Well, I survived the orgy of 48 Tournament games in 4 days. Now, all I have to do is to re-introduce myself to my long-suffering wife who may or may not have been here for most of the past 4 days. I have a spotting to report. I was almost certain this “species” had gone extinct but on Friday it showed up and proved that it does indeed live in the dark shadows of the basketball world:
In the VCU/Oregon St. game, I saw the officials call a 3-second violation. Seriously. My jaw dropped when I saw the official give the “lane-violation signal”.
Later on the same day in the Texas/Northern Iowa game, there were two 3-second violations called on back to back possessions.
I felt the way Dr. Frankenstein may have felt; I wanted to scream out, “It is alive! The 3-second violation is alive!”
Who knows? If indeed the 3-second violation percolated to the front of the minds of the game officials, perhaps we might have a sighting of a palming the ball violation sometime before this Tournament is over.
There were plenty of exciting moments over the weekend, but from here in Curmudgeon Central I feel obligated to mention the unquestionably ugliest game of the Tournament so far. The final score was Wisconsin 47 and Pitt 43. Would that I could say this was a battle between defensive titans. Actually, it was a combination of good-but-not-great defense and impossibly inept offense. Nigel Hayes is a good player for Wisconsin; he shot 3-17 from the floor. James Robinson is a good player for Pitt; he shot 3-15 from the floor. Truly an UGLY game…
After Yale beat Baylor to give the Elis their first Tournament win ever, Brad Dickson had this observation in the Omaha World-Herald:
“Yale outrebounded Baylor. So the flubber worked.”
The folks who run the PAC-12 schools have taken a step in a positive direction for collegiate athletics. They just passed a PAC-12 rule that will ban from any athletic team a transfer student who is ineligible to be re-admitted to the college from which he transferred for reasons of “misconduct”. What this means is that athletes who are dismissed from one school for reasons of anti-social behaviors will not be going to PAC-12 schools to continue their athletic careers. One of the enforcement mechanisms for that rule will be that such students are ineligible for athletic scholarships from PAC-12 schools. Here are more details on this new rule.
This is not a panacea for all that ails college (revenue) sports but it sure is a step in the right direction. So, that leads me to ask:
How come the overlords at the NCAA in Indianapolis did not think of this?
Just what is it that those folks do for a living?
Based on reports from last week, we have the potential for some juicy news tidbits over the next several months. You may recall that when Johnny Manziel was detained on charges related to domestic violence about 6 weeks ago, his agent dumped him. Now the Browns have also dumped him meaning that Manziel needs an agent to get him a contract with another team – particularly if he hopes to maintain his free-wheeling lifestyle. In what would seem to be a marriage made in Heaven for commentators, “Johnny Highball” – his new identity now that “Johnny Football” is off the table for the moment – has signed on with Drew Rosenhaus.
To be sure, not each of the 100 or so Rosenhaus clients is a “problem-child” but consider that Manziel will be joining these other players who may or may not have “issues”:
Dez Bryant (current)
Plaxico Burress (previous)
Josh Gordon (current)
Greg Hard (current)
Chad Ochocinco (previous)
Terrell Owens (previous)
Warren Sapp (previous)
Donte Stallworth (previous)
Greg Cote had this item in the Miami Herald over the weekend. I think it brings you up to date on a news story regarding the NFL from last week:
“Boca Raton hosts league meetings: A league executive, Jeff Miller, became first NFL official to acknowledge a direct link between football-related head trauma and brain disease. Meanwhile the NFL owners’ meetings are today through Wednesday in Boca.
Haven’t seen the complete agenda but I understand the main order of business is a resolution to make Jeff Miller shut up.”
Recently, Scott Ostler had a column in the SF Chronicle about the upcoming Rio Olympics and the lack of outrage over what has gone on there with regard to lack of preparation for the Games and with regard to the use of rather scarce public funds to make the Games look good on TV while averting eyes from the lack of infrastructure in Rio and in much of Brazil. As is almost always the case with Scott Ostler’s columns, this is something I suggest that you read in its entirety. You can find it here.
Finally, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times saw a nexus between a political issue here in the DC area and the NFL:
“Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have proposed a plan to pay people not to commit crimes.
“’Good luck with that,’ said 32 NFL owners in unison.
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………