive damage is not designed to compensate the plaintiffs. They're designed to punish the wrongdoers and send a message that that type of conduct will not be allowed. We intend to send that message across the collegiate community. Those that haven't listened, will start listening." 

This is one small victory for players' welfare. When they sign scholarship papers, no one tells them that it took 35 years for the NCAA to make sickle cell trait testing mandatory. It doesn't update them on the lawsuits that continue to pour in. Or that the football culture doesn't send players to the hospital, workouts do.

Thank God, Ereck Plancher's story is still alive, even if he isn't. 
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: March 10, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 4:53 pm

The NCAA responds harshly to Baylor criticism

As is its habit these days, the NCAA does not take criticism lightly. The association responded sharply on Thursday to criticism in the Baylor case. Perry Jones III was declared ineligible this week after his mother accepted a loan from Jones' AAU coach (since repaid). The coach also paid for Jones to go to an NFL preseason game.

Baylor officials were livid that the NCAA made the final ruling on Jones six hours before Wednesday's first-round Big 12 tournament game. The NCAA isn't shy these days. In this release on its website, it whacked the Bears across the knuckles ...

Baylor University’s criticism of the NCAA for its reinstatement decision regarding men’s basketball studen-athlete Perry Jones is off base, related to timing, process and precedent.

In particular, the university denounced the timing of the decision, which occurred just prior to the start of the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament. The university also claimed the decision was inconsistent with other recent eligibility reinstatement decisions.

In fact, on multiple occasions starting in January, the NCAA notified Baylor University of potential eligibility issues with the student-athlete. It wasn’t until Monday that Baylor declared Mr. Jones ineligible and sought reinstatement from the NCAA. After immediately reviewing the request and also having to seek additional information, the NCAA student-athlete reinstatement staff received the final information it requested Tuesday evening and issued its decision Wednesday morning.

Regarding comparisons to other cases, each situation is different and has a different set of facts. In this specific case, the student-athlete and his family actually received benefits, including a trip, with the total benefit amount of more than $4,100. This sets the case apart from the (Cam) Newton case, where there was no sufficient evidence of benefits being provided or direct involvement by the student-athlete.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Baylor, NCAA
Posted on: March 9, 2011 10:29 pm

Baylor's Jones declared ineligible, another Cam?

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cam Newton meet Perry Jones III?

Baylor's second-leading scorer was declared ineligible Wednesday for sort of the same reason that Auburn's quarterback went free last year. The NCAA ruled that Jones' mother accepted three, 15-day loans from Jones' AAU coach while the player was still in high school. Baylor said Jones had no knowledge of the loans. 

Sound familiar? Newton was allowed to keep playing in December after the NCAA ruled that the player had no knowledge of his father's solicitation of money from Mississippi State. Baylor said the loans were repaid in a "timely manner." If you want to make a comparison, the difference in this case is that money actually changed hands.  

"This outcome appears to be inconsistent with other recent, widely discussed NCAA decisions," Baylor AD Ian McCaw said.

Baylor officials could barely conceal their disgust. After dealing with this situation since December, they were upset that the ruling came out on the same day of the opening of the Big 12 tournament. McCaw said the school found out about the ruling at about noon, approximately six hours before Wednesday's tip off with Oklahoma. The Bears, 18-13, then officially slid off the NCAA tournament bubble, losing to the Sooners, 84-67.

"I hope no one ever has to go through what we had to go through the last six hours," coach Scott Drew said.

"It's like somebody coming into your house and punching your little brother," teammate Quincy Acy said. 

Baylor is appealing the case. Regardless, Jones' next stop is most likely the NIT or the NBA. If is not reinstated at Baylor, Jones already is considered a top-five NBA draft choice after one season in college. The 6-foot-11 freshman from Duncanville, Texas averaged 13.9 points and was the Bears' second-leading rebounder (7.2). He was Drew's highest-rated recruit having been rated a top-10 prospect by MaxPreps.  

The NCAA is cracking down on third-party influence in both football and basketball recruiting. Baylor contends that Jones had a relationship with his AAU coach since at least the sixth grade. The AAU coach also paid for Jones to go an NFL preseason game in San Diego, according to the school. 

Jones was a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale Award, given to the nation's top freshman.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Baylor, NBA, NCAA, NIT, Oklahoma
Posted on: March 8, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2011 2:50 pm

Not much gray area with Tressel

Here's what bothers me: By the end of the month, we'll still be talking about some hoops darling or another has captured our attention, or Duke has captured another championship.

Yeah, me too. Yawn. It hasn't been a great college basketball season. Good, but not great. As for offseason college football scandals? Tremendous. Oregon, Ohio State and Iowa football are trying to redefine March Madness. Get another office pool cranking. Is there an early line on Jim Tressel's job security?

Which is kind of where we're at. Oregon probably will skate on the Will Lyles' recruiting dust up. Unless the NCAA uncovers a direct payoff, $25,000 is a bit much for a recruiting service but there is nothing specific in the bylaws to prevent it. The guess is that the Houston-based recruiting service guy will get his hand slapped and Oregon will be more frugal in its spending. I still think the Iowa story is being underplayed. There is still the possibility that someone/people is/are getting fired over the rhabdo scare

But this Tressel thing doesn't have much gray area, does it? Yahoo! Sports reported Monday that the Ohio State coach knew about some of his players becoming pawn stars , or whatever you want to call them, for selling their game gear. It's a concern that Yahoo based its story on an anonymous source, but given their quality of investigative reporting there is little reason to doubt the story. It's a bigger concern for Ohio State that The Senator is being called out on an either/or issue.

It seems to me that either Tressel knew or didn't know months in advance of December's revelation that his players were selling items to Edward Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus, in violation of NCAA rules. There's not much gray area there. If he didn't know, he has to say so. We'll find out more at a 7 p.m. press conference featuring Tressel, AD Gene Smith and president Gordon Gee. Until then, if it's not true, why not issue a denial now?

There are plenty of skeptics who can't figure how the Buckeye Five were guilty enough to be suspended for the first five games of 2011 but were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl

If Tressel did know, well, then that opens up a whole new can of Bucknuts. The NCAA will be interested. So, probably, will be the U.S. Attorney's office which is where Ohio State said it learned about the situation. The NCAA won't tolerate two things: unethical conduct (re: lying) and academic fraud. Bruce Pearl is waiting for his sentence from the NCAA on the former. Tressel is waiting for a copy of his contract. If it isn't at his fingertips, it soon will be. Pay particular attention to the clause that says failure to report "any violations" could lead to termination.

In short, we're about see how much Teflon surrounds the Buckeye don. Don't forget Ohio State while Tressel deals with this accusation, the school is in the process of appealing those player suspensions. 

In case you haven't noticed, we have entered a new era of accountability in college sports. Maybe it's more media outlets. Maybe it's more media knowing how to file a Freedom of Information Act request. Maybe cheaters are getting sloppy. It doesn't matter. In this digital era, there is a record of everything. Sadly, that even includes "Charlie's Korner." We, the media, have taken the next step up in scrutinizing public institutions. It is up to college athletics to erect the next firewall.

This Yahoo source seemingly has the power to take down a football factory. Meanwhile, Selection Sunday is approaching. Madness is in the air. Let's hope that basketball somehow gets into the conversation.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Ohio State
Posted on: March 3, 2011 12:38 am
Edited on: March 3, 2011 12:41 am

Utah president says BCS is vulnerable, sort of

SALT LAKE CITY -- Michael Young knows the law. Specifically, Harvard Law. (That was his law school.) Early in his career, Utah's president clerked for Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist.

So the question seemed logical when I posed it to Young Wednesday in his office: With your background, what do you think of the legal challenges to the BCS?

Young believes the BCS is most vulnerable when it comes to estricting fair trade, the anti-trust angle.

"That's the only place you could win," he said.

The usual calls for anti-trust action have been replaced by challenges to the BCS bowls' tax-exempt status.  Young gave BCS haters everywhere hope when he said, "I actually think that there is probably a perspective where you could take it all the way and win the case [against the BCS]."

Remember, this is a guy who recently crossed over to the "dark side", from non-BCS to BCS. Utah joins the Pac-12 this year.

Young's comments came the same day as NCAA president Mark Emmert said the association would "be happy" to help create a playoff. Emmert's predecessor, the late Myles Brand, told me the same thing a few years ago. Of course, the NCAA would be happy to help with a playoff. It would profit from it (along the membership too, of course). 

The reason the BCS exists is to keep it out of the hands of the NCAA. Point being, that the NCAA is powerless to create a playoff unless there is a sudden shift in the opinions of college presidents. 

"An anti-trust case could go a little further," Young said. "The question is does [the BCS] tie up the market? I think the BCS' argument is that it doesn't because ... these are the [power-conference] schools that people care to watch."

What undermines that argument, Young said, is TV ratings. When non-BCS schools have gotten into BCS bowls, those games have done respectable ratings numbers. It's not necessarily all about televising the top 40 football factories. For example, ABC's telecast of the Rose Bowl (featuring TCU) had the second-largest bowl audience of the season, according to reports, behind only the BCS title game.

Young's experience in Washington, D.C. -- he also worked for four years in the State Department -- make him cynical. He wondered how many legislators from the states of major football powers (Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, for example) would attack the BCS. Maybe that's why Obama the Candidate used his call for an eight-team playoff as a populist ploy. Obama the President knows there is no way in hell, he could legitimately take on the BCS while in office with gas approaching $4 a gallon.

It's much more important to fix the country than to fix a sport. 

"Somebody is going to figure out there is a bonanza out there to create a playoff system," Young said. "Once they see it and put the money up, it will happen."

Young was reminded that Mark Cuban is organizing a playoff war chest. So far, it has been ignored. Also, ABC essentially proposed a Plus One 6 1/2 years ago with the same result. 

"What will blow up the BCS isn't going to be all this noise on the sideline," Young said. "What will blow up the BCS is when the [TV rightsholders] realize they can create a March Madness with football, when any of the major networks decide, 'This is bigger than the Olympics.' "

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, NCAA, TCU, Utah
Posted on: February 23, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 10:42 am

It doesn't look that bad for Tennessee

What does it take these days to get lack of institutional control?

We may be about to find out. Connecticut basketball didn't get it on Tuesday. Tennessee's basketball coach went so far off the reservation in lying to the NCAA that he needed a sherpa to get back. Tennessee's former football coach, already allegedly a serial secondary violator, got more thrown at him Wednesday when the NCAA's notice of allegations finally came out.

Bruce Pearl lied. Lane Kiffin pushed the envelope ... off the table all the way into the paper shredder. All we get is "failure to monitor" and "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance". If Jim Calhoun didn't blink after being suspended for three games next season consider the Vols. After 22 months of an NCAA proctology exam, Wednesday read a lot like a net win for Tennessee.

Major violations? Sure. It's conceivable that Ol' Mr. Unethical Conduct himself, Pearl, could be suspended for a year. He could also still return after that year which, you have to admit, would be a plus for the Tennessee basketball program considering his winning percentage. Outlandish? About as outlandish as how Tennessee got to this place meaning anything is possible. Assistant Tony Jones did all right (5-3) in Pearl's absence.

Kiffin has taken his act to USC where the penalties could follow. So how bad can it get? If you're Tennessee, it's damn embarrassing if a) the basketball coach gets suspended and b) if he comes back. For football, figure it will be nothing more than a slap on the wrist -- some recruiting visits, maybe some scholarships. 

That's what staying away from the dreaded lack of institutional control gets you. That designation from the NCAA is about as bad as it gets in these cases and indicates "a systematic breakdown in compliance," according to an association spokesman. Having it on their record keeps coaches and administrators from getting better jobs. The last two BCS schools to get slapped with institutional control were Arizona State baseball in December and USC football in June. Both schools were given postseason bans. That seemingly isn't going to happen at Tennessee.

For what it's worth, Arizona State is first all-time with nine major penalty cases.

Kiffin is the gift that keeps on giving in Knoxville. He was on that USC staff during the years in question. (To be fair, he is not named in the infractions report.) He was the head coach for one tumultuous year with the Vols. The NCAA wouldn't drop the institutional control label until the final infractions report. But for now, overall, it looks "good" for Tennessee. The NCAA alleged "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance ... and failure to monitor ..." in the football program. That's almost always considered a major violation. Bad. In this case, not damning.  

The "atmosphere of compliance" allegation is the same one that Rich Rodriguez and Michigan vigorously fought. It was eventually left out of the NCAA's final report in the case regarding abuse of weekly workout time limits under Rodriguez. The dropping of that charge essentially made it much easier for Rodriguez to find his next job. 

A further question is what will follow Kiffin to USC? Kelvin Sampson was found to be a serial violator at Oklahoma and Indiana. He was eventually given a five-year show-cause order, the NCAA's kiss of death when it comes to being able to find work. Rick Neuheisel was in a similar situation at Washington. After he moved from Colorado, the NCAA banned him from off-campus recruiting for a year. Could the same happen to Kiffin, and what would his new boss, Pat Haden, think about it? It would be hard to rebuild USC without being able to go out on the road for a while.

"The penalties are directed at the [originating] university," said NCAA spokesman Stacey Osburn. "However, there are things like a show-cause order that could follow a coach regardless of where they are, where it limits their athletically-related duties."

There is precious little in the allegations about the Tennessee Orange Pride scandal, at least on the record. The New York Times reported 14 months ago that the student ambassador group had been used to make improper contact with recruits. The Times report said Tennessee hostesses were traveling to South Carolina to see recruits play. Former assistant David Reaves is mentioned in a heavily-redacted section mentioning impermissible phone calls and text messages.

 The most interesting part of the allegations might be in section 9 c. The NCAA says Kiffin allowed recruiting intern Steve Rubio to make impermissible contact with the staff at Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, Rubio's old school. The NCAA says the contact occurred after Kiffin and Rubio were both told by Tennessee's football operations guy that Rubio couldn't enter the grounds while accompanying a coach on a recruiting visit. This occurred, the NCAA said, before Rubio was certified to recruit off campus.

Rubio is now current Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's director of player personnel.

Vacating wins are at least on the table: Tennessee is being asked by the NCAA for "a list of the institution's win-loss record for the past four seasons." I'm told that's fairly boiler plate in these types of investigations. But it's also the type of language that was included at Florida State before Bobby Bowden had to give up those wins.

Is all that enough reason to be worried? After 22 months during which it was jilted by one coach and suffered the lies of another, Tennessee still has to feel "good".
Category: NCAAF
Tags: NCAA, Tennessee
Posted on: February 18, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 4:57 pm

Dodd mail 2/18/11

Sometimes there isn't enough room, even on the Internet. Here are four more spring things to follow 25 Spring Things To Watch  ...

YouTube sensation Johnny McEntee called this week. We chatted a bit about the fallout from his monster video "Johnny Mack Trick Shot Quarterback"

The Connecticut quarterback is a fourth-year walk-on from Southern California. The reason he came East is because he got only Division III interest in the L.A. area. At least at UConn, he gets to experience a big-time program. When I asked him his status for this season, he confidently stated "backup". McEntee hasn't thrown a pass in three seasons. 

He says news outlets from around the world have e-mailed with questions (Japan, Hungary, Italy). As of Friday, the video had been viewed 4.6 million times. It took about 14 hours on one day a couple of weeks ago to get all the tricks accomplished. Did he ever anticipate a lazy Saturday with a camera turning into such a sensation? 

"No way," Johnny Mac said. "It's crazy." 

As for the future, there has to be a way of monetizing -- big corporate word -- his talents. Maybe a series of Johnny Mac Trick Shot videos? The public is willing to watch them. Would they be willing to pay for them?

"I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it," he said.

Don't be a former Miami coach: Got to thinking about this when Randy Shannon recently spurned Maryland which was ready to give the former Hurricanes' coach a soft landing spot as defensive coordinator. The Baltimore Sun reported that Shannon turned down the job because he would have lost $1.5 million in buyout money from Miami. It looks like it is more lucrative to sit on the sidelines as an ex-Hurricane coach than to be employed. 

It's not exactly a curse but consider the careers of these former Miami coaches since Jimmy Johnson ... None of them improved their career after leaving the Hurricanes. Which is strange. Howard Schnellenberger had been in the NFL. JJ was at Oklahoma State. They actually made their careers in South Florida.

Dennis Erickson, at Miami 1989-94: He went to a BCS bowl with Oregon State and dallied with the Seahawks before spending one year at Idaho. In his last three seasons at Arizona State, Erickson is 15-21.  

Butch Davis, 1995-2000: Butch restored Miami to national contention then abruptly left for the NFL where he was largely unsuccessful. Davis has never won more than eight games at North Carolina. His best coaching job may have come in 2010 after suspensions and blossoming agent scandal crippled the program.

Larry Coker, 2001-06: Deserves more credit than he ever gets from vicious Miami fans. Coker kept together the 2001 recruiting class when Davis left, then won a national championship in his first season. Currently, Coker is the coach at Texas-San Antonio which is on track to migrate to Division I-A and join the WAC.

Bet Al Golden didn't think about any of that when he took the job. He's better off thinking about this: The last four Miami coaches are a combined 36-11 in their first seasons.

Nebraska Nowledge: Nebraska fans got their wish -- again. New conference. New offensive coordinator.

It was announced Wednesday that Tim Beck (promoted from running backs coach) has replaced Shawn Watson and will help with the installation of the new zone read option offense. One issue: As of Friday afternoon, no one really knows what happened to Watson. Was he fired? Did he resign? Is he jumping the Snake River Canyon in a rocket? Is he still on staff sweeping the halls? Nebraska isn't saying and no one can seem to find Watson. Bet that he is quietly going about finding his next job. 

What Bo Pelini did was spare Watson the public embarrassment of being fired or having to resign. In a convoluted way, that's a classy move by Bo.

As for Beck, the hope is that quarterback Taylor Martinez stays healthy enough -- and, ahem, determined enough -- to run the new offense. Hanging over the situation is the addition of recruit Bubba Starling -- for now. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Starling could compete for the starting job in August, or sign with a Major League team

You read it here first: On Thursday, TCU and BYU announced their Oct. 28 game at Cowboys Stadium. That was a week after Dodds and Ends had it.   

This week's feedback feedbag ...

From: Grant

Dennis, I have been in the medical profession for 14 years. The issue here is DEHYDRATION. These kids were obviously worked to extreme conditions but they were not hydrated properly. I have seen Rhabdo over the years in the hospital and you can't believe the ridiculous situations people put themselves through that leads to this condition. You might want to consider an article regarding the lack of proper hydration and where was Iowa's nutritional staff? Just a thought.


It's hard to believe in this day and age that coaches are still keeping players from getting enough water. That's Junction Boys type of stuff. How in the name of Vince Lombardi does that make them better football players.  

Of course, none of us know what happened (yet) at Iowa. That's part of the reason I wrote the story. As long as this mystery hangs over the program everything is on the table. Dehydration? Creatine? Transfers? We don't know if the players were mistreated. We don't know if they'll all be back next season. We don't know if everyone on the staff will still have a job in a couple of months. 

I do know there are some parents that are upset. They should be. 

From: Wally

Hey Dennis, This is a good article because this kind of thing needs to be brought to the fore. However, I don't see any part of the story that says that some players actually want to leave......? I also liked your coverage of the pay-for-play scam that the Rev. (Cecil) Newton and his son were leveraging on the title-hungry SEC. It is really too bad that has all died out - it was a HUGE story ... Keep up the good work.......your opinion IS appreciated.


Thanks for the kind words. Don't know how you found your way in here with all the haters from Iowa. 

As to your point, once again, we don't KNOW how many kids want to leave. That's the story. Questions need to be asked. I tried to find out, believe me. That's all I can do. There is no information coming out of Iowa. It's our (media) job to get as much information as we can. The public deserves it. None of us should have to wait three months for the school's own investigation to tell us what happened. 

The angle of the story is that a noted compliance source -- AND the NCAA -- saying that -- given history -- there's a chance that several players could leave. People don't seem to realize this is an historic event. I've never heard of 13 Division I-A football players going to the hospital at the same time after a workout at their own school. There is a rule in place, thank goodness, to possibly allow them relief. 

I talked to one of my health professional sources this week who said he believes this will "blow over." I asked why. The source said, "They didn't care when 21 players died, why should they care now?" That's sad.

From: Rickford

If (Jadeveon) Clowney gives South Carolina as many wins as Da'Quan Bowers gave Clemson, Gamecock fans will be sorely disappointed. All Clemson eyes will be on Clowney for how he compares to Bowers. That may be one reason he didn't go to Clemson. 

Carolina On Your Mind:

Are you intimating that the history and tradition of SOUTH CAROLINA swayed the nation's No. 1 recruit. I just checked: In the last five years year, Clemson has been exactly 1 1/2 games better than Carolina (39-27 vs. 37-28). Carolina has won three of the five head-to-head meetings. That, to me, makes it all but even. 

Tiebreaker? Carolina's in the SEC where, as I pointed out here, guys like Clowney tend to dominate and subsequently make millions of dollars. 

From: L.E.

Conspicuously absent from your pre-season Top 25 is Brigham Young. 

You could be right, but I rather think BYU is much more of a top 10 team. Spring ball will tell, but when you look at the way BYU came on offensively late in the year, the upgrade to staff over the offseason, the 10 returning starters on offense and six on defense that started the first five games in 2010 ranked below 100 in total defense; then average less than 230 yards per game over the final eight games. That team could be an enormous sleeper.

We'll know a lot when they open at Mississippi and Texas, but do not be surprised if they win both, defeat UTAH and UCF at home to start the season. Honestly Dennis, I doubt they mind being in the shadows, but do not be surprised if they are not a top 10 team by midseason, with only Oregon State and Hawaii on the road standing between them and an undefeated year, a slate much tougher than any Boise State ever had and no MWC anchor to tie them down to that non-AQ league status. 

BYU travels well...could be a BCS buster for sure. 

Coug for Life:

The basic question is whether BYU will be able to survive as an independent. I'm on record as saying no. Its biggest plus is not talent or the schedule, it is ESPN as a scheduling partner. 

BYU needs games. ESPN will get it games. But will BYU be able to win enough of those games to get a BCS bid? In that sense, it now has the same access to the BCS as Army and Navy. (Notre Dame has its own special privileged access to the BCS.) In other words, it's now HARDER for BYU to get to a BCS bowl. The problem in the Mountain West is that BYU was mediocre-to-good at about at the same time TCU and Utah blew up. BYU couldn't KEEP up. What makes you think that an arguably more ambitious schedule as an independent is going to make things better?

From: Dr. Greg

Dennis, what coach (Rich Rodriguez) does not understand is that he thought he was hired to FIX something. He kept saying it would take time to FIX. Michigan was not broke! They competed for Big Ten titles every year. They were in the national title hunt a few times. They went to bowl games 30 straight years!! He never built on that success. He ruined it.

Doc Wolverine:

Except for the bowl streak, you're a little off. Lloyd Carr was roundly criticized at the end because he didn't have Michigan back in national title contention after 1997. That basically happened once (2006) since '97. Michigan's last outright Big Ten title was 2003. (It was co-champ in 2004). Let's not forget that four of those seven consecutive losses to Ohio State are on Lloyd. 

I'm not defending Rich Rod because he failed to live up to the Michigan standard but there was some fixing to be done, no doubt.

Posted on: February 10, 2011 2:28 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 2:33 pm

National notes leading w/ TCU-Wisconsin

Let's straighten out this TCU-Wisconsin mini-controversy. There's a huge reason the Horned Frogs did not want to play the Badgers for the second time in nine months. Its 2011 schedule is all but full.

TCU took a bit of a beating in the court of public opinion this week when Badgers coach Bret Bielema casually mentioned on a radio show that he had been approached by a third party to play the Horned Frogs in Madison in 2011. TCU turned down the "offer." Words like "rematch" and "ducking" entered the conversation on the always level-headed Worldwide Interweb. 

It wasn't a true rematch in that Wisconsin wasn't willing to return the game. There was no ducking because, in truth, TCU's schedule is about to be finalized. The public just doesn't know about it yet. 

The only other opening on the TCU schedule is expected to be filled by BYU on Friday, Oct. 28 at Cowboys Stadium. Pending the final contracts, that's the way it's going to be. TCU's other non-conference games are against Baylor, SMU, Louisiana-Monroe and Portland State. The Froggies will be playing five non-conference games because there are only seven conference games in its final season in the Mountain West.

AD Chris Del Conte's "Anytime, anyplace, anywhere," blast was in reference to Ohio State after Gordon Gee's "Little Sisters of the Poor," comment during the season. It doesn't apply to Wisconsin which was not committed to a return game. TCU is at a level now that it doesn't have to take one-off games on the road. 

It has future home-and-homes scheduled with Oklahoma, Virginia, LSU and Arkansas.

England, Hong Kong weigh in on the BCS: Nothing like a little foreign influence in the BCS. 

The San Diego State International Sports MBA Case Competition is taking on the postseason system in its annual contest involving some of the world's best MBA programs. Twelve schools are being asked to present their best alternatives for postseason college football. The winning group of students will present their case this summer to Mark Cuban, a noted BCS critic and NBA referee baiter who proposed his own playoff plan last year.

Among the MBA programs involved are San Diego State, UCLA, USC, Cal, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida as well as -- wait for it -- Oxford and Hong Kong University.

"We're really interested in what they say, they have no skin in the game," said Greg Block, a media relations director at San Diego State. 

Per the press release, "The largest hurdle ... is to work around the existing personalities and relationships in the current system, making it possible for an independent, outside company to navigate the existing power structures, earn a profit and enact lasting change that is supported by all (I-A) universities."

A time-saving hint for the MBAers: They might start by calling the Rose Bowl, Big Ten and Pac-12 to figure out how to get those three entities in a playoff. No one inside the system has been able to do it yet.

A winner will be determined Friday night. 

Signed and sealed: If you want to view the inner workings of an NCAA CEO you'll have to wait another 57 years. 

Bumping around the NCAA website this week, I discovered something called the Richard D. Schultz Papers. If that sounds like something akin to presidential papers, you're right. Schultz was the NCAA's second executive director from 1987-1993, following the iconic Walter Byers. During his time NCAA basketball revenue skyrocketed, a football playoff became topical and gender equity became a major issue as Title IX took hold.

The point is, you may have to wait a while to read about it.  Schultz' papers were sealed back in 1993 for 75 years or until 2068. All 111 boxes, taking up 57 linear feet. 

"There are some documents the public will never see," said NCAA librarian Lisa Douglass. 

The records are open only to NCAA employees and to "outside researchers" at the discretion of NCAA librarian, according to the site. I don’t know how much juicy stuff is in there but Schultz was not without a bit of controversy in his career. He resigned in 1993 after an investigation into improper loans given to athletes while he was AD at Virginia. 

Juicy stuff, if you're an NCAA nerd like me and love poking around that that kind of stuff. For some reason Byers' papers are more accessible. Those of Cedric Dempsey, who replaced Schultz and Myles Brand are still being assembled.
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