Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to your Friday Skull Session. For those who are unaware, the Rapture is tomorrow, so depening on your beliefs, either prepare to ascend or prepare to start looting. I personally plan on mixing some margaritas, but that's pretty much every Friday.
For athletes in the NCAA, they may get a bit of help regardless. The Big Ten is considering increasing the amount schools can give athletes. Quoth Delaney:
Forty years ago, you had a scholarship plus $15 a month laundry money," Delany said. "Today, you have the same scholarship, but not with the $15 laundry money.
I'm not sure that this is a great idea, unless every school is allowed to do it and every athlete in every sport benefits. That said, the Big Ten would definitely be one of the beneficiaries of paid athletes. All in all, there's little doubt that 1.) Athletes deserve more than they get 2.) Giving them more only worsens the situation. A conundrum all around.
Such a likeable guy. While there are plenty of reasons to hate LeBron, according to Deadspin, the live-action disastorgy that was The Decision on ESPN shouldn't be one of them. While LeBron can legitimately be called immature and possibly selfish (debatably), he apparantly had little at all to do with the one-hour exercise in self-gratification.
Maybe the most remarkable part of the section is that LeBron James, the man who was thrown in the stocks for the crime of committing bad television, is hardly mentioned at all. He was a prop in a pressed shirt. Gray's job was to smile and nod on camera as the two orchestrators stood off-stage, as ESPN began its rapid retreat from the wreckage, and as we all watched in pathetic outrage. LeBron became the villain for something that, in the book's telling, the suits had perpetrated. It was never his Decision to make.
Being a dumb, but slighlty less villianous villian isn't necessarily any better than being an evil mastermind, though.
Reverse-Karma? The guy that poisoned the Auburn Toomer Center trees has been indicted on four felony charges and 2 misdemeanors. Heavy stuff. For his sake, I hope he can squeeze enough joy out of it to keep himself sane in prison, up to 10 years potentially. Of course, if he doesn't I won't cry myself to sleep over it.
On the other hand, Karma decided to award Auburn by having four former players arrested. While not currently with the team, no program wants it's former charges robbing trailer parks at night. Nothing says to a parent, "Send your kids to us, they're in good hands," like former players point guns at people in mobile homes. Not the Towering Heights of Wall Street or the Hallowed Halls of Academia, that. Hopefully those four players can squeeze enough joy out of the Tree Poisoner's prison sentence to keep themselves sane in prison.
Seems... Petty. In a bit of an odd move, Ohio State is making Tressel pay for his own legal defense. Now, I'm not saying that Tressel doesn't have the means to do so, nor that he's completely innocent, but usually if an institution truly backs a person as stridently as Gene Smith claims to, they at the very least provide the legal council.
It's not exactly rational to try and read the tea leaves, but if nothing else it signals that the Athletic Department and Administration are not necessarily as unified and forceful in their support of Tressel as their PR statements lead one to believe.
Another tragedy. Oklahoma Linebacker Austin Box passed away yesterday of what has been described as a drug overdose. Slated to start at middle linebacker this year, Box was poised to enter the spotlight during his senior year.
"He was one of the most selfless guys I've ever been around, a great leader for us," [Defensive Coordinator] Venables said. "His greatest fear was to let down great coaches and great players... He wanted to live up to that in some way."
Our thoughts go out to his friends, team, and family.
Not our problem. The NCAA gave the one-finger salute to the Department of Justice in it's ongoing investigation into whether the BCS constitutes a cartel. NCAA president Mark Emmert claimed that questions concerning the BCS were not the purview of the NCAA and should instead be directed at the BCS and it's officials.
The BCS, for their part, say that there's no problem at all. Move along. Nothing to see here. BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock retorts:
We're confident the BCS complies with the law and we know it has been very good for college football. We're always happy to answer any questions.
While there's certainly a bit of hot-potato going on here, on some level the BCS needs the NCAA on its side in order to continue its existence. Any step away from support by the NCAA is a step closer to a playoff and the dismantling of the BCS. I see it as a good sign that the NCAA is basically saying, "not our problem."