The NCAA completely nuked USC football yesterday. If the penalties assessed survive the inevitable appeal, it is the most devastating penalty I have seen dished out by the NCAA in at least 15 years and maybe more than that. Right now the Trojans have to hope they can keep the current kids there, because while I'm sure the seniors will stick around the juniors will have every coach in America calling them since they can transfer with no penalty and play right away. With a hard cap of 75 scholarships total plus max new scholarship athletes capped at 15 for each of the next three classes, and kid lost to transfer will be almost impossible to replace. To survive this debacle, Lane Kiffin's staff will have to be almost flawless in their evalutions of prospects and then be lucky enough for them to stay healthy. USC AD Mike Garrett has long been known as a dreadful manager with a huge ego, but now we also know he's dumb as a box of rocks. You're an AD whose football program got wrecked for years to come and will likely be stripped of both a BCS title and a Heisman, and your response is that it's "nothing but envy. They all wish they could be Trojans"?! How does this man still have a job for even one more day?
Thanks to the wonders of corporate naming, we've seen some ridiculous names slapped on buildings. Often it's proved to be embarrassing because the company was corrupt or went bankrupt (Enron Field, PSI net stadium, etc.) No one has had more of those kind of names than my hometown of Tampa. I saw Tampa Stadium renamed Houlihan's Stadium because the team's owners owned the chain, even though there wasn't a Houlihan's within 300 miles of Tampa. I've seen the Ice Palace, a cool name, be replaced by the St. Pete Times Forum. That confuses everyone, since the St Pete Times Forum is in Tampa and not St Pete. Now my city has outdone itself though, as the Ford Amphitheater becomes the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheater. No other arena name can ever hope to be tackier - they can only play for a tie.
I suppose it could be worse for Tampa. They could have had BP as a featured sponsor for the arena. The company is supposed to be the presenter of a trophy to be given to the winner of the series between the Chicago pro baseball teams. The teams have decided to go ahead and downplay BP's involvement with the trophy. At this point there's nothing BP could possibly do to be held in lower regard by the public than they are, but having a trophy presentation drowned out by massive boos didn't seem like a winner either. I've never really understood this kind of deal anyway. Were White Sox fans going to buy more BP gas if they won the trophy? Before BP managed to make itself infamous, most people I know shopped for gas based on station location and/or what was cheapest. Now it does seem like they'll find somewhere else to go besides BP though.
I started writing the blog much later than usual this evening because I was co-hosting a midnight screening of "The A-Team" as part of a station promotion. The film is based on the Jane Austen novel of the same title, and it's about what you'd expect it to be. If you're looking for some action/adventure caper fun that's not going to even pretend to have a logical plot, you'll enjoy it. One thing that did surprise me was Rampage Jackson in the B.A. Baracus role once played by Mr. T. Not saying Hamlet is in his future, but he's remarkably good in this. Whether you're going to see that or doing something else with your weekend, I hope it's a good one and I'll see you back here Monday. Follow @heathradio on Twitter to keep up during the weekend.