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With the recent deaths of three sports figures I became familiar about in my childhood (Ernie Banks, Billy Casper, Dean Smith), I was struck by the coincidental fact that all of them were 83 years old at the time of their passing!  Now, I'm sort of ambivalent about the "deaths come in threes" theory.  Sometimes it seems to happen and sometimes it doesn't, but the fact that these three who would be pretty well known by any sports fan of a particular age, died within days of each other and shared the same age is kinda, well, eery  :o

billy-casper-putting.jpg

I missed Casper's death. Sad to learn about that. He was known as Buffalo Billy because he loved to eat Buffalo meat long before it became fashionable. One of the greatest putters in golf with a wrist action. Something you never see today. His greatest victory was in the 1966 U.S. Open when he beat the Great Arnold Palmer. Palmer blew a 7 stroke lead on the back nine and Casper tied him in the final round. The next day in a playoff Casper easily dispatched of Palmer. One of the greatest collapses in golf history. I still own the Casper Biltmore mallet putter I got in the sixties as a young man made by Wilson. And use it. 

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And now there are 2.  Kentucky survived LSU's upset bid on Tuesday to stay undefeated.  On Monday, Florida A & M stayed winless after a 90-74 loss at Delaware State.  The Wildcats and Rattlers are the only Division 1 schools who have either yet to lose or yet to win.

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I just briefly scanned an article mentioning MLB's raising of the strike zone.  When they expanded (lowered) it some years ago, runs scored dropped. Readjusting it would increase runs scored, but this would lengthen game times.

 

News article HERE

The biggest goal of the new commissioner is to shorten game times.

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And now there are NO winless teams in the Division 1 basketball landscape.  Florida A & M upended conference rival North Carolina A & T in Tallahassee today, 57-50.  The Rattlers are now 1-23 on the season.  Kentucky is the lone unbeaten men's team now (25-0) following their comprehensive destruction of South Carolina in Lexington.

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And now there are NO winless teams in the Division 1 basketball landscape.  Florida A & M upended conference rival North Carolina A & T in Tallahassee today, 57-50.  The Rattlers are now 1-23 on the season.  Kentucky is the lone unbeaten men's team now (25-0) following their comprehensive destruction of South Carolina in Lexington.

Do any of Kentucky's players even bother to go to class. since they'll all be gone after one year?

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Do any of Kentucky's players even bother to go to class. since they'll all be gone after one year?

Good question...probably not so much.  But, Kentucky really isn't much different than most other schools with a big-time sports program.  The reason they are so good this year is due to the fact that most of their key players from last year's 2nd place finish to Connecticut opted to stay in school for at least one more year.  I really wish colleges would adopt the Ivy League model and offer scholarships based on financial need and ban athletic schollies, but I realize that's a pipe dream.  The trend is going in the opposite direction.

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Good question...probably not so much.  But, Kentucky really isn't much different than most other schools with a big-time sports program.  The reason they are so good this year is due to the fact that most of their key players from last year's 2nd place finish to Connecticut opted to stay in school for at least one more year.  I really wish colleges would adopt the Ivy League model and offer scholarships based on financial need and ban athletic schollies, but I realize that's a pipe dream.  The trend is going in the opposite direction.

Harvard has recently been dominating Ivy League basketball, I wonder how many of Harvard's hoopsters could get into Harvard if they weren't hot basketball prospects.

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Good question...probably not so much.  But, Kentucky really isn't much different than most other schools with a big-time sports program.  The reason they are so good this year is due to the fact that most of their key players from last year's 2nd place finish to Connecticut opted to stay in school for at least one more year.  I really wish colleges would adopt the Ivy League model and offer scholarships based on financial need and ban athletic schollies, but I realize that's a pipe dream.  The trend is going in the opposite direction.

 

I don't know if I would say the trend is going in the opposite direction,  but just a very different one now that former players have prevailed in court which will lead to teams having to compensate players.     

 

One idea is that instead of any scholarship players will be hired to play at a college for a fixed number of years (say 2) and this contract will be binding (preventing them from going to the NBA or another college while under contract).  

 

The player will still have to take SOME college courses but with the understanding the main reason they are at the college is to play ball,  not to get a degree (unless a players wish to sign a longer term deal).     This is a win-win for both the college and player since the goal of the college is to make money off of college sports and the goal of the player is to get trainings so they can turn pro.

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Harvard has recently been dominating Ivy League basketball, I wonder how many of Harvard's hoopsters could get into Harvard if they weren't hot basketball prospects.

I'll bet all of them!  The Ivy League is a different animal from large state schools.  The standards haven't changed from the time when Penn and Princeton began dominating the league for the better part of 40 years, beginning in the mid-60's.  You seldom hear about Ivy League players who turned down Texas or Kansas or Ohio State so they could play a particular sport at Cornell, for example.  It's a changed landscape for many schools now, but I think it's safe to say that if you're smart enough to do the course work at an Ivy League school, or places like Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, and Tulane, you can get some kind of scholarship if you're good enough to play.  Of course, the other 5 schools I mentioned do offer athletic scholarships.  With the exception of Stanford football and Duke basketball, these schools rarely beat out bigger public schools for prized athletes.  At least, that's my perception.

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I'll bet all of them!  The Ivy League is a different animal from large state schools.  The standards haven't changed from the time when Penn and Princeton began dominating the league for the better part of 40 years, beginning in the mid-60's.  You seldom hear about Ivy League players who turned down Texas or Kansas or Ohio State so they could play a particular sport at Cornell, for example.  It's a changed landscape for many schools now, but I think it's safe to say that if you're smart enough to do the course work at an Ivy League school, or places like Northwestern, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Duke, and Tulane, you can get some kind of scholarship if you're good enough to play.  Of course, the other 5 schools I mentioned do offer athletic scholarships.  With the exception of Stanford football and Duke basketball, these schools rarely beat out bigger public schools for prized athletes.  At least, that's my perception.

Gotcha. I am an alumnus of one of the other Ivy League schools that you just mentioned, and I also was , for a time. a basketball team manager. I was well aware of the college board scores of some of the members of the basketball team, and they were WAY below what is normally considered the minimum for admission aspirants who were non-athletes.

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I like those helmets. The idea seems to be having the logo as big as possible on the sides of the helmets with more splashes of color. They are meant to be more menacing as well. I have reservations though with the Dolphins and the Seahawks. They each need different background colors IMO.

 

I remember those old Ram helmets, I liked them too ... with the twisty design of the antlers.

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I like those helmets. The idea seems to be having the logo as big as possible on the sides of the helmets with more splashes of color. They are meant to be more menacing as well. I have reservations though with the Dolphins and the Seahawks. They each need different background colors IMO.

 

I remember those old Ram helmets, I liked them too ... with the twisty design of the antlers.

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I liked them too.  I think they switched to a darker blue and old gold in 2001 or 2002.

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Gotcha. I am an alumnus of one of the other Ivy League schools that you just mentioned, and I also was , for a time. a basketball team manager. I was well aware of the college board scores of some of the members of the basketball team, and they were WAY below what is normally considered the minimum for admission aspirants who were non-athletes.

Were they literate guys?  I hope you don't burst my bubble, but I can't see Ivy League schools offering "fluff" courses and easy grades like the University of North Carolina is under the microscope for from infractions of years past.

 

Many years ago, I was covering a Dartmouth-Lehigh football game for a radio station in Hanover.  The Big Green had gotten off to a rough start (0-2 with a conference loss to Penn).  They were losing by 15 in the second quarter when their second-string QB went down with an injury.  The first-team QB had been knocked out with a severe knee injury in the Penn game.  So, they put in their third-stringer, a sophomore from Minnesota with no varsity experience, and he led them to a stirring comeback with a touchdown pass and a couple of TD runs.  The kid stayed on as the starter and led Dartmouth to seven straight wins to finish 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the Ivies (Penn won the title with a 7-0 record that year).  After the game, I was hanging around outside the locker room, waiting for the coach to come out.  There were other reporters there with me, and I noticed the star of the game sitting against the wall with his helmet next to him, but nobody was speaking with him!  I got an interview with him and the sports director at the radio station I worked at was grateful for it.  Apparently, no one else bothered to talk to the kid whom I found to be articulate and somewhat cerebral about his performance that day!  I really enjoyed attending games at Memorial Field; everyone at Dartmouth was so nice to me.

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Were they literate guys?  I hope you don't burst my bubble, but I can't see Ivy League schools offering "fluff" courses and easy grades like the University of North Carolina is under the microscope for from infractions of years past.

 

Many years ago, I was covering a Dartmouth-Lehigh football game for a radio station in Hanover.  The Big Green had gotten off to a rough start (0-2 with a conference loss to Penn).  They were losing by 15 in the second quarter when their second-string QB went down with an injury.  The first-team QB had been knocked out with a severe knee injury in the Penn game.  So, they put in their third-stringer, a sophomore from Minnesota with no varsity experience, and he led them to a stirring comeback with a touchdown pass and a couple of TD runs.  The kid stayed on as the starter and led Dartmouth to seven straight wins to finish 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the Ivies (Penn won the title with a 7-0 record that year).  After the game, I was hanging around outside the locker room, waiting for the coach to come out.  There were other reporters there with me, and I noticed the star of the game sitting against the wall with his helmet next to him, but nobody was speaking with him!  I got an interview with him and the sports director at the radio station I worked at was grateful for it.  Apparently, no one else bothered to talk to the kid whom I found to be articulate and somewhat cerebral about his performance that day!  I really enjoyed attending games at Memorial Field; everyone at Dartmouth was so nice to me.

No fluff courses, but every school, even Ivies, have courses that are known as "gut" courses. Most of these athletes remain above water, but they have to study hard to do so, and some are late bloomers academically. Bill Bradley, e.g., had much lower college board scores than most of the other guys at Princeton, but he became a Rhodes scholar.

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Interesting how NASCAR is handling the Kurt Busch situation verses how the NFL dealt with the Ray Rice one.

 

NASCAR decided to prevent Busch from participating in races (for how long they haven't said),  without Busch even being charged with a crime (but a protective order was granted to Busch's ex-girlfriend).  

 

I wonder how the majority of NASCAR fans feel about that?     

 

 

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Interesting how NASCAR is handling the Kurt Busch situation verses how the NFL dealt with the Ray Rice one.

 

NASCAR decided to prevent Busch from participating in races (for how long they haven't said),  without Busch even being charged with a crime (but a protective order was granted to Busch's ex-girlfriend).  

 

I wonder how the majority of NASCAR fans feel about that?     

I'm not a NASCAR fan per say, but I think the NFL had the misfortune of being the "first" sports entity to be put to the fire, so to speak, because of the graphic video evidence once it was made public.  We'll never know how other pro sports would have reacted differently than the NFL had they been the first league to have this happen to them.  I think there's a zero-tolerance attitude on domestic violence with pro sports now.  For many years, local police would treat domestic incidents lightly or as "non" events, but that all changed in the 1990's after more and more women were being killed or hospitalized at the hands of their supposed loved ones.

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I'm not a NASCAR fan per say, but I think the NFL had the misfortune of being the "first" sports entity to be put to the fire, so to speak, because of the graphic video evidence once it was made public.  We'll never know how other pro sports would have reacted differently than the NFL had they been the first league to have this happen to them.  I think there's a zero-tolerance attitude on domestic violence with pro sports now.  For many years, local police would treat domestic incidents lightly or as "non" events, but that all changed in the 1990's after more and more women were being killed or hospitalized at the hands of their supposed loved ones.

 

Well the facts don't back up your point that local police (really the local DA and assistance DAs),  no longer treat domestic incidents lightly.    Rice didn't get any jail time and Busch wasn't even charged.

 

I don't think it is the duty of employers to do the job of the local DA.    I clearly understand why sponsors would drop someone that is involved in this type of incident (since they have that right based on the contract),  but I don't support preventing people from working for ALL the job conduct.   

 

If the DA would make them serve jail time, while they are in jail they can't work, but once they serve their time they should be allowed to work.

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Well the facts don't back up your point that local police (really the local DA and assistance DAs),  no longer treat domestic incidents lightly.    Rice didn't get any jail time and Busch wasn't even charged.

 

I don't think it is the duty of employers to do the job of the local DA.    I clearly understand why sponsors would drop someone that is involved in this type of incident (since they have that right based on the contract),  but I don't support preventing people from working for ALL the job conduct.   

 

If the DA would make them serve jail time, while they are in jail they can't work, but once they serve their time they should be allowed to work.

I didn't mean to imply that sentences are necessarily commensurate with the seriousness of the offense.  Here in Illinois anyway, if a person is arrested in a domestic violence incident, they cannot automatically post bond.  They have to serve a night or a weekend in jail before they come before a judge who will set their bond in accordance with the details of the alleged incident.  A fellow in my home county recently got sentenced to 30 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections after he beat up his mother and father.  Of course, drugs and alcohol were a factor in the incident, as they usually seem to be.  One of the problems with domestic violence, regardless of one's social or economic standing, is the fact that the victim oftentimes will recant the details of what really happened, and petition to the court to have the defendant released outright or have their bond reduced.  More and more judges are refusing to do this.  However, the charges sometimes wind up being dropped or reduced to a lesser offense if the victim will not co-operate with the prosecution team on these court cases.  And as Sonny and Cher sang, "the beat goes on"---sometimes, literally (sadly). 

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I didn't mean to imply that sentences are necessarily commensurate with the seriousness of the offense.  Here in Illinois anyway, if a person is arrested in a domestic violence incident, they cannot automatically post bond.  They have to serve a night or a weekend in jail before they come before a judge who will set their bond in accordance with the details of the alleged incident.  A fellow in my home county recently got sentenced to 30 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections after he beat up his mother and father.  Of course, drugs and alcohol were a factor in the incident, as they usually seem to be.  One of the problems with domestic violence, regardless of one's social or economic standing, is the fact that the victim oftentimes will recant the details of what really happened, and petition to the court to have the defendant released outright or have their bond reduced.  More and more judges are refusing to do this.  However, the charges sometimes wind up being dropped or reduced to a lesser offense if the victim will not co-operate with the prosecution team on these court cases.  And as Sonny and Cher sang, "the beat goes on"---sometimes, literally (sadly). 

 

Here in CA the DA often will charge the person even if the victim asks that the charges be dropped.   This happened to Jim Brown after he assaulted his wife.    My brother-in-law is the DA and his sister,  another attorney,  leads the domestic violence team in another country in CA and they both complain that often the victim doesn't wish to help.   Often this results in another future incident.   

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