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October 2006 Archives

Saturday, 10/28/06

How about the "World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"? It's more of a party for Florida at this point, huh? Georgia QB Matthew Stafford is taking his lumps, as would be expected of a freshmen. But Mitch Mustain and Tim Tebow are looking pretty good as freshmen....And how about good ol' Michigan State. I mean, where is the heart on that team? If you needed any more proof that coach John L Smith has lost his team, look no further than Saturday's game....Absolutely no excuse for Auburn struggling with with Ole Miss. The Tigers will lose votes in the polls on Sunday despite getting a win...So much for Missouri's miracle season, but give Gary Pinkel credit for an impressive turnaround in 06....One of the better finishes on the day happened in Philly, as Brown beat Penn in OT...I hope you are all staying dry on the East Coast...

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 04:55 PM | Comment

Thursday, 10/26/06

OK, so I might have been a little too tough on the coaches in regards to the Miami-FiU brawl. I said on TI last week that the coaches should be fired. Well, maybe that's a little harsh. I think they should be held accountable for their players' actions, but the brawl itself shouldn't get them fired. However, the brawl in conjunction with their records and (for Larry Coker, not reaching expectations) should lead to their ouster, as FIU has yet to win a game.....

....How about the Tennessee mascot biting an Alabama player? That is simply classic....

Next week on Taking Issue we are going to look at college coaches and their relationship with the media. Should coaches open up their practices to reporters? You might be surprised at where I come down in this debate. We'll have on a coach and a longtime newspaper columnist to debate the issue. And, of course, I'll add my two cents.

Some tough games to pick this weekend in college football...I went with Virginia Tech upsetting Clemson at home, Miami upsetting Georgia Tech and Oklahoma beating Missouri on the road. I'll either look real smart or real dumb. And the Tennessee--South Carolina game will be closer than most people think.

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 12:43 PM | Comment

Saturday, 10/21/06

The Truth Lies...

So the new Duke lacrosse coach said that he would welcome the two students currently charged with raping a stirpper at a party back onto the team if they are "cleared." With delays likely to come, that "clearing" could be a long time coming. I still haven't figured this case out yet. I mean, I have faith in our justice system and find it hard to believe that the Durham prosecutor would go forward with a case he doesn't believe in. On the flip side, there seems to be so many inconsistencies as far as I can tell that I'm not sure the accuser could be believable. So where does the true lie? My guess is there is an "ace in the hole" for the prosecution. And if these charges were brought for any other reason that justice, than the prosecutor should be charged with something....

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 09:54 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 10/18/06

Some Wednesday Thoughts

So Miami President Donna Shalala comes out yesterday with a press conference, fully supporting the punishments of the UM players and the coach, Larry Coker and embattled athletic director, Paul Dee. She is satisfied with the results and says case closed on the UM-FIU brawl. But for a well-respected school President and former Cabinet member, she should know better. She should know that the entire reputation of the University is at stake, not just the football program. How about the female athletes playing non-revenue sports? How about the economics professor? How about the student who couldn't care if Miami football was disbanded? Fair or not, the public image of a university is often through its sports programs, and Shalala should have done more to prove to everyone on campus, that she takes the reputation, and non-sports-related segment of the community, very seriously.

On our football shows this week, I have pointed out the poor strength of schedule numbers for the leasing contenders in the Big East. West Virginia has not played a difficult schedule. They can't control how good the Big East teams are, though Rutgers, Louisville and Pitt will help their SOS, but they can control their non-conference slate. I have no doubts that WVU is a very good football team, but I do have doubts that they can make the BCS national title game even going undefeated. The poll voters like the Mountaineers, the computers don't. So many things would have to happen for WVU to play for the title, that it just is unlikely. And remember, there is no guranatee that any of the Big East four will escape one another without a loss.

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self was pretty honest this week when asked about how the NCAA probation and loss of a scholarship and official visits will impact his program. Losing the scholarship isn't that big of deal since at least one, if not more, of Self's players are headed to NBA next season. As for the official visits, Kansas never used up its allotment anyway. The biggest hit may come on the recruiting trail when opposing coaches use the probation against KU.

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 09:29 AM | Comment

Monday, 10/16/06

The more I think about the Miami-FIU brawl, the more insane I think the punishments have been. If I am the Commissioner of the ACC, I...1) force Miami to forfeit its next three games, 2) force Miami to fire Larry Coker, 3) kick off the team all of the major players involved in the fracas, 4) ask the local District Attorney to see if criminal charges are warranted.

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 07:10 PM | Comment

Sunday, 10/15/06

So by now, you have probably seen the replays of the brawl between the University of Miami and Florida International. I mean, that went WAY beyond some pushing and shoving. Some like to say it's the Miami of old. I say, it desparation. The Canes' season has been over for a long time so they resort to violence. Now, FIU started this thing and I say Miami has a right to defend itself. But this went beyond self-defense. If I am the school president's, I suspend the entire teams for the next game. That's right, both Miami and FIU should forfeit their next games. But you know what? There's too much money at stake for UM, so I doubt that will happen....
You can take Adrien Peterson and Garrett Wolfe off the list of frontrunners for the Heisman, this race is all about Troy Smith....This week on Taking Issue, we'll look at how text messaging has affected recruiting of high school players...

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 01:46 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 10/11/06


Scheduled to appear on next week's TAKING ISSUE - Kansas Basketball Coach, Bill Self, and the highest recruited offensive linemen in high school football for the class of 2007, Josh Oglesby. Brian Curtis will take issue with text messaging and how it is used in recruiting.

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Posted by Stefan Van Engen at 05:05 PM | Comment

Wednesday, 10/11/06

Next week on Taking Issue, we'll take a look at football and basketball coaches using text messaging to recruit players. Has it gone too far? Some top players get 20-30 text messages a day from coaches, running up the phone bills of the players! Many players think it is flattering, some think it gets annoying. What do you think?

A few emails have come in taking issue with me for voting Cal ahead of Tennessee in my latest AP Poll. I watch more games than most voters and yes, I do know what the UT-Cal score was to open the season. But I look at how teams are playing today and if those teams matched up now, it would be a different game.

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 02:03 PM | Comment

Tuesday, 10/10/06

Want To Take Issue?

In our By the Numbers last week, we took a look at the NCAA's review of mascots and identified North Dakota as one school who has appealed the organization's decision to ban UND teams from hosting postseason games or wearing the school's Fighting Sioux mascot logo. Well, a few days ago, the state Attorney General sued the NCAA on the grounds that they overstepped their powers in banning the mascot and for a breach of good faith and illegal restraint of trade. OK, now things are getting serious. The Florida State Seminoles, Central Michigan Chippewas and University of Utah Utes all successfully won their appeals and can keep their nicknames.
The NCAA was wrong to grant those schools' permission to keep their names and the state of North Dakota is wrong to sue them--both for the same reason. Native American nicknames are offensive to some, and that's enough. There are segments on all of the campuses who want the nicknames removed, and that's enough for me. I buy the argument from some that we wouldn't accept any nickname that made reference to any other ethnic, religious or racial segment of our population, so why allow the Native American nicknames to continue?

I am the first guy to put a coach on the hot seat, and I certainly believe that job speculation is part of the territory for highly paid football coaches. But I think fans and the media get a bit carried away with the men who coach sports. Take for example the embattled Larry Coker at Miami. Before the Hurricanes' game last week at home, disgruntled fans paid for a planes to fly over the Orange Bowl with three anti-Coker banners, including a "Fire Coker" sign. It reminds me of a few years back when Illinois basketball coach Bill Self was considering a move to Kansas. Illini boosters flew a plane with sings imploring the coach to stay during his family vacation in Florida, and Illinois fans lined the streets upon his return to plead their case.

In an eight page letter to NCAA President Miles Brand, Representative Bill Thomas, Chairman of the US House Ways & Means Committee, asked 25 different questions, many with multiple parts. The purpose of his correspondence was to try and get answers to questions about the purposes, finances and administration of the NCAA. You see, currently, the NCAA is exempt from paying federal taxes, despite the fact they take in millions upon millions through sponsorships and television deals. Here is one example of a question that the Committee wants answered by the end of this month: "From the standpoint of a Federal taxpayer, why should the Federal government subsidize the athletics activities of educational institutions when that subsidy is being used to help pay for escalating coaches' salaries, costly chartered travel, and state-of-the-art athletic facilities?" Should the NCAA still get a free pass from the federal government?

And Men's Fitness Magazine came out with its rankings of the fittest college campuses in America. Ole Miss was one of the many schools who finished outside the Top 25, which writer Polly Allen in the Daily Mississippian tells us surprised school fitness leaders and many students-and, in fact, surprises many male visitors to the school who routinely rank the Ole Miss coeds among the nation's hottest. (I have never gone.) The Director of Campus Recreation points out that the school offers many fitness-related classes, including Badminton, Golf and Bowling. Uh, maybe that's the problem.

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 02:02 PM | Comments (1)

Wednesday, 10/04/06

So a few weeks ago on Taking Issue I challenged the NCAA ruling allowing Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey to receive a waiver on beefit rules, so he and his younger brother can accept community donations. I said at the time I thought the NCAA ruled incorrectly, as it would open a wide door for others to seek assistance, like a player whose father loses a job. Well, the community fund has reached $50,000. How much higher will it go?

...And on the LSU flag controversy, now an LSU professor says that the confederate flag in LSU colors issue may hurt the school's standing in the academic community. Just another reason to ban it.

BU's no-cursing policy at hockey games was a bad idea to start, and Friday night's opening Midnight Mania proved it won't work. Curse words were flying within minutes.

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Posted by Brian Curtis at 04:00 PM | Comment
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