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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Tom Brady Edition

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Tom Brady is slammed with a 4-game suspension and the Patriots fined $1 million and two draft picks.

My gut says that the evidence against Brady himself is troubling, but hardly dispositive. My gut tells me also that Brady’s lack of cooperation suggests a guilty mind, even though my head keeps shouting (however inappropriately in this context) "Fifth Amendment!"

But what does this say when compared to the Ray Rice 2-game suspension for domestic violence — that the NFL values integrity of the game, despite the lack of clear and convincing evidence, over the welfare of player’s significant others for which there is … ahem … video of his knockout punch? Not a good look, NFL.

The argument that this is disproportionate is going to have significant force, and it is entirely a bed of the NFL’s own making. If the league had responded strongly to other incidents of misbehavior, this one would be defensible, maybe even laudable. But given the lack of direct or testimonial evidence against Brady, this seems like nothing more than straight-up example-setting. Do I believe Brady was involved? Yes, at least tacitly. But how do you defend this punishment in light of Rice et. al.? It’s tough.

It could be said that the NFL is trying to get it right going forward, and that is going to have to be their argument. I think they are likely to lose on appeal, but that would probably be the best outcome for the everyone in the sense it would send the message that the league has learned from the Rice incident and will be much more forceful in future cases. The NFL shouldn’t be hamstrung by past missteps forever, and this could be the end of that unfortunate era of looking the other way. We can only hope.

What say you, Big Blue Nation (if you even care)? Too harsh, too lenient, or about right?

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Your Quickies:

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College basketball
  • Former Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon is transferring to Maryland. That will definitely make them better immediately. He will be eligible to play right away because he’s set to graduate from Duke this summer.

  • Mike DeCourcy writes that the 30-second shot clock is not only not the answer, it will most likely exacerbate the problem:

    Why does [SMU coach Larry Brown] he say this? Because he’s smart enough to understand a 30-second cycle would profoundly enhance the strength of the defense. The coaches know this. I spoke with a handful of Division I head coaches and assistants at the adidas Uprising tournament near Indy last month, and unanimously they expressed that a 30-second clock would lead to more "soft" pressure designed to cut shot-clock time, more zone defenses and more unattractive late-clock shots attempted merely to avoid an impending turnover.

    Because that’s what the majority of college coaches do: They teach defense first. They do this because the officials have permitted so much contact to infiltrate the game it’d be foolish not to. They do this because it wins. If they are given one more menacing weapon by the rules committee, they are going to use it.

    He’s talking to you like a Dutch uncle, college basketball. You should listen. He’s exactly right — as long as the officials continue to allow all this contact, shortening the shot clock will force more possessions, but mostly it will force more desperation heaves.

  • Five-star 2016 guard Tyus Battle commits to the Michigan Wolverines.

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