I keep wondering when the NCAA is going to show some teeth again by issuing a significant punishment to a major program. It would remind everyone the organization's still relevant, since it hasn't been very often lately and is completely out of all the playoff and conference expansion discussions. USC football's the one everybody's been waiting on, but I'd actually forgotten that UConn basketball still has a pending problem on their hands. With a pair of assistants being pushed out the door and a press conference pending to explain the situation further, it would appear there's fire to go with the smoke kicked up when Yahoo Sports originally busted the Huskies for cheating in the recruitment of Nate Miles last March. This could get really interesting depending on what the school acknowledges this morning.
The Big Ten may believe expansion is the answer to becoming the powerhouse conference in college football they love to pretend they still are. ESPN's Ivan Maisel demonstrates that may well be easier said than done, because none of the schools they may add are in the places producing top talent. The state of Florida has more players in ESPN's top 150 ratings this season by itself than Pennsylvania, Ohio or Michigan did in the past four. It's not like the trend is likely to change anytime in the forseeable future either - the northern economy isn't going to prompt mass moves back that way. beyond that, it's not like the northern schools are holding onto all the talent they do have. Mark Ingram of Flint, Michigan just won a Heisman for Alabama. Sharif Floyd was the top DT recruit in the country coming out of Philadelphia - he'll be playing in Gainesville. Adding five more teams with slower athletes than SEC teams isn't going to magically make the Big Ten king of th hill, no matter how much money it makes them.
Once again the Oakland Raiders are trying to get out of the terms of a contract once they cut someone loose from their organization. This is nothing new - they've done it as far back as when Mike Shanahan was fired in the late Eighties. This time it's JaMarcus Russell, who they're trying to get just under ten million dollars from by claiming his bonus money was a salary advance for years he's not going to play for them now. While I haven't seen Russell's contract, no experienced agent (which Russell's guy is) would ever let that kind of clause be put in a contract. Couple that with Oakland's frequently demonstrated disregard for contracts they don't like and I know who I believe. The Raiders made a horrible decision to draft a guy who was more interested in partying than being a great player. That's their problem, not his.
If there's one thing radio does well, it's come up with ways to attract attention to itself through guerilla marketing. My senior year of high school saw a station in Tampa play "Stairway to Heaven" for 24 hours in a row, then do an all-Led Zeppelin format for a few days before eventually emerging as 98 Rock. Police showed up because they thought the DJ might have keeled over, and the whole thing got national attention. Twenty years later things haven't changed too much, as a station in Milwaukee has rebranded itself as "Tiger Radio" in "honor" of Tiger Woods. No matter how catchy "the brand new station for liars and cheaters" is as a slogan, I'll go out on a limb and say this might just be a gimmick.
I'll be traveling to the SEC meetings in Destin on Memorial Day, With that being a holiday as well, I'll wait an extra day before updating again. Sunday I may be at Charlotte Motor speedway covering the 600 and meeting the cast of the A-Team movie, so it could prove to be an interesting weeekend. The Twitter feed @heathradio will be updated whenever something seems noteworthy, so please follow along there. Have a great holiday and I'll see you back here Tuesday.