Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lots of creepiness going around Tuesday

The first text came in right around two. It was a radio friend asking "Do you know Steve Babik?" Sure, I replied, I know Steve. Babik was around long before I first began covering Florida as a student in 1994. He originally was brought in for an off air role as network coordinator, but had gradually managed to insert himself into virtually every aspect of UF broadcasts. I'm not a huge fan of his on air work (typical postgame "question" after a loss: "(Name here), tough game today") but we'd always been cordial when we crossed paths. Then my friend explained why he was asking the question, and it turns out no one may have known Steve Babik at all. The notion of someone I've probably spoken with 100 times, even if he isn't particularly a friend, being involved with child pornography just makes my stomach turn. I hope for Babik and his family there is some explanation other than the obvious one for this. Sadly, Babik is not the first person I dealt with in the sports world to be accused of this crime. Former Jaguars and Miami Hurricanes media relations guy Rick Korch is currently serving three years after pleading guilty to similar charges.

Another trainwreck with Florida ties has resurfaced. Teddy Dupay spent a month in jail after pleading guilty to a felony aggravated assault on his girlfriend. That's just the most recent of his episodes with the law, but now he's back with a truly ridiculous plan. Dupay wants you to join his movement to legalize marijuana and pay him for the privilege. Chris Harry of Fanhouse does a terrific job of explaining Dupay's current status, as he runs what certainly sounds distinctly like a pyramid scheme. It's up to Dupay whether this becomes his final legacy or there's something he can do that will still change it. History says if he does, it's not likely the change will be for the better.

Dupay doesn't play organized basketball any more. If he did, there's a new league that would likely have been thrilled to have him join them. The All-American Basketball Alliance intends to begin play in a dozen cities this summer, with their league rules restricting the team personnel to only white, American born basketball players. This sounds like the setup for a Saturday Night Live sketch, but the clown who supposedly is running the league (which has as much chance of success as Babik does of working sidelines for the Super Bowl next month) actually maintains there's no racism involved. With a stated business concept involving bitter fans who want to watch a fundamental game as opposed to "street ball" played by "people of color", the guy's either incredibly dense or a really bad liar. Maybe the AABA unis can be made by Bad Idea Jeans.

Tennessee's continuing coaching crisis Tuesday featured Clemson's DC agreeing to come join Derek Dooley's staff, than backing out. Lane Kiffin's Knoxville driving habits were reexamined despite him having mentioned an accident in August when it happened. Meanwhile, lost in all the shuffle last week, defensive back Dennis Rogan put his name in for the NFL Draft without telling anyone. That means the Vols are down two starters in the secondary as opposed to just Eric Berry. Good luck, Derek Dooley. You're going to need it.

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