Just some random thoughts on some random topics.
Fall Camp Battles
Jut a quick note, that over on Bonesville the first part of a two-part series on the looming fall camp battles has been posted. You can get to here. Be sure to use IE browser for best viewing as Safari and Firefox is not presenting as well.
I am so ready for football season.
Hoist the Colours Flying Higher
Quick congrats to Stephen and the crew over at HTC…well done on the merger with 247 sports. Site looks great, your information flow is already awesome and the number of folks who followed you over ought to give you a boost of enthusiasm.
Go here…and book mark it friends!
Mixed Feelings on Penn State
I have some very mixed feelings on the Penn State penalties handed down by the NCAA today. I am not surprised by how harsh the penalties are (they are tantamount to a near-death penalty). Clearly, the NCAA has a domain here as Penn State’s athletic executives failed miserably and by covering up what happened for so long, this is LOIC at its highest and worst levels.
HOWEVER, what I am having mixed emotions about is that some of the penalties really don’t fit AND because the NCAA is completely biased, arbitrary, ineffective and sold to the highest bidder (see UNC case), I don’t quite feel like they have the right to go as far as they did.
Here is what I agree with: PSU should be hammered for LOIC. Starting with the President of the University down to the Head Coach (and probably many previous assistants.) Because of LOIC, the bowl ban is appropriate. The fines I don’t have a problem with, though I wonder if that should be left to the US judicial system to determine since it is a criminal case. I think that there should be a TV ban. I agree that Joe Paterno should be stripped of credit for all wins as a knowing accomplice to child endangerment. The judicial system will ultimately penalize Sandusky and the administrators who were complicit.
Here is what I don’t agree with: this is such a unique situation where the judicial system authority well trumps the NCAA. While the NCAA can penalize in any way they see fit, the members of its club, I think that to penalize the players here is too much. This is a Criminal case wherein the violators were the coaches and administrators and the crime did not result in keeping players eligible, paying players, academic fraud, violated recruiting rules, etc. Nothing that was done directly impacted the football on the field and the players playing the games. Therefore, I believe that the scholarship reduction and the striking of W-Ls for the team is not warranted.
My biggest issue here is the NCAA and its ridiculous track record for having no standardization, no consistently applied criteria. They penalize so arbitrarily that it is laughable. Should they have done something to Penn State? Absolutely. Should it have been quick and decisive? Yes, that is a good thing. Does this decision bring into light just how poorly run and terribly pathetic the NCAA is? Jury is still out.
Best case, this was Emmert’s way of re-establishing the NCAA enforcement culture. If this is true, then we should see a new visit to UNC by the NCAA. You could make a case that the new information coming out that UNC was running these fake classes while the NCAA was wrapping up its conclusions, justifies a violation of the probation which should trigger worse sanctions.
Remember, as horrifying as what Penn State had going on, they did not cheat. UNC on the other hand, cheated so egregiously and so comprehensively and then also covered up, stonewalled, lied, and did anything possible to avoid being hammered. UNC, from a cheating perspective, should have received an equal hit (save the amount of fines), IMO.
And, no, I am not saying that what UNC and PSU did as administrations are equal, but in regards to purely cheating to win football games, UNC takes the cake.
Alas, the NCAA is all about raising its financial stature and is less interested in policing the college football world than it is in grabbing headlines and making more money for itself. Hopefully this is signal of a change…but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
On the other hand, the current players (yes, I am sure some knew, but these are college kids and many also knew that to say anything would bring peril to themselves. they are powerless) should not be penalized. The wins/losses were not affected by the criminal activities in the same way that UNC’s record 9 violations did. The players at PSU were all eligible to compete, no academic fraud was uncovered, no agents on the payroll, etc. Therefore, the W-L records should stand. The scholarship reductions are unwarranted. I do agree with the post-season ban and revenue hits (although the Big 10 penalty is also a money grab by them) because the school should pay a price that hurts enough to change behaviors.
I guess my real beef here is the NCAA and the fact that they rush to crush PSU (right or not) in a criminal case that did not involve PSU players. At the same time after a year of deliberating in the UNC case, the net result of the penalties for UNC’s UNPRECEDENTED cheating was a real, real light penalty that not only will not make the program pay a price, but honestly, really only serves to underscore that even with the filth coming out of Chapel Hill daily, it was worth it in the end for UNC to cheat. They will feel no pain from this unless the NCAA comes in and finally nails them to the wall (as they should have been).
I am curious if the NCAA will now, given that it believes that PSU is evil to the bone, will go after all assistant coaches who were on staff from 1990s to present for also being complicit? Meaning any school who hired one of these coaches now has a criminal on staff potentially?
Having said ALL OF THAT…I wonder if we can woo some of their players our way?
Season Ticket Sales
Looks like we are approaching another great year on season ticket sales…which continues to bolster our claim that we are fanbase to be reckoned with.
According to ECU’s Scott Weatherbee on Pirate Radio the other day (listen here) we are nearly at another sellout – he even predicted it. While sales are down a little bit, we are still on pace to 2009 like sales coming off a record attendance in 2011. This will be the 6th-straight year over 20,000 tickets sold.
That is on you and me…so kudos to all of you who always do your share and more.
ECU’s Internal Audit
Love this move by our administration. Nope, ECU’s athletes are not clustered.
As we see near daily, the UNC homers on the BOT as well as in the press are looking for any way to dilute the problems over in Chapel Hill and keep mentioning system-wide reviews, and looking at other schools.
Preemptive move by ECU, I think, to say, ‘Hey, UNC, fess up and stop trying to make it a system wide issue.’
I’m suddenly way behind on your site. I’ll catch up soon.
Missed you Ed. Hope you have been well.
Appreciate the shout out!
Keep up the good work.
Call it like I see it Stephen. I will be a regular over there. You done good.
Great job on covering the Pirates. Always enjoy your insights and professionalism. Pirate Nation is fortunate to have you with us. Any word on Lucas Thompson making it to ECU?
I haven’t heard anything on LT yet. I will give Chip Petree (his HS coach and big-time ECU guy) a call and see what the latest is.
Thanks for the comments…means a lot.