Friday, June 12, 2009

Blog Chips

-JayPa thinking of a political career?
So you thought JayPa's stumping for Obama was just a passing fancy but, as it turns out, there may be more to it.

IT STRUCK me as strange that Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, son of the state's principal deity and an active campaigner for Barack Obama, spoke at a journalism conference recently in Gettysburg… …But when a "name" Pennsylvanian with links to politics goes outside his or her milieu into the arms of the statewide press, I start to wonder.
IT ALWAYS worries me when political columnists try to go outside their "milieu*" and try to give football related ideals or events a political persona, lucky for us, the only reference to sports in this column is the cheesy title: but I digress.

Jay says that he made 15 speeches for Obama last year as "an officially vetted surrogate," did robo-calls and helped register young voters. Then I mention that the region is rough for Democrats, he notes that congressional reapportionment is coming after next year's census, which suggests that he's paying fairly close attention.

But for now?

"I'm a coach first and foremost," he says, "so probably not now, but somewhere down the road, three years down the road, who knows?"

Wow, there years? That doesn't sound like the kind of resolve of someone dedicated to moving up the coaching ladder and eventually becoming a head coach.** Hell that sounds like someone that A) isn't interested in coaching too much B) needs a "Plan B" because his coaching career has stalled or C) can see the writing on the wall. You be the judge.

-Won't someone think of the children!!

Minnesota was given the "o.k." to sell alkeehaul at their new on-campus TCF Bank Stadium by state lawmakers but University President Robert Bruininks says 'thanks but no thanks.'

University President Robert Bruininks is expected to recommend Friday that regents ban alcohol from the new TCF Bank Stadium following a dispute with state lawmakers.

"We know people will drink before they get to our games. We're not naive," Bruininks told The Associated Press on Thursday. "But we do think this is the best, most responsible way to manage our game days and to really make this a high-quality experience for our fans."

This has long been a conundrum of mine I can see the good and bad for both sides. On one hand, selling alcohol during the game would probably increase the number of obnoxious drunks, on the other hand it would limit the number of flabbergasted drunks because beer servers could cut off visibly intoxicated patrons before they get out of control. It's naive to think that people aren't sneaking in flasks during games and selling alcohol would all but eliminate most of them. In addition we all know how inflated the prices are for anything sold during game time and this would certainly be a big revenue steam for the university; people will pay outrageous prices just for the convenience. On the same token though, it would probably mean an increase of drunks after the game which is never a good thing, especially if they are getting behind the wheel.

-Bowman out of Paterno's doghouse?

JoePa said Bowman has been a "leader" in offseason workouts. Sean Lee agrees:

"Bowman will be fine. ... He's a guy if you come to workouts who is always working hard, always up front," linebacker and captain Sean Lee said. "I think he'll be ready to go come this season."
Joe once again' took his right leg out' in the Big Ten expansion hokey-pokey.
"In all fairness, I said something without having all the answers. The problems it would cause with the schedule and things," Paterno said. "Jim Delany has taken it upon himself to say, 'Hey, let me look into it.' He's looking into it. Whatever Jim comes up with will be good for the conference."
-Well that clears things up!

USC has finally said something in the Reggie Bush/O.J. Mayo debacle long after the NCAA started its probe into the scandal.

"We have already interviewed approximately 50 people and spent many hundreds of hours investigating these allegations," Dickey said in the statement. "We have no idea how long this investigation will continue, and no one is more anxious to bring this process to a conclusion than we are -- but we remain committed to getting to the truth."

"No one wants to find out what happened -- to get to the truth more than me," he said in the statement. "But there is a process -- and that process is dictated by the NCAA rules and making sure that the investigation is conducted in a manner that will ensure that we indeed do get to the truth."

So in other words, we have spent 10's of days looking somewhat into this and I'll be damned we can't find anything. I'm convinced.

-speaking of NCAA infractions

Nick Saban has done a fine job of continuing a long tradition at Alabama:
The NCAA placed Alabama's football program and 15 other of the school's athletic teams on three years' probation for major violations due to misue [sic] of free textbooks.
Seven football players used their scholarship benefits to obtain free textbooks for their friends and we're not talking small beans here.

As a result, the NCAA ruled the football team must vacate any wins in which any of those seven players took part during 2005-07.

The four biggest offenders in dollar value were among the seven football players, who received from $2,714 to $3,947 in improper benefits.

That's a lot of textbooks! But the football players were not that important right? Just a bunch of second teamers?

Saban, who replaced Mike Shula after the 2006 season, suspended five players…for four games when the university uncovered the violations in 2007. The Tide was 5-2 at that point, and its only wins in the next six games came against Tennessee and Colorado in the Independence Bowl.

So yeah, they were important. In Saban's defense this is one of those violations that I doubt he knew anything about and he reacted appropriately by suspending them when he found out. The problem is, just like criminals, it's difficult to trust repeat offenders.

Alabama, which didn't contest the allegations, is a repeat violator because the program was placed on five years' probation in February 2002, when it was also under the five-year window for basketball violations.

*don't bother looking it up it's another word for "context" which is just another example of why sports columnists are such an easier read than political journalists, but I guess if you are pandering to the pretentious crowd it's best to sound like a pompous ass… and have a decent resume, because we all know the more titles after your name the smarter you are.

** Stop fucking laughing!!!

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