The Clock Is Ticking …

On 11 September, the Washington Post had this item buried in the midst of its Sports Digest section:

“… Bruce Pearl acknowledged providing misleading and incorrect information to the NCAA during a 17-month investigation into possible recruiting violations.”

The item went on to say that the University of Tennessee had reduced Pearl’s contract by $1.5M over the life of the contract and had barred him from off-campus recruiting for a year starting later this month.

That news is now between 72 and 96 hours old and I still have not heard from the NCAA on this. Last year, the NCAA suspended Dez Bryant for a full season because he lied to NCAA investigators about his dealings with Deion Sanders. We now have an admission by Bruce Pearl that he did the same thing. Please do not parse “providing misleading and incorrect info” to mean anything but “lying”. The NCAA set that precedent last year; how long will it take for them to either:

    a. Apply the same standard to Bruce Pearl – – or – –

    b. Explain why there is a different set of punishments for coaches than there is for players.

I have no reason to want to see the University of Tennessee’s basketball program injured nor do I bear Bruce Pearl any animus at all. The point is that the NCAA overlords set a standard for lying to their super-sleuths during an investigation/inquiry and the NCAA needs to apply that standard when they run across lying to their super-sleuths. Given an admission by the liar about 96 hours ago, I am wondering just what is going on in Fantasyland – – er – – NCAA Headquarters.

By the way, just as an aside, I believe that lying to investigators in the world outside NCAA athletics is often referred to as “obstruction of justice” and society in general does not hold obstructers of justice in high esteem…

In news that is about as surprising as the fact that the sun will set in the west this evening, one of John Calipari’s recruits at Kentucky is under the microscope. As of this moment, there is no allegation that someone else took his SATs for him or that his high school transcripts might not be fully reflective of his academic achievements. The “problem” this time is that the player has been a professional basketball player in Turkey for more than a couple of years. It is amazing that Calipari and/or his recruiters saw enough of the kid playing basketball without realizing he was wearing a professional uniform and playing against other professional players.

Georgia WR, AJ Green is serving a 4-game suspension because he sold one of his game-worn jerseys to a person whom the NCAA defines as an agent. I know folks love to turn this situation into a rehash of the debate as to whether or not college football players deserve to be paid. Maybe they do, but AJ Green’s situation is hardly proof-positive for that assertion. Recently Green said, “Someone is going to pay” for his suspension.

    Memo to AJ Green: Find a friend on campus majoring in PR and Communications and have that friend work with you on better phraseology here.

It will not take you long to use Google to check this out if you wish. The University of Miami functions under the oversight and guidance of its Board of Trustees. When you hear about the lofty goals of universities as centers of knowledge and research, remember that this particular University – – self-described as “one of the nation’s leading private research universities” – – takes its direction from this Board of Trustees. One of its National Members is Alex E. Rodriguez – – known to most sports fans as A-Rod.

Alex Rodriguez is one hell of a baseball player and he did sign a letter of intent to play baseball for Miami back in the day. He even made a big donation to the school to modernize the baseball facility there. Nevertheless, he never attended college; he has played baseball all of his adult life. Therefore, can someone explain how he provides oversight and guidance to “one of the nation’s leading private research universities”? What’s next:

    Wilt Chamberlain as Professor Emeritus of Family Planning at Kansas

    Matt Leinart as the Fred Astaire Chair Professor in Ballroom Dancing at USC

    OJ Simpson as Chairman of the Criminology Dept at USC

    Dave Bliss as Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Board of Regents at Baylor?

Might I humbly suggest that Alex Rodriguez is more appropriately suited to be a member of the Pharmacology Department at “The U”…

The UFL season begins this weekend. If you are interested, you can see games telecast on Versus or HDNet if your cable carrier provides access to those channels. This year, I can find links to UFL games on one of the Internet sportsbooks that I check for lines. The links were not there last year. However, 96 hours before the kickoff for the season, there are no spreads or totals posted when you hit the links to see what the wagering situation is.

I mention this because the development of wagering interest on UFL games would be an important milestone for the UFL regarding its survivability. Despite the fact that I constantly warn folks not to bet on a game just because you can watch it, there are folks who do just that. A synergy exists in terms of viewers and followers of the league that correlates with wagering opportunities. The NFL would never admit it, but betting on games versus the spread was a huge factor in the explosion of interest in pro football in the 1960s. It will be interesting to see if UFL lines show up in a variety of places this season. I will check to see if they are available in Vegas when I go on my Autumnal Pilgrimage next month…

Finally, here is a note from Greg Cote in the Miami Herald:

“Looks like Josh Johnson might be done for the season because of shoulder inflammation, denying the Marlins’ bullpen opportunities to blow more victories for him.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…

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