Duff McKagan’s ESPN Column

For those who aren’t aware, Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver fame has been writing a weekly column for ESPN.  It is generally great stuff, although he does focus on his Seattle roots. But miraculously, he doesn’t blast our Thunder fan base. It’s a great read and want to pimp it to you guys. 

WOW James Harrison Rips.. Well Everyone

Is there anyone that is not fair game for Steelers DE James Harrison? Now I understand him bashing the commish, Roger Goodell, I mean who wouldn’t be upset for being fined over 100K for playing his sport hard.  But maybe just a little too hard. Personally, I don’t think so, it’s football. It’s violent.  Players know this. They sign up for it.  But to use a gay slur to describe Goodell, along with other choice words, like devil, stupid and others, in the August issue of Men’s Journal magazine, is just well, stupid.  It is full of ignorance.  And then to go on and say this “If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it,” Harrison told the magazine. “I hate him and will never respect him.” But Harrison doesn’t stop there, he bashes his own team mates, including two time Super Bowl winning QB Ben Roethlisberger along with running back Rashard Mendenhall.  He had this to say about Roethlisberger, “Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does.”  Wow again.  Good thing they are team mates, what would he really think about him?  I know he has a mean, dirty, reputation, but this is just spouting off at the mouth and not really thinking about what he is saying.  Then he goes on to make racial accusations like this “I slammed Vince Young on his head and paid five grand, but just touched Drew Brees and that was 20,” Harrison said. “You think black players don’t see this s— and lose all respect for Goodell?” This is the one thing I might tend to agree with him on if you watch both hits, he does barely touch Brees(a white QB) and slams the hell out of VY(a black QB). Not the racial aspect, but the disparity of the fines. v But do we really think that in this day and age those kind of things go through the commisioner of the NFL’s head when handing out fines? I would surely hope not.  Cause then I would have to really say WOW!  The ESPN article is  here.

 

(Agree, disagree, but leave a comment!)

Mike Leach Firing

This just coming across Twitter.  According to a story by Scott Brooks of Brooks on Sports,  there is paper work connecting Craig James with a plot to sculpt the information and press coverage that got Mike Leach fired from Texas Tech.  I always thought Coach Leach got a raw deal and this is beginning to look more and more like I was right.

Sooners Report

Here are some links from this week. Only something like 57 days til we kick it off. Getting close!

Who are the key cogs for the Sooners offense?

Really James Hanna snubbed for the Mackey award?

Ranking the Big 12 Non Conference. Sooners have a brutal schedule.

Got some new faces in the secondary.  Are they getting comfortable?

Whitney and Landry sittin’ in a tree… this is becoming a TMZ like blog.  

Jamelle Fleming rejoins team. This is a huge deal!  

More about Fleming.

OU's Jamell Fleming (left), breaking up a pass during the 2010 Red-White game, was a first-team AP All-Big 12 performer that season. Tulsa World file

A little OU basketball news. 

Hell yeah we could use Rotnei Clarke!

OU’s own Dari Nowkhah gets a new gig.

Did the Big 12 sell it’s soul for television money?

OU is still the dominant program in the Big 12!

OU coach Bob Stoops joins his players on the podium after they beat Colorado to win the 2004 Big 12 Championship. The Sooners have won seven of the league's 15 football championships. Tulsa World file

 

Sherri Coale has been at OU 16 years? Dang time flies.

 

That’s all for now kids.  Will try to start posting more links soon.  I really want to create an OU only page.  That will come I promise.  As always, thanks for reading.

 

Oregon Troubles

This is just a follow up to my previous column on the Oregon situation.  Seems it is starting to snowball down hill.   Doesn’t this sound familiar?

 

“Perhaps it is a coincidence that the two teams that played for the BCS championship seven months ago — Oregon and Auburn — have been submerged chin strap-deep in allegations of NCAA wrongdoing. Just like it’s a coincidence that Ohio State, which played for the BCS championship in 2006 and 2007 (and against Oregon in the 2009 Rose Bowl), forgot how to read and enforce the NCAA rules book.”

Looks like ole Gene Wojciechowski has been reading me too! You can read the rest of his article here.

Is It Cheating? Or Just Dumb?

Is anybody NOT cheating in major college athletics, specifically football?  There are scandals and dubious behavior every year but it seems especially prevelant the past 12 months.  From the Cam Newton situation last year, to the earlier mess that Ohio State  got themselves into, it’s been a rough year.   Now we have this Oregon fiasco.  This is a story I find alarming.  They were such a feel good story. A program with no tradition of winning or anything else for that matter, becomes a national power the past five years.  That’s a cool story.  That’s something you can get behind.  An underdog that makes good.  Plus they have those cool uniforms.  They were becoming the darlings of college football, culminating by playing for the BCS National Championship a year ago.  And who did they lose to? Well of course the Cam Newton led Auburn Tigers who might be a little less than on the up and up themselves.  That’s your top two teams, both allegedly have cheated, or at least have some cloud of uncertainty surrounding them.   And a third, Ohio State, who finished in the top 5.  Shouldn’t we be concerned with where this is headed?

The Auburn situation and now Oregon are particularly unsettling.  These are recruiting allegations.  An attempt to gain a competitive advantage.  With Ohio State it’s about controlling kids once they are on campus.  A much more difficult proposition.  But cheating to get a kid in the first place is supposed to be a thing of the past.  The NCAA is supposed to have an iron grip on such things. Aren’t they?

Now Cam Newton might have come to the conclusion to attend Auburn University all on his own accord.  Truthfully I doubt we will ever know.  But it is more than just an allegation that Cecil Newton, Cam’s father, solicited money from a Mississppi State booster to the tune of $80,000.  That’s not illegal?  Not according to NCAA President Mark Emmert who had this to say at the annual convention in January.  “If you look at the Newton case, a lot of people came away from that, because it’s a complicated case, saying, ‘Gosh, it’s OK for a father to solicit money for the services for his son or daughter?’ ” Emmert told reporters afterward. “The answer to that is no, it isn’t. But we don’t have a rule that makes that clear.”  That’s not a rule? Huh? How is that?  So if a kid says “I can’t play for you coach unless you pay me x amount of greenbacks.”  A coach can say, “son, I can’t pay you but if your moms or pops comes asking we gots us a deal!”  Does that make any sense?  But does anything with NCAA ever make any sense?

But what about Oregon.  They are accused of bribing players.  They have been caught paying some else, someone who can sway a kid to attend a particular school.  A certain Will Lyles was cut a check for $25, 000 for a “recruiting package“.  A package that contained bios of kids that was two years old.  How is that ever relevant?  I’ll tell you how. And how I think this played out.   It is already reported that Lyles is a “mentor” to Oregon tail back and Heisman Trophy contender LaMichael James.  Going so far as to get the kid to enroll in an Arkansas high school as opposed to his native high school in Texas.  All to avoid taking a mandatory assesment test to graduate from a Texas high school.   Oregon  head football coach Chip Kelly reportedly told Lyles “great idea”. And it goes further.  Apparently Lyles also had a similar relationship with Lache Seastrunk, another Oregon recruit from Texas who is now a back up for the Ducks.  A relationship that went so far as to have had Lyles reportedly living with Seastrunk and his mother.  That’s odd.  But I am sure it was for the betterment of the kid.   So Lyles had relationships with two high school kids that signed with the same school.  Does that mean he swayed them in the direction of the great Northwest? Well what was the $25,000 for? Oh yeah, that recruiting package. A package that was hastily thrown together at the last minute and which contained outdated information.  Why would Oregon want that?  To cover their tracks?  What would you conclude from Lyles own statement to Yahoo sports?   “They said they just needed anything,” Lyles told Yahoo!. “They asked for last-minute [stuff]. So I gave them last-minute [stuff] … I gave them, like, old stuff that I still had on my computer because I never thought that stuff would see the light of day.”  They just needed something  concrete, something in writing to justify the check already written out to one Mr. Lyles.   Reportedly he didnt send them one scrap of paper before that.  He did all of his communicating to Kelly directly, by phone.  He goes on to say this “I look back at it now and they paid for what they saw as my access and influence with recruits,” Lyles told Yahoo! Sports. “The service I provided went beyond what a scouting service should … I made a mistake and I’m big enough of a man to admit I was wrong.”  Sounds eerily close to a booster, does it not? 

So looking at this it seems to me that a downtrodden program who has made good has gone about it in the wrong way.  Is this the state of college football today?  Is everybody cheating?? I honestly don’t know the answer, but it is getting scary.  And I hope it doesn’t go further south, I don’t know how much more we can take.