Michael's Sports Blog

Ohio State/USC Sanction Updates

USC

The NCAA has ruled even further on USC’s sanctions, stripping the team of its 2004 BCS National Championship, and also wiping out their appearance in a BCS bowl in 2005.  According to the N.Y. Times “this is the first time that a consensus major college football champion has been stripped of its title.”  The NCAA has decided that their will be no team that was the BCS national champion in 2004.  USC will still be the Associated Press national champion that year, but the BCS Championship is the game that you play to prove that you are the best team.

I think that this is a very harsh punishment for the NCAA to place on USC.  What about the other players who were part of the national championship winning team?  Is it fair that all of their hard work no longer makes them winners of the biggest bowl in college football?  I don’t think so.  One player receiving illegal benefits should not force all of the players on the team to suffer such a punishment.

Ohio State

While the school is still under investigation for NCAA violations, Terrelle Pryor has decided to leave Ohio State instead of returning for his senior season.  First the well-renowned coach leaves, and now the star player.

Pryor was already suspended for the first five games of the season, shocking many people when he first said he was going to come back.  Now he decided it is his time to leave.  I’m sure his reason was due to the fact that the NCAA has already been looking at the school and will probably find more information linking Pryor to more NCAA violations.  After his news broke about leaving, a former friend came forward with more news about how Pryor received thousands of dollars in return for signing memorabilia for Ohio State fans.  This violation is even more severe than the other violation where he received tattoos for signing memorabilia.

The team looks to be in shambles, and we’ll see if the rest of the NCAA probe can find more information about the violations the school’s players were involved in.

Overall Thoughts about Violations

One thing I’ve began to notice is that coaches seem to know of their team’s violations, and when finally found out, they leave the school.  In the case of USC, Tim Floyd resigned as coach of the men’s basketball team when information was brought to attention about O.J. Mayo.  Pete Carroll, the USC football coach, left for the NFL when Bush’s violations stemmed.  The coach of Ohio State, Jim Tressel, resigned after violations were found out about many of his current and former players.

I don’t think it’s right that these people are not given penalties along with their former school.  Does it really seem fair that they may have known of such violations-or were at least the person in charge when people under their watch were taking violations-but yet don’t receive any penalties?

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June 7, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jim Tressel Resigns as OSU Coach

Jim Tressel

In relation to my last blog post, I mentioned how Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was involved in an NCAA violation involving his players.  He resigned yesterday amid findings that there were more than just the six current players who had received tattoos for signed memorabilia.  Upon resignation he said this: “After meeting with university officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach.”

According to Sports Illustrated, “the wrongdoing by Tressel’s players was far more widespread than had been reported. The memorabilia-for-tattoos violations actually stretched back to 2002, Tressel’s second season at Ohio State, and involved at least 28 players — 22 more than the university has acknowledged. Those numbers include an additional nine current players as well as nine former players whose alleged wrongdoing might fall within the NCAA’s four-year statute of limitations on violations.”  This shows that Tressel knew for many years about his players violating NCAA rules, but didn’t say anything.

He resigned, however, he would have been fired even if he didn’t resign.  When so many players are involved in a scandal like this, a coach would definitely get the boot.  Ohio State is still under investigation by the NCAA for the violations, and it will be interesting now to see what action the NCAA takes.  I sure hope that they receive worse punishment than USC did.  USC only was involved in scandals with a few players, not almost thirty over a 10-year period.

May 31, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment

USC Appeal Denied

The NCAA’s “Infractions Appeals Committee upheld all findings and penalties against USC in their infractions case involving former players Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo.”  This decision was very disappointing to the school, and many officials of the school were upset.  The USC appeal had “asked that the 30 scholarships lost over three years with a maximum of 75 allowed and a two-year postseason bowl ban be cut in half.”  However, the NCAA upheld the ruling.

The ruling makes sure that USC will have less scholarships than teams not under sanction-those not under sanction can have 85 scholarship players on the roster-and seniors are allowed to transfer without having to sit out a year.  The decision to deny the appeal also will not allow USC to play in the first Pac-12 championship game, as well as a postseason bowl game.  The basketball team did not receive any more sanctions.

I’m not a fan of the NCAA’s decision.  I know I am a fan of USC so obviously I am upset, however, the NCAA has taken other similar issues more lightly, so I think their decision against USC is unfair.  There are many teams who have used ineligible players or have been rumored to have paid players to come to the school, but nothing has been done that has been as detrimental to the program as the sanctions against USC.

Recently, Ohio State has been in the news for players and coaches violating NCAA rules.  The coach of the Buckeyes, Jim Tressel, knew his players were receiving tattoos in return for signing/selling memorabilia, yet he did nothing to stop this.  The players were therefore ineligible, but the coach continued to play them, allowing the team to make it to the Sugar Bowl.  The players and coach were suspended for the first five games of next season and also had to forfeit most of their wins from the previous season, but nothing has affected their postseason ability or scholarship amount.  As you can see, USC football was harmed much worse than the Buckeyes.

May 26, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 3 Comments

USC Football Schedule 2011

All the dates and almost all the times have been set for the USC football games next season.  There are five away games and seven home games for Trojans.  We will now play Utah and Colorado this year instead of Washington State and Oregon State with the addition of the two new teams.  I don’t know what to expect since this is the first year Colorado and Utah are in the conference, but we’ll see how those games go.

With the new television deal with Fox and ESPN, some games will not take place on the typical Saturday.  The Cal game (also known as the Weekender game for 2011) will take place on Thursday night, unlike previous seasons where the game was on Saturday.  This is going to make it hard for some students to make the trek out to the game because of classes.  The game against Colorado will take place on Friday.  This is supposed to give the Pac-12 more national exposure as one of the only games on during that day, so more people will be inclined to watch.  All the rest of the games will take place on Saturday.

Here’s the schedule:

2011 SCHEDULE
Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
09/03/11 vs. Minnesota TV L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. PT
09/10/11 vs. Utah * L.A. Coliseum TBA
09/17/11 vs. Syracuse L.A. Coliseum TBA
09/24/11 at Arizona State * TV Tempe, Ariz. 7:15 p.m. PT
10/01/11 vs. Arizona L.A. Coliseum TBA
10/13/11 at California * TV San Francisco, Calif. 6:00 p.m. PT
10/22/11 at Notre Dame TV South Bend, Ind. 4:30 p.m. PT
10/29/11 vs. Stanford * TV L.A. Coliseum 5:00 p.m. PT
11/04/11 at Colorado * TV Boulder, Colo. 6:00 p.m. PT
11/12/11 vs. Washington * TV L.A. Coliseum 12:30 p.m. PT
11/19/11 at Oregon * TV Eugene, Ore. 5:00 p.m. PT
11/26/11 vs. UCLA * L.A. Coliseum TBA

May 20, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Department of Justice Looking into BCS System

The first blog post I wrote about dealt with the BCS vs. playoff system in college football.  I explained why I believed that the playoff system was better for college football than the BCS system.  It makes no sense to me why all other sports in college have a tournament type system, yet college football stands alone with a BCS format.  There has been some recent news regarding this system that I figured I’d share with you.

Recently, Utah attorney general, Mark Shurtleff, has threatened to file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS.  He believes that the BCS is an unfair system, and that the system is also anti-competitive.  If you look at how the BCS system is decided, you will see that it definitely favors certain schools over others.

Shurtleff’s first reason for the lawsuit is that it is hard for non-automatic qualifying schools to make it to the big BCS games.  The winner of the power conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, Big East, SEC) automatically gets a bid to a BCS bowl, unlike the other five conferences.  The other five conferences have to get an at-large bid, and may not even make big bowl games with one or two losses, unlike the power conferences.

Another reason is that the BCS gives a lot more money to the automatic qualifying conferences than the non-automatic qualifying conferences.  A Sports Illustrated article said that the: “six automatic qualifying conferences made $145.2 million this year versus $24.7 million made by the five non-automatic qualifying conferences.”  This is a big discrepancy in the numbers.  It is no wonder the power conference schools are able to get top recruits every year over other schools because the BCS is basically feeding them the money they need to recruit these players.

Along with this lawsuit, twenty-one professors from universities around the country sent letters to the Department of Justice explaining their reasons why the department should look at the current BCS college football system.  And it seems like the Department of Justice listened to what these people had to say.  A Huffington Post article explained that “the Justice Department has sent a pointed letter to the NCAA asking why there isn’t a playoff system for college football, saying “serious questions” continue to be raised about whether the current Bowl Championship Series complies with federal antitrust laws.”  I’m curious to see how the NCAA responds.

The Department of Justice and Utah attorney general have made their point that they believe the current college football system is anti-competitive.  There will be plenty of evidence to prove this system is ineffective.  I am glad that something is finally getting done regarding the use of the BCS system because I don’t like this system.

Hopefully the Department of Justice is able to persuade the NCAA to change the college football system to a playoff system so that each team will have an equal shot at getting to the bowl game they deserve.  As a fan, I want to see games that are the best available, and having a BCS system that favors certain teams over others does not allow this to happen.  I am also not a fan of an unfair system, and this is definitely one that is not fair to all schools involved.

May 5, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment

USC Trojans Number One Football Factory

I came across an interesting Bleacherreport article that explained how USC is the number one football factory for players. The Trojans have the most draft picks of all time since the draft was started (472 picks compared to Notre Dame’s 469). The school also has the most Hall of Fame players, with eleven right now. There will be more in upcoming years, so they will just increase this number.

In the 2011 draft, USC tied for the most players selected with nine.  Here were the USC players drafted in this year’s draft:

  1. OT Tyron Smith (Dallas, 9th overall)
  2. DT Jurrell Casey (Tennessee, 77)
  3. CB Shareece Wright (San Diego, 89)
  4. TE Jordan Cameron (Cleveland, 102)
  5. WR Ronald Johnson (San Francisco, 182)
  6. TB Allen Bradford (Tampa Bay, 187)
  7. FB Stanley Havili (Philadelphia, 240)
  8. WR David Ausberry (Oakland, 241)
  9. LB Malcolm Smith (Seattle, 242)
The article makes it clear at the end that “USC is the best football program if you want to play in the NFL.”  If you want to play in the NFL, going to USC will surely help increase your chances of doing this.  The team has a lot of national exposure because of their storied tradition, making it easier for scouts to watch games of the players.  People know that USC strives to play some of the toughest competition, and so the players are well tested.  The coaches are of the highest class because the program draws these types of people to coach here.  The players receive great advice from their top notch coaches that help them prepare for the next level.
Even with sanctions on the school, top recruits are still coming to this school because they believe in what the Trojans have to offer them.  Due to the fact that California is a very highly populated state, there are many athletes to choose from.  If you look at any recruit in the California area, I can almost assure you that USC is on their radar as a school they want to go to.

May 2, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , , | 1 Comment

USC Spring Football Game

I went to the USC spring football game today to watch the Trojans team scrimmage against each other.  The game was won by the defense 42-29.  I found it interesting that there was a different scoring system used than in the regular season.  In this game, the defense was given points for stops and turnovers.  That clears it up for those of you wondering how there were 71 points scored in a game.

A lot of players were injured going into the game, so not all of the talent played today.  There was only one starting lineman in the game that had played a lot of minutes previously in the system.  A few other players were injured during the game, further depleting the roster.  You could tell that some of the play was sloppy, but I’m sure that can be attributed to the new group of players that were playing for the first time in a big game.  There is a still a while before the season begins for these players to get used to the spotlight.

The running backs Baxter, McNeal, and Morgan took hold of the game, rushing for a total of 300 yards as a group.  Matt Barkley threw for 212 yards with two interceptions and a receiving touchdown, which I would say wasn’t his best day.  But, like I said earlier, the whole team wasn’t there to play today, so these numbers can probably be overlooked.   Although it was probably not a highlight for many others, it was great to be able to see my friend Dozie get in for a few plays.

One of the things that disappointed me about the game was the lack of fans that were there.  The attendance was a little over 16,000 people in a stadium that fits 90,000 people.  I know that it wasn’t the most exciting game to watch because not all the starters were playing or would play the whole game, but it is still a USC football game.  SEC and Big Ten schools fill their stadium with fans for the spring game.  This just shows that some fans aren’t interested in going to games that aren’t against big time schools.  However, I enjoyed the game because I was able to see players I had never seen before play.

Matt Barkley After His Touchdown Reception

April 23, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , | Leave a comment

Lane Kiffin’s Visor Video

Everyone who knows USC football knows that Lane Kiffin, the coach of the football team, likes wearing visors to USC games.  I recently came across this video made by USC athletics that I thought was very well done.  It starts off with a man carrying a mischievous briefcase across campus, leaving you to guess what’s inside.  At the end you find out what’s inside- Lane Kiffin’s visor.

The video was a way to get people pumped up for the upcoming season, and encourages people to buy tickets for next season.  Here’s the video.

April 17, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | 1 Comment

Johnny McEntee UConn Trick Shot QB

Johnny McEntee is a quarterback on the UConn football team.  Like Jacob Tucker, he is a Youtube sensation.  A couple months ago he posted a video of him doing many ridiculous trick shots with a football.  I just came across the video today, and must say that he is very talented with the football.  The video is a little over four minutes long, showing numerous different trick shots.  First he shows his arm off on a football field, and then he moves to a basketball court.

Although I don’t know how many times it took him to master each trick, even if I tried over and over again, I don’t think I would have been able to do any of those tricks.  I don’t care if it took him thirty times to get each trick right because each one seemed impossible to do.  The accuracy he showed during the video was impressive.

The trick that I thought was the best was the very last one (obviously saving the best for last).  The last trick involved him being on the upper level of the basketball arena, throwing the football into the hoop.  I don’t know how that’s even possible.  I don’t think I would be able to throw a football into a basketball hoop from three feet away.

All I can say is that I am glad that Youtube exists so that people can show off what they are capable of doing on the internet.  Here’s the video:

April 12, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment

And Finally, Coliseum Renovation!

New Video Board from White to White

I wrote a post earlier about the renovation going on at the Rose Bowl and what this effect would have on renovation at the Coliseum.  Either USC read my blog, or they had this idea all along.  Although not as drastic as the renovation that is taking place over three years at the Rose Bowl, there will be a new 150 feet wide by 40 feet tall video board ready for next season at the Coliseum.

Hopefully, when USC sees fans are happier with an improvement, they will try and improve other areas that need work.  The stadium is very old, and there needs to be modifications that will help modernize the stadium.  It’s true that the lone video board was not up to the standards I would expect from a world renowned stadium.  However, getting a new one doesn’t solve many of the other problems with the stadium, but a new video board is a good start.

April 11, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , | Leave a comment