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Archive for the ‘P.S.R. Op-Ed’ Category

Looking for Revenue? Let’s Try a Swear Jar

The gold standard for curse-word comeuppance comes via former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick: Tired of his colorful vocabulary, Billick’s family – I believe his children set the tone – implemented a swear jar; every time Billick let loose, he had to make a contribution. Did it work? Well, Billick did say during an N.F.L. telecast last September that the St. Louis Rams “had some sex with the no-huddle offense” – so old habits die hard, or not at all, even if there’s technically no curse word in that sentence. The latest to hear about his “potty mouth” is Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who was caught by an ESPN camera screaming any number of unmentionable dirty words during the Gators’ 27-14 win over Bowling Green.

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    Keep Paterno’s Statue, With One Change

    At Alabama, boosters and trustees built a statue for Bear Bryant, and another one for Nick Saban, because each brought prestige to a university defined by one single aspect of its entire existence: football. Likewise at Florida State, where a statue of Bobby Bowden juts out from a corner of Doak Campbell Stadium.

    And Nebraska. And others. Coaches are honored for winning, just as they’re dismissed and derided for losing, and as through the ages, we celebrate our champions physically: with statues and pictures, images and words, with the sort of idolatry, one could say, best saved for those whose impact stretches beyond the playing field.

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      Re-Post: Those Who Knew and Did Nothing

      Originally from Nov. 8, 2011. I can’t think of much more to add on the subject. Earlier today, the Freeh Report – conducted by an outside body led by former F.B.I. Director Louis Freeh – concluded that “four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University,” a group consisting of Joe Paterno, President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, a senior vice president, “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.” This quartet “concealed critical facts.” They displayed a “total disregard for the safety and welfare” of Jerry Sandusky’s victims. They knew – and did nothing.

      There’s no way sugarcoat this. Not when lives have been altered inexorably. Not when the guilt of the pseudo-culprits, those who stood by and did nothing, is nearly as high as the individual who allegedly used his position of power to satisfy his monstrous sexual urges. There’s no light bright enough to weed him out; flash your spotlight in every corner, turn it up to full wattage, shine your beacon of truth from here to eternity, but do so at a cost: you won’t like what you find. You’ll want to scream and yell. You’ll demand justice.

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        A Rose (Bowl) By Any Other Name

        A Rose Bowl by any other name would smell as sweet, said Shakespeare, who remains the only playwright to reference the changing landscape of college football in verse. The meaning of the quote: Names don’t matter. A rose is a rose; even by any other name it would smell as sweet. You can alter the name, tweak a label – say, remove the automatic or non-automatic qualifier tag, for example – but remember: A rose is just a rose. Nothing’s going to change. Nothing is ever going to change. And it works on the opposite end of the spectrum: You can call a pile of garbage a rose, but a pile of garbage is still a pile of garbage. You can put lipstick on the B.C.S., but the B.C.S. will remain the B.C.S., whether you like it or not.

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          Go Out and Win the Whole Thing, Aggies

          New Mexico State is preparing for the worst. In a joint statement released yesterday by university president Barbara Couture and athletic director McKinley Boston, the school acknowledged that it “has no major media market to bring to the table,” and in an age when college sports “are ruled by the potential for TV coverage,” this lack of “value” has left New Mexico State — and Idaho, for that matter — on the outside looking in during the latest round of conference expansion. If a decidedly pessimistic outlook on the last week’s events, New Mexico State’s stance is undoubtedly realistic: barring a last-second heave, the Aggies and Vandals will be the odd men out.

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            See You Again, WAC, But Only in Reruns

            And then there were two. Before even playing a single game as a member of the conference — let alone a member of the F.B.S. — Texas State will leave the WAC for the Sun Belt in 2013, meaning that five of the seven teams currently in the WAC have found new conference affiliation effective after this coming season: Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio are headed to Conference USA, Utah State and San Jose State to the Mountain West and the Bobcats to the Sun Belt. That leaves Idaho and New Mexico State facing an uncertain future, though these two programs have one thing over the WAC: Come 2013, each will still exist, albeit in a different fashion. As a football league, the WAC is dead.

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              No More “Status Quo,” But What’s Next?

              ‘Round these parts, there’s a tidy designation used to differentiate between the haves and the have-nots: B.C.S. conference and non-B.C.S. conference. Technically, simply being in a B.C.S. conference shouldn’t make one a have, just as being a non-B.C.S. conference program shouldn’t make one a have-not. Yet when an intrepid college football historian looks back on the last decade of the sport, the defining characteristic of the B.C.S. era will be in the invisible yet insurmountable wall the postseason plan built up between those already seated at the table and those waiting outside, begging for scraps.

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                Long Puts Arkansas First, Firing Petrino

                Jeff Long shot down any rumor that Bobby Petrino was given an opportunity to remain the head coach at Arkansas if he had accepted a handful of university-mandated penalties, as was first believed. There was no meeting of the minds, two sides across the negotiating table. Long didn’t extend an olive branch, hoping Petrino would meet Arkansas in the middle and allow both parties to exit and resume normal activities with dignity. “There was no negotiation,” Long said at last night’s press conference. Petrino was fired with cause, and according to Long, there was no way Petrino “could remain our football coach.” He reiterated this point twice, hammering home the message: Arkansas is bigger than Bobby Petrino. No one is bigger than Arkansas.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.