With multiple conferences on the hunt for expansion candidates, lots of rumors are going to fly around that make little to no sense. The latest comes courtesy of the Lawrence Kansas Journal-World: the Big Ten is going after Texas and there's at least interest on the Longhorns end. Texas is not going to the Big Ten, because the realities of Texas political life will not let them do so even if they wanted to. Baylor is in the Big 12 for one reason and one reason only: Ann Richards, the governor of the state when the Southwest Conference imploded, made clear Texas wasn't going anywhere unless her alma mater got on the life raft too. The governor of Texas at the moment is Rick Perry. Before he became known as Governor Goodhair, Perry was a Yell Leader at Texas A&M. Think he's letting the Longhorns ditch the Aggies in a conference that would immediately fall apart as a result? The Big Ten isn't going to want A&M, and there are plenty of other politicos with influence on this as well who'll be looking out for their alma maters. Sure, the Big Ten might want Texas. I want Sports Illustrated cover model Brooklyn Decker to do her next photoshoot at my house. Like Mick sang, "You can't always get what you want".
UCF football has been put on probation for two years as a result over making over 300 illegal phone calls and text messages to recruits over an eighteen month span. That in itself is moderately interesting, but once you see where the two staffers who ran roughshod over the rules are now it gets a lot more so. One of them is Steve Rubio, the Tennessee "recruiting intern" under Lane Kiffin who got busted in a rules violation for accompanying Kiffin on a visit to St. Thomas Aquinas and also frequently is in communication with the "hostesses" of inappropriate Byrnes High visit fame via Twitter. The other staffer is now director of player personnel for Alabama. There's no indication either is in danger of losing their positions there. Gee, that'll teach anyone else tempted to cheat a lesson.
There's plenty that's good about college basketball, but Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports singles out one particular problem that needs to be addressed. Finding good officials is tough. As a result, ones who've proven to be competent are in high demand and work virtually every night. Mix six nights a week of work along with lots of travel, and it's no surprise you see them blowing calls. I think Tony Greene would work an early afternoon game and then another one later that night if he could. There's no way this is good for the game, and the conference supervisors of officiating need to work together to keep it from happening. Officials should be limited to a maximum of four games per week in any conference. If it takes paying a little more for them to agree to that, do it.
Thursday began with the New York Daily News claiming Rick Pitino was a candidate to coach the New Jersey Nets next season. Pitino denied that, and it's hard to imagine a team has any interest in bringing the man who traded Chauncey Billups for Kenny Anderson before Billups made it halfway through the his rookie season back to the league anyway. No, the next Nets coach is clearly Mike Krzyzewski. Sure, he's turned down the Lakers and Celtics before, but I bet he's just dreaming of taking over a team with just one win in six weeks of 2010. I'll go out on a limb and say Duke finds a way to hold onto coach K. Have a great weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.