Bits And Pieces…

I will spend time this afternoon cleaning up the area here in Curmudgeon Central so let me keep with that theme and clean up my clipboard of stored up bits and pieces…

Everyone likes affirmation.  Seeing someone other than oneself take a position that one has previously taken feels good.  It is particularly positive reinforcement when that “someone else” is a respected individual.  I am basking in that glow at the moment because of a piece that Len Elmore wrote on last week.  Elmore said that even though several top-rated high school prospects have opted to go to the G-League this year instead of going to play college basketball on a “one-and-done” basis, he thinks that college basketball will survive – – and indeed thrive.  Back on April 22nd, I took that same position when only Jalen Green had chosen that path for his career.

Here is a link to Len Elmore’s piece.

Here is a link to my rant.

In the realm of college football, Michigan coach, Jim Harbaugh was in the news last week with an idea related to college football eligibility.  The current situation is that players must be 3  years out from their high school graduating class to be allowed to opt for being part of the NFL Draft – – and if they make such a choice, they lose any remaining college eligibility they may have.  You may recall that Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett challenged that rule in court and lost his case and his college eligibility.

Harbaugh’s suggestion is that a player can declare for the NFL Draft at any time but if he is not selected, he can return to college and continue to play college football.  In addition, Harbaugh’s “plan” would allow a player to consult with an agent during the process of deciding to enter the NFL Draft and for the player to retain college eligibility if he is not selected in the draft with the condition that the player did not receive any compensation from the agent.

Here is a key part of Harbaugh’s suggestion:

“There are ‘early bloomers’ capable of competing in the NFL and earning a livelihood at an earlier age.  The goal would be to create a scenario that makes adjustments for all current and future student‐athletes that puts the timeline for transition to professional football at their discretion and that of their family. I propose an option that allows them to make the decision that is best for them.”

The “Harbaugh Plan” and the situation created by high school basketball players opting for the G-League are similar but not identical.  The basketball players are immediately being paid for their time in the G-League meaning they forfeit their college eligibility immediately and completely.  There is room in the “Harbaugh Plan” for a player to continue his college career – – and presumably his college education.

Moreover, the “Harbaugh Plan” recognizes that there are a few college players who would indeed be ready physically for the rigors of NFL football before spending three years at the college level.  Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson and Randy Moss leap to mind.  Note that I said they would be “physically ready” for NFL football; the question of maturity and/or socialization is another dimension.  On balance, I like the “Harbaugh Plan”.

Here is my assessment of the likelihood that it will be adopted by the NCAA and the college football mavens:

  • You will see a horse climb a tree before this plan is adopted as proposed.

Back when the top story of the week was Tom Brady’s decision to leave New England for the sunny Tampa climate, I read somewhere that he and his Patriots teammates had been the Vegas favorites in 74 consecutive games.  It was not worth the aggravation to go back and see what that “75th game” was or how it turned out; I just made a note of it to use whenever the Bucs wind up as an underdog this year – – assuming there is a “this year”.  Just for giggles, I checked the Vegas line for Week 1 of this year about 10 minutes ago and here is what it is 4 months in advance:


Tampa Bay at New Orleans – 4.5 (49.5):


Trust me; I know that the line on this game could move wildly between now and September 13th.  However, I think it is interesting to note that not only would that streak be broken but that it would be broken in a division game.  That did not happen to Brady and the Patriots very often in the AFC East…

Finally, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:

“President Trump pardoned former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., 73, who was convicted in a gambling fraud scandal.

“But the president did, however, refuse the Niners’ request to commute the last nine minutes of Super Bowl LIV.”

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