Posted on: February 15, 2011 3:10 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 3:43 pm
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The Sullinger incident, and why a big deal.

It is easy these days to make unsubstantiated claims.  In this world of hi-tech devices, the days of the AP Style Book have gone the way of the telegraph, the phonograph, and the hi-fi.  However, does the average person need to understand the consequences of his/her words, even though they are posted on a Facebook or Twitter account?   Is an average citizen just as responsible for an incident of libel as a newspaper or magazine?

Nazi Germany used a method of propaganda persuasion where the lie, or the "non-truth," was used, over and over again, until some people actually began to believe that it was the truth.  If more convincing was needed, then it was repeated again, and again.  This was a very successful campaign, and led to an unprecedented loyalty from the majority of the German citizens.  People have a tendency to believe what they hear, first; even after a retraction is made.  It is human nature.  Herman Goebbels always liked to point-out, "When does a lie bceome the truth? --when people believe it!" 

Saturday afternoon, Jared Sullinger, the outstanding freshmen basketball player for the terrific Ohio State Buckeyes made the claim that he was spit on, both before and after the basketball game between OSU and Wisconsin, at Madison.  There were two separate tweets. In the first he said, and I quote exactly, in both, despite the loose grammar: "#BuckeyeNation if you ever decide to rush the court. Don't ever spit on the opponents. Just a lil tip from me to you." In the second tweet he said, "To be spit on is just nasty. On top of that in my Face. Before and after the game. Smh (shaking my head). I just kept walking. More fuel to the fire."   

I am not supposed to reveal this: but fourteen University of Wisconsin employees (one a close family member to me) have spent the better part of the last three days reviewing video tapes of the basketball game from Saturday –all the way from 2 hours before the game, until the game ended and the Ohio State team was safely inside of its own locker room.  Of course, they are not spending this much time and money just to make Sullinger look bad, they are doing it so that --if there were a spitting incident-- the culprit/culprits can be brought to justice.  In all cases, there were at least 3 camera angles (at one time) on every move that Jared Sullinger made, and in most cases there were 5 or even 6 cameras which picked him up.  Never was there a single time where he was out of the range of fewer than 3 cameras.  In none of these video tapes did it ever appear as if Sullinger was spit upon.  In fact, when  Sullinger was anywhere near the fans, there was not any indication of any spitting, or  evidence of Sullinger wiping his face, as if he were spit upon. 
 
Even Bob Baptist, a sports reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, pointed-out that Sullinger was even highly complimenting the Kohl Center fans for their spirit, and that there was no indications, to him, or mention to other reporters, that any spitting incident took place at all.  He did not hear anything about, himself, until Sunday.

Badger fans are good people, for the most part.  They pride themselves in being hospitable. Do they get excited? –yes, of course they do.  Is that illegal?  I don’t think so.  When a claim, such as this is made, it affects all of the fans here.  We never want to see anything like this happen, and if it does, we want justice too.  The question is:  “Did it happen?”  I don’t think so. 

Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:03 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 5:17 pm
 

The BCS: Legal, or Unconstitutional?

 

I may be alone here (I hope I’m not); but when Dennis Dodd pointed out, earlier in the week, that only ten major college programs, in history, have competed for the national championship in Division-1 football, I was floored! --You’re kidding me, right?!-- In an era of supposed political correctness, and equal opportunity, how can that happen without being seriously questioned by the institutions involved? When contemporary society is so fixed upon eliminating stereotypes, and creating an even playing field in all areas of life; how does this happen without some kind of a fight?

I am not a mathematician, or a scientist; but the elementary application of equations, or scientific method, should easily provide us with enough evidence for a conundrum. Something would appear to be wrong here, and the use of numbers, and common sense, would seem to be enough to easily prove that. If this were a simple lottery drawing (like the “Power-ball,“ etc.) , what would the chances be that these same 10 teams would win, that many times, without any other schools breaking-in to that mix from time-to-time? Despite the fact that there are only 346 schools with D1 football programs, I am just guessing that the odds of having only 10 of those teams ever playing for the national championship would be fairly high?  Is the BCS choosing the best-two schools each year, or the two most popular schools? 

There are, of course, many different explanations why a given program/programs can be stronger than another. Location, educational standing (at one time, anyhow?), recruiting, coaching, alumni foundations, etc., can all be reasons for the sustained successes of a program. But still, if you use other examples (such as NCAA basketball) you will still see other programs, with lesser resources, breaking into the final four, from time to time.  So, why is that not happeneing in D-1 college football? Could the explanation have something to do with a conscious/sub-conscious bias?   When you take a look at human nature, it seems to be nearly impossible to eliminate all bias, completely, whenever the human-selection element is introduced into anything.  Models for football playoffs were, long ago, introduced at the high school and smaller-college levels, with extremely positive results.  Introducing the same type of a format, at the D-1 level, would make perfect sense; because most of the bugs have already been worked-out.  Yet, there are other forces out there who would not like to see a playoff happen, and in more cases than not, these people/organizations would appear to be the ones who stand to lose something if the BCS is eliminated. 

This week it was announced that Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff, is investigating the BCS for possible antitrust violations and is hoping to get the Justice Department to do so as well. In January, in a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who had asked for an antitrust review, the department said the Obama administration was considering several steps that would review the legality of the BCS. The department said it was reviewing Hatch's request and other materials to determine whether to open an investigation into the BCS and possible antitrust violations.  The department has yet to determine if it will get involved, or not. 

BCS executive director Bill Hancock finds it, "…hard to imagine a bigger waste of taxpayer money than to involve the government in college football;"but, lets take that with a grain of salt --after all he could likely lose his job if the current format were found to be discriminatory. Under other circumstances, I might agree with him --but not this case. This is different. There is too much money involved here to say that our government should not be involved.  Too many lives are affected by this phenomenon; so maybe there are times when we have no other choice but to get government involved?

Keep in mind here, we are talking about the Judicial Branch of government, in this case (the Supreme Court); not the Legislative Branch (Congress). The Judicial Branch of government is made up of the court system; and the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. These courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether they break the rules of the Constitution. This is not Congress, here --getting Congress involved would be of very little help; because the purpose of Congress is to make, and enact, the laws. On the other hand, when the Supreme Court hears a case, and finds something to be discriminatory against a part/parties--then it is declared to be illegal, and change is mandated.  Just as school segregation was abolished, and a woman's right to vote --the law would step-in. 

Does the current BCS set-up provide all schools with an equal opportunity for a chance at the national title?  We may soon find out --all the way from the top. 

Posted on: February 5, 2010 5:00 pm
 

Bracket-Knowledgey, Friday Feb, 05, 2010

Auto bids are in CAPS.  Championship: St. Louis (M) / Salt Lake City (W) winner vs. Syracuse (E) / Houston (S) winner.

St. Louis (M)
(1M) KANSAS (19-1) vs. (16M) QUINNIPIAC (13-6) @Oklahoma City
(8M) Florida State (15-5) vs. (9M) UNLV (16-4) @Oklahoma City
(5M) Vanderbilt (15-3) vs. (12M) Charlotte (15-5) @San Jose
(4M) Pittsburgh (15-4) vs. (13M) SIENA (17-4) @San Jose
(6M) Wake Forest (14-4) vs. (11M) Dayton (14-6) @Providence
(3M) Georgetown (15-4) vs. (14M) AKRON (13-6) @Providence
(7M) Baylor (14-4) vs. (10M) Mississippi State (15-4) @Milwaukee
(2M) MICHIGAN STATE (18-3) vs. (15M) COASTAL CAROLINA (14-3) @Milwaukee

Salt Lake City (W)
(1W) KENTUCKY (19-1) vs. (16W) CAMPBELL (10-7) @New Orleans
(8W) NORTHERN IOWA (18-2) vs. (9W) Texas A&M (13-6) @New Orleans
(5W) Ohio State (15-6) vs. (12W) Seton Hall (12-6) @Spokane
(4W) GONZAGA (15-3) vs. (13W) LOUISIANA TECH (18-3) @Spokane
(6W) New Mexico (19-3) vs. (11W) Florida (15-5) @New Orleans
(3W) Kansas State (16-3) vs. (14W) OAKLAND (13-7) @New Orleans
(7W) Xavier (13-6) vs. (10W) North Carolina (13-7) @Buffalo
(2W) West Virginia (16-3) vs. (15W) MORGAN STATE (14-7) @Buffalo

Syracuse (E)
(1E) VILLANOVA (19-1) vs. (16E) MAINE (13-6) @Providence
(8E) Clemson (15-6) vs. (9E) Oklahoma State (16-4) @Providence
(5E) BRIGHAM YOUNG (19-2) vs. (12E) OLD DOMINION (16-5) @San Jose
(4E) TEMPLE (17-4) vs. (13E) WESTERN CAROLINA (13-4) @San Jose
(6E) BUTLER (16-4) vs. (11E) Cincinnati (13-7) @Milwaukee
(3E) Purdue (16-3) vs. (14E) PACIFIC (12-6) @Milwaukee
(7E) Mississippi (15-4) vs. (10E) St. Mary's (16-3) @Jacksonville
(2E) Duke (17-3) vs. (15E) WESTERN KENTUCKY (11-9) @Jacksonville

Houston (S)
(1S) Syracuse (20-1) vs. (16S) Play-In Game @Buffalo
(8S) Missouri (15-5) vs. (9S) Rhode Island (16-3) @Buffalo
(5S) Georgia Tech (14-5) vs. (12S) CORNELL (14-3) @Spokane
(4S) Wisconsin (16-4) vs. (13S) MURRAY STATE (17-3) @Spokane
(6S) Connecticut (13-7) vs. (11S) MARYLAND (13-5) @Jacksonville
(3S) Tennessee (15-4) vs. (14S) NORTHERN COLORADO (17-4) @Jacksonville
(7S) UAB (18-2) vs. (10S) CALIFORNIA (13-6) @Oklahoma City
(2S) Texas (18-2) vs. (15S) SAM HOUSTON STATE (9-5) @Oklahoma City

Play-In Game: (16S) Lafayette vs. Texas Southern @Dayton

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 5, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Bracket-Knowledgey, Friday Feb, 05, 2010

Auto bids are in CAPS.  Championship: St. Louis (M) / Salt Lake City (W) winner vs. Syracuse (E) / Houston (S) winner.

St. Louis (M)
(1M) KANSAS (19-1) vs. (16M) QUINNIPIAC (13-6) @Oklahoma City
(8M) Florida State (15-5) vs. (9M) UNLV (16-4) @Oklahoma City
(5M) Vanderbilt (15-3) vs. (12M) Charlotte (15-5) @San Jose
(4M) Pittsburgh (15-4) vs. (13M) SIENA (17-4) @San Jose
(6M) Wake Forest (14-4) vs. (11M) Dayton (14-6) @Providence
(3M) Georgetown (15-4) vs. (14M) AKRON (13-6) @Providence
(7M) Baylor (14-4) vs. (10M) Mississippi State (15-4) @Milwaukee
(2M) MICHIGAN STATE (18-3) vs. (15M) COASTAL CAROLINA (14-3) @Milwaukee

Salt Lake City (W)
(1W) KENTUCKY (19-1) vs. (16W) CAMPBELL (10-7) @New Orleans
(8W) NORTHERN IOWA (18-2) vs. (9W) Texas A&M (13-6) @New Orleans
(5W) Ohio State (15-6) vs. (12W) Seton Hall (12-6) @Spokane
(4W) GONZAGA (15-3) vs. (13W) LOUISIANA TECH (18-3) @Spokane
(6W) New Mexico (19-3) vs. (11W) Florida (15-5) @New Orleans
(3W) Kansas State (16-3) vs. (14W) OAKLAND (13-7) @New Orleans
(7W) Xavier (13-6) vs. (10W) North Carolina (13-7) @Buffalo
(2W) West Virginia (16-3) vs. (15W) MORGAN STATE (14-7) @Buffalo

Syracuse (E)
(1E) VILLANOVA (19-1) vs. (16E) MAINE (13-6) @Providence
(8E) Clemson (15-6) vs. (9E) Oklahoma State (16-4) @Providence
(5E) BRIGHAM YOUNG (19-2) vs. (12E) OLD DOMINION (16-5) @San Jose
(4E) TEMPLE (17-4) vs. (13E) WESTERN CAROLINA (13-4) @San Jose
(6E) BUTLER (16-4) vs. (11E) Cincinnati (13-7) @Milwaukee
(3E) Purdue (16-3) vs. (14E) PACIFIC (12-6) @Milwaukee
(7E) Mississippi (15-4) vs. (10E) St. Mary's (16-3) @Jacksonville
(2E) Duke (17-3) vs. (15E) WESTERN KENTUCKY (11-9) @Jacksonville

Houston (S)
(1S) Syracuse (20-1) vs. (16S) Play-In Game @Buffalo
(8S) Missouri (15-5) vs. (9S) Rhode Island (16-3) @Buffalo
(5S) Georgia Tech (14-5) vs. (12S) CORNELL (14-3) @Spokane
(4S) Wisconsin (16-4) vs. (13S) MURRAY STATE (17-3) @Spokane
(6S) Connecticut (13-7) vs. (11S) MARYLAND (13-5) @Jacksonville
(3S) Tennessee (15-4) vs. (14S) NORTHERN COLORADO (17-4) @Jacksonville
(7S) UAB (18-2) vs. (10S) CALIFORNIA (13-6) @Oklahoma City
(2S) Texas (18-2) vs. (15S) SAM HOUSTON STATE (9-5) @Oklahoma City

Play-In Game: (16S) Lafayette vs. Texas Southern @Dayton

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 3, 2010 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2010 5:56 pm
 

Remove "perceptions" from NCAA selection process.

Over the past several years I have been noticing a phenomenon that is troubling me  --the introduction of politics into college athletics --most noteably in regards to the NCAA basketball tournament selection process.  It looks to me as if the committee has begun baseing many of its seeds these days on general perceptions, rather than individual team accomplishments. Is it just me, or is the entire college basketball season starting to take-on the appearence of a political arena, with different coaches, analysts and administrators, putting in jabs, and jockying for specific conferences and teams, in an attempt to assure better seeding for the tournament? 

What ever happened to having the teams, flat-out earn a particular seed, rather than just giving them one?

There is insurmountable evidence that seeding in the tournament can make a tremendous difference for a team's chances of making it to the final four.  But, is it the team, or is it the seed?   I would argue that it is alot of both.  Every season I hear the analysts saying, "The NCAA selection committee really got it right this year;" but, do they really get it right, or do the seeds just make it look that way?  If a team is really so awful good, will it really matter if they are the ones to get a one seed or a four seed?   There's only one way to find out, right?  What would happen if a team, like a Wisconsin, or Gonzaga, was actually given a one-seed for a conference championship?  After all, have they not earned a top seed for their play during the regular season?  

Another thing that needs to be looked at is the obvious bias that teams, such as Wisconsin, experience because of their style of play --a style that has been around since the game was invented.  This would be one hell of a boring game if everyone did things the exact same way, wouldn't it?  That's what the NBA has become to the basketball purists  --redundant and boring!  When college basketball becomes what the NBA is --a track meet, where the teams with the best athletes ALWAYS win-- then college basketball will lose its appeal to the general public.   Wisconsin gets a bad rap for being more methodical than most teams; but when you look at other teams like Michigan State and Purdue (aside from some secondary break opportunities that they try to exploit) they pretty much do the same thing as Wisconsin does.  

As it stands, some teams, like Wisconsin, will never get a fair shot, in that respect.  Not because they have not had some good teams, but because of politics.  Even after winning a Big Ten conference championship,they're doomed to be a 4 or 5 seed, under the current train of thought.  However, even a team like Wisconsin could make a long run in the tournament, if the pairings worked in their favor, for a change.  It would be nice to see them get a fair seed, just to test that theory.  Seeding is almost everything in the NCAA tournament; but the seeds are not always doled-out fairly. That needs to change.

Everybody loves an underdog, but the underdog is being systematically removed from the college game by hype and politics.  Why can't the underdogs get the better seeds for a change --if they have earned it?
Posted on: January 31, 2010 5:31 pm
 

Brackets by JP

Auto bids are in CAPS.  Championship: St. Louis (M) / Salt Lake City (W) winner vs. Syracuse (E) / Houston (S) winner.

St. Louis (M)
(1M) KANSAS (19-1) vs. (16M) QUINNIPIAC (13-6) @Oklahoma City
(8M) Florida State (15-5) vs. (9M) UNLV (16-4) @Oklahoma City
(5M) Vanderbilt (15-3) vs. (12M) Charlotte (15-5) @San Jose
(4M) Pittsburgh (15-4) vs. (13M) SIENA (17-4) @San Jose
(6M) Wake Forest (14-4) vs. (11M) Dayton (14-6) @Providence
(3M) Georgetown (15-4) vs. (14M) AKRON (13-6) @Providence
(7M) Baylor (14-4) vs. (10M) Mississippi State (15-4) @Milwaukee
(2M) MICHIGAN STATE (18-3) vs. (15M) COASTAL CAROLINA (14-3) @Milwaukee

Salt Lake City (W)
(1W) KENTUCKY (19-1) vs. (16W) CAMPBELL (10-7) @New Orleans
(8W) NORTHERN IOWA (18-2) vs. (9W) Texas A&M (13-6) @New Orleans
(5W) Ohio State (15-6) vs. (12W) Seton Hall (12-6) @Spokane
(4W) GONZAGA (15-3) vs. (13W) LOUISIANA TECH (18-3) @Spokane
(6W) New Mexico (19-3) vs. (11W) Florida (15-5) @New Orleans
(3W) Kansas State (16-3) vs. (14W) OAKLAND (13-7) @New Orleans
(7W) Xavier (13-6) vs. (10W) North Carolina (13-7) @Buffalo
(2W) West Virginia (16-3) vs. (15W) MORGAN STATE (14-7) @Buffalo

Syracuse (E)
(1E) VILLANOVA (19-1) vs. (16E) MAINE (13-6) @Providence
(8E) Clemson (15-6) vs. (9E) Oklahoma State (16-4) @Providence
(5E) BRIGHAM YOUNG (19-2) vs. (12E) OLD DOMINION (16-5) @San Jose
(4E) TEMPLE (17-4) vs. (13E) WESTERN CAROLINA (13-4) @San Jose
(6E) BUTLER (16-4) vs. (11E) Cincinnati (13-7) @Milwaukee
(3E) Purdue (16-3) vs. (14E) PACIFIC (12-6) @Milwaukee
(7E) Mississippi (15-4) vs. (10E) St. Mary's (16-3) @Jacksonville
(2E) Duke (17-3) vs. (15E) WESTERN KENTUCKY (11-9) @Jacksonville

Houston (S)
(1S) Syracuse (20-1) vs. (16S) Play-In Game @Buffalo
(8S) Missouri (15-5) vs. (9S) Rhode Island (16-3) @Buffalo
(5S) Georgia Tech (14-5) vs. (12S) CORNELL (14-3) @Spokane
(4S) Wisconsin (16-4) vs. (13S) MURRAY STATE (17-3) @Spokane
(6S) Connecticut (13-7) vs. (11S) MARYLAND (13-5) @Jacksonville
(3S) Tennessee (15-4) vs. (14S) NORTHERN COLORADO (17-4) @Jacksonville
(7S) UAB (18-2) vs. (10S) CALIFORNIA (13-6) @Oklahoma City
(2S) Texas (18-2) vs. (15S) SAM HOUSTON STATE (9-5) @Oklahoma City

Play-In Game: (16S) Lafayette vs. Texas Southern @Dayton

Posted on: January 18, 2010 3:45 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2010 4:35 pm
 

College basketball smelling like the NBA...?

Yup, and that is not a good thing. First of all, we need to get the NCAA, itself, out of the rule making business, and place that in the hands of a separate governing body.  As it stands, the benefit the NCAA, and not necessarily the game or the players.  Furthermore, even though the rulebook is pretty clear in how officials are to interpret the rules, it appears that the officials are, instead, interpreting the rules on their own.  Under the current system, there is really no way that should happen.  

If you turn-on your television, you can watch 3-4 different games, and see 3-4 different ways that a given rule is interpreted by a crew.  That is really pretty interesting, when you consider that over the course of each calendar year, there are meetings on rules interpretation, which all officials are mandated to attend.  At these meetings all of the questions about all of the rules are cleared up; and if an official has any doubt about a rule, then there are opportunities to ask questions.  With that in mind, it can be said that there should never be any doubt as to how a given rule should be interpreted and enforced. 

Oddly enough, after watching countless college games over the course of the past three seasons, I have only seen a three-second call in a college men’s game, twice.  For some reason, this rule has become expendable by college officials --they do not seem to think that the need to call it anymore.  Why is that?  It is still in the rulebooks, right?  Because the officials have ignored this rule, several men’s programs have become smart to the phenomenon, and are actually using it to their advantage.

I love to watch the ball handler's pivot foot during a game --and holy crap!  What happened to traveling in college basketball?  Yes, the rule did change, several years back, to allow for a little hop when receiving a pass; but my god, I am talking about a player who has already received the ball!  Wow!  We went allowed three officials, instead of two; but instead of the officiating getting better, as a result; it seems to be getting worse, as a result. 

I do not like the NBA.  I did love it as a kid, but I do not like what it has become today.  I do not watch it, and none of my friends watch it either.  The influence of money has killed the NBA, and has long since infiltrated the college game too.  Just look at the Akron fiasco! --and that is just one incidence that was uncovered.  Who the hell knows what else is going on?  You can bet things ARE going-on, though --that is for certain.  So, why are we ignoring that?    

Let's clean the NCAA house, and start over.  Let's get the "college" in college basketball back into the driver's seat.  The NCAA is nothing without its member schools, and when those members are no longer satisfied with the job that the organization is doing, then it's time to change things.  The influence of the NBA has taken over the college game, and we need to take it back. 

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: December 26, 2009 8:16 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2009 8:28 pm
 

Why are we pimping High School sports now?

"New Jersey team tops High School rankings."  --maxsports

 

It's time to place restraints on the whos-and-whats which can be discussed on a public forum, before the same problems that are occuring in college hoops are passed-on to the the high school game. 

Bob Knight hit the nail on the head when speaking about John Calipari, and the state of college hoops.  People can criticize Knight for his opinions, based upon his own track record through the years --but Knight's temporate issues as a college coach never compromised the ethical state of college recruiting, and ability of all teams to pursue athletes on a level playing field. 

Players who came to Indiana, to play for Bob Knight, did so with a pretty fair idea what they were entering into --and many went there for that VERY reason.  Be it right or wrong, his problems were to do with player-coach relationships (an internal issue), and never broad-ranging ethical issues; such as the kind that Calipari has been linked to. 

In an attempt to increase readership, publications (such as Maxsports, and USA Today) are now using High School sports as a vehicle to increase their own appeal to our youth.  That is only the beginning of the pimping that rots an old egg from the inside-out; and eventually you have more, and larger scavengers hovering around the prep scenes --leading eventually to almost certain corruption.  Once a shell is breached, the white starts to seep out, and eventually, with it, goes the yoke. 

Where do we draw the lines?  If there are those of us who are unhappy with the current state of college basketball, then how can we not be concerened about what is to come for the high school version as well?   After that, what next --on to the middle schools and grade schools?  Where does it end; or should it have ended already?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com