Mark Story has a piece today in which he takes on the job of Czar of all sports (just what we need, another czar of anything). His intent is to fix a couple of things that are broken with high school and college sports.
The first point he makes is that he claims players are being "waived" because they haven't panned out as expected athletically. I myself have bemoaned this point when it actually occurs, but when players are given the opportunity to stay with the caveat that they will likely ride the bench and then decide to transfer, this claim fails. That's what Calipari is supposedly doing, and according to all reports, that's been the plan from the get-go.
Now, suppose for just a moment that all the players currently on UK's roster decide that they would rather stay at UK as a bench-warmer than play good minutes elsewhere. It could happen, you know -- a young man could believe that he could find a way to get minutes despite the coach's honest assessment, or maybe would rather be part of a team that is a national championship contender than play at one who isn't. We haven't seen that situation arise yet, but it could happen. Then, Story's theory would be tested, and I would be very interested to see what happens. Calipari could be putting himself in a very bad place if he isn't careful, but then again, we have seen this before and it worked itself out. Let's hope it works itself out again this time as well. As far as Story's suggestion for four-year scholarships, I am fine with that, by all means.
I kind of like his suggestion that football coaches not be allowed to negotiate a contract for a vacancy while the team has games remaining. I also would like to see the alternating possession rule consigned to the dustbin of history and the jump ball brought back. Finally, I think moving the high school sports calendar is not going to happen, nor should it. Playing football in the heat is no problem as long as there is plenty of water and salt available. Sorry Czar, that one's just too radical.
Now, for the rest of the news.
UK Basketball News
- Kentucky's recruiting class is considered the nation's best. More here.
- Ridiculous Upside has Patrick Patterson going #26 to the Chicago Bulls, where he would compete with Joakim Noah for time. Funny if that happened.
- Bluegrass State Basketball says the CBS story that got everyone excited was an epic fail. More from the Sixth Man and State of the Program. Weird stuff usually happens around this time of the year.
- Mike Miller at Beyond the Arc thinks Coach Cal has, "exceeded any reasonable expectations in his first few weeks as Kentucky coach" when it comes to recruiting. I think he's right.
- Luke Winn doesn't think UK's recruiting class means all that much. He doesn't even have UK in his top 16, but he does have The Sweaty One and the Volunteers at #13. [via Mr. SEC]
- DIME magazine says that John Calipari is making UK an instant national championship contender. I'll keep my own counsel on that judgment, but I do think we can be very good next year, to say the least.
- Dick "Hoops" Weiss points out that Lance Stephenson outplayed John Wall at the Nike Steve Nash guard camp last June.
[UPDATE 1] One Wall away from history. I really agree with the author, I think if Wall comes, this is the greatest recruiting class in NCAA history, at least since I have been following it. Maybe there were better "back in the day," but in my memory, this would be the best with the Fab Five a close second. More on UK's class being #1 at Straitpinkie.
- [UPDATE 1] Who is going to stay at Kentucky?
- [UPDATE 1] You have all heard about this by now. Is UK the next, "Point Guard U?"
UK Football News
- Tight end T.C. Drake has had successful surgery for a sports hernia, and should be back for the start of practice in August.
- Track em Tigers doesn't think Rich Brooks will still be roaming the sidelines five years from now. I think he's right.
- Curtis Pulley trying to rehabilitate himself.
Other UK Sports News
- UK softball pulls off a big upset in the SEC tournament.
NCAA Sports News
- Pitino to the Sacramento Kings? Well, I just don't see it, but I like this part:
Pitino is no Larry Brown or Phil Jackson, but he would make a splash and the Kings could definitely use one. I'm not sure why he would want the Kings job, especially since he seems to have a good thing going at the collegiate level at Louisville. (As one media member half-jokingly suggested, maybe he's afraid of new Kentucky coach John Calipari.)
- Coping in Memphis.
- The Rick Pitino buzz is everywhere. Right now, nobody seems to know what's up. Here's the Yahoo! article that started it all, it was linked earlier by someone else in here. There would be something incredibly droll about Traitor Rick leaving Louisville for the pros, but I really want to see Calipari vs. Pitino next December (or January) -- really bad.
- [UPDATE 1] Heh.
[UPDATE 1] I would like to cast my vote for the later. More on this here, and the Gary Parrish
storyblog post is here.
- [UPDATE 2] Eric Crawford has more on the Pitino kerfuffle. Does this all sound familiar to 'Cat fans? Just sayin ...
Other News of Interest
- I've been getting tons of these telephone calls warning me about expiring warranty. This is deceptive advertising designed to panic people, and qualfies as nothing more than a scam in my book. If a recorded voice mentions the word, "Warranty" within the first few seconds of a phone call, I always hang up. I recommend you do as well.