Sports 56 WHBlog Q

June 12, 2009

Alabama Increasingly Disturbing to At Least One Bama Fan

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Will Askew @ 11:36 am

Yesterday, Alabama was put on probation for 3 years and had to vacate 21 wins from 2005-2007 because of a textbook scandal.  Apparently, some athletes in 16 (!) different sports on campus either illegally acquired textbooks or got them and gave them to their friends.  Those are NCAA violations, because all these textbooks are benefits, you see.

Now, while someone getting a textbook and giving it to their buddy is about a 3 or 4 on the NCAA Major Violation Scale of 10–much lower than handing cash to a runner to get a player or putting a stud recruit’s family up in a house (I’m looking at you, USC), when you’re Alabama, it’s a big issue.  It seems as if Bama is on probation every other year, because, well, they are.  They got off probation 16 months ago.  People will say that they got off light on this deal, and after initially thinking to myself, “Well, it was only textbooks…at least someone didn’t pay $200k to get Julio Jones to go to Alabama,” I think they actually did get off light.  In this age of diminishing punishments for everything from sticking your kid in time out instead of spanking him to “vacating” wins instead of losing money, TV, or shutting down the program for a couple of years, I think it’s about time someone at the NCAA actually smacked someone down.  When I was a kid, the reason I didn’t act out is because I knew if I did, someone would smack my ass instead of sending me to sit by myself for a couple of minutes.  Alabama and USC have shown a blatant lack of institutional control over the last few years, and it would be nice to see the NCAA do something about it for a change.  In the words of Jerry Tarkanian, who happens to be an expert in NCAA violations, “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky that they’ll probably slap another two years’ probation on Cleveland State,”  and that’s probably the case again here…except replace Kentucky (for now, at least…Calipari is there after all) with Alabama and USC and Cleveland State with Memphis or some other non-BCS conference school in the next few months that will commit violations.

Sadly, I’m an Alabama fan, and would hate to see the NCAA smack them down, especially since they’re poised to kick some ass in football for the next few years.  But Alabama has shown that it has little regard for compliance with NCAA regulations recently.  The common denominator in all of this for Alabama (since 1994, at least) is Mal Mooore, who for some reason is still the AD.  He’s been the AD for a while now, for no other reason than he used to play for Bear Bryant.  Nice job hiring Nick Saban, Mal, but by 2012, the football team will have been on probation for 8 of your then 13 years.  You also hired Dennis Franchione, Mike Price, and Mike Shula and have been in charge for two major NCAA investigations.  That’s unacceptable.

–As it turns out, Stan Van Gundy is a master of panic.  How on Earth does Jameer Nelson play the final 18 minutes of that game last night?  The man hasn’t played in 4 and a half months.  Rafer Alston was playing a nice game.  He’s helped them through three tough series to get to the NBA Finals…why then, was a shadow of Jameer Nelson’s beginning of season self in the game?  I agree with Jason Whitlock, Stan needs his ass beat.  Is anyone surprised that Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard missed those free throws last night?  The team’s an extension of the coach, and while Derek Fisher was calmly stroking clutch threes, Howard and Turkish Jordan were busy panicking, just like Ron Jeremy.  Nice job blowing the NBA Finals, Magic.

–Despite my best efforts, I am now addicted to Twitter.  You can check my page (which mostly has nothing to do with my job) out here, and the Sports Bar’s page (which has everything to do with my job) out here.  Enjoy!

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