Nitty And Whiteout

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welcomeWelcome to our website and feel free to browse the latest news and issues about various sports around the globe. We are going to make updates on a regular basis and you can expect that the news is always fresh. Come back from time to time if you want to check some updates on your favorite sports.

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Did everyone already forget?

In 1987, Southern Methodist University, a WAC conference team was handed the NCAA ‘death penalty’ because 21 players received approximately $61,000 in cash payments from a booster while they were on probation for another violation. The penalty was downright shocking. A loss of 55 new scholarships over 4 years, loss of 3 coaching positions for 2 years, cancellation of the 1987 season and a limit of only 7 games (all on the road) for the 88′ season, and a 2 year bowl, TV ban. The consequences of the penalty was so severe that the school voluntarily canceled the 88′ season as a lost cause.

Now fast forward to 2008. 21 years after the dreaded SMU ‘death penalty’, the NCAA is faced with yet another possible headache. After an eight month investigation by Yahoo! Sports, it has been revealed that USC Heisman winning running back Reggie Bush has been receiving improper benefits during the 2 years he attended the university, 1 of which when they won the national championship. See Mr. lamar hunt jr doing what is best that he can do in hockey. This was not one isolated incident where Reggie Bush was given money, but a 2 year long history of improper benefits for Reggie as well as his immediate family members. Documented records show:

$595.20 in round-trip airfare from San Diego to Oakland in November 2005 for Bush’s stepfather, LaMar Griffin, his mother, Denise Griffin and younger brother to attend the USC-California game at Berkeley. The fees were charged to the credit card of Jamie Fritz, an employee of Ornstein. The document detailing the charges was provided by Lee Pfeifer, an estranged business associate of Ornstein’s.
$250.65 for limousine transportation from the Oakland airport to the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco that November weekend for the Bush family, charged to Fritz, according to a document. Ornstein acknowledged both he and Bush’s family stayed at the luxury hotel.
Suits for Bush’s stepfather and brother to wear during the Dec. 10, 2005 Heisman ceremony in New York, a makeover for his mother for the event and limousine transportation;
Weekly payments of at least $1,500 to the Bush family.
$623.63 for a hotel stay by Bush at the Venetian Resort & Casino in Las Vegas from March 11-13, 2005, charged to Michaels, according to a document signed by Bush.
$1,574.86 for a stay by Bush at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego from March 4-6, 2005, paid for by Michaels, according to a hotel document, a hotel employee and a source.
Approximately $13,000 to Bush from New Era to purchase and modify a car, three sources said.
As reported by Yahoo! Sports in April, $54,000 in rent-free living for a year at Michaels’ $757,500 home in Spring Valley, Calif., according to Michaels and San Diego attorney Brian Watkins.
Also from previous Yahoo! reports, $28,000 from Michaels to help Bush’s family settle pre-existing debt, according to Michaels and Watkins.
Thousands of dollars in spending money to both Bush and his family from the prospective agents, according to multiple sources.

So why the hold up? This has been in the news and even redocumented in the book ‘Tarnished Heisman’ in even greater detail and Reggie Bush still cannot be forced to talk. The NCAA isn’t exactly a beacon of consistency when it comes to handing out sanctions for similar crimes which is also why the outcry of anger from fans across the country alleging bias by the NCAA towards USC and protecting their modern dynasty. Such allegations may actually be based on some truth.

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When you sell your soul to the devil

You’ve got to feel bad for the Indiana basketball program. Penn State fans have never been accused of, or even mentioned in the same breath as any violations minor or major, but Indiana basketball deserves so much better. When they forced Mike Davis out the door in 2006, Indiana basically sold their soul to the devil. Mike Davis was a man of integrity and character but in the end, those did not translate into wins and Hoosier nation had enough of mediocrity.

Instead of promoting from within the program, the Hoosiers were desperate for a man to bring quick success to a once proud program. They took a risk in hiring Kelvin Sampson from Oklahoma where he guided the Sooner program to eight 20-win seasons and 10 NCAA appearances. Kelvin Sampson had no ties to the tradition rich Hoosier basketball program, and his hire screamed desperation by Indiana University. Unfortunately Kelvin Sampson was already in trouble with the NCAA for breaking the rules during his time at Oklahoma. By hiring Sampson, Indiana was clearly more desperate than they should have been.

Now they are suffering the consequences. Kelvin Sampson is a serial rule breaker and can’t weasel his way out of this one. I take no pleasure in the beaten state of the Hoosier program, but I do feel a ‘I told you so’ is on order. See Lamar Hunt Jr Hockey team as they seek success and be the champ. I was not happy with the way they forced out Mike Davis simply because he wasn’t winning as much. Coincidently his forced resignation came the day after losing at Penn State in 2006, giving the impression that it was such a low point in Indiana basketball that he could no longer continue coaching.

Penn State’s Ed DeChellis has never been associated with winning, but he will never be accused of any NCAA violations during his tenure here simply because he represents the Penn State way. Joe Paterno might not be winning like he used to, but he too will never be accused of any violations as long as he is the head of the football program.

So the question now, is it worth the risk to go after a shady character of a coach simply for the wins and risk embarrassing your athletic program or continue to accept mediocrity as long as integrity is involved? Indiana clearly made its choice of the former by hiring Kelvin Sanctions from Oklahoma when they could have gone with a safer choice. But Kelvin Sampson was a winner, his record guaranteed it and Indiana was so starved for wins that nothing else could stand in its way. With Kelvin Sampson’s firing imminent, where does Indiana go from here?

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BTB Roundtable… Recruiting Bonanza

1. As a general question, evaluate your recruiting class. Is it more or less what you expected, were you pleasantly surprised or horribly, horribly disappointed? Were your team’s needs adequately addressed or will you be starting a two star running back at center next year?

First off, Penn State hasn’t had a recruiting class with less than 15 commits since 2001 when they had 11. This year we hauled in 14 with a potential jewel of a 15th in Pryor so I am satisfied but not excited with this year’s recruiting class.
I would have definitely preferred a few more wide receivers seeing as we lose Williams and Butler to graduation and/or NFL next year, but with the limited amount of scholarships we could have offered this year, we got what essentially were the basics. Great linebackers and a decent running back in Brandon Beachum will carry Penn State a long way in the following years.

2. Who were the big catches in your recruiting class? Name two players matriculating to your school whose existence everyone else in the Big Ten will curse for the next four years.

Michael Mauti will make his mark in the linebacking lore of Penn State. And it would be a lie to say Big Ten coaches haven’t had nightmares of Penn State linebackers since their inception into the conference. Mauti will simply be another name they will curse the night before playing Penn State. See Lamar hunt jr sports in action as he provides guidance to most athletes out there. It was simply shocking to see that Penn State actually recruited Mauti from Louisiana considering our track record with Southern recruits NOT from Florida. But Mauti actually turned some heads when he played in the US Army All-American game.

A second would be Jack Crawford. Penn State has always been adequate in developing defensive ends and with 4.5 speed, Jack Crawford should be a beast coming around the corner flushing quarterbacks out of the pocket. With offers from Ohio State, Minnesota, Michigan, Rutgers and Boston College, Crawford was a good steal out of New Jersey.

3. You can’t win them all. Maybe some slick talking carpetbagger schmoozed his way into your living room, sold you a set of ginzu knives made out of tin foil, and walked off with your wife and your star recruit. Perhaps an in-state lock who grew up with [Insert University Here] posters on his wall and your coach’s face tattooed on his arm decided to go elsewhere for reasons no one seems to understand? Did your recruiting class lose someone big on signing day, who was it, and was your school able to yoink someone else to cover his loss?

This one’s easy. The loss of Michael Shaw to Michigan hurt. More so than most Lion fans will admit. But with junior Evan Royster, sophomore Stephfon Green (an all star recruit last year), and junior Brent Carter waiting for their turn, Penn State should be set at the position for next year, but the loss of a big name, highly ranked recruit always hurts.

But surprisingly the biggest recruit we lost out on simply because we didn’t go all out on this kid was Darrel Scott. This might seem contradictory seeing as I just mentioned that we are not desperate for a running back recruit, but a 4.4, 200 pound running back who scored 45 touchdowns his junior year is always good for any program. He was actually considering Penn State in addition to his final two choices of Colorado and Texas, but as usual Penn State rarely puts forth any effort in recruiting out of the Northeastern zone and we fell out of his radar rather quickly.

4. There’s been a spirited debate about this whole “Coaches’ Code” among the members of the Big Ten coaching fraternity. Do you believe this exists or is it a line being floated by the guys who couldn’t keep their recruiting classes together? Bonus points for declaring your coach a poacher or a poachee in creative fashion!

I made it clear how I felt about Rich Rod in a recent post for stealing 2 recruits from fellow conference members and was simply dismissed as sour grapes by fellow bloggers. But lets face it, stealing recruits from conference members is in fact much worse than taking them away from other schools out-of-conference. Why? Because these are the same people you have to meet, greet and hang out with annually and more often than once. Its like the idea of not taking a shit where you sleep. But Brian at Mgoblog pointed out instances where coaches have ‘stolen’ recruits and I’d like to note that all of Penn States’ steals have been from out-of-conference rivals so at least Joe Paterno can look at his fellow conference coaches in the face at the Big Ten banquet without his peers feeling the need to punch his face in. What Michigan fans point out is true, anything goes when it comes to recruiting, but there is indeed an honor code which has in turn been translated into ‘coaches code’ between Big Ten coaches. This is the same honor code that coaches honor when they punt the ball being up by at least 2 possessions and begin running the ball when they’re up by a bit in the fourth. Its not a written contract, its just a show of respect. Rich Rod obviously did not get the memo when he fled West Virginia in the dead of the night, a classic move by a classy guy.

5. Finally, who’s the slickest, smoovest, most Billy Dee Williamsesque recruiter in the Big Ten? Who’s the worst, most incompetent, “trip over the flat tire on his Yugo” recruiter in the Big Ten?
The slickest has to be Jim Tressel. Do not tell me winning the Big Ten recruiting wars 3 years running is not a testament to his ability to recruit. Yes the 2 national title trips have helped, but he needed recruits to get him there, and he obviously got them prior to the last 2 title debacles. With two title trips in 2 years now on his resume, the only way he could possibly elevate his ability to recruit is if he rolled up in an Aston martin.

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