My Super Bowl prediction: When the game is over the question dominating the sports world will be, "When does college basketball season start?" . . . The AAC has suspended a player on Houston a mere 1 game for biting an opponent. The AAC is now reconsidering the wisdom of having its disciplinary rules set by Mike Tyson. . . . I read that Oakland'sTray Maddox, Jr. can "score in many different ways." That's quite impressive. For years I thought the only way to score was getting the ball through the hoop. . . .The playing days of KU's Silvio De Sousa may have ended when he tried to throw a chair this week. Next stop WWE? Nah. He clearly has the makings of a Hall of Fame coach. . . . Yor Anei plays for Ok State despite missing 2 fingers. I actually think that gives him an advantage. He's 20% less likely to get one of his fingers jammed. . . .Notre Dame's Mike Brey says he "wants to get old and stay old." But I think there's pretty good reason to believe that, at some point, he'll die. . . . Dick Vitale thinks that Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards is going to have a great career. Geesh, I'd say he already had one while on "ER". . . . I simply can't agree with WV coach Bob Huggins' complaint Sunday about inconsistent reffing. If there is one thing the refs have been through his career it's consistent - at screwing his team.
UNC has a player whose name is Leaky. What would cause someone to name a kid Leaky? My best guess is a faulty condom...After dismissing two of its best scorers, Georgetown tallied an impressive 81 points to beat OSU. Seems like Georgetown's next step is pretty obvious: get rid of all of its scorers...The NCAA reported it's having a hard time figuring out how it will allow college athletes to receive compensation. Seems easy to me: just keep doing what they've always done...Illinois center Kofi Cockburn pronounces his last name Co-Burn. I'm not sure how. But I'm pretty positive I know why...Nick Elam, a Ball State professor, created a way for basketball games to end without any need for intentional fouls. They are calling it the "Elam Ending". Wonder what they'd call it if Nick's last name was Happy?...During KU's flight Sunday, an engine spewed sparks and failed before a remarkably safe landing. Even more remarkable: there's now a lot of really tall guys who will never again complain about lack of leg room on a bus...Two years ago, Wofford surprised people by beating UNC. Wofford surprised people again by beating UNC last week. Got to wonder if these people get similarly surprised every time they stick their fingers in an electric outlet...College basketball's "NeverForget" September 11th Classic took place place on December 14th. This begs the question: How did they forget that September 11th took place on September 11th?...KU's Bill Self has managed to stop all rumors that next season he'll be coaching in San Antonio. But rumors still persist that next season he'll be coaching in Leavenworth.
Some people couldn't understand why ESPN decided to interview Kirk Herbstreit during the first half of the Duke-KU game. Made sense to me... ESPN had almost gone 15 minutes without mentioning football...Here's my attempt to explain how the AP Rankings work: Mich St. played no games and was ranked #1. UK beat them in the first game and was then ranked #1. Evansville beat UK, is now 3-0, and has zero chance of being ranked #1. Got it?...The NCAA accused Memphis' James Wiseman of accepting improper benefits. I've since heard that that wasn't Wiseman. Though I might have actually heard, "that wasn't wise, man."...Michigan State's Cassius Winston is nicknamed "Cash"Here's hoping he didn't get that from NIKE... ESPN's promotion for it's college basketball Feast Week has been non-stop. And from the looks of the crowds - completely ignored... At Thanksgiving dinner - My wife: "Seriously?! That's what you are most thankful for?! Not your children, your health, your wife?" Me: "Nope, I'm truly most thankful for Stephen F. Austin beating Duke... Last year, the FBI caught LSU's Will Wade discussing a recruit's "strong ass offer". This past week, VCU fans taunted Wade while wearing FBI garb. Creative, but I'd really love to see a fan offer him a muscular donkey.
UConn has a player named Akok Akok. I wonder if that was truly meant to be his name. Or just what his dad yelled upon discovering his newborn child was a son. . . . NC State faces NCAA sanctions for getting Dennis Smith Jr $40K. Months later he made $3.2 million in the NBA. So clearly NC State should be punished for underpaying. . . .In hopes of a "family atmosphere" at its big preseason event, KU hired - Snoop Dogg. That error should've been obvious. Especially once there were no signs of Lucy or Charlie Brown. . . . North Carolina can't figure out how it has 3 guys with busted knees. I'd say the more important question is: Who pissed off the Mob? . . .UK's John Calipari opposes expanding the NBA Draft. He feels it will lead to players leaving college early. Hmm. I wonder how John Calipari feels about John Calipari. . . . A NY man is now under federal indictment for trying to fix a college basketball game. Well, clearly the Feds need to make up their minds: Should college basketball be fixed or not? . . . I just wanted a break from all the impeachment news. So I turned to college hoops. There I found a charismatic leader of a super power denying multiple career ending allegations. . . .
The pre-season AP Top-25 is out. And in other news of similar import, so is your horoscope. . . .The NCAA has just voted to craft rules preempting proposed federal legislation on endorsements. That reminds me of the classic Civics question: The NCAA is part of which branch of government? . . . With college hoops starting up, ESPN has a big problem: How is it still goingto be able to air NFL Live 35 times a day?
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is now looking for a new coach. There may be reason to also look for a new name. . . . In response to a Title IX lawsuit, Michigan St. maintained that when it comes to sexual assault complaints, it does not give preferential treatment to athletes.Only to doctors. . . . Utah received 2 years probation from the NCAA for recruiting during a "quiet" time. Seems excessive.
A violation of quiet time usually just means 5 more minutes of quiet time. . . . The Northeast Conference is assessing interest in its own TV channel. Half of those questioned asked, "What the hell is the Northeast Conference?" - and that's not the worst of it. The other half asked, "Where the hell is the Northeast Conference?". . . Duke hired investigators who just announced they found no evidence that NIKE paid Zion to go there. Moments later those investigators were hired by O.J. Simpson. . . .Kentucky has made a whopping five straight Final Fours, in September. . . Arizona's assistant coach paid a high school coach to change a recruit's transcript. So, what I want to know is: How did the high school coach get a hold Ferris Bueller's computer? . . .The NCAA banned Georgia Tech from the Tournament for taking
players to a strip club. A better punishment would be forcing them to play in the Tournament, right after they went to a strip club.
I just saw a report that East Carolina has a better recruiting class than North Carolina. I then saw a separate story noting that most high schoolers don't know the difference between east and north. . . .Clemson won the World University Games making them "the best team in the world". The tournament, however, had a notable omission - all other teams from the U.S. . . .FIBA suspended a former Ohio U player due to a positive urine test for gHC - a pregnancy hormone. Got to wonder if his conversation with FIBA ended with, "Oh, one other thing, your girlfriend's pregnant.". . . Auburn just released a statement indicating they expect notice of NCAA violations. What took that school so long? It's been 5 years since they hired Bruce Pearl. . . . Allegations have surfaced that NIKE gave Zion Williamson money at Duke. Hard to believe. They didn't even give him a decent pair of shoes. . . . People are shocked that a Louisville trustee may have been the one who paid strippers to have sex with recruits. Yes, there's evidence that an old rich guy likes slutty women. Shocking. . . .Loyola-Chicago's Sister Jean just turned 100. Damn, I should have taken the over. . . .Miss. State football and basketball players had a tutor complete a course for them. Those players must now take a class on academic misconduct. So if you know a good tutor . . .The ACC Network is now up and running. Fantastic. College hoops fans will finally be able to see Duke.
Ok State. has a less than ethical plan to snag the #3 recruit - make his older brother an asst. coach. Got to say I'm hoping Ok St. forgot something: younger brothers often don't like the person who gives them wedgies. . . . Former UConn coach Kevin Ollie has received a 3 year ban by the NCAA for misleading and lying to investigators. On the positive side, he's now qualified to run for President. . . . According to reports, Kerry Blackshear Jr. decided to go Florida as a grad transfer due to its 1st class basketball program. Yet no word on his thoughts about Florgida's grad program. . . . Just saw a headline: "Hefner joins Marietta College's Women's Hoops Team". Oh I miss the days when that headline could have ended with"in a hot tub." . . . The NCAA has asked California if it understands that passing a law allowing athletes to get paid would be a violation. California then asked the NCAA if it understands what a law is. . . . A judge sentenced former NBA great and Auburn asst. coach Chuck Person to200 hrs of community service for accepting $91,500 in bribes. Stated otherwise, a judge sentenced Chuck Person to be paid $458/hour. . . . The NCAA paid $208 million to settle with 53,748 former basketball and football players. Nice to see the plight of the athletes finally paying off- for the lawyers.. . . Next year Jalen Johnson will be leaving Phenom University and heading to Duke. To be clear, Phenom University isn't a place where Jalen goes for school. It's just a team. Kind of like Duke. . . .Due to NCAA violationbs DePaul is being forced to vacate victories. This has led their infuriated alumni to ask, "We had victories?"
Long Island University just changed its nickname to the Sharks. It now needs to decide whether its mascot will be a great white or a lawyer. . . . With UConn's return to the Big East, its fans can stop asking, "Why the hell are we in the AAC?" And they now can start asking, "Why the hell are we on Fox Sports 1?". . . Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Bellarmine University just announced it's going Div 1 next year. It also felt compelled to add the following statement, "And we already have a coach, Rick.". . . I'm amazed at all of ESPN's promotion for the NBA Draft. And I'll be more amazed if they give less than 30 minutes of air time to Mel Kiper Jr. . . . The NCAA will reveal the 6 schools that will receive notices of Level 1 violations in July. Why the wait? Apparently the NCAA hasn't had time to put all the names in a hat. . . . John Calipari: "I promise you, I'm the best coach for your son." Parent: "Uh, isn't your own son looking to transfer?" . . . Dick Vitale says Kanas might be a different team next season with the loss of 5 of its best players. And there you have the first ever use by Dickie V of understatement. . .According to ESPN, LSU's Will Wade has signed three 5-star players despite allegations that he paid prior recuits. Got to wonder if ESPN thinks "despite" is a synonym for "because".
The 5th ranked high schooler is skipping college to play next season in Australia. And there you have the solution to the "one and done" problem: just make it Australia's problem. . . .The NCAA has banned Florida A&M from next season's Tournament. That's about as impactful as my wife banning me from having sex with Scarlett Johansson. . . .7' 6" Tacko Fall drew surprising glares at the NBA Draft combine. Which differs from every other day in his life, in no way whatsoever. . . .Zion Williamson's stepdad has just announced that Zion will not be playing for Duke next season. And in similarly shocking news: neither will I. . . .The NCAA is likely changing the 3pt line to make things more like the pros. Hmm. Something tells me that the players would prefer a different change to make things more like the pros. . . .There are two types of NY Knicks fans: (1) Those hoping the Knicks get the #1 pick tonight because they know Zion will be great. And (2) Those who know Zion will be great, unless the Knicks get the #1 pick tonight. . . .One of the top 2019 unsigned recruits is a 6' 9", 220lb Nigerian power forward who's been called a "complete beast". And his first name is - Precious. . . .After being rejected by Rick Barnes and Jamie Dixon, UCLA had to settle for Mick Cronin as its new coach. Yup, a guy name Mick is once again proving, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." . . .Arizona coach Sean Miller may have paid a former player $10,000 per month. This sheds some light on why coaches love the "one and done": they'd go bankrupt otherwise.
MAY 2019 COLUMN
In hopes of getting more teams in the NCAA Tournament, the PAC-12 seems to be increasing its conference schedule to 20 games. They might need to also hope that Duke and Kentucky join the PAC-12. . . . Missouri's Jontay Porter declared for the NBA draft, yet he's essentially been unable to walk for a year. Makes sense to me. Walking is essentially non-existent in the NBA. . . . I'm not sure why Univ of Houston calls its arena the Fertitta Center. I'm pretty positive the word is Frittata. . . . If the Virginia players wrote a children's book about their inspiring story of perseverance they could make a fortune - for the NCAA. . . . Dear Virgina, Congrats on the greatest story of perseverance ever - for 6 days. Take Care, Tiger Woods. . . . Two coaches who've won multiple national championships aren't getting interest from any of the teams with openings. No, not because of a prior scandal. Something apparently much worse: their names are Kim and Muffet. . . . The NCAA thinks the ratings might be low for tonight's big game because Texas Tech is part of it. Whereas I think the ratings might be low because the NCAA is part of it. . . . Notre Dame's Muffett McGraw passionately decried the unfairness of the fact that "men have the power." I know of only one exception - my marriage's sex life. . . . John Calipari initially had serious concerns with the "lifetime contract" offered by Kentucky. He apparently confused it with the much more familiar "contract on his life." . . . . A compliment from my wife: "Greg Gumbel is even more useless than you."