Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Bigger Problem

Category: Sports Rant

Indiana University's now ex-coach, Kelvin Sampson

Kelvin Sampson resigned on Friday (2/22) as the head basketball coach of Indiana University. He accepted a $750,000 buyout to step down amid allegations of NCAA violations. As he leaves, Indiana University is facing the possibility of being put on probation should the NCAA's investigation result in sanctions against the school.

Some would say that IU is getting what they deserve. After all, when they hired Sampson, he had the same charge -- inappropriate phone calls to recruits -- hanging over his head when he left Oklahoma University.

However, I think the bigger problem is not so much the fact that IU hired Sampson knowing he had baggage, but rather the NCAA rules that allow the coaches to freely move from one university to another with no penalty for their wrongdoings.

Flash back to 1988, when Eddie Sutton was head coach for the University of Kentucky. Under his tenure, Kentucky was nearly hit with the "death penalty" because assistant coaches sent money to recruits. While Kentucky and the innocent players and fans were hit with NCAA penalties, Sutton waltzed off to Oklahoma State, where he found a new job while Kentucky was banned from appearing on television.

What the NCAA needs to do to put an end to the problem is PUNISH THE GUILTY. In this case, if Sampson is guilty of violating NCAA rules, then he should be banned from getting a job as a coach for two years. IU and their fans -- and, most importantly, the student athletes that the NCAA claims to care so much about -- should NOT be made to suffer for Sampson's sins. If a player runs afoul of the NCAA rules, then he/she should be penalized, not everyone.

There's a great deal about the NCAA I do not like (e.g., the basketball "field of 65" -- how about letting FOUR teams play in instead of just one? And, if that game is theoretically #64 vs. #65, shouldn't the winner be playing the #1 team in the entire tournament?), and a million things I believe they need to change. All talk of a BCS playoff, however, and other petty things needs to be put aside until the penalty problem is resolved. It is just plain WRONG for Kelvin Sampson, should he be deemed guilty, to be able to obtain a new job as a college basketball coach while the Indiana team bears the brunt of the NCAA's sanctions.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Record Audience on February 3

Category: News

Super Bowl XLII was the most-watched Super Bowl in history, and the second most viewed program in history (behind only the "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" episode of M*A*S*H).

However, Animal Planet also had a record audience for Puppy Bowl IV. The fourth annual installment of puppies playing in a playpen decorated like a football field brought in eight million viewers. That was Animal Planet's biggest rating in a year -- probably since Puppy Bowl III.

By the way, Abigail (pictured above) won the MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) on the show, while Jackson raked in over 22,200 votes to win the online voting for MVP.