QB turns grayshirt into NFL internship: Paul Suhey signed with Penn State this spring but won't be in State College this fall. Instead, as a "grayshirt," he'll be in Detroit, where former Nittany Lion Matt Millen got him an internship with the Lions. "So, while other players around the country in the same situation live at home and work out on their own or go to school part time and pay their own way, Kevin Suhey will be an intern with the Lions, working in the equipment department. When he's not working, he will be throwing passes to professional receivers before practice, sitting in on quarterbacks meetings and working out in an NFL weight room."
More than three years ago, Clemson tailback Javis Austin put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.: Now, nearly blind but a college graduate, the former prep star tells the story of his suicide attempt, his recovery and his bitterness toward Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, who demoted Austin from his starting job. Nice piece of writing by Bob Gillespie of The State.
The Chicago Cubs: Baseball's Enron?: Seems the Cubbies are taking advantage of Illinois' scalping law to "sell" $45 tickets to their games to a brokerage agency staffed by team executives. The broker can sell the tickets for up to $1,500 a pop. Under baseball's revenue sharing plan, the Cubs should send 30 percent of revenues into the pot, but selling the tickets to the agency means they contribute 30 percent of $45, not $1,500.
The next LeBron James is coming.: O.J. Mayo, a 6-5, 15-year-old point guard from Ashland, Kentucky, is transferring to Cincinnati's North College Hill School. "North College Hill is already bracing for what could be an unprecedented media storm, at least on the Cincinnati prep level. Mayo's games routinely sold out Rose Hill's 1,000-seat gym, and NCH is already thinking of moving games from its similar-sized gym to larger venues."
The Life of an NBA Referee: Today and Thursday the Sacramento Bee has a two-part series on the fishbowl professional life of NBA refs. "From within, where secrecy sometimes rules to such an extreme that the league won't release the annual salary ranges, the check-and-balance system is extensive." Bee reporter Scott Howard-Cooper got to spend a day with a game crew to prepare his stories.
Meet the "the nation's best player in the high school class of 2009.": Kendall Marshall, all 5-foot-2 and 95 pounds of him, has been tabbed as the top sixth-grade basketball player in the nation by one recruiting analyst. He starts for his private school's varsity team and averages a team-high 12.8 points. Is this, as some folks say, cruel or just a result of a competitive recruiting industry? Or both?
Nebraska lawmaker pushing pay for college football players.: Sure it's a familiar refrain, but I found it interesting that the chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who appeared before a state legislative committee holding a hearing on the proposal, said he couldn't testify in support of the bill because doing so "would put Nebraska in violation of NCAA rules." Why can't college officials talk about this in a public forum?
It's Signing Day!: College football fans, mostly slumbering for the past month, will take note of the high school seniors and junior college transfers that signed with their favorite teams today. More than 200 folks showed up at Georgia to see coaches tape the names of players who signed to a board, while other schools and players had less to celebrate: a WashPost story tells about Mike Hull, a Pitt signee who was involved in a car accident that killed another man and left Hull injured. The family of the man killed is suing Hull, and he could still face criminal charges. Pitt said it would honor his scholarship offer even if he cannot play.
Kansas high school coach paddles his players.: Raytown South basketball coach Bud Lathrop has employed a wooden paddle to punish players during practice since the 1960s. This week he got a five-day suspension after he used the paddle on players in the presence of a newspaper reporter. Corporal punishment is outlawed by the school district. Six former players told the Kansas City Star that "the paddlings sometimes left red marks on their rears, but those went away after a few hours. Nobody reported knowing of anyone seriously hurt from the spankings."
Jeremy Bloom has a busy holiday schedule.: The Colorado kick returner finished fourth today in a World Cup mogul skiing event in Finland, where he arrived earlier this week. He'll return to Colorado on Saturday and will travel to San Antonio for the Buffs' bowl game against Wisconsin. The next World Cup event is two weeks later in Quebec. "He skied only three times this fall before training sessions Tuesday and Wednesday in Finland," reports the Denver Post. And you thought you had to travel a lot for the holidays.
Don't send mail to Roy Williams.: From the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World: "All mail sent to Roy Williams’ office will be treated as junk the rest of this season. Cards and letters will either pile up on the Kansas University basketball coach’s couch or be tossed into the circular file - the waste basket. 'I’m never reading another piece of mail,' Williams said calmly Monday at his weekly news conference." Somebody sent him some critical comments after the Jayhawks got off to a 3-3 start, so Roy won't read his mail. My question is, why would he even bother to make the announcement? I just assumed most coaches/players don't read much of their fan mail.
College Football Weekly Roundup
As the Oregonian's Ryan White put it: "What did we learn Saturday? That Miami's Willis McGahee is good?" Ah yes, the BCS has set up a true national title game. Now quit that bitching about having two Rose Bowls (is that really such a bad thing?). (more inside)
College Football Weekly Report
Fans of a national title game can say the BCS works: Miami, should it beat Virginia Tech this week, will play Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Pretty much everyone else can make a case that the BCS doesn't work so well. (more inside)
College Football Report, Nov. 26
All is right in the BCS world, thanks to Ohio State squeaking by Michigan on Saturday. That sets up a Fiesta Bowl matchup with Miami, provided the Canes take care of business against Syracuse and Virginia Tech (they should). more inside...
College Football Wrap-Up, Nov. 19
Top Teams: A quiet weekend on the BCS front, with the exception of Ohio State's too-close-for-comfort win over Illinois. While some folks correctly projected the Buckeyes would lose ground to Miami (who did not play and hosts Pitt on Thursday) in the BCS standings, the difference is so slim it could reverse next week. But beware: the Buckeyes would throw the BCS standings for a loop if they lose to Michigan on Saturday.
Home Field Advantage.: The Trona (Calif.) Tornadoes played their final game as an 11-man high school football team on Friday, defeating the Boron Bobcats on a field known as The Pit. Why? Because it has no grass on it. "Apart from the football field at Juneau High in Alaska, which is made of glacial silt, Trona may have the only all-dirt field left in the United States." The town is a last-chance stop before entering Death Valley. (NYT link: u: SportsFi, p: SportsFi)
U-Washington hoops program cops to 26 violations: "Bottom line, I blew it," said assistant coach Cameron Dollar, a former UCLA player who took responsibility for the violations - mostly illegal contact with recruits. Dollar is being fined more than $13,000, barred from off-campus recruiting until July 2003 and the school also has to stop recruiting two of the top high school juniors in the state.
Time to play the freshmen.: Top-ranked Miami has played 10 of its 16 scholarship true freshmen this year. Virginia Tech has played nine, while Florida State eight. Because a growing number of college's finest players are turning pro after their junior seasons -- or in the case of quarterback Michael Vick, after redshirt sophomore seasons -- several of the elite teams' coaches are skipping what used to be a given: the redshirt year. Is college football getting more like college basketball in this way, and is that a good thing for the players or programs?
It's tough to be a high school football coach. : Demanding schedules, booster club meetings, video sessions. And let's not forget teaching responsibilities. This Atlanta Journal-Constitution story explores the growing duties that are making high school football more like college football, especially in Georgia, where high school football is something of a religion. Are prep sports becoming too big in your communities?
A Freshman for the Heisman?: Why Maurice Clarett is a serious Heisman candidate
Spreading It Around: Why the spread offense still works
Another college coach has a resume problem.: This time it's Vandy's new women's basketball coach, who earlier in his career submitted a resume showing a master's degree he didn't earn. As a reporter, I'm guessing that these things aren't becoming more common, but media outlets are just looking at resumes more these days.
Kentucky state legislators to Louisville hoops: you will play Western Kentucky!: "Hours after the Kentucky Senate passed a budget bill that includes a provision requiring the University of Louisville to play a men's basketball game at Western Kentucky University next season, U of L officials agreed to resume negotiations for a game to be played in Nashville, Tenn." Nothing like government in action.
U.S. News & World Report is extending its collegiate rankings to athletic programs.: The magazine has a series of accompanying stories, including a good look at the roles of a modern AD, Ohio State's Andy Geiger.
Be assured: the CAA will still have a Jeff Capel coaching.: Jeff the younger, the 27-year-old former Duke point guard, gets the top job at Virginia Commonwealth, where he was an assistant for one season. Capel also worked a season for his father (also named Jeff), the former coach at Old Dominion. Just in case you were worried that a former Duke guard wasn't going to go into coaching.