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Archive : July 2010

July 26, 2010

NO EXCUSE FOR COLLEGE ATHLETES ACCEPTING CASH

The major discussion in college and professional football right now are agents offering cash to college students...and those students accepting.

It started with the Reggie Bush case and has steamrolled from there. UNC, South Carolina, Florida, and other schools have been investigated (or are being investigated) for this violation.

The athletes are many times made out to be these poor, unsuspecting victims who come from poor backgrounds and don't know what they're doing is wrong and all the blame should be on the agents. That's hogwash.

Any college athlete that is offered cash from an agent is someone with the potential of earning millions in the NFL, which means they're a freakishly gifted athlete which means they're surrounded by other freakishly gifted athletes, and they ALL know the drill.

I don't know the answer, but there should be a governance policy shared by the NCAA, NFL and whatever the "board of sports agency" or governing body of sports agents is to eradicate this from happening.

I'll tell you what's NOT helping is a potential deal that could guarantee Sam Bradford 50 million bones. If you're an agent, why in the world WOULDN'T you try and get a commitment from that kid before he signs.

You know what one percent of 50 mil is? 500 G's. Good gracious alive...that's ridiculous and wrong.

Rookies should have a scale like they do in the NBA which puts some sort of levers on these ridiculous guarantees which fuel the sort of violations and investigations that the NCAA is wasting precious resources on right now. 

These violations shouldn't be blamed on any one factor. They should be blamed on young, wide-eyed athletes; not quite as young, wide-eyed agents; and the NFL collective bargaining agreement as it pertains to rookie contracts and agreements.

To the college athlete? You know what you're doing...why don't you wait like five seconds to get your money because if you're good enough to be offered cash by an agent (a substantial amount anyway) you're going to get paid so just be patient.
  • mark rogers
  • July 26, 2010 11:13 PM

DEZ BRYANT: GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

The good news is the first-round draft pick Dez Bryant is practicing. He had a desire to compete and be on the field so there was minimal contract negotiation. That's great.

He's said all the right things, participated in the Organized Team Activities, and been a total pro in all facets of the term.

But then he goes and gives Roy Williams the now infamous "cold shoulder pad" on Sunday and screws up the whole thing.

Apparently, the veteran receiver told Bryant to carry his pads into the locker room after the team's practice in San Antonio. Bryant denied the request.

Rookies (even first-round pick, super hyped, savior of the franchise rookies) are supposed to carry veterans shoulder pads or get them Gatorade or sing them a song or do anything they say (reasonable things they say that is).

Jason Witten did it.

Tony Romo did it.

Roy Williams did it.

I'm sure Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Ray Lewis did it, too.

It's like Cowboys LB Keith Brooking said today, nobody tried to duct tape Bryant to a water heater and shove something down his throat. No one asked him to happily receive a beating from a pillow case filled with bars of soap.

He was asked to carry 3 pound shoulder pads the length of a 6-man football field.

And he went and caused some big, stupid media story instead of just being a typical NFL rookie and doing something all NFL rookies have done before him - done what the veterans told him to do.

I guarantee you that the Cowboys veterans respect Bryant. They're excited to have him on the team. No one was trying to disrespect him or humiliate him. It's simply a tradition.

And now the attention is on this stupid incident rather than what's happening ON the field. The Cowboys are all saying its a non-issue and that it's been handled internally, but it's turned into an issue where it matters most...media perception.

Ugh...just when you thought it couldn't be going any better with Bryant.

He was absolutely wrong in this case. He said that he's here to play football and not carry anyone's pads.

Well, guess what, Dez? You haven't done JACK SQUAT in the NFL, and until you do? When someone tells you to pick up their pads and carry them...just shut up and do it.

On a more positive note, TE Martellus Bennett has some nude photos of him in the shower  (which he apparently took HIMSELF) surface on the internet. Great.

What's next?

Where's Terrell Owens when you need him to calm all this stuff down?

Can I get a Rangers game, please?

July 19, 2010

PLACES TO GO, GAMES TO SEE

I was recently asked by a friend if I had an opportunity to go to any football stadium to watch a game, what stadium would it be?

That's a great question. Let's see...

I've been to Neyland Stadium in Knoxville to watch a Tennessee/Alabama game. Neyland is currently the third largest non-racing stadium in the world (6th largest stadium overall).

I've been to Bryant-Denny stadium in Tuscaloosa to watch the same two teams play...the year Alabama won the national title and their starting running back won the Heisman trophy. Bryant-Denny is the fifth largest stadium in the nation and the eighth largest non-racing stadium in the world. It has sold out every home football game since 1988.

I've been to the new Cowboys Stadium to watch a very memorable Big 12 Championship game between Texas and Nebraska.

I've been to the Rose Bowl to watch a national championship game.

I've been to four Texas/OU games at the Cotton Bowl and watched all four from the sidelines as a reporter. I was there the year UT went on to win the national title. I was there the year Jason White went on to win the Heisman (and interviewed him after the game).

I've been to a game in College Station.

I've been to home games in Austin (Colt's first career start was a pretty good one to be at).

I've been to games in Lubbock...a memorable one was the game that BJ Symons threw for a record 7 TDs against the Aggies in a game which started at 9 PM. I watched that one from the sidelines and interviewed Wes Welker and Symons afterward.

All that being known...where does that leave me? What stadiums (and games) are worth attending? I've seen some pretty cool stuff and had the opportunity to go to some pretty historical venues.

Here's my short bucket list:

Florida vs. Florida State in either Gainesville (The Swamp) or Tallahassee (Doak Campbell Stadium).

Auburn vs. Alabama at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn...been to Bryant-Denny already.

Michigan vs. Ohio State in either Columbus (The Horseshoe) or Ann Arbor (The Big House). I was supposed to be at The Horseshoe in 2005 when Texas beat the Buckeyes up there (had credentials to the game and everything) but some other travel plans fell through last minute.

Notre Dame vs. USC in South Bend.

At this time, I really don't know of any other college football stadiums or particular games that I would really spend time and/or money to visit.

So if anyone has free tickets to any of these games for 2010, let me know, and I'll see what I can do to accompany you.

With 46 days to go before the official start of college football season, I'm starting to get a little antsy.

  • mark rogers
  • July 19, 2010 10:06 AM

July 8, 2010

EARLY HEISMAN THOUGHTS

I'm planning on doing several Heisman outlook posts to look at some of the early favorites for the 2010 season.

Obviously, Mark Ingram has to be the favorite heading into the season. He's a junior and the defending trophy winner. However, I think the chances of Ingram repeating (something that hasn't been done since 1975) are extremely slim. The reason? It's not the schedule. It's not improved SEC defenses. It's not even some sort of pre-season jinx...it's two words:

Trent. Richardson.

The 5'11", 220 pound sophomore running back at 'Bama is a phenom who rushed for 750 yards including more than 100 against Texas in the BCS Title Game. He rarely gets stopped for less than 4 yards. He's fast, strong, flexible, mobile and quick. He's got it all and may be a better overall back than Ingram.

He'll split more time with Ingram this year and they'll take votes away from each other. Neither has a shot unless the other gets hurt or arrested.

Another guy who should be mentioned early on is Washington QB Jake Locker. The 6'3" dual threat flame-thrower has a chance to post a rare 3,000-1,000 passing-rushing season. Plus he'll get some early season hype as the Huskies' non-conference schedule includes BYU, Syracuse and Nebraska. Their first conference game is at USC. If UW is undefeated and goes to LA and wins against USC, Locker will easily be the Heisman front-runner on October 3.

The last guy I'll mention right now is Pittsburgh RB Dion Lewis. Why not? After no sophomores ever winning the award, we could have three in four years if Lewis wins. He's no joke either after rushing for 1,800 yards and 17 touchdowns. He was the conference Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. The last person to do that in the Big East was Michael Vick. He was in the shadow of departing superstar Lesean McCoy, but came in and outperformed what McCoy was able to do.

Pitt's non-conference schedule includes Utah, Notre Dame and Miami, so if they make it into the heart of the conference schedule with 0 or 1 loss, Lewis will be right at the front of the pack.
  • mark rogers
  • July 8, 2010 10:34 PM

THOUGHTS ON KIFFIN

Say what you will about the cocky, brash, and polarizing Lane Kiffin, but I think he's great for college football.

The guy is hired by Al Davis as the youngest NFL head coach in NFL history...goes 4-12 his first year...gets fired for cause just before Davis calls him a "flat out liar'"...leaves amidst a storm of failure and humiliation...takes over for the famed Phil Fulmer at Tennesee...promises national championships...hires a great coaching staff...publicly accuses SEC coaches of recruiting violations (Urban Meyer namely)...makes several other public relations mistakes with his mouth...has a decent year after nabbing the nation's #1 recruit and wins 7 games...nearly beats Alabama in Tuscaloosa...

...leaves after ONE YEAR for USC...infuriates Rocky Top nation in the process...takes all his coaches with him...starts talking the talk in LA...is now faced with enormous sanctions from the NCAA for violations that occurred while he was an assistant at USC...

...then sends a request to Tennessee about getting the Vols on USC's schedule in 2011.

Now THAT'S gutsy.

I don't know of any other coach, except maybe Nick Saban, in today's game that has that kind of gusto. He's made a lot of people mad and made a ton of public mistakes, but I think he's great for the game of football...

...and can't wait to see what he does next.
  • mark rogers
  • July 8, 2010 10:19 PM