Clearly, the big event of the weekend was the news of a settlement in the lawsuit involving Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid and the NFL. That settlement involves a confidentiality agreement and as of this morning there are no reports that the agreement or the settlement documents have been made available to anyone in the press. Notwithstanding that fact, the narrative goes like this:
- The NFL caved because they did not want certain information to come to light at trial. The fact of the settlement is a de facto admission of its guilt in the case and they paid a huge amount of money to Kaepernick and Reid to keep it quiet. [Aside: I have heard/read commentators say the settlement was as low as $20M and as high as $80M.]
In order to settle a civil lawsuit, the signatures of the parties on both sides of the matter are required. The prevailing narrative does not allow for the possibility that Kaepernick and Reid were not nearly as certain in their own minds that they would prevail and decided to take the bird in hand when the NFL made an offer just to put this matter to bed. Please note; I am NOT saying that is what happened. What I am saying is that until someone reveals the agreement itself, then that someone does not know what he/she is talking about either.
Here is what I know:
- The argument that Kaepernick is without a job in the NFL because he was suing the league is no longer valid.
- The confidentiality agreement limits everyone’s free expression on this matter and that limitation means any and all proclamations regarding the settlement are pure speculation.
Switching gears to another matter that is not in the courts yet but involves Title IX. The US Department of Education is investigating whether the entity in the State of NY that makes the rules for high school softball is discriminating against women when it makes and enforces a rule prohibiting metal cleats for the sport. The fulcrum of the investigation is that baseball players can wear metal cleats; baseball is predominately played by males; softball is predominantly played by females. Ergo …
According to this report from Newsday, the investigation was sparked by a complaint to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights last Fall. In NY as currently mandated by rule, softball players wear “molded cleats” which are essentially the same shape as the metal cleats worn by baseball players except the softball cleats are made from rubber.
I realize that the following statements will demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a preponderance of Neanderthal DNA in my body; nonetheless:
- It is good to see that the important areas of gender discrimination in US society have been resolved and that the battle lines are now focused on the composition of cleats used in softball versus baseball.
- It is also good to know that the recent shutdown of the US Government has been resolved to the point that the folks in the US Department of Education can give full and proper attention to this matter.
Regular readers know that I pay exactly no attention at all to the recruiting wars that go on regarding high school basketball and football players. I have said that concocted events like National Signing Day are frivolous at best. So, I won’t even pretend to know a tenth of what happens within those “ranking services” that assign levels of potential excellence to potential collegiate athletes. I don’t know because I don’t care.
However, there is an interesting story out there that one of those ranking services was taken for a ride and the service was convinced that a high school player in Knoxville, TN was worthy of a 3-Star ranking. The service proclaimed that the 6’ 6” 315 lb. offensive lineman was a 3-Star prospect and that prompted phone calls to his high school coach from Georgia Tech. The problem is that the player in question – he does exist – is actually 5’ 7” and 220 lbs.; the information in his recruiting profile is pure fiction.
This story in USA Today fills in the details. The NCAA estimates that 1.1 million kids play high school football and that less than 100,000 of them play college football. That is a severe winnowing process. It is also indicative of the amount of resources a ranking service would need to be able to assign 5 levels of gradation to the next crop of potential college football players. The fact that a recruiting profile could be created and promulgated on this player/prospect without anyone at the service noticing that he might not be quite the size indicated in the report would tell me that no one ever saw him play even a single down for his high school team.
- Breaking News: We interrupt this daily rant to bring you news just in to Curmudgeon Central. The player in Knoxville fictionally represented to be a potential offensive lineman in college football is now engaged to Manti T’eo’s former girlfriend. Nuptials will be conducted in Narnia sometime later this year.
Finally, here is a word from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times:
“A charter bus carrying the Stanford track team to a meet caught fire near downtown Seattle and, after all 31 passengers escaped, was totally engulfed in flames.
“Suggested title for the team’s 2019 highlight video: ‘Chariot’s afire’.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…….