Tuesday, December 15, 2009

30 years after Woody Hayes, some guys still don't get it

Brett McMurphy leaving the Tampa Tribune and catching on with Fanhouse continues to be nightmare fuel for USF fans. First he nailed their basketball program for apparent NCAA violations, and now he has details of Jim Leavitt reportedly striking one of his players during the Bulls game with Louisville. If the behavior chronicled in the story is accurate, Leavitt should be fired. He, not surprisingly, maintains the report is not true. Leavitt supposedly headbutted a player during the Louisville game, and was walking around dripping blood after the half. As bizarrely over the top as he is sometimes with his temper, I find this story completely plausible.

The New York Times is on a roll when it comes to sports stories at the moment. This morning's edition details the continuing investigation into Dr. Anthony Galea, a prominent sports medicine figure. According to the Times, he's under scrutiny for providing athletes with performance enhancing drugs. Whether this is the jumping off point for a new BALCO situation remains to be seen, but one of Galea's many patients is Tiger Woods (for recovery assistance from his knee surgery). There's no evidence at all of anything inappropriate done by Tiger with regards to this, but given the month he's been having he'll probably wind up being the one most identified with it for now.

If Tiger Woods is the most insanely overpursued story of the past two weeks - on the cover of the New York Post every single day?! - the Big Ten looking to expand is the undercovered item. According to Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, they want a conference title game as soon as it's feasible. The question is what team they want to go after since there's no indication Notre Dame's looking to join. Do they try and push Big Ten country into New York by grabbing Syracuse or Rutgers? What about a Big 12 destablizing Missouri? Someone no one's thinking of at all like Texas? Whichever team they take if they're successful will open the door for other conferences to make some moves as well - this could get interesting.

A surprising announcement from Seattle yesterday could really impact the upcoming NFL Draft and 2010 college season. Quarterback Jake Locker will stay at Washington rather than enter the draft. Locker had emerged as the consensus top prospect at quarterback heading into the combine, which means Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford (assuming he can show he's healthy) are very appreciative of Locker's choice. What will be interesting to see now is whether Ryan Mallett stays at Arkansas or Christian Ponder at FSU. Each is a prospect with some interest but enough flaws that they'd be better off returning to work on them. Do they feel like they can squeeze into round one now even though they're not really ready? If so, they probably should go given the concerns about the NFL's rookie salary structure they're expected to install for the following draft group.


Anonymous said...

That explains the picture of Leavitt on the SPTimes website after the Louisville game where it looks like he was in a fight - and lost. While I admire coach Leavitt for taking the program from absolutely nothing to its current level, it's becoming increasingly clear that someone else will have to be brought in to take the program to the next level (i.e. a Big East championship and BCS bowl appearance).

Anonymous said...

If Texas leaves the Big 12 for the Big 10, do they have to sit out a year?

Anonymous said...

Texas? Mizzou? I wouldn't bet on it. (Although if the B10 did add Mizzou or Iowa State the B12 could add TCU to the South, kick Oklahoma up to the North, and be no worse for the wear... hardly "destabilizing". Texas, however, would be worse than destabilizing.) Given the B10's penchant for poaching the BE, Pitt and/or Rutgers seem ripe for the picking. Remember there's a requirement that any new member to the B10 must also have membership in the AAU.