Thursday, July 10, 2008

One Play Does Make a Difference....

Not just in a game, but in life. Great story from The Mag and writer Bruce Feldman. Talks about the tale of James Felton and how one Tracy McGrady dunk started a spiral down from what could have been an NBA career, to being dead by 27.

One was a star. One was a nobody. In a little more than 10 years, one would have a $155 million contract, a 24,000-square-foot house with a nine-car garage and a sneaker with his name on it. The other, after spending time at five colleges and in alcohol rehab, would be dead.

It's not a long article and definitely worth the full read. I could understand the argument that Felton was troubled, and it was many events, not just that one that led to that path.

But I think its larger than that. I think its necessary to look at how a 16 year old kid can be affected by one event, and more importantly, without the right support system, how it can start to crumble down on top of him. There are a lot of ties one could make to inner-city life, being a young black male, no father, sick mother, etc. and I think most people are smart to see how everything ties together. But it is a lesson for every crazy sports parent out there. Just because you yell at your kid to suck it up, doesn't always mean they can. And not being there does make a big difference too.

ESPN The Magazine: The Wrong Side of Great

Dick Rod...What a Douche.

West Virginia got what they wanted, one last "Up Yours" to Dick Rod as he scampered to smelly michigan. An agreement was reached for Rodriguez to pay the $4 million outlined in his previous contract with West Virginia, but of course, Rodriguez isn't fronting the whole amount. Not even the majority of it. According to the Detroit Free Press,

Rodriguez will pay $1.5 million, spread over three years, beginning in 2010. U-M said it will pay the balance of the sum, $2.5 million, immediately and cover Rodriguez’s legal fees later.

Lovely. I really think this sets a bad precedent the way this whole situation has played out. You know, with the whole comparisons to slavery and everything? These buyout clauses have got to be enforced from the beginning or scrapped altogether. I guess I can take some satisfaction that $2.5 million in booster bucks will be used for that instead of trying to buy their next recruits.

Or keeping their current players since they seem to want to jump ship too. And don't worry, scUM fans are being as classy as ever about it too. Make sure to look at the first comment after the story.

Way to go Dick Rod, see you in November.

Detroit Free Press: Rodriguez, scUM will pay buyout to West Virginia
Charleston Daily Mail: Rich Rodriguez's lawyer uses slavery in regard to coach's buyout
Deadspin: Rich Rodriguez and michigan buy 64% of West Virginia
Deadspin: Justin Boren transfers from michigan to The Ohio State University

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

College Basketball Is About To Be....Jammed!!!

The announcement came fairly quietly, but 2009 NBA lotter pick Brandon Jennings announced he was foregoing his opportunity to play at the University of Arizona, and honing his game in Europe.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. College Basketball is one of my favorite sports, but the creation of the mandatory one year rule for prep stars might do way more damage than help as many thought it would.

The arguments were allowing players to become more NBA ready, giving the college game an opportunity to have these athletes for at least one year, and make teams stronger throughout the NCAA. Also it was said that it would give young athletes a chance to further their education, to become more ready for the real world.

Opponents have said that this isn't true, and that renting a player for a single year does more damage to a program than it helps.

It is not as if a player has to do much at school as it is anyway. They have to pass two classes with a D average for the fall semester to be eligible for the basketball season. That is it. This doesn't sound like great preparation for the real world to me (Although, for the record, according to the end of Animal House, John Blutarsky did become a U.S. Senator).

So Brandon Jennings becomes the pioneer, the first one to say "Piss off college basketball, I was only coming for a booty call anyway." And as long as he is remotely successful, be prepared to see this happen again and again.

Sporting News: Arizona recruit Jennings opts to play in Europe

Has It Been That Long?!

Well apparently, I've been a lazy piece of shit, and haven't updated the blog in awhile. Well it is time to change that. I'll be working on adding (hopefully) a few blogs through the end of the week.