Thursday, September 17, 2009

R.I.P. Myles Brand

The death of NCAA President Myles Brand leaves a power void atop the organization that will be an interesting challenge for them to fill. Do they go for another school president, or possibly a conference head? Will they look outside for a business mind, expecially one with connections in TV since that rules everything in college athletics these days? I felt Brand was a grandstander in the early years of his run - the "should we play or not" Hamlet act about the NCAA tournament in 2003 as the Iraq war was about to start was particularly annoying. In the end, Brand's NCAA showed more willingness to look out for kids interests in the eligibility process than it had before he arrived. That and the APR will likely be his two biggest legacies.

As noted above, TV runs everything in college sports these days. Want proof? Check out ESPN's opening day of college basketball blitz. They've arranged for Monmouth to play at St Peter's beginning at 6 AM. That's on a Tuesday, when kids are supposed to be going to class. At 8 AM Drexel visits Niagara. This nonsense will disrupt all normal activities on campus those days - not just for the athletes, but the students too. But hey, just imagine all the new recruits and student applications St. Peter's will get from the Peacocks playing at 6 AM!

Chris Low of ESPN points out that it's not just Lane Kiffin who's dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to knowing how to handle yourself with the media. Check out this quote from the acting president of the University of Tennessee...

"Lane comes from the Pac-10, which in many respects is the epitome of great academics and great athletics, as this past weekend showed on several different levels, including to us. When we lost to UCLA, we lost to a better academic institution, too.”

Call me crazy, but I'm guessing the "acting" part of that president title is going to never change to permanent. How dense do you have to be publically acknowledge another university is better than yours? I'm sure Lane and company are thrilled to have that quote out there as they try to recruit in California, too.

I'm all for creative marketing ideas, and the folks at TGI Friday's have decided to use one for this Sunday night's game. If either punter at the opening regular season game in the new Dallas stadium this Sunday night hits the video board, everyone can come in for a free menu item. Sounds good so far, right? The problem: the menu item is their Crispy Green Bean Fries. Why would you try to convince people to come to your thoroughly uninspiring chain restaurant by featuring potentially the least desirable thing on your menu? Fried green beans - yuck.

Good game in college football tonight, with Georgia Tech at Miami. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Hurricanes handle their success in Tallahassee. Not every team is going to give Jacory Harris eight seconds to throw downfield. The Yellow Jackets have owned this series, and last season Miami could do nothing with the option. The Hurricanes have several sick guys on defense as well. In this coaching matchup I'll pick Paul Johnson every day of the week, but Miami's got good enough athletes to do the job if they're ready mentally.

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