Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Even Mike's got standards, apparently

Chuck Oliver of 680 the Fan in Atlanta reports A.J. Green's NCAA issue is over the sale of a jersey for a thousand dollars. This had been one of the popular rumors, but Chuck is the first media person to actually report that it's the reason Green hasn't been cleared to play yet. He's got excellent Georgia sources, and wouldn't go with this if he wasn't sure of it. No one can be sure what the NCAA will do, although Chuck says UGA believes Green will be cleared by Thursday with the one game he's sat out considered sufficient punishment. The Gamecocks can beat Georgia with him in the lineup, but it would be a lot easier if he's not.

Derek Dooley's attitude toward transfers is a mistake. The Tennessee coach has been spiteful and classless in refusing to release players who want to transfer out of his program, seemingly just because he can. Having said that, the much hyped and unspectacular "number one recruit" Bryce Brown handled his decision to leave Knoxville this summer about as poorly as he could have. Now his dad is threatening to sue Dooley and Tennessee for not releasing Brown to Kansas State. I'm no attorney, but I'm pretty sure "I'm pissed" is not an acceptable legal argument. What this would do though is further focus attention on how Dooley's handling things, which is not to his or the school's benefit. Compare the way Urban Meyer allowed two of his signees to transfer out before ever even completing their first preseason camp to the way Dooley's handled kids who in some cases signed based on promises made two coaching staffs ago. That will be an issue on the recruiting trail, whether Dooley grasps it yet or not. The wiser move would have been to release Brown and make this crap go away.

Kentucky basketball has another "insta-team" full of stars coming in to try and repeat the success of year one under John Calipari. It's not anticipated that they'll do as well, in part because there's not a Patrick Patterson to be the steady veteran on the roster and also because this just isn't considered as strong a year for talent. One guy who was expected to be a huge factor may have a major problem that can't be overcome, as the New York Times reports the GM of a Turkish pro team claims they paid Enes Kanter between 100-150 thousand dollars over three years. There is a chance he's lying, because the team could benefit financially from an NBA team paying his transfer fee, but there's no question the kid got money. How the NCAA sorts out this high profile mess will be the key to overseas recruiting in the future. On the other hand, when your overseas recruiting brings in Christian Drejer and Nimrod Tishman the idea of signing foreign players being impossible might sound appealing.

ESPN has done great work with its "30 for 30" series of documentaries, but last night's "One Night in Vegas" didn't really do much for me. The piece was about Tupac Shakur being shot (and dying a few days later as a result) the night of Mike Tyson's victory over Bruce Seldon (in what turned out to be the final heavyweight title bout he ever won). Unlike my 107.5 the Game colleague Duce Staley, I'm just not that into Tupac's music so I probably just wasn't the right audience for the film. Tyson said something hilarious in his interview with ABC News to promote the piece, though. His biggest regret about his friendship with Tupac? They never got to smoke weed together. Mike didn't want word to get out that he was a marijuana user. Tyson's rape conviction, his frequent psychotic behavior, the suicide attempt in his Bentley - those things and so much more were all okay to have out there, but if word got out Tyson liked to get high THEN his image would be shot?

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