The NCAA Is An Archaic System That Has Outlived Its Usefulness

The NCAA Is An Archaic System That Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Once again it appears that another collegiate coach has overstepped his parameters as a coach by flouting the rules of the NCAA by violating a number of ordinances that govern college recruiting and that might also cover academic fraud. Tenneessee Volunteers’ basketball coach Bruce Pearl has admitted lying to members of the NCAA’s Infraction’s Committee after the college’s athletics program is said to have committed several recruitment violations. Pearl is said to have not only obstructed the investigation of the committee but at although the findings there are not yet complete and ready for the public’s notification he firmly believes that he’ll still be able to retain his position as the Volunteers men’s basketball coach.

It has to be said that Tennessee and the faculty there has yet to take any action against the coach even though Pearl admitted that he made a profound error in judgment and awaits clarification as to what action will be taken by the university. My question is that the NCAA seems to be quick to act with impunity when a student athlete violates an NCAA rule that governs collegiate athletics. But yet when a coach is involved in such an act they’ve effectively chosen not to punish the coach. And what action if any one would have thought appropriate wherein the college themselves would take necessary a stance to countermand those transgressions. In the case of former USC Trojans’ basketball coach Tim Floyd who knowingly gave cash to a recruit , O J Mayo and then denied any wrongdoing before leaving the program by choice without any admission of guilt. The school at the time while conducting its own internal investigation and audit clearly overlooked the coach’s actions but would then seek to nullify the charges made by the NCAA when they found that not only were Floyd’s actions clearly a transgression of the NCAA rules but that there was a vast cover-up enacted to hide the actions of both coach and player. But the actions of the athletics’ department just didn’t stop there but it also covered the actions of former football players at the school most notably that the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

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The fallout from what has transpired at USC has led to the school undergoing severe NCAA sanctions of which they won’t be able to make a postseason appearance for two years as well as losing numerous athletics’ scholarships . But what might be even more unbelievable is the mere fact that former Trojans’ football coach Pete Carroll claims that he was completely unaware as to what was going on within the program at the time. Carroll’s departure prior to the sanctions being announced and then the abrupt action by Reggie Bush to return his Heisman Trophy to the Heisman Trophy Committee would suggest that there was a great deal that the public and alumni of the college were never completely made aware of . Once again a coach walks away ‘Scot-Free’ , with some questionable actions on his part and that of a former player who’s said to have profited financially while attending the school and all this happening under the nose of the then AD Mike Garrett who has since re-signed to be replaced by Pat Haden.

Stories such as this have been cropping up with alarming regularity around the world of collegiate athletics and a number of the programs in question are prominent schools that are synonymous with collegiate athletics excellence. Now under the microscope is U-Conn mens’ basketball coach Jim Calhoun and once again his actions that of several compliance officers and coaching staff are being questioned as to what they knew and did concerning the recruitment of a number of players to the school’s basketball program. Calhoun has repeatedly skirted around the issue stating that there’s been no wrongdoing on his part and that he knows of no incidents where he or any of his staff have acted inappropriately. However the NCAA’s findings have suggested that not only may Jim Calhoun known about the violations in question but he may well have played a part in its orchestration. What surprises me in all of this has been the fact that the NCAA chooses to punish only the schools for the actions that are knowingly perpetrated by coaches and staff members and then make it known that the athletes are the ones who are also complicit in this all. I’d like to know why it is that no action can be taken against the coaches themselves ?

OK so the coaches are in the employment of the schools that have hired them but then again their remuneration packages are such, that they’re being paid not only to bring success to the program but also the prerequisite talent to those respective sports. And any action taken wherein a coach is fired without due cause can lead to a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. If those actions by the coaches are egregious and they bring about sanctions even if the main cause has been the undue acts of an athlete then it’s my belief that if the violations have a veracity to them then the coaches should be either fired or suspended. In the real world where an employee has broken a rule or committed a criminal act then the employer is quite within their right to dismiss that employee. Why not in the world of collegiate athletics ?

The NCAA is also is just as much to blame in this all because of their lack of oversight in not doing what I believe would be appropriate and that is to conduct a regular audit of schools on a regular basis. Much like independent audit can be conducted on a public company by the SEC when they feel that there’s been misconduct by its board of directors. But then again we tend to make comparisons of some institutions and that of the Federal government and how they go about dealing with misconduct. As way too often excuses are made by the institutions in question when they’re asked to undertake an investigation. Idiocy abounds when repeatedly we’re told that they have found no wrongdoing when it’s clear that there’s been egregious actions on the part of a company. However with the NCAA, it’s a case where they tend to pick and choose who they are prepared to make an example of . For a body that has to oversee collegiate athletics the bureaucracy within the institution is archaic and cumbersome . It’s also reflected by the complete lack of transparency that’s shown by the NCAA . A multi billion dollar institution that in essence rules over its kingdom like a third world despot leader but who tries to give the impression to the world that there isn’t a problem at all within its domain because they have it all under control.

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Picture galley for your perusal.

What if anything do you feel ought to imposed upon a coach when it’s clear that there has been an egregious NCAA violation where he or she has played a part in that transgression ? Do you feel that the coach ought to be suspended or fired where the act is egregious and he has played a part in the violation ? Also how do you view the NCAA under the new tenure of its President Mark Emmert ? Do you believe that there has been enough transparency by the NCAA since Emmert took over from his predecessor Myles Brand ? Make your thoughts known felt by simply leaving a comment as you’d deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it’s great appreciated .

NB: It has since been announced that U Conn imposed sanctions against itself after admitting that they had in fact violated rules concerning contact between recruits and coaches . Also that there’s tenuous actions with regard to academic fraud at the school.

Alan aka tophatal ……………………. 🙂

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Nikki_B

Eye candy courtesy of Low Rider Magazine . Nikki B video vixen who’s also a staple of XXL Magazine.

I’m No One’s Bitch But My Own …… !

I’m No One’s Bitch But My Own !

OK so someone explain to me what was so noble about what was done by Reggie Bush ? Giving up his Heisman Trophy after the cheating that took place when from the outset as he lied as to the fact that he took nor did he licit any gifts from an agent or boosters from within the US Trojans’ organization. From start to finish this has been one complete charade and much of that may well have been done with the knowledge of his former coach Pete Carroll and no doubt former athletic director Mike Garrett. Pat Haden who as successor to Garrett has thanked the former Trojan for his actions and stated that…”it was a commendable thing to do”. Now as the Heisman Board of Trustees makes a decision as to whether or not to award the the trophy to runner up Vince Young or to completely vacate verdict of 2005 one has to ask what sort of a deterrent will this be seen as to other athletes ?

Clearly Bush has profited from the award financially not just from his draft status in 2006 but also from the commercial endorsements garnered by the player. The NCAA in their dealings with USC found that the program there was rife with numerous infractions stemming from 2005 and prior. In pronouncing their findings they sought punish the program with impunity. The loss of multiple scholarships and none appearances in BCS bowl games for two consecutive years. We may think that the punishment was too severe but when one considers that the program sought to hide behind this subterfuge without an admission of guilt. And the idiocy shown by former USC students in trying to negate the wrongdoing by saying that the cheating didn’t take place on the field of play was as asinine as it comes !

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The NCAA doesn’t stipulate as to how cheating is prescribed as it concerns on the field endeavors because they simply state infractions of any kind aren’t tolerated. If that’s not a clear enough definition for those individuals then the education that takes place on the campus of USC isn’t all it’s cracked up to be ! As to Young being the recipient of the award, well it may not viewed as the right thing to do but to my mind it would not settle a situation that the Heisman board members and the NCAA were in some ways fully aware as to ongoing inconsistencies going on within the Trojans’ athletic program. But the idiocy here was that they all chose to turn a blind eye to the actions that had been rumored to have taken place. ere it not for the investigative journalists who sought to seek out the truth then much of what came to light would’ve remained hidden.

The NFL season is but a week old but already injuries could well become the culprit that waylays the year for several teams . It could play a great deal as to what transpires for numerous teams. So far the New York Jets , New England Patriots , Indianapolis Colts and are but a slew of teams that has lost players to season ending injuries. And it will become a test of wills for their coaches to see if the players plugged in to fill those gaps will prove to be sufficient to keep their seasons intact .

Did I miss something concerning the San Diego Chargers’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs ? I’m no great admirer of Norv Turner as a coach as I don’t view him as someone who knows how to handle real adversity within the NFL well. The Chargers’ defense was about as resolute as the passengers on the Titanic as they sought to save themselves. In the case of the Chargers there was nothing to be saved here other than the reputation of several veterans. The upheaval that there has been within the team where we’ve since seen the departure of future Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinsion and the discord between wide receiver Vincent Jackson </a? and the organization . GM A J Smith and team President & CEO Dean Spanos while looking towards the future seem to be unsure as to the what direction that they want the team to be heading in.

The AFC West long seen as the Chargers’ own personal backyard but this season could turn out to be somewhat different as the Chiefs now seem to be more resolute with the addition of Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel as the offensive and defensive coordinators for the team . The two experienced veteran coaches will provide a great deal of assistance to head coach Todd Haley . We may well also get to see how much growth there will be quarterback Matt Cassel’s game as he seeks to more cohesiveness with his team and in particular with the offense. The defense showed depth and signs of maturity in their season opener but it was special teams that brought about the victory for the success starved Chiefs.

Say what you may about the Oakland Raiders but I now get the impression that many of their fans aren’t always willing to deal with reality. And if they are, they’ll tend to wax on lyrically about past achievements rather than the reality of what’s happening at present. Can a Raiders’ fan simply explain to me how from one moment to the next this team simply plays as if they’ve no sense of acceptance or responsibility to their fans ? And from a coaching standpoint Tom Cable just hasn’t instigated any sort of discipline into this team. If there’s a Raiders fan out there who believes that he has then I’d like to hear your ideas as to where there’s evidence of that ? Two years on and it could well be that should Cable and the team not have a winning season then we could see the organization part with the coach and the ever revolving door of coaches departing from the team once again commences. It’s strange to see how far this organization has fallen from grace all under the tenure of owner Al Davis . And as storied as Davis’ legacy as been there comes a time when the keys to the kingdom has to be turned over to someone who actually knows the hell what they’re doing.

As week two approaches a number of things may well fall into place as a number of teams will actually begin to find their footing as the season progresses. My biggest concern is how realistic the league will be in the declining attendances across the NFL. Granted the cavernous edifices of Cowboys Stadium and Meadowlands Stadium may not initially reflect that given that both venues are still in their infancy but it remains to be seen whether or not the teams who call it their home can fill the venues without the anticipated success. Overall revenues are now on the decline for the NFL and so too has been game attendance although television viewership appears to be on the rise. The economic recession has played its part in this all but now with the uncertainty of a possible labor stoppage and the mere fact that there’s an impasse between the league and players’ union. And one could ask whether or not Commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA are actually making a concerted effort to reach an amicable agreement that would curtail a lockout ? What we’ve heard from either side would indicate that the chasm between the two sides appears to be wider than first thought . And neither side it appears wants to be seen as the villain of the piece but clearly neither side wants to be seen as the culprit that brings about a strike within the NFL. The good faith and will built between the league and its patrons , the fans , will suffer should the league shutdown for the entire upcoming season. Chances are if that scenario were to arise then we all might as well take up needlepoint as a replacement for watching or attending NFL games.

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Picture gallery for your perusal

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What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised in this piece and how do you view things panning out specifically with regard to the league ?

Alan aka tophatal 🙂 * 😦

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Bria Myles’ 22’s but I’m sure headlights and rims are far bigger than that ! And who wouldn’t want to polish Bria’s headlights ?

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Cassidy … feat’g Swizz Beatz ……..“My Drink-N-2 Step”

I’m Not About To Lie Down And Take One For The Team ………

I’m Not About To Lie Down And Take One For The Team ………

Do you get the impression that in Southern Cal all is not right with the world ? The much storied athletics’ program of the USC Trojans is seemingly under siege not just from within but also from the outside. The findings of the NCAA’s Infraction Committee has yet to be made public. But there are ominous signs coming down from up above at the highest levels within the university. University President Steven B. Sample is stepping down from his position in his capacity as its President. And there are now “cries” for the current AD Mike Garrett to follow suit and simply step down.

Former Trojans' football head coach Pete Carroll is seen here alongside University President Steven B Sample. The university President is set to vacate his position later on this year. The are now calls for the AD Mike Garrett to do likewise. photo appears courtesy of upi.com/ Roland Sharvelle ............
Former Trojans' football head coach Pete Carroll is seen here alongside University President Steven B Sample. The university President is set to vacate his position later on this year. The are now calls for the AD Mike Garrett to do likewise. photo appears courtesy of upi.com/ Roland Sharvelle ............

Questions have been asked and raised about the University’s athletics program that have yet to be fully answered by either Garrett or Sample in any real capacity. And if anything the controversy that has continued to surround the school with regard to both its basketball and football programs has left something of a unsavory taste in everyone’s mouth not associated with the program and the school. What might even be more bewildering to some has been the snail’s pace in terms of the investigation undertaken by the NCAA into the allegations that’ve concerned both sports within the school’s Athletics Department. It does make you wonder who has been minding the store while much of this went on ? And certainly in the case of both men’s football coach Pete Carroll and Tim Floyd the Trojans’ former basketball coach, there are a great many questions that have gone unanswered. Carroll has since departed from USC to take up the head coach’s position of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL . I guess “he” may have seen some of the ominous signs coming his way as the ” writing may well have been on the wall” ! And they talk about rats deserting a sinking ship ? The quickness of the departures of both “Carroll” and “Tim Floyd” only adds to the intrigue and the suspense. Never mind the aspects of ” …….. who knew what , where, when and why ? No one and I mean absolutely no one wants to talk about this “bitch” at all ! The silence is so deafening that you’d be under the impression that we were indeed investigating the murder of either Cripps or Blood gang member ?

Tim Floyd

Beleaguered former USC Trojans’ coach Tim Floyd takes questions from the convened press. There was a great deal of speculation involving Floyd’s association with known felon Rodney Guillory and a close personal friend and confidante of O J Mayo a former player on Floyd’s Trojans men’s basketball team.

One thing is becoming abundantly clear from this whole escapade and it is that USC is now covering its very own “ass” as it looks to stave off the wrath of the NCAA. Any punitive act on their (NCAA) part in terms of the suspensions of athletics’ scholarships , forfeiture of games and quite possibly of a the rescinding of whole competitive season and the results therein means absolutely nothing at the end of the day ! Especially when the program and the university have simply made tens of millions of dollars while the “alleged malfeasance” has gone on Simply put , the NCAA’s hierarchy are a bunch of oafs, if they think that the suspensions and forfeiture will have done enough to make USC learn its lesson. Hell , the boosters , alumni and no doubt senior members of the faculty are in fact laughing their asses off ! They might appear to be showing a great deal of concern but only insomuch as to how they will go about plotting their next ascent to the top of collegiate athletic. Do you get my point , you piss in the ocean and make a ripple but does it actually stir up the waves ? That’s about as much “damage” that will be done to the program when it’s all said and done !

Ever since the days of Reggie Bush’s ascent to stardom as a member of the Trojans’ football team , questions were being asked of the player and his close ties to an agent . Garrett for his part, acted none plus by this all, as if it were all news to him. But that has been the norm within the Trojans’ athletics’ program for years, that has been left unchecked by an administration that simply hasn’t cared , just as long as the “tangible success attained” remained consistent and was prolonged ! And would it have really made any difference to know that then men’s head basketball coach Tim Floyd knowingly gave $1,000-00 to an intermediary by the name of Rodney Guilllory, who was an associate and confidante’ of O J Mayo, the “the highly sought after prized recruit” on the Trojans men’s basketball team. One and done , Mayo was soon off to the NBA to make “his” fame and fortune . Can I get an amen, here ? I mean where else can you make a complete mockery of a system that is so corrupt that it is beyond belief. But yet we’re being told by all sides that what is now in place is of benefit to the student athlete .

Carroll (left) is seen here at a college basketball along with USC Athletics Director Mike Garrett game at Galen Arena , home to the USC Trojans men's baskeball team . The $200 million venue was joint fund raising effort initiated by Garrett in conjunction with boosters , alumni and local businesses within the greater Los Angeles area. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America / Rafael Dominguez ............
Carroll (left) is seen here at a college basketball along with USC Athletics Director Mike Garrett game at Galen Arena , home to the USC Trojans men's baskeball team . The $200 million venue was a joint fund raising effort initiated by Garrett in conjunction with boosters , alumni and local businesses within the greater Los Angeles area. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images North America / Rafael Dominguez ............


I can only surmise that the likes of David Stern , Roger Goodell , Bud Selig and Gary Bettman are happy with their lot ! Never mind the joy that is being felt by NCAA President James Isch , colleges and the major athletics conferences across the nation are of a similar like mindedness when it comes to collegiate feeder system to professionalism that’s in place. The NCAA makes its money , the conferences , universities
, coaches, athletic directors and agents make theirs . At the end of it all more often than not the student athlete hasn’t even got a pot to piss in and a window to throw it out of . What is wrong with this picture I ask ?

And while we wait for the findings of the NCAA and the punishment to be levied, if any against the University of Southern California (USC) . Ask yourself this, whose best interests is now being served by this all ? Is it the USC (Trojans) ? Or is it the NCAA or quite possibly the professional governing bodies of MLB , NFL , NBA and the NHL ? If you believe you do indeed have the answer then by all means leave a comment as to the reasons why. I’ll look forward to reading them each and responding in due course. As always, thanks for the continued support , it is greatly appreciated as usual ! >

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Bob Marley ……… “Don’t Worry Three Little Birds”

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Jessica Biel


Actress Jessica Biel
. Who wouldn’t want grab a hold of her “melons ? I know that I certainly would !

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Not Quite The Silly Season In Sports But It’s Still Early Days As Of Yet ……………..

We all know how that at the end of the regular season on the PGA Tour , the sport has its anomaly of post-season events . Wherein, the players can supplement their on Tour earnings with even more astronomical sums in terms of unofficial prize money. Never mind the fact that Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has extended the calendar on The Tour , whereby a number of events were move beyond the end of the official regular season but the winnings attained there wouldn’t count on a player’s official prize money earnings. This part of the season is known as the ‘silly season’ . The same is true of for all of the four major sports.

Not Quite The Silly Season In Sports But It’s Still Early Days As Of Yet ……………..

We all know how that at the end of the regular season on the PGA Tour , the sport has its anomaly of post-season events . Wherein, the players can supplement their on Tour earnings with even more astronomical sums in terms of unofficial prize money. Never mind the fact that Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem has extended the calendar on The Tour , whereby a number of events were move beyond the end of the official regular season but the winnings attained there wouldn’t count on a player’s official prize money earnings. This part of the season is known as the ‘silly season’ . The same is true of for all of the four major sports.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s steroids proposal, made to the union last month, calls for a 50-game ban for first offenders, a 100-game penalty for second offenders and a lifetime ban for a third positive test.
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s steroids proposal, made to the union last month, calls for a 50-game ban for first offenders, a 100-game penalty for second offenders and a lifetime ban for a third positive test. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Adam Roundtree .......

Well low and behold , despite the pontificating by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , his asinine and inane attempts to suggest that there were no tried , tested and reliable methods in testing for HGH (human growth hormone) . Somehow , it has come about whereby there is irrefutable evidence that there is a test that is 100 % full-proof. So much for the blithering idiot and the MLB hierarchy that had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century when it came to adopting an internationally recognized drug testing policy. Is the hierarchy of major league baseball that archaic ? Or is it being ran by a bunch of simpletons ?

Courtesy of The New York Daily News

British professional rugby player Terry Newton tests positive for HGH as MLB on deck for testing

By Michael O’Keeffe and Christian Red , Daily News Sports Writers

The argument by Major League Baseball that no reliable test for human growth hormone exists took a major hit Monday.

Both the United Kingdom Anti-Doping agency (UKAD) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) trumpeted the positive HGH test of British professional rugby player Terry Newton as “proof positive” that the drug can be detected in blood tests. Newton, who was tested in November, did not contest the result and yesterday was banned from the sport for two years by UKAD. Newton’s rugby club, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, also canceled his contract. Newton is believed to be the first case of a professional athlete testing positive for HGH using a blood sample.

Baseball has banned growth hormone since 2005, but there is still no HGH testing. Travis Tygart, USADA’s chief executive, Monday blasted baseball’s argument that an effective HGH test is unavailable.

“All of us who have helped develop a test wouldn’t put it in place if it wasn’t forensically sound and reliable.” Tygart told the Daily News. “Particularly in (Newton’s) case, it’s proof positive the test works.”

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With the ‘positive test’ of British rugby league player , Terry Newton , further proves how far and out of touch major league baseball really is with regard to the ongoing medical advances that there are in the meticulous testing of athletes for prohibitive substances. Not that it would really matter to baseball under Selig’s tenure as commissioner. He still believes to this day, that the sport has the most rigorous and meticulous testing policy in all of professional sports. As well as meting out the stiffest penalties available. If I hadn’t realize that he was being serious, I wouldn’t continue to ridicule this oaf ! His mendacity would suggest that he hasn’t the faintest idea as to what the hell he’s talking about. If anything , the ‘Mitchell Report’ and its finding further clarifies that ! God knows, the game itself , still has its problems but Selig’s handling of the issue and the undue intransigence of the MLBPA (union) has only further exacerbated and compounded an already grave situation.

Well what do you know ? A number of teams around the NFL have begun to either place the ‘franchise tag’ on their unrestricted free agents or in some cases, they’ve actually ‘cut’ players whom they feel are no longer of much use to their organizations. It’s business and the ‘nature of the beast’. Nothing in the game of football is guaranteed , other than a signing bonus and the ancillary incentives reached by a player once they attain those objectives. Could some please remind Jeff Garcia why it was that he and former Buccaneers’ coach Jon Gruden had a parting of the ways ? Honesty seems to be something that Gruden was short on , during his professional career as an NFL coach. But that asides , he got the job done.

Carolina Panthers' Julius Peppers saluting fans as he walks off the field after the Panthers' <strong> 23-10 </strong>win over the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers have decided the price is too steep to keep their all-time sacks leader. It means five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers is about to become one of the top prizes in free agency.  Agent Carl Carey says the Panthers have told him they won't place the restrictive franchise tag on Peppers for a second consecutive year at a cost of more than $20 million.  The move Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010,  comes two days before the tag deadline.  photo appears courtesy  of Associated  Press/ Rick Havner  ......
Carolina Panthers' Julius Peppers saluting fans as he walks off the field after the Panthers' 23-10 win over the New Orleans Saints in an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers have decided the price is too steep to keep their all-time sacks leader. It means five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers is about to become one of the top prizes in free agency. Agent Carl Carey says the Panthers have told him they won't place the restrictive franchise tag on Peppers for a second consecutive year at a cost of more than $20 million. The move Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010, comes two days before the tag deadline. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Rick Havner ......

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Eagles release RB Westbrook after 8 seasons

By Dan Gelston , AP Sports Writer

Philadelphia (AP)—Brian Westbrook(notes) could break open a game from almost anywhere on the field.

Lined up in the slot, he could run a slant, beat a linebacker and take off with no one able to catch No. 36. His defining moment with the Philadelphia Eagles came on an 84-yard punt return that stunned the New York Giants in 2003.

Out of the backfield, he was a 1,000-yard rusher who always kept defenses guessing—and flailing.

But in his later years, it was injuries that defined Westbrook more than his dynamic offensive skills. His age, salary and lengthy list of beaten body parts led the Eagles to release him Tuesday and save the team $7.5 million due next year.

“I think we all know that Brian is one of the all-time great Philadelphia Eagles,” coach Andy Reid said. “For what we’ve done here over the years, Brian has been just a huge part of building this program to the level that we’re at now. My heart will always be a Brian Westbrook fan as we go forward here.”

A former All-Pro, the 5-foot-10 Westbrook led the league in yards from scrimmage in 2007 with 2,104. He rushed for 1,333 yards and accounted 12 touchdowns that season.

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Chargers’ GM A. J. Smith made the decision to cut their Pro Bowl running back, LaDainian Tomlinson . The same maneuver has since been followed with Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Brian Westbrook being cut by the team’s GM Joe Banner. Do you seen an emerging pattern here ? Once you’re deemed ‘over the hill’, then that’s it ……’you’re out’.

It’s been often said , that once the San Francisco 49ers saw fit to release their ‘storied quarterback’, Joe Montana , the ‘game’ had essentially ‘lost its soul’. Whether or not that it is indeed true, I’ll leave that up to you, to decide ! And though it’s no longer all that disturbing , there’s still something of a tinge of sadness when this all happens to a much beloved and well respected player.

The NFC South’s Carolina Panthers now face a daunting task , as to whether or not it is still prudent to re-sign Julius Peppers. The Pro Bowl defensive end , last season was a franchise tagged player, who was the league’s highest paid player with a salary of $16.9 million for 2009. Coach Jon Fox would no doubt like to retain the player but at what cost to their bottom line ? Never mind the fact that the needs on this Panthers’ roster goes way beyond trying to persuade Peppers to remain with the team but at a lower salary. Somehow , neither Peppers or his agent are liable to acquiesce and listen to such a request from the Panthers' front office and their general manager , Marty Hurney . There’ll no doubt be a number of teams that are liable to show an interest in the player and who will be quite prepared to meet or surpass his asking price.

Courtesy of NFL.com

Sweet home Chicago for Peppers, Kampman? DEs coveted by Bears

By Jason La Canafora of NFL.com

The Chicago Bears are gearing up for a major run at Julius Peppers, a league source said Tuesday, and Aaron Kampman also is an option for a team that’s intent on landing a pass-rushing defensive end this offseason.

Peppers, who will not receive the Carolina Panthers’ franchise tag, is the Bears’ prime target. However, Peppers will not come cheap — he was seeking around $40 million guaranteed from the Panthers. The Bears traditionally are a frugal team, but in this limited free-agent market, they are prepared to jump into the sweepstakes for Peppers, who had 81 sacks in eight seasons with the Panthers.

Kampman, who struggled to switch from end to linebacker in the Green Bay Packers’ new 3-4 defense, also is someone the Bears are high on, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The Bears know Kampman well from their intense NFC North rivalry games against the Packers.

Chicago’s defense ranked 17th in the NFL last season, and coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo need improvement to ease questions about their job security. After mulling whether or not to part with higher-priced defensive veterans such as linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs and tackle Tommie Harris, Bears management has decided to keep that core together and try to add playmakers through free agency.

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Well a number of my blogging buddies , namely, chappy 81 and sportschump , have been telling me, ne’ persuading me , that the likes of the Dallas Mavericks and Orlando Magic are still legitimate contenders for the NBA title. The veracity of a case can still be made for the Magic , as they’re still the reigning Eastern Conference champions within the NBA. With regard to the Mavericks and their stellar play this season under the guidance of coach, Rick Carlisle . For chappy , I mention these words ‘…..does the meaning swoon in June resonate with you at all ? Because for all sense and purpose that is it what we’ve become use to seeing from the Mavericks over the past few seasons. This team led by Dirk Nowitzki is very, very good, during the regular season . But far too often , once the postseason season comes around they become something of a tease. They’ll lure you in with the belief that this is to be their year , whereby they will fully acquit themselves. But it as I’ve suggested all too often , comes that swoon. And then that obligatory tailspin comes into being. Being a passenger on the Titanic might prove to be much more fortuitous than being a fan of the Mavericks.

Mike Dunleavy (#17) of the Indiana Pacers goes up for the lay up against Brendan Haywood (#33) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on February 22, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo  appears  courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Glenn  James  ...................
Mike Dunleavy (#17) of the Indiana Pacers goes up for the lay up against Brendan Haywood (#33) of the Dallas Mavericks during a game at the American Airlines Center on February 22, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Glenn James ...................

And needless to say, the acquisitions of both Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood does make them better. But are they as good as their erstwhile rivals in the Western Conference in the guise of the Los Angeles Lakers or Denver Nuggets ? State the case , wherein the Mavericks are as good as either team ? Because nothing they’ve done thus far in the season that bears this out. One can surmise that Mavericks’ GM Donnie Walsh sought to bolster the roster in order to make it more resilient with the additions of both Butler and Haywood. But neither player can be considered clutch performers when it matters most and yet there those who trying to tell me that Haywood can be that and a great deal more ? If he wasn’t that much of presence with the Wizards to begin with . Then why all of a sudden will things suddenly take a turn for the better from his standpoint ? He’s a serviceable player , if that’s what the Mavericks are in fact looking for. And the case for Butler that can be made , is that on certain nights he’ll be able to make a contribution for the team. So lets not pretend that overnight , the Mavericks are about to set the NBA world alight and make Mark Cuban a very happy man. You’d better off making the case that Sarah Palin would be a wiser choice as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. And even though that scenario can’t be anymore less stupid than the one being placed that the Mavericks will be able to challenge usurp the supremacy of both the Lakers and Nuggets. But alas, this is now the world that we live in , where anything can be said without much logic being stated as the basis for an argument.

College Football is replete with good and bad coaches. As a matter of fact that broad based statement runs the gamut of collegiate athletics. The troubling fact now within the game is that there are a number of coaches who choose to eschew the rules, in order to seek an advantage for their program. And little do they care as to the consequences of their actions. That has to be the case for both programs of the USC Trojans and the University of Michigan (Wolverines). Both programs are under new head coaches but in the case of all three current and past coaches there’s a case to be made where each has violated the rules of the NCAA . Pete Carroll and now current coach Lane Kiffin has essentially carried on where his predecessor left off , with the Trojans’ program. The athletics’ program at USC has become so ‘tainted’ that it’s hard to make a case why it shouldn’t be suspended altogether, for a period of not less than year to act as a deterrent to others . Both the men’s football and basketball programs have been complicit in some serious transgressions violations of NCAA rules. And one wonders why it has taken so long even with the ongoing investigations that’ve been conducted by the NCAA. But here’s the kicker to it all, the football program is not only a ‘cash cow’ for the NCAA but also for the BCS system. And one wouldn’t want to be seen as biting the hand that feeds it now, would one ?

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, left, and head football coach <strong>Rich Rodriguez</strong>, right, are shown at a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. The NCAA has found that Michigan's storied football program was out of compliance with practice time rules under coach Rodriguez. Incoming athletic director David Brandon disclosed the finding Tuesday. He says there were no surprises in the NCAA findings. He also says Rodriguez remains the coach. Michigan has 90 days to respond and will appear at an NCAA hearing on infractions in August. photo appears courtesy of  Associated Press/ Paul Sancya  ......
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman, left, and head football coach Rich Rodriguez, right, are shown at a news conference in Ann Arbor, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010. The NCAA has found that Michigan's storied football program was out of compliance with practice time rules under coach Rodriguez. Incoming athletic director David Brandon disclosed the finding Tuesday. He says there were no surprises in the NCAA findings. He also says Rodriguez remains the coach. Michigan has 90 days to respond and will appear at an NCAA hearing on infractions in August. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Paul Sancya ......

In the case of the Wolverines and their coach, Rich Rodriguez . He has knowingly flouted the rules concerning the amount of time allowable for his players in terms of their preparational training for a game, contravening the strict rules that all programs have to abide by. Rodriguez categorically denies any wrongdoing on his part , even with the statements from current and past players of the football program detailing otherwise. The situation has become so ridiculous, that both the AD David Brandon and University President Mary Sue Coleman have come out in full support of the beleaguered and embattled coach. And one would’ve thought that in both cases the AD’s of both establishments would be looking to enforce the rules and make a formal statement giving the NCAA assurances that they not condone such actions. But in the case of both Brandon and his counterpart Mike Garrett at USC , this most definitely has not been the case !

Los Angeles -January 13th 2010. New head coach of the USC Trojans Lane Kiffin shakes a hand as he makes his way to his press conference at Heritage Hall  in Los Angeles, California.  photo appears  courtesy of  Getty Images/  Harry How .................
Los Angeles -January 13th 2010. New head coach of the USC Trojans Lane Kiffin shakes a hand as he makes his way to his press conference at Heritage Hall in Los Angeles, California. photo appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Harry How .................

Now there’s no chance of either program coming forward and admitting any impropriety on their part. But consider this , when it was first announced that an investigation was about to get underway into the USC athletics’ program. The school’s AD approached the NCAA about imposing their own sanctions on both the basketball and football programs. And we now wonder why Pete Carroll fled USC under the subterfuge that he sought a new challenge in the NFL ranks , to be a coach with the Seattle Seahawks ? For those in the know , wouldn’t that be considered a step down for Pete Carroll ? LOL,LOL, LOL !!! In large part most people view the Trojans’ program as LA’s only true professional football franchise ? And that’s with all due respect to California Redwoods of the UFL (United Football League). Who see themselves as the transitional answer to Los Angeles’ need for a professional football franchise. Redwoods’ owner Paul Pelosi , husband of House Majority Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), has all but stated that as a fact. As he ultimately foresees the franchise as the ultimate answer for the city’s quest and yearning for a professional football franchise. Whether not that as well as the UFL comes to full fruition remains to be seen. Albeit, that the Redwoods are based in San Jose, some three hundred miles away from the city of Los Angeles. Nothing like ambition to spread bold , asinine statements and ideas to begin with ! Could it be, that both Pelosi’s are intent on ruling their domains, as they view it from the lofty perches of their ivory towers ? Needless to say there’s some love and hatred there for both.

Duke's Jon Scheyer collides with Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, left, during the first half. Scheyer scored 25 points and collected 10 rebounds in the win.
Duke's Jon Scheyer collides with Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, left, during the first half. Scheyer scored 25 points and collected 10 rebounds in the win. The Blue Devils defeated Virginia Tech (Hokies) 67-55 in the game . photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Sara Davis .................

Would it be remiss for me to suggest that the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) of men’s basketball ‘stinks to high heaven’ ? Now don’t get me wrong there are still some marginal teams but what the hell has gone wrong there ? Other than Duke , there isn’t another team from the conference in the ‘top 25’ of the national rankings . And even with the Blue Devils ranked at number 5 in the rankings, Mike Krzyzewski’s team hasn’t been exactly setting the world on fire with their play. But one could surmise that they’re waiting to shine in the NCAA national championships ? Roll on ‘March Madness’ , as that’s when the ‘men will be separated from the boys’ .

This’ll be the one time of the year that I’d have to be dragged kicking and screaming away from in-front of the television set when the NCAA men’s national championships are on. To my mind it’s the best of the collegiate championships that takes place during the course of the sporting calendar. And in terms of sheer excitement , it ranks up there alongside the Superbowl , itself ! And the real thrilling part of it all , other than showing support for one’s team. It will be to see the future prospective stars of the NBA. And those may well be the names such of such current stars , as John Wall and his Wildcats’ teammate DeMarcus Cousins . Others who also come to mind are Sherron Collins of the Kansas Jayhawks, Ricky Jackson of the Syracuse Orangemen and a slew other players , far too numerous to mention. But over the course of the NCAA tournament , I guarantee that you’ll get to know who those players are. And you’ll definitely be showing your support for them , if not their teams.

Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts speaks to the media Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 at the Chicago Cubs spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. photo appears  Assoc. Press/ Matt  York  ....
Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts speaks to the media Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 at the Chicago Cubs spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. photo appears Assoc. Press/ Matt York ....

A century plus of continued futility and there’s now said to be a breath of fresh air in the environment, as the new Chicago Cubs’, owner, billionaire, Tom Ricketts , addresses the team as well as the rest of the organization . How much this will resonate with the Cubs’ long suffering fans and those devoted faithful who throng to Wrigley Field religiously to watch the team play, remains to be seen. But rest assured Ricketts’ anecdotes about his fond memories of the Cubs and some of their former halcyon days can only provide a respite for what we may well envisage once again this season.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

New Cubs owner Ricketts addresses team

By Rick Gano , AP Sports Writer

Mesa, Ariz. (AP)—Tom Ricketts once sat in the bleachers at Wrigley Field, cheering for the Chicago Cubs. On Tuesday, with the players gathered around him in the spring training weight room, he addressed the team that his family now owns.

His message was simple: He and his family will be around and do everything possible to help the Cubs win.

“If there is anything we can do better, let us know,” Ricketts said he told the players.

For his part, Ricketts is already taking steps.

There are new upgrades at Wrigley Field, including an improved clubhouse and weight rooms, a new players’ lounge, a new club in the outfield and better restrooms for fans. The Ricketts also raised ticket prices on some seats at the storied stadium.

“Obviously Wrigley needs a lot of love and a lot of help over the next few years,” Ricketts said. “That will be very challenging. Other than that, we feel the pressure to produce on some winning teams and that will be something that is always with us.”

The Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908.

Ricketts said if the Cubs are in contention around the trade deadline, it’s possible they would spend the money to bring in a player needed to make a playoff push.

Manager Lou Piniella sounded confident that would happen.

“The fact they are going to involved and visible and the fact they want to win and are very competitive, and I’m sure if we get in position during the course of the summer and we need something, there’s a darn good chance they’ll step forward,” Piniella said.

“The Ricketts are going to be good for Chicago and for the Chicago Cubs,” added Piniella, who is in the last year of his contract. “This is not just a one-year or two-year thing. They want to keep this team in their family for a long, long time.”

The $845 million sale of the Cubs, Wrigley Field and other assets from the Tribune Co. to the family of billionaire Joe Ricketts was completed in October, more than 2 1/2 years after the baseball franchise went on the market.

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Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, right, along with coaches Matt Sinatro, middle, and Lester Strode watch pitchers warm up during spring training baseball camp practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. photo appears courtesy  of  Assoc. Press/  Ross D. Franklin  ...........
Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, right, along with coaches Matt Sinatro, middle, and Lester Strode watch pitchers warm up during spring training baseball camp practice Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010, in Mesa, Ariz. photo appears courtesy of Assoc. Press/ Ross D. Franklin ...........

If it wasn’t enough that the Lou Piniella coached Cubs has to contend with the St Louis Cardinals , Milwaukee Brewers , Houston Astros , Cincinnati Reds and less we forget the woefully inept Pittsburgh Pirates >. The NL Central alongside the NL East might just be the two most competitive divisions in the National League. But it’d be enough to suggest that Ricketts is now of the belief that the beleaguered organization is about to turn the corner as its impending fortunes are about to change. Haven’t we all seen this before ? A new owner rides in on his white steed in the hope of regaling the fans and the community at large with the view that they can contend and bring a championship to the city. If only that were the case with the Chicago Cubs . They’ve become more of a tease than a voluptuous scantly clad blond female at a party. She and you both are there but with one thing on both of your mind. But in the end, you’re the one who ends up being disappointed.
It just turns out the blond in question is literally that, nothing more than a damn tease . As are the Chicago Cubs, year in and year out ! Can someone now please slaughter that damn goat and put the Cubs and their long suffering fans out of their misery ? And while you’re at it , call Steve Bartman and tell him , he’s still ‘persona-non-grata’ in the city of Chicago ?

The now infamous ‘Bartman Incident ‘ that happened at Wrigley Field during the NLCS game between the Cubs and Marlins. And the rest say they say ‘……… is history’.

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Bartman had to be escorted out of Wrigley Field , as the Cubs’ hierarchy at the time feared for his safety. On the night was there a more despised person in the city of Chicago ? Or perhaps the state of Illinois ?

The ‘silly season’ in sports will soon be upon us and we’re liable to laugh as much as get upset for one reason or another, as to the stories start to unfold. Personally, I’d rather just laugh my way throughout the season , rather than letting my emotions get the better of me because of another stupid episode during the sporting calendar year. What are your thoughts on the whole thing ?


Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………..

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From the land of my parental birth, Jamaica. Here’s Buju Banton with ‘Champion’ .

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Canadian adult burlesque performer Bianca Beauchamp . Here she is in her wondrous form and self. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the subject and content matter ? To view each picture within the gallery in full, just click unto the individual picture in question.

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The Guys With The Biggest Mouths In The Room Aren’t Always The Bravest Or The Brightest ……………… !

The Guys With The Biggest Mouths In The Room Aren’t Always The Bravest Or Brightest

Well it came down to nothing more than having your backside smacked because of your posturing . And when it was all said and done a number of teams were extremely lucky to escape a fate that could’ve been far worse than envisaged.

Notre  Dame  quarterback  Jimmy Clausen  and  team  coach  Charlie  Weis   discuss  the   options   for the  last   play   of the  game   against   the  USC (Trojans).   Notre  Dame   would  go   on   to  lose  the   game   34-27   when   Clausen's   last   ditch   attempted   pass   was   an  incomplete   into the endzone.     The   game  was   played   in  South  Bend,  Indiana,.  picture appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/ Michael  Conroy   ..................
Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and team coach Charlie Weis discuss the options for the last play of the game against the USC (Trojans). Notre Dame would go on to lose the game 34-27 when Clausen's last ditch attempted pass was an incomplete into the endzone. The game was played in South Bend, Indiana,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Michael Conroy ..................

USC (Trojans) escaped by the skin of their teeth , by beating Notre Dame 34-27 . This was the game where the Fighting Irish would give the Trojans a fight. And in many ways they did . But can we now have Lou Holtz and NBC as apologists for the program stop with the belly aching as to the relevancy of the program ? A win they say would give Notre Dame coach, Charlie Weis, something of a respite for those who ate calling for his head to be placed on a pike.

Weis seen here discussing his landing the recruitment of Manti Te’o . One would think that the Notre Dame roster is replete with All Americans ? With the exception of Golden Tate , there isn’t much on this team to be get excited about !

And I’m given to believe that because this program is meandering aimlessly nowhere under Weis’ watch.That he’s made it better than it was , under his predecessor, Tyrone Willingham ? The only reason that Weis has lasted this long , is merely from the fact that he brings in the ‘big bucks’ via the boosters and from the Fightin’ Irish alumni across the country. And it certainly hasn’t hurt the program Head of NBC Sports , Dick Ebersol is a Notre Dame grad. How else can one explain the fact that they’ve seen fit to plow millions of dollars into covering Notre Dame , whilst getting little in return via a tangible onfield product ? But then again what they’re now serving up on NBC isn’t all that great to begin with. I mean, when 5 hours of primetime television is devoted to a revamped ‘The Jay Leno Show’ that has now become so stale that even the vultures no longer bother to circle the entrails. You know that there’s got to be something wrong with their programming to begin with ! And if anyone is of the opinion that because Notre Dame recently appeared in a non-descript ‘bowl game’ , such as the Hawaii Bowl (2008) , it adds to the program’s luster. Then think again because if anything , it only adds to their embarrassment to begin with. Especially given Weis’ track record since his arrival in South Bend. One could surmise that they’ve greatly underachieved with Weis at the helm ?

Gators'  running  back   Jeffery  Demps  celebrates with   teammate  , wide  receiver    David Nelson,  after   scoring   a  10- yard  touchdown  in  the  fourth  quarter   against   Arkansas     played   in  Gainesville  ,  Fl.   The   Gators  would   go  on  to   defeat  the  Razorbacks  23-20   in  a hard  fought  game.   picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ John  Raoux    .....................
Gators' running back Jeffery Demps celebrates with teammate , wide receiver David Nelson, after scoring a 10- yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against Arkansas played in Gainesville , Fl. The Gators would go on to defeat the Razorbacks 23-20 in a hard fought game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Raoux .....................

On the other hand the number one ranked Florida (Gators) defeated Arkansas (Razorbacks) 23-20, with a field goal against a 25 point underdog. And if you’re of the opinion that Florida still warrants being ranked # 1 after Saturday’s erratic display. Then you’re sadly mistaken. Florida barely escaped by the skin of their teeth and though as they say “ ……. a win is a win “ . At the end of the day it’s how you win that really does count – Florida won ugly ! Need I say anymore ?

Purdue   wide receiever  Adam  Wolf (26)   reacts  after   recovering  a  fumble   by   Buckeyes'  wide  receiver    Ray Small  (82)  on  a  punt   return   during   the   second  quarter    of the   game .  It   was   one   opf  several   turnovers  committed  during   the   game  by  the  Buckeyes   and   it  led  to  their   unraveling   ensuring  the   loss to  the  Boilermakers  28-16   in  the   game   played  in  West  Lafayette , Ind,.    picture  appears   courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Darron  Cummings   .........................
Purdue wide receiever Adam Wolf (26) reacts after recovering a fumble by Buckeyes' wide receiver Ray Small (82) on a punt return during the second quarter of the game . It was one opf several turnovers committed during the game by the Buckeyes and it led to their unraveling ensuring the loss to the Boilermakers 28-16 in the game played in West Lafayette , Ind,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Darron Cummings .........................

Can someone explain to me why it is, year in , year out, there is a cry that the Ohio State (Buckeyes) are lauded as being a team that’s worth taking notice of ? Hardly a worthwhile endorsement when the program has become so passé. Having played the Purdue (Boilermakers) on Saturday the team and its quarterback , Terrell Pryor became unraveled against Purdue. Now the Buckeye fans can stop with the inane stupidity that they have athletes and with a great deal of athleticism on their team. There are geriatrics now residing in residential homes who show more poise than certain members of the Buckeyes’ roster. Purdue defeated Ohio State 28-16 and their national ambitions essentially, has gone up in flames. But then , it’s better to go up in flames now, rather than being embarrassed on the national stage in a national championship game.

Hokies'  quarterback  Tyrod  Taylor  (5)  lies  on  the  field  in  disbelief  after   Virginia  Tech  misses  a  two   point  conversion  in the  latter   part  of the   fourth  quarter   against  the   Georgia  Tech  (Yellowjackets).   It  was  a  game of   missed   opportunities   for   Virginia  Tech.    picture   appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/  John  Bazemore   .......................
Hokies' quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) lies on the field in disbelief after Virginia Tech misses a two point conversion in the latter part of the fourth quarter against the Georgia Tech (Yellowjackets). It was a game of missed opportunities for Virginia Tech. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ John Bazemore .......................

Well if ever there wasn’t a time for the Virginia Tech (Hokies) to implode, then this wasn’t it ! As they lost to their Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) rivals Georgia Tech (Yellow Jackets) 28-23 . That would suggest they’re out of contention for the ACC championship. Well for the # 4 ranked Hokies this makes their season somewhat irrelevant . But make of it what you will , as the college football season now embarks on its latter half. Of this we can be sure however , you can brag and strut all you want. But if you’re unable to back up that talk by walking the walk , then you might as well keep your mouth shut.

Alabama  coach,  Nick  Saban  is   greeted   by  his   opposite  number    Steve Spurrier  of   South  Carolina   after the  game   between  their   two   teams.    Alabama   overwhelmed     South  Carolina   20-6    in  a   very   lopsided  game   played   at  Bryant   Denny  Stadium  in Tuscaloosa  ,  Alabama ,.     picture  appears  courtesy   of   ap/photo/  Dave Martin     .........................
Alabama coach, Nick Saban is greeted by his opposite number Steve Spurrier of South Carolina after the game between their two teams. Alabama overwhelmed South Carolina 20-6 in a very lopsided game played at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa , Alabama ,. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Dave Martin .........................

Now comes the rub , who now at this juncture has the real legitimacy as being the best team in college football ? Could it be Nick Saban’s #2 ranked Alabama (Crimson Tide) ? Who crushed his erstwhile counterpart , Steve Spurrier‘s , South Carolina (Gamecocks), 20-6 . Or quite possibly some other team that the pundits have overlooked ? Let’s just say the polls and the fact that a computer plays a part in the adjudication doesn’t give us all a great deal of joy to begin with. Computers are best used for working out complex algorithmic equations, blogging and for the deviants amongst us , looking at porn</strong. When it becomes part of the panacea of the makeup of the BCS polls . Then it becomes something of an annoyance.

It Still Has Its Dangers Be It On The Field Of Play Or Off It ………….

One of the most staggering stories that I’ve heard in a long time came about the USC Trojans’ running back Stafon Johnson. The tragic accident that has taken place and has now left the player in a critical but stable condition, should remind us of the dangers of sports as a recreational passtime. Be it on the field of play or off it.

USC tailback  Stafon  Johnson  (13)  seen  here   on the  sidelines  during  a   Trojans'   practice  .    picture  appears courtesy  of    latimes.com/sports/   .............
USC tailback Stafon Johnson (13) seen here on the sidelines during a Trojans' practice . picture appears courtesy of latimes.com/sports/ .............

Johnson, a junior with the Trojans , is a highly competitive and exceptional player. He does nothing by half measures and that’s perhaps one of the reasons he’s so well liked by his fellow teammates and by his coach Pete Carroll. The incident as it occurred is something of a mystery. What we do know is that while working out in the campus gymnasium with the team’s strength and conditioning coach, an unfortunate accident took place. Johnson at the time was said to be bench pressing weights when his hand slipped and the bar-bell came down across his throat , crushing his larynx. Assistance was sought and the player was rushed to the California Hospital Medical Center. He’s had to undergo several hours of intricate surgery to repair whatever damage had been sustained . But the belief is that the player will survive the injuries sustained and make a full recovery. As to what form that will take , is clearly open to intense speculation at this moment in time.

It came to be known as ‘The Drive’.

If one remembers Johnson was an invaluable member and contributed greatly in USC’s 18-15 defeat of Ohio State in week 2 of the 2009-10 college season. Joe McKnight and Johnson made the victory all the more poignant for Trojans’ fans over their arch rivals.

While we can all appreciate that incidents such as this, though rare. It gives us all a sense of our own vulnerabilities and that of the athlete at play, be it on or off the field of play. At this moment in time , my thoughts goes out to the player , his immediate family and that of the program.

Courtesy Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

USC’s Johnson has throat surgery after accident

By Greg Meacham AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Southern California tailback Stafon Johnson is unlikely to play again this season after a falling weight bar crushed his neck and larynx.

The senior who scored the No. 7 Trojans’ go-ahead touchdown against Ohio State two weeks ago was bench-pressing when the bar slipped from his right hand and fell onto his throat.

Johnson was in critical but stable condition late Monday night after more than seven hours of surgery, said Katreena Salgado, a spokeswoman for California Hospital Medical Center.

He was treated for crushing injuries to his neck as well as severe injuries to his larynx, said the hospital’s trauma medical director, Dr. Gudata Hinika.

It’s unlikely Johnson will be able to play again this season, but his prognosis is good and doctors expect him to make a full recovery, Hinika said in a statement released by the hospital.

Johnson is the Trojans’ second-leading rusher with 157 yards, and he leads USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) with five touchdowns. He led USC in rushing last season with 705 yards and nine touchdowns, but has become into the Trojans’ short-yardage specialist this season behind starter Joe McKnight.

“It hit him with a lot of force, and it hurt him,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Trojans’ brief practice Monday night. “No broken bones as far as I understand, but he’s got some damage in there somewhere, and they’re working it out, trying to figure out what it is.”

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Any sporting endeavor has its dangers and for the fans in attendance who are there to watch their teams do battle . It can’t be lost on them ,that a player is only but one hit away from being seriously injured. While the dangers are there and the players are willing to subject themselves to those inherent dangers. It’s also not lost on them how grave those dangers can be. But yet like the gladiators of ancient times they’re prepared to do it for the glory and the willingness to sacrifice themselves for the team .

Teammates  James  Wilson, left  and  Matt  Patchan  look  over  Tim  Tebow   as  he  lays  on  the  ground  motionless  having  been  sacked.    The  player  was   unresponsive  for  several    minutes  and   had  to be   led   from    the  field  having     incurred  a  concussion.       picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/   Ed  Reinke  ....................
Teammates James Wilson, left and Matt Patchan look over Tim Tebow as he lays on the ground motionless having been sacked. The player was unresponsive for several minutes and had to be led from the field having incurred a concussion. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ed Reinke ....................

For the #1 ranked Florida Gators and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback , Tim Tebow. They face a dilemma of a different sort. The player coming off yet another resounding defeat of another non-descript program,in Kentucky 41-7. During the game , Tebow in the third quarter was tackled and sacked by Wildcats’ defensive end Taylor Wyndham . Having fallen with the full weight of the defensive end on top of him. Tebow’s head came in contact with that of his teammate’s Marcus Gilbert’s leg, sending his neck back violently upon contact. In the ensuing incident , Tebow suffered a concussion and lay motionless on the field for several minutes unresponsive.

Tebow is   helped  off  the field   as  a  stretcher  lies  in the  background.   The  player  was  determined  to  have   suffered   a  second   degree  concussion     during   the  game.     picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/photo/  Ed  Reinke  .........................
Tebow is helped off the field as a stretcher lies in the background. The player was determined to have suffered a second degree concussion during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ed Reinke .........................

Courtesy Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

No.1 Florida wins but Tebow injured

By Will Graves AP Sports Writer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—With one scary hit on Tim Tebow, the fate of No. 1 Florida — and really, the entire complexion of the college football season—could have changed.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was knocked out of Florida’s 41-7 victory against Kentucky after a hard shot to the head in the third quarter, and taken by ambulance to a hospital.

“I don’t know, I think it’s a concussion,” Florida coach Urban Meyer said. “I think he’ll be all right.

“He took a pretty good shot.”

Tebow was scheduled to stay overnight in the hospital, Florida spokesman Steve McClain said.

The Gators were leading 31-7 and driving deep in Kentucky territory when Tebow was sacked by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham on a vicious but clean hit. As he fell back with Wyndham on top of him, Tebow’s head struck teammate Marcus Gilbert’s leg, violently bending his neck forward.

Tebow, a tank of a quarterback at 245 pounds, lay motionless for several minutes while Commonwealth Stadium fell silent. He sat up with some help then slowly made his way off the field to a loud ovation. Florida’s medical staff attended to him on the bench and his parents came down from the stands to join him.

He was eventually carted off the field with concussion-like symptoms, vomiting several times.

Florida is off next week, then plays at LSU on Oct. 10. It’s probably the toughest game on Florida’s regular-season schedule and would be even tougher without Tebow.

A third national title in four seasons for Florida, a second Heisman for Tebow, all that becomes iffy if his injury causes him to miss games. Oddly, Saturday started with questions about Tebow’s availability because of a respiratory illness.

Meyer said Tebow had just one question after the hit.

“He asked me ‘Did I hold onto the ball?”’ Meyer said. “I told him he did and he winked at me and said ‘It’s great to be a Gator.”
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The player it is said after the incident wasn’t completely aware of his surroundings. Though his initial response to a question asked of him , was ……” did I hold unto the ball ? ” Thereafter , he was taken to a nearby hospital in Lexington, Kentucky to undergo a battery of neurological testing for the concussion sustained. As it is , with any concussion it can’t always be determined how serious they are. Especially one of the variety that was sustained by Tim Tebow. Second degree concussions do have a tendency of lingering or they can just as quickly disappear.

But already questions are being asked of the Florida Gators’ coach , Urban Meyer , as to whether or not the player will be available to play in their next scheduled game. If anything the utmost priority ought to be concerned health and well being of the player. Rather than whether or not he’ll be ready to play in their next game. It’s not as if he’d just sustained a sprained ankle or a pulled groin muscle. Those type of injuries can be easily overcome through the usual efforts. In the case of a concussion they can have a lasting effect-long after his career has come to an end. And though no one at this juncture would suggest that the player’s collegiate career is about to come to an abrupt halt. Missing a game or two mightn’t be out of the question , as to what’s best for his long term future.

Would that sacrifice be too dear a price to pay for the program at this juncture ? Well for the Gators’ fans and the program that just might be the case. As to the player , himself , only he can answer that question at this juncture.
The chances are that he’ll be prepared to take that risk should he be given the all clear by the medical staff to do so. But then again , we’ve seen cases where the medical profession have made mistakes concerning incidents of this nature.

In this case do you feel it’s worth the risk for Tebow to make an immediate return to the field of play ? And if so why do you feel that way ? And in the case of Trojans’ running back Stafon Johson . Have you ever heard of an accident of this type ever taking place under such conditions ? Your comments on this topic would make for an interesting discussion . So by all means do leave a comment. I’ll look forward to reading and then replying to each .