Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Don't taze me, bro" references are ultra lame at this point

Janoris Jenkins found trouble over the weekend, getting tasered in the bargain. This adds a 24th player to the list of arrests under Urban Meyer. That's the current popular criticism of the program, thanks to Dave Hyde's Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel column from last week trying to decree UF the new Thug U. Unfortunately people quoting this number don't bother to see how many of those arrests actually led to charges, what they were for, or what the discipline was for them. All arrests are equal, right? Dorian Munroe putting a parking boot in his trunk, Tony Joiner being impatient about getting his girlfriend's car out of a tow lot and Jamar Hornsby's theft and repeated use of a dead girl's credit card - no difference there at all. Here's a hint - two of those guys remained on the team and one didn't. Guess which one. Jermaine Cunningham is there when Jon Demps throws a sandwich at a Jimmy John's clerk in a dispute over a bag of chips. Somehow Meyer let that guy stay on his team. On the other hand guys like Avery Atkins, Marcus Thomas and Ronnie Wilson got second chances under Meyer and failed to live up to their end of the bargain. They were booted. Generally under Meyer, the serious cases have ended up that way. Is he the toughest disciplinarian in college football? No - but people trying to cobble together some sort of "out of control" program rep for UF are being silly.

The Columbus Dispatch did an excellent story documenting just how much the way schools apply the Buckley amendment varies wildly from place to place. It's supposed to protect academic records, but that's the law athletic departments love to hide behind when they want to avoid providing information on what's going on in their programs. UF, for example, refuses to release any uncensored info on violations in football or basketball. When the man who wrote the Buckley amendment is saying this is not in any way what the law is supposed to do, it's time for the NCAA to step up and order its schools to begin complying with federal law. How arrogant are some ADs? A few simply refused to comply with the Dispatch's public records requests, despite the fact as tax-supported institutions they're required to do so. Stonewalling can work for a period of time, maybe even forever. Just ask USC's athletic program about that.

I'd love to say I'm shocked that some jerks thought it would be a good idea to make death threats to Tennessee Vols quarterback Jonathan Crompton last year, but I'm not. Losers whose entire self image is tied in with whether their team wins or loses actually feel they have every right to be abusive to a young man who fails to live up to their expectations. Sure the kid probably has NFL hopes, has worked for months to try and play well, and feels like he's let his teammates and coaches down, but what will really motivate him is knowing that Vern from Bugtussle says he's going to kill him. Maybe Lane Kiffin's staff can spin this as a positive because it "shows how much Vol fans care", but if I was a parent there's not a chance in hell I'd let my kid play for a school whose fans acted like that.

Silly me, I always thought being a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader was a pretty simple gig. Look hot, show some dancing skills and personality and you're good. Little did I know the cheerleaders are also required to pass a test which includes questions like "name a country that borders Iraq". I'm not sure exactly when that's likely to come up - maybe during the making of the swimsuit calendar they play Trivial Pursuit? - but at least you can admire them for ther big brains next time you see them.

I meant to mention this last week. Extremely quirky musical group They Might Be Giants is sponsoring ten Little League teams. If your child is in a Little League and you need a sponsor for the team, you can get the whole story here. Kids will feel much cooler about being sponsored by the people responsible for Doctor Worm and Boss of Me than they would Chico's Bail Bonds. It'll be more enjoyable than collecting baseball cards too. When I was a kid that was a big thing for me, but then corporate greed ruined the hobby by creating way too many products and printing far too much of them. Now instead of looking for some red hot rookie, kids are supposed to get excited about possibly finding a rare autographed Kim Kardashian card. Gee, how thrilling.

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