There was a cheesy Sci Fi move back in the 50s called When Worlds Collide. It purported to deal with issues related to survival of the human species in the event that a newly discovered star – with planets no less – is on a collision course with the Earth. The amount of emoting and deus ex machina in this work is off the charts. Well, that sort of sets the stage for a 2014 version of When Worlds Collide except the modern version has nothing to do with an apocalyptic astronomical event; it has to do with NCAA rules.
For a “history/timeline” on this mess, go to SI.com and search for Malik McDowell. This kid is a high school defensive lineman who is highly prized. He wants to attend Michigan State but his mother wants him to go somewhere else and has refused to endorse his “Letter of Intent”. The upshot of all that is he cannot be on scholarship at Michigan State until the first day of football practice in the summer. For the moment, his mother has the ability to dictate where he can get a scholarship.
Oh, the story is even murkier than that… Malik McDowell is the product of a failed marriage. His estranged father does not want him at Michigan State either. Mom says Malik should go either to Michigan or to a school “out of state”. Dad originally did not like Michigan State’s “social scene” but he would acquiesce to Malik’s decision to go there except for one little problem:
Reportedly, he does not want to get crosswise with Mom on this because Mom also has custody of another of Dad’s kids.
Here is a little truth that the NCAA needs to admit to itself even if it will never admit this in public:
Its rules – well intentioned as they may have been when concocted – can put a high school kid in the middle of a dispute between divorced parents simply because the kid cannot sign a Letter of Intent without parental concurrence.
Way to go, NCAA. It is difficult for you as an organization to hit new low notes previously unachieved. You may have done that in this case…
Oh, by the way, I wonder if the NCAA mavens have considered the possibility that some other school has offered “consideration(s)” to either or both parents to keep this prized recruit on the “pursuable list” for a while longer. If it has not occurred to those geniuses, let me be the first to flip that light switch in their little grottos…
As Spring Training continues apace, consider the new MLB replay rules from the point of view of an umpire. A ball is hit down the line and bounces within inches of the foul line. In the past, your call was immutable; the worst that could happen to you would be an irate manager getting in your face for a brief period – and you held the ace-of-trump in that situation because you could run his ass out of the game. Now consider the situation today:
1. You call the ball “fair” and replay – based on an irate manager’s appeal – shows that you were correct. You can puff out your chest and make sure the manager knows that you are “da man”.
2. You call the ball “fair” but replay shows that it was “foul”. OK, my bad. Now add one strike to the batter’s count and get on with the game.
3. You call the ball “foul” and replay – based on an irate manager’s appeal – shows that you were correct. See #1 above.
4. Aye, here’s the rub… You call the ball “foul” but the replay shows it was “fair”. Runners have been moving all around the diamond and fielders have stopped worrying about making plays as soon as you made your call. So now, you have to eat crow in front of the manager AND you have to figure out where in the name of Abner Doubleday to put the batter and any runners that might be on base. Such a hassle…
Now, under such a logical construct, can you tell me why any umpire would call a ball landing within inches of the foul line a “foul ball”? It would not take me long to learn the outcomes here and the costs to me for “getting it wrong”.
Brad Rock had this item in a recent column in the Deseret News:
“A report last month in Virginia said a SUV registered to ex-NBAer Ben Wallace crashed into a fence, taking out a 20-foot section.
“A witness said he saw a man leave the car and smash wood pieces against the fence in frustration.
“Whoever it was, it sounds like another satisfied graduate of the Bobby Petrino/Tiger Woods School of Defensive Driving.”
Let us not forget Jason Kidd, Fred Davis, Von Miller, Dontae Stallworth and Tonya Harding as other potential graduates of this “School of Defensive Driving”…
The inclusion of Redskins’ tight end, Fred Davis on the list above seems most appropriate based on this link.
Finally, does this observation from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald offer a real insight into the world of Middle America?
“The Nebraska Beef Council has begun a search for Nebraska’s best burger. This is like the race for governor, only of more importance to Nebraskans.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………