Recall the festivities surrounding the NCAA investigation into wrongdoing by University of Miami teams involving convicted felon Nevin Shapiro. To say this whole affair is a sordid tale would be to grace it with a level of righteousness that it does not deserve. The more information that comes to light the surer I am that there are no completely “good guys” in the whole mess.
On the heels of stories that forced the NCAA to repudiate the early stages of the investigation and to fire the lead investigator and on the heels of “testimony” by Nevin Shapiro that he broke every rule and every precept of the NCAA’s “student-athlete, there was a story last weekend in the Miami Herald that makes all of that look like kindergarten recess. That report said:
Shapiro – convicted and sitting in a jail cell convicted of securities fraud and running a Ponzi scheme – sent a letter to a Florida judge saying that he (Shapiro) committed perjury when he testified against another man who had been charged with “running a $132M check cashing scheme”. [Aside: I have difficulty wrapping my mind around a check cashing scheme that could possibly involve $132M but I guess that just means I do not think big in terms of criminal activities.]
Shapiro also claims in that letter that his own “high profile lawyers” knew he was going to lie under oath and knowingly allowed him to do so.
Nevin Shapiro is the lynchpin in the NCAA’s investigation into wrongdoing by the University of Miami.
If you would like to read what the NCAA’s star witness is all about according to the latest information available to the Miami Herald, here is the link you want.
You have to have heard the old adage that politics makes for strange bedfellows. An item posted on the The Sports Economist blog on 21 May surely makes that point. The way that the Minnesota legislature figured that it would pay the State’s portion of the construction costs for the new Vikings’ stadium in Minneapolis was to create new “e-gambling opportunities” in the State and then to tax those new activities such that the revenue would cover the State’s obligation. That sounds like a plan; no new taxes; no spending cuts to pay for a stadium; yes, there will be a new stadium. What could go wrong?
The only glitch seems to be that the actual revenue stream from this new revenue stream is not a tsunami; rather it more resembles a trickle and that leaves the politicians with a problem because they promised the good people of Minnesota that stadium funding would not come out of the State’s general fund. Ooops…
And so, what has happened is that politicians are now going around the state to “drum up interest” in the e-gambling ventures along with folks from the gaming industry and the folks who will benefit from the profits after taxes to the State. These are the same politicians who would rather suffer an aneurism than come out publicly in favor of sports betting in Minnesota, but now that there is a need for more tax revenue without raising existing tax rates on people or businesses, they are going around telling folks it is a good idea to play these “e-gambling games”.
In related news, Diogenes just declared the Minnesota legislature a barren patch when it comes to truly honest men…
Speaking of sports gambling, most of the Internet sportsbooks have the Over/Under for the NY Jets win total in 2013 at 6.5. In no way do I think that the Jets are going to play in the Super Bowl game that will happen in their home stadium next February; at the same time, the Over bet here might make some sense. The Jets have a relatively soft landing for the end of the season after their bye-week in early November. Here are their final 7 games:
Folks, that is not “Murderer’s Row”; Baltimore and Carolina look to be playoff contenders in 2013 but the other five opponents do not. There could be 4 and possibly 5 wins in that mixture meaning that the Jets would not have to be world-beaters in September and October to make it to 7 wins for the season.
Over the weekend, the NASCAR race had what has been described as a “costly caution” in the final laps. That late caution caused several fans to comment about NASCAR racing and its rules things like this:
The last five laps of a race should continue regardless of crashes. We don’t want any more caution flag finishes.
There shouldn’t be any caution flags in the last five laps. Let them finish the race going around the wreckage.
I imagine that it is frustrating for fans to watch a 600-mile race – as they did last weekend – only to find out in the final minutes that the race is going to be decided in large measure by a yellow caution flag late in the race because of a multi-car crash. Nevertheless, sanity has to prevail here; NASCAR cannot establish a system whereby racecars finish a race dodging wreckage because that would also put first responders who may need to be on the track to do things like put out fires or pull seriously injured drivers from wrecked vehicles in jeopardy. Marie Antoinette is rightfully scorned for saying that starving peasants who had no bread should just eat cake; NASCAR fans who want no caution flags at the end of races and who want cars to dodge the wreckage are saying about injured drivers:
Just let them bleed.
Finally, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times expressed his sorrow for the “bad fortune” of Tom Brady after he reportedly won $25K on the Kentucky Derby:
“So that makes it three Super Bowl rings, a supermodel wife, a $57mil contract – and now a serendipitous Derby windfall.
“When is this poor guy going to catch a break?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………